Sunday, 31 August 2008

iPhone web app, and sharing love forward

I wonder how others get their blog to get more traffic? I guess I need to post more, and better...

Anyhow, the iPhone app - saw salsamap.com just now - it's discontinued, which needs following up as to why - and the Google cache shows some promise as to someone's go at something that would be pretty nifty potentially for a salsero who's on the move.

Google www.salsamap.com, then click on the blue hyperlink cached version button

Salsa by map, by date and location, by list of events (calendar), by name of organiser. Put down as created as an entry on Dec 08 2006

http://www.afterfive.co.uk/maps/Salsa-links.html
http://www.5minutesite.com/browse/vpui0002021.php

Edit: http://www.salsamaps.com/ - Working, but "in beta", and seemingly another stopped project. Seems the opportunity is still there...


Sharing the love to folks

On another point, i've been combing through a lot of salsa and dance blogs over the weekend (fixing a computer, backing up and transferring Gigabytes of data needs a distraction!) and came across a great blog: http://atimetodance.wordpress.com

Having got several pages back, I found the post:

By the end of the calendar year (or so), I will send a tangible, physical gift to each of the first five people to comment here. The catch? Each person must make the same offer on her/his blog. [I myself am passing this on since I responded to morganlf's meme].

The rules:

1. Anyone may respond, whether I know you or not. However, you must have a blog of your own where you can pass along the same offer.

2. No members of my immediate family are eligible ’cause you’re getting holiday presents from me anyway.

So passing it on: A tangible physical gift to 5 people who add a comment. Heck - they'd be the 1st five to comment, so why not have a gift on standby!

Twittering dancers, salseros?

On a semi related note - Are there that many on twitter, or other similar networks? Surely twitter, and Loopt would be useful applications for a dance night out?



Friday, 29 August 2008

Dance at Notting Hill Carnival

Some youtube videos:

The kimono dancer
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And some more:

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Some of what the performers look like , shockwave-flash@http://www.youtube.com/v/xBMyII8B6v0&hl=en&fs=1" href="http://www.youtube.com/v/xBMyII8B6v0&hl=en&fs=1" id="">


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When (salsa) dancing meets tech

Jamiroquai's video called Travelling without moving - as seen below in the Lego version:



what if JayKay actually went and took a new single, and basically 1UPd Radiohead, with their LIDAR usage from their In Rainbows album single - House of Cards



"No cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data. "

Directed by James Frost
Aaron Koblin was the technical director - he did the Flight Patterns project

Very interestingly, some of the data was captured by a Geometric Informatics camera.
And Geometric Informatics were the primary part for the facial sequence in the video - the LIDAR covers the large scale environment shots.
Real-time 3D scanning.









One of their products is GeoVideo







"GeoVideo is a high-resolution (over 600,000 triangles per frame) 3D geometry video acquisition system that provides 3D surface geometry data recording capabilities at 180 frames per second with real-time rendering for previewing geometry video data. The 3D geometry video data is immediately available for recording. Each video frame is captured with texture information that is aligned exactly point for point with 3D geometry."
"GeoVideo captures facial expressions including smiles and grimaces, such as wrinkles on a face and difficult cases such as hair, fur, fluid, and textured cloth.


Lightstage:






video

Pretty soon, the uncanny valley is going to be well and truly bridged. My thoughts are what dance could offer to this, as a way to demonstrate, and also teach.

Android apps show what could be good for iPhone apps

  • cab4me - A $275,000 Award Recipient! You say where you are, ask for a cab via it's system.
  • CompareEverywhere - Compare prices, read reviews, and connect with local stores.
  • GoCart -Scan a product's barcode with your phone's camera and view all the best prices online and at nearby, local stores.
  • Locale - An advanced settings manager that automatically changes your phone's settings based on conditions, such as location.
  • Softrace - Had predicted this very recently, in line with what Nike could do (we're waiting on Nike to build some decent sports Apps to blow Nike Plus out of the water!) - Turn your workout into a thrilling race and challenge the world in real time.
  • Wertago - A way to find parties and connect with friends and others all night long. Like the previous real estate apps - this is a great sector to get a market share of currently.
  • Pocket Journey - A personal tour guide by connecting you to location-specific multimedia created by a community of the most professional tour guides and storytellers worldwide. A slice of this in iTunes - a Geographically aware version for museums etc would be great.
  • ShapeWriter - is an innovative, easy, fast and fun method of entering text into touch screen mobile phones. One can write an entire word with a single gesture.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Swan Lake - 3 Takes & a slice of reggaeton

Swan Lake - Bolshoi take:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY4Y1gTO9HE&feature=related



Swan Lake - Chinese Circus take (amazing balance and dance skills)



And an old favorite, a once close friend loved: Swan Lake - Troc style:


A longer 3 parts:






And just to round it off, a Pole dance version.

And a link to a related title I enjoy
reggaeton


Others 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

For me - it's the lower back to hip strength and flexibility. Reggaeton might get an unfair wrap - it isn't easy, and there are technical parts to it. The grinding aspectimghed t be great, as it can turn into all out simulated sex, but then we have to remeber close hold salsa and bachata, merengue can have the option to get pretty hot too!

Link to a Washinton Post article about freaking.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008



Ubiquity's goals are to:

  • Empower users to control the web browser with language-based instructions. (With search, users type what they want to find. With Ubiquity, they type what they want to do.)
  • Enable on-demand, user-generated mashups with existing open Web APIs. (In other words, allowing everyone (not just Web developers) to remix the Web so it fits their needs, no matter what page they are on, or what they are doing.)
  • Use Trust networks and social constructs to balance security with ease of extensibility.
  • Extend the browser functionality easily.
Video here
Future example - if you could have a way to use a WiFi enabled product - e.g. Kettle - you could potentially actually say - make me a brew, get that converted into Activate kettle, which sends a command to the kettle via IP and wifi. By the time you're done, the kettle is boiled. Silly example I know - but then look at the Remote app on iPhone - iControl etc is actually starting to see real usage.

Intel's $100,000 prize winner

Shivani Sud, 17, of Durham, submitted a bioinformatics and genomics project to the Intel Science Talent Search that focused on identifying stage II colon cancer patients at high risk for recurrence and the best therapeutic agents for treating their tumors. The standard method of characterizing tumors relies on visual information, including size, degree of metastasis and microscopic structure. Shivani's 50-gene model for predicting the recurrence of colon cancer instead uses gene expression profiles to link multiple genetic events that characterize various tumor types. She created her model using two public data sets containing 125 patient samples and coupled it with clinical data to plot statistically significant survival curves. She then used her model to identify drugs that may be effective in treating stage II colon cancer. The daughter of Ish and Anu Sud, Shivani is first in her class of 358 at Charles E. Jordan High School and represents the students at school board meetings. She is a Teen Court student attorney, a Durham Rescue Mission volunteer and performs classical and modern Indian dance. Shivani plans to attend Princeton or Harvard, earn an M.D./Ph.D. and have a career in research.
The March 2008 top 10 college scholarship awards for the Intel Science Talent Search (STS)
link here . 17!! I'd be really interested how she learnt how to do the model. This is the great thing about open source, open data - you can throw it out to the world, and get huge payback - A case in point is the open sourcing of gold mining data that is an example in Clay Shirky's here Comes everybody - the concept works well for a lot of the time - offer a bounty, a decent prize fund for the top 1/5/10 or so, then give them the raw data - by not constraining them, they'll probably have a much bigger view outsiede the box of how to get to the final result wanted.

There are some other great and "they can do that at their age - I need to get my scientific act together" feel:


Brian Davis McCarthy, 18, of Hillsboro, focused his research on developing new types of solar cells for his Intel Science Talent Search project in chemistry. Brian synthesized extremely thin and fragile films and verified his results using scanning electron microscopy techniques. His films consisted of interfacially polymerized combinations of porphyrins and phthalocyanines - plant-like photosynthetic materials found in nature that are photoactive and photoconducting - both properties of functioning solar cells. Brian's novel polymer films responded electrically to light indicating that they could act as solar cells and may be a less expensive option to today's silicon-based solar cell technology, and help meet increasing demands for renewable energy. A Rensselaer Medal award winner, Brian hopes to attend MIT or Harvard and one day join a research team developing new sources of energy. He is first in his class of 293 at Liberty High School and belongs to the varsity track and field team. In his spare time, Brian works with the community emergency response team and enjoys strategy games, Legos and studying aviation history. He is the son of Brian and Karen McCarthy.
A lot of them seem to have a finger in Intel's work previously, or had help, and also debate a lot - they're polymaths even as Minors.

Prediction - the first decent stab at making an iPhone app that interacts with IP enabled power switches/plugs/products etc is going to make a killing. iControl is probably the closest to it currently - but this is merely security. We're talking anything chip and net enabled that needs to plug in the wall for power.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Multiple users - 1 document. What to do?

How to share and use office files wilth multiple users: ProofHQ


"A new tool for designers (or anyone who needs client input on proofs) is premiering today. ProofHQ is a web-based application for uploading, annotating, commenting and approving proofs with controlled access for multiple clients. It's not Mac-specific, but it's worth mentioning considering the large portion of Mac users (and TUAW readers) who fit into the creative/design category. It doesn't work on the iPhone, (why would you want to upload and proof on an iPhone, really?), but it's fully Safari-compatible and Mac-friendly.
Using ProofHQ's upload page or the Java-based Uploadr, you can send PDF, PSD, GIF, TIFF, JPG, BMP, Word and Powerpoint files and have them converted into Flash-based proofs at full quality."

Thinkfree is another useful app - how to share files, update them, being updated by their servers. There is a big need to crack the multi user making alterations on 1 document. Google docs has had some work on it, but it's a tough problem. I'd imagine something this might be useful, but not probably implemented for various reasons. Defaulting back to Office, or not moving from it.

How to arrange a meeting time

Useful to be able to quickly arrange when people can do times - you plot the days you can do, see what falls out.
http://whenisgood.net/
http://www.timebridge.com/home.php
http://www.thinkfree.com
http://www.thinkfree.com/
http://www.diarised.com/
http://www.schedulewithme.com
http://www.doodle.ch
http://www.scheduleonce.com

Monday, 25 August 2008

Google polls, coding horror.

Stop sharing excel spreadsheets to make a poll, get some feedback!

See here

Stack Overflow Beta is using to create a signup spreadsheet, but this has so many applications. For one - it's an instant email is.gd within the office polling system. It negates the whole, send me back the spreadsheet, then pass it on to the next person problem that online email petitions have. Add your names, add a tally on a website page, you're done.

It's simple.

*Instant poll
*Instant mailing list
*It can be quant or qualative
*You can hide or display results
*Free

As an aside - I think we need a stackoverflow macrumors sub section.... I wonder how it'll cope out of beta - will it's singal to noise ratio deteriorate? Will it cruft up from the range of questions?
It sounds like they're wanting objective questions with non-subjective answers which is a start, and their search is being reported to be good.

Should there be tools that are early adopters only, and sod the guld leap to the other side, and forget about bringing in the late adopters?

Maybe the world of mind mapping should come to blogs - to actually throw threads as THREADS - that can be teased, moved, spun off to pardon the pun. How to visually create this is a coding horror in itself i'd imagine... Wiki style editing of answers and comments and tags, with karme related skills to do this.

Totally cool progression of the area by the sounds of it. Turning answers to questions more into "live encyclopedia" entries. For the majority of users of the service, it might be just to read the answer, from googling the question and hitting the site. Interestingly, it has the potential to do what Yahoo questinos etc fails to do in many ways.

All sorts of cool developments: https://stackoverflow.fogbugz.com/default.asp?pg=pgWiki&command=view&ixWikiPage=24213
The reputation and badging system has had a good deal of thought from a social point of view too. And in a way, it's hands off too, it's an evolving ecosystem and creating it's own social and codified self-correcting check systems. Feedback loops etc.

"...the only way you ever get reputation is from other people voting your stuff up"

Looks good. Really should chow down into wikinomics, but Clay Shirky's Here come Everbody has a lot to live up to.

ow mature enough and ubiquitous enough and fast enough to be a viable client programming runtime and teh API libraries are there too

They ahve a site where users can actually probe the system, get meaningful information about usage, numbers of users regularly doing things etc, beyond just activity and post count of a user - to actualyl show their voting history, their badges etc.

Interesting to show they're potentially looking at both what's hot - what's most activity, r/w, but also what's most in need - kinda like the p2p tracker webste version of what's got most leechers, but no seeds. A post moving to a community post after a level of editing.

Do they need a forum break out system?

An interesting point that i'd imagine Scoble would pick up on:
"...world became Microsoft and Oracle and they were like the 30,000 person software companies and then there were a couple of half a person trying to struggle to do it in their spare time. But he wasn't noticing any of the 40 person software companies and over the years I've discovered quite a lot of 40 person software companies, it's just a huge number of them, they're all a little bit below the radar, you don't hear about them. The business press doesn't write about them because they're not public companies and so they have no interest in covering things whose stock you can't buy. But there are really like an outlandish number of software companies around our size."

Friday, 22 August 2008

Unwrap by Microsoft

Unwrap by Microsoft here. Microsoft has Sonyitis - "hey right arm, what's happening?" "oooh, lots of things left arm"...

Video recording - Kodak's response to the Flip recorder


Theocacao.com has a review of the zi6 from Kodak - a handheld videocam running on AA batteries, SD/SDHC cards, and does 60 fps 720p video.

Want to record something on the go? Gizmodo is saying the Kodak "might be the best pocket camcorder yet" - and doing both VGA video and also 720p HD, I can imagine why.

Cost? $180 though a decent SDHC card and the batteries will rival that!
When? Next month.
How? Turn on, point and shoot, plug into USB, get those videos onto your PC, whack them up to Youtube. You can playback via the 2.4" LCD screen, with slow motion playback available.
Bonuses? Tripod mounting hole, ability to get stills from video. H.264 files so it's straight to editing on a Mac!

Apple could so easily implement this, it's harsh to see it not implemented - to release the 3G iPhone without video, presumably waiting until at least the 3rd version for 209 to bring in video (presumably unlocking it for v1 and v2 handsets in the process). It's worse to know it's technically feasible, and that the current sensors can do video of some sort. Here's to hoping the CMOS job postings for Apple come through soon.

Demo of the quality here and here - both from Scott Stevenson. Hit the large versions to truly see the potential.

Whilst there are some very nice HD camcorders going round - they're triple the price currently.

Wonder if there will be a way of reading a memory card into an iPod or iPhone as storage of the files. I'm pretty sure there was a device that enabled you to copy from iPod to iPod.

SIGGRAPH

SIGGRAPH throws up a lot. There is a video on fastcompany.tv with Scoble and a professor I think from Harvard talking about recent events that year.
http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/videoenhancement/videoEnhancement.htm
shows something like it.

You can delete sections of the image post production. Get some pictures without a subject, or with something in, then take the video, then merge the two. Either add or subtract whatever you want.

This is going beyond any repetitive simple pattern being used to alter a section of an image. This is large alterations. the tech has been there in different guises, but to see it after a while, you see the jumps the area is making. It could be used for good, but also for bad.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

When wikis go wrong. Why salsa deserves better.

Why wikis are sometimes not the answer

A site calling itself salsanirvana.com is just asking for review. Is it nirvana for a salsero? The site is based on the premise of making a wiki for people interested in finding information about salsa around the world.

It's in format, very similar to wikipedia.org. Searching for London, I get directly to the London page. Unfortunately, it currently has only 1 company listed - LondonSalsa. If you try and find it the old fashioned way, you have to navigate through 3 pages just to get there. Very inefficient. I'll admit it's primarily for those in San Diego, or Texas - if you live there, you will be in luck.

It is a little disconcerting to have a .com site for what is being marketed as a Copyleft site, with wiki intentions. Whilst I know MediaWiki, and it's one of the few systems around currently, I pine for Snow Leopard's wii system to go Internet, rather than just stay intranet.

My feeling is that salsanirvana is barking up the wrong tree. But this is all terribly web 1.0. Where's the mashup? Where's the simplicity hiding harnessed power?

Salsajive.co.uk is one example of something a little better: It splits listings into weekly clubs/classes, special events, news, chat room (forum), then submission/modification sections for these.

For my money - a Google map mashup may be part of the answer. Why navigate 3 pages, when you can just pop your desired location in, and not only find out classes and events locally, but also see what's happening nearby, and have a great way to get traffic, picture, navigation information. Beyond that, by actually making a salsa "overlay" for want of a better word, you can then link each event or class to reviews, and also video, pictures and more.

An (iPhone) web app

Whilst a fully blown app would be great, A web app would still work within any browser, on Macs and PCs. The premise could get ported over, and features added, but it would demo and showcase the concept.

Concept 1: An iPhone web app showing a map locasting salsa classes & events.

Start with up to date information about salsa classes. The UK and the US would be more than enough to get started with. Possible uses in conjunction with a current up to date database, or from scratch. Depending on web scraping/copyright, it could be a relatively quick thing to do.

Convert this into a KML form. I'd imagine that it would be better to have 1 database, and then give the classes a day of the week tag, and hopefully have a 1 time period only tag for events.

This in my naive mind, seems to run into the problem that KML and Google maps mashups don't really push the possible uses for geotagging calendar events either recurring or non-recurring. I'd imagine digging into this would probably find this was not entirely accurate.

The end result wanted is a search function: You type in London. You get a view, you pick a day or date you want to salsa. You then zoom in, and see what's happening. If you're interested in an event, click on the pin, get the address, zip/post code, contact telephone. So you can call them, or add them into your phone, or Outlook etc.

Why Google? Proprietary styles just seem to be awful
The other is that you could add review information on the back of this.

The bad news is that of all the web sites i've contacted (salsajive.co.uk etc) they've all not replied, or not really had an appetite to change any of this.

The good news is that there is a market for this. It's not too hard coding really - in the raw form, it's linking an updating KML file to a web app that shows this. Not rocket science, but not ABC ObjC.

Even better news is that there seems to be a desire for this, and people are wanting to try things to see what works. Maybe using a wiki in this particular way is a false start, but for many other functions, it could work. There are a lot of people who would say yes to trying salsa, given a nudge and the right encouragement. There are a lot looking to see what's on, what they could try. For my money, the salsa scene, like many others, hasn't yet quite caught on to the possibilities of the new media that popped out in the last few weeks :)

But there is progress: Ritmo Bello and the salsa meetup.com meet up group for their salsa, Anthony Persaud's HD video podcasts - with linked youtube streams, for very easy on the go access for referral, catch up and review.

I wish Apple would get their act together for video - qik.com and youtube upload would be a scream, and create big opportunities and developments. The flip camcorder is the nearest thing currently, with rivals popping up. But with the iPhone coming from the fully fledged PC side, i'd hope the 2 sides - video recording and a computer that fits in your pocket, that also does calls - can meet up soon.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Airlines axe 60 million seats. And Heathrow terminal 5 was built over
a stable oil price, and a big increase in travel, as the base assumptions
that made it viable.
Here's your sign.

Civilisation in denial, as Monbiot has been known to say.

Don't know why psychologists haven't done more papers about the
denial complex we have about the future.

The details from The Guardian

Costs of expansion The economic case for expansion calculates net benefits to the UK economy of £5bn over 60 or 70 years if a third runway is built by 2020 and if restrictions on landings and take-offs are lifted. The key to this argument is so-called generated user benefits, which estimate the value of flights that are created by extra runway capacity and are valued at £9bn. Without their contribution, the SEI report states, the costs of expansion would outweigh the benefits.
The £9bn figure is calculated by estimating the difference between the maximum fare a passenger would pay to travel through Heathrow and the lower fare they would pay if a third runway unleashed a fresh supply of cheap tickets. That figure is then multiplied by the number of new customers that an expanded Heathrow could attract.
However, the argument starts to look fragile if prices do not fall and more people do not fly, the SEI report adds. "If demand for flights is smaller than the DfT expects, or if airfare is higher (owing to increases in fuel prices, for example), then generated user benefits will be smaller, and so too will the total benefits of airport expansion," said SEI. The government predicts that the number of air passengers using UK airports will double at least from 228 million a year to between 460 million and 540 million in 2030, with the number of Heathrow flights rising from 480,000 a year to 702,000 if a new runway is added.
Passenger growth forecasts also came under attack. The predictions in the consultation document are based on a projected oil price that varies from $65 a barrel in 2006 to $53 a barrel in 2030, which in turn underpins predictions of low ticket prices that will boost demand for air travel.
The SEI report said the government is "strangely out of step with common predictions for oil prices", going against a futures market that predicts a price of $140 a barrel in 2016.

Snow Leopard



A timeline of Snow Leopard. Core innovation indeed.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Water water everywhere

and not a drop to currently efficiently and economically use as a power source via solar power and some catalytic action.

Whilst you have to be cautious about these things, it's interesting to see the catalytic reaction of water to hydrogen and oxygen can be done at RTP (room temperature & pressure).

Wired has the article.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Naming children

The Baby Name Wizard, at babynamewizard.com/voyager graphically shows how names have changed. It looks like most of the "biblical"/Gospel names (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) all peaked in the 70s.
The main point is that the number of different names has increased - and the top names are a much smaller percentage of the total babies named.

Another fun point, is seeing the fast relative rise of less well established/previously conventional names. A rise in names starting with Q, and Y for example.
For example, Tom seems to be now less popular than Tomass. So there are more crazy cats being named than Toms...

In a sex obsessed world, why so few legal bordellos?

//Time to rewatch before writing. Consider the below a stub article

Having watched the Women's Institute (WI) programme on Channel 4, it did seem to me, that there were issues between the various positions taken.

UK - Estblishments for prostitution not legal, but some given a blind eye. Given the apparent number per county, it must be fairly well hidden, and fairly well tolerated.


UK Holland New Zealand
Worker's agreement No No Yes
Legal No No Yes


Why no not for profit brothels? The WI members who went out to Nevada didn't seem to like the Bunny Ranch style, but did like the New Zealand laws.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Get a Mac. What were Apple's messages?

Apple has had a long running Get a Mac campaign (" hello i'm a PC", "hello i'm a Mac" ads).



So here's a pretty exhaustive list below . Apple's got some pretty strong points. Microsoft's 2 years too late response? Mojave "experiment", which even Dvorack is fuming about.

N. American campaign
Accident – Magnetic power cord
Angel/Devil – iPhoto
Better – Handling media - Music, pictures, video
Better results – Home movie making
Boxer- PC wants to rumble – not down without a fight Mac sees it not as a competition but rather people switching to a computer that's simpler and more intuitive.
Breakthrough – Problems for PC with software & hardware
Choose a Vista – Vista’s licensing problem
Computer Cart – Cryptic Windows errors, and their frequency
Counselor – Mac being compatible with PC, complementing PC on Excel
Flashback – Ability of Mac to make a website and home movie
Genius – Mac’s Apple Genius Bar
Gift Exchange – iPhoto of Mac, Programming language of the 2 OSs
Goodwill – Nearly Christmas goodwill
Group – Vista issues - isn’t working as it should, errors
iLife – iPod, iTunes, iLife coming with every Mac
Meant for Work – Stickerless well designed aesthetic Mac vs…
Misprint - PC World - "Fastest Windows Vista notebook tested that year was a Mac
Network - Mac & PC can network together, but Mac is compatible with other hardware without needing as much driver installation
with virtually all new hardware.
Now What – The complexity in buying a PC vs. a Mac, Apple stores, personal shoppers, workshops
Office Stress – Mac’s Microsoft Office 2008 & Mac compatibility with PC
Out of the Box – Macs can work straight from the box (No step 3 )
Pep Rally – Mac’s #1 status on college campuses, in-built iSight camera, stable OS
Party is Over – Need for upgrades to use Vista and peripherals and software incompatability
Podium – Denial about Vista’s problems, compatibility issues, new features of Mac OS X, downgrading of Vista to X, "It's not about what Vista can do for you, it's what you can buy for Vista."
PR Lady – Bad use of PR by Microsoft, negative public reaction to Vista, downgrading, switching to Mac
Referee – WSJ comments that Leopard is better & faster than Vista
Restarting – Freezing/rebooting issues of Vista/XP
Sabotage – Delusional PR about Vista/XP
Sad Song – Switchers to Mac, Vista’s issues,
Sales Pitch – Mac’s increasing popularity, badly done Windows’ sales pitches
Santa Claus – Nearly seasonal goodwill
Security – PC is coming to a sad realization "cancel or allow" (UAC)
Self Pity – Mac has run Microsoft Office for years
Stuffed – Crapware on new PCs, iLife in comparison
Surgery – Upgrades needed to g of spyware and viruses on Mac OS X
Viruses – “114,000 known viruses for PCs." Lack of viruses for Mac
Work vs. Home – Mac can do podcasts, movies.
WSJ – Mac’s favorable review in WSJ
Yoga –PC unfortunately had “bad Vista energy", problems

Web exclusive campaign
Banging – Problems with Vista
Hiding – Viruses, spyware, the pain of scanning
Knocking – Vista’s driver issues
PC Turf - How PCMag and PCWorld have given good reviews for Mac
Sign –DON'T GIVE UP ON VISTA". GIVE UP"…"ON VISTA".
Not – WSJ - "Leopard is better and faster than Vista"
Emergency Refresh - "Vista... one et Vista, Macs compatibility with peripherals
Tech Support – Mac’s built in webcam vs. lack of ease of installing one on a PC
Time Machine – Time Machine
Touché – Mac says "And I'm a PC too…the only computer you'll ever need."
Trust Mac – Spyware on PC, lackof the biggest blunders in technology?" -CNET.com; "It's time for a Vista do-over" - PC Magazine; "Mac OS X Leopard: A Perfect 10" - InfoWorld.
PC Newswire – Potential headlines – glitches, downgrading

Wasn't just N. America, or the UK...

Friday, 1 August 2008

Where ideas may occur

getfreshminds.com has an article on where & when the best ideas happen here - Can you spot the number of places that actually include being in your place of work?

Commuting to & from work
Daydreaming at work
Doing anything mindless
Doing nothing
Doing something that feeds your soul
Early in the morning
Exercising
Hanging out with friends
Having fun
In the bathroom
In the kitchen
Joking with friends
Late at night
On the toilet
Organizing things
Reading books outside your field
Relaxing
Surfing the internet
Taking a break
When you least expect it

There are a lot of examples given related to exercise, during/post, but suprisingly little along the lines of "at a cubicle, under pressure". As the poll mentions, "exertion and stress are associated with coercion and motivation more than they are with inspiration".

The ideachampions.com pdf is here
The headings, which infer some of the more interesting findings:
Top 35 catalysts
Social vs. Solitary Innovation and Mind States
Mind states
Motion & stillness
Time of day

Most organizations still fail to see the productive value of such “down time.” In the name of ”getting the job done,” they produce more overload and stress than is healthy for a culture of innovation. The obsessive pursuit of efficiency is often framed, spun, and sold as “innovation.” We think this is a misrepresentation. Great ideas do not issue from efficiency tweaks. A constant drum roll of incremental quality improvement can be another way to keep workers heads down. It rarely spurs the creation of truly imaginative and disruptive ideas, or leads to next generation products.

It's quite damning, when you look at what most companies provide or expect, versus the representation of states conducive to ideas through the poll

- In terms of how to get ideas (brain storming as a group/pairing)
- When/where getting ideas (daydreaming, out of normal work hours/locations)

Just looking at the top 10 ranked catalysts for best ideas gives some more thoughts for business:

happy, inspired, immersed,
collaborating, brainstorming, analysing the problem, daydreaming,
reading, driving & commuting.

Sound like your group meetings/workplace? For ideas in the company idea box, the above helps.

Race to the Sun

EDF Energy (France's 35% state controlled electricity company) recently announced a 22% rise on gas prices, 17% rise on electricity prices.

And just this morning announced they've moved away from the deal to take over British Energy. British Energy's 1 coal power station and 8 nuclear power stations producing 1/6th of Britain's energy currently. The deal apparently was central to plans to replace the nuclear reactors which are basically at the reaching the end of their usable shelf-life. The French reactors were never the safest, despite protestations.

I think we should have a batch of entrepreneurs, that actually give a damn about this planet. Pop them on Dragon's Den:

First to get a feasible VC backable plan to link a solar farm to the EU electricity grid (and by EU I mean the UK), wins. I can imagine several Dragons getting rather excited about exclusive rights to either site solar farms / set up and own a supergrid.

Where's our engineering prowess or pride in moving on this front? Give RIBA an Stirling work overseas prize. Get Gehry to make some curvy parabolics - the Guggenheim is halfway there already. Get Jonathan Ive onto portable panels. Wouldn't it be marvellous if new build monstrosities actually had by law to include a high percentage of solar panels? (Towering Innuendo, and your dark solar panel friendly stripes - i'm looking at you).

If we have 100 months (on likely estimates, we have less), it would it a useful idea to actually start doing something in the right direction. Sometime very soon, the market prices for renewable power versus non-renewable will finally be a big enough incentive. Where did Buffet put his money fairly recently?