Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Crisis of Credit Visualized by Jonathan Jarvis

The goal of giving form to a complex situation like the credit crisis is to quickly supply the essence of the situation to those unfamiliar and uninitiated. This project was completed as part of my thesis work in the Media Design Program, a graduate studio at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

For more on my broader thesis work exploring the use of new media to make sense of a increasingly complex world, visit

Friday, February 27, 2009

State of Social Media in China

I just came across a good blog by Adam J. Schokora summarizing the take away by Forrester about the Social Media in China. 

1) social media in China is mainstream, 
2) creating content is more common than in the West, and
3) BBS discussion forums trump social networks.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nokia N86 launches in Mobile World Congress 2009

Nokia 's N86 8MP is Nokia’s first phone featuring 8-megapixel camera, 28mm wide-angle Carl Zeiss Tessar optics with mechanical shutter and variable aperture. It also has 8 GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, GPS, QVGA OLED display, FM Transmitter and microSDHC memory slot. 

I took some pictures with it and i must admit the picture quality is awesome and the design is pretty slick too. Check out the video below. 

Here is another video with interviews of the key people behind the creation of the new 8 megapixel Nokia N86.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

4-Year-Old Kylie Demos Windows Live Photo Gallery in New Ad

This adorable “I’m a PC” ad features Kylie, a 4 1/2-year-old child who shows how easy it is to use Windows Live Photo Gallery. In doing so, Kylie demonstrates the immense power and simplicity of the application by narrating the process aloud and making little fish faces.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ryanair allows in-flight mobile usage

Passengers of Ryanair can now make calls, send texts and surf the web. This is a dream come true for many business flyers but i m not too sure about the other non-business passengers seating next to them. 

Well, budget airline Ryanair is now providing in-flight mobile coverage on its UK routes.

The company is charging £1.50-£3 a minute for voice calls, £1-£2 for an 'average' email session and 40p to send a text (receiving SMS is free).

The Irish company says the service will be usable by customers of over 50 other mobile phone operators across Europe on a roaming basis.

The in-flight mobile bandwagon is certainly gathering air speed, in January British Airways revealed that passengers on its London City Airport to JFK route will be able to send text messages, emails and access the internet from their phones. The is definitely the trend and its just a matter of time when most airlines will have this service on board. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Latest from CNNIC : More than 117 Million Mobile Internet Users in China

According to the latest CNNIC report, there are over 640 million mobile users in China by the end of 2008 with more than 117 million users have used mobile devices to access Internet in last six months, more than doubled from a year ago. The report said that about 34% of China’s mobile Internet users are active mobile Internet users everyday.

Some key findings of the report are:

- 74.6% of China’s mobile Internet users are male;
- China’s mobile Internet users are young with 70.8% of mobile Internet users are under 19 years old, vs. 35.6% of Internet users;
- Similar to Internet usage, mobile IM is the most popular mobile Internet applications, with about 31.2% penetration rate;
- About 39.6% of users are reading Mobile Newspapers, a service provided by China Mobile;
- The report on mobile media also said about 15.7% users are using mobile video service, which is unexpectedly high in view that 3G network isnt in place yet. With 3G in place, this is going to be another huge area for growth.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Ultimate 7 Minute Workout

I m not sure how true and effective its but its worth the try since its only 7 minute a day and losing 14 pounds in a month. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Universal Phone Charger

This is probably the best news for consumers coming from Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona. The GSM Association has won backing from 17 mobile operators and device manufacturers to create a universal phone charger by the 1st January 2012.

The so-called universal charging solution (UCS) initiative, finalized last Friday and announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Tuesday, is billed chiefly as a green project, as the charger will be designed to be energy-efficient. The GSMA says the UCS would result in an estimated 50% reduction in standby energy consumption, and would potentially eliminate up to 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers.

However, the biggest attraction is bound to be the end of a long and inconvenient era of incompatible chargers that pile up as consumers buy new handsets. In the future, we could just pick up any charger and immediately have our mobile phone refuelled. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Skype is coming to Nokia's handsets

Skype and Nokia today announced a partnership that will bring the world’s leading Internet communications experience to the Nokia range of mobile computers. Under the terms of the cooperation, Skype will be integrated into Nokia devices, starting with the Nokia Nseries. The Nokia N97 flagship device will be the first to incorporate the Skype experience in the 3rd quarter of 2009.

The Skype experience will be part of the address book of the Nokia N97, enabling presence - seeing when Skype contacts are online - as well as instant messaging. Nokia N97 owners around the world will also be able to use 3G and WLAN to easily make and receive free Skype-to-Skype voice calls, in addition to low-cost Skype calls to landlines and mobile devices. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mobile World Congress 2009 Barcelona, Spain

It was a great sunny day to begin with at the Mobile World Congress. I came by taxi from my apartment which is located some 10 minutes away. As I reached the exhibition site at the Fira Barcelona, I could see there were lots of people queuing either to register or going into the exhibition halls. I was glad to have picked going on the 2nd day as I m sure the crowd was probably larger yesterday. 

My company, Velti has a booth in Hall 7 and for those of you who are around, you are more than welcome to come pay us a visit. 

Below are some of the pictures taken yesterday. Check out the new N97 and E75. These will be the 2 new phones I will surely be buying this year. 

Google introduces AdSense for mobile search

Google announced the launch of AdSense for mobile search, enabling operators and publishers to embed a Google-branded search box on their mobile portals and websites. According to the web services giant, the search box promises subscribers immediate access to Google search services including comprehensive web search, local, image, and news results, all formatted for handset screens. Operators and website owners will share in any revenues generated by searches that originate from their sites--while Google will serve the results pages, partners may also co-brand each page with their corporate logo, and link the pages back to their sites.

Like the majority of Google advertising systems, AdSense for mobile prices are determined via auction, and advertisers pay when a user clicks on its ad.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Top 15 countries by Internet population

Economist and blogger Justin Wehr has created this handy graph of the top 15 countries by internet population. It uses recent data from comScore, which puts the total number of unique users as of December 2008 at just over one billion. Below is the detailed breakdown.

Top 15 countries, by Internet population:

1. China: 179.7 million
2. United States: 163.3 million
3. Japan: 60.0 million
4. Germany: 37.0 million
5. United Kingdom: 36.7 million
6. France: 34.0 million
7. India: 32.1 million
8. Russia: 29.0 million
9. Brazil: 27.7 million
10. South Korea: 27.3 million
11. Canada: 21.8 million
12. Italy: 20.8 million
13. Spain: 17.9 million
14. Mexico: 12.5 million
15. Netherlands: 11.8 million

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coca-Cola Machine - Samsung Showcases Interactive Touch Screen Display

Developed in conjunction with Sapient, Samsung's uVending touch-screen technology brings a whole new level of consumer interaction to automatic vending. The technology uses animation and an interactive menu on its 46-inch display to advertise the product choices within the machine and guide users to make their selection. Demonstrated as part of a multimedia vending machine for Coca-Cola, the technology is also equipped with Wifi for automatic refill ordering and content updates, along with motion sensors and a built-in camera to document attempts at vandalism. Pretty cool...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How BIG is $1 Trillion?

Here CNN tries to explain how big is $1 trillion dollars. Imagine stacking up $1 note worth of $1 trillion and that should take you to 69 million miles into the space, about 1/3 of a distance to the moon! 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Samsung Mobile is No 1 in the US

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. eked out a slim lead in market share over Motorola Inc. in the United States last year according to new numbers from IDC.

Where Samsung showed 15.5% year-on-year growth between 2007 and 2008, Motorola showed a 38% drop. LG Electronics Co. grew 30.4% in the same period and expected to claim at least No 2 position in the 2009. Motorola’s reversal of fortune was stark: In 2007, the American vendor claimed fully one-third of its home market, which has dwindled to well less than one-quarter. This year is going to be neck-to-neck race between the 2 Korean mobile companies and don't be surprise LG overtaking Samsung. 

RIM, the fourth-place vendor, claimed 9% share and Nokia Corp. earned fifth-place with 8.5% share. Apple Inc. took sixth place with 4%.

The US market is increasing its popularity on smartphones who now buy smartphones in greater quantities than their Western European counterparts with RIM showing 88.5% year-on-year growth between 2007 and 2008, and Apple grew 101%. Smartphone shipments in the U.S. shot up 68% in 2008 over the prior year, while smartphone growth in Western Europe reached 37% in the same period. 

Samsung and Motorola, however, held down the bottom of the top-five smartphone vendor list, led by RIM (46% U.S. smartphone share), Apple (21%) and Palm (9%). Samsung had 6% and Motorola 5%. Where is Nokia??

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Google Earth Now Shows The Ocean Floor

Google Earth is now filling in that gap with a bathymetric map (the ocean floor.) Instead of looking at low res shading to show depth, now Google Earth lovers will be able to go beneath the surface to study the sea bottom in 3D. Ocean life, as in land life, is presented as it was photographed. Dozens of scientists worked with Google to make this happen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

50 million BlackBerrys shipped

RIM has celebrated shipping its 50 million BlackBerrys, ten years after launching the device.
It was January 1999 when Research In Motion launched the very first BlackBerry. Now, almost a decade to the day since that event, the company is celebrating having shipped its 50 millionth BlackBerry.

During the fourth quarter of 2008, the BlackBerry vendor notched up 2.6 million net new subscriber accounts and shipped approximately 6.7 million devices. As of the end of 2008, there were approximately 21 million active BlackBerry subscribers worldwide, with RIM's own BlackBerry infrastructure handling 3 petabytes of traffic per month, and it's not all email. Over 7 million people have downloaded the Facebook for BlackBerry application, the vendor claims.

Sometimes dubbed the Crackberry because of the way people become addicted to using it, it’s a favorite of President Obama, who has a special, secure model. Although initially aimed at business, it’s made great inroads into the consumer market with the BlackBerry Storm – Verizon alone has sold one million of those handsets. But the challengers, such as the iPhone and Google Android smartphones, are already out there, and more are on the horizon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Google launches Latitude for mobile users

Web giant Google has introduced a new location aware feature to its mapping application that allows friends and family to track each other via mobile handsets.

Google Latitude is a social networking feature that was added to Google Maps this week. Once a user has opted in, they can share their approximate location with any of their contacts, as well as staying in touch via SMS, Google Talk and Gmail.

Because location aware tools such as Latitude naturally raise privacy concerns, Google has been careful to make everything about the service opt-in. Users can define who gets to see their location, as well as set a manual location to make them appear to be elsewhere, or just a broadcast a city-level location.

At launch, Latitude is being made available in 27 countries, and on the PC, BlackBerry, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile and Android platforms. It is expected to come to the iPhone soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Moto's handset future in serious doubt

The continued presence of embattled US vendor Motorola in the global handset market looks shakier than ever, as the company reported a fourth quarter net loss of $3.6bn.

Last week, Moto reported sales of $7.1bn for the final three months of 2008, down from $9.6bn in the same period last year, while loss plummeted to $3.6bn, compared to a profit of $100m in the fourth quarter 2007.

The troublesome Mobile Devices segment was to blame again, posting fourth quarter sales of $2.35bn, down 51 per cent compared with the year ago quarter. Operating loss for the handsets unit was $595m, compared to an operating loss of $388m in the year ago quarter. For the full year 2008, handset sales were down 36 per cent to $12.1bn, with an operating loss of $2.2bn, compared to an operating loss of $1.2bn in 2007.

With the handset division now burning close to $2bn a year, any stand alone company would probably had filed for bankruptcy by now. And the company's newfound focus on Android-based devices is pretty much its last chance.

New handsets based on the Android platform are still on the drawing board and are expected to hit the market in late 2009 and 2010 and if Android fails to deliver the needed revenue and profit recovery, then I m sure Moto will certainly be heading into oblivion. Android-based devices are not recipe for retail success. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Leo Burnett predictions in marketing for 2009

There are few things that might not sound new, and some of them you may disagree. But it's a good set of inspirations for the new year. A year we all truly need to be very realistic.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Intel's futuristic cash register concept

This is the latest innovative new touchscreen cash register as conceptualised by Intel and in the future it can do beyond just registering sales, it can also upsell by making suggestion without being invasive. After customers scan their items, an image pops up depicting the objects they are about to purchase. The computer makes a suggestion based on this and projects the upsell items onto a virtual mannequin, accompanying the items already selected. If the customer likes these new items, the hope is that they will add them to their order.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

British Airways to offer in-flight mobile phone service

British Airways have confirmed they will be offering limited mobile communication services from Autumn this year, initially only aboard the London to New York JFK flight in business class. 

Interestingly, BA will not be allowing you to actually make a phone call, instead users will rely on SMS, email and the Internet to keep in touch on the plane. This can only be seen as a good thing as no one wants their journey disturbed by the endless ringing of a phone, however, British Airways have said they would introduce voice calls if the demand was there.

Emirates became the first airline to offer in-flight mobile calls in March last year, charging a hefty £2 per minute! According to the Daily Telegraph, a survey conducted by the newspaper revealed 85% of their Travel section readers would not use an airline offering the service. As long as voice calls are not involved, Internet in the sky sounds good to us!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One billion now online globally

China has the largest internet population in the world, while Google has the most popular sites.
ComScore says the total global internet audience (aged 15 years and older, from home and work computers) passed one billion users for the first time in December.

Asia-Pacific accounted for the highest share internet users at 41 per cent, followed by Europe (28 per cent), North America (18 per cent), Latin-America (seven per cent) and the Middle East & Africa (five per cent).

However, the data excludes traffic from public computers such as internet cafes or access from mobile phones/PDAs, so it could be much higher (especially where emerging markets are concerned).

China is the largest online audience with 180 million users, representing nearly 18 per cent of the total, followed by the US (16.2 per cent), Japan (six per cent), Germany (3.7 per cent) and the UK (3.6 per cent).

The most popular property in the world in December was Google Sites, with 777.9 million visitors, followed by Microsoft Sites (647.9 million) and Yahoo! Sites (562.6 million)., which has grown 127 per cent in the past year to 222 million visitors, now ranks as the top social networking site worldwide and the seventh most popular overall.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nokia confirms Vertu MVNO plans for Japan

Club Vertu mobile services will be rolled out using a managed service platform from Nokia Siemens Networks. Nokia hasn't confirmed when the service will go live, but it is due to open Vertu stores on February 19th.

Users of the Club Vertu mobile service will enjoy a host of benefits for tailored for high-fliers, including a members-only concierge service.

Nokia has always struggled to establish itself in Japan in the face of strong local competition, and took the decision in November to withdraw from the market completely with the exception of its Vertu handsets.

Its doubtful this service is ever going to make any traction. I m surprise that Nokia is heading this direction in view of their struggling development in Japan. I hardly see anybody carrying a Vertu let alone subscribing to the MVNO service. Perhaps I m not their target audience as its beyond my budget for a mobile phone. Aren't we in some kind of financial depression? Unless Nokia knows something about the future that we are not aware of.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gmail going Offline

Soon you will be able to access your gmail both online and offline. The guys at Google had started experimenting with it and in fact you can test it yourself by following these steps :

1. Click Settings and click the Labs tab.
2. Select Enable next to Offline Gmail.
3. Click Save Changes.
4. After your browser reloads, you'll see a new "Offline0.1" link in the upper righthand corner of your account, next to your username. Click this link to start the offline set up process and download Gears if you don't already have it.

Good luck and enjoy Gmail offline.