Friday, December 28, 2007

What Does Wal-Mart Cancelling Movie Download Service Tell Us?

When video is the next big thing for the Net, why would the largest retailer cancel this e-commerce application?

Are downloads too slow? Or is the quality too poor?
Is the video on demand library big enough to compete with rental stores?

Wal-Mart Cancels Movie Download Service

Wal- Mart Stores Inc quietly canceled its online video download service less than a year after the site went live, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Wal-Mart shut down the download site after Hewlett Packard Co discontinued the technology that powered it, spokeswoman Amy Colella said in an e-mail. She added that it will not look for another technology partner.

Wal-Mart was the first major retailer to partner with all of the major Hollywood movie studios and TV networks to offer downloads the same day titles were released on DVD

HP spokesman Hector Marinez said the company decided to discontinue its video download-only merchant store services because the market for paid video downloads did not perform "as expected."

Why do you think Wal-Mart's DVD downloading never took off?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Analyst Predicts Death Of The DVD And Media Metric Mayhem

The Next Google will solve this media metric mayhem because it will be able to collect data, second-by-second, from all services/devices connected to the broadband pipe and deliver relevant advertising to ANY display.

CDs are dying, are DVDs next?

Michael Nathanson, analyst for Bernstein Research, is predicting the demise of the DVD as the dominant vehicle for consumer video. His prediction comes as DVD sales are down more than 4% for the year according to data from Nielsen VideoScan.

Perhaps a more pressing problem for the movie industry is consumers' increasing preference for watching movies through Video on Demand (VoD) services.

Another development of note to Nathanson is the popularity of game consoles. “Media investors take note,” he writes. “As if we don’t have enough to worry about already, the growth of next generation video gaming poses a new and legitimate risk to traditional media consumption on many fronts.”

“The rising interest of next-generation gaming presents traditional media with a basic core problem - my kids (and millions of other kids) are now opting to play their Wiis rather than watch TV,” he writes.

“While the TV viewing data does not bore this out, the observational evidence is obvious (to me)…the level of consumer interactivity and engagement that these next-generation game platforms offer fulfills my children in a way that TV cannot. And while I am not complaining about that, the media analyst in me winces about this future generation’s use of traditional media.”

Want to know who is the Next Google?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sprint Promotes ScanLife Mobile Bar Codes In Wired Magazine

A major U.S. wireless carrier, Sprint, is recognizing (and promoting) how big Physical World Connection (camera phone and barcodes) will be.

On page 35 of this month's Wired Magazine Sprint has a full page ad called "The Captivating Future Of The Bar Code".scanlife

Sprint is advertising ScanBuy's ScanLife mobile bar code reading application for camera phones.

ScanBuy was the first physical world connection company to land a carrier and major brand.

Notable quotes from the ad.

"not since the electric toothbrush has such an ordinary object emerged to make the the world a more nimble place"

"you are about to experience the life-altering future of the bar-code"

" we can't say for sure (no one can), but we have reason to believe .

"we have reason to believe that the bar code is going to revolutionize the way people consume things"

Sears, Billboard, Burn Magazine, Nike are just a few companies that are using ScanLife's mobile bar codes to link camera phones to the Net.

If you have a camera phone text "SCAN" to 70734 and download the free application, It takes less than a minute. supported phones

Take a picture of the bar code on the screen (or the magazine) and receive your secret prize.
ScanLifeThis poor image of the bar code, that was taken by a camera phone, can be scanned by the ScanLife application.

Friday, December 21, 2007

TV And Radio Broadcasts To Embed Hyperlinks In Sound

Intrasonics offers another way to link the physical world to the Net with a mobile phone. By embedding data the sound of a TV broadcast or on the radio, a mobile phone is able to decipher/scan and connect a mobile phone to the Internet.

TV ads and shows can now be interactive with the mobile phone. A threat to the cable companies with their interactive remotes?

Intrasonics is added to the list of companies that enable a mobile phone to connect to the Internet via real world objects.

Intrasonics Ltd is Sagentia Group’s interactive media services venture which provides a completely new way of directly connecting broadcast media to mobile networks using data embedded in sound.

The technology can be used across a number of applications including interactive gaming and advertising.

Intrasonics works by communicating directly between a broadcaster and mobile handsets via data transmitted in the sound of ordinary broadcasts.

The data is embedded in the audio and is unobtrusive to the listener. The sound and data is picked up by the microphone in the mobile and can be decoded to enable a compelling range of new interactive experiences for the consumer.

Luc Jonker, CEO of Mainframe Participaties B.V. comments " Our vision is to bring interactivity into every household around the world by changing the way in which consumers currently interact with their TVs or radios"

CleanTech Developments To Watch In 2008

Nicholas Parker at has a great piece on Eight Cleantech Developments To Watch For In 2008

cleantechHis Top 8 Developments:

1. Green as global political platform

If 2007 was the year that environmental concerns emerged from the margins to become a central leg of a politician’s platform, then 2008 will be the year that articulating environmental positions and cleantech initiatives will be table stakes for any world leader.

2. Cleantech drives new business and financing models

More and more companies are now rushing to offer Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)s in solar and other energy sectors. (I see PPAs offering another revenue stream for large buildings/users of power)

3. Price per bushel on par with price per barrel

high prices per bushel will signal that resource scarcity and security are not just energy issues (soybean and corn prices versus a barrel of oil)

4. Increasingly fragile water supply at risk
we fear that after years of warnings, there could very well be a crisis event that draws attention to the fragility of existing fresh water supplies.

5. “CleanChip” clusters grow in Asia, EU and Middle East
the cleantech industry is clustering around a select number of urban hubs in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

6. Solar breakthroughs, commercialization of liquid fuels and better batteries
energy storage is the weak link in the emerging sustainable energy paradigm.

7. China graduates from manufacturer to end-market
the Chinese government arguably showing more significant commitments to embracing cleantech as a way to lower carbon emissions than most other industrialized countries

8. Energy efficiency and demand response generate smart grid savings
a smart grid in a somewhat unlikely way: through efficiency and demand response technology companies. (think energy conservation for corporations)

The 200 year old electric motor is already undergoing a CleanTech transformation.

Full CleanTech Report

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Circuit City Merges Online And Real World Commerce With 24 Minute In Store Pickup

Circuit City is merging their online site with their retail stores with a pretty good idea.

Let your customer shop and order online, and then pick up item(s) in 24 minutes at your retail store.

Online price comparison before buying.
Save on shipping costs.
Verify item is in stock.
Save time by not standing in checkout line.
Pick up item in time for holidays.

Are taxes charged because item is picked up at retailer versus online?
Inventory requirements would have to be higher.
Big items (TVs) could be a hassle to transport...a possibility to sell shipping service at store?

What would I do if I was in charge of their mobile marketing?

Include a n option where customer could provide their mobile number. The store would send a text as soon as item is ready. For using this service I would resend (with their permission) a 2d bar code/coupon to be used the NEXT TIME they visit the store.

Printing Equipment Company Goss Implements Mobile Bar Codes...Could This Save Newspaper Industry?

Could mobile bar codes revitalize the slumping newspaper industry?

Every bar code published in the paper becomes a link to the Internet for more advertising and commerce activities. Imagine having a hyperlink to your company's website in thousands of newspapers...what is this worth?

Dupont is placing 2d codes on their consumer good packaging that will allow consumer goods to be linked to the Net, what about newspapers and magazines?

If newspapers can get consumers to link ad or story to the Net using a mobile phone, could this save their dying business?

Goss Unveils Interactive Ad Program

Goss International begins testing a new product today in the pages of Foster's that it hopes could revolutionize print advertising by tracking viewers and making print ads interactive.

In a combined promotion in today 's edition and in the Dec. 23 Foster's Sunday Citizen, five local firms have advertisements incorporating a bar code system Goss is calling RSVP. Customers can use their cell phones to record the bar code in each ad, send a response to Goss, and receive back a promotional reward.

RSVP hopes to turn print advertising into a value-added product.

A key to larger participation will be fine-tuning the system so advertisers can sign up for advertising codes directly from the RSVP website — A companion consumer website allows ad viewers to track their rewards at

Goss plans an initial advertiser sign-up fee for the program, and a per-click charge. There eventually will be a variety of programs and fees based on complexity of use, such as viewer reward points redeemable for merchandise or discounts at a specific business.

All cell phones that can text message can be used to type in the ad's code and send it to RSVP. Readers also can go to and download software onto many types of cell phones that allows a user to simply type in an ad's code or even scan it using the phone's camera function.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Congress Approves Auto Fuel Economy Increase And More CleanTech Initiatives

Alternative energy and renewable energy technology represent an enormous disruptive opportunity.

Groundbreaking Energy Bill opens up the door for many CleanTech opportunities.

Congress sent to President Bush a truncated, although no less dramatic, energy bill that will require an increase in the fuel efficiency of cars, SUVs and small trucks by 40 percent to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Those old-fashioned 100-watt incandescent light bulbs in stores will soon be replaced by 2012, and labels on TVs and computers will tell you how much energy they consume.

The energy bill, which also calls for a huge increase in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel and requires new appliance efficiency standards, was approved by the House 314-100 after clearing the Senate last week, 86-8.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has projected that the bill will reduce energy use by 7% and carbon dioxide emissions by 9% in 2030.

The bill has incentives for electricity infrastructure, carbon capture, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency.

In a significant shift to spur increased demand for nonfossil fuels, the bill requires refiners to use 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, a six-fold increase over today's ethanol production. And it imposes new energy efficiency standards for refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances as well as lighting, federal buildings and construction of commercial buildings.

I previously discussed what opportunities await for energy efficiency.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CTIA To Set Mobile Bar Codes Standard?

A mobile bar code mandate?

Maybe this is the push the US needs in order for camera phones and bar codes to connect.
scott shaffer
CTIA -The Wireless Association® announced today a request for information (RFI) on behalf of its Code Scan Action Team. The RFI is being sent to a wide range of companies with an interest in the Cameraphone Barcode Scanning (CBS) space.

An important opportunity presents itself in the United Sates where Code Scanning is relatively unknown. While some countries are building many small islands of Code Scanning activity, there is potential in the U.S. to support and develop a common architecture that enables a mass code-scanning market.

CTIA’s Code Scan Action Team, comprised of industry representatives, is currently in the process of evaluating solutions to implement CBS on wireless phones in the United States. The purpose of this RFI is to understand and evaluate partner capabilities and interests in Code Symbologies, Code Scanning client applications and Proposed Business Models to support CBS, among other areas.

This is in addition to the mobile bar code standard the International Air Transport Association (IATA) created.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade body that represents 240 airlines and 94% of scheduled international travel, has reached an agreement on a global standard for mobile barcodes, which it says "paves the way" for air travelers to use mobile phones for check-in at airports.

Last year Neomedia Technologies was leading the efforts for the Mobile Codes Consortium. Based on Neomedia's latest financial statement, and with the US Patent Office agreeing to review their patents, I don't see this initiative being taken serious by the mobile industry.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Internet Advertising Forces Money Back Guarantee Advertising On TV

Is Internet advertising having such an impact that networks are forced to give money back guarantees?

Last week ZenithOptimedia said Internet spending grew 32% this year, while all other media measured grew by single-digit percentages.

It also predicted Internet advertising will pass three milestones in the next three years: It will overtake radio advertising in 2008, attain a double-digit share of all global advertising in 2009 and overtake magazine advertising in 2010.

NBC Refunds Advertisers

Fourth-ranked broadcaster NBC has quietly begun reimbursing advertisers an average of $500,000 each for failing to reach guaranteed ratings levels, the first time a network has taken such a step in years, media buyers said.

CBS, ABC and Fox also are doling out make-goods, primarily for the first quarter. They have blamed softness on a new ratings formula, but media agencies disagree. None of the networks would comment.

How will TV networks take back control? It's coming and it is the Next Google.

The Next Google will be able to collect data, second-by-second, from all services/devices connected to the broadband pipe and deliver relevant advertising to ANY display.

Quoting the CEO of The Next Google.." the ability to report actual anonymous second-by-second program and advertising audience viewership data from tens of millions of set top boxes (STB)s represents a huge technological and informational leap from today's television measurement standard"

Don't you think advertisers will end up paying higher rates knowing their ads are being delivered in this manner?

Know what company does this?

With $15 Billion, What Should Apple Buy?

Last week it was announced Apple had been saving a bit of money. Lots of speculation on what Apple should buy.

From 9to5Mac 15 Billion Dollars What Will Apple buy?

ARS Technica sees Adobe, TiVo and Nintendo as possible candidates.
9to5 Mac suggests telecom related companies: ClearWire, Skype, or Apple bidding on the 700 MHz spectrum.

What do I think Apple should buy?

Apple's iTunes and their variety of products allow anyone to download, carry, and play content. iTunes has developed into a content portal, but why couldn't it be a commerce portal as well?

Apple generates revenues by selling products (iPod, Nano, iPhone etc) that play content, and by selling the content itself through iTunes. Music, videos and and various types of tickets (concert, plane, coupons) are purchased and downloaded through iTunes.

Millions of Apple "real world" (mobile) devices get connected to a PC and to the Apple portal (iTunes) making Apple a true m-commerce player. Apple needs a financial platform to support this. Millions of transactions occur through iTunes (and soon through the Iphone), Apple should want to get a cut of this.

For the right price, would eBay ever consider selling PayPal?

What do you think Apple should buy?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Senate Stops CleanTech Innovation

The CleanTech Industry and technological innovation were dealt a blow by the U.S. Senate.
renewable energy
Sometimes the quickest ways to adopt or stall a new technology(s) are with Government mandates.

Brushing aside a veto threat from the White House, the House passed a package of energy measures on Thursday that includes a 40 percent increase in fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks sold in the United States. But the measure stalled today in the Senate, as expected.

The bill’s supporters say it will reduce the nation’s dependence on imported oil, jump-start development of clean-energy technologies and sharply reduce the nation’s production of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide.

The centerpiece of the bill is a requirement that passenger vehicles sold in the United States achieve a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020, the first significant increase in mileage standards since 1975.

The bill also contains hefty incentives for a variety of new energy sources and efficiency measures, like wind turbines, solar arrays, plug-in hybrid cars and more fuel-efficient buildings and appliances.

In my opinion, the U.S. has a great opportunity to be competitive again. Reducing our dependence on oil and discovering/developing renewable energy sources is a win-win to the umpth degree. Developing renewable energy sources allows us to rely less on foreign oil AND we are then able to provide/sell next generation energy technology for developing countries.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Media Companies To Track Their Content Throughout The Internet With Digital Watermarking Technology

Has Digimarc developed the "Content Cookie"?

The Nielsen Company and Digimarc Corporation are launching a new digital service that will monitor and manage media content on the web.DigiMarc

This new service will allow media companies to track their content throughout the Internet by using digital watermarking technology.

The revolutionary technology will allow publishing companies, peer-to-peer services, social networks and other content generated sites to manage and report the online media streams. The service will also be able to track how the content is viewed and shared.

The service will begin monitoring the distribution of TV content on the Internet by the third quarter of 2008.

In October, YouTube announced a similar project that would see the video sharing site and content companies work together to fingerprint and then remove unlicensed material

The Sun And Keely Hazell Adopt Mobile Barcodes

The Sun and News Group International launched an 8-page promotion on using QR codes and mobile phones titled How To Crack QR Smart Codes
(can FOX be far behind from implementation?)
Keeley Hazell
A Quick Response code is a new kind of barcode that contains loads more info because it is two dimensional.

It’s a smart code that will hyperlink you to the mobile internet.

The way it does this is simple. There’s a URL encoded in the QR code that a new mobile phone application called i-nigma first decodes then launches the browser in your mobile to find.

All you need is a phone with a camera and an internet service.

You can get loads of great stuff such as the news, The Sun’s Page 3 or the latest goals from the Premiership without having to type anything in.

The i-nigma scans just like a check-out scanner, only there’s no infra-red light.

To download the i-nigma reader.
Try creating your own mobile code