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Month: October 2005

How to park a tall unicycle

Never really thought how you’d park a really tall unicycle before. Now that I’ve seen this great use of a “no entry” sign I need never wonder again.

“iPorn”: pornographers embrace new iPod’s opportunity

Macworld UK – Apple iPod delivers “iPorno” revolution

The adult industry is huge. It’s no secret that it was adult-oriented sites that helped drive demand and technological advance for the Internet itself. The industry is also not scared to experiment.

Playboy’s decision in December last year to release an image gallery of some its models for the iPod photo proves this.

The move by adult sites to embrace Apple’s mass market product is one Apple’s competitors can only envy. Provision of such content may well drive iPod demand even higher.

For speleologists just emerging, the iPod in question is the new video iPod (vPod?)

In order for a pr0n business model to succeed you need to be able to download the material readily and thereafter store/access easily or better still transfer to like-minded souls. I can see than an iPod would solve the personal ‘library’ aspect (although I don’t foresee iTunes offering x-rated material on your .Mac account for a while yet!) but there’s a problem around sharing or exchanging since the iPod’s a ‘read only device’ in conception. Still, where there’s a willy there’s a way.

Still, let not new shiny technology detract from the “ancient art” of ascii porn… ah, those simple, low-bandwidth, high-imagination days of yore!


Aperture from Apple: iPhoto for pros

Apple – Aperture – Gallery

Just when I was taking jpegs rather than mess around with RAW in Nikon’s less-than-wonderful NikonView, along comes Apple with Aperture, reminding us that being the premier company for ‘our digital lives’ also includes still photography (as well as music, film and air-guitaring for GarageBand).

I came to this wondering why anyone needed a Quad G5, and now I know. The only question will be that, once Santa brings the G5, twin cinema displays and a home xserve setup for storage, whether I’ll ever get out of the house to take any photos!

Desire rating: 8/10.

“Windswept” accidental family photo


Woo – family photo!

We were wandering through Columbia Road flower market (where we live) with Antony, great friend, recently arrived from Hong Kong.

In the market there’s a great photography gallery called Lupe which is in a nicely renovated warehouse style building, housing a very attractice combination of art and commercial photography. Very accessible, very attractive and very assured.

Seamus Ryan is the gallery’s director and a commercial photographer in his own right. Anyway, he’s instigated a series of ‘shoots’ in the gallery on sundays, taking people straight from the market. He’d done a shoot called “Jump” where members o’the public bounced on trampolines against a black background. The results are posted on the website here.

So much for history. We were in the gallery last Sunday and the theme was “hero”: there was a stout “cloudy” background and a great windmachine. People were posing in napoleonic poses and generally having a laugh. Antony suggested that we all pose and, after a moment’s thought, Seamus went for it. The result is this fun ‘family photo’. The quality is lovely (medium format, film, well scanned… Ah – can’t beat it). The pose is a laugh although I’m a bit saddened that my wiry thatch doesn’t really ‘do’ wind!

The shoot has been renamed “Windswept” rather than “Hero”, but I think our pose is a mix between both 😉

Have a look through the whole shoot and you’ll see many local characters and market regulars in a new light. It’s a great record of the community and a fun way to spend time on a Sunday.

Nielsen: beyond WYSIWYG

Nielsen’s latest alertbox is entitled “RIP WYSIWYG“, in which he argues that the graphical interface of modern operating systems (Mac OSX, Windows XP) has reached the end of its useful life.

His argument is based upon the difficulty of finding commands when you need to click, drag, point your way to them, via nested menus, toolbars etc. He mentions that MS Word has over 1500 commands and blames the menu system for the fact they’re seldom used (rather than the fact that most users don’t need or want the features – it’s all things to all people, hence the feature bloat).

Nielsen’s rather credulous support of the new interface paradigm for Microsoft office is surprising. The idea of ‘tabbed controls’ is fine, but in essence each tab seems to simply have a couple of rows of, ahem, toolbars… The graphics are new, but that’ll simply mean that every other software company will need to microsoftify their interface so that they don’t look totally yesterday. Is this really so new? It’s just another way to use up screen real estate. Clicking/burrowing may be reduced, but is there any evidence of productivity improvements or greater use of the feature set? We’ll see, since I’m sure that I’ll be using it in due course, alongside 95% of office workers…

That aside, this alertbox really chimed with me. His thoughts are always interesting, but sometimes there’s a moment when you realise that your own behaviour had already changed but that you hadn’t articulated it. This is one such case.

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The other way to make money from blogs… sell!

AOL confirms Weblogs buyout | The Register

Hot on the heels of Gawker media’s deal with VNU for distribution/syndication in Europe comes the response from Weblogs Inc (erstwhile baiter of Nick Denton, and loud proclaimer of being the ‘business model of web 2.0′).

Calcanis’ answer to how to monetise his blog empire? Sell it to AOL!

From AOL’s perspective I have to wonder how this is any different from the Portal Dreams Phase of the web, when every portal had content editors and syndicated puffery in every ‘zone’ – to provide “stickiness” and to attract traffic. Hmm. This time round it’s a collection of mis-spelled perimeter sites (eg “Joystiq” for gaming info). Surely this is no more than creating your own affiliate/syndication network of part time hobbyist/journalists?

I wonder how many staffers you could have bought for the alleged $25m?

Despite the hype, this seems like a yesteryear deal to me. Then again, maybe I’m just miffed not to be trousering large ones from AOL 😉

Gawker media’s international expansion

Gizmodo International Unveiling – Gizmodo

What an interesting development (also covered on Nick Denton’s blog).

While paying for bloggers to effectively run online maga/fan/niche-zines was a great idea, the question was always around scale. Nick’s business model was neat and, where the personality and chosen niche gelled together the compelling read could easily turn a nice profit (where ad revenue > cost of blogger). One would always be at risk of said blogger being poached or going solo (as happened), but the clear niche for Gizmodo, the momentum behind it and a swift, good replacement covered that nicely.

The next question was enhancing the commercial model. There were forays into paid/sponsored content, or getting closer into bed with advertisers, but these sit uncomfortably with the open, “part of the community”, blogger approach.

The current link with VNU is therefore a neat change. Nick gets distribution (and free translation!). Good brand extension. Syndication, in a word. VNU gets some cobwebs blasted off its offerings in this area and hopefully lots of names and addresses so they can sell subscriptions to them when they have their work hats on.

Nick hasn’t anything to lose: hell, anyone could have copied/linked to the blog anyway! VNU gets to see whether these micro, difficult to manage “communities” have any point. I wonder whether they’ll manage to find a way of making supplier/advertiser support more palatable?

I also wonder of course how the sk8tr-boi geek patois of Gizmodo will translate into French or Italian… If only my French were good enough to be able to tell!

This move shows that Nick is still combining learnings from publishing, especially syndication, with a good ‘nose for a niche’ and an eye (ear?) for a deal.

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