Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


The Global Innovation 1000: Why Culture is Key

Booz & Company’s annual study shows that spending more on R&D won’t drive results. The most crucial factors are strategic alignment and a culture that supports innovation.


A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less expressive than a sandwich?


The MIT Press Publishes an E Book

The Chronicle of Higher Education on the release of Learning from YouTube. They’re calling it a “Video Book,” and it was produced with the Scalar technology developed at USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy.


Indian CGI takes over?

Interesting juxtaposition:

1) the awsome final scene of Enthiran, apparently India’s most expensive, and highest-grossing ever, film:

2) Today’s LA Times report that California firms are loosing their edge in special effects, with an increasing share of that work being done in India, Singapore and China

“Not long ago the visual effects industry was dominated by a few California companies with their own proprietary techniques and tools, along with the artists trained to use them. Now, thanks to advances in technology, the adoption of standardized techniques and readily available digital workforces, the industry has fanned out around the globe.”


Jay-Z’s “Decoded”: The hardcover, The digital edition, The enhanced e-Book, and the app

Wall Street Journal

December 13, 2010

Delivering ‘Decoded’ in Multiple Ways

Buying a new book isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Bertelsmann AG’s Random House Inc., last month put Jay-Z’s memoir and lyric guide, “Decoded,” on sale as a $35 hardcover. It also made a digital edition available at the same price, although Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. sell it for only $9.99.

The book has been a big hit. Published on Nov. 16, it has 330,000 copies in print, according to its publisher, a significant number of copies in this economy.

But Random House also has come up with a host of other editions, including an application that is expected to be available soon at Apple Inc.’s App Store for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

“We want to deliver content any way the consumer wants to read it,” says Gina Centrello, publisher of the Random House Publishing Group, which includes Spiegel & Grau.

Consumers will be able to purchase a 10-song version of the “Decoded” app for $9.99 with interactive lyrics. If they pay an additional $24.99, they’ll get 26 more songs with lyrics. They can also listen to the actual songs if they have them in their iTunes library—or buy them. The app will work only on Apple devices.

Enough? Not quite. Random House also is offering an enhanced e-book edition for $35 that includes exclusive video interviews with Jay-Z, plus two additional videos. This format is available via the Amazon Kindle app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

So, one title, “Decoded,” but five versions: the book, the digital e-book, the app, the expanded app and the enhanced e-book. And that doesn’t even include the likely paperback edition.

Write to Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg at
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page B6


Stalking HTML 5

HTML5: not ready for primetime, but getting very close: Fortune

Netflix to use HTML5 as the technology behind its mobile apps: Intomobile


The FT’s John Gapper on the merits of iPad-only publishing.

Why the iPad should rival the web

By John Gapper

Published (Financial Times) : December 1 2010 20:14 | Last updated: December 1 2010 20:14

Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch are entrepreneurs with an admirable record of ignoring conventional wisdom, so it is worth watching when they do the same thing at once.

In this case, they are launching iPad-only publications. Sir Richard bowled into New York on Tuesday to unveil a £1.79 or $2.99 monthly magazine called Project, while Mr Murdoch is about to launch a “newspaper” called The Daily, for which he hopes 800,000 people will pay $1 a week. Both will charge readers in an era when most internet publications are free.

The fact that Mr Murdoch will separate his new daily publication from “the open web” by publishing on the iPad has provoked scepticism and hostility in digital media circles. “Murdoch keeps fighting the internet and the internet keeps on winning,” wrote Mathew Ingram, of the GigaOm technology blog.

This fits into a bigger debate about whether companies are balkanising the web to gain economic leverage. Tim Berners-Lee, the British scientist who invented the World Wide Web, complained in Scientific American about Facebook’s private accumulation of data, and of print publishers’ “disturbing” wish to create closed worlds.

Yet, even leaving business models aside, it is hard to blame them. The truth is that, two decades after Sir Tim pioneered it, the internet has proven a poor medium for publishers who originate a lot of news and information. It has gone further than levelling the playing field between old-style publishers and start-ups – it has given the advantage to low-cost information providers.

This was less clear before the iPad and other tablets came along, but it stares you in the face when you compare the experience of reading a publication with a lot of content on a desktop and a tablet. A regular browser on a computer is good for skimming (“surfing”) among many different news sources, but poor at immersing you in one.

In his book The Shallows, the technology writer Nicholas Carr talked of the internet’s “uniquely rapid-fire mode of collecting and dispersing information” and argued that he was becoming accustomed “to take in information the way the net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles”.

It goes without saying that the internet has great benefits in terms of the amount of information that can now be accessed directly, rather than being mediated by a newspaper or television news show. The idea that anyone could (if he or she chose) read the 250,000 US diplomatic cables soon to be made available by WikiLeaks would have been inconceivable two decades ago.

But there is no such thing as a neutral medium. Just as newspapers, radio and television offered different methods of presenting news and information, with varying degrees of depth, the internet favours some forms of content over others. People tend to skim the home pages of sites rather than delving deeply because browsers work that way.

If you try to dig far into a web publication, the pages often load slowly and it is hard to find your way out again, or even to know where you are within it. ‘The web is an infinite experience. You never have a feeling for what the whole is,” says John Rose, a partner of Boston Consulting Group.

This tends to favour shallow (I mean that technically, rather than as a value judgment) sites with a lot of aggregated material and links, such as Gawker and the Huffington Post, over those weighted towards deep stacks of original content. The line is blurring as upstarts shift towards producing more original material, but the point stands.

The iPad, with its full-screen apps containing a single game or information source changes that, as does the fact that an entire edition can be downloaded at once. This makes it easier to navigate in depth and to know where you are – an experience akin to print.

On a tablet, an edited, in-depth publication has a better chance of competing with the atomised, open-source information flow of the open web. That is what Sir Richard and Mr Murdoch have bet on – that a tablet restores the advantage of depth over breadth.

That may not be enough – many people are happy to live in the world of free, distributed information and will prefer it. “If you think that the day of the editor deciding what you read today is dead then these apps will fall apart,” says Benedict Evans, of Enders Analysis.

My bet is that the two will co-exist, just as new forms of media have always done with existing ones in the past. There is evidence that people are willing to spend far longer – up to 45 minutes in the case of some magazines – with an iPad publication than its website.

Sir Tim would prefer publishers to stick to the rules, and the embedded biases, of the medium he pioneered. But, despite all of the public good the web has brought, that argument has no more moral force than if a print baron insisted on everyone producing newspapers.

If Sir Richard and Mr Murdoch want to offer products in a new medium rather than the old one, let them. It is not as if they have some iron grip over digital distribution. The iPad has a browser and they will be up against many thousands of other apps.

Who knows if either of them will succeed, but someone will find a way to get users and advertisers to pay for in-depth digital content delivered as an edited whole to the iPad. They will be competing with the browser, not fighting the internet. I can’t see anything wrong with that.