links for 2010-06-17

  • "The iPad is close enough to all those other products, but just different enough to be considered in a category of its own. That sort of innovation dynamic rarely happens in any other industry, and the only reason it's seen in consumer electronics is that a computer can do so many different things through a simple interface. That fact alone should be enough to upend a lot of thinking about how consumer tech products compete with each other..

    "Looking at the data from the bottom of the infographic, apparently 68% of people plan to use it for Web surfing, while only 28% plan on using it for reading magazines. That's astounding: You'd think either of those uses would be better served on another specialty device."

  • "not everyone has a blog, and not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook. One of the benefits of having comments is that they are open to everyone — although that is obviously part of what can make them so noisy as well. The barriers to entry are low, and so there are plenty of “drive by” comments and trolling. Having people respond on their own blogs or on Twitter and Facebook can also fragment the conversation on a topic, making it difficult to follow and causing potentially valuable responses to be lost or not recognized properly."
  • Web-based application that NYT created — basically a kind of feed reader for their own site. It's OK, but now compelling. The Pulse iPad app is a much better experience. (Hmmmm…. could that be why the NYT freaked out at Apple over Pulse?)

links for 2010-06-16

links for 2010-06-13

  • "  If you're in Williamsburg or Greenpoint, keep an eye out for ghost stickers to get your learn on through your cell phone! View our Google map of plotted stickere locations to help you find your way. If you're unable to make it, though, the spoiler list below includes brief information about the people behind the places within these history-rich neighborhoods."
  • 1. Text your location to 416-662-3408. Locations should include the city and province and must be in Canada. For example: "100 queen w, toronto", "baffin island", "m6j 2y8", "laurier & elgin, ottawa". 2. In response, you will receive a custom-generated haiku evoking nature at your location. The poem reflects the local geography, season, weather, time of day, plants, and animals. Every poem is unique. It's free to participate, you pay only your normal text messaging charges.
  • "The ART Mobile Lab is a research initiative of the Banff New Media Institute at The Banff Centre. The lab was created in 2005 to enable research into mobile and location-based media design, art, technology and cultures of use. In particular, we focus on media created for outdoor spaces and communities – innovative technologies, interactions, and experiences designed for remote locations from cultural heritage sites and wilderness areas to urban parks. Our primary activities include technical R&D (mainly software development for mobile devices), content creation, design research, participant ethnography and audience evaluation, and mobile media outreach and training."
  • "Transborder Immigrant Tool is designed to repurpose inexpensive used mobile phones that have GPS antennas (through the addition of proper software which the TB project is designing) to provide emergency personal navigation, helping to guide dehydrated immigrants to water safety sites established by activists and to provide poetic audio nourishment as well. The Transborder Immigrant Tool is one of many projects that currently use some aspect of the reference APIs. Its main thrust is as an activist and public culture project that addresses the public safety issues created by the broken immigration policies of the United States; a topic of considerable interest to many communities within the sanctuary city of San Francisco."
  • "Another unexpected boon is that spending on paper—the second-biggest expense at many firms, after staff pay—has plummeted by as much as 40%. A global commodities slump depressed prices. Newspaper companies are using less of the stuff, printing fewer words on smaller, thinner pages. Particularly on Mondays, papers are often so light that they are hard to fling from a car or bicycle to a doorstep.

    "The possibility that paper prices will roar back as the world economy accelerates is only one danger facing newspaper firms. They could be crippled by their pension liabilities. Readers may suddenly balk at paying higher prices for thinner products. Yet it is also possible that advertising will begin to recover from severely depressed levels. If that happens, profit margins will inflate quickly.

links for 2010-06-12

links for 2010-06-11

  • Safari Reader: the Readability crew speaks up in their own defense. Danny Sullivan of searchengineland has a problem with this approach.
  • Interesting approach to "day in the life" coverage of a place
  • "Yesterday, two stories from Aol’s DailyFinance appeared in the Sunday print edition of the Daily Telegram, a newspaper in southern Michigan. These stories appeared on a business page that would otherwise have been produced almost entirely with stories from the Associated Press. The Daily Telegram got permission to publish these Aol stories not through a big corporate content deal, but directly through a peer-to-peer relationship — The Daily Telegram simply subscribed to DailyFinance’s newswire in Publish2’s News Exchange.

    "Now I’m going to tell you why what you see on this page of the Daily Telegram could play a decisive role in the race between Aol, Demand Media, and Yahoo to win the prize of big brand advertising on the web, and why it is also pivotal to the future of news."

  • "If your users are using a third-party product to make your product usable, you are doing something wrong.

    Activating Safari Reader has a cognitive cost. If your users are activating Safari Reader on your site, this means that the default user experience of your site is so bad that your users first consciously notice that they have trouble reading an article on your site, then remember that they might be able to fix it using Safari Reader, and then actually activate that feature.

    The one thing you can immediately influence is whether your users are able to easily read your articles. If they are not, then perhaps Safari Reader is not the problem, but merely a symptom of your actual problem.

    "If people don’t feel the need to use Safari Reader anymore, everybody wins. Don’t fight Safari Reader. Instead, make it obsolete."

  • "This isn’t good news for link shorteners like, but it isn’t necessarily their death knell either. Goldman says that’s value-added services, like analytics and custom shortened domains, will still work properly with, and users can obviously still use for more general link shortening purposes. Thing is, most people sharing links through services like are doing it because it’s what their Twitter clients do by default — they don’t need analytics or custom domains. For these users there’s now no obvious reason to use these services, because Twitter will be handling the shortened links itself."
  • "But the bad news is that – in this iteration at least – the iPad is a conflicted machine. It's a media consumption device, and if it's just that it's an expensive one. Not that Steve Jobs is likely to go broke by selling expensive toys, as the sales figures remind us. But alongside this it has a capability as a productivity tool, and it's here that the problems start to tumble out. That doesn't mean it doesn't have a value there, but it does mean that it has considerable potential to become an infuriating device to use.

    "So let's look at the infuriation: exchanging files, the iTunes tether, and the iPad's status as a big iPhone that can't make phone calls. These are all related. Apple won't let you anywhere near the iPad file system, and each app on the iPad has its own storage space. So if you've been using a file with one app, there's no way you can use it with another app without exporting it and then importing it into the other app. And how do you import and export?"

  • "As promised,, the big page, the heart of the whole operation, looks different today. The company announced this a while ago. Instead of a plain white background, there is a fancy art photography background and you can also customize it with pictures of your own. Personally I hate this. I’m going to look for a photograph of plain whiteness so it can go back to how it used to look."
  • REALLY mobile media: Internet in your car
    (tags: CNNblog mobile)
  • "Whether on a lunch break, riding the train, or simply kicking back on the couch with a post-work beer, why not read something awesome. CellStories brings a new story, every day to your phone or iPad. Free and surprising, we strives to bring you writing that's unexpected. Like all good stories, some are true, some are not, and many fall in that wonderful grey area between.

    "Have a phone that can read QR Codes? Just zap this one, and start reading!"

  • "Just as the US has the world’s most advanced economy, military, and technology, we also have its most advanced oligarchy."
  • Must-listen audio podcast by the author of "13 Bankers"

    "We invaded Iraq because our political leaders wanted to invade Iraq, and our Congress voted for it because they did not want to be seen as voting against a war in the run-up to an election, and that’s all there is to it.

    And with the financial crisis: I’m not saying that bankers wanted the financial crisis, but they engineered it. They engineered a climate of deregulation and non-regulation that allowed them to invent whatever products they wanted to, sell them to anyone they wanted to, increase their leverage so that they could make larger and larger profits, and they engineered that consciously. This was the product of intention, and it was bound to blow up. And it finally blew up. And that is the message that Wall Street does not want people to hear. They want people to think it was all a colossal mistake made by well-meaning people who had mistakes in their models. That is not what happened."

I’m blogging mobile tech for CNN: First post now live!

I’ve been hired to write a thrice-weekly blog on mobile stuff for the newly revamped CNNtech site. My first post went live today: Can cell networks handle the World Cup?

And here’s what the top of the story looks like. Awwww…. I get to be “Special” 🙂 Cool!

…I’m really excited about this gig.

What newsy/trendy/important mobile topics do you think I should cover here? Remember, this site is for a general audience, not for media- or techno-geeks. Please comment below.

links for 2010-06-10

  • So handy! If you want to create a link to an item (app, song, etc.) in Apple's iTunes store, go to this page, search for you content, and get code for a link that will open in iTunes software (rather than your browser)
  • "On Yahoo's front page? Integrated with its services? Try both. Yahoo plans to make Zynga's games available through Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger, its casual-angled Yahoo Games portal, and probably the homepage, too. Looks for the Yahoo's US version to go first, with an international followup.

    "Facebook and Zynga announced last week that they were forging a five-year "strategic relationship." This, after rumors that Zynga was planning to breakup with the popular social networking service and forge its own, dubbed 'Zynga Live'. The kiss-and-make-up deal expanded the use of "Facebook Credits" in Zynga games, a sticking point in reportedly "intense" prior negotiations. Zynga apparently balked at Facebook request for 30 percent of credit revenues. According to TechCrunch, Zynga was able to negotiate a better deal and "walked away pleased with the deal," though Zynga Live is probably still in ready-just-in-case mode."

links for 2010-06-09

links for 2010-06-07

  • "Check out the competition: The four major carriers –AT&T (T, Fortune 500), Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500), Sprint (S, Fortune 500), and T-Mobile — have roughly 220 plans combined. and will help you wade through them to determine if you could get a better deal from a different carrier, based on your past usage.

    "Look beyond the big four. Regional carriers such as U.S. Cellular, MetroPCS, and Cricket Wireless offer savings of $20 a month over plans from the big four. You won't get a signal nationwide, so if you travel to a place where there's no coverage, you'll pay roaming charges. "But you can save serious money if you're a homebody," says Segan. BillShrink and Validas don't include these carriers, so compare some of them at"

  • "WiMax can offer peak download data speeds of up to 6 Mbps and up to 1 Mbps for uploading data. WiMax rival LTE says it can do much better. It has peak download speeds of 100 Mbps and can support uploads at the rate of up to 50 Mbps.

    "But remember, these are theoretical speeds conjured by lab rats. Add a million devices on the network, downloading Comedy Central clips on Flash-enabled phones, video chatting, streaming the next chapter in the Saw movie franchise and uploading parodies of the latest Lady Gaga release, and those speeds will drop.

    "For a better idea of what you can expect with your 4G device, take a look at what tests on the Sprint WiMax and Verizon LTE 4G networks have shown. PC World reports that the HTC EVO 4G phone never broke the 3 Mbps mark in its tests of the phone nationwide. And Verizon's tests showed in the real world, its download speeds ranged from 5 Mbps to 12 Mbps and with upload speeds of 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps."

  • "BP’s decision to stream video live from the sea floor to show how they are managing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may have seemed a good idea at the time: evidence that the company is technically committed to capping their spill. If all had gone well with the capping of the well, the video streaming might have been a PR coup. Instead the video has operated almost like a trojan horse undermining all their PR campaigns.

    "Problem 1: you only need to look at the oil “gushing” out to know that you are watching more than 5000 gallons a day entering the ocean. Combined with BP’s earlier refusal to allow researchers near the well, this live evidence has provided America with reality TV show from the ocean floor.

  • Both serving staff and newspaper journalists work at the specially equipped cafés. Thus, guests can just come to eat and drink or directly talk to the editorial staff about a specific concern, an idea or an article. The editorial staff of ‘NaÅ¡e adresa’ have a much more important role than at other media because they are not only journalists but also act as ‘community managers’ of sorts, connecting the local community with the (media) world. The Newsroom Cafés also serve as venues for various communal events, allowing those interested in the project to get in touch with it.

links for 2010-06-06