Audio/Video, Business, Hardware

Patent Wars Explained


The recent court cases between Apple and Samsung have brought the use patents in a way many find strange to the attention of a wider press. Most people think of patents as a way to protect inventions. Indeed, this was the idea when they were first introduced to the world in England in the form of ?letters patent?. They were issued by the King or Queen to inventors who petitioned and were approved: a grant of 1331 to John Kempe and his Company is the earliest authenticated instance of a royal grant made with the avowed purpose of instructing the English in a new industry.



Teach Yourself 2.0 or How Education Just Became Exciting (Again)


I was fascinated to learn yesterday that back in July Google ran an online training course called ‘Power Searching with Google‘. Not that there is anything new in running online courses but this was one was unusual for a couple of reasons. First of all it had 155,000 students which is large by any measure. Secondly the course itself announced an open source effort to develop a platform for to create a new generation of online courses. The aim is to start a world of online education like we haven’t seen before. From posted yesterday: "We are excited that Stanford University, Indiana University, UC


Audio/Video, Hardware

The End of Buttons


Recently, I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful gentleman by the name of Ravi Sawhney, the CEO of RKS Design and the author of ‘Predictable Magic’ RKS does some amazing work in industrial design. I was meeting them in my capacity as CSO for Rightware Inc. Our Kanzi UX engine enables advanced ‘UX’ (user experiences) for touch screen interfaces. It is a powerful engine that ships with a tool set that enables designers to create without needing to know how to program. By now, the world is familiar with touch screens through our mobile phones but this will extend to nearly everything people deal


Audio/Video, Business

A Ticket For The 1% Club – An MBA


When I was starting my career, it was the time of London’s ‘Big Bang’. This was the period when the financial markets were deregulated. Although I chose to work in electronics, my friends and our peers still felt the effects of those heady days. What has not been written about is one of the things that this new era ushered in, a new feeling of access. For the first time ever in Britain it did not matter whether you had attended a private school. If Margaret Thatcher, a grocer’s daughter, could become Prime Minister, then any of us could succeed. Suddenly, middle and working class


Apple, Audio/Video, Cloud Computing, Companies, Hardware, Software Programs

Google Beats Apple Siri, But Who Uses Voice Search Anyway?


We wrote a story here about how Google’s voice search function beats the one from Apple called Siri. The story was widely picked up and even reproduced elsewhere using the sincerest form of flattery. What baffles me about the interest is that I have yet to see absolutely anyone use voice search… well, other than Samuel L Jackson. I have two friends that are Apple diehards. To even question a something that Apple might do, has done, or could be capable of, is to risk life and limb in front of Mike or Frank. However, even these two walking, talking billboards for the world’s greatest


Business, Entertainment

Kim Dotcom and the Future of Digital Distribution


As far as I can tell, 37 year old Kim Dotcom is not a particularly nice man. However, he might be about to become the most important person in technology and entertainment. That is because of what he has achieved as well as his current court case and its aftermath.Kim, born Kim Schmitz in 1974, is a German-Finnish businessman and the man behind MegaUpload, the internet file sharing website that upset governments and companies worldwide. Since most (but not all) of the people I know, have no clue who Kim is, here is some background information on him. According to this Wikipedia page, the enterprising


Audio/Video, Hardware

Why I Am Excited About Google Glasses


Yesterday, Google announced a new product called Google Glass, but which is in fact a pair of glasses. The naming convention leads me to assume that Google believes that it is launching a technology rather than a product, one that will be licensed or adopted by others. This product intrigues me greatly. Already there are tons of column inches being devoted to the technology, which currently breaks down into two broad use cases. The first is to be able to take pictures and record video ‘on the go’. To prove how good this is, they had parachutists jump out of a plane over San Francisco



Advice on Building A Personal Brand


My thanks to my friend Kelly Medrano who this weekend sent me eight good ideas for the blog. One of them is the subject of this post, which has some of the best tips I have for how to make sure you have a good personal brand online. Since I have already written about the importance of having one here I will skip that and jump straight in. Klout.First a word on This website measures your online presence and gives you a score. Now this website is somewhat infamous for good reason. On the one hand it does give something of a reflection on



Rejected! And You Will Never Even Know


Every day millions of us get rejected. Rejected for a date. Rejected for a job. Rejected for a film role or audition. Rejected for a speech. The list goes on. This, by the way, includes beautiful women, handsome men, clever people, experienced people. This includes you and it absolutely continues to include me. Hurtful, isn’t it? You might think that you have never been rejected for anything, but I can assure that you have. You were just not aware of it. I know this because I have not only been a victim of it, I have also been guilty of doing it myself. Admittedly, it


Audio/Video, Software Programs

What mood are you in right now? Someone already (thinks) they know.


Just when I thought I had a good handle on social media and the latest trends another revelation hits me between the eyes. Thanks to my friend Paul Philips, last night I became aware of something called ‘sentiment analysis‘. I am a little embarrassed to admit I didn’t know about it because its been around for a while. However I feel comfortable in taking a stab at guessing that most people are not aware of how far along its come. A quick search on google delivers 3.5M hits for the subject. Not content with asking us to rate and rank everything we see, attend, or


Audio/Video, Business

Keep the cord! The latest thing for soon-to-be-parents to worry about.


Its amazing what you learn meeting new friends. Last night I discovered that parents in America are being urged to keep and store their babies’ umbilical cord. It’s a growing and successful business with more than 27 storage companies, up from about 12 three years ago. According to CBS news; Cord Blood Registry said the number of units it stores has risen 40 percent to 50 percent in each of the last few years and now totals about 60,000. CorCell Inc. said that in one year, its client base grew 100 percent and that it now stores over 8,000 units. LifebankUSA said it adds thousands



How to Get 10 Million Dollars for Your Business


The Facebook IPO has created quite enormous amounts of press with good reason. Most of us are not immune to feelings of jealousy, curiosity or outright amazement at the staggering amounts of money raised. More widely it has also drawn attention to the Silicon Valley phenomenon of lightning fast start-ups that sell for huge sums in record times. It?s true. Although down on the previous quarter in calendar Q1 this year, VC?s (venture capitalists) invested $5.8 billion in 758 deals, according to a MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). So if you have an idea how do you go about


Business, Hardware

3D Printers have Nothing to do with 3D. But are Utterly Brilliant


Of all the dumb names for a new revolutionary technology "3D Printers" must be the worst. These amazing new devices which are sincerely going to change the industry have about as much to do with 3D as American politics does to reasoned debate. Audi used a 3D Printer i.e. Object Printer to print the RSQ prototype When we think 3D we tend to think about 3D movies, games, navigation, etc. These printers have nothing to do with any of that. Nor do they ‘print’ in as much as there is absolutely no sheets of paper involved. Instead these new devices should be called ‘Object Printers’.


Business, Software Programs, Technology Security

Smarter Smartphones for Smarter Shopping


An area of technology that is getting an awful lot of attention right now is a cool thing with a horrible name. NFC or ‘Near Field Communication’ promises much and actually looks like it will deliver. The concept is simple enough, your smartphone will talk with devices you come into contact with and manage transactions with them. The most obvious example is shopping. Now most people can pretty easily grasp that you will pay using your phone by simply pressing an icon or entering a pin number at the checkout. In an Apple store the man or woman that usually carries that portable cc swipe


Business, Software Programs

Microsoft 2.0: Is Windows Mobile Starting to Look Attractive?


Back in 2007 Mary Jo Folie wrote a book called ‘Microsoft 2.0’ about how Microsoft would develop after Bill Gates. It?s taken a while for any really big changes to affect Microsoft which is why I think the real 2.0 version is only now about to emerge. Forbes recently announced that there are now more Windows phones being sold in China than iPhones. It?s not quite the coup it might seem since it?s mainly to do with Apple not supporting SCDMA, one of the standards for phones there. However despite how the world seems today the mobile world is subject to change at short notice.


Apple, Cloud Computing, Companies

Apple Televisions: Their Greatest Product Ever?


Apparently Steve Jobs set out a 5 year plan towards his last days at Apple. If one product from that plan succeeds then his greatest and most lasting legacy will be one he sadly never got to see. Because it seems to me that Apple Televisions (I am not referring to the Apple TV box) are going be so big that they will dwarf anything achieved by the iPhone and iPad. That is a bold statement given the billion $ business those both represent. So here?s why. Gap MastermindsApple is really, really good at spotting weak gaps in a market. The genius of iPod wasn?t



Where the Jobs Are


For some of my close friends struggling to find work this post may be irritating. I hope its inspirational. Even if some of the results below show the best prospects to be in mining or working for the Govt. Because it appears that in the USA at least jobs that went abroad may be returning. Whilst researching this to find the numbers to back up the assumption I found this website from last year. The data shows jobs lost/created from 2007 to 2009. It then shows the number of jobs created in 2010. Since the post goes into detail there?s not much to add there.


Audio/Video, Business

Never Complain Online. Ever!


From what can be seen from reports Gene Morphis was an entirely respectable CFO. Married, 63 with two children at a successful company he looked as though he was living a great life. Until he got fired. Because unfortunately Gene could not refrain from tweeting and posting negative comments about his company and colleagues. I believe that there are three reasons why you should never complain about colleagues, your company or your boss online. 1. You will get found out. No matter that you set up a false account and try to use IP blocking software. It does not matter. I promise you that some


Audio/Video, Entertainment

The Hottest New Job in Technology? Stereographer


A good friend of mine asked me why I am involving Hollywood in my blog when I am an out-and-out technology geek with a lifetime background in graphics. To be frank I am not sure I answered him to his satisfaction but later it occurred to me to mention that the hottest new job in technology has emerged ‘down here’ and it’s in the movie business. The job is stereographer, cinemas newest profession. A role so new that my spell checker suggests 4 other word choices because the word itself doesn’t exist. But it does. So what is it, why is it such a hot


Business, Cloud Computing

New Hollywood Trend: Professional Tweet Doubles Sought


One of the benefits of working in Hollywood is that I do get to hear the occasional good piece of gossip. Today I found out that there is a new role for would be screenwriters ‘between jobs’ in Hollywood as professional tweeters. That’s right professional tweeters. Increasingly celebrities and their agents are starting to understand the importance of social media. Especially when Lady Gaga hit 20M followers. Although some celebrities obviously tweet themselves and even seem to enjoy it, many more employ staff to manage their accounts, sometimes not so subtly. According to uber-blogger Shannon Albert there are certain techniques to make sure you are