Entertainment on Blackberries?

BGR on RIM’s new Blackberry World:

Not only will Research in Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry World include more than 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps, the storefront will also offer “one of the most robust music and video catalogs in mobile today.”
“Blackberry World”? It doesn’t say entertainment to me.
Product branding and how the public perceives it are extremely important to success.
Associating the business-related Blackberry brand with consumer-related music and movies just doesn’t sound like a winning recipe.
RIM holding on to the Blackberry brand, regardless of context, feels a lot like Microsoft holding onto the Windows brand, regardless of how many (or little) actual windows exist in their newest operating system*.
*In his review of Windows 8, Jakob Neilsen comments that they should have renamed it Microsoft Window given “the main UI restricts users to a single window”.


I was recently asked by the founder of Stemmings, Daniel Feeney, to contribute an essay.
I decided to write about 3 things designers need to not do to find work and build a portfolio: Wait, Ask For Permission and Stop. I also designed the cover image for my essay.
Check it out.


In the last few years I’ve become more and more interested in and copyright law, both on the tecnology/patent side and the art/imitation side. Kirby Ferguson’s TED Talk, Embace The Remix, is required viewing if you’re interested.
According to The Center for the Study of the Public Domain nothing entered the public domain in 2013:

What is entering the public domain in the United States? Nothing. Once again, we will have nothing to celebrate this January 1st. Not a single published work is entering the public domain this year. Or next year. In fact, in the United States, no publication will enter the public domain until 2019. Even more shockingly, the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Congress can take back works from the public domain. Could Shakespeare, Plato, or Mozart be pulled back into copyright? The Supreme Court gave no reason to think that they could not be.
via Open Culture

No More Harmony

Logitech to sell Harmony remote division after ‘unacceptable’ Q3 results
This is unfortunate.
I’ve been meaning to write a review of the Harmony One remote. It’s the best universal remote I’ve ever owned (going on 2 years now).
The web application interface is not the greatest, but the macros you can program with it are awesome (turn on TV, select HDMI 1, turn on cable box, set channel to 400). It’s particularly helpful when guests are over. There’s no figuring out 10 remotes, there’s 3 macros I’ve programmed on the remote: Watch Cable, Watch Apple TV, Play Video Games. Tap one of those 3 on-screen options and the remote does the rest. Done.
The other, more subtle quality I love about the Harmony One is that despite being a universal remote with dozens of buttons on it, the remote is molded in such a way that without looking at it, you know exactly what button your finger is on.
This sounds silly, but it’s something you can only appreciate when it’s in your hand. You’d be surprised how many remotes fail to physically differentiate buttons.
All this being said, Logitech does charge a premium for these remotes, so I can understand the poor Q3 results.


In this age of digital, film still remains as the medium of choice for some and there has always been a challenge in getting your Analogue captures into a sharable format without the time consuming process of scanning.
The Lomography community serves as an example of how film has flourished and remained as a truly inspirational medium. So it’s not a surprise that a Kickstarter project has surfaced from that community. It’s a very simple concept that will allow people to preserve and share their old film shots, while sparking others to participate in the world of film.
The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner


Apple has posted the details of their record-breaking Q1 2013, but as John Gruber has noted, the financial and tech press can’t help but be disappointed in it.
This reminds me how much of the financial world is nothing more than one, big horse track with lots and lots of windows to place bets at. Investors put money down on companies they think will do well based on hearsay, rumors, speculations, ideas they pull out of their asses and unverified articles in Chinese newspapers.
The problem is, everyone not working at Apple, Inc—which includes those investors I just mentioned—know little to nothing of what Apple is doing, going to do, or thinking about doing, so they’re wrong a lot because, well, they’re fucking guessing on shit.
There’s good and bad eggs in every industry, and like a good company invested in the long-term growth of their employees, there exist investors with long-term plans with their investments that aren’t distracted by short-sighted noise. This noise we’re inundated with in the tech and financial news is produced by fickle and destructive people.
Analogies always help make things relatable, so here’s a shot:
Imagine your salary, bonus and job security wasn’t in direct correlation to your performance or agreed-to goals with your management, but by outsider researchers scrutinizing your every move on the job (I’m picturing the ‘Bobs’ from Office Space). Not only are these researchers scrutinizing you, but they’re betting your salary and bonus on whether you hit certain goals in the future. I forgot to mention they wouldn’t tell you these goals or how they came up with them. I should also mention these people are easily convinced by rumors spread by your co-workers. And by tweets by random people. And cloud formations.
Once the researchers are armed with their “research”—which might or might not contain facts—they talk to your upper management to share their findings. Based on what they hear, upper management then adjusts your salary and bonus accordingly and tells you once it’s done.
Yeah, that’s unfair. Just like a lot of the financial analysis in the news.
As Dan Pallotta says over at Harvard Business Review points out, Apple could unveil a time machine and the market would still be disappointed.