PSFK have put together a great presentation | report on mobile marketing using QRcodes. The report is sponsored by Microsoft Tagging: you may have been their (dazzle-paint-esque) codes on some blogs, but I don’t think that they’ve really taken off at all.
Surfing the Barkings! blog written by the people at Vermont Apple reseller Small Dog Electronics reminded me that the Mac turned 27 recently. It’s a great post and they reflect on the enormous leap forward in computing power and reducing cost that technology changes through those 27 years have brought.
Indeed even your humble iPhone has several times more computing power and memory than the first Macintosh. They invited people to reflect on their Mac memories and here are mine.
My first Mac was a SE. I used to run warehouse parties and events in night clubs. The bromide proofs for poster artwork and flyers were expensive. I heard that I could proof the work on screen with this Mac computer.
I bought the computer and the software and it paid for itself in 5 months.
When I went back to college in the mid-1990s I bought a PowerBook 165 which had 16 shades of greyscale and powered a Stylewriter II printer. The computer was a big and the battery lasted under two hours. But I was able to connect it to the college internet network and browse the web with Mosiac. I completed all my college assignments in ClarisWorks and still miss the Oscar the Grouch trashcan application that all Mac users used to have on their machine back then.
I kept on with a portable Mac through the late 1990s, but the next big turn my experience was owning a white Apple iBook running the early versions of OSX which were a revelation and getting dial-up internet when I bought my own home.
This machine also served as a portable entertainment system, playing DVDs until I was able to get a multi-region DVD machine and listening to internet radio through iTunes. I used to rip my CD music collection to MP3 via iTunes and make MP3 CD-Rs on a Sony Sports Discman that supported the format, since a few discs would give me 30 albums of music.
The next big difference was broadband rather than the Mac as a platform. At this time I also started using mobile email and Apple’s early provision of an IMAP email service that was divorced from your ISP subscription was a key driver for me to go mobile. This also meant that when I was cash strapped and the logic board on my iBook died I went out and bought a Mac Mini using that for a while until I could afford a 15″ MacBook Pro.
Wi-Fi and the rise of mobile dongles together with a more consultative role around social media meant that this was my first real ‘road-warrior’ machine. It went around the world with me to France, Germany, the US, Cyprus and Hong Kong. Having a spare screen from the Mac Mini meant that I started to working across two screens as a norm and this changed the way I handled my computing in a subtle but important way with one screen acting as a work screen and the other one acting as a ‘real-time’ dashboard.
Eventually this machine failed and I currently use a 13″ MacBook Pro (called Toshiro after Mifune Toshirō) as my ‘road-warrior’ machine. I also moved my mobile email to an Apple iPhone 3GS, mainly because other devices made such a mess syncing with my address book.
All this progress hasn’t meant constant improvement.
Apple is often praised for its industrial design but this also has had retrograde steps; one thing the PowerBook 165 did have which my current MacBook Pro doesn’t was little legs that tipped the keyboard up at an ergonomic 11 degrees which I tend to feel the effects of after doing a lot of typing.
Part of the reason why Apple computers have become cheaper in real terms is because they have skimped on the costs in other areas. The keyboard on its modern laptops and its desktop computers have less travel and a less precise feedback than older keyboard because Apple doesn’t want to use ALPS switches; which is the reason why Matias reinvented the original Apple extended keyboard with the ‘Tactile Pro‘.
LinkedIn Labs have launched InMaps which helps you visualise your social graph associated with your profile. It also allows you to explore which of your contacts are connected together. Here is one I created earlier which looks like technicolour candyfloss.
Microsoft Incinerates ANOTHER $543 Million Online – whilst Windows bore up better than expected online is still a gaping sore for Microsoft and you have to wonder about Yahoo!
Beyond Amazon: How to Make Recommendations Smarter | Fast Company – really interesting ideas in contextual search
Question types in social Q&A sites by Harper, Wienberg, Logie and Konstan (University of Minnesota) – understanding the intent behind the questions is key for future classification systems
China’s Continuing Economic Policy Debate | STRATFOR – interesting piece on business lending in China and the rise of a bond market
Pilot Program In Tianjin Offers Shares In Chinese Art, Solidifying Place As Investment Class « Jing Daily : The Business of Luxury and Culture in China – interesting that there are now investment funds in art
Rupert Hoogewerf: “Although China’s New Rich May Be Wealthy Or Powerful, They May Not Have Taste” « Jing Daily : The Business of Luxury and Culture in China – this isn’t a Chinese issue the same could be said of the new rich elsewhere
Tickets now available by post | London International Ska Festival 2011 – oooh looking forward to seeing The Ska Flames and The Dub Pistols
Bing Deal With Yahoo Isn’t Paying Off For Microsoft So Far – not terribly surprised, don’t think its paying off for Yahoo! either
Baidu: Beefing Presence Beyond China – Search Engine Watch (SEW) – Google should be worried
Academics urge EU bodies to reject ACTA | Pinsent Masons LLP – really interesting level of energy behind this, particularly while the MPAA is down for the count in Washington DC at the moment
Nokia Results: An Ovi Store Update | Forrester Blogs – interesting developing world, developed world split
Communities Dominate Brands: Undesirable at Any Price? What happened to Nokia, who invented the smartphone – great post by Tomi Ahonen on the state of Nokia.
Klang Ultrasonic Speakers Beam Sound Right Where You Want It – Technabob – even if they don’t work as advertised, they look soooo good
Marketers Have Limited Social Media Understanding – admittedly this probably is a certain amount of coverage trolling by Alterian but some interesting data points none-the-less
Schneier on Security: U.S. Strategy to Prevent Leaks is Leaked – the real elephant in the room is what it means for your average company
Film lobby seeks to regain status | Benton Foundation – struggling to find someone to run the Washington office
Renting Rather Than Buying in a Down Economy : The New Yorker – non-commitment trends also a post-consumer focus on experience
The Aram store in Covent Garden’s theatreland is a design lover’s paradise. One of the things that recently caught my eye was this compact computer desk | home office. Presumably this takes advantage of wireless technology to hid the printer, scanner and broadband modem.
Whilst I aspire to this kind of tech minimalism my own computer desk is a tower of tech resembling the angry innards of a data centre. It started out as an anonymous grey computer desk acquired from Costco in Liverpool; it has been extended upwards with a custom welded frame and painted marine ply shelving. It houses a laser printer, flat bed scanner, second monitor, the MacBook Pro, a fax machine, an answer phone, a Gundam, a conference phone, router, ethernet router, two external hard drives and an external CD-writer (all by LaCie) and an assortment of power supplies and cables to keep all this connected and running.