With iPhone 2.0 coming soon, a question I've heard many a current iPhone owner wanting to get the next iPhone ask: what do I do with my old one? This emerging question highlights the early-adopter's plight against the law of diminishing returns. It's doubtful that a current iPhone will fetch more than $100 on eBay. But you never know. This presupposes that people will dump their old iPhones for a new one, but the incentives are there this time around especially with the lowered price, and given our disposable cell phone culture, it's more than … Read more
CNN is now printing one-off American Apparel headline T-shirts. The new feature (in beta) allows you to order them from the CNN web site -- with the headline, time-stamp, and CNN logo on it.
Pretty cool. CNN gets it. Their T-shirt campaign exhibits all the key ingredients of contemporary marketing genius.
Instant: Merchandising in real-time, tangibly tied with world news.
Artificially scarce: The headlines are only available to be printed while the headline is in the current news section.
Customizable/hackable: The T-shirts are customizable. You can put your own headline on them simply by changing the text in the … Read more
Rob Walker, the author of the just-released "Buying in," is a marketing connoisseur, an expert in reading the cultural underpinnings of commerce. In his Consumed column for the New York Times Magazine, he examines how technology shapes consumer culture and vice versa. In tomorrow's piece he elaborates on the history of headphones, and how their role evolved in modern society, from the first Bose set to the Sony Walkman to the iPod earbuds.
With the miniaturization of devices, the public exposure of personal space increased. I remember that when I was 14, I came home from school, … Read more
"I've been thinking recently about my connectivity and mobility and one of the reasons I keep coming back to it is the dissonance I have when looking at the two mobiles I use most often. There's now been many comparisons made between the Nokia N95 and the iPhone. Both best in class so to speak. However, I've struggled to completely understand why the iPhone beats the N95 (for me and I'm also really … Read more
Today being my last day at CNET, I was clearing out my desk and came across a stack of window stickers for all the cars I have reviewed and driven in the line of duty as an editor on the Car Tech channel. Rather than indulge in dewy-eyed reminiscence on my own, I thought I'd share a few of the highlights with you, the readers who have endured--and hopefully occasionally enjoyed--my automotive observations over the past two-and-a-bit years.
If you've ever thought about making professional-quality animations but decided not to because of the cost of the software, your excuse just got up and walked out the door. For Windows, Mac, and Linux, Blender is a free, open-source 3D rendering program that puts the power of the medium back into the hands of the artist.
Blender features a laundry list of animation essentials that can be broken down into categories: Interface, Modeling, Rigging, Rendering, Animation, UV Unwrapping, Shading, Physics and Particles, Imaging and Compositing, and Real Time 3D/Game Creation. The interface, though loaded with complicated tools, is … Read more
A recent Gartner study estimates that 189 billion mobile messages have been sent by U.S. mobile-phone subscribers in 2007. It forecasts 301 billion mobile messages sent in 2008.
If correct, those figures would still account for only a small fraction of the 2.3 trillion messages to be sent across major markets worldwide in 2008 (a 19.6 percent increase from the 2007 total of 1.9 trillion messages). Asia is the biggest mobile-messaging market worldwide. China is in the lead, with approximately 560 billion SMS messages sent in 2007, followed by the Philippines' 430 billion and Japan's … Read more
I was recently shopping for a new bike helmet and I was struck by a realization: Is there another category with lower differentiation amongst the different brands?
Above is a representative sampling of helmets from four different manufacturers: Bell, Giro, Louis Garneau, and Specialized. I've removed the logos. Can you tell one brand from another? I certainly can't. (Answer at the end of the post)
The bike helmet category, so far as I can see, is primarily style driven, as all the helmets have to meet minimum safety standards determined by a couple of third party organizations. The … Read more
Just a mirage? Rick Poynor, in a beautifully honest article for ID Magazine ("Down with Innovation"), takes the "design thinkers," the "innovators through design," or the "design-ovators," as he calls them, head on:
"Design thinkers set great store by business targets, by driving the enterprise forward, because it is exactly what their clients want to hear and it gets them work. Seen from outside the cozy bond of service provider and client, this is a severely limited way of viewing design, and the total domination of current design discussion by this … Read more
Remember the movie The Game, with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn as unlikely brothers, shot before the backdrop of vertiginous San Francisco?
Well, here's a new interface for the city by the Bay: SFZero is "a new representation for the data that's already there. Your mind is full of inaccurate representations that are affecting the way you use the San Francisco data flow, steering you away from interaction and collaboration and toward unproductive reflexive data loops.
SFZero designers are working double shifts to engineer this next-generation interface that will bring you together with your cohabitants to experience … Read more