Category: Tech Fun

Ralf HallerRalf Haller September 18, 2009

Apple’s tech marketing event secrets

This video here was also posted on Techcrunch yesterday. While it is intended to be funny, I think it contains a bit of truth. Question now is if this is done totally on purpose as sort of unconscious brainwashing of everyone listening to this or if the Apple folks simply don’t know any other adjectives than:

great    easy    awesome   incredible    amazing

Or, and that is certainly a good part of it too, they are highly passionate and excited about their own work, which is one of the best sales and marketing attributes you can have.

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Ralf HallerRalf Haller September 4, 2009

UK exports Paul Carr to Techcrunch in the U.S.

Every so often fun things happen and shame if you only hear about it 4 weeks later. This time it is infamous Paul Carr’s very own story to accept Michael Arrington’s call to write the Saturday column at Web 2.0 blog/news portal Techcrunch. I think it is a smart move to try to lighten up the otherwise very dry reads about the dozen or more Web 2.0 startup news pieces every day mixed with a good dose of Apple, Google or Microsoft stories to increase readership – of course. Now I have to admit that I have not read Paul Carr’s Techcrunch columns yet but will start doing so from tomorrow on and with that read – yes – Techcrunch. His first intro post shows the kind of blog posts you have to expect and not take too seriously, or should you take it seriously? Bringing nothing to Techcrunch…; as the boss in the movie Good Morning Vietnam with Robin Williams said “…well, that is funny”.

Ralf HallerRalf Haller August 9, 2009

Social media in German elections – more than a joke?

This year’s elections in Germany will also make use of social media tools. Unlike the US presidential elections, I do not expect they will be much affected — with one exception:

The newly founded HSP (Horst Schlämmer Partei) is betting big time through using social media. On its campaign website you can see that they are present on YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, StudiVZ, have newsletters, a blog, its podcast is number one in the iTunes store already, and much more. It looks almost as if they are making fun of social media tools, too, having just about any social network embedded code for copy available.

Watch the campaign video, I like most where he shows his plan in a live TV show.

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Ralf HallerRalf Haller June 18, 2009

Location-based services on steroids: watch this video!

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Today Google Germany made an agreement with the German authorities to allow people to opt out of Google Street View when they don’t like their property or personal things being displayed in Google maps. This was a pre-emptive move to avoid any legal actions from privacy protection groups or others. Currently there are no laws in Germany though that would prohibit Google from driving around with their 360 degree view cameras, recording it and then displaying it in Google maps.

Now I have read about a new service from a Dutch company – Layar – that allows you to view your environment and then get maps and any other location-specific information displayed, overlaid in real-time.

The video above explains it well, so watch it if you are interested. It looks quite promising and, if it catches on, could mean another SMS-style success or maybe not. :-)   Seeing my kids playing with their Nintendo DS camera enthusiastically, I think though this could well show the future of where location-based services are going.

Layar was developed by this company SPRX Mobile. Layar works wih Android on the HTC Magic but a prime target is the new iPhone 3G S as they mention. The whole approach is btw called augmented reality (AR) browser, just in case you did not know.

Ralf HallerRalf Haller June 9, 2009

On Twitter and SMS

Twitter triggers a lot of discussion about its usefulness and funny stuff as well like the video below. While I personally don’t Twitter – yet -I understand why it might be attractive to use by many. It is in my opinion the next generation of SMS which has – also very unexpectedly at the time when it started – been a huge success ever since and is still today a BIG revenue source for mobile operators. If I were an operator or SMS service provider I would be quite concerned right now, though, as Twitter might be stealing your clients. Best way to protect yourself is getting active by linking your service to Twitter or build something that is Twitter-like. Technically it is dead easy, to make it a widespread success a totally different story though.

Latest: Harvard has just published a report on the use of Twitter. The data shows that Twitter is tested by many but then never ever used again. Also it is a broadcast rather than a one-to-one personal communication tool. So I guess not an SMS challenger right now, although I think that’s what it could be used easily if not now then soon.

Ralf HallerRalf Haller May 16, 2009

PR event: WolframAlpha launch live on TV

WolframAlpha is launching the service over the weekend, and it is planned to be available on Monday as a public service. Of course, it is still up to us all to decide if we’ll add WolframAlpha to our list of daily online tools to use – I started taking my first steps just now and don’t have an answer yet. Now what I have to note as remarkable is that they’re showing the launch live on TV. This adds a nice personal touch, I think, and could perhaps be taken as a model for other projects. Why not do so for your very own launches? At the very least, it is quite brave to do this, I must say, and of course a nice PR activity that reminds me a bit of a Space Shuttle launch. To add to the show, there is a tornado warning in the area around the control center. It looks almost as if they had been waiting for that to happen to add some drama to the story. :-)

Ralf HallerRalf Haller May 5, 2009

WolframAlpha Launching in May?

The semantic search engine WolframAlpha got my attention this morning when it was featured in an article in the German newspaper FAZ. So I went to their website thinking that I could check it out myself but no, it does not work although it says “Launching May 2009″. Today is May 5. Maybe someone should tell this knowledge engine people that their PR is ahead of their product launch? So I maybe will come back next week or so if I don’t forget. Also their logo reminded me of some virus animations that you can see right now in all the media. I only hope for them that their product is actually better than their communications. Also Stephen Wolfram announced in this blog post back in March that it would go live in 2 months, commenting:

I wasn’t at all sure it was going to work. But I’m happy to say that with a mixture of many clever algorithms and heuristics, lots of linguistic discovery and linguistic curation, and what probably amount to some serious theoretical breakthroughs, we’re actually managing to make it work.

Pulling all of this together to create a true computational knowledge engine is a very difficult task.

So Steve let’s see what “time machine” you’ve got… my colleague Francis Turner just pointed out that Steve is a smart guy for sure; so now I am curious. Update: RWW has some screenshots at least from a web presentation that they attended a week ago here.