Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just have to add this

Let me introduce George Galloway, MP in the UK, master of rhetorics and all round entertaining guy. He also happens to be spot on in many of his comments - look at him tear apart a host on Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News. Good man!

He was also accused of benefitting illegally from the oil-for-food-programme in Iraq in the 90s - check these links, 1 2 3 4 5, if you have some time to spare (it's in 5 parts in chronological order, about 9-10 mins each), for a highly entertaining defence speech, or rather attack on the Bush regime, as he totally flattens senator Coleman, chairman of the hearing that Galloway appears before in the US.

Maybe I don't agree 100% with the man, but still, he speaks some truths. Wonder when he'll end up with a cup of tea filled with Polonium 210?

It's them little things...

Put aside all thoughts of Mobile television, of tv shows filled with user-generated content, of hype words like "360 commissioning" and stuff like that.

Just think - "mobile phone". Yep, that's right. It's the portable thingee that lets you stay in touch with the rest of the world quite easily (as long as the battery hasn't run out).

Now - operator O2 in the UK have just launched a pretty nifty little thing. It's called My Bluebook, is totally free, and lets the user load up images and text messages to a server for storage and for possible sharing with other people. The upload happens via SMS.

In the future, O2 is planning to include Outlook-synchronization, videoclips, address book backups etc.

In my opinion, this is neat. The worst thing that can happen to your average citizen today - if not counting serious disease or major accident - is that the phone dies or gets nicked. All of a sudden you have no numbers, no contacts, no archived SMS:s, no pictures... it'll take you days and days just to get your new phone on track.

So, the prize for the "Sensible Solution of the Week" goes, hands down, to O2. Congrats!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Everyone's a star... right?

This just in: YouTube is set to announce the launch of their mobile service later today. They're cooperating with Verizon Wireless, bringing the power of YouTube (over 100 million videoclipdownloads per day (!)) to everyones mobile phones.

At the same time, O2 in the UK has launched a similar service, LookAtMe, while the operator 3 has similar services through their Kink Kommunity and SeeMeTV.

My two cents?

I think there will be an uphill struggle for these services. This mostly due to a) pricing of data transfers (a clip on YouTube, even though it would be downsized for mobile, would still be several Mbs. At a cost of some euros per 10 Mbs, for instance, you don't watch many clips before your monthly allowance is at an end) and b) quality of the downloads (it's just no fun watching a funny videoclip if you can't see what's happening in it, y'know?).

What is needed is affordable prices and made-for-mobile content. Made-for-mobile is not the same as made-with-mobile, mind you.

Even so, this all has the possibility to change the landscape of "regular" television to some extent. Already reality television has made a huge impact on how people see tv - we like looking at each other and ourselves as much or more than we like watching people in dramas or sitcoms - and with more and more user generated content, this becomes more and more accentuated.

Everyone can have their 15 megabytes of fame. What will hopefully happen is that more talent will come to the fore, through channels previously unused. Less and less do people have to "pay their dues" in the tv industry to "get their chance" and make a name for themselves.

Recipe for success? Rack up a great 3-4 minute video, using equipment worth 400€, put it up on YouTube and get 100.000 downloads per day. Then just wait for the phone to call.

Hmm, now where did I put that webcam...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Photos with a mobile phone part II

Ok, mobile phones are not the greatest photographic equipment on earth. The new Nokias are, however, starting to look pretty darn good.

But, if you're like me, stuck with a two year old phone with 1,3 Mpix and no lens protection, you just have to make do with what you've got. And sometimes them photos trn out pretty nice after all. Here, for instance, a picture from my hometown Vasa, a partly-cloudy morning when we were going fishing...

On the other hand, the digital zoom-capabilities of the phone-camera are mostly theoretical, as there is no way you can see what you've taken a picture of, after you've taken the picture with zoom. Without it though, it's nigh impossible to see across distances anyhow - like this, the Brazil vs Ghana game at this summers World Cup, played in front of 65.000 spectators in Dortmund (yours truly included)

My point? Gotta get me one of them new Nokias... :)

A small step for man, a HUGE step for IPTV

So, here goes - the long-awaited roll-out of British Telecoms (BTs) IPTV-service, scheduled to roll out next Monday. The service has been somewhat delayed, with the first roll-out planned for summer 2006, a schedule that later became the slightly more ambigous "sometime this autumn", which now has been confirmed for Monday December 4th.

The triple-play service will reportedly be slightly down-scale, with broadband access, over-ip-telephone calls and some channels and tv content available on demand.
It'll be available first only to BT broadband subscriber, it'll run on a Philips hybrid set-top-box running on Microsoft software.

Now, this is all new territory for BT. But in the market for IPTV, it's quite a big step - one of the biggest players so far to really start up this seriously, with a plan for the future. During spring 2007, if nothing's gone wrong, expect BT to feature heavily at, for instance, MIPTV, racking up content and distribution deals. The success or failure for BTs Vision-service will be closely monitored by the other players globally - not only "does it work", but also more importantly "are people interested", "will people pay for it" etc.

My two cents? I think we'll see Vision gaining momentum, providing the technology - soft- AND hardware - is up to it. In a years time, they'll have a million subscribers, offering a bundle of live tv channels and lots more on demand. And a jolly time will be had by all.

Except Sky then, of course ;)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Photography with a mobilecam? It IS possible

Part one of my recently (like 2½ minutes ago) launched quest to prove that it IS possible to get some nice photos even though you're using you old, beat up mobile phone camera with only 1,3 Mpix resolution - here's a photo from Bore Place in Kent, UK, where we spent a week in October 2005 developing a show of ours... Pretty nice, huh?

En bild säger mer än 1000 ord

Feast your eyes on some really really nice photos - it's time for the "Digitala Camera Magazine Photo of the Year Award 2006" - and all the contestants are here...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Det bästa ordet?

Vilket är det bästa ordet på svenska? Jag har en viss förkärlek för "balja", mest på grund av hur snyggt det rullar i munnen... å andra sidan är "sörpla" riktigt riktigt jobbigt...

Impressive animation

I liked the first Animation vs Animator-animation, but this one is even better. Two thumbs up.

Strix in the US

A quick sweep of todays news from the TV industry gives reason to say a big, heartfelt "congrats!" to Swedish production company Strix - no mean feat to break into the US television market.

And, if you haven't got anything to do in early March next year, happen to have a fair amount of cash laying around and are interested in the new forms of TV distribution, why not go to London? Would be really interesting to see and hear what the major players think of the future of the IPTV market... Seeing as we have over 1 billion tv households in the world at the moment, and forecasts for IPTV are looking at 25 million IPTV households in some years time... well, that's still only 2,5% of the total tv market.

What I'm trying to say is that we have new technologies popping up right and left, and everyone going crazy about them. But for the forseable future, the traditional forms of distributing television are still the ones who rule.

So let's all just chill a bit, right? :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Already a classic - ALWAYS delete the "latest downloaded"-thingee on your computer, especially if Danish Television is coming to interview you.

Another really good'un - our own Marcus Grönholm explaining what really happened to co-pilot Timo Rautiainen. Take it away, Marcus... :)

Nice little camels

A really beautiful picture. The photographers other works are pretty nice too.

Wish I had some pictures like this in my portfolio.