Digital Audio Aims for the Mass Market
A short but interesting look at digital audio devices and formats in the context of the huge amount of coverage at CES 2005. The techreview article threadlinked above is part one of two and although brief, does raise (for me) the question of when, not if, the CD will die:
Though the first portable MP3 player debuted in 1999, most personal music libraries still consist of piles of CDs, and relatively few people listen to digitally recorded radio talk shows and books.
The consumer electronics industry is doing its best to change that, there being serious lucre in prodding people to join the digital audio revolution as long as it's convenient.
At this week's International Consumer Electronics Show, it was impossible to walk more than a few feet in the 1.5-million-square feet of exhibition space without stumbling over a digital audio equipment display
Personally i cant wait till the CD finally snuffs it. I never really liked them and i require my music to be infinately more portable - even though my mp3 player is ancient...
What’s Next for Google
This 9 page article written by Charles Ferguson, offers few secrets but presents historic and recent knowledge in a very interesting light. This was a good reminder of how the individual bits of information fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. It provide insights on the people involved, technologies being used, search landscape, current trends and possible futures.
Apple Bites The Fans That Feed It
You really do have to wonder what the hell Apple think they're playing at - It's tough to imagine a more stupid scenario: Tech stories leak (as always) - bloggers blog it - massive hype is created - share prices go up - apple looks even cooler - apple fucks it up and sues the bloggers - WHAT?
But, this sort of stuff happens all the time in the tech industry. Sources leak details of forthcoming products to reporters whose motivation is to get credit for an exclusive story. Here's the difference with Apple: most of its secret product news is not published first by national, mainstream media, but by Apple advocates. These people are customers, fans and Apple-lovers.
This community gives Apple untold free--and mostly positive--publicity and buzz about upcoming products and strategies. They salivate over every upgrade. This is a pre-iPod gang--people who supported Apple before the second coming of Steve Jobs in 1997. Consider that it was Apple enthusiasts who helped drive the market for the iPod after its 2001 release, despite a widely held perception that the $399 price tag was too high.
What manner of substance abuse is going on over at the (rotten) Apple PR department?
Smartvideo, threadlinked above have launch what they say is the first live TV streaming for mobile today. The story comes in via pct - here's the snippet:
SmartVideo have teamed up with ABC News, NBC Universal and The Weather Channel to deliver a live television service for mobile device users. The service is enabled for most consumers operating over a wireless network, and the SmartVideo library allows for a wide range of programming selections so you can choose what to watch, and when to watch it. It has been optimised to deliver a high-quality service at a minimum of 15 frames per second.
Vonage launches VoIP in the UK
Good news (perhaps..) for the UK'ers...
Vonage provides a phone adapter/router, which converts analogue signals to digital signals which then plugs into a broadband connection. A standard telephone can then be plugged into the adapter so that when a call is made or received the signal is converted to digital and routed through a high-speed DSL or cable modem across the internet and back through a traditional phone network to the receiver’s phone.
Im working on a Skype setup personally but cheap calls are cheap calls right?
The first client of BURST Media's new blog channel was Kyocera - they will be launching an advergame via tech blogs such as Screenhead and Gizmodo according to the adverblog post threadlinked above.
I really like the idea of advergames, i've played a few and think that, providing they're done well of course, they're a damn site more engaging than much else and for companies like Kyocera are most likely a great move. Pop a few ads in the right spots and watch it go viral.. nice!
Google announces change in AdWords affiliate policy
So, i wake up this morning to find that the Search blogs are abuzz with the news that Googles long rumoured change to Affilate Adword policy has been announced whilst i slept.
Forrester's Charlene Li, threadlinked above, along with Andrew Goodman and Aaron Wall have the most informative posts i beleive. Let's look at what Charlene had to say first:
The affiliates that highly productive -- or are willing to pay a significantly higher rate to offset lower clickthrough rates -- will appear. An advertiser who doesn’t have a high ad rank can unseat the current advertiser only by increasing its maximum CPC rate. This is because it can’t increase the clickthrough rate for that keyword because its ad isn’t being shown anymore. The affiliate that does appear must continually ensure a high clickthrough rate and/or increase the maximum CPC to keep other affiliates from appearing.
+ Parent retailers could be beaten out of paid search by their own affiliates, especially if those affiliates are more targeted in their ad description, and thus get better clickthroughs. Salar rationalized that even if the retailer is bumped out, it would still benefit from the affiliate getting the sale, but it will be cold comfort to a product manager who’s being measured on search visibility. One additional benefit to the parent retailer -- to justify higher maximum CPCs, affiliates will have to increase their conversion rates, which will benefit the parent retailers.
Blogs are not the only fruit
Is it only me that's becoming mind numbingly bored with all the daft posts about blogging over the last few months? Half of the chatter out there is just ridiculous, from bloggers thinking that they have special rights and can operate outside of normal law to frivolous posts that just squeal with nauseating excitement everytime somebody publishes a damn website - ack, dont get me started! Probably good fodder for another post eh? :-)
Well, i just read a truly enlightened post that i've threadlinked above by Lee at Headshift on well, pretty much the entire field of blogging, social interaction, wikis and folksonomy based collaborative publishing and social networking. I've never been to the site before and have never heard of headshift but if you have an interest in this kind of thing i think you'll find it refreshing and exciting - i did...
Revived Spyware Bill Could Crunch Cookies
Zachary Rodgers reports on the implications of the reintroduced anti-spyware bill for ad and behavioral tracking via cookies in the clickz story threadlinked above.
While SPY-ACT creates cookie exceptions for publishers wishing to identify return visitors, those exceptions don't apply to third parties or network advertisers. "In the current bill, cookies that behave like cookies are exempt," said Pencille. "If it's monitoring your behavior when you leave [the site that placed it], then it's not covered." The bill wouldn't permit publishers to share cookie information with partners, which would cripple their ability to target ads. Passage of the bill would make illegal such widespread marketing practices as behavioral targeting, cross-site frequency capping, and network traffic analysis. Publishers and site owners are also dependent on third party tracking tools to earn the higher CPMs they've enjoyed of late.
That would certainly knobble a few business models recently created...
If you're in your early/mid thirties like me, you'll remember the first "calculater watches" right? Well here's the upgraded version for the 2000's lol...
CES 2005 Watch maker Fossil has formally revived its previously ill-fated Palm OS-based PDA wristwatch project - a year after it appeared to kill off the product before it even shipped.
Fossil Wrist PDA - the next generationFeaturing a redesigned casing, the Wrist PDA launched this week nevertheless remains true to the previous version's spec. Once again, there's Palm OS 4.1 on board; a 160 x 160 touchscreen LCD; 8MB of memory, 7.7MB of which is available to the user, and double the amount in the previous version; infrared and USB connectivity; 4MB of Flash storage; a 66MHz Motorola Dragonball processor, double the clock speed of the original Wrist PDA; and a battery sufficiently capacious to offer 3-4 days' usage.
Opera releases browser beta for Linux
Horray! Now if only i could get my mic to work!
This new 8.0 version of Opera features voice technology that allows users to browse the Web and check their e-mail using spoken commands. By using the appropriate command, people can scroll around a Web page, read highlighted text out loud and follow links.
A spokesman for Opera said the technology allows people to interact with their browser in a more natural way.
"Our vision is to improve human and computer communications," the spokesman said. "You should be able to communicate with technology in the same way as we communicate with each other."
Download page is here, wonder what kind of dependencies it has for this voice stuff...
Added: The original post has now been removed, adding fuel to the fire of this being a hoax - thanks Aaron!
Here's an interesting one, it appears that rumours of an MS Tech TV channel are true and that it will roll out in May/June this year - this is according to an M$ source quoted on the threadlinked blog post above:
"management doesn't want to let the people know of the network yet due to the fact that they want to create a huge uproar when it's time for the launch." So I guess MS wanted to make a huge shock. Well they did already. I then asked the PR executive of a MSTECHTV launch date. He said "MSTECHTV will launch sometime in May or June. We think it would be huge for a May 28th launch." TechTV fans all know what May 28th is symbolic for.
I dont know what May 28th is symbolic for, anyone care to fill me in?
This could all be bollocks of course, the comments that follow in the threadlinked blog post are mixed in their beleif so it's best taken with a pinch of salt. Interesting nonetheless though eh?