Showing posts with label phone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phone. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The UN Voices Project: Print Advertising That Talks

A truly groundbreaking advertising campaign titled 'The UN Voices Project' was launched by Saatchi & Saatchi Australia earlier this week. Tailored for the United Nations, the new campaign combines innovative creative thinking with cutting edge mobile phone and image recognition technologies. According to Saatchi & Saatchi The UN Voices Project is probably the first attempt to make outdoor posters and press advertisement voice communicating with their targeted audience. Here is how this is done according to and four examples already printed (Click images for high-res versions).

"The campaign features outdoor posters, print and online elements. These are combined to reinforce the message of giving a voice to those whose plight normally goes unseen and unheard."

"People around Sydney are encouraged to take a mobile phone photo of the featured person’s mouth and send it to a number on the poster as a text message."

"Using digital image recognition technology and an Australian first call back service, the sender receives a return phone call with a pre-recorded message from the person they have photographed, giving a brief insight into how they live and highlighting some of the issues they face."

"The message then directs people to a UN website where visitors can leave their own comments and thoughts, turning the original seven voices into thousands."


Product: United Nations
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney
Creatives: David Nobay and Steve Back (Creative Director), VINCE LAGANA (Creatives), Steve Jackson (Creatives)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Get Your Own Copy: Top 10 Online Video Conversion Services

Most online video platforms such as Youtube, MySpace and Metacafe use Flash video streaming (.flv) rather than simple links to files we can download. There are various reasons for that with the main one being the common business model most of those services relay on: advertising. In other words - we get to watch the content for free but we need to do that online and on the site. While this may be serving well the interests of the service provider it might not always be how we want things to go: some of us want to archive our own copies of the videos we love. Others may want to transfer a certain movie from one website to another. Well, this is the time to let you know that you don't have to be "on Youtube" to watch a Youtube movie. Instead, you can download the video stream to your computer, keep it there as a "normal" video file and watch it whenever you like. Nothing is illegal or fishy about it, it is simply another way of consuming the data. Just like you do when you save an html page to your computer and read it later.

So, for your convenience, CultCase has selected some of the best online video conversion services available today. They are all free of charge and do not even require registration. We tested all of them by converting and downloading the same 1:42 min Youtube video seen above of an (awesome) cover version for the Beatles' Hey Jude. There were no significant differences between the services in terms of both time-to-deliver and video quality. All of the files looked reasonable considering the quality of the source and took approximately 1-2 minutes to delivery. If you try any of them with your favorite videos please do let us know how it went.

1. Zamzar


Zamzar is a free online file conversion dedicated to transforming songs, videos, images and documents into different formats. With this service the focus is on high-quality file conversion for as many file formats as possible. The basic free service lets you converting files up to 100MB each. In case you are an online video conversion freak and "want more Zamzar" you can signup for basic, pro or business account and get to convert larger files (up to 1Giga!), a personal inbox for online file storage and faster file conversions (pricing and signup here). Nice and clean interface design. Fun to use.

2. Mux


With a somewhat over-texted design but still simple and easy to use interface Mux is a new beta service allowing you to convert media files from major player websites such as youtube, dailymotion and google and download to your computer. Here you can also share it privately with friends & family or send it to your mobile phone.

3. Vixy


This online flv converter lets you convert Flash video files and download them in avi, mov mp4, pm3 or 3gp container formats encoded with mpeg4 codecs. The site claims to be doing that faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder. The service is based on an OpenSource engine named FLV to MPEG4 Conveter. In case you are a serious geek and knows your way around you can even download the project source code via their svn subversion.

4. VideoCodeZone


Convert Flash video files from Youtube, MySpace, Google Videos, IFilm, Break, Dailymotion and Metacafe to popular formats and download them to your computer. Copy and paste the URL of the video, select the output format and click Convert/Download. To convert local Flash video files select the file and click Convert/Download.

5. MediaConverter


Multi-file type converter and splitter supporting video, sound, ringtones, images and documents: not just of popular audio / video files such as mp3, wmv, 3gp, flv, swf, mov, avi, mpg, mp4, divx, ipod, psp and ogg but also picture formats like jpg, psd, doc, pdf, rtf, txt, odg and even abandoned formats as WordPerfect (...?). Check File mode, click Browse, choose the file and hope for auto-detection to work. If auto-detection fails, select input format and output format, submit the form. To convert a file from the Internet check URL mode, enter the file URL, select input and output format and go.

6. ConvertDirect


Online flv converter for Flash video files such as those used by Youtube. Supported output formats include avi, 3gp, mp3, mp4, wmv, mpeg, mov and psp. You can watch your vids on PC, iPod, Zune, PSP and various mobile phones.

7. MovAVI


Other than requiring no software to install (that's true about everyone on this list) the guys from MovAVI are also proud of the fact there are no ads on their site to interrupt you while you are enjoying their free service. Add up to 5 files limited to 10 min each and 100 Mb total size. Enter your email address and MovAVI will notify you when your files are ready. There is also a cool feature allowing you to merge your files videos into one large movie.

8. Flvix


Youtube Google Video dedicated online flv converter. Flvix comes from the folks who do Pingoblog, a cool ping service for bloggers. Very simple yet efficient interface. Converts Youtube and Google videos and serves them for download in avi, mov, mp4, 3gp and mp3 formats for PC, Mobile phones, iPod and PSP.

9. All2Convert


Online video converter. Copy video link, paste it in the URL video box, choose video format and press Convert. Wait for your converted video link to show up and download. Supports 3gp mobile phone format as well as iPhone and Zune videos, iPod, PSP and popular PC formats as dvd, mov, mp4, vob, rm and wmv.

10. ConvertTube


Youtube dedicated online flv converter. Allows you to convert Flash video files as used by YouTube to popular PC, iPod, PSP, iPhone and mobile phone formats such as wmv, mov, mp4, mp3 and 3gp. Same as Vixy, this service also claims to be doing its job faster and less lossy than a typical video transcoder.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Playing On The Move: 6 Top Mobile Game Destinations

Playing On The Move: 6 Top Mobile Game Destinations

It seems most of us are not very interested with PC-like action games on our mobile phones. Yet, quite many of us love the idea of using them for casual games. According to a recent report by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services, consumers perceive mobile phones as casual gaming devices with puzzle and card games at the top of the list. Amazingly, less than 10 percent of on-the-go Internet gamers say they are interested with core or console-centric games for their mobile phone but 55 percent of them "want to play puzzle and card games on mobile phones". Following are 6 prominent mobile game destinations found on the web.

Gameloft is an international publisher and developer of video games for mobile phones established in 1999. The company owns and operates titles such as Block Breaker Deluxe, Asphalt: Urban GT and New York Nights and creates games for mobile handsets equipped with Java, Brew or Symbian technology. Gameloft means business. Their partnership agreements include brands such as Ubisoft Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animations SKG, 20th Century Fox, Viacom, Sony Pictures, Touchtone Television, Warner Bros., and more.

Glu is a global publisher of mobile games founded in 2001 and based in San Mateo, California. Game portfolio includes original titles Super K.O. Boxing!, Stranded and Brain Genius and titles based on major brands from partners including Atari, Hasbro, Warner Bros., Microsoft, SEGA, Sony and more.

Sendmemobile is a leading provider of direct to consumer mobile entertainment and wireless content. The site offers the broadest selection of mobile subscription services currently available online in the US. Content includes interactive mobile trivia, ringtones and wallpaper, mobile sweepstakes.

With GameJump all games are free. You never get charged a dime as everything is paid for by advertisements shown before and after the games. There is no sign up for a subscription or a token system or a premium SMS service. GameJump also have no phone company relationships, so they don't get any money from them either.

PeerBox Mobile is a classic web2.0 venture, integrating social networking, user generated content and file sharing, only they do it for your mobile phone. People with PeerBox can watch and share videos and music files directly from their mobile phone. With user base in 178 countries, PeerBox is a mainstream social environment for mobile users.

Not exactly a mobile content portal but, same as peerbox, also an interesting destination for mobile gamers, playyoo is a growing mobile content community with a web2.0 approach. Here you can download and play but also create and share fun games for your mobile.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Consumers Perceive Mobile Phones as Puzzle and Casual Gaming Devices

People are not so much into playing real PC like games on their mobile phones but apparently they love the idea of using them for solving puzzles and playing other casual games. According to a new report by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services, consumers perceive mobile phones as casual gaming devices with puzzle and card games at the top of the list. Amazingly, less than 10 percent of on-the-go Internet gamers say they are interested with core or console-centric games for their mobile phone comparing to 55 percent who "want to play puzzle and card games on mobile phones"

Furthermore, Director of Broadband and Gaming at Parks Associates Yuanzhe Cai predicts this will be the trend in the near future as well as “New 3D and multiplayer mobile games look great in demos, but casual games are where the money is and will be for the next few years.”

Parks Associates: Mobile Phone Remains a Casual Gaming Platform

Sunday, December 9, 2007

From Neil Papworth to Allo SMS with Voice: Fifteen years of Short Message Service

SMS is part of our lives and has already become a medium, perhaps one of the most popular social mediums used by people. Advertising via SMS is a business. While many companies pay mobile phone subscribers to agree SMS advertisement will be landing in their mobile set, there are others, like James Robinson of Australian start-up HooHaa, who are confident users will sign up for no payment. SMS related Innovations follow each other every day: Wataniya Telecom, for example, a wireless voice and data networks operator, offer a new service named Allo since a few months ago allowing sending SMS with recorded voice message (see above sample from their ad campaign).

Yet, it was just 15 years ago this very week, when Airwide Solutions engineer Neil Papworth pressed the first "send" command and sent the world's first SMS to a few of his friends at Vodafone. Even though it was carrying just the two simple 'Merry Christmas' words this massage opened the door to the multi-billion dollar industry of Short Message Service (SMS) allowing people sending short messages to and from mobile phones.

Engineer Neil Papworth: Invented SMS

No one seems to know exactly how many SMS messages are sent each year. According to the International Harald Tribune, few experts could come up with a recent, reliable figure for the number of total texts sent in the course of a year but estimations puts the number at two trillion to three trillion while at England alone the number weekly SMS barometer just passed one billion - 25 percent higher than a year earlier. By the way, cool Papworth, shown in the above photo from iht, still seems to be working for Airwide Solutions - a dominant player in the next-generation mobile messaging industry. I guess some companies know how to keep their A class personal.

Cheers to Papworth and Airwide Solutions. Happy Birthday SMS!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Japanese Puzzles by Hands-On Mobile: are Paint-by-Number puzzles going mainstream?

Seven years ago when I started collaborating with Dave Green and Conceptis, the company had just this one picture logic puzzle type they called Pic-a-Pix and it only came with black and white pictures. It was year 2000 but in the west no one had a clue what we were talking about when we showed him our samples. It was a long way from that point to nowadays when eleven puzzle families, dozens of variants and hundreds of different puzzle models are published in more than 30 countries across the world. This includes Japan, where Pic-a-Pix and other other picture logics as Link-a-Pix and Fill-a-Pix are published by G-Mode (Japan's leading mobile phone game provider).

As opposed to Japan, In the west picture logic puzzles are still a rare product when it comes to mobile but, along with Sudoku becoming the world's most popular puzzle, even this is starting to change and people become much more familiar with other language independent puzzle types. It seems that the way for the world to realize Sudoku is a very boring game comparing to some other logic puzzles is getting shorter every day. Take Hands-On Mobile, for example, a developer of connected games and applications that released a mobile game package earlier this week dedicated to what they refer to as "Japanese Puzzles".

Following-up on their claimed to be successful Sudoku Garden game from 2006, the new mobile puzzle package includes both Sudoku and Kakuro puzzles as well as some Paint-by-Number puzzles, also known as Pic-a-Pix, Nonograms, Griddlers and in this case referred to as "Tenpenki".

Hands-On Mobile's Japanese Puzzles seem to be a feature rich application and claimed to support:

  • Multi-player puzzling of up to four players competing against each other wirelessly.
  • Up to nine pencil marks
  • Hint lookup
  • Beginner tutorial mode
  • Back statistics for skill improvement monitoring
  • Save solution status and reload later
  • Voyage mode allows players to take on all three games and unlock more content
  • Access to additional content by downloading new puzzles every day and by competing for the fastest time against other puzzle fans from around the world.

According to Eric Hobson, President and General Manager EMEA, Hands-On Mobile “the puzzle sector is a vast market, and one where demand still exceeds supply.” I agree with that claim and, even though you might say Mr. Hobson and myself are in a way competitors in the market, I would like to wish him success with his new game. Picture logic puzzles as his Japanese Puzzles Tenpenki are on their way to consensus and mainstream entertainment and there will be enough business for everyone.

Hands-On Mobile

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Open Handset Alliance: an Android bad guys did not expect.

The hints kept coming. After unveiling Android, their new mobile phone software, it appears that Google's plans go way beyond another proprietary new software. Instead a consortium of top tier wireless companies is already on the run, developing Android to be "the first complete, open, and free mobile platform" As Linux for mobile still has some troubles gaining an honorable spot, and giving the history of previous Google attempts to move things around, allow me to bet this might work and the world of mobile computing is about to be changed completely.

Companies in the alliance, already counting more than 30, say their purpose is to "accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience" and plan on releasing an access software development kit next week. Yesterday we learned that Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin supports Google's Open Handset Alliance saying "more openness, at the network, device, or application level, helps foster innovation and enhances consumers' freedom and choice in purchasing wireless service." More about the new open platform for mobile phones and the Open Handset Alliance in this official video.

According to InformationWeek Google partners include T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and Motorola. "Google is picking holes in the traditional hegemony of telecommunications providers," says Google analyst and author Stephen Arnold. "This is just using what Google's already got. There will be much more to come." Google refer to their Android platform "the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices."

Google's Android competes directly with other smartphone software available in the market today. This include software from Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Palm, and Research in Motion. According to CNET the new Android platform consists of "an operating system, middleware, a user-friendly interface, and applications." and we can expect the first Android phones to be purchased sometimes between June to December 2008. There you have it - one Android the bad guys did not expect.

As opposed to mobile operating systems, Android will not be tied to a specific device but will support a long list of devices from major players such as Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and LG as well as Wind River Systems Inc. that joined the alliance as a Linux commercialization partner. A minimum of 200MHz ARM 9 processor is required to run the new system, promised to be "flexible, compatible with small or large screens, keyboards and other input methods."

According to Wikipedia an Android is "a robot designed to resemble a human, usually both in appearance and behavior". The term was first mentioned by Albertus Magnus in 1270 and was popularized by the French writer Villiers in his 1886 novel L'Ève future. I wonder what Magnus would have to say about the new Android.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Metacafe and Peerbox team up for user video sharing on mobile phones

PeerBox by Nareos, a popular mobile social networking service already reviewed on this blog, announced last week a partnership with Metacafe, the world’s leading independent online video entertainment site, to provide Metacafe’s users with mobile social networking. With the help of PeerBox technology, Metacafe users may now access, download and share user generated videos directly from mobile phones. Yet, the PeerBox technology also provides extended social functionality such as rating, commenting, etc.

According to Erick Hachenburg, CEO of Metacafe, the short videos served by Metacafe are "especially well suited for mobile distribution, enabling people to enjoy an entertainment break whenever they like and wherever they want". Yet their partnership with Nareos seem to also be part of Metacafe's intentions to extend "reach into Europe.”

Alexander Lazovsky, CEO of Nareos says the partnership with Metacafe helps PeerBox to "strengthen its position as the leading content-rich mobile social network service" and "positions us at the forefront of the mobile user generated content revolution.”
Alexander Lazovsky channel on Metacafe

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

gPhone goes for advertising and Linux

Continuing months of speculations, rumors and global buzz, more details of Google's secret plan to dominate the mobile phone industry have been revealed by The New York Times yesterday. While Microsoft charges mobile phone companies a licensing fee for their Windows Mobile system, Google goes for advertising. If this is true, and the NY Times is not usually easy to manipulate, this might indeed be the large scale Google plan to rival Microsoft's Windows Mobile and redefine the mobile media world.

The most significant aspect of gPhone is that, as opposed to Apple's iPhone and countless of other products using the currently in lead mobile operating systems, it not likely to be another "what a bummer" proprietary, closed environment, mobile device. Even though nothing has been official confirmed by Google it is pretty clear that Google has developed their mobile OS based on Linux kernel for the operating system. As of last talks with folks at Google, the gPhone's user interface is still being finalized and the phone reference design will be open source, using the Apache license. This reference design will be an unlocked, neutral environment.

Dozens of references

Earlier this summer reports from India stated Google is "currently in talks with India's first and third largest telecommunications companies, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar about the Google phone." It is also believed to be in talks with some Indian companies to offer "data, content and platforms including Instant Messaging (IM) and Search functions".

The buzz around gPhone gains interest for its own making some of us wonder how much of it is planned by Google and how much is out of control. Dozens of references to the gPhone project in both online and traditional media channels collected by Search expert Danny Sullivan of SearchEnglineLand are just a very partial list. Google offer 2,820,000 results for gPhone at their major search and 193 entries in the past month within their news search section. By now Google has refused to confirm any plans for the GPhone.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

PeerBox : File sharing goes mobile

The first P2P (Peer-to-Peer) generation was based on a client/server principle and a centralized file list. Napster is the most familiar example and one of the first tools any of us ever used for file sharing. But in a way Napster was also the trigger to the second P2P-Generation which was characterized mainly by decentralization.

The Decentralized file sharing generation came as a direct result of what eventually happened to Napster after encountering serious legal troubles. Yet, the new generation model has been adopted by both leading open source projects such as Gnutella and eMule/Kademlia and by commercial services such as Kazaa.

Third file sharing generation?

Yesterday I have been informed that might be taking its next step towards another major evolution change: Social network and mobile Peer-to-Peer file sharing application PeerBox by Nareos, have just announced their beta version platform went through the 100K unique user line in more than 170 countries overall.

PeerBox Home screen

Who knows? Maybe some day, in retrospective view, this may be remembered as a milestone in the way to the third file sharing generation, when people have started sharing files using their mobile phones. Does anyone doubt that the day is not far when people would get freaked out when their mobile P2P will stop functioning one day because of lack of supernodes as happened to millions of Skype users just recently?

Tied to a computer

Claiming to be the first true Peer-to-Peer service for mobile phones, PeerBox Mobile is a peer-to-peer file sharing service for your mobile phone. With PeerBox, you can share your videos and pictures with others network members directly from your mobile phone. You can also send messages to friends and watch their videos and pictures. Unfortunately at the moment PeerBox only supports phones manufactured by Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Panasonic, Samsung and Lenovo.

PeerBox My Downloads screen

According to Alexander Lazovsky, CEO of Nareos, successful viral marketing triggered quick word of mouth distribution and high adoption rate of PeerBox, proving that "people are looking for a way to socialize, create and share content without being tied to a computer.”

According to Wikipedia, file sharing is "the practice of making files available for other users to download over the Internet and smaller networks" but also say "most people who engage in file sharing are also downloading files that other users share. Usually these two activities are linked together."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Utterz: speak your blog entry

1.8 billion people on this planet have mobile phones. Finland*, Italy, UK, Sweden and Hong Kong have already exceeded 100% market penetration and the Chinese wireless mobile market is expected to grow by 65% through 2010. Even though globally, after rising by an average of 25% in 2004, 2005 and 2006, the over all mobile phone subscriber growth is expected to decelerate in 2007, mobile phones are being used for new purposes every day, including for blogging and social networking.

While some companies are already doing their best to capitalize on the increasing popularity of this Mobile 2.0 phenomenon mobile phones are becoming more significant as internet connectivity devices as they now allow not just consuming of the content but also producing it. Even Linux based phones are becoming more popular with over 20 million units.

Podcast voice messages directly from your phone

Taking my first steps as a mobile phone blogger recently I bumped into this article by Kristen Nicole reviewing a new mobile blogging platform named Utterz. I have heard about and done some mobile blogging. It's pretty obvious that if people send so many sms messages to each other they can also send messages directly to their blog, making them walking bloggers. But Utterz take this idea one step further. They allow you to podcast voice messages directly from your phone. now that is cool.

The Utterz stream was implemented similarly to the way it was done by the Twitter guys, only, naturally, they made it smaller and obtained support for spoken blog entries, appearing as audio files as part of your stream.

Having a Utterz account you can call 712-432-Mooo any time and speak your mind, voice an opinion or share a joke with the rest of the members. When you are "tongue-tied" you can just txt your messages to You can also post mixed messages of voice, video and text and Utterz 's system will put them together for you. Simply snap some with your cell and send them to

Must be a 10 digit US phone number

Utterz is first of all a blogging platform and as such they understand most bloggers wehere not invented just for them. Thus they managed to make themselves "blogger friendly" and provide a nice collection of widgets for their users to plug-into existing networks, including custom made widgets for TypePad, Blogger (blogspot), Xanga, MySpace, LiveJournal and Facebook.

While trying to join the party I got this message saying "Must be a 10 digit US phone number". Na... I checked and found that Utterz is kept free because they "have relationships with phone companies to get a small portion of what you are paying your cell phone company for your calling plan". This business model is interesting but it also limits expansion ratio and on top of everything is somewhat non-compatible with the Internet spirit of a limitless borderless environment.

Anyway, its not everyone's problem that I am an Israeli so bottom line I would say Utterz is one more step for mankind but I hope someone at the high windows of the Utterz building will listen to my cry and get a deal done with my mobile service provider (that would be Cellcom, Israel) as soon as possible.

* Edit 22:45 GMT+2: Leena, a proud Finnish and an avid Conceptis Addict adds that no matter how figures are interpreted, Finland is the world's leading country in terms of mobile phone penetration levels. Sorry for missing that important figure and thanks Leena!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Director of Photography

We were taking some photos of ourselves using my Motorola RAZR when Carmel had this 'idea' to photo her feet so she can enjoy looking at the pictures in the phone. Then she kind of 'directed' this picture, instructing me exactly where I should place my foot (on the living room table), placing her hand on it and urging me to take the picture, resulting with above.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

No Woman, No Cry

Made famous by Bob Marley and the Wailers, "No Woman, No Cry" was first released in 1974, and became became Marley's first hit and one of the world most famous reggae songs ever about one year later, released as a single from his album, Live!, which was recorded at the Lyceum in London in 1975.

It is a common belief that Bob Marley wrote the song himself, yet songwriter credits were given to a close friend of Marley's named Vincent Ford ("V Ford") who ran a soup kitchen in Trenchtown, the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica where Marley grew up. The royalties received by Ford allowed the survival Ford's kitchen but the question about the authenticity of this ownership is still questioned.

No Woman, No Cry was No. 37 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This short video was improvised today soon before Nitsi and I took Carmel back home for her noon sleep. Taken with my Motorola phone the clip shows Zemah (A "Koyotie" member) in one of his magic moments, enjoying this free-style unplagued version performed with a classic guitar and harmonica. I thought it was REALLY cool.

No woman no cry
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
Cause I remember when we used to sit
In a government yard in Trenchtown
Observing the hypocrites
Mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we have, Oh, good friends we have lost
Along the way
In this great future,
You can't forget your past
So dry your tears, I seh
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
Little darling, don't shed no tears
No woman no cry
Said I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
And then Georgie would make the fire lights
As it was log burning through the nights
Then we would cook cornmeal porridge
Of which I'll share with you
My feet is my only carriage
And so I've got to push on through,
Oh, while I'm gone
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
So no woman no cry
No woman no cry, oh
My little sister
Don't shed no tears
No woman no cry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Will dynamic ad push free mobile gaming?

Can dynamic advertising and marketing push make mobile gaming free and by that reaching all of us? TheMarker, a leading financial Israeli newspaper, reports today that the Israeli start-up company innerActive has just completed a capital raise of $1.5M from "private investors". It was just two weeks ago, on July 12, 2007, that Israel's largest mobile operator Cellcom has announced the completion of its first ad-funded mobile games service powered by new technology from innerActive.

The new Cellcom service showed results of 44% Click-Through-Rate (CTR) and 19% Acquisition Rate for Mobile Advertising Campaigns, indicating a breakthrough in marketing via mobile phones. I guess this has pretty much done the job with those "private investors".

As I wasn't participating this pilot (even though I am a Cellcom user!) here is how it actually worked according to an official press release from innerActive:

As integrate to Cellcom’s system innerActive's solution "dynamically inserted ads and marketing content for product placement within the games". Yet, as opposed to traditional mas-media advertising models innerActive's mobile in-game ads were "targeted and segmented in real-time according to each user’s profile, behavior and responses". In addition, "mobile coupons and other incentives were offered for conversion and cross-over to other media channels like websites and point of sells".

In marketing terms the new model used in the trial has proved to be effective and feasible to all the players. On average, according to the results of this trial, a trend of 10 times higher game downloads per user was observed, comparing to the pre-pilot download results. Adi Cohen, VP Marketing of Cellcom said:

"We succeeded to promote thousands of new users, that are not heavy gamers, to consumed and enjoyed games. The advertising-marketing stimulus trial confirms its effectiveness to all parties that took part in this project. This mobile advertising is working and shows far-reaching consequences for the mobile industry.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chinese mobile phone batteries explode

China have been popping up a lot lately with various defective products and product recalls. we red about pet food recall, recalled poisoner toothpastes, poisonous toys, we had major car company under pressure to recall its products because there is danger of the tire treads separating and more examples of how low-cost products can turn into high-cost ones very quickly.

If you read this blog (of course you are, what am I saying here?) you must know I make regular use of a Motorola RAZR V3X phone. As a result of this fact I was pretty much interested with this recent news item about how we now also have mobile phone batteries joining this defect spectacle show. Now mobile phone batteries are exploding and killing people for real and in tests! isn't it nice?

Apparently, an exploding cell phone caused the death of Chinese welder Xiao Jinpeng, who used to be working at Yingpan Iron Ore Dressing Plant in Gansu’s Jinta county. As far as I know, apart from the famous January 5, 1996 assassination of Yehiya Ayyash also known as "the engineer" (at that time the leading Hamas bomb expert) which was part of someone's plans, this is probably the first case in which an exploding mobile phone actually kills a man. The battery in the deceased Motorola cell phone exploded in his shirt pocket. According to IntoMobile - a website dedicated news and buzz in the world of mobile technology:

  • The explosion was linked to high-temperatures in the plant, according to colleagues - that must have been some crazy-hot work environment.
  • The fatal battery failure took place on June 19 and resulted in Xiao’s death on July 4th.
  • The battery explosion broke the welder’s ribs and fragments of the casing pierced his heart.
  • Authorities are investigating the incident - particularly whether or not the man was using an authentic Motorola phone and genuine Motorola battery
  • If the device turns out to be a bona fide Motorola product, the embattled mobile phone manufacturer could be in for some fun times.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Google: now (a lot) more control over your phones

The guys from Google have just revealed another item of the hottest shopping list on earth as they acquire GrandCentral Communications - an innovative service that lets users integrate all of their existing phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account and access it from the web. saying GrandCentral's technology "fits well into Google's efforts to provide services that enhance the collaborative exchange of information between our users".

GrandCentral's features complement the phone services you already use. If you have multiple phone numbers (e.g., home, work, cell), you get one phone number that you can set to ring all, some, or none of your phones, based on who's calling. This way, your phone number is tied to you, and not your location or job. The service also gives you one central voice mailbox. You can listen to your voicemails online or from any phone, forward them to anybody, add the caller to your address book, block a caller as spam, and a lot more. You can even listen in on voicemail messages from your phone while they are being recorded, or switch a call from your cell phone to your desk phone and back again. All in all, Google say, you'll have a lot more control over your phones.

Google also announced a limited number of invitations available to register for a GrandCentral beta account so if you happen to have a U.S. telephone number, you can sign up for an invitation at

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Motorola RAZR MAXX Ve Video Review

PhoneArena reviews the Motorola RAZR MAXX, which features a 2.0-megapixel camera, 50MB internal memory, microSD card slot, Bluetooth 2.0 w/A2DP, and USB 2.0 connectivity. Video after the break. Here’s the bottom line: The Motorola Razr Maxx Ve is a true performer, once you get past its boring all-black exterior and outdated UI.

read more | digg story

Monday, June 4, 2007

two very different devices to take the pictures and movie clips

I am using two very different devices to take the pictures and movie clips i'll be posting here:

First, My Nikon Coolpix 8800 "flagship of Nikon's Coolpix series". This camera would have never entered my family's life unless I agreed to go along with the advice of my younger tech-freak brother to put my family's future in the hand of Nikon's lens makers, and if Nikon then the flagship of Nikon's Coolpix series: the Coolpix 8800. It was also not available in Israel back then and had to be brought by my dear cousin from new York.

This camera features an 8.0 megapixel effective CCD (3,264 x 2,448-pixels) and a 10x Optical (35-350mm) Nikkor lens, with Nikon's Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements. It has a high resolution (235,000 pixel) electronic viewfinder (EVF) for through-the-lens viewing and a 1.8" vari-angle color LCD monitor. You can read more about it in this great review on

Here is a night shot of my Coolpix using my razr camera:

The only problem with the Coolpix 8800 is its weight and size, which brings me to the second device I use: my Motorola RAZR V3x mobile phone offers pretty cool 2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels, video, flash and even secondary video call VGA camera... the video quality is pretty poor I admit but the availability of the camera makes it worthwhile.