Monday, December 17, 2007
Most people sped most of their time doing things they wouldn't want to do, in order to be able to spend a little time doing things they want to do.
I'd like to spend a little time doing things I wouldn't really want to do, and a lot of time doing things I want to do.
Now, how to accomplish that?
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Fortunately it's pretty easy to block Beacon - just follow this easy guide and you'll be safe. For now.
Monday, December 03, 2007
This means that all 27 member states of the EU are required to support DVB-H and encourage the standard for mobile television. As can be imagined, the competition is less than excited - Korean standard DMB being one, Qualcomms Mediaflo another.
Still, rumours have it that not everyone is particularly happy with this resolution. BSkyB, for instance, are said to be eager to go with Mediaflo, despite EUs suggestions. So, there we are again - a world of competing standards. Don't you just love it? No, me neither.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
When selling a television format, most buyers would like to see an episode, or even better, a whole series. They also like ratings and reviews - ratings (if high enough) a lot more than reviews, as a matter of fact.
That's why I lift my hat when reading todays news that Armoza Formats of Israel have sold their format "Revenge of the Geeks" to the US, UK, Holland, Poland and several other territorier, although the series have still to premiere in Israel (which it will do in November). Well done lads - you must've had a great format, and a helluva pitch :)
Now I just have to do that as well... :)
Monday, November 05, 2007
It's campaining with the actual tagline "Better than Joost" - pointing out that they have 2.500 unrestricted channels, loadsa HD material and are open source. Valid points, all of them.
The thing that makes Miro stand out in a positive (albeit probably fairly illegal) way from the rest of the pack is the possibility to subscribe to RSS-feeds of favourite tv shows. Just grab the RSS feed from somewhere, set up a channel on Miro and the app will take care of the rest, providing you with a new episode every time one is available. For a users guide, check out this CNet article.
My 2 cents would be that Miro will work as a good partner to Joost. It can get to stuff that Joost can't, and it can do it with a minimum of hassle. To just watch something - without really knowing what to be looking for, just killing time - Joost is still better. Also Miro crashed a couple of times on my laptop, whereas Joost has been running faultlessly for the past year - might just be me, but the feeling I get is a little bit unsteady.
Miro - try it out! Just don't get caught :)
This is where you would've seen a picture of a show on Miro, but alas! you only get to see the app itself. Oh joy, oh rapture.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Judging by the response from some other people blogging about this, the television version was still mostly a muck-up when it came to the whole cross media shebang - or rather, the fact that 99% of all that is shown on television is fake. So too with regards to what was included about Second Life in yesterdays episode. For a better review from someone who actually watched the show, read this.
What would be good would for the television end of the production chain to start listening to the internet (or in this case, Second Life) end of the chain a little bit more. It is not possible to create a good all-encompassing experience that gives both worlds justice unless you let both parts influence each other to a great enough extent.
For an interview with Anthony Zuiker, creator of the CSI brand and the guy with the idea of going into SL from the start, check this out.
As for viewer ratings, I haven't seen any yet, nor any figures for how many people signed up as Second Lifers yesterday. Will post as soon as I have them.
Well - to sum it up, a nice enough effort. As well, it will continue with new mysteries every month, so hopefully no end to it but a continuing presence in SL. Just get the tv part to work together with it a bit better, please?
Yup, that's a faceless CSI-corpse on the floor, alright.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tonights episode will feature in and moreover continue in Second Life. Wonder what that'll be like :) . As a first, I have great hopes for this - lets just hope it doesn't run out of steam like, say, The Lost Experience or something suchlike.
This is what I'd like to be doing with my tv projects as well. Anyone got a couple of millions of €€ to give away?
Preview of tonights CSI:NY Second Life extravaganza. Looks nice!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Beauty in motion - even when it's not in motion.
One gigabyte then, one gigabyte now. Old one - MUCH cooler...
I just wish, really really wish, that all the energy spent on not so important things - like updating your Facebook page (yes, you!) and trying to fit more gigas onto smaller space - would be spent on trying to save this bloody planet.
Was in the woods with the kids a couple of days ago - the loud smattering that could be heard were the elk flies hitting our jackets, caps, hair, legs, everywhere. Never seen such an amount of them evil buggers. Four hours later I plucked the last one as it was crawling on my cheek. Now - there were no elk flies here when I was a kid, just the mosquitos. Global warming has brought them to my porch, and I don't like it one bit. Time to do something - I won't take the car ANYWHERE for the rest of this week, and that's that.
Monday, October 01, 2007
As he points out, Joost and its rivals represent a breakthrough when it comes to technical matters, programming, how to use the Net and so on. What they don't represent is a better way of consuming media - at least not a more appealing way. As William says -
"At the moment, [Joost and Babelgum] seem rather sterile. Unlike television, which is constantly appealing to its sense of immediacy through a continuous flow of programming and promotion, these video-on-demand environments are less dynamic. As with many other on-demand systems, there is a sense that the same material will still be there tomorrow, in which case why watch it now?"
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
On another note - look out for the next Millionaire! Yes, 2waytraffic, who bought Celador (the production company who owned Who wants to be a Millionaire) are trying their best to cash in on their investment. Their new format is called 50-50, and is essentially a spinoff of the 50-50 lifeline from Millionaire. Contestants play in pairs to to make choices between two possibilities (read more about it here).
The only question I have is - when will the quiz show fad run out of steam? Not now,it seems, as 50-50 has already scored deals in Japan, Greece, Australia and Italy.
Perhaps I should be doing quiz shows as well...
Friday, September 21, 2007
But is there something else to Facebook than just the face and the book? For a pretty sinister (albeit slightly conspiracy theoryish) look at Facebook, watch this. Nice voice in the voiceover too, meow..
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
What new then? The Space Trainees was pitched at EBU Creative Forum in Berlin last week - along with 20-odd other EBU-projects - and there was some interest in the format. Let us hope it'll take off shortly.
On the telecom / media / television side of the world, MIPCOM might be pretty interesting this year. A whole day is dedicated to the hype of the moment, Green TV (television programs with an ecological twist) - I actually heard the pitch for a pretty good format in the genre in Berlin, made by SBS from Australia. It's called Eco House Challenge, and the website can be found here.
Anyone going to Cannes for the MIPCOM and fancy a chat, let me know :)
On another completely different note, have you ever wondered what you're worth? Here is the place to find out. To my dismay, I clocked in at 2.975$... I think I'm more worth than that!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Well, disturbing news for a lot of people. Happy news for a lot of other people. Telecoms.com reports that a US teenager, George Hotz, spent his entire summer break hacking the iPhone. This he succeeded in doing, trading the hacked iPhone (hacked so that it can be used on any network, not just the ones it is branded for) during the weekend.
Other people and organizations are also working on cracking the iPhone, which means it'll be some nervous times at, for instance, AT&T, the network that the iPhone is supposed to be solely connected to in the US. As many of the potential customers for the iPhone are pretty technologically aware people, changing operator with the help of a cracking software should pose no greater obstacle. We'll see what happens.
What did he trade it for? A Nissan 350Z and three 8GB iPhones :). Well spent summer break, methinks.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Now, preparing a trip to Berlin and the EBU meeting, where we'll be presenting The Space Trainees to lots of people - hope the flu has gone by then!
Also lots of development work to be done. Phew.
And, if you haven't yet signed up to become an owner of a REAL football club (albeit in the lower echelons of British football), do so now :) I've done it, so it can't be all bad. What? Oh.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
a) not on vacation,
b) perhaps on vacation, or at work, but do not have anything to do next Tuesday (10th July) at 1300 GMT and
c) you're interested in the future of mobile television,
you could do worse then signing up for this webinar, organised by WeComm. As it
a) features some key persons from BSkyB and Motorola,
b) it's free and
c) it's only 40 minutes long,
I'd say it was a pretty good way to spend that time. You even get to ask you own questions - like "what's it good for anyway?" and stuff like that. :)
Not gonna see me there though, vacation coming up... puuh.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
So - betatesting Joost, Babelgum, and now VeohTV. VeohTV differs from the other two in the sense that it's more web-based, which is both good and bad. It has a more webby feeling to it as well - while both Joost and Babelgum are attempting to be IP-television on your computer, VeohTV feels - to me - more like an attempt to be a smooth and easily managed interface to all the content that is on the web. I mean, at the same time as you can watch episodes of Heroes, 24, CSI or Jericho (the latter only if you're US-based though) you can browse sites like YouTube, VideoGoogle or watch WebcamGirls (woohoo!) - i.e. pretty much everything that the web has to offer.
And here then is part of the problem - the web contains quite a lot. So if you're really trying to kill time, you can just start pretty much anything, bare with the (slightly annoying but obligatory) commercials at the beginning of each and any clip (and sometimes the ads are longer than the bloody clip!) and just watch away.
For me, this does not work. As we all know, the web is full of really shite content, which makes VeohTV an interface to more easily get your hands on really shite content. Not something I need. Added to that, the quality is often abysmal. Pixelation is just the first word, I could come up with a dozen more I think.
VeohTV prides itself on having a funky recommendation feature - it logs what you watch and then recommends stuff that you might want to watch based on that information. Still, for me, as there's so much crap there and I simply click on a couple of links to see what they really are, quickly shutting them down after not liking what I saw, the recommendations get a bit skewed. I believe this could be helped if I could be bothered to ass different clips to my favourites etc, basically showing what I like, but honestly - I can't be bothered.
Some good things though - most clips have a short summary in the title, which helps a lot. The interface is easy to understand and even easier to use - good usability there!
For my money though, so far, it's Joost who's the leader in the IP based television service. Or, if you're feeling like being on the shady side of the law, perhaps Joox instead?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!
by C.S. Lewis
You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
ehh.. well, yes. Just got into work early Thursday having had a farewell-bash for colleague Tommy who's leaving us to go to Stockholm and work with eye-tracking cameras and stuff. So, slightly hungover and very tired, I open my mailbox to find myself invited to betatest VeohTV, internet-based television.
Yet another one, you think? Yeah, that's what I thought too. But VeohTV has got some features that I like. First off, it's a free software. Just install and watch,
basically. What do you watch then? Not broadcast tv, of course, but clips on the web, from all sorts of sources - ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, YouTube, MySpace, Google, Yahoo... you name it. VeohTV has a funky EPG which learns what you usually like to see and recommend stuff that you might also want to check out (haven't tried that yet, will be interesting to see how it works, if it's really intelligent or not) and of course the nifty feature of being able to record the material onto your computer.
Verdict? None yet. But with all the Joosts and Babelgums and Joox and Stage6, I am seriously beginning to wonder who'll come out on top in the end. Perhaps someone will buy them all and mash them up into a great big next-great-big-thing-thing?
Will get back to VeohTV once I've had the chance to try it out a bit more.
On another note - CONGRATULATIONS to fellow Finns Saku et al at Broadcasters / Zodiak! Their format "Pin Code" (basically - there are lots of money on a bank account, the contestants must find out the correct pin code to get to the money) has been optioned into several territories - including the US and Spain. Well done - perhaps the Finnish television business is going somewhere finally?
On the other hand, our format "The Space Trainees" is optioned into three territories, including Australia and Poland, so we're not that far behind :)
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Have we heard this before? Yes we have.
Furthermore, all the talk about this venture is about the technology - "there's no streaming and lag associated with it. You will be able to switch between channels instantaneously, and on top of that, the picture quality and reception will be better than any video streaming service available today." So it's great, it works, and it's still the same content, on another device.
What I'm personally still waiting for is, however, something that goes the other way around - not implementing a technology that just lets the audience watch the same content on another device, but rather content that has been developed to fit just that particular device. So far, there have been precious few attempts to develop anything new and exciting.
Mobile tv - still needs some tuning, methinks.
Friday, June 15, 2007
See, iPhone is coming out on the market shortly. It's a really nice device, as can be seen on numerous places all over the 'Net. Now, the drawback is that the iPhone will be tied up to a specific operator. In the US it'll be AT&T, and so on - and in order to avail themselves of all the possibilities iPhone offers, the users must sign up to that said operator. As far as has been reported so far, the iPhone won't be downloading tunes off of iTunes either, which makes Music Station all the more intriguing.
Thing with Music Station is that it lets you subscribe to all the music available from most major labels and a lot of indies as well, for 2.99€ a month. Download all you want, listen all you want - as long as you subscribe. And here's the nasty part - if you stop subscribing, you can't listen to any songs anymore, not even the ones you've downloaded. But the playlists are stored, so as soon as you start paying again, you can listen again.
What to think of this then? Well, with iTunes being priced at $0.99 per song, it's a helluva lot cheaper. Still, with iTunes you get to keep the song... My gut feeling is that as long as the players behind Music Station can get the telecom industry behind their product (and it's looking good so far) they have a good chance of upheaving iTunes hold of the market. Must see to it that it's included in my next phone ... :)
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Everyone seemed to agree that there was no new Super Hit like "Heroes" or "Desperate Housewives" on the horizon, but nevertheless, there were quite a few interesting ones on their way. One was the reminds-me-quite-a-lot-of-Sex-and-the-City series "Cashmere Mafia", a series featuring amongst others Lucy Liu, about ambitious and sexy women in NYC, forming their own club... well, I for one like to watch series with sexy women, so I'll give it a shot :).
Lucy Liu, soon to be seen strutting her stuff in "Cashmere Mafia".
Another series is "Gossip Girl" featuring Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars"-fame - a series about young elite adults in upper class NYC, lots of sex and drugs and stuff like that. Well, I like sex and drugs and stuff like that, so I'll give that one a shot as well :)
The cast of "Gossip Girl"
Another series premiering on ABC this autumn is "Dirty Sexy Money", which is a bit more along the lines of old shows like "Dallas" or "Dynasty" - an idealistic lawyer who is connected to the wealthy and powerful Darling-clan (in NYC, of course :) and slowly but surely is drawn into the land of, yeah, you guessed it - dirty, sexy money. Donald Sutherland is in it - on the other hand, name a show where Donald is NOT in the cast... can't think of one. Well, seeing as I like money, I'll probably give that one a shot as well.
Lots of other shows as well, but I'll mention just one more - "The Sarah Connor Chronicles". This is a show that will premiere on FOX in the US in early 2008, reportedly. If the name sounds familiar - well, it should. Sarah Connor is/was in the Terminator movies - you know, getting chased around all the while by Arnie in Terminator, then being protected by Arnie along with her son in Terminator II, and then... she wasn't in Terminator III, was she? Can't remember. Still, this new series is about what Sarah and her son John did in the years between Terminator II and III. Should be action-packed and probably great fun. Sadly, no Arnie in it though - might be he's too busy being the gov'nor. And, seeing as I like terminators, I'll probably watch that as well. (Btw, the one playing Sarah Connor, wasn't she in "300" as well?)
Yeah, we're mean. That's 'cause we're in a Terminator spin-off, that is.
Now my fingers are bleeding. Better do some work as well :)
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
It's quite simple, really. The viewer can create his or her own avatar online (much like for instance Second Life), through software provided by Electronic Arts. With this avatar, the viewer can then participate in virtual versions of top tv shows, like "Fame Academy" or "Deal or no Deal", as provided by Endemol.
Pretty neat, right? For once, everyone can be on television. Well, virtual television that is. Just goes to say - the imagination is the limit when it comes to the new forms of entertainment, freely crossing over media borders and creating new and exciting possibilities.
Virtual Me will premiere in connection with hit format "Big Brother" soonishly. Keep your eyes peeled!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Hadn't noticed, but Azureus, the Bittorrent client that is the most downloaded client of them all, has also gone legit in the past months. Their service - Vuze - has made deals with a lot of content providers, such as Showtime Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bennett Media Worldwide, G4, A&E Networks (including A&E, History, and Biography channels), National Geographic, and Starz Media (this I copypasted from their website, sorry :) - and are offering up SD and HD content to all subscribers. Another competitor to Joost and Babelgum, hooray!
Also,if you want to watch movies, anime, cartoons or tv-series, you can visit Joox. It is a portal to the Stage6 service on the divx.com platform, and my god do they have lots of content. Good quality as well, even on old stuff like Fawlty Towers. LMAO indeed.
Finally, looks like Microsoft have gone all aestethic all of a sudden. Check out the new Microsoft Surface, available later this year, which is a desktop integrated into a 30" table screen. It's interface looks really really neat, and there seems to be lots of nifty details and features in it. Have to get me one soon :)
Microsoft Surface, looking good. But will it bug? ... OF COURSE IT WILL!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
William Cooper of informitv and BBC fame talked about interactive television, IPTV, broadband video and gave a good, broad overview of the field. Conclusions - lots of things are happening at the moment, what with AppleTV, Joost and other P2P television systems (apparently BBC are set to launch their own version in the near future), IPTV, video on demand over broadband and so on. Television is changing, and changing pretty quickly. The era of television and broadcast is fadeing, while the era of the consumer choosing what they want to watch and when they want to watch it is rapidly on the rise. Mobile television on the other hand... well, William at least remains sceptical.
Frank Alsema gave a number of examples of cross media, UGC concepts, for kids and adults, like The Blackbeard Connection or Moovl. Lots of things happening, all in all.
I did a session as well, a case study of the development process behind The Space Trainees.
Day 2 of the conference has just begun, and we're currently listening to Konstantinos Chorianopoulos from the university in Weimar, about the academic and practical aspects of interactive television.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
On the other hand, I am thoroughly shocked by the news that Snap's line from Rhythm is a Dancer - "I'm serious as cancer / When I say that rhythm is a dancer" - is NOT the worst lyric in the world.
According to the BBC, the single worst lyric in the world is actually this following line from Des'rees song "Life" from 1994:
"I don't want to see a ghost/ It's the sight that I fear most/ I´d rather have a piece of toast/ Watch the evening news"
Well, have to admit, it's pretty crap.
With that said, gotta work. Some format development to be done, methinks.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A weekend at the hospital with the astmathic son was also part of the agenda, as well as me staying in Cannes for the following weekend accompanied by the missus - so, both bad'n'good, as always.
MIPTV was interesting. As always, everyone agrees that content is king. But WHAT kind of content? Well, that's another question altogether... Our format, "The Space Trainees", was a storming success. Lots of interest, hopefully some action afterwards as well. Will get back on that later.
As of now - be sure to register for the iTV conference in the end of May! It's gonna be way interesting, with some pretty darn good speakers and a funky cocktail to boot! Come on, register now, places are few! :)
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
On the other hand, when taking photos in daytime, it's actually quite alright. Like this picture below, Ufa and Patricia happily bouldering outside of Vasa - looks pretty ok really (except for slight blurriness and other such minor things).
Pictures were taken 1½ weeks ago at Ufas birthday bash. Swell weekend, all in all :) Loved the bathtub!
Monday, April 02, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Men så kan man ju utveckla språk också - vilket de svenska kvällstidningarna verkar vara mycket bra på. För en fantastisk lista på ALLA kvällstidningsord, var vänliga och klicka här.
Mina favoriter? För många för att räkna upp här, men exempelvis Vampyrekorre, Tjockisattack, Terrorgranne, Onanischlager och Knarkchoklad är ju alla fina fina ord, ägnade att lugna läsare och på ett nyanserat sätt beskriva omgivningen. :)
Monday, March 26, 2007
So, a day off. But WHAT TO DO? I have 1,746 things that NEEDS doing, I have about 3-4 things that I WANT to do. Funnily enough none of the 1,746 things match the 3-4 things...
Well, I'll do something, I guess. Not too much though :)
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Loads and loads of people sent in their entries, and now the nominees have been announced - find them here.
The most entertaining IMO? Probably "The Club for Weird and Disgusting Sports" by compatriot Carita Forsgren - sounds like a hit in the making :)
Monday, March 19, 2007
- HD quality
- loadsa more content
- equipped with a much more advance GUI and possiblities to program / record / whatever
- have a lot of funky widgets (the kind that you use twice a year but are really essential to have)
and all sorts of other stuff. With that, I'd be a happier person. At least until I find something else to bitch about.
* * *
Last ice-fishing expedition yesterday was a success (as in "we didn't go through the ice and drown"), yet still a failure (as in "the bloody fish eluded us while the grandpa sitting 20 meters from us was hauling fish after fish")
Well, season's over now, so next time it'll be with some other, more familiar gear.
Our non-existant fishing luck might have something to do with our bait, as the maggotts had somehow died during the night. Quite frankly, were I a fish I wouldn't eat those either :)
* * *
Election day yesterday in Finland. My candidate did not win, but it was fairly close. And no, despite all the results from the "test-which-candidate-thinks-like-you" web tests, I did not vote for the communist party.
* * *
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Funny thing, that. As soon as someone comes up with something, someone else does as well. Just have a look at Babelgum, a service now in Betatesting (just like Joost), that is set to "blend the lean-back experience of traditional TV with the interactive and social power of the Internet" (just like Joost), offering 2cutting-edge peer-to-peer technology to stream video to your PC safely and efficiently at near-TV resolution" (just like Joost) and lost of other stuff (just like Joost).
As I'm not (yet) betatesting Babelgum, I can't comment on the service itself, but William Cooper over at informitv is testing both, and has a pretty good review here. By the looks of it, what the consumer would REALLY like is a blend of the two. Which is about as likely to happen as a sudden and everlasting peace in the Middle East, or some such thing.
Well, as a future consumer of TV over broadband, I'll just say that the more people are working on getting these things to work better and better, with niftier and niftier widgets and GUI:s, the better. Keep'em coming!
Friday, March 09, 2007
I'll try to come up with a really good idea for a tv format. Otherwise I'll have nothing to pitch during format pitching session on Sunday - first one, might just be fun :)
Off now, since nothing interesting is going on in the field of interactive and cross media television (just a bunch of same-old, same-old... I wonder when everyone involved is going to tire of hypeing new stuff every bloody day, without much substance? Soon, hopefully...)
Also, the pilot for The Space Trainees is soon to be finished. Well happy with that, it's been a long process. Now, let's hope everyone bites!!
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Anyone interested in the creation of interactive and cross media, the development process, the testing and all aspects of it - book up the end of May in you calendars already. And book a flight to Vaasa, Finland, as we are hosting a conference on just those things here at MediaCity.
Speakers will include Dr William Cooper from informitv, Christian Fonnesbech from Congin, Frank Alsema of 4xM and the academic Konstantinos Chorianopoulus from EuroITV and UITV.INFO.
Should be interesting, and there will be a couple of wicked parties thrown in as well :)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Not so much because it would be the best running thing with streaming media over the internet or anything like that (because it's not, even though it IS quite nifty and nice).
Nah, hats off because they manage to do it all over again. With Skype, their last venture, the buzz and the hype was building on itself, a prime example of viral marketing. With Joost, they've managed to do it again. Lots of people are talking about Joost, lots of people are writing about it, lots of people know someone who is betatesting it and have heard good things about it... and the hype keeps on growing.
With Skype, we customers got a wonderful communicating tool, and the guys at Skype got billions of dollars for it. Win-win-situation, no? Hope the same goes for Joost :)
Monday, March 05, 2007
- a lot like what I would expect from a well founded IPTV venture
- slightly dodgy on the picture quality, most probably something that will improve. Still way better than other competitors out there.
- EPG needs some working on, suggestions, reviews, ratings etc should help the viewer more
- good feel of the service, nice layout, well constructed as a whole
- some really nice widgets, but I'm sure there'll be lots more around soon
Will look forward to testing it a lot more! As of now it gets the thumbs up, definitely. Let's wait and see what happens.. :)
Even so, it's nice to have some time off now and then :)
Below, some pictures from the short vacation - from top down:
a) when it's steep, it's steep!
b) Snow is nice, especially a four-backed snow horse
c) The road stretches ever onwards
d) just a nice tree :)
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Which is nice.
Just stumbled upon this web page though, and it's just too disturbing not to give it a little bit of added publicity. It's about the aftermath of the Chernobyl catastrophy, and it shows a world where nothing has been the same since 1986, where infants are still born with terrible diseases and disfigurations, where some areas must be closed off for a further 900 (!) years due to contamination... and this is just one place. How many nuclear reactors are there in the world? How much waste is being put into the ground, do slowly decompose for 100.000 years? How on earth can we be this bloody stupid? It didn't work when we were seven years old and told to clean up our room, to just push all the toys under the bed and try to forget about them - how can we expect it to work now??
I'm feeling a little bit upset at the moment. If we could just take, for instance, 1% of the money being shoveled at the disaster that is the current situation in Iraq, and instead use it to try to develop new and environmentally sound ways of generating energy, we could close down most nuclear power plants within five years. SO WHY CAN'T IT BE DONE??!!
Hmrpf. Let's all get together and do something, ok? I'm tired of NOT doing something.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Now, these wolves are big, but are they bad? Not per say, but more by default, methinks. See, with all this money floating around, and with the inate hunger of commercial companies to expand and devour (and not necessarily in that order) more and more take-overs will be accomplished in the coming years. The nightmare would be the crisp autumn day in 2019 when Time Warner NBC finally merges with NewsCorpDisneyCBS to form the ONLY media company on Earth. By jove, it will become boring pretty quickly.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
It's got a 2,4" screen with 320x240 pixels resolution and up to 16 million colors, so it perfectly possible to actually watch something on it as well :) And weighing in at 114g, you can lug it around anywhere.
So, one of those for me as well, thank you. Out Q2 2007, reportedly. For reviews of said phone, please go here or here, to start with.
With over 5,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors, there should be something for everyone at the Forum. Highlights, as far as I'm concerned, are panel discussion such as "Making the most of on-demand and iTV" and "Revenue generators and killer applications". Some of the keynotes might also be worth listening in on - but as for the exhibitors, there is almost exclusively technological companies with set-top-boxes, middleware etc. Content for IPTV is nowhere (on the other hand, MIPTV is coming up in mid-April).
But what would really get me personally going would be some showcases of the possibilities that IPTV can offer, especially when thinking about developing tv formats, as the possibilities for interaction etc are much greater with a broadband connection connection the viewer to the broadcaster. Some of that, please!
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
See, Joost is a Very Good Thing [tm] for PC owners (and Macs as well). It uses the P2P-principles of Bittorrent, for example, to give IPTV to the world. All you need is a 500 Kb/s line and you would have perfect broadcast quality - which is just fabulous. For a pretty good review of the possibilities, the pros and the cons, read this story from The Register. Also revealed today are new content deals for Joost, enabling them to offer content from Paramount Pictures, MTV etc.
Conclusion? This is a pretty darn good development of the home computer, helping to turn it into the media center of the home in a much better fashion than, for instance, Microsofts attempts. But - for television to be good and for television to be something that people want to watch, it's just not good enough with a technologically perfect system. We need good television programs as well. Let's hope the Joost-people remember this.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
- hundreds of companies putting untold millions of dollars into mobile television projects
- operators and industry players putting their name on the line, convinced that mobile television is THE next big thing
- researches, each one more optimistic than the next one, promising us millions and billions of mobile tv subscribers within the next few years
- a well placed medium - the mobile phone - which most people in the world have today (albeit not all yet up to the standard demanded for mobile television)
Secondly, let's see what we HAVEN'T got:
- viable content for mobile television, at least not to any substantial degree
- viable research - since the research mentioned above are predictions and guesswork for the most part, I honestly do not put much faith in it
- any consensus regarding the standards for mobile television - at the moment we've got DVB-H, DMB, MediaFLO etc etc etc - it's the VHS/Betamax all over again, but a lot bigger.
William Cooper, editor of InformITV put it quite nicely the other day, when he concluded that "...many of [mobile televisions] proponents appear to have little enthusiasm for, or even understanding of, the television medium...It is still unclear how much people will be prepared to pay to see traditional television on their mobile phones, with so many alternatives competing for their attention. Understanding the user is the key to providing a successful product or service."
My two cents? It's going to get messy before it sorts itself out :) ... this spring everyone is going to be raving on about mobile television, and perhaps still during autumn 2007. By early 2008, when predictions have proven themselves WAY too optimistic, many players will withdraw or cut down on the spending, and THAT may be the time when people with good mobile content can come out and play. Until everyone jumps on the next bandwagon, that is...
Monday, February 19, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
For some reason, I'm a lot more interested in the 2,010,000 households that DON'T have a television. I can't believe that they are excentrics sitting out in the Nevada desert fiddling with their own toenails? Or SUPER-geeks who already have built their own satellite-IPTV-receivers out of an old Commodore 64?
If anyone had any statistics when it comes to households WITHOUT television, please let me know :)
In the meanwhile, here's a picture from my window where I work. The small dots out on the ice are people who are pilk-fishing (dunno the correct English word..) on the frozen sea. Must give it a go myself as well :)
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
- Mobile Entertainment Summit - How mobile is changing TV forever
- Entertainment Summit - Clash of Cultures: Who wins when entertainment and communications converge?
- How mobile can be the next great information and entertainment channel
- Technology Symposium - Mobile TV
and so on...
Fair enough, lots of talk is of course about what is generating the revenue at the moment - which to a large extent seems to be made up of the developing markets - but mobile entertainment and mobile television is sexxxxxy, and everyone wants in on it.
As a pretty nice way to kick things off, it was today announced that the Sundance Film Festival is contributing with five made-for-mobile short films, which have been made as a part of the Sundance Film Festival Global Short Film Project. Amongst the directors are people like Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift) and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine).
Here's hoping they'll put them on the web when the congress is finished!
To sum it all up - mobile tv, in one way or another, is on its way. There's no escape, nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide. Let's just, for the sake of all that's holy, hope that as much time and money is spent on making good content for them mobiles as there is for hosting congresses about mobile tv and sorting out the technical mumbo-jumbo.
Friday, February 09, 2007
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And for some of the bloody weirdest commercials around, check this blog. "It's just like, it's just like... a mini mall! Oh yeah!"
Although I myself is into the content-side of the television and interactive business, trying my damndest to come up with new and entertaining (and preferrably attractive and revenue-enhancing) ideas, I cannot but think that my life would be made a little bit easier by, for instance, Virgin Media. Ok, so you pay some, but you do get some as well... Pay £40 a month (that's the four-service VIP package Virgin Media offers, you can go for 2 services or 3 also, £20 and £30 respectively) and you'll end up with "a HD-enabled PVR, 10Mbps broadband, unlimited UK landline calls, and a mobile phone with 500 minutes of mobile airtime per month, 1,000 texts a month and £60 airtime."
One other offering in connection to the above is called Virgin Central, "a hybrid linear/on-demand channel offering up content from Buena Vista International Television and Alliance Atlantis, among other providers." Set to launch in a couple of weeks time, it just might be something to keep an eye on as well.
Any downsides? Nah, apparently not, as long as them £40 don't bother you. Customer support should apparently be up to scratch nowadays, and everything should be rosy and sunny. Go Virgin, go!
...and after that spot of unabashed promotion, for which I'll receive not one cent, a look at some other stuff, more in the television field:
- CBS in the US are launching a "mobile store" and two ad-funded WAP (does that still exist?) sites for sports and news. Perhaps not that impressive.
- Telefónica in Spain, however, are working on a pilot to deliver iTV, radio and music to mobile handhelds. They've elected to use Alcatel-Lucent's "Unlimited Mobile TV" solution for the techie stuff.
- and Endemol is still the king when it comes to game shows and such - two more have been commissioned by ITV1 in the UK, called "For the Rest of Your Lives" (from the brains behind "Deal or No Deal") and "Golden Balls" (nothing to do with Beckham, apparently)
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Have a look, have a sigh, and give small thanks that these remind of old days, not current.
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Hehhheh, for those not faint of heart, but in need of some new underwear - check this out. Marvellous stuff. My favourite - SacFree [tm], hands down. Top of the wish list :)
Friday, February 02, 2007
A couple of reports this week seem quite interesting, though. First of all, Informa have released a report regarding the mobile market and the high probability that mobile operators will be missing out on the opportunity to get their share of the enormous amount of revenue to be made in that market over the coming years.
The report states that mobile operators should NOT try to be something that they are not - meaning that they should stick to what they know, offering mobile coverage to their customers and billing them for it. To get into the content part of mobile media, the best thing is to form alliances with companies providing such content - not to start developing and offering such content themselves.
Pretty straightforward advice, right? I'd be following it, were I a mobile operator :)
Another report, from Strategy Analytics, states that IPTV will reach 80 million subscribers by the year 2011. This does not contradict earlier reports, but the interesting thing is that this report suggests that more than half of the IPTV subscribers will actually not pay anything for their IPTV. Instead, most will be bundled up in triple-play subscriptions offered by the telcoms, including broadband, VoIP and IPTV all in one package.
Now there's an interesting situation - where will the money to make IPTV programming come from then?
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Now, if this would've been something planned and executed by some proper terrorists, as a scare, that would've been something. Or by some anti-governmental action group, or the like. But Turner Broadcasting Inc.? Hehh, I imagine some people (like David R. Levy, president of Entertainment Sales and Marketing) in the marketing department are getting a pretty stern talking to right now..
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
So, having completed the test I am, according to the test, a Satanist. Something which I strongly deny, of course. I believe the good people of said congregation should take a long, hard look in the mirror, remember the one important message that Jesus spoke - "LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR" - and some minor ones as well, most particularly the one about the one without sin being the one to throw the first stone.
Fundamentalists - one of the most annoying things on earth.
* * *
Update - having become a lil' but suspect about some of the other content on the site, I started searching for more info on said congregation... and, luckily enough, it all turned out to be an elaborate, pretty old hoax. Phew. Scary thing is that even though the congergation and its webpage is a hoax, quite a few people have reportedly wanted to join the congregation... well, fundamentalists still suck :)
A friend of mine, Carlos from Portugal, har just finished his cinematographic project, called 'Transparency', as a part of his research into interactive narrative content. It's a storyline that the viewer himself/herself can influence, to create a number of different storylines and outcomes. It's ambitious, it's complicated, it's nice. Go have a look, while I return to my slightly more commercial products :)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
1) Have original and good stuff to write about
2) Build up a massive network
3) Make sure you get some scoops - like the Watergate scandal I presume
4) Advertise ad infinitum
Hm. Original content, scoops, massive network and humongous amounts of advertisement. I wonder what WOULDN'T sell with that combination? Here's the original article about how to get your blog seen (or rather "Become An Internet Source") , in Swedish though.
Even managed to bring home some cans of Ddraig Dwbl - Double Dragon Ale, which in my opinion is rather nice. But security at airports nowadays, it's just no fun anymore. Having purchased a bottle of 14y Scapa at Heathrow, the clerk forgot to put it in a sealed bag for me, and I forgot to ask for such a bag. Hence, coming to Arlanda, I had to pass through another security check to get to the proper terminal and gate. Alas, though, since the UNOPENED bottle of Scapa was not in a sealed and stamped bag, I could not bring it through security. Since all reasoning fell on deaf ears, I had to go out through customs and check my bottle in separately. Wrapped in acres of plastic it even somehow managed to travel from Stockholm to Vasa wihtout breaking.
Sometimes, it would be good if one could reason with people.
* * *
One of the photos on my Flickr-page is of a huge congregation of starling in the skies above Aberystwyth. For some pretty funky moving images of this phenomena, check Rhodris blog, and the uppermost YouTube-feed.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Still, this is a bit along the way of what interactive television should look like. The system is apparently called eTV - as good a name as any - and functions all in all pretty well. Except you cant get to all the webpages you want to go to, the resolution is like one on a frightened 386 PC with Windows 3.1, there is no sight of IPTV, the possibilites are limited.
Still, better than what I have at home, I must admit. Looking forward to something like this, only better, reaching my neighbourhood.
Caerdidd btw is a nice city. Especially down by the harbor, where lots and lots of new and interesting buildings have sprung up over the past few years - the Assembly, the Red Dragon and of course The Welsh Millennium Centre. Two things though - "Millennium" sounds awfully late 90s, and the gigantic thing on top of the entrance is just plain silly. Must've been a good laugh, though.
Aberystwth tomorrow, looking forward to it.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
And, if you haven't got quite enough of stuff already, and feel like doshing out some 10€ on some totally useless bling, go get this little indispensible thingee - who wouldn't want a monkey dancing everytime you receive an SMS?
And for those things you really CAN do without, check out TechEBlogs list of seven gadgets you would NOT want to be seen using. Amazing stuff.
Gadgets. Gotta love'em.
* * *
On another, still funny note - have you ever wanted to write a speech for George W. Bush? Now's your chance! Interestingly enough - however I try to put silly wordcombinations together, it still sounds like the real thing... scary :)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
For a closer look at the iPhone, have a look at CBS report from MacWorld. Pretty impressive display of the iPhone, but 500$? Hmm... But my Gawd, it's a really nice gagdet.
And, finally, Conan O'Brians take on the iPhone. Even more impressive :)
Friday, January 19, 2007
Now? Well, a good thing is that there was a surge of new subscribers around Christmas. A bad thing is that the surge amounted to no more than 2,000 persons, with the total amount of subscribers amounting to no more than 7,000 persons as of yesterday.
There is a nice phrase in the English language to describe a situation like this.
It's called "tits up", and that's what Virgin Mobile TV has gone.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Just a quick note to comment on the biggest hype in the mobile industry these past few days - the Apple iPhone, combining internet telephony with the usual iPod stuff, adding internet communication for good measure.
At first glance, it's a nifty thing. Just the stuff we've come to expect from Apple, still frontrunners when it comes to slick and stylish gadgets, with a potential for multi-million-dollar sales.
At second glance, it's still nifty. There is, however, the question of the pricing. The cheaper model retails at about 420 €, which is a helluva lot of cash to splash out on something that most people have - a phone, an mp3-player and an Internetconnection. Only thing is that this time these are all bunched together in this little piece.
My two cents? It'll sell. But it won't sell the 10 million units by 2008 that Apple are hoping for. With internet telephony on rapid rise, there will be an abundance of competitors - and probably cheaper competitors at that. Best of luck to Apple, though, You still make the best-looking gadgets on the market.
A good link, if you want to read about VoIP and internet telephony, is this magazine. Happy reading!
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As a side note - anyone but me getting a little bit worried about consumer hysteria? We had a brief discussion about this at work the other day - I mean, people are throwing out perfectly good tv-sets, because they need / want / got to have a 42" LCD tv instead. About 100,000,000,000 VCR-players are getting tucked into the wastebin so as to make way for the DVD-player, which in turn is getting ditched for the HD-DVD-player. Now iPhones, so we can get rid of our ancient, two year old iPods and mp3-players, as well as our mobile phones and all other unnecessary stuff.
My point is - it's all well and good that the market is going forward. But without a backwards glance now and again, we risk leaving a trail of waste behind us that'll take generations to clean up.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Well, excluding this little piece of extremely valuable information - every tip there is to give about how to perform the ultimate search on Google. Actually quite handy - there are a lot of other things you can write besides "+" and "OR" if you want to find what you're searching for.
Happy Googling, everyone :)
Friday, January 12, 2007
Looking to the Scandinavian TV market, which by default is a pretty small one compared to the big ones out there, there are a few relatively big players on the scene. Aside from the public service broadcasters - big in their own right, but not really into the market-side of it all - you have amongst others the fairly big Zodiak Television World, sporting a growing content library, format catalogue and increasing international sales. Now, though, the second person to leave Zodiak and head for competitors Nordisk Film is former Zodiak VP Jan Salling. This coming hot on the heels of Nordisk Film announcing the creation of a new company - Co+TV, in cooperation with advertising agency Co+Hogh - focusing on the development of creative content and tv formats for the international market, it smells like the competition is heating up a bit.
Guess who's leading this foray into new territories? Jacob Houlind, who left Zodiak in 2006 for Nordisk Film. So, expect interesting times in the Scandinavian TV market in the coming months...
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Personal favourites this year have to be:
flexidaritet: kombination av solidaritet och flexibilitet, slagord i centerpartiet; 2006
genuskänslig: uppmärksam på skillnader i villkoren för kvinnor och män; 2006
latteliberal: alltför liberal; oäkta liberal
sverka: klaga på inköpt vara som man är missnöjd med; bildat till Sverker Olofsson i tv-programmet Plus
tjejkött: kött som tjejer brukar föredra (kyckling, kalkon)
For the full list, please visist this page. Fun stuff :)
Friday, January 05, 2007
In other news from the mobile tv market, analysts at ABI Research predict that the emerging market in China will have 32 million mobile video users by 2008. That's quite a lot. The major upswing for mobile video in China is thought to be the Olympics in 2008 - I mean, who wouldn't want to watch women shot put qualifiers on their 1,5"x1" screens? I for one will be glued to my mobile.
To conclude - it just doesn't look like mobile tv is going to go away. So for all of us in the content industry, there is just one thing left to do: figure out how to make good content for the smallest of screens. Piece of cake, right? Right.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Fear not, I have not yet started to "express myself" on youtube (although at the rate this is going, it won't be long :) ... no, just thought I'd upload some stuff to the best photo-sharing and -storing website on the net, Flickr.
My aim is to show that it is quite possible to take good photos using sub-standard equipment - in this case, my more-than-two year old Nokia 6630 phone with 1,3 Mpix camera (and a fair amount of scratches on the lens to go).
More to come soon, I hope!
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
"One of those" is one of the new nifty little thingies developed by Agere Systems, "a global leader in semiconductors and software solutions for storage, mobility and networking markets." While this does not sound exactly interesting, their new offering, the BluOnyx Mobile Content Server certainly does. It is a small, credit card sized storage server, with the size ranging from 1Gb to 40Gb (and the prize ranging accordingly). It allows the user to store material and data, and transfer it to and from just about anything - mobile phones, digital cameras, PCs, Gameboxes etc, using wireless, USB and SD solutions.
So now the little BluOnyx lets you get something you downloaded to your PC, wirelessly transfer it to the BluOnyx server and later on watch it on your mobile phone on your way home from work. Or just about any other combination you can think of. One nifty little thing is their coined "Digital Campfire"-possibility - put the BluOnyx on a table and let all the friends around the table access it with their mobile phones.
Short of the slightly tacky name, it's simply great.
So, please please mr Santa, one of these, ok?
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
A cornerstone in the television industry year is NATPE, the National Association of Television Program Executives, and the biggest industry meeting in the US of the year. This year held at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas on the 15th-18th of January, they will - apart from the usual buying and selling - devote the whole of the first day to mobile television. Could be fairly interesting, with subjects ranging from "lessons learned from the IPTV roll-out" to "Alternative Reality: Does Primetime Still Matter?"
Keeping up the steam nicely is the Mobile TV World Congress, to be held in France on the 23-26.1.2007, concentrating on one of the most hyped things around at the moment - mobile television.
The IPTV World Forum, to be held in London on the 5-7.3.2007 is also mighty interesting. The three days are themed differently - day one is "Making a business of IPTV", day two is "Competitive Services" and day three "Threats and Opportunities". Could be well worth to check it out, seeing that many of the leading figures and companies in the industry will attend.
And then, of course, we have the one to dwarf them all - MIPTV featuring MILIA, this year to be held fairly late in April, on the 16-20.4.2007. With close to 13.000 people attending and business reaching multi-billion dollar levels, this will be quite a good place to be.
That's what the spring looks like - so pack your bags and let's go! ;)
* * *
One more thing - the melding and meshing of media has never been this intense. The latest news report that the Sundance TV Channel will open up a screening room for its offerings in Second Life - an online MMORPG. Pretty neat, and also just another step towards the future, where media itself becomes less and less important (no more "am I hearing this on an mp3-player, on my phone, on the net, or where?" or "hmm wonder if my DVD-player supports .wmv-files?") and the content is what matters.
Bring it on, I say. I, for one, cannot wait.