Archive for the ‘General Observations’ Category

Tapping the creative power of the crowd

At a time when Hollywood is focused on big budget blockbusters, it’s nice to see that there’s an alternative. Examples of crowdsourced creativity.

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Nine Serious Tech Trends for 2010

This list is useful. Like it or not, these are the tech trends with the most momentum as we move into 2010.

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Twitter growth stalled?

Why doesn’t Twitter grow? Mashable’s Ben Parr provides stats and analysis on the flatlining of Twitter usage.

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The coolest thing at CES

Within the first few hours of arriving at CES, I encountered three different manufacturers who made unsolicited offers to build a device for me or my company. Or any company I could recommend.

What kind of device? Apparently, it doesn’t matter. “You tell us the specifications,” said the representative of one Chinese ODM, “And we will build exactly what you want in the quantity that you specify. No upfront investment, no inventory risk.” Does that sound like a deal that’s too good to be true? It probably is.

But that won’t stop some big media companies from taking the bait. Brace yourselves for a flood of bespoke gizmos sporting major media brands. Innovation or desperation? Soon you’ll see content companies hawking branded hardware, aided and abetted by device manufacturers who face certain death by commodization.

The best illustration of this fad is the proliferation of e-book readers, widely noted in the blogosphere. The components for these devices are almost all identical, so the ODMs are eager to find partners who can help them differentiate.

When the cost of manufacturing is so low, you might expect to see some radical experimentation with form factor. That can lead to good things. Check this out: Buried in the middle of this video from New York Times is a glimpse of the coolest device that I saw at CES: Lenovo’s new dual screen netbook. When you don’t need the keypad, you can pop the screen out for a small portable tablet. Finally.

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Top Tens, 2010 Predictions and Other Provocative Lists

alice through looking glass CUThis week everybody seems to have a Top Ten list to herald the dawn of a new decade. Never one to miss a chance to jump on a rolling bandwagon, I decided to chime in with my own list of the lists that caught my attention.

Did I miss one? Got a suggestion? I’d love to hear it. Post it in the comments, please!

1. NYT: Bono’s Ten for the Next Ten

Ten items for the next decade that captivate the Irish rocker’s imagination. Characteristically capricious and wide ranging. Bono zooms from the micro to the macro in this assortment of predictions.. See yesterday’s NYT.


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The next frontier: “What is life?”

The next decade will bring amazing technology and, with it, some unprecedented moral questions about what it means to be “human” and “alive”.
Read Martine Rothblatt’s provocative piece about the concept of life in the context of new technology.
“Will Uploaded Minds in Machines be Alive?”

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Be afraid. Very afraid. Smart swarms are here.

For all you singularity-watchers and Diamond Age fans out there, check out these swarming nano-bots.

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YouTube filmmaker Fede Alvarez lands studio deal for $30M

Digital technology puts the tools for great storytelling into the hands of people everywhere. BBC reports that first time director Alvarez will helm a sci fi flick for Sam Rami. What got Hollywood’s attention was Fede’s terrific short film “Panic Attack”, shot for a total of $300 and posted to YouTube a month ago.
Thanks to Ken Rutkowski for the link.

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Where does your disposable plastic junk go?

Check out these shocking photos of albatrosses from the Midway atoll by Chris Jordan. Click on MIDWAY at

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Four trends to watch in 2010

“Never make forecasts, especially about the future.” Wise advice from Samuel Goldwyn.   Which I am now about to ignore at my peril.   Here’s my take on what to expect in 2010.


1. The Dawn of Ambient Awareness & Networked Consciousness

What happens when real-time status updates and news feeds are combined with GPS location data and context-aware computing?  You may experience a new kind of awareness that leverages the perceptions and commentary of other people.  You might call it collective intelligence.  And it will make you smarter. Continue Reading