format wars, winner: DVD. again.

December 26th, 2007

750,000 HD DVD players and 2.7 million Bluray players have been sold in the last 18 months that the formats have been available. In those BluRay numbers are about 2 Million PS3 consoles included. 4 Million Bluray discs have been sold, 2.6 Million HD-DVD ones. Which comes down to 1.5 Bluray and 3.5 HD-DVDs per device.

The DVD of “Knocked up” alone sold more often than all HD-DVD and Bluray formats combined. I wonder how the marketing budgets would compare.

In 1998 9.8 Million DVD Discs had been sold. Almost ten discs for each player that was out there. People loved DVD. They still do. As for the two replacement formats they could care less it seems. And that’s only partly a problem of the rivaling formats. I think that DVD is good enough for people. Most simply have neither the hardware setup nor the desire to spend allot of money for the extra resolution that the new formats provide.

Here the DVD hardware sales:

315,136 1997 (April-December)
1,089,261 1998
4,019,389 1999
8,498,545 2000
12,706,584 2001
17,089,823 2002
21,994,389 2003
19,999,913 2004
16,147,823 2005
19,788,279 2006
10,252,893 2007 (January - July)

sources: current HD numbers past DVD device numbers, reversed via the linux ‘tac’ command. I had no idea it did exist. DVD disc numbers Warner DVD sales in 1998 DVD sales in 1998 and 1999

mass media?

December 20th, 2007

Almost a year ago 0.02% of all Americans bought a specific record. And it became the number #1 of the Album charts. One in 5,000!

fourty some years ago one in 200 US Americans went to buy a specific Beatles record the day it came out.

Even six years ago the Beatles convinced one in 600 people to buy a record in the week it became available.

the horror!

December 5th, 2007

what could go wrong if Siemens and the BBC team up? everything

I am sure there are lots of projects where people try really hard to push a rope. Instead of pulling on it. If the structures involved are big enough they will try. What a waste of everybodies time!

what Annie said

December 4th, 2007

Annie Leonard talks about stuff Whoever she is.

I am with her. To a point. The breastmilk part is a bit much, and on technology she is just plain wrong. Which discredits the whole piece somewhat. And that is a real shame. Since the whole consumerism / consumption stuff weighted against diminishing returns in respect to happyness is a very important point. And there are others in this presentation that are pretty obvious and get equally ignored. Still worth the link, and maybe even worth watching.

paid to blog

December 3rd, 2007

Matt Cutts , the google quality czsar, explains why they reduced the importance of weblogs participating in pay per post programs. I feel the same way and block them since May in BlogsNow.

Interestingly, and extremely simplified, I admit, it seems to be the business model of Google to sell the truth. Which makes it valuable. They steer most of the internet traffic. But if they would fail, people would notice. As long as Yahoo and MSN still exist and could in theory kinda half ass a hypothetical un-ethical google if it came to it, it’s good busyness for for Google to stick to the truth.

Which is not what usually is going on:

A question asked, and no answer:

Same pattern here:

So, my simple reaction is, if people like politicians and Apple-PR are not answering questions, then I will not listen to what they are trying to say. Why should I?


December 1st, 2007

17 years ago Germany got reunited. Yet, CNN did not get around to reflect this change on the maps they use for their weather. Actually, that map was acurate before 1990. What kind of computers that can deal with map images did people have back then? I would guess you would have actually real trouble to find a file from back then.

No wonder some people have strange ideas about Europe:

No news in the West

November 14th, 2007

Sony supports Divx on their PS3

When DVD came out there was a format war as well. Between what we know as DVD and something also called Divx. Not related to the format that Sony now supports. Or maybe just related in that they represent the opposite corners of the media/business spectrum: The old Divx was a system that would only play discs after they had been enabled via the phone (it’s that old). You would buy cheaper movies (around 5-8 US) and could watch them for 48 hours after the purchase. After that you would need to pay if you like to watch them again. Studois like Dreamworks held out of for years betting on this format. It folded. But it was a reality. Hard to believe these days.

According to Sony’s CEO the format war between HD-DVD and Bluray got into a stalemate. Great thing for a format to go with this concept into the shopping season. Some big shopping mall sold HD-DVD players for 100 US$. If there would be HD-DVD and Bluray players for a 100$ each then the format war would be over. Peaceful coexistense. Not the margins that the hardware vendors had hoped for. But the luckier ones of them, if not most, make flat screen panels anyway. Those run well above one thousand dollars. And each HD-DVD and bluray playe would be an argument for a 1920×1080 panel. If those companies would be able to explain this to their clients.

Having two players may sound annoying, but most people have heaps of devices around their TVs anyway: Game consoles, Set Top Boxes, Tivo & Co, DVD players, VHS deck, another two devices might not matter. Of course all this crap looks pretty hideous once piled up. And then there is the remote control debacle. And connecting the stuff is an interesting challenge.

Americans spend more than a billion hours a day in front of their entertainment centers. And -boy- do they spend money on hard- and software. Yet, the average ‘media temple’ they pay service to each day is not much more than pile of crap.

So what about PS3 and the new-Divx? Hm. I have no idea. All I know is that the PS2 will outsell the PS3 this Christmas again, and I doubt that will change next year.

voice to text applications

November 7th, 2007

Since a while I am using Callwave. And I must say that I am very very happy with it. It’s really great to get your voicemails transcribed as an email. I am amazed how far voice to text technology has gotten so far. It’s sometimes humorous. But more importantly, it’s usually possible to ‘get’ the general direction of the voice mail. I know who called, what it was about, and the phone numbers people leave have been without any errors so far. Which is really really helpful.

I also like to have one list of incoming messages. It makes staying on top of things much easier and less stressful. Which is allowing me to spend time with actually doing things instead of reacting to it and managing my message stack and todo lists.


November 6th, 2007

the strike has it’s upside

Somebody should sponsor 1 z-year. It’s probably less than car makers spend on crafts services of their commercial shoots in any given week.
No joke.

LA Times’ grid of how TV shows are impacted by the strike


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.

actually, this is brilliant

September 16th, 2007

All good ideas are simple. Like this one. You create a page or a site. Right there. Just write some text, maybe or maybe not add formating. And that’s that. Very nicely done. Now go and play with Jottit.


September 16th, 2007

I have no idea how I came about to find this site devoted to the Scanimate System. I did order both DVDs and am very happy to have done so: They give a very interesting peek into the technology, art etc of those times. Who knew that I would find out eventually how all those apparently not hand drawn animations I saw on Sesame Street were done.

Science allows for it’s demise

September 11th, 2007

This ‘news’ about generating energy from burning saltwater is ridicolous bullshit.

Here we are, using those internets, which are run on computers (just ask Homer) and other products of science to mock it’s very contents and basic laws.

Of course it is an extreme example. But the same principle seem to apply frequently: Those creationists should be consequent and stop using the products and merits of science. All of them. If they don’t like what science has discovered.

Two hundred years ago when people even in the more developed countries were dying left right and center on odd diseases and epidemics there simply was no question: Science was good. Now, that we are reaping all those benefits and so many of us have these careless existences some people think, that the current state of society and wellfare would just be ‘normal’, or god given.Well, it is not. The default is much much more grim. Over the last four hundred years people worked really really hard to make all this possible. It was not easy to harvest all this knowledge our econimies and factories run on. All these efforts were based on the absence of stupity. Now it seems as if some people start to take stupid stuff serious. Since it seems that they can afford to. People living in Rome two thousand years ago were in a similar position. Why would they care? Of all Shakespear plays I liked Coriolanus the least. Now that’s starting to change. Somehow I think that it’s message is not that off after all.

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.

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.

visulisations (ways to)

August 2nd, 2007

A nice list of visualsation approaches. Starts boring with known contenders but then had some nice and interesting and new to me links.

rare clear view on matters

August 2nd, 2007

Naomi Wolf writes about Porn and the influence it has on people’s view of sexuality. While I think that some of her conclusions are a bit simplifying her essays is truly an exception. Compared to the booming multi billion dollar porn industry there is virtually no public discurse about the matter. Many views and discussions get stuck and some moral questions that originate in a world that seized to exist a very long time ago. Arguments that first were heard in the 70s, and that made sense then, can still be heard when the matter gets attention. Which is similar misplaced as if Pfizer would try to use 500 year old alchemists notes to create medication. The world, specificially the world of media consumption, and precisly the ubiquitousness of porn have changed. Changed in matters that are breath taking. Much of the problems in the middle east for instance originate from the clash of the availability of the entire internet with the moral framework from a couple of hundred years ago. Porn, like it or not, is a reality of the media landscape. It grew radically while nobody was looking. It’s high time that we pay attention and figure out how society can exist with 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.

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.

hack tv

June 18th, 2007

From what I read (cursory) the tchech artist Roman Tyc replaced the usual live landscape images to been at this time of day with this recording. This seems to be a rare case that the local german paper reported such mixed / pseudo news before BlogsNow. Usually it’s the other round.

Roman Tyc did replace some traffic signs in April in Praque


June 15th, 2007

I don’t agee with all its points. But it has been a while since there was a ‘Barry says’ like piece.


June 12th, 2007

animals on the underground

via strangemaps via BlogsNow (of course)

Some days I like the internet. Does it not only have sites for strange maps but also for the history of the button
and -I am sure- all sorts of other ones.

It’s been 50 years since Mao said “Let 100 flowers blossom”.

Of course there are all sorts of flowers.

small screens

June 8th, 2007

Somehow there is this long history of really small screens. And most of them were failures. OK, Sony became known by shipping a load of portable TVs via one of the first 747s to NYC. But apart from that, the watchman wasn’t really that sucessful. Neither was the iPod with video capabilities. There are actually much better devices in terms of screen size or price. But none of them really caught on. I think the problem is, that there is no real content and need for such a device. It’s technical feasibility seems to lure people into thinking otherwise. But how often do you find yourself wishing to watch a couple of quare inch screen? When? As much as the original walkman concept of having a mobile music source with headphones was a hit the mobile visual pendant is a miss. It’s not flying. And I honestly doubt that the iPhone will change that. Nothing will. How many of your chat sessions are video chats? Exactly. Yet, the picture-phone had the same feasibility driven shadow life for a while. Lateral progress I would call these things: Something is a hit. And then people just extend the concept to the side. Cinemas add first sound and then color. Both times it’s been well perceived. Smelling is another sense! Just that it did not work. Walkman -> Watchman. Same deal. Ears are happy with a walkman on, let’s feed the eyes now. It’s probably easy to pitch. Stupid board member can ’see’ this simple lateral extensions. As Homer Simpson said “They have the internet on computers now”


June 1st, 2007

morphing had been around for a while.
All of these images as well. Still needed youTube to get this out:

I am not a fan of this implementation. The idea itself is great. A bit more understand of art history would have been helpful. The track I can mute, the jumps in time and obvious omissions are harder to fade out. Maybe this time the rip-off in a commercial (bank, insurance, dove soap?) will be better than the you-tube-inspiration?


May 26th, 2007

Sometimes there is a refreshing new view in acts of crime. Since the usual rules don’t apply, people get to be innovative. Or at least a bit out of the ordinary.

this could be big

May 23rd, 2007

I hope that the people at Autonet Mobile were so smart to just put an EVDO card into a box and share it with via wifi. If they do it as simple as that, then they could be up to something. If it works as simple as it could in this design, and if they do a halfway decent job in marketing etc then they could be huge: They don’t care about content. No expensive birds. Just a quick little hardware hack. Sprint and Verizon will try to get their own boxes out, once they get it. Why they didn’t offer this in the first place? Well, croporate stupidity and ignorance has no limits I guess.

epic porn for the duke of count

May 22nd, 2007

If you ever should grow tired of movies as a concept then this might bring you back within a couple of minutes:

performance art

May 19th, 2007

I am usually not a big fan of performance art. The whole ‘let’s put a human in a Zoo’ situation is so predictabiliy of interest.
This art installation combines it with a painball gun controlled over the internet, which isn’t new either, and makes it actually interesting. Horrible too.


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?

BlogsNow is back

May 16th, 2007

So I kicked BlogsNow back into existence. There will be a twist to it in a couple of weeks.

Here the things I found so far:

a dead bunny

writing seems to be the thing today:

a book promo

and this:

McLuhan anybody?

new way to get rich

May 16th, 2007

Somebody managed to send an email out that the iPhone would be delayed. In the following hours that it took the official Apple PR machine to react and ‘catch the bad meme’ the Aaple did go down by a couple of dollars. Then it rebound. Somebody could have made 3% in a couple of hours.

update 5/17/07:

techcrunch says that the false engadget news wiped of four billion dollars in market cap in six minutes. New travels fast it seems.

copied for nineteen years

May 6th, 2007

couldn’t find a quicktime :-(

and in the meantime Kodak sells more film

May 5th, 2007

In the last quarter Kodak’s entertainment imaging unit rose 8 percent

the two tunnels of love

May 4th, 2007

Interestingly enough rocketboom seems still to be sourcing vilodex.

The Lester Bookbinder Reel seems to be a vilodex exclusive right now. While googling around for other works of his I came accross these two videos. One is by him,
the other one: I don’t know.