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    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Useful: Clipmarks

    Lifefilter is all about helpful applications that make everyone's life a little easier. Now comes the cutting and pasting for the ADD generation. Clipmarks is a useful tool that lets you capture sections of a web page which can then be shared on networks such as or technorati. I found the tool very useful in grabbing chunks of webpages with particular quotes or photos, allowing me to save just what i needed and not bookmark a page, only to hunt for the specific item later. Available for firefox users.

    ed. note [also available for IE and Flock] Thanks adam!
    Clip Me
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    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Nike: Past and Present

    We seem to have nike on the brain. My former boss has just left for Nike and we are waiting for him to send us some damn shoes! Oh and besides that, we wear em everyday. Air Maxes, Dunks, AF1s we love em all. Two interesting looks into Nike over at Josh Spear. The first is the origin of the swoosh which is about as synonymous as any logo on earth. Phil Knight asked for a logo representing movement wasnt bowled over by the original designs. Take a read, great inspiration to all you aspiring designers out there.

    The second is a look inside a nike factory. Literally a behind the scenes pass to this often secret world. I half expected 3rd world conditions for all the politcal campus rallies ive seen. For some reason it says Pegasus on the sign, yet the molds are nike. Very sobering reality to those hot dunks on your feet.

    Fleet Feet Factory
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    Monday, October 23, 2006

    The Sound of Music: CBGBs closes

    A sad note to those of you living in a cave; its unfortunately true that the legendary CBGB's, birthplace of the Ramones has been closed for good. Now, while we bemoan the legendary rock and roll venue, you need to check the truth of this statement made by the landlord:

    The Bowery Residents' Committee, landlord of the building on the Bowery, "believes it is in the best interest of our clients — the homeless and neediest New Yorkers — to sever this relationship," BRC executive director Muzzy Rosenblatt said. If thats true, how does the closure of CBGB's help the homeless of New York?

    While thats besides the point, and the typical banter towards both parties this that of "selling out". This was truly a one-of-a-kind music venue that helped establish rock and roll. hell the Ramones career came out of here. I was privileged enough to experience it, and see my friend's band play. My hometown Cat's Cradle is the closest thing to this, shout-out for those Hillians out there. Rumor has it that CGBG's may reopen in Vegas (?). This could create quite an interesting brand story. --> Brand venue goes kaput yet lives on vicariously through satellite venues, clothing and online world. Stranger things have happened.

    Yahoo has a pretty cool slide show on this piece of Americana. Click the link.



    Saturday, October 21, 2006

    Toyota's Human Touch

    Straight out of Shibuya here is Toyota commercial that aims to humanize the car's benefits. Slightly strange, yet reassuringly warm this spot gets big creativity points. After the initial weirdness goes away, its pretty astute. I don't think it sells the actually car as much as it is an anthem for a people's car brand. Take a look.

    Wash Me
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    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    Another Day, Another Touchscreen iPod Rumor

    Steve Jobs just blew off the ipod's largets competitor to date, Microsoft's Zune in a recent interview. He compared the Zune to a failed pass at a girl. Why this hubris in the face of a evil empire? What does this mean? Lets rev up that touchscreen rumor mill again! Now Trusted Reviews is posting a conversation with an "extremely well-informed exec from a 3rd party company". He states that the fabled 6GB ipod will be released in December and have 480p resolution. We know the iPod touchscreen patent documentation exists, and we've encountered endless rumors and even reliable tips about the upcoming device; Maybe this is why Jobs seems to care less about the Zune. Just release the damn thing!!!

    Touch Me
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    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Sony's New Bravia 'Paint' Ad

    Sony BRAVIA has launched its second iteration of the the Colours ads called 'Paint'. Directed by award-winning Director, Jonathan Glazer and the creative team from Fallon, that came up with 'Bouncing Balls' last year. The proposition behind both ads has been to communicate 'Colour'. With both ‘Bouncing Balls’ and ‘Paint’, their intention was to show the depth of colour that can be taken for granted if you have a BRAVIA high definition LCD TV. Im not sure how much consumers really can value color (yes we like it!) but the ads are done on a such grand scale that you can't help but be captivated. The 'bouncing balls' spot was pretty magical and this one doesn't disappoint. Here is the laundry list of all the necessary ingredients for your own exploding paint building ad:

    70,000 litres of paint
    358 single bottle bombs
    33 sextuple air cluster bombs
    22 Triple hung cluster bombs
    268 mortars
    33 Triple Mortars
    22 Double mortars
    358 meters of weld
    330 meters of steel pipe
    57 km of copper wire

    It took 10 days and 250 people to film. Check it out. For more on the background of the ads and the inspiration click the link.



    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Banksy: Wall & Piece

    I was passing by Barnes & Noble when i saw a book from one of my absolute heros: Banksy. I thought it was too good to be true, how could he sell out? Truth its he didn't but it is his book. Banksy is artistic genius, political activist, painter, decorater, mystic legend, and the world's most notorious graffiti artist. His identity is completely unkown yet he is adored by thousands around the world for sticking it to the man. While he has a self-proclaimed cynical loathing for society, he is a champion of the people. Bansky is a hero to many for being unafraid to speak his mind in an extremely creative way that often uses his medium in uncanny connections and symbolism. From painting animals in zoos to the segregation wall built through Palestine to statues in London, Banksy has left his mark in thought provoking ways. His never-ending creativity always seems to top his latest escape such as the time when he managed to smuggle his works in 3 of the worlds most famous art museums and have them remain for days at a time. One of my personal favorites from the book are his fake crows that have pirated all the big brother cameras around london hoisting the jolly roger. His paintings which now command quite a bit of money(Brangelina bought some at his most recent show in LA) are loved throughout Britain to the point that city councils have voted to keep them out of popularity with the general public. Banksy takes on the subjects most keep silent and he does so in a loud and arresting manner that makes one think twice. Who else would put a blow up Guantanamo doll in Disneyland, in the middle of the park, in broad daylight? Banksy believes any public wall is the best spot for an artists work so it can be enjoyed by all. He says "some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place but some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place."

    Banksy isnt just trying to make the world a better looking place. He remains active in his work, ever-provacative such as his Paris Hilton stunt and yet ever relevant and omni-present, all while his identity continues to remain a mystery. The book is amazing and I recommend everyone who loves art and inventive communication pick it up. He takes mundane to insane and inventive. His aciduous style and manner of blunt communication position Banksy as on one of the greatest artists of our time.

    "If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model."
    - BANKSY

    Laugh now, but one day we'll be in charge
    "There is no way you're going to get a quote from us to use on your book cover" -Metro Police Spokesperson
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    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Wired's Nextfest video footage GALORE

    Ok no messing around. Check em out. Talk amongst yourselves. Here are all our Wired Nextfest videos in their brevity:

    Saturn's Light Show demonstrates the innards of the car

    Nabaztag Rabbit Orchestra

    Lady Robot Geisha Girl Style

    3D LEM Logo


    Official Nextfest blog


    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Tipping Point makes the Longtail: Consumer Electronics

    Sitting around thinking last night i made a strange connection. Having read the fantastic Longtail book, I was browsing my library at home reminiscing. For some reason i started making comparisons between the tipping point and the Longtail. The tipping point by the ever astute Malcolm Gladwell is about moments of statistical significance and what can trigger that. For example the case Roe vs. Wade decision actually decreased crime 20 years later as mothers in at-risk situations didnt have children that could potentially be at-risk to be criminals. Read freakonomics if you don't believe me. Gladwell is so eloquent as he dissects and freezes on a moment in time. The Longtail by Chris Anderson cites examples such as ebay and amazon which use sheer numbers to provide choice for niches. Brands that offer more niches capture more audiences.

    Being a videogame fanatic I am caught up in the current swirl of format wars along with the next-generation of console launches. While its fascinating to watch Microsoft battle Sony battle Nintendo, it has made several things clear to me about the consumer electronic industry in the United States.

    1. Companies run america (not politics, not consumers, not you)
    Day after day websites like Gizmodo and Engadget show the coolest cell phones from Asia. Yet 99% of those phones never cross the pond to America. Why? Several reasons. The largest being that the sheer number of phones is too great for our business model. In Asia consumers run the market, and companies are constantly trying to keep up. Cheap labor + cheap tech = lots and lots of new models. In America Sprint, Cingular, Verizon and T-mobile run the cell phone industry. Most cell phone users get their phones through the companies and are at the mercy of their contracts, their phone models, and their coverage plans. While America has a unique infrastructure, especially compared to Asian population clusters in cities, with the internet anything is attainable these days from anywhere. Why aren't consumers driving change in the cell phone market? Electronics are an anomaly amongst other markets. Look closely at the format wars. Microsoft and Sony want people to believe their format is the way to go in the future. HD-DVD is true HD for DVDs and Sony says Blu-ray is even better than that. Neither format has taken off and each company continues to push their format, despite consumer ambivalence to re-purchase content when their DVDs work fine. Big business clearly has the reins of America's electronic market and tells us when to jump. America has been setup that way for generations but the tide is turning.. Forced phones, forced formats, how is it in so many other facets of life (transportation, email, food) consumers dictate the market and not yet in digital content? It's difficult to answer, but the squirming of advertising and marketing firms amongst themselves demonstrates an ineffectiveness to generate consumer purchases. Traditional campaigns are deader than dead and even the word is played out. Marketers are using increasingly diverse ways to just reach their consumer. The broken advertising models demonstrate a lack of understanding by businesses on how to reach their consumers. Why? Because companies can no longer speak to consumers, but need to open a dialogue/relationship and listen. We may be experiencing one of the greatest periods of change in the consumer electronic industry since the birth of the computer.

    2. The tide is turning
    We may be encoutering the tipping point within the longtail of convergence of electronics. Signs are everywhere. Google acquired Youtube. Google has a rival video site that does the same things youtube does but generates significantly less traffic. Youtube is the latest web phenomena and one of the largest potential money generators since myspace. Consumers consistently source it for branded and copyright content, demonstrating a channel is what/where you want it to be. TV isn't necessarily on TV, a movie doesnt have to be seen in a theatre. Apple recently pushed its itunes movie network to now allow downloadable movies. Movies in a theatre? No, movies anywhere. Consumers are dictating WHERE they consume their media and HOW. It makes sense that entertainment and leisure would be the categories where this happens first. If you don't agree with me, check out the post on George Lucas. He won't produce another $200 million dollar movie again as he says he can produce 50-60 2 hour films which can be pay-per-view instead. When is the last time a movie topped $200 million and was a called a blockbuster? Keep thinking. So if consumers dictate these why don't they command video games or even the DVD format yet? Until this point we haven't had the technology capabilities. So if consumers are changing HOW and WHEN, what else are they changing thats causing this so-called shift?

    3. The evidence of the tipping point in the longtail
    The first place to look is the consumer itself. Culture today is driven by a group of 'betas'. These consumers are the DIY generation. They would rather use Flickr to share photos, myspace to meet people, customize their own cars, print their own shirts and sell them on threadless, and create movies for youtube. Technology lets them do all of this, relatively cheaply and it can reach anywhere. This is why the longtail arose. People now have the ability to act on their niche, so it becomes more significant. So the consumer is more proactive? Yes, and they are enabled by technology, but why don't they dictate that too? While consumers might never be creating their own cell phones or building their own ipods, they will take control of how they manage these things. That is right now as evident in the format wars. After a period of stalemate, the videogame industry is about to experience explosive growth. It won't be powered by DVD formats either but innovative technologies. NEC is creating chips that read both Blu-ray and HD-DVD to essentially eliminate the format wars. Other companies are working on this, seen as an attempt to not only capture market share but survive. Eventually all content will be online and the channel more homogenous. Xboxlive includes a new pay-per-play model for videogaming and Valve has been using Steam for years to stream content, bypassing retail. Companies are adapting to consumers want for ease of access. Channels won't disappear and TV wont die, but a medium will be reached where Blu-ray doesn't matter, HD-DVD doesn't matter but only where you store it does. This moment in time is the tipping point for electronics. Once content is pay-per-view channels, its only a matter of finding your niche in the longtail. Don't give me a disc, i can simply access it online. The tipping point trigger is accessibility. Its hard to get the phone physically because either i have to drive somewhere to pick it up or order it and wait for it to arrive. Instant information and access, means consumers can do command and receive anything without moving (how sad!). My hunch is that this is the major shift in the industry that it needs and will transform business and communication beyond belief. While its difficult to measure the exact moment, consumers initial rejection of the DVD formats is an indicator of a shift in the structure of electronics. While content has appeared to be headed digitally for a long time, you need to look back to betamax to see a wider rejection of format. Whereas now instead of rejecting one size for another, we are dictating formats. Will US consumers ever dictate phones? Possibly not for a long time, but once consumers dictate the online world and its connectivity, its only a matter of time.

    Please feel free to talk amongst yourselves and debunk my theory/rambling. email us @


    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Lifefilter NYC Shop Guide: Where the locals go

    Usually the Lifefilter doesn't give away our secrets but today is your lucky day. The holidays are in the oh-so-visible future. Before you know it, your wallet will be empty as you fight it out with hipsters for the Nintendo Wii, A-Life tees or the newest hoodie from Supreme. A little birdie created a simple destination blog that has some of the best & super-secret shops in new york city for quality goods. While its not the newest (Kid Robot has had huge renovations since then), it has all you really need to know. We aren't talking H&M type stuff, but rarities that are one-of-a-kind to new york city and will give you the freshest duds in the city. These are the spots to hit if you come to the city, not the Century 21 store or even David Z's for kicks. Check out the link below.

    Another site, that has a ill-dud-freshness is Superfuture. It covers not just New York City but Sydney, San Francisco, Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, Shanghai, Singapore, LA and about 500 more cities. Superfuture has over 4200 "brutally honest" reviews on everything shopping related. With links to nearby hotels, it really is the ULTIMATE customized shopping companion. The best part are the easy to read maps which can be handy when the street numbers disappear and Hudson street intersects Hudson street.

    NYC Shop Guide
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    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Part 1 of Wired's NEXTfest: GE CGI

    We have finally uploaded what is the first of much Wired's Nextfest footage. Everything from ballroom dancing robots to infrared imaging to even writing on smoke is coming down the pipe. This is a quick clip from GE and some CGI logo treatment goodness. Im not sure of the exact technique used on these blocks, possibly some artifical stop-motion bit. Whatever it is, this combo is hot, hot, hot. GE was a major presence at the expo. While many of its technologies focused on in-home innovations, it did have the most diverse showing also with self-diagnosis medical kit stations, custom irrigation systems and even a new technological process to infuse color within plastics eliminating the need for paintjobs in vehicular solutions such as cars. For more on GE and the nextfest check it out and our new site video logo treatment.

    See it again for the first time


    Super Mario or Spreadsheets? NES games online @ work

    Lifehacker brings you quite possibly the greatest way to piss off your boss ever. vNES is a website that lets you play over 200 old-school NES games straight from your browser. From Mega Man to Super Mario Bros, the site even has some Japan-only games in case you want to play games you can't read but are inevitably fun. The emulator works on both Macs and PCs meaning no one gets left out. Metroid, Super Mario Bros., TMNT, Tecmo Bowl, and even Yo Noid! is here...

    **ed note** (Yo Noid! is one of the first examples of advertising creating gaming content for branding purposes. Coca-Cola had an internal one on the atari 2600 called Pepsi invaders that is one of the most rare video games ever produced. Retroboy has a nice article on the most elusive video games)

    up up down down left right left right select start


    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    The Future of George Lucas

    The Variety has a nice article on George Lucas and his altered strategy for making content. George Lucas donated $175 million to the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. While giving away more money than anyone reading this blog (myself included) will ever make he let loose his strategy for approaching the current media landscape.

    "I think the secret to the future is quantity," Lucas said.

    "For that same $200 million, I can make 50-60 two-hour movies. That's 120 hours as opposed to two hours. In the future market, that's where it's going to land, because it's going to be all pay-per-view and downloadable. You've got to really have a brand. You've got to have a site that has enough material on it to attract people."

    Quantity IS the future. From Chris Anderson's LONGTAIL theory (netflix, amazon) to the influx of episodic content on television (lost, 24) consumers are choosing to continue the conversation with brands. Lucas believes people are flocking away from movies saying

    "I don't think anything's going to be a habit anymore. I think people are going to be drawn to a certain medium in their leisure time and they're going to do it because there is a desire to do it at that particular moment in time. Everything is going to be a matter of choice. I think that's going to be a huge revolution in the industry."

    In otherwords engagement is becoming niche and channels need to provide meaniful conversttions. That means speaking to consumers as they speak, in a (running) dialogue which is much easier to understand than bulletins years apart. Its also interesting to note Lucas's commitment to episodic content in that everything will be pay-per-view. Content will be zipped from the producer directly to the consumer. Brands are their own conduits. Mega studios/producers could only exist on a production scale not in terms of distribution. Take a read, its really interesting to read what this Hollywood-heavyweight has to say about his own industry and his commitment to alternative production channels.

    The Force


    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Guerrilla Campaign: Pothead Reminders

    NORML is taking its marijuana reform fight to the grocery store. Working with the agency Spinach (seriously. this is their name), they created some disruptive ads with products seemingly associated with the bubonic. Great placement and association with a taboo product, but I am just wondering what stores actually advocate this type of ad besides the ol' Safeway in Haight-Ashbury in SF? Next time you are in the store, ask yourself "Did I get everything for my brownies?"


    New Pretty Things

    Whoa.. Some of you just may be seeing stars right now. As many of you can tell the Lifefilter has upgraded quite a few options on the site such as

    -Tagging EVERYTHING
    -Improved coding for browser compatability issues
    -More Ads! (sweeeeet) -*Come on. All you ad people are rejoicing i know it.

    Let us know what you think (if you arent stumbling on for the first time) or better yet even if you are, tell us your thoughts. Subscribe to the email listserv and stay in touch even when you can't visit the site. Who knows we may even have a few goodies to send your way.



    Just a quick update from busy worker central. A photo teaser for now. Videos from Nextfest are coming! yes we havent had a chance to put our nice logo (lifefilter branding!!) on the clips yet, so as soon as thats done they will be up and running. In the meantime this robot can look at someone and in less than a minute draw their silhouette. Programmers also set it up to make music by the distance it moved its arm and its spin rotation. Not sure what it really accomplishes but was pretty neat nonetheless. More to come
    Mr. Roboto Draws




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