Free mobile phone calls sounds like a great idea, but how to pay the bill to the operators? Start-up Blyk (founded by an ex-Nokia exec) is exploring a new business model based on advertisment. They have launched a service in the UK for 16 to 24 year-olds, offering free calls and SMS in exchange for receiving up to 6 ‘brand messages’ and adds per day. Focussing on a dedicated user group is an interesting twist, as this makes the adds more valuable…
Zink is a US-based start-up that invented a way to print digital images on paper, without the need for ink cartridges or toner. The magix is in the paper: it consists of millions of dye crystals that change color when heat is applied (see video). First applications are mobile printing (printer embedded within phone, digital camera etc). It seems like a Poloroid revival. Probably it is too early to through out your HP printer, but defintely interesting to watch…
The image resizing tool that I talked about in a previous blog entry, is now available as rich internet application, called Rsizr. According to MIT Technology Review, the founder of Rsizr saw the video, read the research paper that was published at Siggraph and decided to implement the algorithm into his tool. There is even another start-up that has done the same, but made it a Photoshop plug-in. That’s the speed of innovation!
This week I was lucky enough to be visiting Barcelona again, although there was little time to enjoy the city. Adobe’s developers conference (Max) was in town and around 2000 geeks, developers and the odd marketeer crowded the ‘how to’ sessions. I learned some new things about Adobe:
- ‘Share‘ is a new file sharing application (currently in beta). What makes it interesting is that you can preview the documents within the app (although currently limited to PDF and images).
- Adobe ‘Express’ is code name for Adobe-developed Rich Internet Apps, based on their ‘Air’ platform. They showed a web-based version of Premiere Express . Sites such as MTV, Photobucket and Youtube have embedded the tool within their sites. Photoshop Express is coming as well. The tools are clearly aimed at the masses and do not replace or duplicate CS3 apps.
Strategy of Giving is the promising title of a ‘yet to be published’ book. I found it while I was browsing on Slide share (looking for inspiration). It seems a brilliant way to create some attention and buzz for your own book, even before it is finished. I am definetely interested to read it.
I very much enjoyed reading this book, Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki (kottke.org). Research has revealed that groups of people make consistently better decisions than individuals, as long as certain conditions have been met.
“If you ask a large enough group of diverse, independent people to make a prediciton or estimate a probability, and then average those estimates, the errors of each of them makes in coming up with an answer will cancel themselves out. Each person’s guess, you might say, has two components: information and error. Subtract the error, and you’re left with the information.”
The book describes the necessary conditions and discusses many examples. Many social communities and websites are based on these principles. For instance, You Tube or Slideshare use the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to filter out the most interesting content (not necessarily the most-viewed content).