Lee’s Daily Blog


Technology: This Week In Sponsorships

by on Aug.31, 2009, under Technology

TWISTOne of the podcasts I listen to (well I watch this one), is This Week in Startups. Usually it’s a pretty good show with some interesting information and normally ends up with me feeling inspired to go out and create something. I take that as being a pretty great show.

However, something in the past episode (13) really grated on me and although it has been happening in previous episodes, it seemed worse in that one. What is it? It’s how the sponsorships are being pushed.

I know sponsorships are important for a show like this and I think what Jason is trying to do with changing things up a bit is a noble idea (and I’ll be interested to see how things turn out), but the amount it was pushed on the show really got to me this week.

The usual bit of mentioning the sponsors on twitter is a bit meh. I’d personally call it twitter spam – but it’s no worse than the retweet contests that happen, which I’ll admit I take part in. Most of the posts containing the sponsors names are fairly meaningless apart from getting the name out – which as an average person reading a tweet someone has posted, wouldn’t really offer much. As an alternative I’d propose:

Make a post to twitter about one of  oour sponsors and how you’ve benefited from their service and don’t forget to contain #TWIST.

The sponsor is getting their name out, Jason can still do his competitions, but there’s a bit more value there.

The extra thing done for promoting the film, was reasonable for a one-off. I just wish the discussion hadn’t dragged on for quite as long about how good the idea was.

However, pushing the same idea during the Audible ad seemed one step too far for me. Perhaps this is colliding slightly with the way that it is the presenter putting out the adverts (something I’ve only really got used to via watching podcasts as it doesn’t happen on UK TV), but it just seemed to be really pushing Audible on people. I don’t doubt it’s helping audible (assuming people aren’t just signing up for the freebies), but is it just that little bit too much for the average viewer? Especially with the discussion of the idea that followed after. Personally I’d rather have heard a good review/recommendation of a book.

Through the show as a whole, I think the number of sponsors is about right. I like how Audible is sponsoring the homework section (though I hope this isn’t going to stop a few movies appearing in this segment again). The length of time spent on these sponsorships is what I’m not so sure about. It’s not awful – not worse than you’re average TWiT advert, but  things just seem to be pushed harder in this amount of time – maybe this is just me though.

One thing I would request though is if we’ve spent so much time listening to different ideas for putting adverts across (twitter, offering freebies etc.), why not feedback to the viewers how well/poorly this has worked? Especially if you can get a sponsor to comment on it. It’s probably some ideal information for viewers who may be looking towards ideas for business models.

I’ll still be tuning into This Week in Startups – but that’s what I’m tuning in for – not for This Week in Sponsorships. Also, sorry sponsors, but I’m now more than likely going to be fast-forwarding through the adverts.. I’ll leave you to decide if this averages out as value-added from what I’ve seen so far, or value-lost from the future.

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Google Wave Blog

by on Aug.04, 2009, under Technology

Google-Wave-logoI’ve recently started my placement year (as a result I’ve had to move house and still have no internet, which is why there have been no blog updates – should hopefully be getting it installed on Saturday).

As part of my placement I have been tasked with looking into Google Wave and developing robots and gadgets for it. As part of this, I have set up a separate blog – Google Wave Developer, which may interest some of you.

That’s all for now!

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Technology: Mass Renaming Files in Windows

by on Jul.14, 2009, under Technology

This post is for Monday, 13th July, 2009

Today I went through the process of copying all the photos I took on holiday to my laptop, however, 2 sets of photos followed the same naming/numbering convention (100_000x). Thefore, I wanted to change the second card’s photos to 200_000x. Should be simple?

Well, there isn’t a feature built into windows to do it. I could call them florida (x) and it would be able to number them, but that’s not what I wanted.

rm-snapshot2A quick bit of googling and I found the following piece of software – rename master

It’s an easy to use piece of software for mass renaming files. It’s very easy to use, but very powerful, allowing you to replace certain parts of a filename, add or remove characters between certain character positions and much more.

The other good thing is that there is no installation required – which is always a good thing.

Read more for a video from PC Mech about the software and how to use it:

(continue reading…)

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iPhone OS3.0 Podcast Update

by on Jun.17, 2009, under Technology

I’ve just upgraded my iPod touch to the iPhone OS 3.0 software at the unfortunate cost of £6.

The main thing I’m waiting for is push notifications for applications – in particular for the Remember The Milk Application.

As a podcast listener, I have noticed a nice small update which seems to have been missed so far. When listening to a podcast, there are 3 new buttons available:

  • an email this podcast – to send a link to the podcast
  • a ‘Rewind 30 seconds’ button – incredibly useful if you missed the last bit due to an interruption
  • A speed adjust button. I personally, wouldn’t make use of it, but I know a lot of people like listening to things at double speed (especially with audiobooks)

Now I just need to wait for the application updates…

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Mario Theme Played on Bottles

by on Jun.13, 2009, under Technology

I saw this video and thought it was awesome. It’s the mario theme, played on bottles, but using a remote controlled car:

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Technology: E3 Big on Controllers

by on Jun.08, 2009, under Technology

electronicentertainmentexpoSo this years E3 seemed to be big on controllers. The main focus of these seemed to be to compete with the wii remote. Manufacturers seem to have seen how many units the wii managed to sell to people who weren’t traditionally described as gamers and seem to want to tap into this. I personally don’t think they’ll be quite as successful as the Wii as the type of game available also matters

One of the bigger announcements seemed to be the camera for the Xbox 360 which detects the movement of the whole body without the need for a remote. The video below discusses this and also contains some interesting discussion from Steven Spielberg on the role of video games.

The technology itself looks very impressive in the demos and if it does work like that when out in the real world, will lower the barrier of entry – possibly to even lower than that of the Wii. However, I’m intrigued to see how well this camera is going to work when put into all the different room environments – will it be selecting sofas as people? If someone wants to go to the toilet from the other side of the room, is it going to get confused?

Not wanting to be beaten by this, Sony released something very similar which uses two controllers which work together with the Playstation Eye – an existing product for Sony, but something which hasn’t really come to anything.

New Controller for Sony. Click to view the full size image. Within it you can see the two controllers that are held and used to generate the motion on the screen.

New Controller for Sony. Click to view the full size image. Within it you can see the two controllers that are held and used to generate the motion on the screen.

(video available at this link)

With the wii, well, um…. They released an add-on for their wii remote, but it was nothing astonishing. Most of the Nintendo announcements were software related. In regards to their controller, they announced a modification to the Wii Motion Plus, which was the development they announced last year and also a new add-on called the Wii Vitality Sensor.

The Wii Viatlity Sensor

The Wii Viatlity Sensor

“Just as we enable you to see the centre of your body balance with Wii fit, the Wii Vitality Sensor enables you to see the information related to the inner world of your body,” said Nintendo’s chief, Satoru Iwata, at the event.

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Technology: Up to 200 Photos in Facebook Albums

by on Jun.04, 2009, under Technology

This post is for Monday 1st June 2009

facebook-logoI’ve just gone to start uploading the photos from the past weekend to Facebook and have noticed that they no longer limit you to 60 photos per album, instead it has been raised to 200 – which has certainly made my life easier! No longer will I need as many ‘ Photo Album Part 1, Part 2….’

Does anyone know when this happened?

I wonder how long until they remove the limit completely. With groups essentially having photo albums of no limit, I can’t see much of a reason for keeping one for personal photos.

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iTunes Starts Variable Pricing

by on Apr.07, 2009, under Technology

itunes-logoJust a heads up to everyone that Apple started introducing variable pricing in the iTunes store today.

I’ve just had a brief look and whilst most things still seem to be at 79p, there are some tracks thathave now gone up to 99p (especially within the top 10 lists it seems). I haven’t found any tracks at 59p yet though.

On the plus side, everything is now iTunes Plus.

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Technology: It’s All Turning 3D

by on Apr.06, 2009, under Technology

This post is for Monday, 6th April, 2009

I was listening to Inside The Magic on my walk to University this morning and listened to a huge list of films that Disney are thinking about bringing out in 3D. Most of these are altered version of older films, that they want to re-release in cinemas (for example, they’re talking about releasing Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3D in sinema to help promote Toy Story 3, which is also in 3D).

3dglassesI don’t really know where this interest in 3D technology has come from. If you’d have asked me about 3D films a year or so ago, I’d have said it was something that used the ‘classic’ blue and red glassess which had gone out of fashion. But it seems to have come back. Fortunately, most of the films seem to have moved away for using the technology for ‘Cheap 3D Tricks’ (think, things flying at you, floating in the air etc.)

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Technology: Tweetie

by on Feb.23, 2009, under Technology

TweetieI’ve been using Twitter more and more recently and apart from my desktop client, the main place I use twitter is on my iPod touch. I’ve gone through a few iPhone apps including Twinkle, the free version of Twitterific and most recently Tweetie.

So far, it is the best twitter app I’ve used – largely because it has all the functionality I need there, but whilst still keeping everything simple.

The main list of all the received twitter updates can take one of two formats. Either a classic list, or an iChat style list:

tweetie_list tweetie_ichat

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