Friday, December 12, 2008

How to use YouTube

Just read this article from The New York Times, a real sunshine story amidst all the doom and gloom of failing companies and huge national debt. Just goes to show that it doesn't matter who you are or where you are, as long as you have a good story to tell - or good content - and a way to distribute it, you will make it.

So, what are you waiting for?? Go do it!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Adobe or Silverlight?

News in from the UK, where both Sky TV and ITV have been relaunching their online tv players with new versions based on Microsofts Silverlight. At the same time BBC are trying, and succeeding to a certain extent, to get people excited about their Adobe-based iPlayer. William Cooper over at informitv has more on the subject, but I can't help but thinking that there are just too many options whenever we're talking about online or mobile video - and it won't be resolved until one company has grown big enough to buy up all the others... Which then again leads to that company becoming too big to be efficient, and new open source etc projects jumping up, and then we're here again.

My point? Well, the only one worth making is probably that it was easier back in the old days, without alternatives. But a whole lot more boring as well!

Dear me...

... if China is really going to devalue their currency by 30-35%, the shit will hit the fan, and not in a good way. We could see all manners of odd behaviour - new tolls, trade wars, massive unemployment, the works.

On one hand I just can't imagine what the world will look like in 12 months time. On the other, I'm convinced it's inevitable, and may turn out to be a good thing in the end. So, buckle up everyone, we're in for a bumpy ride. And to friends and relatives in the US - hope you'll be OK. If not, cosy on over here to Finland, at least we've got enormous amounts of wood, so heating should be no prob :)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Congratulations Strix

...on getting your format The Farm commissioned to Brazil and broadcaster Rede Record. As has been concluded before, the format market is going more and more global, with more and more formats coming from territories outside the traditional ones - UK, US and Holland. It makes me very happy to see Scandinavia doing well with a number of formats worldwide (partly because it makes it easier for someone else from the Nordic countries, well, yes, like me, to be taken seriously with our excellent ideas and formats).

So congratulations! And happy anniversary Finland, independence day tomorrow. Whee!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New series over at ABC, CBS

What's happening over at the US broadcasters will soon find it's way over here, at least when it comes to scripted drama or comedy. So it's with interest I note that Boston Legal, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone will be axed from ABCs schedule to make way for three new series - Cupid, Castle and The Unusuals. Should be interesting.

Over at CBS, a fun show to watch could (and should) be Game Show in My Head, where contestants have to live their ordinary life and carry out secret orders from an earpiece to win money. Degrading? Probably. Funny? We'll see.

A couple of the coolest things around

Just saw this video above, and it's brilliant. See, what they do is they reflect an image or a stream onto a mirror that rotates reallyreally quickly... An "interactive 360 degrees lightfield display", as they call it. (They should call it something c00l though, like "MEGA 3D MACHINE!" or "3DATRON") Thereby you get that funky 3D effect that is just stunning.

Well, stunning from my point of view at least, as I'm a format developer by trade. This little thingee would fit perfectly into a couple of the projects I'm working on, as a really cool gadget or to create that spacey futuristic feel. So, developers, do you have one spare?? :)

This on the other hand is plain funky - the Fi-Fi (Fin-Fish). THe developer must've thought that "well, if it works for a shark in water, why shouldn't it work for a shark-zeppelin in pure air?". And quite rightly so! It's something that I would love to be able to use in one of our projects...

Now, none of these things would be essential for anything that we're working on. But dear me, they would add something a little bit extra to them!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Nokia N97 - the "social phone"

Well, here we are. Continuing the fight for supremacy in the mobile phone market, Nokia just released the new N97 model at the CCIB in Barcelona today. Just looking at it it seems like a nice, modern phone. It also has most things you could want, or as Nokia themselves put it, it's a product that "carves a new space in the otherwise blurred realm between smartphone and laptop".


No, but seriously, this looks like a really up-for-it phone. If phone is the correct word to use anymore, that is. It's also clear that Nokia are tapping into the whole social media market - Facebooking, Beboing, Twittering, what have you, it's all done better with this phone than with any previous Nokia phone. The step to a full fledged laptop is still quite substantial, guess you'd need an inflatable screen and keyboard to bridge that gap.

Other than that, I'd be happy to get my hands on one. The pricetag might just be a little bit prohibitive, in Finland it's estimated at 550€ pre-tax. With the current economic climate, the timing could perhaps have been a bit better. On the other hand, this product probably just goes to show how on-the-edge Nokia is. The real money is in the cheap phone market.

But, well, if you happen to have one spare, do send it this way :) I promise to evaluate it thoroughly!

Joost on iPhone, iTouch

Joost was seen as "the next big thing" when it opened up it's P2P television venture a good while back. And yes, it was a bit exciting, and a bit like no one had done before (although there was, and are, quite a number of competitors with the same idea atm, like Babelgum, Vuze, Veoh etc etc, including the real competitors like Hulu or the BBC iPlayer).

But it was not really meant to be, at least not as the creators had intended. It's since evolved from a download application to a purely online and Flashbased videofeed, and it did seem as if it was meant to go out with a whimper at some point, sooner or later. Alas, perhaps not.

Joost has now teamed up with Apple, designed an interface specially for iPhone and iTouch (since the iPhone as of yet does not support Flash) and is now offering the full Joost experience on iPhone as well.

This is definitely a step in the right direction. What remains to be seen is if Joost can up their content to something a little bit more engaging and exciting than what they have on offer now - if I as an iPhone owner have 10 minutes to watch something, I don't want to spend 4 of those searching for anything watchable... so, more premium content, thank you! :)