August 31, 2011

Where’s my brain ?

A recent article containing some strong visuals, caught my attention whilst surfing online.

A rather eccentric, but well-meaning individual from the UK, John Mosley,22, decided that a great way to raise money for charity would be to recreate a full ‘where’s Wally’ scene on his back in tattoos. (The animated character is known as Waldo in North America, but the concept and character are identical.)

For anyone that doesn’t know him (but I think most of you will) he is the guy below that you have to find in busy pictures in children’s books.

Check out the extent of the Wally, ‘back-based’ animated madness that took 24 hours to complete and included 150 characters:

I figured that the guy must surely have raised tens or hundreds of thousands of $ for charity to have this permanently etched on his person for the remainder of his life (he could have gone to the ‘Where’s Wally’ book publishers I imagine for a sizeable donation, no?)

How mistaken I was and while I admire hugely the intentions and efforts of Mr Mosley, I found it a little sad that his stupendous, skin sketch only raised $2k for charity.

Now I know that some of you will be saying ‘Hey, that’s actually a lot of money raised by one person’ and ‘I don’t see you organizing a fund raiser like him.’

Agreed on both points, but I can only think of the conversation he will have in 40 years with his grand children when they go on a day trip to the beach with Grandad, and he unveils his bodily etchings to them for the first time:

Grandson: What’s that big, blurry, black and white picture on your back, Grandad
Grandad: I had that done to raise money for charity in 2011
Grandson: What is it about?
Grandad: There used to be a series of books called ‘Where’s Wally’ where you had to find a boy wearing a red and white striped shirt, hat and glasses’ in a big, busy crowd of people. It is a scene from that.
Grandson: Why?
Grandad: Err….errr…errr…errrrr…do you fancy a swim?

The 6′ 5″ Mr Mosley actually said in the article that his tattoo ‘will be a talking point for years to come. People will able to look at my back and have fun searching around for Wally.’

I think they’re going to find the Wally faster than he thinks.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, General, Mad Art and Design, Media, Useless but amusing | 2 comments - read them or leave a reply

August 25, 2011

Facebook Movie Rentals

Miramax  is now in Beta on Facebook with its Miramax Experience App that currently offers 20 movie titles to U.S. customers and 10 titles to those in U.K. and Turkey. (Not sure why Turkey particularly, but good for them.)

Renting a title through the app costs 30 Facebook credits or $3. Facebook users can play films on their TV, computer, smartphone, Google TV or iPad.

The Miramax CEO says that the Miramax app aims to offer consumers a great user experience by watching movie clips, feature length films, playing games and then sharing the experience with their friends in Facebook.

Current available Miramax movies include: Good Will Hunting, Chicago, Spy Kids and Pulp Fiction

150 million Facebook users in 18 months

Although the Miramax Facebook page has only approx 18 000 fans, their internal data estimates that approx 50 millions users in Facebook mention or interact with a Miramax property. Consequently, their  18 month goal is to reach 150 million Facebook users !!

Movies to be stored in the Cloud

The CEO also stated that their ultimate goal is to let users “buy films and store them in their own cloud-based digital locker – so they can access the content anywhere they want, across ALL devices.” The first step in that goal is the release of this App with movie rental capabilities.

This is certainly the multi channel future of film, music and game distribution and consumption.

Other movie studio deals

Facebook does already have deals with other movie studios like Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal — though its deal with Miramax is its largest yet. In fact Warner Brothers began offering movie rentals on individual Facebook fan pages from March 2011.

Facebook is made for this!

Clearly the high reaching, entertaining, user friendly and shareable functionality of Facebook is made for movie, music and game distribution. However, whether Facebook will transform towards being a video destination site, from a largely photo based site, is unlikely in my opinion.

Time will tell. What do you think?

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

August 22, 2011

A minimalist business card

Apart from a phone number, what more do you really need on your business card? Hats off to Boris Smus, a Canadian creative technologist at Google who has created this corporate masterpiece in a business card form.

On the back of it, he has snippets of Travel photography but on the reverse side, he has this :

Simplicity is the talented step-brother of complexity !

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useless but amusing | No comments yet - be the first

August 19, 2011

110 Stories: The 9/11 iphone App

What is it?

The development team of ‘Zero Innovates’ has created an extraordinary app to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City. In 21 days, they raised the $25 000 required to implement this highly innovative, ‘not for profit’ initiative.

How it works

For those people in the vicinity of New York City, they can activate the app on their iPhone, guiding them towards the original location of the Twin Towers prior to 9/11. Once properly oriented, augmented reality kicks in, showing their silhouette in a pencil-like outline during the day and in shimmering light at night.

The app also allows New Yorkers to simply tell their stories about New York, contextualized around a view of the Twin Towers, magnified by the power of crowd-sourcing.

Phase 2

A further real world phase is planned for the 110 stories project in the coming months.

At 110 locations around the NY metropolitan area, there will be identical benches, in locations from which you could once see the Towers. The purpose of each installation is simple – create a structure that, when viewed from the bench, visually places the outline of the Towers, where they once stood, in the right apparent size. Its the real-world cousin of the app.

My personal memories of World Trade Centre

I remember having visited the observation deck of the World Trade Centre back in 1991 whilst travelling, 10 years before the terrorist attacks. It was a strange feeling on the day of the attacks, looking at an old photo that I had taken from the observation deck of the WTC up towards the Empire State Building, a view that I knew no longer existed since the collapse of the Towers. See below.

I can only imagine how poignant an app like this must be for true New Yorkers.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General | No comments yet - be the first

August 8, 2011

Popular Children’s Inflatable: Titanic

There is nothing better for children than the sensation of jumping or sliding on huge, colourful, entertaining inflatables such as bouncy castles at public events.

So I was as surprised as the next parent recently when I saw the kids lining up for a brief ride on an inclined, inflatable Titanic where kids could briefly slide down the simulated deck.

Although the circumstances were clearly very different for the kids sliding down this deck (certainly warmer and more enjoyable) vs. those that slid down the actual deck into the icy waters on the Titanic’s maiden voyage on April 15th 1912, it got me wondering if inflatable manufacturers in 2012 have considered creating entertaining children’s toys out of other historic disasters.

Maybe an inflatable airship-shaped Hindenberg could have children sliding down a steep chute with flames painted down the sides, replicating the 1937 disaster, or even a mile long inflatable Exxon Valdez oil tanker where children gleefully slide in oil coloured water in 45 second descents.

A bit dark, I know, but just saying!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, General, Useless but amusing | No comments yet - be the first

August 3, 2011

Alfred App: ‘Cruise Control Search’

Exploring a new city is tough if you’re all alone. But if you have your iphone on you, you’re not alone at all… there’s tons of great apps available for discovering the city around you.
When it comes to dining out, Yelp helps considerably, but it doesn’t provide you with personalized recommendations based on your tastes. This is where the Alfred app comes in.
Some believe that in the same way that Google changed our paradigms of the internet as a medium, Alfred may be another paradigm shifter!

It was originally supposed to be released, under its chosen name of Seymour, but it was decided to give it an early test run on the iTunes App Store under the alias Alfred.

And now that it’s officially available (since a couple of weeks ago), they’ve decided to stick with the robot’s alias due to the popularity it received over the last 2 weeks (20 000+ downloads so far.)

Here’s the key to this powerful app.

Alfred’s sophisticated algorithm provides you with accurate recommendationss based on what you tell him about your tastes, and according to location, time, intent and social context. What does this mean? High quality recommendations in lightning fast speed.

So the premise is “Teach it what you like, then put it on cruise control.”

Alfred is all recommendations and no direct search, so users will have to be in a sort of lean-back and explore mode to enjoy the experience. What seems most useful is that you could teach the app about your local favorites and then get personalized recommendations when you travel to a new city.

Cruise control search.

This type of cruise control searching could change the way we search for products online, and is predicted to be applicable to our video consumption in the future.

It is predicted that we shall receive suggestions or recommendations about which Video content we may enjoy based on our previous video consumption (I’m not saying TV because it could be online or another device) in the same way that Amazon recommends books and movies that we may like.

Get ready for our life in Cruise Control!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | 3 comments - read them or leave a reply

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