Friday, 25 October 2013

What I've been reading this week

This week: PS4 aims to create gaming celebs, NASA connects moon, Nokia arrives at party 3 years late, electric bikes and self-assembly game consoles

Business models

An interview with one of the designers of the new Sony PS4, which is intended to ‘celebritize’ gamers. I like the idea and it’ll be a tiny benefit to a subset of gamers. Ultimately though, the PS4 will win or lose on the quality of its games. Simples.

Some useful data points about when people visit mobile websites versus desktop. Not ground breaking, but nice to have.

Now this is interesting: Twitter is now a more important social network than Facebook amongst teenagers.

Facebook ad performance is improving markedly though, according to this study:


Neat post on this week’s Apple product launches, complete with a (probably accurate) assertion that cheap tablets sold in emerging markets are largely used for video and hence compete with TVs. I buy this. Question is what happens when you can also afford a TV.

Mind you, it isn’t the most interesting Apple story this week. Apparently a functioning Apple 1 in its original packaging is worth $500,000. No, that isn’t a typo. Yes, that is crazy.

$500,000 is more than that total value of Nokia though (joke). The Finns have finally realised that tablets are quite popular and it might be a good idea to make one. In a work of genius they’ve also realised that 80% of use in the home, so they’ve designed theirs for use out of the home. Brilliant. Design for the less popular use case. Great thought.

Nokia also launched a 5” phablet device. Again too late. This Flurry report shows how massively popular these are in Good Korea – 41% of smartphones are phablets, versus about 5% in the rest of the world. Not sure I see that ultimately being replicated globally as Glass and imitators are just round the corner: the regional variation is interesting, though.

The next HD cinema idea – a 270 degree viewing experience on 3 screens. Thing is that I can’t see it catching on with movie makers as it’s a lot of additional effort and there’ll hardly be any cinemas with the screens.

NASA trumps everyone this week, by setting up a high speed broadband link to the moon!

An article advocating the electric bike as a way of combatting climate change. Nice idea. I prefer peddling, but only in my leisure time.

‘Boris bikes’ in London are going electric next year… so it seems the cycling Mayor agrees.

18 of the world’s megacities are on the coast, so why not grow food in the sea? This floating hydroponic farm concept proposes just that.

Looks like Samsung are preparing smart glasses too. What a surprise.


BBC World News will be one of the first organisations to live stream video into Twitter feeds of its stories… and ads too, naturally.

This article on African game developers is a bit sad, unfortunately and goes to demonstrate how much the continent has to do in interactive media. Of the 10 studios showcased only one has managed to make a game that’s sold more than 150,000 titles and that one is actually a UK company with a South African COO. Not good journalism.

Another ‘me too’ music subscription service, this time from YouTube. Complete with freemium, ad-based business model. Standard.

Just for fun

Assemble your own games console. Isn’t it wonderful how the computing industry has returned to its self-build roots. First Raspberry Pi, now this. Bliss.

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