Friday, March 10, 2006

> The Tube Network: A Simple Idea That Is Radically Different

Music = Memories.

It's a simple equation, a simple statement but one that is incredibly powerful. We remember certain times, certain people, and certain places when we hear a song. Some of us, myself included, have a running soundtrack in our heads. At this point in history I am pretty much convinced that there is nothing that cannot be addressed by a rock lyric. Try it sometime, there really is a rock lyric for pretty much any situation you find yourself in.

For those of us who have such a near-psychotic connection to music there is The Tube Music Network.

But what is on TTN is only part of the story. The broadcast of The Tube Music Network will be achieved via a unique concept referred to as "multicasting," which will enable consumers to receive The Tube Music Network, free, over-the-air on new television sets that are enabled with digital tuners and via digital cable service. Multicasting has only recently been possible due to improvements in digital signal transmission compression and new FCC regulations that enable programming to be carried on a broadcaster's digital bandwidth.

In 1996, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act which gave the new digital spectrum to existing broadcasters for the transmittal of digital broadcast signals beginning in 1998. The FCC has mandated the move to the digital spectrum, thus enabling broadcast stations the ability to air additional programming channels.

Hey, an FCC mandate plus the ability to air additional programming channels. Sounds like a new market to me.

More blogs about musicvideo.
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> Yaris: Toyota's Pre-Market Community

With links to topics such as "What to Expect at the Dealership" and "Understanding Credit", Toyota has launched their first-time-buyer-friendly website...and car... bafflingly called Yaris. Oddly, the perky little website takes you to a painfully corporate Toyota-speak website that dims the experience but if you ignore those pesky real-world details, it is a fun place to dream.

While one has to wonder what process yielded the regrettable name, you do have to admire Toyota's offering here. Sure, it is a little bit too "aw, gee shucks" and while the interface for the Yaris Configurator is rather slow, it is kind of fun. I'm sorry, I have to return to the name...what if it turns out to be an acronym for "You'll Always Remember It's Slow"?

I also thought it was notable that the decision process copy starts by asking about "Your Yaris" and further down the decision path it starts referring to the vehicle as "My Yaris". Ahhh, the swinging-watch-in-front-of-eyes school of copywriting.

> Postsecret: Visual Confessional.

They say the most interesting businessplans/movie plots/storylines can be captured in a simple sentence. Here's one now:
"PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard."

I am a visual person so I appreciate seeing the images that people have crafted for their confessions.

But there is also tremendous value in this:

Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 1:02 PM
Subject: Question for you

Which postcard is your favorite?

I was inspired to write my secret on a postcard and mail it to you. But when I faced my secret on the card it made me sick. So instead I tore-up the card and decided to change me life right then. For me, that unseen card represents the hold secrets can have on us and our power to break free.

> Thumbstacks: The Blessed End of "Did You Get My Powerpoint?"

Presentations used to be fun, you could do a grownup version of show and tell and you would either get the business or not.

Then, in the era of Powerpoint presentations, there came an apparently non-optional step whereas entire rooms of people were bored to tears by screen after screen of information.

Soon people realized that they could email someone a Powerpoint presentation. Or, in a complete reversal of progress, one could snailmail a CD of a presentation.

It wasn't long before offerings like WebEx offered some hope to those who wished to present to prospective business partners but not spend excessive time in airports. But, alas, it wasn't the most friction-free experience for many and it usually ended up having to call in Ned from IT before every WebEx presentation.

Now there is Thumbstacks, a bare bones but functional application that allows users to build presentations online and present them via a permanent URL. It uses both Flash and Ajax - it uses Flash if its installed, and defaults to Ajax if not.

A demo can be found here.