Archive for October, 2010
Sports helped get HDTV into the mainstream. Fact. It was thought sports would do the same with 3D. Who wouldn’t want to see career-ending helmet-to-helmet hits in the third dimension? A lot of people, actually. ESPN 3D is a flop.
We’re now halfway through ESPN’s one-year 3D trial run and nothing’s happening. Money’s certainly going into the medium, sure, but the trouble is nothing’s coming back out.
“We’re still not sure what makes sense for 3DTV and we don’t yet see a proven ROI,” said Jonathan Pannaman, ESPN Senior Director of Technology, in an interview with TVB Europe. ROI being short for “return on investment.” In this case it sounds like the “R” is “0.”
With an iPod Touch in your pocket and a MiFi in your bag, you have a fully-functional, always-connected iOS device talking to the world over the Verizon Wireless network. Sure, it’s technically a hack, you won’t be able to send an MMS (just like the old days!), and you’ll need to use a couple extra apps—but your reception will almost definitely improve, and the total monthly cost will be a good chunk lower than an equivalent AT&T plan.
• An iPod Touch
• A Verizon MiFi
• A headset
• A phone number from Line2
APPS YOU WANT
• Calling: Facetime, Line2, Fring, or Tango
• 8GB iPod Touch: $229
• Verizon MiFi: $99 plus $35/month (we recommend the 3GB plan)
• Phone number (Line2): $10/month
• Get A Number: FaceTime, Fring, and Tango are great ways to keep in touch, but they aren’t ubiquitous enough yet. Try Line2, a $10/month service that gets you your very own phone number plus unlimited VOIP calls and texts within the US and Canada. You could also use Skype, but you won’t get the free text messages.
• Get Coverage: Verizon’s MiFi will give you enough bandwidth to jaw off anywhere the company’s EVDO fingers touch. Which is pretty much everywhere. If you’ve got a hankering for 4G, and live in one of the markets that supports it, you can also go with the zippy Sprint Overdrive.
• Get Headphones: The iPod Touch has one setting: Speakerphone. Do everyone a favor and buy a headset.
OK, It’s Not Perfect…
The primary downside to the iPod Touch Phone is that it can’t send or receive MMS messages. Sadly, there isn’t a perfect way to simulate this experience yet, so any naughty photos or videos will have to be sent the old-school way: Email. But who cares? We survived a couple years with MMS-less iPhones before, and we can do it again.
Remember when BP was responsible for horrible things, and then they plugged the hole and we moved on to worrying about other horrible things? Things are still horrible! The chemical they used to break down oil is making people ill.
Al Jazeera investigated the current chemical state of the Gulf, and found that the at least 1.9 million gallons of dispersant BP used to fix the spill have combined with crude oil to make something worse—which is washing ashore and causing a lot of human sickness. As the oil breaks down, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are being released—chemicals Al Jazeera identifies as “arcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.” Think of this as releasing a pack of foxes to attack a beehive, and then the foxes come back covered in bees and jump all over you.
And it’s going to be hard to avoid this stuff, says one expert. “The dispersants are being added to the water and are causing chemical compounds to become water soluble, which is then given off into the air, so it is coming down as rain, in addition to being in the water and beaches of these areas of the Gulf,” explains Bob Naman of the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama.
In the meantime, people are suffering. Badly. Like, brown pee badly: “I started to vomit brown, and my pee was brown also,” says one Gulf resident. “I kept that up all day. Then I had a night of sweating and non-stop diarrhea unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.” Phrases like “non-stop diarrhea” are usually quite funny, but to add a wave of human sickness to an already horrific environmental catastrophe is just horrid. How much more can one even despise a company like BP? Though, if their reputation has already been thoroughly dragged through the mud, it looks like they’ve come up with a substance even worse than that. [Al Jazeera via Boing Boing]
Apple’s war on Flash appears to be working. At the start of the year, only 10% of all web video was available in HTML5 format. Today, 54% of all web video is.
What’s changed between January and today? The iPad was released to the world, selling millions of units. (Flash video doesn’t work on the iPad.) Also, smartphones continued to gain in popularity. Most smartphones don’t play Flash video, though that’s starting to change.
If publishers want their videos to play nice with these new mobile devices they need to be HTML5 compatible.
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After a brief play Place Search looks like something I’ll be using a lot. It grabs all local services and venues when a search request is made (such as “South London gyms”), displaying all relevant info on the first page.
A small Google Maps on the right holds red pins for the various results, and with a small amount of detail (plus contact information and addresses) listed under each search result, it looks a lot easier finding out relevant info on places than normal Google search provides. You can try it out now here. [Google]
It’s easy to forget at this point, but Android wasn’t a Google creation. Google bought the company in 2005 for an undisclosed sum (estimated to be around $50 million) and, well, let’s just say things worked out pretty well for them. How well? Google’s vice president of corporate development, David Lawee, told attendees at the Stanford Accel Symposium this week that the acquisition was quite simply Google’s “best deal ever.” Lawee further went on to note that he did have some initial skepticism about the deal, and recalls saying “I hope this guy does something” after seeing Andy Rubin around the building for two years. The fact that Rubin actually stayed after the acquisition eventually did inspire some confidence, however, with Lawee adding that it’s obvious when a deal doesn’t work out “because the people leave.”
Google exec calls Android acquisition its ‘best deal ever’ originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Oct 2010 20:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Of lesser interest is the fact that AT&T will also begin selling the WiFi + 3G version of the iPad today in 16GB ($629), 32GB ($729), and 64GB ($829) with contract-free data plans for 250MB of data ($14.99) or 2GB of data ($25) per month with free access to AT&T’s 23,000+ domestic WiFi hotspots. AT&T’s also offering international plans ranging from 20MB for $24.99 per month on up to 200MB for a staggering $199.99 per month. Hit the appropriate source link below if either of these offers tickles your kraken.
[Thanks, Michael R. and Tyler P.]
The time it takes to go from wanting something to signing into PayPal and buying it might be just enough for you to change your mind. Which is why PayPal just cut out that step, allowing in-app and in-site buys.
If you’re in a game, or on a web page, you no longer have to leave to use PayPal to fund your purposes. Instead, using a new tool the company just introduced, you just have to click on the pertinent link. That will trigger a PayPal pop-up, through which you approve the transaction. All without ever having to leave Farmville.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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