Sunday, September 23, 2007

Face Recognition for the lazy bastards


I bought a Sony camera a few weeks ago; one of the main reasons I chose Sony was because the camera had "face recognition" which allows the camera to recognize the people's faces in the frame and ensure that they are in focus. I thought this was a very handy feature in addition to "image stabilization", and the conventional "automatic flash" would allow my parents (whom I was buying the camera for) to take perfect photos under any circumstances, all they have to do is say "say cheese". But apparently not anymore, I just came across this article in the Economist:

Now face-recognition technology is getting even smarter. Next week, Sony is due to launch a digital camera that can be set so it won’t release the shutter until people in the picture are smiling. The software analyses the scene for facial expressions associated with happiness—including the upturn of the corners of the mouth, the separation of the lips, and the wrinkle of the eyes. You can designate which of up to eight people in the viewfinder to focus on, and select three different facial expressions: smile, grin or laugh.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Techtionary

Again, my affinity with wired is dictating my blog content. The below web2.0-influenced coined terms are sample content from Wired’s Geekipedia. All rights reserved.
I think they are a phenomenal representation of the latest trends and people’s adoption of them. You can vote for entries submitted by other readers on Geekipedia
here.

E-tard by Mike Smith
Someone, who despite repeat education on technology, are incapable of using it. Thus, Retarding (means to set back) the person even more as new technology comes out. These are the people who should be never allowed to us a computer; for all they will bring is headaches to those around them.


pry-vacy by TC

The "right" of your; boss, spouse, federal government to look at anything on your computer or cell phone. Warrant not included or necessary

Warcraftofile by Mike
Its what happens when girls in RL can't excite an otherwise healthy male who plays Warcraft.
When only jumping LVL12 druids can get the juices flowing.

Machinima by Paul Marino
A fusion of cinema, animation and video games, Machinima (muh-sheen-eh-mah) is the application of live-action filmmaking practices within a real-time 3D virtual environment - most often done using 3D video games.
Notable examples include Red vs. Blue (made using the Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3), Person 2184 (Unreal Tournament 2004) and My Second Life (obviously, Second Life).

Wi-Five by Staphyl
The act of giving someone a high five without actually touching them, such as from across the room. Very useful if you cannot give physical contact, but would very much like to express your admiration or respect.

Blogologist by Jean Poulot
First recorded by Jean Poulot, September 19 2007 in Wired Geekipedia.
From blog, shorten form of weblog, from web and log, and logist, specialist.
An inarticulate person who has a strong opinion on things he or she does not know, who cannot spell or use punctuation properly, yet poses as an expert.
Synonym: One who rants, a wannabe, an alias user.
Antonym: An authority. Someone who does not respond to blog ranting.

Picnic by Dave
When responding to a desktop assistance help call the problem is simply user error and easily fixed. "P"roblem "i"n "c"hair "n"ot "i"n "c"omputer. "PICNIC" Thus it is as easy as going to a picnic.

mult-y-tasker by myerman
The uncanny ability of generation y workers to play WoW, IM their friends, listen to their iPod, write a report for the big client, and do none of those things well.

Monday, September 17, 2007

2014 as predicted by the Museum of Modern History

I don't feel I can comment on this, but believe that everyone should see it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0

This post has been plagiarized from Stephanie the Web 2.0 guru.

The Japanese agency IA has released the 2007 version of the web trends:"The 200 most successful websites on the web, ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective. The original raster (the Tokyo metro map) has been substantially modified to fit the needs of an Internet Trend Map."LOVE IT!It just made me happy to see all my favorite sites gathered in one big funky map that makes sense (I'm such a web junky).Have a closer look at the map here.(the screen saver is really cool, but it's only available for Mac users)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The telecom (re)branding lifecycle - Part III

This is part III of the article, please read Part I and PartII before:

Ad Agency: We need to prioritize the deliverables as they are unachievable by your launch date.
Some priorities are given but eventually the priority changes on a daily bases and many items are added to the list on a daily basis as the marcoms team find random stuff that need branding (from sugar sachets to the vouchers in the queuing machine)
Ad Agency: Here is the launch campaign we propose.
CEO: I do not like this campaign; I need something more grandiose that makes people cry and gives goose bumps.
Ad Agency: We need to talk to the customer on their level, we need to be their friends – our communication should not be very grand and give off the feeling that we are talking to them from our ivory tower, hence implying that we are unapproachable.
CEO: We have investors paying millions of dollars and they do not want friends, they want to see their accomplishments, you can do those friendly campaigns when launching products and services.
Ad agency: We do not recommend going with the selling line proposed by the CI agency as it does not make sense, and they are not the experts in this domain – here are a few proposals.
Marcoms (to agency): We need more options.
Marketing (to marcoms): We still need more options.
CEO (to everyone): I still need even more options, I want everyone to contribute to this process and involve all the staff.
After the final list and options are received no one likes any of the selling lines, and they decide to compromise by going with the one that they least hate.
Marketing: Let us have a big promotion for the launch, maybe buy a line and get XXX free credit in order to give the customer some benefit.
Ad Agency: NO! we cannot launch a new brand with a promotion it would cheapen the brand, and make the brand name seem week, we do not want to directly associate it with price reduction. If we are to launch with anything it should be a strong value proposition that is applied across the entire operation of the services.
A major debate across all the operations is held, and the CEO finally takes a decision on the launch promotion.
Marketing: We need to develop the campaigns for the products and services in line with the launch campaign.
Ad Agency: Here are the product and services ads.
Marketing: But these do not follow the same theme as the brand launch campaign.
Ad Agency: They cannot follow the same concept in the brand campaign in all ads especially since the campaign was too grandiose.
Marketing / Marcom: Then we need to develop a value proposition for our brand.
After many exercises to develop a value proposition going back and forth, they settle on a generic value proposition that has a very wide umbrella to fit all communications, along the lines of “better services” or “better prices” or “get more” or “live our brand”

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The telecom (re)branding lifecycle - Part II

This is part II of the article, please read Part I before:

Marcom: It is a very good we will give you the guidelines and you will need to develop all of the communication material. You need to become the brand guardians.
CI Agency: We need to remain the brand guardians and approve all of the work done by the agency.
Marcom (to CEO): We need to extend the contract of the CI agency beyond the logo development. As we need them to develop more collateral and ensure a smooth process. But we will ensure that everything is done according to guidelines
Marcom (to CI agency): You will be the brand guardians and we will send you all artworks to approve
Marcom (to Ad Agency): You need to be the brand guardians and ensure that everything is done according to guidelines
Marcom (to consultants): We need you to be the brand guardians and ensure that everything is done according to guidelines
The ad agency develops the first piece of communication according to guidelines, usually a very minor item i.e. application form
Marcom: No this is not according to guidelines we will send it to the CI agency to check
Consultants: This can work but please send it to the CI agency
CI Agency: No this is not according to guidelines
Ad Agency: The guidelines don’t specify anything about application forms, and this design fits everything proposed in the guidelines booklet
Marcom (to CI Agency): Can you please design the application forms for us
CI Agency: Sure, we will help you out with this. We will also amend the guidelines to include application forms
Ad Agency: Please we need a list of all the items that you need to (re) brand so that we assign the correct resources and give you a timelineMarcom (to Ad Agency): We have developed the attached list of deliverables here it is:


... to be continued

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The telecom (re)branding lifecycle - Part I

Here is a short script of a (stereo)typical telecom (re)branding lifecycle.

CEO: We need a strong human, emotional, and aspirational brand similar to Orange
Consultant: You need to build a monolithic brand to avoid having many sub brands which will be expensive to maintain and difficult to communicate with the blurring of boundaries that will result from convergence in the near future.
Marcom: But we have a lot of brand equity for our existing brand and sub-brands. Our prepaid name is very common in the market and people love it.
CEO: We will spend a lot of money on our launch campaign and will build strong equity very quickly.
Marketing: We cannot spend this much money on brand communications we have targets to achieve and we need to sell a lot of products. We should focus our budget on product communications and promotions, otherwise our competition will launch many offers and our customers will churn. Customers don’t care about the brand they are price sensitive and will go with the cheapest rates.
Consultants: We need to think long term, cutting prices in the short term would only get us un-loyal customers that will churn the next day, we need to have a long term vision and build a brand that would captures the heart and not only the pocket of customers.
CEO: I totally agree, change is the only constant, and now is the right time to do this. This decision is final.
Marketing: Yes Sir.
Marcoms: Yes Sir.
Consultants (internally): We do not have any experience in advertising, we need to recruit a few branding specialists from other local telco’s / ad agencies.
Marcoms (to advertising agency): We have a very large project, this is a test for you as an agency, if you do not do a good job we need to re-pitch. We need to build a very strong brand that stands out amongst all teclos in the regions (this is the brief).
The agency presents many logos that are not liked by the operator without any explanation
CEO: I do not like this agency, they do not have any telecom experience, “I can develop a better logo myself”
Marketing: I never liked this agency, it is there fault we are not meeting our targets, if it wasn’t for them we could have doubled our revenues this year
Marcoms (to Agency): Your contract is on the line here, you have made me look bad in front of management, your work is un acceptable
Ad Agency: It is not the job of an ad agency to develop a logo, you need to go to a corporate identity agency
Consultants (internally): This is true, we should have known this. Who did the corporate identity of the big telcos we need to recommend this.
Consultants (to telco): We recommend you give this job to a specialized CI agency. There are several good ones in London that have developed the biggest brand like BT, O2, Vodafone etc.
CEO: This is worth spending money on, we need to hire a CI agency from London, I want the best brand for this company.
CI Agency: We have developed one option only and think this is very good. It is the best logo we have made and it fits very well with the Middle East market, even though it does not include Arabic. Here is a 30 page rationale.
CEO: I love it, these people really know what they are talking about
Marketing: We love it!
Marcom: We love it!
Ad Agency: We HATE it!

… continued here.