Archive for February, 2012

Anthm: make your own jukebox with friends

Just recently I was in a situation where I was discussing with a friend that it would be cool to have the Jukebox option at a party.

Well, here is one solution to it! Anthm is a nice little app that lets you start a song queue where friends can throw in their records chosen from Rdio‘s library of millions of songs. Perfect would be if the app at least also inter-operates with the Android OS.

Check the video to see how it works.



America’s incredible mobile year 2011 or the clamor for more spectrum

The US isn’t the largest developing and consuming country when it comes to wireless technologies you would have said in the last few years compared to Europe or Asia, especially Japan or India. This has changed looking at the figures of 2011 (from 8.8 trillion texts were sent which presents 15% more than the year before, the data traffic soar by 1800% in the past four years (!), 166% increase of Facebook Mobile users in the first half of 2011 only, 103m wireless tweets posted each day, more smartphones were bought than PC. Short video with more facts about the year:

In fact, the market with its smartphones and user behavior is pretty hungry but the mobile network is currently running out of airwaves (know as spectrum crunch). On 14 February 2012 America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rejected the possibility to increase the capacity consistent of the proposal by LightSquared to use airwaves formerly used by satellite operators. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) stated that LightSquared technology would interfere with navigation equipement used by planes and operators (see recommendation).

(via cnnmoney)

Heads of AT&T and the FCC are currently discussiung new and different approaches to the spectrum crunch at this years Mobile World Congress currently running in Barcelona, reports 

Not surprisingly, Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, pushed for a more market-based approach to spectrum allocation here at Mobile World Congress, while FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski expressed concern that a recent spectrum auction deal in Congress might decrease the agency’s power on the issue.

One spectrum crunch option that recently made its way through Congress is voluntary spectrum auctions, with broadcasters selling unused, excess spectrum to carriers. The FCC would oversee the auctions, providing some of the proceeds to the participating broadcasters and the rest to the U.S. Treasury.

Earlier this month, AT&T argued that the FCC should not be allowed to impose restrictions on the auctions – namely, the commission should not be able to limit how much spectrum the larger, more wealthier carriers could snap up.

One of the concerns about not having FCC oversight of auctions is that the biggest carriers like AT&T and Verizon will buy everything, leaving nothing for the smaller providers. To that end, T-Mobile and several consumer groups recently asked the FCC to stop Verizon from purchasing $3.6 billion worth of spectrum from the nation’s top cable providers.

Verizon defended the purchase in a recent blog post.

“Rather than waste time arguing about spectrum efficiency, let’s focus on the issue on which we all agree: America’s wireless consumers face a spectrum crunch that won’t be relieved by Verizon’s spectrum purchase,” wrote Charla Wrath, vice president of Verizon policy development. “It’s up to the industry, as well as policymakers, to help ensure that more spectrum reaches the marketplace soon, so America’s wireless industry remains the global leader in innovation that it is today. I’m sure T-Mobile would agree with that.”

Do more of what makes you happy

Sounds easy, but often we let ourselves get distracted by other things which we think is better or more prestigious, by what we should do or by what we think brings in more money. This applies to companies or business cases too. However, I am personally convinced that if you do what you love and where your passion lies in, without listen to other people around you, then everything else follows: prestige if you want, money, success, happiness, self-fullfillment.. As for companies, I believe if the basic customer need is fullfilled and how the customer wants it, then everything else follows too (success, money, brand value, sustainable relationships..) – just look at the iPhone and the time before the iPhone in terms of accessing the internet.

Maria Popova from Brain Pickings put together a great list of seven thinkers on these ideas – here a snapshot of the full article:

    “Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like. If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious.”
    “One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.”
    “28. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
    This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.”
    “Work is an intended activity that is accomplished through the will. Writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms — these are labors. There is no technology, no time-saving device that can alter the rhythms of creative labor. When the worth of labor is expressed in terms of exchange value, therefore, creativity is automatically devalued every time there is an advance in the technology of work.”
    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
    “If you can… fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams. Whatever it was that got you to this school, don’t let it go. Whatever kept you here, don’t let that go. Believe in your friends. Believe that what you and your friends have to say… that the way you’re saying it — is something new in the world.”


I am sure you have read about this 23 year old guy, he’s an incredible talent and does not only elute basketball fans after his 38 points in the game against the Lakers. The Knicks try to hold up with merchandising as online sales rocket by over 3000% through Lin!

CNNMoney (article) writes that Asian-American basketball and media phenom Jeremy Lin now filed the term “Linsanity” for trademark. “Lin’s trademark application includes more than 50 consumer products on which he would own the rights to “Linsanity.” However, Krugman said even if someone tries to file for a trademark on a product not named in Lin’s application, there’s a good chance he would be able to block the competing application given the breadth of items in his own filing. Lin merchandise has become some of the hottest items in the world of sports, though it’s so recent that hard sales figures are not yet available.”

Continue reading ‘Linsanity’

Brands get physical to build trust

This piece goes along with what we learn in marketing classes that a person is more likely to buy a product/convinced of a product when he can touch it rather then just smell or even only see it on a picture. However, the sensory experience can yet be a bigger differentiator as we become substantially more digital. Further, customer’s touch points with a brand are opportunities to make a trustworthy relationship. Fast Company has an interesting article on this:

From handshakes to hardware, intimate signals constantly affect us in life. As the world becomes increasingly digital, we are losing many sensory signals that once moved us. Here’s what can companies do to reclaim these touching moments. […] We’ve come to depend on a whole new set of tones as we key in numbers on an ATM or a cell phone. […] we need to find a way to compensate for the absence of touch.

Blood brother trailer

“Blood Brother” is a documentary movie about the young American Rocky Braat travelling through India to make an impact by helping HIV infected children. The trailer is moving and promise a wonderful documentary.

Blood Brother is the story of group of children infected with HIV and Rocky Braat, a disenchanted young American drifting through India. He wanted to save them all, but in reality he couldn’t cure even one of them. He had to stay. It’s a hard life. He faces opposition in many forms. He lives in a concrete hut. Sometimes, he is close to despair. But working with the kids gives him a sense of purpose. The truth is, he needs them as much as they need him. They teach him, daily, that love is the only thing that makes life worth living.

underwater photography: ruff water

Water was always interesting for me and thus have tried to be in, under or on it as often as I can – be it just swimming in the lake of Zurich or wake boarding, I love this element. With my lomo fisheye camera I went under water in my last year’s holidays and got pretty decent shots. However, the following underwater photographs by Seth Casteel tops everything I have seen so far.



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