Experimentally interactive, Blubber Bots are sci-fi-esque helium-filled robots that seek out interaction from light, humans, other Blubber Bots, and cell phone signals. Humming through open air, the bots operate in a networked habitat. The balloon-like creatures also feature an interactive voice recognition system as a way of increasing human/bot connectivity. The video is a little on the long side, but definitely has intriguing interactions.
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Movable Type Open Source 4.1
June 29, 2007
June 28, 2007
Oh, who can't forget the interweb's beloved Nintendo Sixty-FOOOOOOOOOOUR!!1!!1! kid? That kind of geek love can only be recaptured by balding old men splooging over the iPhone launch (yes, we're looking at you, Mossberg). So, that's exactly what this guy in a pair of onesie pajamas did. Oh-Em-Gee! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Falling asleep while fragging no longer has to be uncomfortable. To avoid the NES face impressions in the morning, Blythe Church has sewn together a series of stuffed Nintendo consoles, controllers, cartridges and even an NES Zapper. Minus the "wires", these may make for great "baby's first" stuffed toy. In lieu of missing teddy bear eyes everywhere, the emerging generation would have M-I-A controller buttons and stained Super Mario cartridges.
Maybe not as decadent as a devil food Decepticon, an Autobot angel cake is equally as impressive. Not made in the stereotypical dark basement, the bot baking was made by a married couple. Andrew and Jessica spent $85 and 22 hours creating the Optimus Prime cake. Andrew gives you a 3d video of the palatable 'Prime complete with midi-esque music, while Jessica offers out the 22 hour Optimus instructions. It would be even more impressive if the cake transformed, or perhaps if someone created an Optimus Prime pie (if only so we could use the utterly cringe-worthy play on "more than meets the pie" -- sorry, couldn't resist!).
McDonald's recently hired six "Quality Correspondent" Mommy bloggers to report to the "world at large" about McDonald's various facilities. An obvious attempt to build some positive brand buzz for McDonald's, which some of the blogosphere will undoubtedly groan at. Aside from the usual blogosphere tantrum over brand blogging, there are a few aspects that should be questioned. One of the most forefront being that the six Mommy "bloggers" don't appear operate blogs on their own. Picking out Virgin Marys to the blogosphere under the umbrella of a buzz-building site most definitely skews how the six will report back. As with most n00bs, we all at some time battled ourselves over self-censorship. Given that situation on top of blogging specifically for the brand you're supposed to be reporting on and not having an audience of your own outside of it definitely creates a highly skewed scenario. Sure, McDonald's can claim that blogging is not journalism in this instance and that they aren't telling the Moms what to say, but that's also like turning down a third-party survey in favor of paying off for an internally-conducted one. A better approach? Tap into existing influential and authoritative Mom blogs (like Dooce, 5 minutes for mom, and Everyday Mommy) that already have experience as a blogger outside of the brand.
To no surprise, sex remains among the top searched on across the internet. Wikipedia is no exception, as a top search term study in April 2007 revealed sex, pop culture, and anime to be the leading researched categories on it. The study gives a few insights about sex searching that may otherwise be overlooked in the stereotypical Google-porn popularity. As Violet points out, it shows that people are hungry for accurate sex information over titillation. Even more so, it verifies that the internet is not a compartmentalized ecosystem of information in one place and sex in another.
Seduced by not-so-subtle suggestions, an artist typesets signs into sculptures. David Kramer saturates himself with the overindulgence of pop culture, despite an underlying skepticism. It's this constant negotiation that generates a need to create. In his own words:
"I love the excessiveness of cultural iconography and yet I totally mistrust it. I am easily seduced by the sexiness of the simplest marketing strategy and hate myself for being so easy."
June 27, 2007
Attached to more than just a belt clip, a new survey shows that 22% of 16-24 year olds wouldn't give up their mobile phone for £1 million. The study of 18-24 year olds showed that 20% wouldn't give up sex, compared to a 31% who wouldn't give up tea/coffee.
"What does this teach me? I am drinking at the wrong coffee houses," says Shiny Shiny.
Half of the young adults admitted to sending/receiving "sexually explicit" text, and only 14% said they would turn their phone off completely during sex. An interesting quote found embedded in the reports reveals that we geek girls are not alone:
"Women often use their mobile phones in public to deter people from approaching them."
From T9-ing your tasty fantasies in 160 characters to letting there be two kinds of vibrators in the bedroom, "young adults" have certainly assimilated cell phones into all aspects of their daily life.
Doritos has recently been hosting a game creation promotion with Xbox. Titled "Unlock Xbox. You dream it. We build it.", the promotion asks for Doritos-inspired video games, with the promise of five finalists receiving the chance to "change gaming forever". Penny Arcade has a delightful response to the Doritos degeneracy:
"They suggest that gamers may find inspiration in their "iconic shape," by which I assume they mean "a triangle." These "Chip Lords" can't even be bothered to make their own commercials anymore. They have heard about the YouTube MySpaces, and they want to get an oily tendril around participation culture."
Offering up a satiable suggestion, they asked, how about: "DORITOS ... we like to think we make a pretty good chip". Wait, wait, wait, even better: "DORITOS ....... ARE CHIPS". Quite possibly the best ad slogan ever, imho.
Trend Hunter recently rounded up their Top 20 Graffiti Innovations. Paired down to the top five "techie" tag trends here, it's apparent that geek goodness has penetrated the paint.
1. Geek Graffiti - vintage video games in pixelated paint
2. LED Throwies - ferromagnetic surfaces + rare-earth magnets
3. Dot Matrix Graffiti Bike - interweb connected and sidewalk suitable
4. Pixel Roller - paint-by-pixels
5. Automated Graffiti Robot - "a tele-operated field programable robot which employs a custom built array of spray cans to write linear text messages on the ground at a rate of 15 kilometers per hour."
Shaped for summer, a chef in Washington DC has created the beer popsicle, or more crudely, "beer on a stick". The chef at Rustico's has called the contraption a "hopsicle". The hopsicle was founded by accidentally putting a beer in the freezer, and like any non-metrosexual man, deciding to eat it rather than wait for it to melt like a sissy. The restaurant now claims that the frozen treat is selling "like hotcakes". However, that shouldn't deter you from attempting to blow-your-own-beer at home.
With white Matrix-esque cloaks and pastel lighting, Dell put on a fashion show to put out a new line of laptops. Alex Goldberg attended on behalf of Consumerist (video):
"We hypothesize the fete was conceptually tied to Dell's new line of Insprions which come in different colors, meaning that Dell has finally caught up to Apple, circa 1998."
The runway MC seems as if she can't hold back from laughing at the entire event much longer. Oh, where is Tim Gunn when we need him? Dell is so not making it work.
June 26, 2007
Watch out Wii, in two decades this "knockoff of Breakout" could be the new video game fitness fame. Developed by researchers at the University of Udine, the game uses a pulse oximeter sensor as a body-based controller. The pulse oximeter measures the heart rate and physical qualities of the player and adjusts the game correspondingly. What this creates is an extremely slow wayback machine to early 90s computer games. Perhaps it could transform from Breakout to Lumines as a motivator to get your game in shape.
Juicy for July 1, a two-story tall advertisement is sure to catch ogling eyes. The campaign for Toto Washlet will feature a building wrap-around of models mooning Manhattan. The smiling backsides are to promote the "state-of-the-art" toilet that "cleans and dries with aerated water and warm air (both adjustable, via wireless remote, for temperature and strength)." Though the wireless rear-end remote may make for a good Wiimote hack on Make:, the press release claims that the States remain an untapped market. To put faces to the fannies, visit cleanishappy.com.
Debonair Magazine recently released its "Best Food Blogs"awards. Fourteen delicious daily reads were picked for a variety of culinary categories, including "Best Food Porn" and "Best Eco-Friendly Food Blog" among others.
"When working in an office, I found it incredibly difficult to inconspicuously ruffle through The New York Times and read an 800-word restaurant review or try to hide my stacks of Saveur and Gourmet. Thankfully, a good food blog offers quick snippets of information that can easily be read between conference calls. "
The amuse bouche of blogs are below:
[image via: chocolate cupcake stuffed with ginger caramel, frosted with mango ganache, and topped with a mango-ginger won ton]
Parallel to a horror version of "while you were out", playing a pink prank is sure to get your friend pissed in the most polite way. Equipped with 2135 SEK ($310 USD) of pink wrapping paper and six hours to kill, five friends set out to create a cuteness overload. The end result was an artsy apartment installation. Unwrapping poorly taped presents never seemed less surprising.
ICYMI on every other blog and network besides Fox and CBS, a tv spot for Trojan has been flying around. Mainly picking up buzz due to the two aforementioned networks banning it, the nature of the ban is perhaps the most buzz-worthy. Allegedly, the reason why the condom commercial was banned was due to the fact that Fox/CBS refuse to air ads that promote pregnancy prevention, and will only feature spots that focus on the (turnyourheadandcoughMALEcough) "health reasons" alone. With only one out of every four fucks in the US using condoms, the lack of consideration towards women's bodies from networks is nothing short of them... well, just having short dicks. Carol Carrozza, the VP over LifeStyle condoms responded, "We always find it funny that you can use sex to sell jewelry and cars, but you can’t use sex to sell condoms."
June 25, 2007
Now you can take your nervous habits and quirky obsessions with you on the go. The PuchiPuchi bubble wrap keychain allows you to pop-pop-pop your worries away. After every hundred pops, the toy makes an awkward sound (from barking dogs to "sexy voices"). Since only a bubble wrap simulator, its pocket popping pleasure may only be as satisfying as a pocketpussy.
The chemical compounds that help create that "new car smell" can also be found in sex toys. Phthalates are mainly used in plastics to increase flexibility. Not surprisingly, "jelly"-based joy-toys test positive for phthalates. How do phthalates affect your privates? Apparently, environmentalists claim that it's as deadly as DDT. However, others strongly disagree. The debate over dildos has led for a "green" sex toy movement, leading some shops to ban all phthalate-based fun. Jelly may be off the menu, but there are plenty other tasty items to butter up your bread with.
June 23, 2007
June 22, 2007
Finding another way to get you to play in your pocket, Playboy is rumored to be creating a branded mobile phone. Perhaps partnering up with Motorola, LG, or Siemens, Textually expects preloaded aural pleasures such as moantones to be offered on the bunny-branded phone. It goes without saying that Motorola/LG/Siemens best be vested in some serious vibration technology, as well as bluedildonic basics. Here's hoping it's moisture resistant.
June 21, 2007
Equipped with a projector, generator and an console, Xbox 360 takes it to the streets, literally. Vanning around Europe, a few Swedes, who are notably one of the top countries in gaming tournaments, roadtripped around for suitable surfaces. Going guerilla gaming, they projected onto and played various buildings. Definitely a recommended DIY experience if you haven't done before.
June 20, 2007
Liposuction of fat for an injection of fear, new ads from a Brazil-based yogurt maker are playing on the offensive. With a tag line of "Forget about it. Men's preference will never change. Fit Light Yogurt", the ads feature overweight women in well-known movie scenes. Below-the-belt blunt advertising can work when well done, but this campaign still leaves a bit of a blood in the middle. Created by Salles Chemistri, the campaign is certainly garnering reactions. Unfortunately, negative Word Of Mouth travels at a much more rapid rate. Take your anger out on the treadmills or truffles, ladies.
Frustrated by Google Maps lag and insufficient auto-replies to email requests, a man created the Google Carpet in hopes that satellites would be more responsive than the auto-reply robots. The carpet served as a temporary marker for the 150th anniversary exhibition for the Royal College of Art.
Taking pixels more personally, designers Mike and Maaike have pinched Google for famous jewelry images. Pixelating the images to their peak, they're then transferred to leather. Google Image Search may be rewarding for inspiration, but any subsequent lines of 72 ppi only need to go so far as Bejeweled or Supermario.
As if straight out of some Bug's Life movie, the Rideable Vacuum Cleaner looks like a CG snail. The snail sucker is intended to encourage children to help out with carpet-cleaning chores, by inviting them to ride the vacuum. While a cute idea, adults would have far more fun with this. The concept doesn't specify any weight limits, but given some sturdy standards, the prospect of riding out your vacuum vibrations may 1up sitting on your washing machine.
June 19, 2007
Not always just about car giveaways, books and teary-eyed families, Oprah's O Magazine featured sex blogger and all around crush-bait Violet Blue. This month's mag published a two-page article by the "brazen blogger" about porn for women. Beginning blurb:
"Eyes Wide Open - What kind of woman watches porn- and likes it? You might be surprised. Violet Blue reports on the pleasures of pressing Play."
As Violet points out, this is a very progressive step for Oprah's brand. Resist as many of us have, Oprah may no longer play only to the stereotypical suburban housewife watching Pinesol ads between soap operas.
[image via - congrats, violet!]
Unkept keyboards seem to be the dirty secret of the week. NPR claims that where you touch to type has more bacteria than a toilet seat. This discovery in computer cooties has created a search for solutions, and what better one than the way we make our other "objects" semen-free: the dishwasher. Buyer beware, however, as not all keyboards are as durable and dishwasher-safe as dildos. Lifehacker thankfully offers up a few alternatives to scrubbing down your filthy function keys.
Similar to Strongbad, a commercial for Powerthirst, a (hopefully) fictional product, pokes fun at cheesy energy drink commercials. The commercial comes from Picnicface, who invites you to harness the power of 400 babies. With words like "rawberry", Powerthirst states that these aren't your Dad's puns, these are energy puns - TURBOPUNS. Turbopuns aside, what man wouldn't love to grip a hard can and down a throat-full of menergy?
June 18, 2007
Goooaaaalllllll or gizmo? Tech Digest hosts the Robot World Cup. Putting real robots head to head, the gynoids and gadgets battle it out to win over hacker hooligans' hearts. Having just completed Round 2, the remaining robots from the first round included Anty the Huggy Robot (pictured), Sega Dream Cat, WiiGoBot, Kansei Facial Robot, Cockroach-run Robot, Echo Roboteddy, and Elvisbot, among many others. Consolation prizes for the most creepy should be considered as facial robots and decapitated androids should certainly qualify.
June 17, 2007
[A weekly link post of skipped over (and slightly stale) sights and stories]
• That has to be the most distracting set of earmuffs I've ever seen. (28 things to do with an old bra).
• Scratch & Strip beer bottles give bored bar hoppers hard-ons, get banned.
• eHarmony rejects gays, Chemistry.com won't take no for an answer.
• It's fashionable to carry a bit of meat on you.
• Astroglide up in your nut-sprinkled sundae: Cool Whip contains lube.
June 14, 2007
Not getting any action? You can always play pretend. A flirty and fashionable new set of pillows and couches can help give the illusion of and left out lingerie and messy spills. Created by the Sid Lee Collection, the set is titled Sit! by Sid. Heavy on both graphics and typographics, it's sure to give your home some much needed excitement, as everyone knows you certainly aren't getting any.
June 13, 2007
The dreary city of Seattle attempts to put some smiles on the faces of the otherwise melancholy metro males. After nearly two decades, the city is lifting the moratorium on strip clubs. As long as the strip clubs keep a safe distance from sins (children, alcohol, Microsoft, etc.), they'll be allowed to operate. Though the urban-planning committee doesn't expect many to open, they claim that "the city is better off and neighborhoods better served by having modest restrictions on nightclubs." And what better way to get out of the gray skies than to walk into the silver pole-lined clubs.
Presenting himself as the dating consultant for the seemingly stressful relationship between bloggers and advertisers, Darren Rowse of Problogger took to the FOOA stage towards the tail end of the conference. Rowse, well known for making a decent income from blogging, explained that even though there remains a large percentage of bloggers who make little or no money, the indirect sources of income seem to be growing exponentially. Indirect methods for making money from your blog include book deals, speaking and writing gigs, employment opportunities and more.
Rowse went on to explain that advertisers need to understand that bloggers are approached everyday. In order to create content that resonates, consider collaborating with bloggers on advertising, rather than just pushing something out there. Jay Adelson had also echoed this recommendation from the panel before, showing examples of integrated Diggnation ads. Though Rowse's bullets were clear and to the point, one might question why these basic things are still so difficult for some advertisers to grasp. A lot of it may come down to always talking about a Web 2.0 community without actually spending any time in it. Having to explain "how to pitch bloggers" over time can become as frustrating as reminding your relatives that double-clicking on a file will open it faster. So far, there seems to be a lot of breaking up over not-so-great-in-the-first-place hook-ups. Bloggers, be gentle with advertisers, the first time always hurts.
June 12, 2007
The SF Chronicle published a piece last week titled, "Summer sizzles for Man Crushes -- and there's nothing wrong with that". A Man-Crush is defined as a non-sexual (and hopefully, not-too-clingy) "cool factor" feeling between two heterosexual males.
"The Man Crush has always been a delicate subject among straight men, with a very complicated rule set. It's considered OK to spontaneously proclaim your love for an NFL quarterback when he just scored a touchdown. It's not cool to point out that Bob from human resources always looks nice in that blue sweater."
Sweaters aside, summer time sets in with a new slew of man-crushworthy movies such as Ocean's 13. More keen on the classics? The article goes on to state that almost every man between 25-40 is no virgin to the Man Crush, having had a definite desire aimed at any character played by Harrison Ford. From Han Solo to Indiana Jones, there's no escaping the creepy-crawly snake pit of Man Crushes.
Apparently still not jaded by years of gadget babes, Gizmodo gets giddy over the latest gearhead girl. Perhaps it was the pigtails, or the pink bustier, but seemingly any picture of a babe with a gadget backdrop is worth one thousand words (or less). Tagged the Smart Eleanor (you know, that other object in the photo), the machine is a mod cross between a smart car and a Eleanor Mustang. The Smart Eleanor is not yet in production, but there's at least a limited production of pink-pantied-and-pigtailed girls globally to keep you satiated while you wait.
As stated before, new conferences can often be hit or miss until they define themselves and their audience more over time. A debate that kept being raised among numerous FOOA attendees concerned how many of the presenters were selling their services versus educating the audience beyond their portfolios. Carla Hendra presented Ogilvy case studies on 'The most effective online ads – why some make it and others don't', without exploring much beyond the proverbial bubble. Jay Adelson of Digg provided some over-arching context about the realm of advertising in video content and some equally refreshing well-designed PowerPoint slides, but spent a lot of time discussing his involvement in Revision3.
Admittedly, speakers are booked due to the interest people have in what they're currently involved in. At the same time, some of the panels were booked under over-arching titles that could have been drilled down more. Other debates arose, such as if the conference was more about media optimization or truly grasping the social media space. Despite preferences, these debates sparked discussions, which are the true meat to any conference.
Photos from FOOA and the trip to New York can be viewed here.
June 10, 2007
[A weekly link post of skipped over (and slightly stale) sights and stories]
• Women turned off by webcams, supply still satiates male demand.
• Hot handhelds: Atari controller candle
• Gamecake: Palatable Pacman
• Musical instrument of lemons explores photosynthesis.
• Fibre optic threads light up your rainy day.
Joking about one of the common threads among almost all advertising conferences, it was suggested to start a drinking game for each time the term 'SEO' was mentioned. The second in the lineup for Thursday was a presentation about The Future of Search Marketing made by Ron Belanger of Yahoo!. Belanger's talk quickly thwarted the expected SEO lecture, and discussed more about the power of search and the audience that resonates with it.
Belanger explained that it is not only about 'Web 2.0', but also about Consumer 2.0. The new consumer is overworked and overwhelmed, yet is consistently addicted to leisure and information. As the consumer becomes more tech-savvy, search sees an increase in usage. Calling them "master hypertaskers", Belanger pointed out that the common information junkie goes far beyond the traditional idea of a multitasker. Handing out a few stats, surveys show that 50 percent of internet surfers do it while they watch TV, while 36% of TV watchers are actually asleep while their tube remains on.
With a search-savvy audience, the openness to new brands increases dramatically. Of a surveyed search-savvy audience, 79 percent had been introduced to new brands through search. Unlike banner ads, searchers tend to be more engaged than a advertising click-through. Brand such as Special K have tapped into this insight, by asking users to search for their brand on Yahoo! as opposed to trying to remember a web address. Asking to "flip the funnel" by being involved in "participation marketing", the four qualities of identifying, listening, collaborating, and providing tools to share were all pre-requisites. It is clear that the days of search optimization will continue to transition into a more enriching search augmentation experience.
Photos from FOOA and the trip to New York can be viewed here.
With animated bar graphs and pie charts and electronic music, the Future of Online Advertising kicked off Thursday morning. This year was the first FOOA of perhaps more to come. Typically, the first presenter gives an overarching speech about the concepts that are important to the conference, setting the mood for the attentive audience. Alas, this was not the case, as the first presenter, Greg Stuart, formerly of IAB, started off by taking a look at the past.
Filled with clip art, the presentation focused on why 47 percent of online advertising failed, adding up to $112 billion in excess. Stuart suggested an advertising slogan for the industry as a whole: "Half of the money is wasted." Though the slogan may not have enough of a ring to it to slip into a jingle, one may question Stuart's definition of waste. By some standards, defining what advertising is a "waste" can be quite relative. Stuart called for action in the industry by taking responsibility for what is put out and by always asking the question of "what if you're wrong?".
Stuart may be correct in finding that 47 percent of advertising fails, but is there more harm done by injecting fear of being wrong as opposed to just doing it? Stuart stated that he didn't want to take away creativity, but simply wanted to make sure advertising "works". From the presentation, it seems that the veterans of our industry may be more comfortable in playing it safe than pushing the envelope. There is always something to be said for taking a risk and "fucking up" big time, whereas staying safe may be more damaging. If anything is certain, there is no future in fear.
Photos from FOOA and the trip to New York can be viewed here.
June 6, 2007
June 5, 2007
Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads and Cashing In on Internet Sexploration is a recently published book that explores and interviews bloggers and geek girls. Looking into the intimate nature of the internet, the 80 interviewed reveal how they intertwine sex and their computer screen into their lives and lifestyles. Wired's interview with the author, Audacia Ray, states, "women have wide-ranging sexual interests and are savvy enough to figure out how to harness technology to pursue our erotic desires". Technology truly is a turn on.
June 4, 2007
Weird Asia News points to a spotted and slightly scary Japanese vending machine. Like sugary cereal, the play-time poo comes in all colors under the rainbow and appears to be magically delicious. A Spanish speaking host displays his excitement over the excrement, pretending that the poo can talk. Uncertain if these vending machine poos are edible, we could only wish to ask him to eat --it.
Quite aware that posting has been on the light side as of late, I'll be traveling to New York this week to attend the first Future of Online Advertising conference. The schedule is sure to be hectic, as my last attendance was back in November for ad:tech New York. New conferences can always be hit or miss, but it's always the people you meet that matter. The line-up for June 7-8 includes panelists from Blog Ads, Feedburner, Wired, Google, Microsoft, Digg, blip.tv, and the infamous PayPerPost.
As always, drop me a line if you'll be in the vicinity or have any recommended sights for June 7-10.
June 1, 2007
Protecting your privates appears to be a growing concern among ladies. A new pair of panties made in Japan helps thwart off intimately-intrusive infrared photography. Called "Shot Guard", the unsightly underwear protects women and children from perverted paparazzi by blocking heat. The heat blocking seems to work both directions, however, as any unfortunate onlookers may turn off their temptation temperature.
Whiny and wearable, razor blade necklaces make your torture a trend. As if using safety pins for earrings and paperclips for bracelets weren't enough in middle school, you can now beg your parents for the $110 between angst-y outbursts for this sterling style. Punched with a heart, it's sure to be emo enough for your most recent anti-relationship revelation.