Sudhanshu Saria, a senior in film making at Ithaca College, is participating in a cell phone film contest in Ithaca, N.Y., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2005. Ithaca College has invited high school and college students from across America to submit a 30-second film shot entirely with a cell phone. Saria likes the novel challenges presented by working with a cell phone and a 1- to 2-inch screen. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)

Ithaca College Launches $5,000 Cell Phone Film Fest
Details from the AP here

The school has invited high school and college students across America to submit a 30-second movie shot entirely with a cell phone. It may come off like a gimmick, but Dean Dianne Lynch has no doubts about the contest's academic value. In today's media marketplace — where cell phones can take pictures, play music and games and connect to Web sites — it's all about thinking small and mobile.

And now to quote a colleague ... "Why aren't WE doing this?"

Samsung Launches

From the Wireless Weblog: Blogger Netanel Jacobsson tells us that Samsung Mobile has launched, where users can download short films produced exclusively for cellphones from up-and-coming filmmakers. In addition, the service features an “Interactive Films” tool where a user can produce their own film by clicking on various icons and pre-produced scenes. Sounds very cool and worth a look. According to Netanel, the service is set for launch on Christmas Eve (Saturday), but he says the website is already up and running.

BBC News: Women Tempted by Gadget Gifts
Link to full story here

US women influence a staggering 80 percent of electronics purchases according to the CEA. Many prefer to purchase online because they find electronics stores such as Best Buy and Circuit City to be busy, cluttered and unhelpful.

Best Buy store

Podcasting Made Easy -

liberated syndication: podcast hosting made easy

It's only $5 a month. You can record your own Podcast at home, then upload it for publication.
Go there now!

[ Update: Sony Cancels All A.I. Funding ]

Asimo is Your Friend!

Photos of Sony's amazing robot here.


Fastest Growing Web Sites of 2005
AP News story here.

  • has 30.8 million unique visitors per month
  • Yahoo! is number one with 104 million visitors per month
  • Other fast growers are MySpace, Face Book, Google, Amazon and PhotoBucket.

USA Today: Poll finds Americans dependent on gadgets
... the year's biggest "duh" moment ...

It's an AP/Ipsos poll. One third of US households spend $200 a month for entertainment and communications connectivity (broadband, Tivo, cable, cellular, etc.) combined. That's 30 Million Households, people!

USA Today's Predictions for 2006

- Steve Jobs will fall from grace
- Consumers will embrace RSS
- Cell phone cameras will become useful
- Microsoft will rally against Google

It's a good article. Read it here.

Playstation 3 Demo - High Def Explosion
Show this video demonstration to your favorite agency producer!

What's happening here is the rendering of the explosion is being processed in real time; it is NOT an animation that was created by a digital artist and then "played" as a clip.

So get ready for real-time animation with the visual quality of The Incredibles ... on your TV, in your games and ... in your ads!

USA's Retail Dominance Fades ... ???

Nokia unveils first flagship store
DECEMBER 08, 2005 -- The first flagship store for telecommunications company Nokia opened today in the Pushkin Square district of Moscow, Russia. "Through an innovative retail experience like the new Nokia Flagship Stores, Nokia aims to inspire and educate consumers to the benefits of mobility and broaden the appeal of the Nokia brand. It is a place for discovery and entertainment," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, president and COO of Nokia, at the official unveiling in Moscow. "Whether it is demonstrating the features and capabilities of our latest multimedia smartphone or assisting a consumer with their mobile email settings, we want to offer a relaxing, interactive environment for consumers to truly experience the power of mobility." Interactive, multimedia displays will engage visitors as they visit the store, encouraging them to share images or send messages to friends and connect with individuals around the world. Shoppers will also be able to set-up their new devices, review service provider options and test the range of mobile enhancements related to their new phone. One area of the Nokia Flagship Stores will be dedicated to mobile gaming with direct access to the N-Gage Arena, Nokia's global mobile gaming network. As more flagship stores open around the world, visitors will be able to compete directly against scores posted by those playing at other Nokia stores.

Thou Shalt I.M.
Instant Messaging Popularity Jumps Says AOL
Read the article via PCWorld on Yahoo! News

  • Use of instant messaging in the US is up 19 percent
  • Used both at work and home
  • Many Americans are now sending more IMs than e-mail

According to the survey:

  • Fifty-eight percent of at-work instant messaging users now send IMs to communicate with colleagues
  • Forty-nine percent of at-work users rely on IM to get answers and make business decisions
  • Twenty-eight percent use IM to interact with clients or customers
  • Twelve percent of at-work IM users have used it to avoid a difficult in-person conversation
  • Twenty percent say they currently enjoy, or would like to try, making live voice calls to other computers, landlines, and cell phones directly from their IM service
  • Another 12 percent say they would be interested in an IM-based voice-over-IP (VoIP) service that could replace their primary household phone line
  • In Seattle, 47 percent of at-work IM users are most likely to say things in an instant message that they wouldn't document in an e-mail message
  • More than three in four at-work users, 77 percent, said IM has had a positive impact on their work lives
  • Also, 25 percent of at-work IMers say that instant messaging enables them to check in on their children during the workday, providing them with greater peace of mind

Among those who use instant messaging for business purposes, 13 percent say they have their IM screen name printed on their business cards, while 6 percent say they write it on the business cards they exchange.

New Oxford American Dictionary announces Word of the Year: 'Podcast'

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 12:21 PM EST

Only a year ago, podcasting was an arcane activity, the domain of a few techies and self-admitted "geeks." Now you can hear everything from NASCAR coverage to NPR's All Things Considered in downloadable audio files called "podcasts". Thousands of podcasts are available at the iTunes Music Store, and websites such as and track thousands more. That's why the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary have selected "podcast" as the Word of the Year for 2005. Podcast, defined as "a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player," will be added to the next online update of the New Oxford American
Dictionary, due in early 2006.
Click here for complete story

TiVo to develop TV ad search service
Mon Nov 28, 2:46 PM ET
"TiVo Inc., the company that made its name by letting users skip television commercials, said on Monday it is working on technology that lets viewers search for specific advertisements.The technology, which is expected to be launched in early 2006, is among the advertising industry's latest efforts to reach consumers using high-tech products to escape the traditional ad pitch." Read the complete article here.

What this means friends ... if you take a page from Seth Godin's Permission Marketing ... is that TiVo is updating its business model to become the de facto "permission broker" for consumers to "allow" or "deny" advertisers from reaching them through electronic media.

Chase blink card

Engadget Writes About Using the New "blink" RFID Credit Card
Overall, the answer is a squishy ... ummmmm ... not yet! Of course, that's due to security concerns. . A few choice quotes:

  • The worst case scenario involves someone getting their hands on a blink terminal and modifying it to increase the range. Potentially, someone could set up the terminal at a crowded location and collect the credit-card data of anyone who came within the terminal’s read range.
  • So far the security risk seems mostly theoretical, but I’ve already had my identity stolen once and am not very eager to go through all that again (plus I’d prefer not to have to carry my credit card in a special RFID-blocking metal sleeve).
Here's the full article, plus you can cast a vote on whether the author should use his card.

Iger on Digital Media

Robert_igerNice quotes from Disney CEO Bob Iger in the WSJ today (subscr. req.) on the video iPod deal:

I really wanted to use it as a catalyst to get the company thinking more about breaking with tradition and following the consumer. Interestingly enough, nothing has done more to reignite the company than this deal. It almost has created more value for the company than the deal itself.

. . . and on scope of the challenges the media industry faces today from digital technologies and how it needs to adapt:

There are more unknowns and potential threats swarming around the media business today. I've been in the business a long time and it feels like today is very different in terms of attitude at major media businesses or the entities that feed into media. I think a challenge all of us face in the traditional media space is the balance between tradition and economics. Our businesses tend to be a little too reverential to tradition and not as much to the consumer. Thanks to the power of digital technology, we're seeing pretty dramatic shifts in consumer behavior and demand. We have to pay heed.

It's good to know that someone in Medialand is paying attention.

The Human Locator via Freeset Interactive, Montreal, Canada

You must see this! An embedded camera in the signage dynamically "reacts" to people who pass by.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The site shows demos and quicktime videos of development tests. It's something we should jump on immediately.

Tech Talk c/o Tribune Magazine
"Once you decipher it, the language ... isn't so foreign at all."
Click here.

Now ... Videophone from Skype
Read about it here

  • Video chats, as part of instant messaging services such as one sponsored by Yahoo Inc., have been around for years, but they offer only jerky, pixelated, postage-stamp-sized video that looks like it was transmitted from Jupiter during a sunspot eruption.
  • With the Skype 2.0 update, the picture is far clearer, larger and more stable. So much so that this may be the long-awaited application that brings video telephony to the masses, especially now that webcams can be bought for as little as $30.
  • Opportunities for commercials, DR spots and interactive telemarketing videos are sure to follow

A video chat

Dynamically-Personalized Radio
This appears to be a commercial start-up offshoot of the Music Genome Project. Here's an NPR interview with the founder and CEO. The Wikipedia entry says, "When users enter their preferences, the Music Genome Project analyzes the style and particular elements of the songs or bands entered, and uses a search engine to find like artists and songs, both famous and fairly obscure. These more obscure artists submit their music to the Music Genome Project to become more well-known."