• Rolls-Royce: The Fantasy That Dare Not Speak Its Name
    As a devoted Mini Cooper S driver, I do not tend to know these things, but it appears that Ferrari is the chic car of choice among the uber-wealthy this year. I sense this only because at the August Mobile Insider Summit my fiancée and I sat in a trendy bistro where three of them were parked as if on show right outside the window. We watched each of them drive up and their well-heeled drivers pop out trying desperately to look as if they didn't notice people looking at their car. "What if they mate and make spoiled little …
  • Learning Not To Be A Magazine
    Last week Condé Nast mentioned that it was slowing its initial plans to bring all of the magazines in its portfolio to digital formats on the iPad. The company seems underwhelmed by early magazine app sales. Apparently, after the novelty wore off from those first touch-enabled issues of Wired, which topped 100,000 in sales of the first iPad issue, sell-through settled back into the 20,000s range.
  • Curiosity As Entertainment: ChaCha App-ifies Random Acts Of Data
    The persistent, almost overwhelming flow of data that mobile media now makes available everywhere and anywhere is a curious issue that we haven't really handled. We talk a lot about the implications of constant connectivity -- of always being "there" and in touch. Usually we mean by that "connections" to people -- being available all the time. But I wonder what happens to us as mobile technology fills in the remaining holes in the skein of information we have erected. There is no place now where information cannot flow, where questions cannot be answered on the spot, where data is …
  • Defending Mario: Touch Is Not The Answer To Everything
    Developers, publishers and advertisers who think that Apple is "closed" obviously haven't worked with Nintendo. Third-party developers for Nintendo game systems have screamed for years over the cavalier treatment they endure from a company that keeps a tight rein on its platforms and persistently favors the game company's own franchises.
  • Down the QR Code Rabbit Hole
    "What the hell are you looking for?" barks my fiancée in her now-familiar bride-to-be tone of impatience. "I am not marrying a shoe fetishist, am I?" Well, while she shopped for the right pair to match the wedding dress, I was rooting among the shelves for QR codes. I admit that a guy taking phone cam pictures of shiny black stilettos is going to raise some questions. But my understanding was that Macy's had been instituting in-store mobile codes that shoppers could activate.
  • 'Kindle with Special Offers' Hits Rhetorical Target, But Is The Price Right?
    >Amazon's announcement yesterday that it would offer a specially priced Kindle subsidized by advertising, the "Kindle with Special Offers," may have been unexpected but it was in some ways inevitable. The idea of an ad-supported device has been out there for a while, and with a number of false starts.
  • Somebody Tell Me An iStory, Please
    Now that Apple has collected into a hand app many of the iAds it has been running for the past nine months or so, it gives everyone a chance to see the creative executions in a package and reflect on what, if any, progress this represents. The iAd Gallery app appears to be part of Apple's more earnest outreach to agencies and marketers, and it was needed. I stopped counting the number of off-the-record conversations I had with advertisers agency execs bemoaning the control freaks in Cupertino.
  • Defending The Artistic Line
    Both magazine and newspaper media have older legacies that are worth retrieving as the mobile and tablet app platforms search for some of their most expressive and effective formats. The devices focus our attention on a screen that is filled edge to edge with content presented in high contrast and high resolution. What is a media maker to do with an app viewer with such focus and heightened attention to detail? Photos work well, of course. But for my money, I find myself even more engaged by those screens with human drawings.
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