Discovery, discovery! Apple’s latest screens have plenty of magnets in them to use for pinning stuff to them. Be creative!
I used the opportunity to attach a sort of interactive sticker to it that streams my favourite stuff (currently Daily Show, Vimeo up and coming) and if you guys are lucky you might get one too, taking orders…
The magnets are EVERYWHERE!
Coins work well to attach stuff. Lower right corner, the tv stream.
Posted: September 6th, 2011
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A few slides from this year’s Cannes. Some might make you think, some might make you think … shit!
Clients know what they want, it’s just a challenge to get them to talk about it.
Yet most of the time you are asked to do the same over, in green. Fight brand duplication!
Which is why one needs to know who they are and treat them better. This is old common knowledge. The trick is to know who the customer is when talking and listening to them.
And the same is true for all creative endeavors, services, etc.
Give the client the choice where they want o standm, but make them aware of the pros and cons.
One of the nice ‘obvious’ brand service examples.
It is nore about events and live activity than ever, even live tv viewer numbers support this.
Confidence aside, honesty when there is a challenge ahead can avoid failure… lah blah (maybe i should take this one out)
Haha, (looking around) oh my… shit.
Same sod, ‘nother day.
And the first ones in line won’t make the most money, but will be loved again and again (so I heard).
Chris Cunningham’ work has always been described as controversial. Now, I don’t really know where controversial starts, so this will not be my public debate here. Especially, as I have to say there is much more controversial work out there, but then again, it won’t get the circulation that Cunningham gets. Sonar festival in Barcelona decided to show a number of his works during one of the rave nights in the middle of a huge complex outside of Barcelona, some 15,000 people doing various rave activities (dancing, mainly). They showed, amongst others, Cunningham’s ‘Flex’ (a naked man and woman beating and kicking each other violently, the woman heavily bleeding synched to a harsh base) and another one, which shows a sleeping kid, lying on bed, her facial features being pushed and eventually her stomach (cut?) open, again to some harsh electronic beats.
The simplicity of my description makes the imagery sound fairly crude and cruel, but the visuals in combination with the sound really are. There are moments the whole experience goes toe to toe with imagery from the HBO series ‘Spartacus – Blood and Sand’, which also pushed the boundaries for accepted pornographic and violent gory imagery on mainstream tv. As HBO’s intentions are straightforward, Cunningham’s decision to use such a primal language is at least to me, conceptually fairly two-dimensional.
How one might feel about this drift into violence and mutilation is one thing, but here is the thing that made the experience most shocking. Imagine standing in between a mass of teenagers and early tweens cheering and beer-drinking to that footage, without even a single age restriction warning. (I am not aware the event itself was age restricted). The combination of both cheerfulness, uncontrolled energy and dark extreme visuals made one realize how mobs can abandon common sense so easily.
Bottomline, I am very critical about the unrestrained showing of Cunningham’s work in a context where people are likely unprepared or unfamiliar with his work. This is not saying, his work shouldn’t be ‘controversial’ or not be shown, but I wouldn’t screen ‘Irreversible’ on a public square either. So apart from the generally positive vibe and experience of Sonar festival, that one, why,… Sonar why?
Posted: June 20th, 2011
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I had another early morning at the lovely Albion Society breakfast talks. This time we had two speakers enlightening us towards the idea of ‘Hacked Advertising‘. First off was Mads Holmen, Planning Director at GoViral, a company, which had recently been bought by AOL. He emphasized on the importance of knowing how to talk to your audience, which plainly has to be agreed with. He also pointed out that advertising companies should help communities to make informed decisions. That’s surely one cheeky way of putting advertising’s role in the world, although I am not sure he was aware of the cheekiness in this statement. Then there was the idea that content is important in order to reach your audience, yet how and in what relation e.g. curated content holds against UCC, was not specified, despite the fact that this would have been an interesting discussion. I asked myself afterwards, if content creation and social tools count as content or just services, so there is a question to my readers.
On to Gustav von Sydow, CEO of Burt, our second speaker. Not lacking of self-confidence, he introduced us to the term of ‘Agile Advertising’, which shall revolutionise and make digital advertising more understandable, analysable and efficient, as for now, it is too expensive, cryptic in it’s impact and sort of just a mess (in my opinion). Burt as a company would provide the tools to change all that. Which is where his description of what and how Burt will achieve that kind of ended. The rest of the talk was a list of historical references on efficiency and processes(The Toyota Way and Mr. Ogilvy) and the mentioning of how embarrassing digital advertising’s track record is so far. To his credit, he acknowledged that noone, including himself knows how to tackle the issue and that it is not surprising that digital compared to over 100 years old print hasn’t found it’s way yet, but the talk, though entertaining, didn’t quite make a point or clarify any particular approach to the subject. I think Gustav von Sydow talks the talk, but would say he didn’t really tell us what ‘Agile Advertising’ actually is.
Anyone who was at the talk this morning is welcome to enlighten me.
So second time Albion Society. I like the venue and the events so far, even though I have to say it’s impressive to see how limited the views of the advertising community are, given that especially digital is such a vast area and I have yet have to come out of a session with a link to an amazing video or service or website or something that actually changed my view on the subject.
The common sense seems to be that no one knows what’s going on but everyone agrees that digital is an amazing opportunity to make money either off clients or themselves. This is generally not a negative side to approach things (everyone has to eat), it’s just a shame that so far the discussions are not a bit more self reflective or even philosophical. Mark Curtis did very well on that on the last Albion.
That said, the last 10 minutes of the event contained a Albion initiated wrap up of phenomena such as Culture Jammers, which is just the branch out that I usually grave for. So I will do come back next time.
No images this time, didn’t see anything visually interesting, sorry.
Ah one link http://ad-alyzer.com/ is another analytics tool for digital ads.
Posted: May 4th, 2011
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Xcode 4′s Project template page does not recognize touchpad double taps. So any laptopping iPhone devs out there, just use the good old touchpad button and voila. Njoy!
Posted: April 5th, 2011
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In the process of a project that required me to think of ways to do something interesting with facebook profile pictures, I had the challenge to predict, where facebook is cropping it’s thumbnails. It easily becomes very clear that they are using some sort of face detection and a few extra rules to make sure the faces in a profile image appear in the best way possible on the thumbnails. I thought I publish my findings to make other people’s life easier.
Although facebook’s cropping mechanism is fairly good, it’s not perfect or not necessarily logic, however here is how I reversed engineered it:
I used face.com’s API to get the initial faces. Go there, get yourself a free API key and you will also see that face.com does way more than just simply detecting a face, but that’s another story.
REALISTIC FACE SIZE
In order to get the actual face, the basic rectangle needs to be enlarged. That is the original face detect recrangle is only cover- ing the eyes all the way down to the mouth and a bit of chin sometimes. But we want forehead, hair, etc. as well. Therefore I, and seemingly facebook as well recalculates this average rectangle on all sides, mainly the area above the eyes.
MAKE BEST USE OF ORIGINAL IMAGE
Now you probably have noticed that on some images, people’s faces are fairly small even in the thumbnail, meaning the thumbnail doesn’t try to zoom in too much. The main reason for that being that if you would do so, the thumbnail would pixelate badly. So facebook is using 85% of the image, given the lower side width or height to produce a square. You will find that even images that are the exact square of the face itself, are cropped on the edges.
After the maximum square is calculated, it is pushed into the image in case the 85% size goes over the edges of the image itself.
ADDING PROPORTIONAL GRAPHICS
And then the real fun begins. In the example below, I took all that information to place devil’s horns (why?!?) on every face. The face detect’s eye locations and yaw, roll and pitch help identify angled faces, and the gender property also from the face detection help me place different horns on men and women. For good measure, I put Simon Pegg all resized and smily next to the person most in the front, just the way he stood next to me at that Iron Man premiere…
The large red rectangle shows the predicted crop of the image, this is where you want to place modifications, if they should show in the thumbnail. It seems facebook crops the very center, if there are no faces and finds the middle of all centers, if there are multiple faces.
Given all that the code can make a much better experience than what Twibbon does and I have only started. The code is not per- fect, it will not work very well with sideways faces and covered faces, but that’s something I could fix, given I had more time on this. But as a proof of concept, I hope this one helps. It’s also not the most creative use of the tech, but imagine what other cool graphics and situations one could build with this.
I have a demo uploaded at http://www.resonancedesign.co.uk/cgi/php/profileModDemo/ where you can see it in action. If you want to test it on yoru facebook profile picture, go to your facebook account, right-click the image and copy the image location. Then add that URL to my demo URL like: http://www.resonancedesign.co.uk/cgi/php/profileModDemo/?sourcePath=mypath.jpg (e.g. http://www.resonancedesign.co.uk/cgi/php/profileModDemo/?sourcePath=http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak- snc4/186936_655357406_4468690_n.jpg)
Posted: March 18th, 2011
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Breakfast talks at Albion Society. Notes:
Clive Dickens, Simon Andrews, Mark Curtis, Raam Thakrar
From my perspective 3 salesmen and one with a critical mind.
Too much bizspeak with ‘we invented that word’ ‘make our clients money’ and ‘engaging markets’, however a few utterings that are worth mentioning. Square is a new iPhone hardware/service to enable the iPhone to act as a swipe card reader. Neat. The main component is this card reader for iPhone and iPad and it looks so far like the smallest and cheapest available. Wonder what else one could do with that.
Clive Dickens phrases the term ‘time-wasting apps’, by which he means finding opportunities for people to spend waiting time using apps and finding app ideas for this. I am not sure how much I agree with the term wasting time, when I wait for people or in a queue or are by myself. One part of me doesn’t want to define a market like that, the other sees the term as a superficial interpretation of reality, which is easily destined to misinterpret situations in people’s lifes and their needs of actual services. But maybe that’s just me being grumpy again.
Mark Curtis had by far the best insights, by telling us what facebook found out that ‘(mobile) virals don’t work for them’. Given that especially mobiles have digital content split up in a thousand apps that can’t share data, viral becomes a bit impossible. There is a niche for a data standard right there… SharedXML? You heard it here first.
What he also points out is integration and multi-platform. Where multi-platform is still a cost and maintenance point and therefore a challenge, integration is what is easier available and everyone ‘gets’. If you can’t get your servic eon facebook or twitter, you will have a hard time gathering, reaching and maintaining users.
Mark is CEO of Handmade Mobile, who currently have 3.5 mill users for their dating service Flirtomatic. Which he describes is a service, which let’s you ‘find people you don’t know yet’. Which is what I see a huge market: Find people you don’t know yet. And I am not just talking dating, I am talking networking in general, geographical understanding, tourism, etc. Few people have understood this fact yet that the easiest way to grow a market and community is to break the network behaviour of constant easy indulgence of conversing with people who already agree with you and who you already know. I predict, if facebook doesn’t get that at some point, they will struggle in 5 years.(sorry early caffeine trip). Do I want my own project’s like Urban Eyes and 80Days’ theory not just be a theory, maybe.
What’s interesting about Flirtmatic that it is not a dating, but flirting service. Given the faster, shorter scenario of mobile communication, Handmade Mobile realised that the activity of flirting fits the platform and community better than the old dating frame.
The last comment on Mark’s talk was that he sees mobile being the only platform which can escape it’s own frame. Like cinema, radio and tv, had tried before to go into other areas, they eventually failed, even though leaving interesting exprimentation in it’s path, yet essentially kept within their boundaries. Mobile with AR and other technologies can escape that and will.
Now I would argue that mobile’s frame was never just mobile browsers and phone calls. These were only frames from classic platforms(web and phone) that first appeared on the mobile platform. I would rather argue that mobile is still finding it’s frame, it is just escaping it’s web andphone ancestry, just like web is still trying to escape it’s print ancestry.
An interesting thought nevertheless.
If you want to explore the same thinking, check out his book, Distraction. Its about from 2005 old but the approach is timeless.
And the coffee was very nice.
Instead of using a switch for flexible function calling, have you ever tried:
SEL sel = NSSelectorFromString( [NSString stringWithFormat:@"handleElement_%@:", elementName] );
So happy I found the objective-C equivalent…
Posted: February 21st, 2011
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You are planning on parsing and XML string/structure in your iPhone application? The obvious choice would be to use NSXMLParser out-of-the-box. I recommend having a look at Phil Nash’s solution, which should make your life even easier. He wrote a nice extensive piece on it.
Posted: February 20th, 2011
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Must read, very detailed and in-depth on the state of affairs on Wall Street and it’s ‘regulatory’ institutions. One article that starkly contrasts the recent article on Jose Padilla by Glen Greenwald.
Matt Taibbi’s article : Glen Greenwald’s article
Posted: February 18th, 2011
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