Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Verizon will use MediaFLO

From Daily Wireless:

"Verizon Wireless will begin offering mobile television on March 1, according to coverage maps on the carrier’s Web site, reports RCR News.

The carrier is using Qualcomm’s MediaFLO for the service. Cingular also announced it will use MediaFLO for mobile TV, and is expected to launch commercial service later this year.

Last month Verizon Wireless announced it will offer two mobile television-capable handsets, the Samsung SCH-u620 and the LG Electronics VX9400 (with a swiveling screen)."

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Kaneva's impending beta

Chris Klaus and team are doing the promotion tour.


"the demo reel I saw showed a system that seemed to combine the expressive power of MySpace with the social power of, and which was a nice way to bridge the 2D and 3D online worlds without worrying too much about things like “immersion.”

The way it works is this: Anything you upload to your 2D Kaneva site can then be easily displayed in the 3D world. When you join the 3D world you automatically get a small apartment (which can be upgraded, if you like). You can kit it out with furniture and things like picture frames and televisions, and can easily link 2D media content in the 3D world. Mount a television on your wall, right-click it, choose one of the videos you’ve uploaded to your 2D site, and presto, it’s playing in your apartment."


"Another clever feature: when users create a group (say anime fans, or Obama supporters, or whatever), they get a space of their own to hang out in. Expected revenue model will be a Kaneva virtual currency that users can buy with real cash. Expected headaches (in my experience) will likely come from the buying and selling of that currency by clever entrepreneurs in a way that’ll cause social disruptions and hyper-competitiveness that drives many away.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

CBS's Quincy Smith and The Electric Sheep

CBS will participate in a 7m round of financing for The Electric Sheep.

From Reuters:

"We believe that all these virtual worlds represent next generation communications platforms," CBS Interactive President Quincy Smith said in a phone interview last week."

From 3pointD:

"Sheep CEO Sibley Verbeck tells the news agency, “Electric Sheep plans to use the financing to create software to make virtual worlds ready for mainstream consumption.”

From ESC: (Giff)

"As Sibley told Reuters, some of the capital will be focused on our software efforts as we strive to make virtual worlds ready for mainstream consumption. A big part of this is ease of use, which is why Electric Sheep is so active in the Second Life open source effort and hosts Another part of this is building a second layer of information services on top of virtual worlds that helps people communicate and engage."

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IBM, Second Life and your cell phone

The BBC has an interesting article about mobile web 2.0 things. The last blurb is about IBM's efforts to bridge virtual worlds like Second Life with mobile phones.

From the article:

"IBM's master inventor Zygmunt Lozinski explained his vision does not simply involve accessing Second Life from your phone - it involves using your mobile as a bridge between the virtual world and the real world.

"You have a group of people who use virtual environments like Second Life, and they interact within those environments using tools like instant messaging and chat. But what would happen if you could connect people and objects in a virtual world to real world communication networks? To your mobile phone, to phones at home?

In effect, IBM's model removes the need for people to exist within a virtual world.

"If you're travelling you may not always have good enough connectivity to interact with people in a virtual world, even if you need to. People can communicate irrespective of whether they're in the virtual or real worlds," said Mr Lozinski. "

See also the Reuters article about Comverse porting Second Life.

From Reuters:

“People are spending more and more time in virtual worlds,” Daphna Steinmetz, head of Comverse Innovation Labs, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. “We want to bring closer the first life and the Second Life.”

The software was developed over the last six months, well before the open-sourcing of the Second Life client, and relies on using a separate PC or server as an intermediary. Comverse, which plans to demonstrate the products at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona next week, has also created an application that allows Second Life to run on IPTV platforms."

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Outback Online

There a new virtual world coming and its called Outback Online.


"Anyway, why does the world need another Second Life-style thing?

Well, here’s some reasons that Outback Online gave me:

  1. The quality of graphics on Second Life aren’t good enough to do lots of things.
  2. The scalability of Second Life isn’t good enough to hold really large events (only about 100 people can fit into a single island, in Outback Online they claim they can get 10,000).
  3. Second Life is too restrictive globally for kids and families (in Second Life it’s OK to have virtual sex almost anywhere and only 18-year-olds are allowed into the main world and adults aren’t allowed to work with kids in the teen grid). Outback Online says they’ll have much better granularity of age controls and parental controls and community controls. If they can control the flying penises, that’ll be a big driver for many of us who want to play online with our kids.
  4. They see that by focusing on Windows only at first they can push the edge of graphics (and, they are working on an Xbox version too that’ll bring lots of people into this world). It’s among the world’s most graphically intensive C# applications.
  5. Instead of hosting everything on centrally-located servers they are using P2P to get more people onto islands and bring better graphical performance."

"Depending on how much of the system is peer-to-peer, this could make a huge difference in what the experience is like. One of the great advantages in Second Life is that everything in the world is persistent (as long as the Grid itself is working).

SL’s virtual 3D spaces hang around like Web sites even when the admin isn’t logged in. I have nothing against a constellation of islands small and large, especially if some of these could be tied together into small mainlands — but a constellation of islands that blink on and off is less compelling."

From Yoick:

"Outback Online provides an easy, free way to have fun with friends while creating 3D virtual worlds together. It combines a fun social environment like MySpace and Cyworld, a peer to peer communication network like Skype and a user-generated service like YouTube into a seamless 3D platform, that is infinitely scalable."

CEO Rand Leeb-du Toit:

"Experienced venture investor, deal maker and senior executive with a special interest in high technology, high growth areas that involve tech and business step changes. An entrepreneurial change agent, chief mischief maker and evangelist for seizing opportunities and getting stuff done, Rand plays on the edge between futurist, catalyst and leader and likes to push the envelope at every chance."

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What "Joost" means

The Reel Pop guy makes me laugh. Check out this funny headline:

"Naw dawg, you pronounce it "Yohst." I think it's Dutch for "suck it, YouTube"

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Market Truths wins Second Life Business Plan Contest

The Electric Sheep and Edelman's business plan contest has a winner, Market Truths.

From CNET:

"The proposal was for a system in which Market Truths would conduct regular focus groups, as well as surveys and other market research to determine the kinds of things that members of the Second Life community like and don't like about brands, products and services from third-party companies.

"I personally favored Market Truths because they had the best execution," said Susan Wu. "It seemed most likely that they would be able to execute on their idea (and) the fact that (Gordon) already has experience doing this."

From 3pointD:

"They walk away with six months of free access to a private island, plus L$350,000 in prize money (a little over US$1,000). I’ve been a big fan of this contest for some time, so I’ll be interested to see what Market Truths can do with their new venture. I’d also love to see a small VC fund that backed virtual business ideas.

From Marketing Truths:

"Market Truths is a real life market research company and we also provide our services in Second Life, to both organizations in Second Life and organizations interested in Second Life.

We do custom research for clients according to their needs. We also have standard reports on various aspects of Second Life."

Linda Zimmer interview:

"In what areas do you believe RL businesses are most interested in acquiring research about virtual worlds?

It's clear that many businesses are finding that some channels they have traditionally used are not as effective as they were in the past, and also that customer expectations have changed in the sense that more people want a two-way dialogue with companies, with fewer willing to accept a one-way monologue.

Many people seem to be trying to determine the long-term implications of that and so I think companies are interested in exploring the extent to which virtual worlds will emerge as a new channel (for information, promotion, and/or sales) for their particular product or service, and if they do, what form that interaction will take."

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WVFF's take on the Joost Viacom Deal

From WVFF:

"This is “game changing” news for many reasons:
  • Joost’s model is about a convergence of online videos and television. We’re on the verge, and this is a big step in that direction.
  • Viacom will likely keep the vast majority of the ad revenue, but this gives Joost credibility and a jump-start for building an audience.
  • It’s arguably an overstatement, but Viacom is for Joost is somewhat like Howard Stern was for Sirius.
  • Now YouTube will need to compete to maintain relationships with “big media.”
  • It’s a bold move for Viacom because they’re basically saying they don’t need an online audience. They can build one. How many people use Joost vs. YouTube?"

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Dell's journey into Second Life

I have been hard on Dell recently but here's a little love. SL superstar Hiro Pendragon notices a few SL additions to Dell's real world offerings.

From the post:

"For instance, if you go to the homepage, you'll find that in the "Choose your country" picker, "Second Life" is one of the options. This takes you to a Second Life Dell homepage, at From there, Dell includes a welcome area that aids in the training of new users.

Today I received a link to a video, here. Dell has filmed their own "What is SL?" type short piece that describes the platform very well to people who have yet to dip their toes in Second Life.

This complete cycle indicates that to me that Dell, as a company, is very serious about treating SL as an extension of the flat-web, and not just some walled garden where people go and chat."

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Viacom and Joost

The WSJ is reporting that Viacom and Joost have signed a deal giving Joost access to hundreds of hours of programing.

From the WSJ: (subscription required)

"Just two weeks after ordering its content to be pulled from YouTube, Viacom Inc. announced a broad licensing deal with Joost, a new Internet service that specializes in commercial video content.

The deal, which follows the recent collapse of similar talks between Viacom and YouTube parent Google Inc., involves licensing hundreds of hours of programming from Viacom cable networks such as MTV, Comedy Central and Spike as well as movies made by the company's Paramount studios."

From Marketwatch:

"We're interested in distribution of our content on as many platforms as possible, provided we can operate in a secure environment," The Journal said it was told by Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said in an interview. "This assures any potential partners that we're open for business and that we're able to enter into transactions with companies that respect our content and the considerations of our business."

From PaidContent:

"It is still early days for Joost, but it is trying hard to become a place for YouTube least the big media companies shying away from YouTube. It was started last year by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the two men behind Kazaa and Skype. It has deals with Warner Music and Endemol, and other smaller companies, but the Viacom agreement is its most far-reaching deal thus far."

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Monday, February 19, 2007

AOL and OpenID

901am points to AOL's announcement that it is going to integrate OpenID into its 63 million user base.

From the announcement:
  • "Every AOL/AIM user now has at least one OpenID URI,
  • This experimental OpenID 1.1 Provider service is available now and we are conducting compatibility tests.
  • We're working with OpenID relying parties to resolve compatibility issues.
  • Our blogging platform has enabled basic OpenID 1.1 in beta, so every beta blog URI is also a basic OpenID identifier. (No Yadis yet.)
  • We don't yet accept OpenID identities within our products as a relying party, but we're actively working on it. That roll-out is likely to be gradual.
  • We are tracking the OpenID 2.0 standardization effort and plan to support it after it becomes final."

"Another important point is that you can point at the AOL OpenID service from any web page you own in order to turn its URL into an OpenID. The minimal requirements are basically that you have some AOL or AIM account, and that you add a couple of links to your document's HEAD.

We added this to our blogs product in a few minutes minutes and it's in beta now. You can also support YADIS discovery which gives additional capabilities. See Sam Ruby's OpenID for non SuperUsers for a good summary."

From OpenID:

"OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity.

OpenID starts with the concept that anyone can identify themselves on the Internet the same way websites do-with a URI (also called a URL or web address). Since URIs are at the very core of Web architecture, they provide a solid foundation for user-centric identity."

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dell Responds, kind of

I posted "My Dad's Dell Nightmare" on Feb 8th. On Feb 13th "Margo" from Dell's custom care unit left a comment asking me to contact her to get some additional assistance.

I sent her an email stating among other things: "do you really expect to sell a $3,000 computer to then have a contract laborer take it apart and replace the motherboard? Are you kidding me?"

I haven't heard back from her.

I did talk to my Dad last night. He said that a new person was helping him and "was going around the usual conventions" to make sure he got a working computer. Apparently he saw my blog post and told the person that he was going to blog about his experience. That got the rep all worked up and so she offered to go off the standard play book to try and help him.

I am left wondering: Are you kidding me? I mean really. This is so ridiculous I can hardly believe it. Man threatens Fortune 500 company that can't seem to deliver a working product with a BLOG and gets peppy customer would be funny if... well, no it is funny. Funny in a sad pathetic kind of way.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

AT&T picks MediaFLO

I expect all things mobile are going to come back into the spot light this year. AT&T with its newly acquired BellSouth/Cingular will probably lead the way.

From the press release:

"MediaFLO USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of QUALCOMM Incorporated, and Cingular, the new wireless unit of AT&T, today announced they signed a definitive agreement to deliver mobile entertainment and information services to the wireless unit's subscribers. The two companiesexpect to make the service available to customers in late 2007.

"Our relationship with AT&T will redefine expectations of mobile media for millions of wireless subscribers," said Gina Lombardi, president of MediaFLO USA. "MediaFLO USA is looking forward to delighting those customers with familiar, high-quality content in a compelling, intuitive, mobile media environment."

"MediaFLO USA's service will add another dimension to our robust offering by delivering a TV-quality mobile media experience that perfectly complements our existing voice and multimedia services," said Marc Lefar, chief marketing officer for AT&T's wireless unit. "We look forward to bringing our subscribers a compelling, differentiated service and the innovative devices for which AT&T is known."

"We share with AT&T an exciting vision of a world in which consumers have access to a high-quality mobile media experience wherever they are, whenever they want it," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chief executive officer of QUALCOMM. "This agreement -- the first of its kind between our two businesses -- goes a long way toward making that vision a reality."

From MediaFLO:

"MediaFLO USA delivers the best in mobile multimedia – a true TV experience on a mobile phone. That translates to unparalleled value not only for consumers, but also for wireless carriers, content providers, advertisers and OEMs. When it comes to this mobile-TV value chain, MediaFLO USA runs the entire operation, providing benefits for all service partners.

MediaFLO USA is revolutionizing the TV experience, combining what people know and love about TV with the energy and excitement of new media. Industry stats show the market potential:
  • U.S. mobile TV subscriptions will top 30 million in 2011 (ABI Research, June 2006)

  • U.S. mobile TV subscription revenue will top $2 billion in 2010 (In-Stat, June 2006)

  • In the U.S., mobile TV is more desired than any other cell phone feature (MediaFLO USA consumer research, 2006)"

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Dad's Dell Nightmare: Do NOT Buy a Dell!!!

After much soul searching my father bought a new computer two weeks ago. I tried my best to talk him out of getting a PC. He wouldn't have any of it. So we looked at Dell's and Sonys. I have bought Dells for my business and personal use for years.

Dad's not real technical so we went with Dell because they offer onsite set up. I spec'd it out for him and he ordered it.

All of the components didn't come in on time and then it took a while for the tech to get it together to set things up.

The first pass seemed ok but the Ethernet jack didn't work. The tech said they needed to replace the motherboard. When he told me that I told him that was not a good thing. They guy showed up and took the computer apart, spreading parts all over his office.

Now it will not conect at all, wired or wireless. Dad has been on the phone since I got to his house with Dell support, who don't really want to play ball. Even though he paid for a tech to set things up now they want to charge him for it. He is now in the 3rd hour and has bumped up two times. His contact Erica, a second level manager, will not give him her last name, just her ID 323479. Erica - do you remember Jeff? Dell do you remember Jeff?

From Jeff's letter to Michael George:

"I am writing about this on my weblog in detail and you are losing customers by the day... including me. I am going to the Apple store in one hour. You may go read what I've written here. But first, I urge you to read what consumers say in the comments there. And before that, again, please read your own customer service email trail first and tell me whether this represents the best of the Dell brand.

In its first two weeks of use, this machine has so far gotten a new motherboard... cpu... memory... keyboard... wireless networking... and case. The disk drive is so bad it won't even run your diagnostic. The wireless networking still does not work. The machine goes to the blue screen of death frequently. The keyboard is still faulty.

I paid for both at-home service and complete care but have received neither. Your at-home care is a fraud; your own person has said in writing that the technician would arrive without parts sufficient to fix the machine. Complete care? The machine is clearly a lemon under federal warranty statutes and regulations and you'd be better off just to replace it. If it just burned up -- which it has come close to doing -- you'd send me a new one. But instead, your people put me through service hell. And I am left unable to do my work because I have an unreliable Dell computer.

This machine is a lemon. Your at-home and complete care service is a fraud. Your customer service is appalling. Your product is dreadful. Your brand is mud."

Pretty much exactly what my Dad is going through.

If you know anyone looking at buying a computer, please tell them 1) not to buy a Dell and 2) not to buy a PC. Friends don't let friends buy anything other than Macs. Really. Screw you Dell.

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13 Tips for bring Brands into Second Life (Kzero Update)

Gary Hayes takes a look at AOL Pointe's Second Life build and comes up with 13 tips for brands coming in-world. Go read the whole thing.

From the post:
  1. Don’t Become Virtual Just Because You Can
  2. Make Joining Simple, Accessible and Branded
  3. Once In World - Hold Their Hand, With Your Brand
  4. Design Multiple Levels of Navigation
  5. Decide Early On Your USP
  6. Make sure the Environment has Synergy with the Brand
  7. Be Sensitive to The World - Playful, Deliver Expectation and Have Depth
  8. Make the Experience as Personal as Possible
  9. If You Are Going to Provide Content Give Enough Choice
  10. Make Inworld Advertising as Integrated as Possible
  11. Be There In Person, Communicate and Learn
  12. Have as Much Content as Possible Inworld and Not on Weblinks
  13. Give the Environment Identity Make Social Activity Easy
Update: Nic over at Kzero points out that 13 is a very unlucky number. To save us all he has boiled this issue down to just 7 points! Way to go Nic! He is up to number 5 on Kzero - go check them out.

  1. "This is marketing, so have a plan
  2. Keep the builders at bay
  3. Integrate
  4. Giving is better than receiving
  5. Keep the seats warm
  6. Stoke the fire
  7. Promote and cross-promote"


Meta thinkd2c: 1000 posts

Just noticed that I passed the 1000 post mark yesterday. That's around 60 posts per month. w00t!


Shifting Advertising Dollars Move to New Media

More ad dollars moving to new media.


"Nearly 90 percent of all U.S. companies polled in a new study will use part of their marketing budgets to advertise in new media like video games or virtual communities.

The survey by the American Advertising Federation underscores the shift in advertising spending away from television, magazines and, particularly, newspapers, which have suffered badly from declining circulation as more media choices have become available.

Concluding that "traditionally staid media categories are in need of innovation if they are to remain competitive," the study found that 73 percent of the executives interviewed planned to spend up to one-fifth of their budgets on new media."

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Barry Diller, IAC and Online Content

Barry Diller is going after professional online content.

From ClickZ:

"Pragmatic Web mogul Barry Diller said IAC/InterActiveCorp will invest several hundred million dollars in original content ventures over the next two years.

Diller noted nearly all of IAC's products, from Citysearch to, have user content components. But he said professional programming, produced by those who "have the ability to make people laugh" is the future of content, online or off. He added truly amateur content gets a little old "after you've seen a cat have bad relations with a giraffe...100,000 times."

"It will not be a long tail," he went on. "It will be the very short tail, creating very large audiences on occasion, where people make things that resonate with people." He argued the commonly referenced trend of audience fragmentation is not actually happening in a big way-- not yet anyway. "Sites that have traction gain audience....You will see fragmentation inevitably at some point."

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Vice launches its version of original online video: VBS.TV.

"Rescuing you from television's death-like grip."

I watched a few clips. I have to say that I really don't like the taxidermy pods. Other than that, not too much different from the other hundred of these sites big and medium size existing media companies are rolling out. They do have a series in Baghdad which is kind of crunchy.


"Everybody's favorite hipster magazine, Vice, has launched an online TV network that aims to take the young, fashionable, and urban demographic away from the living room and on to the internet. Well, even more onto the internet.

The new network features surprisingly high quality video streams, seeing we assumed the dudes putting it together would be too busy getting high and talking trash about the new Rapture album to actually build a decent video player. But yes, it's much better than YouTube quality. And what do you get to enjoy on said quality?"

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10 Problems with

Reel Pop takes a deeper look at Reel Pop is the guy that had to use his Dad's id information to log in.

From Reel Pop:
  1. "The design of the site is incompatible with accessible viewing.
  2. The actual content is too many clicks away.
  3. The login screen is both useless and annoying.
  4. You can't embed videos elsewhere.
  5. Even when you send a direct link to a friend, your friend has to login to view the content.
  6. The content is mostly advertisements for other content.
  7. A-B undermined the initial traffic bump by not having the most accessible parts of the site -- i.e. the desktop client -- ready for use.
  8. The content is funny, but not funnier than what you can see on more accessible video-sharing sites.
  9. There are not enough hot girls.
  10. Anheuser-Busch did not set correct expectations."
With all the bad, #8 is still the worst.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007 Registration Issues Get Noticed

I guess I scooped this one, but now a number of people have commented on the registration issues at

Lost Remote: " falls flat with launch programming, registration"

"However, Bud has made two very bad choices: the programming is lousy and the registration process is onerous. Cory wrote in a post below how the requirement to input your mobile phone number would, alone, doom the project to failure. And the idea that they can accurately verify your age by asking your birthday is laughable. It’s like using an index card to make a fake ID."

The Reel Pop: " wouldn't let me register, so I lied"

"The Web site, which is protected by an age verification system that checks your data against driver's license records, wouldn't let me sign up. The log-on screen asks for your e-mail address, first name, last name and zip code. I tried no fewer than four different zip codes and three different spellings of my name.

Eventually I found myself in the awkward position of sitting at a friend's house laptop in one hand, wallet in the other, as I doublechecked the spelling of my own name against my license. All to log onto a Budewiser Web site. During the Super Bowl. Sigh. Eventually I used my dad's name and birthday. Thanks dad.

My point is this: is going to have a hard time achieving success when they make it this hard to get into their site. If they want to go viral (whatever that means), they've got to remove the age verification system."

NewTeeVee: " Tastes Stale, Flat"

"Of course, it was an uphill struggle to win my love from the moment I went to and not a single video was on the page. I had to click, which opened a new, fixed-size window, another pet peeve.

Gripes about the registration experience from paidContent and Lost Remote echoed my own, which I’d be charitable in describing as onerously creepy. Once I finally did get to watch the videos, the display was tiny and the navigation needlessly confusing."

paidContent: "First Look: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time"

"The issues start with the registration process, which not only asks you for a birthdate and a check-box agreement that you’re of legal age to enter the site—it actually appears to be matching names and birth dates against a driver’s license database. (Note: A-B is using a public records database called Aristotle’s Integrity.)

When I put in the right year and month with a different day, the site said it didn’t match my name and zip code. Each time the form needed adjustment, some of the info was wiped out and had to be re-entered. (A-B is also asking for mobile phone numbers but that’s up to the user.)

"OK, OK... but remember, we're all learning about the business model of dedicate broadband channels. Many will succeed. I think it's hugely beneficial for the industry that Anheuser Busch has the guts (or fear) to experiment with $30 million in this online video venture. It might be a success or utterly fail, but we will learn from it. I'll drink a cold one to that! This Bud's for us."


Monday, February 05, 2007 and Aristotle’s Integrity

I got into and given the long NYT article, yes they really are hitting the DMV database.

From the NYT:

"Anheuser-Busch, to its credit, will have one of the smarter gatekeepers keeping watch over Bud.TV. It has bought an identity-verification system used by casinos and banks, Aristotle’s Integrity, which checks the names and Zip codes against driver’s licenses and other public records."

Bud press release:

"ST. LOUIS (Jan. 22, 2007) - Anheuser-Busch Inc. today announced it has selected Aristotle Inc., based in Washington, D.C., as the vendor to implement an independent age-verification system for its new online entertainment network, Bud.TV, which will launch on Feb. 4 following the Super Bowl broadcast. Bud.TV will feature programming similar to late-night network and cable television. By April, the age-verification technology also will be implemented on all of the company’s beer-branded Web sites, such as This initiative makes Anheuser-Busch the first alcohol beverage company to use an independent age-verification system for its Internet sites.

“We chose Aristotle because of its experience in implementing cutting-edge identity verification systems that work quickly,” said Tony Ponturo, vice president of Global Media and Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch Inc. “Aristotle’s Integrity system will enhance our ability to admit only those adults of legal drinking age to our beer-branded Web sites.”

Web site visitors will be asked to provide their first and last name, date of birth and zip code, which Aristotle will then attempt to verify against its database of public records in real
time. Users who are verified may then create a password that will give them on-the-spot and future access to Bud.TV, as well as to Anheuser-Busch’s other beer-branded Web sites."

From Aristotle:

"Integrity is an international fraud prevention, age and identity verification service that integrates a government-issued ID database check, algorithms and web-based signature capture. The service provides merchants and government agencies with Patriot Act compliance and compliance with age verification laws and guidelines."


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Second Life, Second Front and "Strange Culture"

Second Front goes to the movies.

Second Front:

"This week we were invited to attend the premiere of "Strange Culture", an independent film by Lynn Hershman which discusses the infamous case of the arrest and pending trial of Steve Kurtz from the Critical Art Ensemble. The film will be shown at the Sundance Film Festival this week and has the distinction of being the first-ever feature film shown in Second Life.

Watching a movie in Second Life was totally weird. When you get to the movie theater, you hit the play movie control on your SL window. We're all watching the same film, but a different times! That seems like the most significant difference from a traditional cinema."

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Gary Carter Part 3

From MIT Adverlab: (part 1, part 2)

"I believe that we are living through a profound moment in the evolution of technology, and therefore of our species. We should be careful that when we mourn the so-called death of television we are only mourning our own loss of power as a media elite. I know that sounds rather dramatic at the end of a long day in a seminar, but I believe it nonetheless. We are not living through the death of television, for the simple reason that this is not about television."

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At least the entry page is widely available. As a public service I am going to let the team in on a little secret.

Guy: "The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption"

"1. Enforced immediate registration. Requiring a new user to register and provide a modicum of information is a reasonable request—I just think you should do it after you’ve sucked the person in. Most sites require that registration is the first step, and this puts a barrier in front of adoption. At the very least, companies could ask for name and email address but not require it until a later time."

Ok, so now that's out of the way, here is the registration screen:

I didn't really want to actually sign up with a user name and password for yet another site that I may not ever come back to, but I did just so I could see it.

Maybe not:

So they are hitting some database to verify DOB and Zip Codes. Really?

I signed up to get the launch notice and I used the same email address when I tried to register. No email from to help me with the registration process.

Way to go - "log in or lose out!"

From the NYT:

"But Bud.TV is striving to be more than a repository for Budweiser ads and lighthearted, slightly mocking beer-commercial humor; Schumacker and his team are aiming to redefine what an online entertainment network and marketer-created content can mean in a short-attention-span world.

Bud.TV represents Anheuser-Busch’s search for a toehold in a world where the traditional advertising model revolving around 30-second ads has been sideswiped by technological change and the proliferation of entertainment choices. The company, like almost every big marketer, is also trying to seize on the video-sharing democratization of YouTube, albeit on its own controlling terms.

It’s an expensive undertaking — it’s expected to cost more than $30 million in its first year — and one that could be mistaken for creative hubris."