Temporary Retreat

I won’t be posting for the next week or so, instead I thought I would leave this delightful picture of Drea De Matteo.

Palm to announce Treo 670 / 700?

Rumours and pictures of the Palm Treo 670 have circulated for months.

Now it looks like there may be some truth in them. Microsoft, Palm and Verizon holding a joint conference means that this isnt another Palm supports Microsoft Exchange or .net frameworks for infidel devices.

This looks more like the real deal. (Picture courtesy of MyTreo.net).

Time to move to Symbian.

Check out the media invitation below:

Palm, Inc., Microsoft Corporation and Verizon Wireless Announce Press Conference for Sept. 26 SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 23, 2005–Ed Colligan, Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM) president and chief executive officer; Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect; and Denny Strigl, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, invite the news media to join them for a press conference on Monday, Sept. 26, at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco beginning at 9 a.m. PDT.

Admission will be limited to members of the business and technology news media who present current press credentials.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. outside the Twin Peaks conference room on the second floor of the hotel.

RSVP Members of the news media who plan to attend in person are asked to RSVP to Ryan Luckin of A&R Partners at rluckin@arpartners.com.

Webcast Details The press conference will be accessible via live webcast at links below beginning at 9 a.m.

A replay, podcast and written transcript of the press conference also will be available starting at approximately 12 p.m. and listed in Monday’s news release.
To view the webcast please click on the following links (Due to their length, the following URLs may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser’s address field. Remove extra spaces if they exists.):

For 56 kbps: http://metahost.savvislive.com/microsoft/20050926/ sfo_press_conference_20050926_56.asx
For 100 kbps:
For 300 kbps or broadband: http://metahost.savvislive.com/microsoft/20050926/sfo_press_conference_20050926_300.asx

Date & Time Monday, Sept. 26 Press Registration: 8 a.m. PDT and continental breakfast Press Conference: 9 a.m. PDT
Valet parking will be provided at the hotel

The Palace Hotel 2 New Montgomery St. San Francisco, Calif. http://www.sfpalace.com/main/location.htm

Broadcast Video and Other Materials Video and photographs will be available from several sources, including the following: — Palm’s Multimedia Library (www.palm.com/MultimediaLibrary). Preregistration is required to access broadcast-quality video and stills. — Microsoft’s press room (www.microsoft.com/presspass). — Verizon Wireless’ Multimedia Library (www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia). Preregistration is required to access broadcast-quality video and stills. — Cameras are permitted on-site — an audio mult-box will be provided. Please direct any media inquiries to Ryan Luckin of A&R Partners at rluckin@arpartners.com or 408.910.9265. Please direct any broadcast inquiries to WCTV’s media relations at mediarelations@wctv.com or 212.445.8220. CONTACT: A&R Partners for Palm, Inc. Ryan Luckin, 408-910-9265 rluckin@arpartners.com SOURCE: Palm, Inc.

Shoot the marketing department

Dell cigarette lighter
Originally uploaded by

Dell recently launched its latest MP3 product the Dell DJ Ditty. It is designed by Dell to compete with the iPod Shuffle.

First of all the name, what kind of marketer would labour their ‘cool’ new product with the name ditty. You’d only go and ask for one at the counter if you wanted to win a bet against one of your mates or were very drunk. Now imagine that even if you where happy with the product how you would recommend it to one of your friends.

Then there is the ‘inspired’ product design. You’ve been had, its a rip-off of a cheap Ronson lighter from the Argos catalogue. Its not cool, its not ironic and it may sound better than a Linn hi-fi system, but it still says BAD TASTE.

I am sure Apple are already wondering how they are going to handle their haemorrhaging market share when this bad boy hits the market and turns the Apple Store on Regents Street into an empty shell.


Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

OK so you have your favourite IM service that you like to use, but its a free world and some people are just wrong and chose MSN instead. Or you have an ID for years on ICQ that some people still use. What do you do with them all? When you have IM ID congestion you need Adium X. Adium is a multi-protocol messaging client that is slicker than an eel skin codpiece and full of open source goodness. There are funky themes and other extras with Adium, allowing you to customise it more than and a 1987 Vauxhall Nova. Its just a shame about the Orville the Duck icon they use to represent the application, instead here is some graffiti I photographed down by the Truman Brewery a while ago..

Toy Time

I passed the the model shop on High Holborn and spotted some gems that I will share on this blog over the next few entries. First up was a Scalextric set with a Ford Torino, a skittish handling toy car based on a skittish handling real one; talk about a marriage made in adult childhood heaven.

Viral Craicer

Not as easy as it seems, choose out of a list of names which one belongs to the My Little Pony range of childrens toys from the 1980s and which is the name or alias of a performer in an adult-orientated loop. Try your luck here.

More importantly which category would Christina Aguilera fit into: small horse or glamour model?

The Trouble With Blogs….

Is that they are an ideal vehicle to fuel dissension. During the former cold war, one of the things that the CIA liked to do was to smuggle photocopy machines into the disident groups behind the Iron Curtain as a sort of DIY kit to create thought crimes. (Both football fanzines and the punk movement did a similar thing in the late 1970s and 1980s).Organisations like Sun and Microsoft are both using blogs to reach out the hearts and minds of influencers and other stakeholders. Unfortunately the power of blogs can also amplify voices of dissent.

Using a service like Blogspot and having a privacy protecting software service like Tor, allows you to create a virtual ID with no traceability; providing you with a Dooce-resistant way of corporate dissension in a responsible manner.

They allow individuals or group to wage assymmetric information warfare campaigns against larger corporate organisations and their countermeasures such as slick corporate communications teams. Take MiniMicrosoft for instance. (Kudos to Charles Arthur for the link). Picture courtesy of SterlingArtz.


Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

James Gordon-Mackintosh of These 4 Walls and 77PR has finally set up his oft-discussed t-shirt business based around cutting graphic design. More accessible and better value for money than Futura the designs at Sideline are worth a visit. The picture gives a flavour of what to expect, don’t be surprised to see them previewed on a Quark jockey near you sooner rather than later.

Letting the cat out of the bag

Cat not yet out of the bag
Originally uploaded by Terri.

Interesting post on Sun Microsystems CTO, Jonathan Schwartz blog asking Sun employees to refrain on queering the pitch for their PR people by leaking product details. From a PR point of view, there are a number of things are interesting about his posting:

– The posting was driven directly by leaked information that had come out over the past few weeks
– Jonathan appealed to employees in a public forum, rather than an internal memo
– There was no mention of an employee blog policy, which many large companies have now implemented
– Its a soft pitch rather than the draconian slap down meted out by the likes of Apple, implying a trust-based system usually found in academic research labs (MIT used to give everybody root access so that they could delete or destroy other peoples work, to take away the achievement and challenge of hacking the security and inadvertently causing damage.) This by implication means that engineers, developers or researchers are likely to have been the whistleblowers

In A Simple Request to Sun Jonathan says: For the sake of your colleagues around Sun, please do not share Sun’s confidential information. There have been a few instances in recent weeks where crucial data and photos were leaked from Sun. It probably sounds counterintuitive, but this actually harms Sun’s business.

The way news or media cycles work, if any information is ‘leaked’ to the marketplace, it radically reduces our ability to garner broad top shelf coverage – most media outlets won’t cover what’s already been leaked. So leaks actually have the opposite effect of what you might think – they dampen coverage, lessen interest, and complicate helping the field drive business. They also prompt customers to put decisions on hold, and put at risk the credibility of our salesforce to be ‘trusted advisors’ to our most important partners and customers.

Future of Apple

San Jose Mercury News technology blog SiliconValley.com has a week long online discussion going on here about the future of Apple Computer. Some of it makes interesting reading.

Design: Sinn U2 watch

Black strap, the Sinn U2, metal bracelet the Sinn EZM3

Sinn is a German watchmaker who have a reputation of producing fantastically designed and produced watches. I’ve started to look around to add to my watch collection and paid particular interest to Sinn’s latest model dive watch, the U2. It is made of specially hardened stainless steel and has an Indian rubber strap. The watch has an additional hand in red to provide an additional time zone. The legibility of the watch display is really well done.

Unlike most Sinn watches however it is a triumph of style over substance. The strap has no vents, cleats that would allow the watch users wrist to feel more comfortable in hot weather.

The crown is not protected. Most diving watches including Sinn’s own designs have shoulders either side of the crown to protect it from damage. The watch forgoes a useful feature of other Sinn watches by putting the crown on the right-hand side of the case, it is more likely to catch on a shirt sleeve or a wet suit cuff.

This is one of the reasons why many divers wear their watch on their right hand even though they are not left handed. While the U2 is a great example of the watchmakers art, save your money and purchase their Einsatzzeitmesser 3 (EZM 3) model instead.

Design Classic: Halliburton Zero

Halliburton is now a name entwined with the Bush Cheney government, usually to do with allegations of overcharging for services or the manner in which they have been awarded contracts.

The company had a long and proud history as a pioneer in the oil services industry. As with any pioneer, when the couldn’t find appropriate supplies they made them themselves.

Erle Halliburton founded the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company that later became Halliburton in 1960. One of the problems he faced in the 1930s was finding robust instrument cases and briefcases that would stand up to the rigors of the international oil business, from bouncing in the back of a pickup truck through the Texas oilfields to international air travel.

From this need the Zero Halliburton case company was born. Erle sold up his involvement in the case company in 1952, but they kept his founding ethos. The cases were made from the wonder material of the time – aluminum – which was finding use as a light high-strength metal in the aviation industry. The case also benefited from aluminum’s even heat dissipation properties to protect its internal contents.

Move forward to the 21st century and Zero Halliburton Stealth case has moved on with the launch of a carbon fibre case which retails for about 2000 USD. The use of carbon fibre gives this design classic a new feel and aesthetic whilst keeping true to Erle’s vision of a high performance case. If this sounds too rich I can recommend one of their traditional aluminium cases.

Jargon Watch: NSFW, E85

NSFWNot Suitable For viewing at Work. I saw this first on Wired News columnist Regina Lynn’s article discussing the popularity vintage adult entertainment content.

While the subject matter was a reasonable discussion on a trend within the online media industry, some of the links off the page could get you fired.

E85 – A fuel mix of 85 per cent ethanol and 15 per cent petrol that is now cheaper than regular petrol in some parts of the States. Alcohol fuelled vehicles has been around for a good while. Brazil was one of the main pioneers, running cars off alcohol made from sugar cane.

E85 is now becoming a popular alternative fuel in parts of the states that grow a lot of corn, which is ideal for making alcohol (just ask Jack Daniels). While fuel companies are reluctant to carry alternatives to petrol since it fosters more competition; tax breaks, government subsidies, high oil prices and a large number of compatiable vehicles is seeing a small but significant number of filling stations now pumping E85.

Kudos the New York Times The New Prize: Alternative Fuels by Danny Hakim. For more information on alternative fuels including biodiesel and the bio/petroleum diesel blend B20 go to Altfuels.org, which is a good primer.

The 37 Paths to Wisdom & Other Cool Web Firms

Salon.com has an interesting article about 37 Signals a Chicago based software company that is making waves. The company has developed lean, responsive web-service based software applications for project management and personal productivity.Odeo is a way of making podcast publication and consumption much easier, it has the ease-of-use that one would expect from one of the founders of Blogger.