Monday, April 18, 2005

Mobile Music & I-Tunes Theory

I'm what you call a regular user of Real's Rhapsody ... my brother pays for the service, and I generally log in and use his service while he's sleeping (since I'm +9 hours ahead of him) .... toward the end of my work day, I generally get a " *Ping* User has logged in from another location" followed by an IM from him saying, "Get off my Rhapsody." It's a pretty cool service ... he pays I think 9.99 USD per month or something and can listen online to any (900,000 choices) song as he wants. Seemingly, it's much better than iTunes, as you get some pidly 30 music previews then gotta pay 99 cents per song in some crappy ACC format. Real allows you to burn Rhapsody songs for 79 cents (not sure what format, probably Real's).

Anyway, what is INTERESTING is that no client side application (a dumb downed version) has been made for PPC or Symbian based devices ... with EDGE/3G pretty much starting to hit a slow stride, I most certainly wouldn't mind draining a bit of my device's battery to pick any song I'd want to listen to on my phone/PDA ... why not. You don't even need a lot of space to stream songs ... Maybe it's just me but that would be pretty cool. Who the hell (besides Apple freaks) want to buy some over-priced Mp3 player and then pay 99 cents per song? Sure, people are doing it, but I bet if Real had their own player with such a service (and say, Bluetooth in their player to connect to a phones's GPRS/EDGE/3G connection), that'd be awsome and would murder Apple on the spot (ok, not murder, as Apple's marketing folks are awsome).

Again, all of this goes back to Platforms (Windows/Symbian) vs. Hardware (Mac/iPod) ... Nokia didn't learn much with the N-Gage (hardware, instead of a platform), it seems Sony with the PSP is gonna go pretty much the same route ... one day, maybe they'll all get it right. This is why I'm still crossing my fingers for Symbian. Time will tell.

[ Technorati Tags: Bluetooth Mac iPod
Mobile Music Mp3 Players ]

Sunday, April 17, 2005

10mb to 2GB email via SMS...

Not all that interesting, but might have been something cool for Hotmail to do to sell "premium" email accounts ... Czech protal has been offering free email accounts for the last 6-7 years .... you get a simple 10mb account (available via POP3 or IMAP, however....) for free just by signing up. Well, they've up'ed the act and offer premium accounts that come with 2GB of storage and allow you to send 13mb attachments.

The cool thing about it, is that they just didn't upgrade all 4 million of their users ... if you wanna upgrade, you gotta send a Premium SMS for 3kc (about 13 cents USD) to get it activated. It's obvious they're not trying to make extra money off this, but it's a good way to upgrade only those who WANT the space. Even though I don't use my Seznam account all that much, I sent my SMS -- it costs basically nothing and I'm juiced with 2GB now.... how cool is that.

Compare that with Microsoft's Hotmail Plus premium account $19.95 USD per year .... you basically get the same storage (2GB), ok, fine ... but you gotta pay with credit card. There is nothing impulsive about that, and I'm not keen on giving them my credit card -- they should just charge a premium SMS (and lower their price abit, since they'll never compete with Google's gmail) ....

It just goes to show that many US tech companies are still very primative when it comes to mobile technologies ... in the Czech Republic, you can join almost any online chat, make donations, etc.. all via premium SMS ... it's an old technology, but allows for impulse buys and is generally easy to use ... not sure why people haven't jumped all over it yet. Strange.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Jellingspot in Action

Well, today I was doing my rounds at the Novy Smichov Shopping Center where we have our Project Novy Smichov under full steam with our Jellingspot Data Server ... I decided to make a quick video (Mp4 Format) of a Jellingspot in action with my P900 ... so please excuse the video quality .. you can't see much, but you can hear a cool "bling" (kinda like the "bling" in Monthy Pyton's film "The Meaning of Life," if you know what I'm talking about...). Once we go live with our 5th store (Palace Cinemas is on deck ... see title graphic), we will make a more professional video you can actually see. This video just shows our Adpusher service in action -- basically, once you connect via a phone with Bluetooth (and our client application), ads will rotate on your screen (in this case, game screen shots from JRC Gaming, one of our customers) ... you can save these ads to your phone's inbox and MMS/Bluetooth/IrDA them to your friends ... or whatever you want.

Also, for those of you out there who haven't noticed much activity on the Jellingspot website, it's because a new website is under construction ... our super bad ass designer Alexander fires me a few new samples every few days ... here is the latest sample. It has all kinds of little flash enhancements all over it, but it's not too robust -- so, we'll see. We want to launch it when we have the Windows stack complete, which I can say is basically done. Once everything is in place, we're gonna come all at once -- and it's coming soon, so stay tuned.

[ Technorati Tags: Jellingspot Proximity Servers Gaming
Bluetooth Marketing ]

Friday, April 08, 2005

PSP & Ad-Hoc Gaming

Well, it seems talk about the Sony PSP has blown all over the place ... and for some reason I just don't get it. I mean, from a gaming point of view, it's just following the same "curve" of gaming consoles getting better from a (mainly) graphics point of view ... having owned an Atari Lynx back in the OLD SKOOL days (it rocked by the way, Blue Lightning was all that, and a bag of peanuts), it's not like it's getting "more portable" -- seems just the opposite. What seems to be happening (like with phones and PDAs) is a convergence of technologies ... so, instead of just a gaming console, you can now listen to MP3s, movies, surf the web ... it's not really doing anything special or new. Worse, in the case of the PSP, is that most of these "cooler" functions are hacks ... seeminly not intended to be open ... people are bragging about hacking the PSP to use IRC, etc... that's cool if you're a geek (hands up!), but is it really gonna impress the Early/Late majority? Why in Godzilla's name didn't the PSP just come with a browser option pre-installed (like Opera or a dumbed down Firefox), movie player, etc.... why does everything have to be hacked? Seems like a rather stupid move on Sony's part ... if your device can do it, why limit it?

Then there is talk about playing against other people -- which I think is cool, but the N-Gage has been doing it for 2 years ... and now, all of a sudden, it's a big deal? (granted, if you can play via Wi-Fi through your network against somebody playing on their LAN at home, that's an improvement) All of the hype just doesn't excite me ... I'm not really seeing innovation -- I'm just seeing technologies being mixed (which I like by the way) into one device ...

Does this mean that, PSP 2 might include a GSM module, so you can make phone calls? The days of propritary systems are coming to an end (anybody ever heard of a PC?) ... there needs to be an open platform on such devices .... and then we can go crazy. The N-Gage had the opportunity, but chained themselves to one game deck .... the PSP is essentially the same ... somebody, BIG, needs to come out and "license" a platform (Microsoft, are you listening?) that works one multiple phones .... do what the N-Gage failed to do, and rule the world...

Anyway, whatever the case -- backing up real quick to Ad-Hoc gaming -- the N-Gage has been doing it, the PSP is now doing it (with a different standard ... sound familiar?) ... what's next? Ad-Hoc gaming is gonna be big -- MARK MY WORD -- Nokia is pushing it hard on a "dead man walking" device (clemency would be the N-Gage jumping back as a platform) ... Sony will eventually start pushing this feature harder as well or its fans will. In fact, what I'm saying now has already been spoken about in a bit different form by others (Russell Beattie's comments HERE come to mind for starters).

Anyway, hype is good, but too much is a big turn off ... especially for the larger markets -- you can't hype up a device that you've gotta hack. That's rule number #1. Do you think Paris Hilton is gonna hack her own? However, get that out of the way, and somebody is gonna (actually, already is) make a lot of money.

[ Technorati Tags: Wi-Fi Sony PSP
Ad-Hoc Gaming Proximity ]

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Horror of Moving

Well, you can see I haven't posted much lately -- OMFG, moving is getting harder and harder as I live over here in Europe ... mainly because 1. the longer I'm here, the more stuff I accumulate, and 2. I'm getting older (28), so lifting 200lb boxes just aren't tossed around anymore like paper (yeah, right) ...

Having lots of computers and tech toys in your flat is cool, but when you have to move them ... that's when the sucking begins. And then once you move in, there is the issue of buying MORE stuff ... a lot of tech toys I've been eyeing are now on hold as I pay back Mr. Creditor for lending me money to purchase more furniture, etc...

The good news is, I had cable broadband plugged back in the DAY I signed the contract -- so naturally, the first thing I had working in my flat was my computer on the net... I am such a geek.

Anyway, I've got a load of unpacking and cleaning to do still, so it may be a few days before I start posting meaningful (I hope) comments again ... in the meantime, looks like Europe and North America are starting to get some good weather, so those of you there go out and enjoy it!