Saturday, December 29, 2007

Nonogramm: First German-Speaking Picture Logic Magazine

Nonogramm Picture Logic magazine launched in Germany, Switzerland and Austria by Rätsel Agentur Schweiz

Looking for beyond-Sudoku experience? Nonogramm, the first German-speaking magazine dedicated to Picture Logic puzzles, was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by Raetsel Agentur Schweiz on December 6, 2007. Nonogramm is the second magazine in Das Auge (The Eye) series targeted at puzzle fans looking for more-satisfying puzzles than Sudoku. The 36-page magazine contains 60 Pic-a-Pix, 5 Link-a-Pix and 4 Fill-a-Pix puzzles all sourced from Conceptis and is published every two months. Subscriptions to Nonogramm available at internationale-presse.com

[Via conceptispuzzles.com]

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Top 5 Criticker Users & Critics 2007 Movie Mix

My Top 5 Criticker Users & Critics 2007 Movie MixMy friends Mike Powell and Juergen Horn from Criticker published a few very interesting top movie ranking lists for the year of 2007. Criticker is an innovative community platform dedicated to movie reviews. By using the Taste Compatibility Index (TCI), Criticker identify with whom you most agree, out of thousands. Claimed to be "much more than just movie recommendations" Criticker's algorithm pairs you with "the people whose tastes are most compatible with your own, and thus get the most accurate advice possible." (More about Criticker in this review). Following are the top 5 movies for 2007 which made it to the "top 10" lists of both Criticker Users and Critics. The final order is based on my personal preference. All trailers are from YouTube.

5. Hot Fuzz


4. Ratatouille


3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


2. Zodiac


1. The Bourne Ultimatum


For more 2007 movie ranking lists including Top 10 Movies 2007 by Criticker Users (Wide Release), Top 10 Movies 2007 by Critics on wide Release, Top 5 Movies 2007 by Criticker Users on limited Release, Top 5 Movies 2007 by Critics on limited Release, Worst 5 Movies 2007 by Criticker Users and Worst 5 Movies 2007 by Critics check on Best & Worst Movies of 2007 at Criticker.

[Top5 image courtesy strivepr.com]

What song is this? A OneManSho



This short (2:28) clip "took a heck of a lot of work" and is dedicated to those who - after watching this other vid titled "200 impressions" - blame the maker of having "too much time" on his hands. As you can probably guess already, 200 impressions (below) is not a very short one so you can either (1) trust me its very funny and continue to visit his channel, or just (2) click the little triangle, spend another 16:35 here and visit his channel later:



Either way, OneManSho is hot. He has been "Dealing you the business end of the funny stick since 2006" and already has over 2,800 subscribers on his YouTube channel. Check him out!

OneManSho on YouTube
OneManSho on MySpace

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Scrabulous on Facebook: 480K Daily Active Users in 6 Months. Some guys just never listen.

Scrabulous on FaceBook

The idea to put the game on Facebook to broaden their reach was brought up - not a surprise - by one of their users. It was early June when the folks at Scrabulous.com wrote to Hasbro in an attempt to make sure there will be no copyright infringement issues if they do that. According to CNet Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla, software developers and brothers in Calcutta, India, never heard back from the International toy giant. The Agarwallas released their Scrabulous on Facebook at the end of June targeting 2,600 users. Within weeks, the Scrabulous application had 20,000 users. Today, six months later, the Scrabulous counter says "480,273 daily active users, 23% of total".

Scrabulous.com

A new version of the game was released by the Scrabulous brothers last weekend aiming to improve performance. Additional "coming soon" features include; Word Meanings (clicking to see the meaning of the last word); more language dictionaries; optional notes area below the board titled Scribble Pad; Improved Statistics and, of course, a touch of web 2.0 spirit in the form of Buddy Option, allowing adding opponents to buddy lists.

I have never been a huge fan of Scrabble and word puzzles. This story is more about Hasbro and large corporations in general than it's about Scrabulous and the Agarwallas. Some guys just never listen. And there will always be someone who does.

Scrabulous on FaceBook
http://www.scrabulous.com

Climaxed in 54 Seconds: NOT a Johnson Commercial

Climaxed in 54 Seconds: NOT a Johnson Commercial

Titled "Near Miss", this short piece posted by shurie does a great job mixing foreground and background composition with telephoto lens technique, builds up the tension and have it climaxed - all in just 55 seconds. I am not sure what it is exactly but I am 99% positive it's NOT a Johnson commercial. To watch the vid click the above photo or the link below. Enjoy :-)
Near Miss (55 sec)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Das Park Pipe Hotel: Cozy, Private and Secure at the Danube Shore



If you ever plan on a visit to the Danube river in Germany, stay a few nights maybe and get to know the place better you'll probably need a nice place to stay. Well, no. I was not going to suggest my home as this individual lives quite far from the Danube. Yet, you might want to consider one of those sweet low-budget concrete pipes at the Das Park pipe hotel.



Not just they are so much cozy and private, you also get to see the sky via your own hatch, keep yourself worm in cold Danube nights (how hard could it be to keep this palace worm?) and don't have to wait for the elevator to get your breakfast.



You also get to be (almost) a part of nature in this amazing park and you can still get a good night sleep when you are done with all that. Worried about security? worry no more. These folks thought just about everything:



In case you like the idea but not such a big fan of the Danube, there are 6 more of the smallest hotels and hotel rooms in the world where this came from, on WebUrbanist.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Red House Living Condos: Tied up



The Lindenburg and the Salzburga are the first two projects from Red House Living's four-building community in a place named Northwest Calgary in USA where many luxury homes have "stunning city views and access to large regional parks". Even though it's very far away from Northwest Calgary and I have no intentions leaving it anytime soon, I do have my own private yard and garden to take care of. I even have one of those colorful light chains to put up from time to time so their ad managed to grab my attention. Body text says "Escape the yard. And all that work that goes with it. Let a new Red House Salzburg condo take care of everything - inside and out."

  • Advertising Agency: Creative Intelligence, Calgary, Canada
  • Creative Director: Ernest Burden
  • Art Director: Brian Allen
  • Copywriter: Sean Mitchell
  • Photographer: Noah Fallis
  • Published: November 2007

[Via AdsOfTheworld]

10 Spectacular Examples from Top Egg Decoration Artists

Internet allows esoteric forms of art to reach new audience and gain momentum while still preserving authenticity. Take Egg Decoration for example. I've been a great fan of drilled eggs since my teenage years when my good friend Francis Wittenberger, Hungarian-Israeli inventor, artist and musician, used to preform amazing egg drill works with some old Romanian dentist equipment he had at home. There are several known techniques for egg decoration with the most popular one probably being Carl Fabergè's. Drilling & Sawing is my personal favorite, usually done with compressed air and leaving very little of the original shell. Another popular form is a wax resist method named Pysanky in which the artist uses geometric, plant, animal motifs and color to tell a usually very detailed story. Following are 10 spectacular examples title="Russ Hagen" from some of the world's greatest egg decoration artists as exhibited on the Eastern Ohio Egg Artistry Show (Ohio 2006 and 2007) and the Eggs-I-Bit (Phillipsburg, NJ, 2006). All photos taken by and courtesy of Randall B. Farber and the International Egg Art Guild (IEAG), a non-profit association of artists, artisans, and craftspeople who work with natural eggs as an art or folk art medium. Enjoy.

10. Shihori Kato
Shihori Kato

9. Satoko Kano
Satoko Kano

8. Mildred Davis
Mildred Davis

7. Russ Hagen
Russ Hagen

6. Mary Lou Crawford
Mary Lou Crawford

5. Lisa Sensinger
Lisa Sensinger

4. Kyoko Jewell
Kyoko Jewell

3. Helen Badulak
Helen Badulak

2. Harumi Baloy
Harumi Baloy

1. Gloria Harrison
Gloria Harrison

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consumers Perceive Mobile Phones as Puzzle and Casual Gaming Devices



People are not so much into playing real PC like games on their mobile phones but apparently they love the idea of using them for solving puzzles and playing other casual games. According to a new report by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services, consumers perceive mobile phones as casual gaming devices with puzzle and card games at the top of the list. Amazingly, less than 10 percent of on-the-go Internet gamers say they are interested with core or console-centric games for their mobile phone comparing to 55 percent who "want to play puzzle and card games on mobile phones"



Furthermore, Director of Broadband and Gaming at Parks Associates Yuanzhe Cai predicts this will be the trend in the near future as well as “New 3D and multiplayer mobile games look great in demos, but casual games are where the money is and will be for the next few years.”

Parks Associates: Mobile Phone Remains a Casual Gaming Platform

Monday, December 17, 2007

Roadside Bomb Attacks: 6 Naked Reflections of Reality Taken by Soldiers



Roadside bombs, also known as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a powerful notorious weapon used by guerrilla fighters and terrorists against both organized armies and civilians. The war in Iraq, however, made roadside bombs more "popular" than they have ever been. Even though a huge effort is constantly being made to improve protection, according to Wikipedia, since 2003 and until today IEDs have been responsible for at least 40% of coalition deaths in Iraq. While many of the attacks are filmed by the attackers themselves some of them are captured live on camera by the soldiers, sometimes broadcasted on mainstream media channels and sometimes remaining rare citizen journalism documents reflecting the naked horror of reality. Following are 6 of the more unbelievable roadside attack videos taken by soldiers. This is how war looks like when its naked.

Underground Impact



This 10 seconds video taken in the vicinity of Baiji in Iraq has been recently distributed anonymously via email in Israel. It shows an unsuccessful roadside attack so there are no hard sights here but the impact is shown in a way I personally never saw before.

Watch

Downtown Ramadi



One of the horrible sides of war in the New Media age is that, at least in some psychological aspects, it makes all of us a part of it. Yet, this also has some good sides. Hiding the truth became almost impossible. We can actually see how things look from the point of view of those who do it which may help us forming out opinion on the given subject. With this one for example, taken in the Iraqi downtown of Ramadi, you can almost feel the punch.

Watch

Camera keeps on rolling



Uploaded last year this 40 seconds clip documents a roadside bomb detonates nearby a convoy of British soldiers. The camera is inside the car when it gets hit and continue rolling.

Watch

Camera keeps on rolling. Tough driver continues driving.



Some roadside blasts are followed by a secondary attack. Thus, when you get hit and are able to continue driving it is probably the wise thing to do. Taken from a somewhat unusual angle with the camera installed on the engine hood, the fellow who was behind the wheel here must have been of the toughest as he somehow managed to keep on driving even after the blast, which probably saved a lot of grief for quit a few mothers.

Watch

Not just armed vehicles



While most roadside attacks target armed vehicles some are used directly against soldiers when they are on the move or even if just standing, as shown on this shot broadcasted on CNN

Watch

Minimal vehicular protection



Lastly, in spite of their very minimal vehicular protection this group of US marines was lucky enough to survived an IED attack described as "small". Watch this and your definition for small might be altered.

Watch

Friday, December 14, 2007

iMedix: New Social Network to Help You Feel Better



Want to know more about your headaches or caffeine addiction? Searching for symptoms, diseases, treatments, or any other health related info? How about collaborating your efforts together with many other folks interested with the very same stuff?

iMedix is new social network helping people finding and sharing health related information. Members of the iMedix community use a spacial search engine that mixes results from the open Internet with user profiles, tags and recommendations and thus, assist each other by sharing their experiences and ranking medical content. According to iMedix their patent-pending search technology provides highly relevant results in response to health related queries. The engine "analyzes users’ feedback against millions of medical articles, pictures and videos in order to provide the best answers for health questions and concerns."

Concerned about your privacy? Uploaded content including text and images is of course accessible to other users and may appear in search results on iMedix. Yet, claiming for a 100% security and privacy procedures, iMedix enables you to upload your content and share it with other users without revealing your identity.

iMedix was co-founded in Israel by Amir Leitersdorf - and avid entrepreneur with strong Internet technology background who also co-founded and held the position of VP of Technology at Movota, which was sold to Bertelsmann Group in 2005. The iMedix start-up was just reported to raise $2M from private investors.

http://www.imedix.com

Thursday, December 13, 2007

OpenSocial Alliance is here. Social Internet has changed.



It was just the end of October this year when we learned about another open standard alliance led by Google a move that was described as a "FaceBook killer". OpenSocial provides a common set of Application Interface (API) tools for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can now create rich interactive web applications, accessing data from other social networks, update feeds and create new mashed-up content.



Aiming for every social driven and user generated content website out there to implement the new standards, the OpenSocial alliance seek to change the way people are interacting with each other on the internet by removing some of the boundaries set by a chaosed freedom and commercial interests. Websites already implementing the new OpenSocial tools include highly popular websites such as MySpace, Engage.com, Friendster, hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle and Orkut. Members of the alliance also include Plaxo, Salesforce.com, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, XING and many others. See them all here or check on the video below for interviews with some of OpenSocuial early industry adapters.



Google’s own social network, Orkut, is of course the one that Interests them most but a-la Google's style this is used mainly to give (a limited sandbox for OpenSocial development) rather than take (users from other websites by closing their cross platform communications capabilities). Furthermore, unlike Facebook which uses a proprietary language for their widgets, once you chose developing your new widget with OpenSocial you are totally free to use the best stuff Internet has to offer nowadays including Flash, html and javascript, or in other words - Ajax.



Even though latest figures show the impact on FaceBook's application market is yet minor, the OpenSocial alliance is just one of those things we can't understand how they did not exist until they did and it seems that Google just changed the rules of the game once again. Social Internet has changed. Adding the numbers and including the vast member pool of MySpace - FaceBook's mightiest competitor and an avid OpenSocial integrator - we get a "completely different picture of the combined OpenSocial sites compared to Facebook". A swift look at the above chart posted about a month an a half ago by Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise, tells the whole story in short: FaceBook - you took the closed course and got knocked out by the open one. Just like your Microsoft partner.

http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/
http://opensocialapis.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Said no to Windows Vista? Watercolor: cool WinXP Theme

Watercolor: cool WinXP Theme

And while we are on the subject below, In case you are not excited by Windows Vista's CPU killing bells-and-whistle fireworks and still haven't made your way to Ubuntu, check on Watercolor by Moonwatcher, a cool 704 KB weight XP theme on customize.org for your poor "still running Windows" PCs. This theme still runs on quite a few workstations I know including my own and works seamlessly. With 478 downloads already - not bad for a theme submitted two and a half days ago - this may be a perfect solution for anyone with a sense of graphic taste that still wants to run Windows XP.

Download directly, or go to http://customize.org/xpthemes/55321

IE7: "A little over a year". Lots of CSS bugs. Still no bug tracking.

IE7: A little over a year. Lots of CSS bugs. Still no bug tracking.

Well, yes, it has been a little over a year since "they" released IE7 on Windows XP and for Windows Vista, so IE7 Group Program Manager Mr. Tony Chor, who is also an avid blogger, thought "it would be worthwhile to talk about where we are after the year." Why? because of "the positive impact IE7 has made" for Microsoft users, because "as you know" Microsoft "focused a lot on improving security in IE7" making "IE 7 the safest Microsoft browser released to date" and because - yes - "IE7 had both fewer fixed and unfixed vulnerabilities in the first year than the other browsers" they compared with.

Also, says Mr. Chor, "according to internal Microsoft research based on data from Visual Sciences Corporation "over 300 million users are experiencing the web with IE7" making it "the second most popular browser after IE6." I'll save you the rest of the exciting new features and reasons specified by Chor. You can read them all here if you like. The point here is that many angry folks seem to have been waiting a long time for such an opportunity to express their real feelings towards IE7 as well as Microsoft's approach for how to handle their interaction with Internet developer community. I quoted up some of the best onces for you as there are just too many of them. Enjoy.

"Sorry, I can't get past the all-too-frequent IE 7 crashing or hanging at seemingly random times to appreciate anything you just posted." (Internet Explorer has stopped working)

"...It would be sad for IE to fade away in its own delusions of grandeur and support its own misguided standards of how the web should be. Good luck and hope to hear about IE's future developments so I can properly hack my sites to work with its arcane developments." (Joshua)

"From the horrifically god-awful (IE6) to the merely depressingly buggy, nonstandard, and incomplete (IE7)... congratulations!" (Joseph E. Davis)

"... 1 year, still no bug tracking 1 year, still no updates on IE8 features 1 year, still no updates on IE8 bug fixes 1 year, still no ETA on IE8 release 1 year, still no ETA on IE8 Beta release(s) 1 year, still no ETA on IE8 Alpha release(s)" (Sam)

"...Every single day, web authors of all experience, from amateurs to experts/gurus, experience difficulties (from minor to major) with bugs of all kinds in IE 7. When is Microsoft going to finally fix all these proven and testcase-ed bugs?" (Gérard Talbot)

"IE Team called out for biased numbers" (Concerned User)

"I wonder when will you release IE without click to activate..." (n-blue)

"... Let's see... six years for IE7, so you guys are on track to have IE8 by what, 2012? Your problem is you think in terms of years. Your problem is that your company sees the web as a competing platform. Do us all a favor and stop making IE altogether." (Paul)

A few words about my own view. After spending four years with Conceptis development team putting up a totally dynamic yet 100% standard compatible application server there are simply no words to describe how horrible is the fact IE is a closed undocumented software ignoring the fact Internet is not owned by Microsoft:

We had a professional top-gun graphic designer added to our payroll to have the most spectacular GUI ever seen. At least a year was spent on coming up with the basic layout look and language. Aiming to support everyone's Internet experience we took a huge effort to have all of it implemented using 100% W3C standards. We came to a point where IE is supported on the site and design look almost as it should - there is not a single line of code in this project containing the bad behavior of mixing graphic design with code and all graphic instructions are done exclusively via CSS, just as they should be "by the book".

In short, we did our part. Yet, most of the time we spent on CSS development went to solving IE6 particular bugs. There were times when we were certain that eventually we'll bump into all of them, a frightening thought in light of the fact there are hundreds. Now with IE7 around it looks like things are not going to be very different. It looks like we will probably just have to add a bunch of IE7 dedicated hacks to our IE CSS override pool. As explained by a fellow named Gérard Talbot the IE development team still has to fix -

"at the very least 700 bugs, incorrect implementations (all testcase-ed, all demontrable, reproducible) happening in HTML 4, CSS 2.1, DOM 2 interfaces and then implement more or less 500 properties, attributes, methods specified in official W3C Technical Recommendations, W3C web standards (HTML 4, CSS 2.1, DOM 2 interfaces, DOM 2 Core, DOM 3 Core)."

How lovely...

There is one particular comment on this thread which I thought should be brought in full as it pretty much sums up my personal feelings towards the subject discussed. Here it is, exactly as posted on the official IE blog by owner of a web development company Adam Tichy on Thursday, December 06, 2007:

"I'm a web developer, not a literary scholar, therefore I cannot quite find proper words to describe my total disgust with IE. I honestly can't wait long enough for that horrible thing to just crawl into the depths of forgotten projects and die.

"Most of my customers provide consumer or business internet services and they rightfully insist that the web applications work properly in all major browsers. Since MS packages this crap together with the OS it is a small wonder that in whatever diminishing numbers, the IE is still out there in force. It makes my life a living hell! I have to either seriously compromise the design and functionality or essentially build several variants of the sites just to make it work for the ignorant IE6/7 crowd.

And I'm not so sure the smaller number of support calls is something to boast. Judging from the stats on my sites, more and more people access them via the "other" browser(s). If this trend continues (and hopefully it will) you will be receiving even less support calls in the future. 300 million my foot."

[Above illustrative image courtesy of Alex who bumped up a confirmed bug by Microsoft. Confirmed since medieval ages of IE 5.]

Monday, December 10, 2007

Magic and Loss



Remember a fantastic Lou Reed album from 1992 titled Magic and Loss? The bottom line of this album can pretty much be summarized by this single line from the Magic and Loss song: "Theres a bit of magic in everything, and then some loss to even things out." I could not resist digging out the lyrics of this fabulous poem today, when happiness and grief were magically blended in my Inbox, forming a single bitter-sweet mashup piece of Conceptis family history time line.



First, unlimited happiness and congratulations to Natalia and Amit Shrira, who other than managing the entire manufacturing process of all Conceptis picture logic puzzles, have also gave birth to a beautiful new and first baby girl. We don't have any photos to report yet, yet this would be the cause for the fifth "second generation" celebration in Conceptis.

At the same time, condolences go do Nir, a close friend and head of Conceptis Flash engineering department, who's grandmother had passed away in Friday night after lying unconscious for 10 days. Nir's grandmother was old but a grandmother is always a grandmother. I was very young when both of my grandmothers have passed away but I still remember how I loved them and how sorry I felt when they were gone [song lyrics: lyricsfreak, album photo: Amazon]

Magic and Loss, by Lou Reed

When you pass through the fire, you pass through humble
You pass through a maze of self doubt
When you pass through humble, the lights can blind you
Some people never figure that out

You pass through arrogance, you pass through hurt
You pass through an ever present past
And its best not to wait for luck to save you
Pass through the fire to the light

Pass through the fire to the light
Pass through the fire to the light
Its best not to wait for luck to save you
Pass through the fire to the light

As you pass through the fire, your right hand waving
There are things you have to throw out
That caustic dread inside your head
Will never help you out

You have to be very strong, cause youll start from zero
Over and over again
And as the smoke clears theres an all consuming fire
Lying straight ahead

Lying straight ahead
Lying straight ahead
As the smoke clears theres an all consuming fire
Lying straight ahead

They say no one person can do it all
But you want to in your head
But you cant be shakespeare and you cant be joyce
So what is left instead

Youre stuck with yourself and a rage that can hurt you
You have to start at the beginning again
And just this moment this wonderful fire
Started up again

When you pass through humble, when you pass through sickly
When you pass through Im better than you all
When you pass through anger and self deprecation
And have the strength to acknowledge it all

When the past makes you laugh and you can savor the magic
That let you survive your own war
You find that that fire is passion
And theres a door up ahead not a wall

As you pass through fire as you pass through fire
Trying to remember its name
When you pass through fire licking at your lips
You cannot remain the same

And if the buildings burning move towards that door
But dont put the flames out
Theres a bit of magic in everything
And then some loss to even things out

Some loss to even things out
Some loss to even things out
Theres a bit of magic in everything
And then some loss to even things out

A World of Conflict: Innovative online documentary project on Yahoo News

A World of Conflict: veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites reports from major global conflict zones

Online television broadcast took another important step recently with the launching of A World of Conflict - an innovative documentary series in which veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites reports from major global conflict zones. Even though it is also included with Sites' new book "In the Hot Zone: One Man. One Year. Twenty Wars." with A World of Conflict there is no old fashioned TV version. The show is broadcasted exclusively on the Internet via Yahoo News. Other than the Intro chapter, previous episodes deal with Somalia, Congo, Uganda, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and Iran. Chapter nine of the Hot Zone doco is focused on Chechnya.

http://hotzone.yahoo.com

Sunday, December 9, 2007

From Neil Papworth to Allo SMS with Voice: Fifteen years of Short Message Service



SMS is part of our lives and has already become a medium, perhaps one of the most popular social mediums used by people. Advertising via SMS is a business. While many companies pay mobile phone subscribers to agree SMS advertisement will be landing in their mobile set, there are others, like James Robinson of Australian start-up HooHaa, who are confident users will sign up for no payment. SMS related Innovations follow each other every day: Wataniya Telecom, for example, a wireless voice and data networks operator, offer a new service named Allo since a few months ago allowing sending SMS with recorded voice message (see above sample from their ad campaign).

Yet, it was just 15 years ago this very week, when Airwide Solutions engineer Neil Papworth pressed the first "send" command and sent the world's first SMS to a few of his friends at Vodafone. Even though it was carrying just the two simple 'Merry Christmas' words this massage opened the door to the multi-billion dollar industry of Short Message Service (SMS) allowing people sending short messages to and from mobile phones.

Engineer Neil Papworth: Invented SMS

No one seems to know exactly how many SMS messages are sent each year. According to the International Harald Tribune, few experts could come up with a recent, reliable figure for the number of total texts sent in the course of a year but estimations puts the number at two trillion to three trillion while at England alone the number weekly SMS barometer just passed one billion - 25 percent higher than a year earlier. By the way, cool Papworth, shown in the above photo from iht, still seems to be working for Airwide Solutions - a dominant player in the next-generation mobile messaging industry. I guess some companies know how to keep their A class personal.

Cheers to Papworth and Airwide Solutions. Happy Birthday SMS!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A poor editorial decision or a brilliant context satire?



Context hidden messages have always been of the most powerful journalistic weapons against most kinds of censorship. Israel has an active by-law military censorship since it was founded and Israeli journalists have been practicing this strategy since that very same day. Whether the nature of the restriction is political, military or commercial, the context in which a certain information item is delivered can have a tremendous impact or even change completely the way a message is interpreted by the recipient.

Of course the main problem with subtext messages, which is also their main source of strength, is that the better they are the less people actually manage to decode them. While some hidden context messages are exposed publicly most of them remain unknown. That is why the above frozen TV moment from Sky News caught my eye today on the DHD Multimedia gallery as, other than being very funny, it is also unclear if it was done deliberately or by mistake. What do you think? A poor editorial decision or a brilliant post-Hurricane-Katrina context satire on the account of the world's most powerful politician?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bubble 2.0? Laugh until you cry.



"Need a good domain name, must be cheap, can't be lame
Something cool like Flickr, Meebo
Wikiyou, Mahalo, Bebo
Telephone without the T
Diggg but with a triple G
Make your elevator switch
Code it up and hit the switch."


Anyone who was part of the IT industry back in 1999 knows the word "bubble" can be quickly and easily translated into massive dismissal waves, lower salaries and dramatic changes of family budgets. Even though the 2000 dot com crisis had mainly positive impact on my life course I can still remember it very clearly as a no joke situation. Lets all hope web 2.0 is NOT bubble 2.0. Lets hope this hilariously funny takeoff on Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire will remain just a great music video joke by Richter Scales that managed to take the lead on the Guardian Viral Video Chart earlier today.

Solo, video, arrangement and lyrics by Matt Hempey, Mixed by Bill Hare, Recorded by Jason Hunter & Charlie Forkish. As they say, Web 2.0 just had it coming. Laugh until you cry.

Download Here Comes Another Bubble in MP3
Richter Scales
Dot com bubble (Wikipedia)
Second dot-com bubble (Wikipedia)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Smart ForTwo: Eurobest 2007 Print Grand Prix Campaign

By now, it's clear that being environment friendly is not enough. Delivering the message properly is also a major requirement. It should therefore not be much of a surprise for anyone that Eurobest's winning print campaign for the year of 2007 went to Contrapunto - a Spanish advertising agency from Madrid for their innovative Smart ForTwo campaign. Smart ForTwo is a micro compact car by DaimlerChrysler designed primarily for urban use in European cities. With 0.6L, 0.7L (petrol) and 0.8L (diesel) engines their are quite a few car models with lower carbon footprint but perhaps none with more creative advertising agents.

Forest






Field






Stones




  • Category: Cars
  • Title: FOREST
  • Advertiser/Client: DAIMLERCHRYSLER MERCEDES-BENZ
  • Product/Service: SMART FORTWO
  • Entrant Company, City: CONTRAPUNTO, Madrid
  • Country: SPAIN
  • Advertising Agency, City : CONTRAPUNTO, Madrid
  • Country: SPAIN
  • Executive Creative Director: Antonio Montero
  • Creative Director: José Mª Cornejo / Fernando Galindo
  • Copywriter: Fernando Galindo
  • Art Director: José Mª Cornejo
  • Account Supervisor: Eva Mª Alvarez
  • Advertiser's Supervisor: Oscar Rubira/Marisol Vadillo/Jaime Olalquiaga
http://www.eurobestlive.com

Access Denied: Twitter joins blocked site list in the United Arab Emirates



If you made a reactionary old fashioned stuck in the past bad guy angry you must have done some good. Thus, my congratulations go to Twitter this morning for joining the lauded halls of the sites banned for speaking too freely. As reported by mashable.com, the United Arab Emirates has just decided that its residents shall corrupt their souls no more and avoid tweeting with each other as much as they probably have until now. Anyone attempting to access Twitter's website from the UAE gets the above message, translated as follows:

"We apologize, the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates. If you think this site should not be blocked, please visit the Feedback Form available on our website."

Other than newly added Twitter, mashable also mentions some other members of this respected list including MySpace, Facebook and of course devilish YouTube that got himself banned from Beijing, Thailand, Morocco, Australia, and others. Should we be surprised? Not necessarily. Apparently there are even some American folks struggling to block MySpace in schools and libraries. I wonder if that's due to their ability to spread ideas freely, having such a horrible interface or simply the number of female silicon body parts one must observe every time he opens his MySpace inbox.

For more information and a detailed list of other Internet destinations being "inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values" of additional bad guys check on Access Denied Map: Mapping Web 2.0 Censorship from globalvoicesonline.org, who also offer the following show your support badge.

Global Voices Advocacy: Access Denied Map