Major Malfunction

I got tired of my Palm playing up decided to move away from the platform as their quality control has gone out the window. I picked up a Nokia E61. Nokia have crafted together a nice looking no-nonsense Treo competitor and its priced competitively as well from what I see on the interweb.In terms of product design Nokia have made a damn sexy piece of kit, most of the shell is metal (I am guessing aluminum or an alloy), with a nice big screen and the nicest responding keys that I have felt on a handheld device.

Where things start to go wrong is the software. The Nokia E61 cannot take much more than 1,000 contacts – that’s right its a business phone and yet when I synched over 5,000 contacts into it I started to get memory full messages.

I spoke to Nokia support and they claim that its a firmware issue and they are working on writing an update but they don’t know when it will be fixed. . In order to get the update I will need to have my phone reflashed at a Nokia Service Point.

I know its unbelievable, so I will run this past you again: the Nokia E61 has a known fault that will directly affect business users because it will not hold as many contacts as a chavtastic Palm Zire PDA. It has sailed into production and they are only now thinking about fixing it.

And in order to further inconvenience their long-suffering customer base the firmware update when it becomes available can only be installed at a Nokia Service Point, leaving the customer without their phone. Nice, this makes the device about as much use as a liberal arts intern in a PR agency.

Link of the day

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has a good report providing advice from established bloggers. Gen up on this before you go wild with the PowerPoint talking all that jive about direct communications with your prospects and existing customers. Kudos to the former Pirate cabin boy at Jonny ‘the ladiez choice’ Rosemont over on the Bitemarks blog of his present employer.

Goowy Gosh

My new role has a pretty locked down IT policy so I can’t use a Messenger application like Adium to keep in touch with contacts on various different IM networks.So in my search to find a web equivalent I came across Goowy which provides a ‘desktop’ on the web. It has a messaging client that can handle AOL, ICQ, MSN/.net/Windows Live and Yahoo! Messenger.

The email client will consolidate POP3 accounts but doesn’t handle IMAP, at least not yet. Whilst there are alternatives like Meebo, Goowy provides the slickest service and best user experience (click on the picture to have a better look at the screen shot).

Ok, now for the big question, how will these people make money? Could they be the meta portal that Marc Canter has been saying that web 2.0 services need, which would be financed via contextual advertising a la Google and Yahoo!?

It’s not about the winning, its the taking part that counts

Thanks to Lawrence :-)

Social Networking and Sidekick deflation

Over at Jupitermedia CEO Alan Meckler talks about the death of social networking, as he is now starting to become numb to the concept. Alan obviously has more staying power than many of the rest of us. I don’t think that social networking as a concept is dead, I think that it will become an invisible technology like electricity, you know when its missing but don’t notice any longer when its there submerged as part of the hygiene functionality of other web services.The concept of another email provider or photo sharing service doesn’t fill me with excitement but demand for these services continue to grow and yet you will only hear about them when the service goes pear-shaped like the Yahoo! Mail worm debacle recently.

The San Jose Mercury News VC section asks

can the Sidekick finally hit the big time?I reckon no, the product has been too long and too close to T-Mobile for any of the other carriers to want to issue it in the US or Europe.

In addition I suspect that it is about to become the Macintosh of the phone world as Windows Mobile commoditises the smart phone industry and Nokia reasserts itself in the more sophisticated European mobile marketplace. What Sidekick needs is a content provider like AOL or Yahoo! to act as a middle man/reseller channel and aggregate users across carrier, but that’s as likely to happen as Tom Cruise renouncing Scientology.

Finally as the city fathers of San Jose build apartment blocks and cultural attractions to attract young people to live there, they need a new marketing campaign, my suggestion: San Jose – It doesn’t suck.

Jargon Watch

Originally uploaded by adamgilhespy.
Militant consumers – highly organised disciplined consumers who are brand and marketing immune. They make best use of the near perfect market information available online to get the best price on items and are strident in an un-British manner demanding a refund on sub-standard customer experiences. Kudos to my old guv’nor Stephen Waddington over at Rainier

Codeslinger wanted

One of my friends is looking for a freelance programmer who can sweep into a central London-based project like the man with no name sweeps into a lawless town in a spaghetti western.Instead of being a super-sharp shooter and quick on the draw, you will need to be conversant in Microsoft Active Server Pages and SQL Server.

Ok so no AJAX, no Ruby, no Enterprise DB and no MySQL required and before you ask yes I know that it may suck and there are much more powerful tools out there, but I’m not paying the money so don’t bother complaining to me.

If you’re interested you can contact her here.

Technology brands

I used to think that technology and brand marketing were two separate disciplines, at least the way that I had seen them practiced in the past.So I found the

Forrester Research report The 2005 Technology Brand Scorecard of interest. Forrester has run this benchmarking survey for a number of years and compared to 2003 most device manufacturers saw their trust level fall. Only two brand rose: Apple and TiVo. Apple however hasn’t had it all its own way, iPod users tended not to recognise themselves as Apple Computer users, so Apple would be wise to emphasis the tie between the two devices. Apple also needs to reach out to less affluent families and persuade them that purchasing an Apple is good value. (This shouldn’t be too hard with devices like the Mac Mini and MacBook).

Forrester Research measured their scorecard on three parameters:

1. Brand trust. We ask consumers to indicate how much they trust each brand on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means “distrust a lot” and 5 means “trust a lot.” All brands are trusted by their users more than they are distrusted, scoring well over the midpoint of 3: Scores for PC and CE manufacturers range from a low of 3.9 for Microsoft to a high of 4.6 for Bose. To calculate a brand trust score, we also factor in the change in brand trust since 2003.

2. Brand potential. The number of households that plan to use a brand — but aren’t regular users today — are a brand’s aspiring or potential users. This untapped market includes new customers, consumers who don’t use the brand at all today, and casual customers, consumers who don’t consider themselves regular users today. Aspiring users range from a low of 3.2 million households for Microsoft to a high of 17.5 million households for Bose. To calculate a brand potential score, we also deduct the “at-risk” customers, consumers who give the brand a trust score of 1 or 2 and are at risk of defection.

3. Brand adoption. Forrester asks whether a household uses a brand “regularly,” yielding adoption levels that range from a high of 50.8 million households for Microsoft to a low of 3.8 million households for TiVo. To calculate a brand adoption score, we also factor in the change in the number of regular users between 2003 and 2005.

Delinquent Habits – Return Of The Tres

Many people have now know the works of the Delinquent Habits from the recent Nike adverts but they’ve been kicking phat joints for the past decade or so.They have a big live following in Switzerland and Austria where hip-hop fans like their breaks and skills rather than plodding rhymes, stale production and comatose beats. Fresh is the word. This joints going out the OG himself Mr Chieu Cao.

Adidas Originals boutique

Adidas Originals boutique
Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

I love this clever piece of window dressing. The cathode ray tubes and innards have been removed from some vintage televisions and replaced with gels of imagery from this years Adidas Originals collection and backlit with a fluorescent tube inside the cabinet.


Originally uploaded by renaissancechambara.

A Bathing Ape’s trainers were inspired by Nike’s Air Force One designs. Now Nike has returned the complement co-opting Bape’s use of bright candy colour pastels and patent leather type finishes in its summer limited editions for sneaker freakers.

Seen at Size? in Covent Garden.

Sunday Miscellany

Stephen sent over this great link from Philips which explains the benefits of their new body hygiene shaver, best appreciated with the volume turned to 11. Meanwhile Wired have a reasonable top-level summary of the happenings at O’Reilly Media’s Where 2.0 conference.And finally the Japanese telecoms sector is trying to catch up with the Chinese lead on Linux in mobile phones with the announcement of a

new talking shop/ collaboration.

Link of the day

All your disparate Googling needs in one place. Kudos to Robin Bloor at

Shocker Shockley

I remember in 1996 reading Robert X Cringely’s Accidential Empires and finding out some of the colour behind Silicon Valley which made it more interesting than just a group of nerds beavering away directly above an unstable earthquake fault that could swallow them up like Godzilla on the march through Tokyo.One person Cringely did not fill in the colour on was William Shockley. Without Shockley there would not have been any Silicon Valley in Northern California and it would have been called Germanium Valley.

Shockley invented the transistor, but was such a repulsive personality that eight of his best employees left his company Shockley Seminconductor Laboratory to set up Fairchild Semiconductor and then later on Intel.

Anyway, you can find out more in a book that has been launched called Broken Genius; one for the beach this summer I think.