Posts Tagged ‘why’

Chromecast arrives in the UK

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Chromecast is a little HDMI dongle with built in Wifi connectivity to allow you TV to be part of your network and play videos and media from other devices on your home network. Of course you’ll need to buy into Google’s ecosystem with the Chrome browser or an Android device to make the connection, but for many people there’s enough value in being able to use a large screen TV that offsets the elements of privacy you give up to Google.

The Austin Connection

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

While this is the fifteenth airline leg so far this year, the current episode of ‘Where’s Ewan This Week?’ has nothing to do with the Eurovision Song Contest (okay, almost nothing, Manga are in town and I might bump into the boys in a Turkish bar). I’m en route to Austin, Texas, for my ninth trip to South by Southwest.

This is actually a strange feeling. The last few trips (Finland, Estonia, and especially Latvia) have felt like real adventures, to new locations (or in the case of Helsinki, seeing far more of the city and the surrounding suburbs than previously). But I’ve done the drag to Austin countless times for SXSW and more, so much of the trip feels like bumping into an old friend. I’ve stayed in the same hotel for the last six years, and there’s a comfort in knowing what to expect.

And that sums up SXSW for me. it’s a mix of exploration and new discoveries, along with old friends and familiar surroundings. Every year I have arrived at SXSW with a rough idea of what’s going to happen but leave much of the planning up to serendipity. Every year that has thrown up some amazing technology, new friendships that have endured, wonderful memories, and mentally fired me up ideas and inspiration.

As usual you can keep an eye on some of the fun from the Texan state capital on SXSW Baby!, with daily posts of things to do, thoughts on the event as it progresses, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting a few podcast interviews on the site.

If you are in Austin over the next two weeks and want to meet up for a chat, show me something fun, share some music, or anything else, then get in touch. The usual social media channels will work, but email is still the best (ewanspence@gmail.com).

Understanding the true goal of Firefox OS

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Nathaniel Mott, PandoDaily:

Anyone intending to compete with iOS or Android ends up relying on Web technologies, he said, and that depends on the improvement of open standards. Companies like Apple and Google try to create “walled gardens” to lock their customers into their ecosystems; Mozilla is trying to create an open field in which Web developers can frolic without fear of being tied to one operating system or another.

Why did Google Reader have to die?

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Christina Bonnington:

No matter what Mountain View says about changing user habits, though, both Now and Plus do one thing: They keep you in Google’s world. It’s a de-emphasis of content source. In other words, rather than reading Cat Fancy religiously, you’re reading the Animals category religiously — a category populated by the sites Google’s products think you’ll enjoy most. The focus is on the places, people, and subjects surrounding an article, not the brands that create them. And instead of receiving the headlines from CNN in your reader, they’re pushed to you on a Google service like Now or Plus.

Or it could be that Google really has your best interests at heart.

…I think shareholders are higher up Google’s priority list than users.

Why is Bonnie Tyler doing Eurovision?

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Just think of all the publicity my album will have. It’s a brilliant opportunity because 120 million people watch that show.

The future of media is cosplay

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

From The PA Report:

But let’s get back to the general ecosystem out there: How do sites justify running longer, in-depth stories that won’t bring in the huge page views? I have bad news. They write shit. Popular shit.

I stopped getting mad at the “Top Ten Japanese Panties I Jerked Off To Last Night” stories on certain sites when I realized that the hundreds of thousands of page views those articles received helped pay for a writer to spend a week gathering sources and do original reporting for a feature.

The “Sexy Cosplay” galleries are worth an epic amount of page views, and they get passed around social media, so the uniques aren’t bad either. The sad truth is that the content you hate on most gaming blogs is usually incredibly popular, and helps them pay for any solid reporting you do enjoy.

Golfers have a saying, ‘drive for show, putt for dough’, and I think the same brush stroke is also true for online journalism.

Facebook Home review shows the ultimate goal… time

Friday, April 12th, 2013

That said, I find it very telling that even this infrequent Facebook user found himself interacting with status updates instead of doing other stuff on my phone — Home radically increased my Facebook usage. If Facebook makes good on its promise to release monthly updates and these updates can significantly increase the basic utility of the homescreen, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a lot of people start using it.

That’s what Zuckerberg needs… Facebook Home has you interacting with Facebook more often, and for longer periods of time, on your mobile. Stop looking for deeper reasons, the one on the surface is the one that counts.

The story behind IsThatcherDeadYet.com

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

And then, finally, yesterday, almost three years after we originally registered the domain, we were flooded by a very sudden and very certain torrent of texts and Facebook messages, emails and Twitter replies. She is dead, they all said. In a panic, I forgot the site’s password, and then put up the wrong page for a few seconds, by accident. Jared did the same.

It lived, it burned, it died. What now? It’s a monument, a story, a mad idea seen through to competition. It’ll be imitated, but never bettered. In their own words, this is how Jared and Antonio shepherded IsThatcherDeadYet.com

About that National Anthem thing before every American sports event…

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Deadspin’s Drew Magary decides he wants to sing the Anthem at a ball game, and the Potomac Nationals oblige. This is his story of the anthem.

Loogit all the big words! I have no fucking idea what a rampart is. If you’re unsure of the words to the anthem, this section will out you as an imitation Enrico Palazzo. Melody-wise, this section represents the end of your honeymoon period. The American Ninja Warrior portion of the course comes next. You better have taken in enough breaths before this happens:

and the rockets’ red glaaaaare…

Adele’s ‘Let the Sky Leak’

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

So there’s a leak of just part of the new Bond theme, which hints at the ‘big ballad’ style and the use of John Barry’s motif. But it’s not quite long enough to fully get the track. It’s leaked at almost the same time as the time and date for the full reveal of the track is announced, and is being squelched on YouTube and SoundCloud for copyright reasons. But it’s really easy to find the ‘leak’ and hear the forbidden fruit…

That’s rather handy, in a PR building up the media buzz sort of way.

Can Firefox OS revive HTML5 on smartphones?

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

“The goal is that Firefox OS shows that the Web can be a viable alternative to proprietary applications,” [Director of Research Andreas] Gal said.

As the major websites online turn away from HTML to native code on smartphones, why is Mozilla’s Firefox OS pushing it as one of the main selling points? More to the point, there have been countless little mobile OS projects like this (such as Save JE), what makes this one special… beyond name recognition?

NBC’s failure is something everyone in media needs to understand

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Jeff Jarvis on the issues NBC is having thanks to the incredibly smart decision to tape-delay the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The bottom-line lesson for all media is that business models built on imprisonment, on making us do what you want us to do because you give us no choice, is no strategy for the future. And there’s only so long you can hold off the future.

Pearltrees have an iPad app… why?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I could have just said “Pearltrees have launched their iPad app” and pointed out they bought me a croissant in 2009, but isn’t it more interesting to ask why the next step after a desktop browser app is Apple’s tablet?

Based in Paris and launched around the world less than two years ago, Pearltrees  launched their iPad application today. Given the user base of the iPad, it’s one of the smartest moves Pearltrees could have made.

The discussion is over on Forbes.

Why I love Facebook’s “interesting news” view

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Back in olden times, people would get up and complain about the weather. Now that we have evolved and do everything else online, the weather is always the same – slow internet connection and not enough cute pictures of cats. What is there to moan about now?

So thank you Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, you’ve given the internet something better than rain. You’ve given us something to moan about every… single… day…

Tip of the hat to GD, if I could ever find the link on Facebook again. Must remember to moan about that as well.

Why would you publish a book yourself?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Cory Doctorow:

But, as with any arts venture and any entrepreneurial effort, the realistic odds are that you’ll be one of the people whose efforts fail to shake the world. The realistic odds are that you’ll earn more working a regular job in an office than you will trying to invent fictional worlds and then invent new ways of selling them. There’s only one good reason to do that kind of thing: because it makes you sane and whole and happy.