Talks Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

I really like his metaphors for the media landscape.

It’s finally here! xkcd: volume 0 is now available!

Possibly the greatest webcomic of all time (seriously), xkcd has provided countless hours of amusement over the years.  Now, my favorite webcomic has put out a book, with a portion of the proceeds going to another favorite of mine, the school and library building charity Room to Read.

xkcd_book_300

Folks, this is an all around great deal, easily ordered online here.

To give you an idea of the greatness, here are a few tidbits to get you started down the path of xkcd love:

China bans foreign investment in online games…

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Now this is a bit of bad news for the online games industry in China.  It seems there’s a bit of a dispute going on between two mainland government agencies, which has led to the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) forbidding any foreign investment in China’s online games companies.

Check out the full notice here if you can read Simplified Chinese.  Not good news at all.  We don’t likey.

Shameless Self Promotion: Nokia Picture Story…

Hey kids – just wanted to take a moment and share with you the latest bit of work we’ve done for Nokia.

Nokia Picture Story

To promote the picture sharing capabilities of Ovi, the 6303 classic, 6700 classic, and 6600i slide phones, Isobar has put together a fun little web application that allows you to insert yourself into videos in a rather cool way.  Click on the above image to see one that I just whipped together – go give it a bash yourself!

Automated Photoshopping: A New Internet Meme Is Born

Frankly, this is awesome.  The newly developed PhotoSketch allows you to create automatically generated Photoshopped compositions using random images off the interwebs.  Yes, really.  The image below is but one example of PhotoSketch’s capability:

PhotoSketch Example

If you don’t believe us, seriously, go watch the following video demonstration.  We’d suggest going to the PhotoSketch website itself, but it appears the site has imploded amidst a veritable deluge of interweb users all creating the most fantastically ridiculous possibly composition requests.

The best part?  It appears this was developed at China’s Tsinghua University!

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from tao chen on Vimeo.

QR Codes in Reverse: Buy Your Starbucks With iPhone…

Starbucks iPhone ApplicationDefinite hat tip to @srust99 for passing along this interesting initiative by Starbuck’s.  It seems they’re trying out a new payment system using a very simple iPhone application.  Essentially all it does is display a QR code that is specific to your Starbuck’s Card account, and the register automatically deducts your purchase from your account right then and there.  In other words, you can buy your coffee with your phone now – no wallet necessary!

It’s nice to see a simple execution like this, as it just might help QR code adoption a bit in the US, where a) explaining what QR codes are has been a chore and b) then getting QR code readers pre-installed onto mobile handsets.  Interesting.  Welikey!

Robot eyeball + facial recognition = Miruko…

Whilst not really new technology, it’s definitely creepy / cool to see Miruko’s face recognizing eyeball camera in action. Give the video until the two minute mark and you’ll see how it all works together.

So, now we’ve got Natal + Freakishly Fast Robot Hands + Super Jumping Capability + Face Recognizing Robot Eyeballs.  I suppose, if we look on the bright side of things, our future robot overlords will be able to protect us from any future zombie outbreaks?  😉