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The RAZR Story

Filed under: — 4:03 pm

FORTUNE has a great article on the story behind the Motorola RAZR. A phone that was to help revitalize the company’s image wound up turning into a commercial success that they never expected. It also proves that companies can make great phones when they aren’t listening to everything the wireless companies want. It’s definitely worth a read.

“The phone was supposed to be something beautiful, like jewelry - a pricey gem in the $500 range at retail, rather than a mass-market staple. Motorola needed a reputation builder, badly. The moneymaker phones would come after, or so the plan went, piggybacking on the company’s restored allure.”

“The ‘thin clam’ project became a rebel outpost. Money wasn’t an object, but secrecy and speed were. Normally Motorola consults closely with the wireless companies that sell the phones to try to integrate whatever favorite features they request. It also conducts ‘mall intercepts’ to gauge consumers’ reaction.

Not this time. Jellicoe hid the details of the project even from company colleagues.”



First Glance Review: AIM Triton

Filed under: — 3:52 pm

I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on this earlier but AOL is testing a new version of AIM named Triton. Quite frankly, I like the interface. Among the features are voice and video chat, email (2GB) and even blogging from the client. It appears as if Plaxo and AIM have a partnership because now you can enter all your information and Plaxo will take care of the rest. If used to its potential this integration could make AIM a hub for communication. If you have all your friends’ first/last names entered you can switch your buddy list into “Friendly Names” which switches their screennames to real names. I also like the “tabbed” communication style. Some people enjoy having 10284 windows open simultaniously but I personally like having them combined.

My biggest gripe, as always, is the advertisements. Triton gives you the option to either have the ads appear on your buddy list or in your messages. In addition, I don’t like the in-ability to set away from the system tray. I have to open the buddy list in order to do almost anything. I guess I’ll give this a week or so and see if it’s worth sticking to.

As a side note, was just launched today. It’s not an official AOL blog but it may provide a useful source for the new client.

Source: AIM Triton Beta,


Jeff Pulver Talks Nobel Prize

Filed under: — 12:55 pm

…what a moron. He basically raved at VON Europe about Skype’s CEO Niklas Zennström (and his team) and how they deserve a nobel peace prize. You’ve got to be kidding me. He says communication is a good way to end war.

Om said it best:

After all phone has been around for a while, and thanks to high tariffs the communication has been difficult. Never mind that Skype is cheap way to communicate if you can afford to spend a few hundred dollars (or life time of earnings) on a computer type device, and then spend atleast a $20 on broadband.


Self-Check-In for Hotels

Filed under: — 5:41 pm

I forgot where I had seen the article but the other day there was a quick blurb about self-service in hotels. Since we’re all capable of obtaining our ticket at the airport, why can’t we do the same at a hotel? I’m convinced that you don’t need to hire someone to type in my name, addresses, ask which room I want, etc. It’d be much easier for me to type my own name and address (I think I can master both in under 3 seconds without a mouse) and take a look at an actual floor plan of a hotel to choose my room. Naturally, you do need someone at a desk but a room-key dispenser could be as simple as an ATM machine.

It appears as if some Las Vegas hotels, Hyatt Hotels, and Embassy Suites (among many) have adopted the idea…


Tooth Tunes Reinvents The Toothbrush

Filed under: — 1:11 pm

Brushing your teeth just became fun(ner?). I have an electric brush that beeps every thirty seconds and stops automatically after two. Its perfect. But wait, now there are Tooth Tunes. John at Brand Autopsy talks about the remarkable product that sends soundwaves through the teeth up into the inner ear:

For six years, Hasbro has been trying to develop the right use for their invention of a tiny devise that can transmit sound through enamel and bone. They first tried to use the technology in a lollipop but at $10 bucks a pop, consumers balked. Next, Hasbro considered using pens, spoons, and forks but none of those prototypes made it to the marketplace. Hasbro finally settled on a toothbrush and will launch Tooth Tunes in late summer.

This is a classic example of what Seth Godin spoke of in Purple Cow. The product is the marketing and vice versa.

Update:Mary provides some a helpful comment:

This is nothing new. A company called Orawave was into the tuned musical toothbrush market first with a superior product called the Tuned Musical 2-Minute Twin Spin toothbrush. Unlike the Hasbro brush — Orawave’s has a replaceable head, comes in 4 cool designs, plays 8 DIFFERENT tunes so you get a different tune each time you brush, has a 2 minute timer, twin heads and plays music only AFTER the person has brushed for the full 2 minutes - a reward. And it sells for less than $7. Dentists recommend you change your brush heads every 3 months and since Hasbro’s brush heads cannot be replaced, you will need to shell out $10, 4 times a year! 4 replacement heads for the Orawave only cost about $8 TOTAL.

Thanks, Mary!


Awesome Airbus 380 is huge

Filed under: — 4:50 pm

I was reading the paper at brunch this morning and saw a picture of a new Airbus. I glanced over it but didn’t realize that I was really looking at the inside of a plane! I can’t find any photos out there but here’s what Yahoo has to say about the revolutionary (huge!) airplane:

The mammoth A380 has room for 70 cars to park on its wings and looks rather like the hump-backed Boeing 747 but with the top section stretching all the way back to the tail. (Link)

There are already orders in from 14 airlines. Airbus surpassed Boeing in 2003 and looks like it’s kicking the competition while its down. Can you imagine sitting with 554 other people on a flight? By the way thats roughly 33% percent more than any other jet at this point. Will there be perks? Oh please. First class passengers on Virgin’s versions of the plane will have private double beds. For the rest of you trying to nap in the jumbo jet: bring headphones. Enough said.


Apple anounces cheap computer, mp3 player

Filed under: — 6:41 pm

AppleWatch has more on the story but Steve Jobs finally announced a new $100 MP3 player named iPod shiffle and a $500 Mac mini. This’ll do a number of things for Apple. First, the Mac mini means people can’t argue the price in buying a new Macintosh. Robert, I think many people will argue the extra $32 is worth it. It’s hip, cool, attractive, and (hopefully) the bridge people have been waiting to cross. Think of college kids thinking “hmm, I love my iPod..”. Enough said. We’ll see what happens…

These weren’t the only announcements at MacWorld. Endgadget has the play-by-play. Apple has really put on their game face lately.


Tweel lasts longer, no leaks

Filed under: — 10:38 pm

Those who brought us the segway (there’s a winner) has now announced an airless tire. That’s right, Michelin recently introduced the following:

The Tweel, an experimental tire and wheel combination developed by Michelin, is designed to replace today’s air-filled tires. Flexible polyurethane spokes deflect over obstacles …beyond the obvious attraction of being impervious to nails in the road. The tread will last two to three times as long as today’s radial tires, … when it does wear thin it can be retreaded … [it] offers an opportunity to reduce the number of parts, eliminating most of the 23 components of a typical new tire. (via NY Times)

We’ll see if it catches on. Michelin has high hopes (segways were going to revolutionize the way we get around?). They’d like to ultimately put their tires on passenger cars, construction equipment and aircraft.

CES is here again

Filed under: — 9:19 pm

Time for the nerds to impress each other, thats right, Las Vegas hosts the Consumer Electronics Show this week. Tons of people will be there, from bloggers(Engadget) to government officials (Congress, FCC). For those who are unfamiliar, this is much more important than a show like Comdex. The CES is everything technology related. Plus, its huge! With over 2,500 companies the show will take up over “11 New York City blocks”.For many, its an exciting time to give previews of whats to come and talk about whats going on. Key speakers this year will include Bill Gates, Craig R. Barrett, chief executive of Intel, and Carleton S. Fiorina, chairwoman and chief executive at Hewlett-Packard.

We’ll see how the next few days progress. They will certainly set the pace for consumer electronics and the technology sector this year.

(NY Times)


Innovation hit “critical mass” in 2004

Filed under: — 3:38 pm

The Innovation Weblog just published its year-in-review and outlines a number of milestones and trends. Its an interesting read that cites such things as the Front End of Innovation Conference where organizers had to scramble to find a larger hall due to overwhelming popularity. The article goes on to talk about new research, new directions, and even new tools this year.

Heck, look at Microsoft, it scrambled in less than a year to compete with Google in search technology. There’s some innovation for you…

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