I would have thought that Dublin Airport Authority would have been enriched by the current situation in Ireland with expensive EU funded financial whizz-kids flying into the country to ‘help out’ and an exodus of young under-employed professionals leaving to make a life somewhere else. So I was surprised that the company had mobile assets that would have been current circa 2004/5. More here.
PocketPC (not even Windows Mobile) and PalmOS were supported – no Symbian (Series 60 and 90 devices would have been out at the time), let alone Android or iOS.
Developing for iPhone limits ideas like A|B testing in refining the development process. Sina.com has taken an obvious, but interesting approach to development by having Weibo users vote on which UI concepts that they like, getting them involved as co-creators. More here.
Nokia has been going through a period of transformation from the ‘burning platform’ memo to a Microsoft-powered future. The recently released their financial results where were widely covered and talked about over a million Windows Phone-based devices sold. There is some really good analysis of their numbers over at Asymco and the Communities Dominate Brands blogs.
The mainstream media has been overly simplistic at best like this headline from City AM above; but what I didn’t see was answers around the following questions, which I have grouped around three headers
Windows Phone devices
With Microsoft specifying so much of the hardware design on Windows Phone devices how much design does Nokia need?
How much will it cost Nokia to realign its hardware design business units? What is the costs of getting rid of further workers in Europe likely to be? What does it see as the risks of outsourcing innovation to Microsoft?
What are the cost implications of getting rid of Nokia’s factories and associated design functions given the move towards Windows?
How will Nokia compete on scale | cost with the likes of Samsung?
From a consumer perspective, given that Microsoft Windows Phones are so similar, why buy Nokia over other manufacturers like Samsung, ZTE or HTC?
Will Nokia have a big enough business to support its industry-beating distribution network?
Nokia sold over a million devices, was this sales through the channel or ‘channel-stuffing’?
What was the cost per handset sold of its European advertising blitzkrieg in the run up to Christmas?
By comparison, in the markets were it was sold how did the Nokia N9 do? What was the cost per handset in terms of advertising support?
Why should a consumer buy a Nokia Lumia phone over a Samsung Galaxy Android device?
What does the future technology roadmap look like for feature phones?
What about Meltemi Linux-based OS and the Smarterphone acquisition offerings?
Mediatek reference design-based phones have been suffering in the Chinese market, how will Nokia compete against a likely influx of these handsets at cheap prices across the developing world?
How will Nokia catch-up on dual SIM handsets compared to say Samsung (who seem to have stolen a march on dual SIM innovation)?
How will Nokia compete with Chinese rivals like Huawei and ZTE who have been making moves in the developed and developing world markets?
Nokia Siemens Networks and other things
What is going to happen with Nokia’s wireless network business?
What is Nokia doing with its patent sales to intellectual property companies?
What is the vision for online assets like Dopplr and the mapping business?
that is, when shoppers come into a store to see a product in person, only to buy it from a rival online, frequently at a lower price
We’ve all done, particularly with a new clothes brand that I am not familiar with to get my sizing or scanned the barcode of a book with the Amazon mobile application. US department store Target are trying to get around this by getting vendors to provide them with products that are especially for Target customers.
I have bought a couple of series on iTunes out of convenience and been comparing the experience with having DVD box sets. I didn’t miss the hokey menu designs for DVDs that provided a wide variance in user experience. By comparison iTunes doesn’t usually have a lot of the ‘extra’ content that’s on DVDs for instance the original pilot episode that comes with series one of Sherlock or the making of documentary for Blade Runner – whether that matters or not depends on consumer.
I use a Denon hybrid Blu-Ray | DVD player for DVDs and noticed that the player had pretty unobtrusive indicators that I had paused play or was shuttling through the recording. Compare this to the screen shot that I took from iTunes which has a grey belly band controller that obscures programme subtitles no matter how large I make the episode picture.
Outside the US, subtitles are a big issue, yet you lose the thead of the discussion because it takes a couple of seconds to fade out of view when you press play. It is just one example that show how Apple still has a lot of design nuances to learn from the consumer electronics firms that it is looking to disrupt.
Oakley has a giant store on the edge of Covent Garden. It has tricked out the store with some really interesting things like ejector seats from a Boeing B52 bomber:
Here’s the seats
The thing that caught my attention was a chandelier made of Frogskin-like sunglasses, which was impressive in this scale and method of manufacture
I borrowed this meme from James Whatley, we’ll see if I can blog five positive things every Friday, this week has been easy to do:
The week started off with a move to a new office as Ruder Finn decamped from above Jacobs Photography on New Oxford Street to above Austin Kaye on the Strand. With the move the office got a clean look that reminded me a bit of the Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange. No ultra-violence has ensued yet, although discussions over referee decisions on table football have become quite heated
This week was lunar new year which meant a trip to the Centrepoint Korean supermarket for frozen dumplings. It is really convenient and seems to be open past 10pm on week days
The new location allowed me to get reacquainted with Wahaca which served up an idea venue for a business lunch today
A toilet calamity with my trusty iPhone 3GS meant that I had to get a replacement. I am now bedding in an iPhone 4S after trying and failing to get hold of a cyan Nokia N9 – I also looked at the Lumia range but couldn’t see any reason to buy a Nokia Windows Phone compared to the competition and the tiling user interface concept whilst interesting isn’t for everyone. The transfer process to the new phone has been trouble-free
Media I have enjoyed this week includes City AM’s Forum section which has some high-quality thought-provoking content
A Friday morning tradition at Ruder Finn is enjoying a fried breakfast, which gave me a bit of iPad time earlier in the day than usual. So I surfed over to the Techmeme site to see what was getting people agitated in digital and technology this morning to be confronted by a redesign.
Gone is the traditional underlining of hyperlinks to be greeted by a much cleaner design. More from the publishers here.
In many ways the Chinese social web is richer than our own with a fiercely competitive marketplace and rapid innovation taking place amongst more evenly matched players. Social networks are stratified more along demographic lines which are in flux as developments occur. The brightest star at the moment is Sina’s Weibo service, but its not the only one.
Weibo has taken off in China in a similar way to Facebook, and has led Twitter in terms of rolling out innovations.
This infographic came from Sinatechblog.com.cn
Having grown up on the golden era of hip-hop and having a love of breaks in general I knew The Mohawks, in particular their late sixties track The Champ as a break from the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Shadow and just about anybody who was of note during that time. Even jazz legend Miles Davis sampled it for Fantasy on the Doo Boop album. It was up there with The Winstons Amen Brother, James Brown’s The Funky Drummer and Lynn Collins Think in terms of the impact it had on sampling.
What I didn’t realise at the time was that The Mohawks were a band of British session musicians. There are some interesting comments in the interview:
The musicians had made no money from the sampling of the tracks (I guess its likely that the record labels and publishing companies keep royalties received to themselves)
As session musicians, the tracks were created on an industrial scale going from session-to-session churning out recordings
The Champ was recorded in one take which is unusual for a studio recording
There is a nice circular reference in that The Champ references Otis Redding’s Tramp
Their discussion on how technological change has affected music creation over the past four decades
The video is on YouTube so may not be visible to all readers.