about those two years

September 20th, 2007

So, my iPhone fell down. And the ‘volume up’ button got stuck. Bad luck. Then Apple lowered the price and the 4GB Version gets sold for 299 right now. So I thought I get a new one. I asked in the Apple store if I would need to renew my contract to activate the new iPhone. They said this would not be necessary. They said that I just would need to replace the SIM card from the old to the new phone.

Of course that is not the case. Calling Apple got me the answer that AT&T would be responsible for this. Well, it’s not me that did choose AT&T. It was Apple that did that for me. Calling AT&T they told me that the only way to activate the new iPhone is to restart the two year commitment with them.

By now I really hate both companies for their blatant ways of trying to rip people off. Even though they seem to win this time, I will make god damn sure that they will not come out of this on the upperhand in the long term. They neither can run nor hide, and I will get both of them. With interest, and fun-bonus. They deserve it for been taking for a ride, as they try to do it with their customers.

NYTimes

September 18th, 2007

Suddenly the NYTimes regained her relevance again. They could have done it all the, and become really great, but the very same corpo-idiots that tried to charge for the normal page think that there is subscription revenue in the years 1922-1986. Idiots. Idiots at the NYTimes. What a funny thought.

at&t is a waste of time

September 4th, 2007

So, trying to talk to AT&T about those outragous data charges is a complete waste of time. Their client service is as nightmarish as it always has been. I will now start telling Apple at all possible moments how badle AT&T sucks. After all, they forced me to deal with them. AT&T does not care. They never did, and will never. But Apple got where they are by caring. One would like to think.

high tech urinal

August 14th, 2007

Over here everything is high tech. Pointless or not. Of course there are ads on the paper towels. Not real time printed blog content (yet). Missing urinal feature: real time analysis of blood alcohol. Bonus for womens restrooms: instant pregnancy test. Imagine the possibilities: Google could place ads for abortion options and/or pregnancy products on the paper towels. Right now health insurance companies could track your lifestyle a little bit via your credit card trace. Technically they could. Not sure if that is legal, and if they are smart enough to do so. But with personalised mini lab in every toilet you would get an interesting trace of activities. Of course lab technology does not follow the trend of hard drives of other micro electronics and computer related stuff. So this brave new world option will remain scifi for quiet some time. Possibly forever, since we just might run out of cheap energy -that is the basis for all of your lifestyle after all- before high tech might become that sophisticated.

Update:
Like with any sci-fi story there is a google angle popping up minutes after I ramble about it. Coincidency? Of course. Almost everything is. Actually. Get used to it.

New Balance “Zip”

July 30th, 2007

The nice people at Brand New School released their New Balance spot “Zip” online. They are a great company to work with. Very creative and still hands down and respectful to the matter. It was a pleasure to work on this job. A truly amazing team! Not sure why they wrote something about me in their copy for the spot: Everybody else deserves the praise that I got there.

god damn stupid iphone piece of shit

July 17th, 2007

so, got an iPhone. Pretty much had to: one in 150 hits on Interdubs is from those devices. Wouldn’t I have been so busy with a job that could not be rescheduled then there would be a special Interdubs version for iPhone already. But at least I know now that Interdubs does work with iPhone. If you drank enough cool aid and read enough Apple press releases then you will drop ‘the’ from a sentence like then one before this one. I don’t. The, the. Just to make up for it. The the the. Take that Steve. The!

Sure, sliding your finger over the surface and the content moves along, that’s kind a nice. Of course that screen is really pretty. Really bright too. Glaring california sun? Phew, it shines right back atcha.

As a phone the Razr worked better though. Reception is not good. Bad in many cases. Not sure if it is AT&T or the device. Holding that big (and occasionaly pretty darn hot) thing to your head needs some getting used to. The head phones can be used as a headset. But I don’t want to run around like that, and they pick up a decent amount of ambient case.
Visual voicemail leaves me unimpressed, since I had callwave before. Which stopped working. And there was no way to make it work again. Thanks, AT&T! Idiots. Let’s see how roaming will do, and how much it will cost.

Telco’s in general seem to be the modern day incarnation of a Kafka book. They sell two things: technology and service. First one does not really work that well after all. Second one is a joke beyond belief. I spare you the details, but having dealt with Sprint, Cingular and AT&T as of late I think they are all the same. Verizon was not any better either.

Enters the iPhone. And everything was supposed to get better. Yeah, right. Still a cellphone. Edge is pathetically slow. While it’s taking a minute or sometimes 3 to get my gmail email people calling will get voicemail. Which I will receive. Maybe an hour later. Using Wifi is kinda ok. Other things aren’t. I have allot of international numbers. Those start with +. At least they did on the Razr. Not so in AT&T land. Even though they get recognised as caller ID I have to add 011 in front of them. Maybe there is a setting for that, but why should there be??? Changing a number is not possible where you have the interface. You have to go back into contacts. Not even Microsoft writes such cumbersome interfaces these days. There are countless examples where the the iPhone (double the on purpose to rub in) is more stupid than -let’s say- a zune. Which is supposed to be pretty dumb+dull.

Then I dropped it. In a way I dropped my Razor daily. Of course it hit the little volume up button. And now the button is stuck, which means that I have the ‘Volume up’ overlay on the screen. I went to the apple store. They told me that I could by a new one. Such were my options. They are all gluttoning about ‘their’ success these days. Apple people are pretty full of themselves. Some are. Well, they don’t have to use that darn phone, since they will wait since they get their free one that Herr Jobs has promised to them. When they have one, there might have been even be an update that fixes all those idiotic problems. Like safari crashing. Like trying to make a call and the thing jumping into your face like a bad windows popup asking which closed wifi network you would like to join. Like not being able to bookmark a location in Maps that you have navigated to. Like Weather information going away if you are not connection to Edge. Like not being able send to photos with one of these Apple error messages telling you: “An Error has occured”. No shit. Coverflow, great. Actually not. It would be nice if the stupido phone would play podcasts one after each other. Like all the iPods do that I owned. Battery life? We need shorter days. Like 18 hours? So that the phone lasts a full day. Wifi seems to be biggest battery eater, followed by listening to the iPod. Not sure about Cover flow: I don’t use it. And frankly I think it’s pretty darn stupid. Like so much on this phone. As I am writing this aapl is at 138. I will not give the phone back. But it aint so great - right now. It just gets to show how low the phone bar actually is. Oh, on my razor I was able to change ring tones. The camera in it is a joke. They are all bad. But this one in particular. The Razr could record video. Maybe the iPhone should have an audio recording capability?? or how about GPS? At least via triangulation. It’s pretty lame that I have to tell it where I am. Since it knows, when it has connection to cell towers. The calculator? Another Dieter Rahm rip off. But, please, can we have a bit more functionality? Maybe if people turn the phone they get a scientific one? The stop watch if ok. I need one. Of course it is dumbed down like crazy.

Overal I would say that the iPhone is about 17% there. Make that 17.3%.

dropping the 12th shoe

June 20th, 2007

youTube player on iPhone
This was the 12th icon, missing so far.

While on wifi through connect via local internet connection the iPhone might be a cute little viewer. Much like the Sony PSP was back in the day: 480 x 272 is the resolution on Sony’s device, while it is 480 x 320 on the iPhone. Somewhat tragic, that the actual hardware path (internet->wifi->device) was already available on the PSP. Two year head start. Wasted. Well, they sold 10 million PSPs in the US.

The real innovation would have been GPS. I think that devices should be fucking aware where they are. I would like the next MacBook Pro have EVDO
built in. Including GPS support. I am sure there are ample applications one could think of, once devices are location aware. It takes only 2 floats to store this precisly. Without any compression applied it would take a mere 10GB to store my location since I was born. One record for each second that I was alive.

how stuff gets made

June 15th, 2007

a Motherboard get’s produced

Being a child of the last century, and having built machines, that, well, actually build machines, I might have unusual high interest in things how actually get made. Looking at America in 2007 you might think that it needs is marketing and malls to provide people with ’stuff’. But there is this little -often ugly- detail: ’stuff’ needs to get made. And before that, it has to be engineered. Mostly elsewhere.

spam, human one

May 21st, 2007

BlogsNow is back. The added spam detection seems to work. Since I never trust new code, especially not when I wrote it, I pay a bit more attention to which blogs get flaged as spam. Once they are flaged they are ignored. This shows the blogs that google had seen updates for in the last ten seconds. Good luck finding a legit one. There are in there. Somewhere.

Today I thought I had found another bug. Blogs like these: example example example example example example started showing up being spam. Although they are written by people. After looking into it I realized that these people participate in a ‘pay per post’ scheme: They get paid if they blog about something. Sandwich men. I decided to ban all those blogs. No matter if it’s a spam bot or a human being getting paid to write his/her own copy and flagging it all-so-PC with ‘paid post’: The effect is the same. Links from those sources can not be trusted. I am aware that I delete lots of mid range blogs with that. But then, I don’t care: There is no short supply in blogs. BlogsNow can afford to look for the pure ones. Interesting how spam-detection can be a good training ground for other, yet related, schemes.

the break up

May 17th, 2007


The Break Up
Uploaded by geertdesager

no comment on the ending. OK. Maybe just one: lol. Of all people why are those saying this? They are the worst offenders of what they critisize.

images

May 17th, 2007

images of fast food: ads vs.reality

I would not be surprised if you would ask people what they just ate and showed them both pictures they would pick the one from the advertisement. Not the one from reality. The romans left their vast cities for centuries to people that had no clue how you could make such things. The Colosseum was actually a housing complex for most of the 2000 years it existed. Our civilisation will leave billions of silver discs with all sorts of ‘realities’. Like movies, TV shows and games. People might not be able to make new ones, but they sure will inhabit our cultural spaces. Fake or not: we don’t care today. We eat the burger from the billboard rather than the one in our mouth. Why should people care more in 200 years when realities might have deterioated even more.

Want fries with that?

bad sci fi

April 13th, 2007

Intel showing us some bad sci-fi:


The problem with bad sci-fi is the same problem that most bad things have: Lack of originality, inspiration and flawless execution. A year ago Intel, Microsoft and Samsung got very excited about UMPC. While the rest of world simple uttered ‘umpc!’ So it didn’t go anywhere. Nor will it ever. Intels new ultra mobile vision is as inspiring as Ariel

DVD sales

March 28th, 2007

Maybe there would be more DVD been sold when they would not be such a pain to be opened. Between those layers of plastic and the stupid mandatory copyright notice and some random preview, menu stuff it takes up to 3 minutes to get to what I want: Watch the thing. Time not well spend.

cingular sucks ass

February 22nd, 2007

Phone companies. Now they call Cingular AT&T. Whatever that means.
I realized that I picked the wrong minutes plan. Too high. Trying to change it.
Of course the web form get’s stuck when you try to submit your information.
The Cingular site is the worst orange thing I ever saw.
It will not help if they make it blue again, and call it at@t.
It should work, and it does not:
The autopay feature somehow stopped working. That’s the only
thing that it has to do: pay my bills. The card is right, still works, is still valid and covered.

greyfication

January 7th, 2007


So far botnets have predominantly infected Windows-based computers, although there have been scattered reports of botnet-related attacks on computers running the Linux and Macintosh operating systems.

That’s the NY Times being clueless about Botnets. Good that they write about it. As it is a problem.
Bad that they write so badly about it. The author seems to like ot cover his bases here. “Scattered reports”? God, there are scattered reports about Ant’s playing doom in mongolia. This is as covering. Not more. The reality is that 100% of all botnets are run on Windows machines. There are still no Viruses for OS X. There are MS Office infections that affect the OS X flavor of the product. But the Operating system has been save.

It’s as binary as that. Don’t get me wrong: Apple sucks in some areas. But their OS has had no real life virus infections. People seem to shy away from such binary truths. Easier to throw in a ’scattered reports’ here and there. Pseudo Balance. It’s actually much more harmful than it seems: It leaves loopholes. It kills the truth: Somebody with an intention could quote now the New York Times that there have been Botnets on Linux and OS X. Which is a lie. Not true. The big question that needs a real answer is, if Vista can join the club of predomiantly safe operating systems or not. Unfortunately journalists will not help in finding this out.

The only real weapon against malware is the truth.
Too bad that the New York Times is too afraid to avoid it.

a corporate flash site that does not suck

December 19th, 2006

ILM’s Pirates 2 show and tell

Usually VFX companies have a hard time telling the world about their work. Either they keep their ’secrets close to their chest’ or they simply lack the skills to communicate well. Lately a certain diss-interest of the public can be added to the list: The fact that something is not real in a movie is not worth mentioning anymore. The bar is much, much higher now. And -of course- ILM in Pirates2 reached it big time with Davy Jones. Their site about the fx is surprisingly good, informative and fun.

While looking at the blogs that link to the ILM page I found this 80’s TV piece


at Visual FX blog.
I had no idea that Lasseter / Disney did try to make “Where the wild things are”.

os x server is junk!

November 27th, 2006

People see the shiny rack mountable Apple Servers. And then they make the mistake to buy them. Don’t! They are way to expensive. But the worst is, that they are impossible to administrate: It’s pretty much all different. And then when you spent hours and hours to go through the documentation you just have to realize that what you need is simply not there.

I wanted to change the default umask for a user that creates files on the afp server. Too bad. Not possible.

Using mac laptops since years I get to appreciate that the computer is not getting into the way when I want to do things.
Linux is a bit different, you have to google a bit for what you want to do. But 80% of it is pretty damn easy. OS X is just plain obscure. It really is a waste of time. Nobody should be believe that you actually got a unix box when you buy OS X server. What you get is some perverted BSD box that no sane sysadmin would like to deal with it. Phew.

Just try to use a device under OS X (server or not) if you have any doubts.

worth 1000

November 26th, 2006

worth the visit

digital cameras according to flickr

November 22nd, 2006

Flickr had a nice idea: tracking which cameras are being used by it’s members.

It used to be that consumer data was expensive to gather and somewhat imprecise. In some areas this is not the case anymore. I reckon that Nikon and Canon did spend some serious money in the past to track market share. Maybe there is a way for Yahoo! to make a couple of thousand US$. They need it.

starbucks stole christmas

November 9th, 2006

it’s called a ‘tradition’
For years Christmas was called ‘Holidays’. Now it get’s renamed as a ‘tradition’. Is that new or bad? Certainly not. After all we all know where Santa got his outfit from.

update: Ad Age about the starbucks campaign
It seems as if I did not get why it was on blogsnow where I found it.

vertRamp

November 4th, 2006

Mark Cuban gives a name to the other end of the long tail: “Vert Ramp”

into the face with the interface

November 3rd, 2006

“The interface of a cheeseburger” is one of these Blog entries that validate those 30 Million other blogs with random noise in one simple swoop. If you ever contemplated to create anything that get’s used by a human, be it nuclear power plant, condom or breakfirst table for your dearest one, you could find some great insight in this text from Oliver Reichenstein. At least I think it’s by him. While content and form of the text are pretty nice it seems almost a relief that ‘Information Architects Japan’ messed up the branding for themselves. Sticking Lego’s on business cards won’t help either. Die Kinder des Schuhmachers tragen immer kaputte Schuhe.

bravia

October 17th, 2006

Conceptually it was a well intended follow up: Sony’s Bravia commercial using exploding paint instead of many balls.

Execution wise there certainly are amazing explosions. There are few good camera angles. But most of them are, well, uninspired. The idea of using an abandoned housing project is interesting. Somewhat. I have just seen to many of them being blown up. Somehow you expect them to sink together once they become the object of the camera. But it was not this non delivering on the expectation that broke the spot. It was the unispired music choice together with that I call dismal editing. I can only write this, since I have not looked up yet who did it. It’s easier that way. And I am sure it was the usual clusterfuck of decission making or pure lack therof that pushed this brilliant idea of a follow up into the lower ends of mediocricy. The sport lives from the real Bravia. Not more, not less. A typical sequell that can’t deliver. Too bad they blew it.

why flash sucks (continued)

September 2nd, 2006

Just wondered what a Mini S would cost. They have a website. They have a ‘configurator’. After 5 minutes of trying they lost me. I do have a fast computer am behind a 3-tier T1 and still the website was useless.
I kind of know what a Mini would cost, sure. But I wonder how many people really endure such a crappy interface. Typical case of broken feedback loop: BMW feels they need a ‘configurator’. Since everybody hacks them together in flash they do so as well. The ‘designers’ present it probably on a local network, and nobody analyses the actual CTR and usage on the site once it is up.
Next new car the same people get the job again. Another 100K down the drain …

everywhere

August 18th, 2006

Ads on super market conveyer belts

I wonder why such stuff still gets PR. There are ads on the breakfirst egg, on the paper towel in the public bathroom. If there are blank square inches where human eyeballs come to rest, then some ‘marketing’ person will ‘invent’ a way to put an add there. What’s there to report about it?

Most of it is stupid and it folds. Those abandoned attempts just clutter our surroundings. Like the flat screens in the back seats of a cab in Boston. Outofdate rubbish starts blaring in your direction every five minutes or so. Easy to click off. But still annoying.

One of the best comments on this useless trajectory of the current society was the rsstroom reader last December.

its agency viral day

August 3rd, 2006

it seems

no more hits

July 6th, 2006

Chris Anderson writes about the end of the hit era
His Book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More” that this article is adapted from will be available 7/11.

net neturality

July 4th, 2006

Companies like AT&T and others that move the bits around on parts of the internet and to clients want more money. They realize that companies like Google or Apple/iTunes make a bug or two on the internet. Now they want in on that action. Since it runs on their wires they think they have a valid angle. Which is highly ridiculous. They get paid what they asked for. Providing internet bandwidth was good business. But now they want to be able to charge more for those ‘precious bits’. Like Apple iTunes. Apple could afford it. The download cost is only a small fraction of the 99 cents they get per song. Same with google ads. However, the precedence is ugly. And, worst of all: Nobody stopped big and old and stupid companies like AT&T to provide services like search or music downloads. Except that they are old and stupid companies. Being big didn’t help either. The outrageous aspect is that AT&T feel that they have a birthright on the value inside of the bits they transfer. That is ridiculous. I don’t think that this would need regulation and legislation. Ideally people would understand what’s going on and tell the big telco’s that they don’t get it. If they try to extort google and Co then those companies should expose this. After all: Think of the internet, and think either google or AT&T has to go away. If you think that we would need AT&T to push a couple of bits around then you have been fooled by their brainwash. There are lots of providers and ample net capacity. The real value is in search. And that drives those old telcos crazy.

and of course it’s so predictable what movie executives are thinking now

June 20th, 2006

look, there is a head floating Zardoz like over the uncanny valley

Interesting, and I think pretty smart, move on Warners behalf to put a little “Making of” out there.
Something tells me that Warner will not give Panavision the same nice vendor treatment that R&H enjoyed here on this show.

to apple or not to

June 18th, 2006

Mark responds to a daring fireball post that was triggered by Mark switching from Apple to linux. Or some other open OS.

I agree with Mark 100%, but don’t have the time or nerve to do something about it: I let my personal data march knowingly into slavery. Be it apple or google. I use them, and now they own what I accumualed.

Yet, going on in gmail. I could get back to the copy on my linux machine, but it would take a while, since the mail file grew unattended and is unfiltered. So that lump of linux mail is a theoretical possibility.

This is probably what all the current corporate frenzy is about: capturing peoples data in propretiary formats and systems. I am sure that’s how Microsoft keeps their user base. Standards change only very little, people seem to change even less. Not a new thing. Smokers stay smokers. Great product! When ads for smoking are legal then they target the young people. To make them start, but mostly to make them start with a specific brand. Certain brand habits never really change in the life cycle of a consumer. I still use ‘Persil’ for my laundry. If only I could get in the US. It’s neither better nor worse then other powders. It actually rocks, but even if it wouldn’t I would not switch to any other brand any more.

marketing

June 14th, 2006

happy mornings

sold out

Writing this from the fancy Detroit NWA terminal. A building so long that they have a railroad inside. Flying NWA is not that bad: Their airmiles don’t expire. And if you have enough then you have a pretty good chance to get into first class. (Lufthansa: ever wondered why you haven’t seen me a while?) Interesting how much of corporate America operates on ‘Chapter 11′ these days.

I must omit that I caved in and paid 7.95 for internet access. Compared to how little effort it takes to set up wifi I feel that is horribly overpriced. Interestingly there is only ONE wifi provider at all the airports that I have been two.
I would wonder what would happen, if there would be TWO. I would wonder how cheaps could get. Maybe some of them would even install power outlets. The Terminal here got build only a few years ago. Yet, Poweroutles are spaced for vacuum cleaners. That people have laptops, phones and twelve million other things that might need power has escaped airport planers. It’s easy to produce a ridicolous amount of iPods in China in record time. But adjusting little things like power outlet frequencies seems to take forever.

unrelated:
I gonna miss youTube
too bad they will not survive their next bandwidth bill. Chapter 11?