A New Tablet Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

So on Friday night, after 3 weeks+ of trial and error, research and failed attempts I finally was able to hack my Nook Color and turn it into a full Android tablet.  Thank you Barnes & Noble for making a beautifully designed piece of hardware and making your Nook Color software available as an Android app which is what makes it possible to go for a full overwrite of the tablet software rather than the alternatives.
What did I learn?

  • The android development community is amazing.  There is a ton of threads, instruction and patches to work with.  In fact it was actually too much for mere mortals like myself with limited time.
  • There is definitely room for a 7″ tablet in our lives.  Riding the train with all of the ipadders it is easy to see the popularity but if you are carrying a laptop, and a phone, an 11″ tablet is overkill.
  • RSS feeds matter.  Barnes & Noble and Amazon have to understand there is SO much content out there they can’t expect to fully control the publishing process.

How did I make it work and be stable?
The answer wasn’t putting Android or CM7 on a bootable SD card, couldn’t get that stable and realized I wouldn’t want to boot into the Nook OS once I could get to my books and magazines.  It also wasn’t wasn’t doing a “Auto-Nooter” upgrade adding Android Market to the BN Nook Color OS since the Nook is being updated regularity.
The answer was to use the Cynogenmod 7 Build 177 version of Android and it is a reasonably recent build but not the latest nightly upload.  Then the last “signed” version of Google Apps (8/28).  Big thanks to XDADevelopers and this guide in particular.

Near Future Predicted in 1990 – AT&T You Will

Remember the AT&T “You Will” campaign from the 90s? 

It is the one that everyone got upset about because AT&T expected us to send faxes from the beach.

The ads also promised such radical things as getting directions from an in-car GPS, buying concert tickets from a cash machine, and tucking your baby in via video call.  Perhaps we need to recognize near future fiction can come true.  Whether or not AT&T is the company bringing it us is another question.  And then there is Tom Selleck.

AT&T 1993 “You Will” AdsTechnorati Tags: , ,

Cory Doctorow – “Other People’s Money”

This is a must read for MBA and VCs everywhere. Smart, humorous and insightful.  The cynical entrepreneurs take on the effects of VC funding — particularly the big money all entrepreneurs are supposed to dream of, is great.

And the fact that it takes place in parking lot of dead WalMart is even funnier.

Cory Doctorow
Other People’s Money
Cory Doctorow 10.15.07, 6:00 PM ET

Gretl’s stall in the dead WalMart off the I-5 in Pico Rivera was not the busiest spot in the place, but that was how she liked it. Time to think was critical to her brand of functional sculpture, and reflection was the scarcest commodity of all in 2027.

Which is why she was hoping that the venture capitalist would just leave her alone. He wasn’t a paying customer, he wasn’t a fellow artist–he wanted to buy her, and he was thirty years too late.

Original Forbes Article

Interactive Storytelling

Just listened to an interesting Guardian tech podcast about interactive fiction or online storytelling.

Wired editor Frank Rose has written a book called The Art of Immersion.  Whether it is classics like the way Lost built such a convoluted story that fans were driven online to discuss it, or how Mad Men fans built twitter characters like Betty Draper.  But both of these are extensions of a serial (or somewhat serial in the case of Lost) traditional series.

More interesting to me are the experiments that change the fundamental base story.  This means not taking a series online like The Spot (1995-97), but more stories that are part generated by an online community.  

Online Caroline (2000) – Early experiment using database-driven, templated responses to a video story.  Although the site is down, there is a lot of commentary still online.

Such Tweet Sorrow
(2011) – Great British remake of Romeo & Juliet set in modern day UK, but told through twitter over about a month.  Because the characters are in a public forum, fans were able to riff off story lines and engage directly with the characters.

Frank – Art of Immersion

When the NSA Outsources Search to Google…

I’ve been reading — or actually listening to — a lot of Cory Doctorow’s work on the train and two short stories just had me entranced.

The first is this one about a dystopian world where Google starts helping the NSA with search. Specifically search for terrorists.  In classic Cory Doctorow fashion is goes over the top on what the government would be interested in and find the ability to act on, but it does prove a point. 
More interesting is the idea that you could put someone under suspicion based on the ad that are served to their profile, rather then actually having access to the profile.  That is really funny.

Monday, September 17, 2007
Scroogled (by Cory Doctorow)

Cory Doctorow wrote this Creative Commons-licensed fiction story for Radar Online magazine.

“Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him.” –Cardinal Richelieu

“We don’t know enough about you.” –Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Greg landed at San Francisco International Airport at 8 p.m., but by the time he’d made it to the front of the customs line, it was after midnight. He’d emerged from first class, brown as a nut, unshaven, and loose-limbed after a month on the beach in Cabo (scuba diving three days a week, seducing French college girls the rest of the time). When he’d left the city a month before, he’d been a stoop-shouldered, potbellied wreck. Now he was a bronze god, drawing admiring glances from the stews at the front of the cabin.

Four hours later in the customs line, he’d slid from god back to man. His slight buzz had worn off, sweat ran down the crack of his ass, and his shoulders and neck were so tense his upper back felt like a tennis racket. The batteries on his iPod had long since died, leaving him with nothing to do except eavesdrop on the middle-age couple ahead of him.

“The marvels of modern technology,” said the woman, shrugging at a nearby sign: Immigration–Powered by Google.

“I thought that didn’t start until next month?” The man was alternately wearing and holding a large sombrero.

The U.S. government had spent $15 billion and hadn’t caught a single terrorist. Clearly, the public sector was not equipped to Do Search Right.

Googling at the border. Christ. Greg had vested out of Google six months before, cashing in his options and “taking some me time”–which turned out to be less rewarding than he’d expected. What he mostly did over the five months that followed was fix his friends’ PCs, watch daytime TV, and gain 10 pounds, which he blamed on being at home instead of in the Googleplex, with its well-appointed 24-hour gym.

He should have seen it coming, of course. The U.S. government had lavished $15 billion on a program to fingerprint and photograph visitors at the border, and hadn’t caught a single terrorist. Clearly, the public sector was not equipped to Do Search Right.

Adrants: Coleen’s New Start-up Redefines Advertising

I love our industry.  The trends, the repeating nature of the trends, and the constant repeating nature of how agencies react to the repeated trends.
To see Havas embrace social media and technology by hiring Coleen DeCourcy is great.  Every large agency should embrace social media and technology.
My question is the hyperbole of the quotes and the commentary.  Maybe I just need to stop reading ad rants!


Of their decision to acquire Socialistic, Havas Worldwide CEO David Jones said, “Our industry used to be just about having the best talent. It’s now about talent and technology. Socialistic combines one of the most brilliant digital talents in the world – Colleen DeCourcy – with cutting edge technology. I’m really looking forward to what this start-up will be able to deliver for our clients to keep them ahead of their competitors,”

And there you have it. The advertising industry will no longer worship the creative superstars who developed The Big Idea. No. The future stars of advertising will be the geeks. The technologists. The IT guy in the back room of the agency who used to watch porn all day long. Yes. The people we called when we had a virus on our computer or couldn’t get our laptop to connect to the agency’s WiFi will now be called upon to develop branded applications, iPhone apps, custom APIs.

It’s not Don Draper’s world anymore, people.

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Digital Culture – What it is Really About

There is a lot of talk of Digital Media these days. 

Urban trend spotters call out the growth of iPads and smart phones and Minority Report outdoor displays that great you by name.  Newspaper owners and TV networks are in a panic about digital pennies replacing traditional ad dollars as their viewship numbers decline.  Parents are convinced their children are turning into twitchers because they spend so much time with their game controllers. 

All of this misses the point:  It isn’t about media, it is about culture.  Digital Culture replacing traditional ways of doing things. 

Once someone learns how to e-mail, Facebook and IM, we shouldn’t be surprised they don’t want a landline anymore.  It’s human nature not to like to wait, so why expect people to be happy waiting for the news or their comedy show, and as much fun as Monopoly really is, with The Sims you are really building something.

The point is there have been a number of books and articles written about Digital Culture and it is probably time we went back to them.  The Cluetrain Manifesto from 1999 to the Economist cover article quoting “Power at Last” to Microsoft’s recent campaign about “The New Busy.” 

It isn’t about marketing needing to have digital extensions or coming up with a new banner ad format — it is about understanding how our culture has picked up hacker culture, embraced it and that changes everything.

Amazing Robotics

Looking for something to make you next big event or product launch memorable?  Don’t hire jugglers or Elvis impersonators, hire this guy.
Amazing use of robotics as body enhancement prosthetics or near reality demonstrations.  Or leave the works exposed and get amazement for the Di Vinci-like coolness of the machinery.
Great for a big event — or if you’re making an ad or a movie of course.

John Nolan Robot

John Nolan Robotics


"What thing is this twitter !" India, March 6, 2010

Just came across a great posting on Cap Gemini’s Technology blog by Gaurav Sharma.  Yes, Twitter is catching in India and yes this post looks exactly like how it caught in the UK and the US.  Ironically, mainstream celebrity driving mainstream media to build digital properties.  It is right out of the Integration Triangle.

Love the writing and love globalization.  Ye twitter kya cheej hai!

Ye twitter kya cheej hai! What thing is this twitter !

During a recent backpacking trip in Indian hinterland, one of the
evenings as I watched TV placed in corner of tea shop in a small town,
news of an acrimonious war of words between a famous Indian movie star
and a political party was playing on. News channel was reporting what
the star had to say on controversy, not through interview given to news
agency or channel but through tweets on his twitter account. As the
saga was unfolding on twitter the new channel was merely picking it up
and broadcasting. Someone seated nearby exclaimed “Ye twitter kya cheej
hai (what thing is this twitter)” . And this could have summarized
what many people in India have wondered for past few months. Twitter
has been in constant news. If it is not a political leader who is fast
building a reputation of getting into trouble in parliament because of
his tweets ,then it is news about what some Hindi movie star has posted
on his/her twitter account. In a way it is ironical that mainstream
media that had labeled twitter as flippant when it was gaining traction
with geeky crowd and early adopters, is now doing more for twitter’s


The UK story:
The Telegraph’s article:Stephen Fry posts Twitter updates while trapped in lift
Analysis in a business article in The Independent and new media industry magazines like eConsultancy.