Jul 26

New uStream Interface

The new uStream interface was launched yesterday and has a few new toys. It allows you to ‘clap’ the presenter, with a rating meeting – the more people who click the higher your rating. But most interesting to me is the instant poll – the stream owner can create instant polls and get a response from their audience. That immediate interaction is fun. As far as I can see there are no further changes from a viewer POV in the palyer, except it looks more shiny and curvy 😉

uStream player

Jul 21

Harry Potter vs the iPhone

Two great launches have taken place over the last few weeks, the Apple iPhone and the seventh and last Harry Potter book. So had did the launches compare?

Facet Harry Potter iPhone
What is it? A book A phone. With extras.
Audience Ostensibly children 9-12. In reality all ages. Gadget freaks and Apple fans with enough cash to spend or parents who would spend the money. Plus speculators looking to make a quick turnaround.
Cost $34.99, although many places discounted $599 plus 2 year phone contract
Queues Yes. Although pre-ordering and common sense meant that they really only formed on the day. Queues reached round blocks; the ones I saw were far larger than for iPhone Yes, some forming 5 days in advance. Press and speculation potential meant people wanted to be first.
Attire School uniform, cloaks, pointy hats (a wizard is not a wizard without one). Face paint. Jeans and t-shirts. HP fans definitely better dressed.
Typical Fan HP fan

Harry Potter fan

Originally uploaded by RachelC

Apple iPhone Launch Palo Alto – Robert Scoble

Originally uploaded by b_d_solis
Celebrities I’m avoiding reports at the moment, so no idea Over and above the tech geek celebs, Spike Jones, Whoppi Goldberg, more people I don’t know. Looking for clues on this one,
Charity Factor Not really – can’t resell it. Some ofthe first people in queues were planning on reselling for charity. Plus they got a lots of PR for being there in the first place.
Scarcity Plenty. Lots and lots all over the place Fears were proved pretty groundless as phones were available without too much rush. Initial auctioning value dropped rapidly
Sales in first days Pre-orders on Amazon over 2m. Just way bigger than the iPhone 500k?
Cool Factor errrrr, It’s a book. Not really much you can do to up the cool factor. ooohhhhhh shiny. Let me touch. It’s shiny. Wins the cool factor hands down.
Usability Only one function. Read it. But at 759 pages it makes a good door stop as well. Does lots of things well and then does not do things that it should do as a convergent device. Plus does somethings badly. Read the reports – they’re mixed. But did I say it’s shiny?
Reuse It’s a once only thing. Once you’ve read it the suspense is gone. re-reading is possible but not as much fun. Years of fun. Lots of things you can do and it has a continuing functionality. Until the battery goes.
Recyclability Yes. Out to the recycle people and back it will come as next week’s newspaper. Probably. But lots of components and chemicals so not that easy
A sequel? No, that’s your lot. The story is over and done with. JK could sit back and enjoy her riches but may produce something else – will it be as good? Yes. Absolutely. In different colours, sizes, functionalities. One that actually works in 3G. This one has a long way to go.

Now I’m off to read the book for the rest of the day. Anyone got things to add?

Jul 19

Twitter friends

Twitter Numbers

Why is that Twitter usually has the numbers on the Left hand side of the image and then when I press refresh, or update a message, the ‘people’ changes to ‘Followers’ and the number changes?

Update: And a few hours after I write this, they update the interface and it’s no longer wonky. We no longer have friends – we just follow or are followed.

Jul 18

Steam Video

I got a little bit of video but hands were shaking too much to do for long. This is about 3 mins after the bang. The roar was the steam pouring out the hole.

Jul 18

Manhattan Explosion

Manhattan Explosion, originally uploaded by RachelC.

I was walking out of the office to the subway, headphones on, minding my own business and just cursing the slow people in front and the tourist taking a photo of the Chrysler building when there was a bang and then a rushing sound. I looked up to find what looked like the centre of Lex and 42nd crossing pouring out smoke about one block in front of me.

The general tendency was to go the other way, so that’s what I did before stopping and taking a few images. Interestingly, that this may have been a bomb was not my first thought – maybe I’ve seen too many on the news but given the upward flow and the continued rushing sound, i thought it was more likely a gas main or something that gave a continuous fuel supply.

I thought I’d go back to the office but that was evacuated but I’m lucky enough to live close enough to walk. So 40 blocks later, the shaking has stopped and I think I’m going for a drink.

Update: In the pub, there were 2 other guys who were around the same area. One of them worked above the steam/transformer explosion and said stones were hitting his 14th story window. They thought it was the building next door and it was not until he saw the news in the bar that he realised it was in the middle of the road.

Update: (from press conference) it was a 2 foot pipe installed in 1924 that burst, cold water on the pipe is likely suspect. At the moment 20 people injured 2 people critical, one fatality. Tow truck went into the crater. Oh, great, asbestos released possible – advised to take clothes and put away until confirmed. Grand Central open; Lex ave line impacted – nothing running in the area. Shuttle impacted, 7 not stopping at Grand central. Roads closed all the way round it at the moment.

Jul 18

CScout Trend Spotter

Do you fancy yourself as a trend spotter? Ray from CScout has asked me if I know anyone in London who wants to take a crack at spotting trends for them

Here’s a job description.

Background: living and /or working in London who is immersed in the web 2.0, technology sector, startup, social media communities. Good candidates in the past have been bloggers, writers, and marketers.

Duties: This is for part-time work, on a contract basis. Scouts could either have a day job in the area, or be a full time freelancer. Typical assignments are short reports in Word doc or PPT with text and images.

Fees and rates depend on length of project and experience.

CScout is a global trend consultancy with 12 full time employees in offices in New York, Munich, Tokyo, and Beijing. In addition, 25+ scouts placed globally are activated depending upon the needs of our clients.

They also have opening in Sydney and/or Melbourne. Contact Raymond for further details if interested: r a y . c h a at g m a i l ( d o t ) c o m , (you know the drill with munged addresses)