Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What ailment faces video-on-demand?

Let me tell you straight on; its broadband cap.

As this article from GigaOM shows, the recent cap by AT&T will limit users to 150GB per month. Additional 50GB would attract another $10! The problem is that if people decide to skip the big screen for a home experience, they will prefer to watch it in HD. As the article shows, a normal 2 hour movie at 720p is about 3.7 GB. Obviously, we aren’t even talking about 1080p which would almost double the impact.

This looks fine; except that watching movies is not the only activity people carry out on the Internet. Here's a handy chart for 10GB usage which should help with the calculations. With picture quality becoming a competing factor, things like higher frame rate and bitrate would increase the size of the movie files even more. Clearly, this would affect movie aficionados if they wish to abandon the movie theaters. And its not just the United States which is facing such issues; usage-based-billing in Canada is charging people for the bandwidth they use as opposed to providing a fixed usage limit.

Unless broadband becomes even cheaper or the caps are removed, going to the movies will still remain an alternative as people will simply run out of their allowance at home. Also, the sheer experience of watching movies on a big screen will keep cinemas alive.

However, the whole idea of a big screen may change in the future as I wrote earlier...

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Me 'do the' Dew!

Hello world!

Have you heard of Future Lions? No? Well, its a competition organized by the creative agency AKQA where they invite students from around the world every year to submit new ideas.

This years's brief was:

"Advertise a product from a global brand in a way that
couldn’t have been done five years ago, to an audience of
your choosing."

Here is the entry that Kate, my classmate and me have submitted for this year. Hope you like it!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

The most comprehensive collection of Clarkson's quotes - Part 3

And its back!

Part 1

Part 2

  • Traffic jams
Don't use it (motorways). Don't use it. Stay at work, be productive and buy yourself a helicopter.
  • Driving across the Okavango Delta
Men in camouflage trousers in Wales who like murdering people at weekends would say this was tough going.
  • Toyota Prius
The only thing that drinks more is the English cricket team.
  • Porsche Cayman
There are many things I’d rather be doing than driving it, including waiting for Bernard Manning to come off stage in a sweaty nightclub, and then licking his back clean.
  • Pagani Zonda
Really! It’s like a lion in orange dungarees. Kind of fierce, but ridiculous all at the same time.
  • Mercedes CLS 55 AMG
Braking in this car is so brutal, it would be less painful to actually hit the tree you were trying to miss.
  • Rolls Royce Phantom
I imagined that driving this car through a village would be a bit like trying to thread an oil rig through someone’s letterbox.
  • BMW Z3
And if you are clinically insane, by which I mean you wake up in the morning and think you are an onion, here’s your car.
  • BMW M3 CSL
This is the car bought by the type of man who lies awake at night thinking about his gear shift aggression strategy for the drive to work the next morning.
  • Cyclists
The cyclist is ‘a guest on roads that are paid for by motorists

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The most comprehensive collection of Clarkson's quotes - Part 2

Part I

And the most epic collection continues!
  • Ariel Atom
This is driving Nirvana! You can forget anything you've ever driven, anything. There is no car, nothing on four wheels, that is as fast as this.
  • Bentley Arnage
It's like Blenheim Palace on wheels!
  • Aston Martin Vantage
I would rather be in this than in Keira Knightley.
  • Toyota Yaris Verso
This car is for the men whose lives are completely empty... and they are looking forward to the day they will die because it will give them something to do.
  • Nissan Almera
Telling people at a dinner party you drive a Nissan Almera is like telling them you've got the ebola virus and you're about to sneeze.
  • Proton Savvy
No, no, no. There's no such thing as cheap and cheerful. It's cheap and nasty & expensive and cheerful.
  • Ford Galaxy
I'd rather go to work on my hands and knees than drive there in a Ford Galaxy; Whoever designed the Ford Galaxy upholstery had a cauliflower fixation; I would rather have a vasectomy than buy a Ford Galaxy.
  • Suzuki Wagon R
You do not just avoid the Suzuki Wagon R. You avoid it like you would avoid unprotected sex with an Ethiopian transvestite.
  • Toyota Camry
Whenever I'm suffering from Insomnia, I just look at a picture of a Toyota Camry and I'm straight off.
  • McLaren MP4-12C
Let me put it this way. The Ferrari is a pair of stockings. The McLaren is a pair of tights. Scientifically and mathematically and practically, the McLaren is better. And yet somehow, it isn't.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Can social media revive a dead car?

Here is the story so far.

Joel Ewanick, the CMO Global Marketing at General Motors, recently joined Twitter. A Twitter user called @chevalanche tweeted Joel with a simple request, "I want an El Camino. Badly. Please!". To this, Joel replied, "well, we need you and 100000 of your best friends".

What they are talking about here is Chevrolet's El Camino, a half coupé half pickup truck. It has been dead since 1987 and the closest thing to that design that exists today is the Holden Ute Series II. It is indeed sad that such an extroverted design is so rare today. Can anything persuade GM to bring it back?

Maybe, Social Media?

Popular automobile cult website Jalopnik picked up the conversation and appealed to all its followers, through Facebook and Twitter, to comment on a post which talks about the development so far. If the number of comments surpasses 100000, GM will, if they have any pride and honour, bring back a design that is pretty much dead in the automobile world.

So far they have registered 1800 comments in 2 days. It will be interesting to see where Joel's slightly careless comment leads. I am not a personal fan of the El Camino but it is such an irrational design that the world would definitely be a livelier place with it around. GM can also earn itself a 'cool' badge if they make this happen!
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