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. www.fastcompany.com/3020236/tech-forecast/building-a-console-from-the-ground-up-playstations-top-priority-was-to-make-ga

Some useful data points about when people visit mobile websites versus desktop. Not ground breaking, but nice to have. http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/when-are-mobile-owners-visiting-retail-sites-37655/

Now this is interesting: Twitter is now a more important social network than Facebook amongst teenagers. http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/twitter-overtakes-facebook-as-teens-most-important-social-network-37352/

Facebook ad performance is improving markedly though, according to this study: http://kenshoosocial.com/blog/quarterly-facebook-advertising-performance-q3-vs-q2-2013/

Technology

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. http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2013/10/24/ipads-and-self-selection

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. www.appleinsider.com/articles/13/10/15/functioning-apple-i-with-original-packaging-could-sell-for-500k

$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. http://allthingsd.com/20131022/nokia-unveils-first-windows-tablet-looks-to-differentiate-lumia-2520-with-connectivity-design/

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. http://blog.flurry.com/bid/101499/The-South-Korea-Report-Device-and-App-Trends-in-The-First-Saturated-Device-Market

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. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/124475-screenx-could-be-the-three-screen-270-degree-future-of-cinema-experiences-and-it-s-here-now

NASA trumps everyone this week, by setting up a high speed broadband link to the moon! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/23/nasa_fires_up_622mbps_broadband_link_to_the_moon_and_back/

An article advocating the electric bike as a way of combatting climate change. Nice idea. I prefer peddling, but only in my leisure time. http://qz.com/137518/consumers-the-world-over-love-electric-bikes-so-why-do-us-lawmakers-hate-them/

‘Boris bikes’ in London are going electric next year… so it seems the cycling Mayor agrees. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/boris-bikes-to-go-electric-next-year-as-part-of-major-expansion-of-london-cycle-scheme-8901331.html

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. http://www.fastcoexist.com/3020287/feeding-future-megacities-with-floating-hydroponic-farms

Looks like Samsung are preparing smart glasses too. What a surprise. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/25/samsung_wearable_glasses_google/

Media

BBC World News will be one of the first organisations to live stream video into Twitter feeds of its stories… and ads too, naturally. http://adage.com/article/media/twitter-partners-bbc-news/244897/

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. http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2013/10/top-10-african-game-developers/

Another ‘me too’ music subscription service, this time from YouTube. Complete with freemium, ad-based business model. Standard. http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/5763268/youtube-close-to-launching-subscription-music-service

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. http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2013/october/diy-gamer-kit

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