Viral Marketing Part II


Earlier in the month we wrote about the CDC Atlanta collectors cards of viruses (or should that be viri?)

Not to be outdone, toy makers have struck back with giant microbes in plush fur including flu, black death and ebola.

Rad Gear For Coming Down

Ok, its the Sunday morning (late) after the Saturday night, your feet are aching, your clothes stink of cigarettes and your ear drums have been desensitised by 5 kW of music power. Oh yeah and your best mate is working his way through the contents of your fridge.

Some jazzy gear to ease those frayed edges of reality that stray into your world:

Oakley MP3 glasses: Ok so you will look a bit of a spaz, but they will protect your eyes from harsh daylight and have enough space for Adventures beyond the Underworld by The Orb, Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. Unfortunately Lance Armstrong is riding in the Tour de France with YOUR pair!

Mickey Mouse ceiling projector: Ideal for when you are about to go to sleep but still feeling a bit cosmic. Only available from Toys R Us in Japan

Relax and terrible Tuesdays will be not quite so bad even if your pension fund is taking a punishment with the Ambient Devices Orb.

Return of my Watch


Its been almost three months but my old Submariner has been serviced by Rolex in London. The watch is immaculate and I see no reason in ever buying a new one.

The service and a new brezel cost almost 200GBP, but the quality of the work done to make it look literally as if it had just come off the factory line is worth it.

I understand now, how they can afford to have offices that would not be out of place in a Bond movie as the arch-villian’s sitting room.

If you are interested in getting a secondhand Rolex, I would recommend the Vintage Watch Company who have rare models including the Turn-o-graph – a forerunner of the Submariner dive watch and the Thunderbird.

Rolex service centre brand experience

Friday, and my Palm PDA bleeped in that nagging sort of way that it does. I looked down and saw that it was time to get my watch serviced again. I have the good fortune to have got a Rolex Submariner at a knockdown price off my old man some years ago before their prices went stupid. The watch is as old as I am and has weathered the adventures we have shared (including scuba diving, flyposting in sink hole estates, dj’ing in abandoned mills and dot.com client meetings) considerably better. Every three years it goes in for a service.

Rolex in London had changed their location since last time, so after getting off at the wrong tube and then heading halfway across W1, I arrived at their new offices in St James’ Sq in a bit of a fluster. Talk about brand experience, their foyer is all sea green wavy patterned glass, dark green marble (all in the same colours as much of their packaging and website) and high quality woodwork, with a couple of lovely looking blonde receptionists; it looks every inch like the sitting room of a Bond villain’s hideaway.

A reassuringly old man in a spotless white coat took my watch away. I will be interested to see how much work it needs in the next week or so. Seriously tempted to get it a companion with a 50th anniversary edition Submariner or a Seadweller, but that would be a bit materialistic…

Firefox up

For some reason Safari, the zippy default browser on my Mac does not like the format buttons in Blogger, the online tool I use to write these musings. I have loaded up the latest iteration of Mozilla called Firefox as a back up. I am very impressed with its speed and relative lack of bugs. It beats seven bells out of Microsoft Explorer and Microsoft was withdrawn from the Mac marketplace for Internet browsers so a fast reliable alternative was required.

Cufflinks & ‘The Game of Death’

Cufflinks are men’s equivalents to alice bands (except for David Beckham) frivolous items of attire, there is no rhyme or reason for them but shirt makers insist that you use them so that they can skimp on buttons. I can find using them to be a right pain in backside. My one set of cufflinks were bought at a shop in the West End and feature a black and white hand and shoulders portrait of Bruce Lee (from The Game of Death publicity stills apparently). This struck me as a bit of an oddity unless that practicing kung fu is as time consuming and trying as doing up a set of cufflinks in a hurry. They are bit of a conversation piece and my friend Ian and I were talking about them. I complained that using cufflinks were a ‘challenge’ and he pointed out that cufflinks in his view were a way of preparing for the day. You cant do them efficiently unless you are at ease, rather than having your mind going in 20 directions at once. There you go, one man’s frivolous clothing item, another man’s zen pillar – you decide….

Are we too complex?

Are we too complex is a post that I originally wrote on the now defunct Alwayson Network regarding the thoughts of Dan Geer on complexity in technology.

Dan’s ideas are interesting because they make sense to the man in the street. For instance the more complex you make something, the more likely it is to go wrong. This makes sense whether it is a sophisticated mechanical device or a piece of software. I looped his thinking into my own because I believe there is a ‘sweet spot’ for technology sophistication and usability Videoplus remote controls, pre-Symbian Nokia phones, Palm Vx and the iPod occupy the sweet spot. Most PC software and operating systems probably don’t.

Dan points out that our ability to use computers as individuals is not increasing as the same rate as computing power and storage. For the past seven years I surfed the web. listened to music and churned out documents on behalf of my clients. The only difference is now that I use a more powerful Unix based workstation laptop (my Apple iBook) to do the same thing. What’s the point? I am not more efficient or effective.