Another fan created iPod ad

Do you remember the iPod ad the school teacher George Masters produced a few years ago? Well, there is a new fan-created ad, this time by an 19-year old from the midlands in the UK. And while Apple never even made a single statement about the ad Mr. Masters produced in 2004, they now asked their agency TBWA/Chiat/Day to fly the boy to LA and professionally produce the ad.

At the time of writing this, the ad had been viewed more than 440.000 times, 388 comments, and 569 favourites.

This success is probably also due to the case that big shots like the NY Times, Wired, Gizmodo, and MacRumous picked up on the story… And the fact that „User Generated Content“ has become a rather familiar concept since 2004 – apparently even for „divas“ like Apple.

(But if you ask me: it’s a horrible ad, especially the music!)

Google, Marissa Mayer and the future of search

The Searchnomics Conference just took plave a few days ago. Read/Write Web covers the presentation of Marissa Mayer of Google, who talked about 8 areas Google is currently working on (or has launched only recently), which will define the future of search:

Automated translation: According to Mayer, someday in the future Google could automatically search content in all languages and present all the translated results to the user on the same page, regardless of language!

Book search: they are adding metadata about books, so that Google’s algorithms can understand what the book is about, relevant references, and availability of the content.

Images and video: one of their recent changes is to include all web videos into Google search; it is no longer limited to content within Google Video

Voice search: a free phone service that you can call to perform a voice search. As the usage of this system rises, the increasing number of samples of user input will be used to improve voice-to-text technology; users are, in effect, training the system to recognize voice commands

Universal search: the blending of different types of content, such as images and news, into the main search engine

Maps and local search: There are some interesting new advances in this area – for example, Google Maps now supports traffic display, based on data licensed from third parties…

Client software: Google Gears and Gadgets: Google Gadgets enables third-party developers to create tiny applications that live on the desktop and connect to the web in the background to pull in information from the web. Google Gears provides a browser plug-in that, in Mayer’s words, takes Ajax applications and makes them better.

iGoogle: As an example, Mayer said that although she’s a big fan of Netflix, she probably would not make it her home page; with a gadget, however, Netflix could still establish a presence within her home page

One of the most interesting things for me is, however, how people get so excited about Marissa Mayer:

At the end of the session, I had the opportunity to meet her briefly [certainly one of the high points of the conference for me!]

Admittingly, she is pretty. And supposedly, she is also very smart. But the main things is positioning. She is a pretty and clever girl in a world of geeks.

Digital Attention Deficit Trait…

So this how people get alienated these days: by having too many digital connections with others. Says this article on Forbes.

Thanks to technology, people have never been more connected–or more alienated

There is a lot of Klischee stuff in that article, but yet some good quotes:

The self that grows up with multitasking and rapid response measures success by calls made, e-mails answered and messages responded to.

We live a contradiction: Insisting that our world is increasingly complex, we nevertheless have created a communications culture that has decreased the time available for us to sit and think, uninterrupted.

One thought, though, takes it a little over the top, I think:

One says, „I don’t have enough time alone with my mind“; another, „I artificially make time to think.“ Such formulations depend on an „I“ separate from the technology, a self that can put the technology aside so as to function apart from its demands. But it’s in conflict with a growing reality of lives lived in the presence of screens, whether on a laptop, palmtop, cell phone or BlackBerry. We are learning to see ourselves as cyborgs, at one with our devices. To put it most starkly: To make more time means turning off our devices, disengaging from the always-on culture. But this is not a simple proposition, since our devices have become more closely coupled to our sense of our bodies and increasingly feel like extensions of our minds.

(found on the „cult of the amateur“ blog.)

This is fanfreaking fabulous!

Steve Jobs has announced the new iPhone. And man, do I want one!! You can check out a transcript of the presentation at engadget, including photos of the new toy. I borrowed some, hope that is alright (let me know when you need them back).

The main thing: the whole phone is a huge touchscreen, except for a homebutton. I mean everything. Even the button lock is unlocked via a move on the touchscreen (one that can’t just happen by accident in your pocket).

You apparently also don’t need a stylus, as you can do everything with your fingers, almost as you are used to it from the clickwheel from the iPod.

All the Buttons you need appear when you need them:

I am absolutely fascinated by this. Of course you can also listen to songs and watch videos with it. Freeking brilliant, really.

So what will it cost?

So how much more than $499 should we price it? We thought long and hard about it… it does so much stuff…” He’s stalling for the drama. Enough Steve! “What should we price it at? For a 4GB model we’re pricing it at $499 — no premium whatsoever.
“We’re going to have an 8GB model for just $599.”

Unfortunately we’ll have to wait until June 2007 until it becomes available. And that’s probably only in the US. When will I be able to get it in Germany?