Category Archives: Test

OUTSIDE INnovation by Patty Seybold

Admittedly, I’m late. Patricia “Patty” B. Seybold’s work OUTSIDE INnovation already came out more than two years ago. And even though I started reading (or better: ‘devouring’) the first chapters immediately after it hit the bookstores in October 2006, the changes in my life, business and the moving left me up with always delaying OUTSIDE INNOVATION book cover this post until now. So what can I say after having lots of time to think through its ideas and concepts ?  Well, she got even better. :-)  The new book is even more fun to read than the earlier ones. Also the new structure with bite-sized information chunks is very pleasing if you don’t have a lot of time to read chapters in one piece. Though, now you have to pay attention in order to keep up with the thoughtfully chosen information structure, if you want to get all of the causal connections right.

However (again) Patty has done a terrific job assembling the case studies of quite renowned firms from Europe and the US.

Right a the beginning the reader gets an introduction into which changes have occured to corporate innovation efforts and where the author sees her customer-focussed approach to foster and collect innovative concepts right from a company’s customers related to the traditional ivory tower paradigm of traditional corporated R&D labs (“if we build it they will come”).
 

As these are:

  • finding lead users in your respective industry, giving them the tools to customize your products and then, in return, letting their inventions influence your product development
  • engaging with the most visionary customers to co-design new products, services and processes
  • enabling customers to help one other, share new concepts and build on top of each others ideas

 
Currently working for a personalized goods company myself, I’d personally recommend this read to any product manager, CEO and all controllers still thinking, continuously throwing out new cheap “quick & dirty” products was be the most effective way to e-commerce.

The Macintization of Windows’ Mice

Being a powerful interface widget for Mac users for quite some time now, Exposé has now come to Windows either.
 
Well, sort of. When I first experienced this, I actually thought it was the recently installed beta version of Safari for Windows, who had secretly smuggled this onto my computer.
   Though, alleging this being from Apple, it would have been a working but poor piece of design. Later on I remembered I had also upgraded the drivers for my Microsoft Intellipoint Mouse. Bingo ! The latest Intellipoint Driver installer switches the auto-scroll "click" function of your mouse wheel to this all-open-app-view without asking, so you have to discover this by incident or (like me) accident at some time.
 
With so many Windows under ones hood, you’re now officially a pimp (and all of this completely advertently, of course…). ;-)

Yahoo! letting A Thousand Semantic Trees blossom

 
Update: It seems, SemaWorx is going to face some stiff competition… ;-)  Their new developer app Yahoo!Pipes can possibly generate services like the ones we are going to provide to consumers. This could easily become the first killer-tool for creating Semantic Web mashups.
 
After having known about some of their earlier experiments with using namespaces for tagging, I read on the O’Reilly Radar, that Flickr just introduced what they call machine tags.
 
Those also could easily have been standards-compliant RDF/XML statements (if they just minded adding some angled brackets… ;-) ) to simplify repurposing and distribution e.g. via RSS feeds — just the way we use them for SemaWorx’ information matching.
 
Though their – on no account less complex – approach may start fostering wider adoption than the original did.

Trying out my Nokia 770 Internet-Tablet (Developer Device)

When I finally received my Nokia 770 Internet Tablet some weeks ago I was very excited about it, since it will be the first mobile client device for our SemaWorx Project.
   Our context-sensitive backend-interaction already works pretty well with PCs, so now it’s time to try out some smaller clients. If the N 770 works well, hopefully a couple of cellphones will be next.
 
About the 770 itself: No, its certaily not slow as the first press feedback assumed, but it’s just as fast as most other PDAs. The preinstalled Webbrowser (the OS is linux-based, so you will be able to install a broad range of apps yourself soon) seems to be an Opera for Linux, the e-mail software comes with support for encryption and signature certificates and IMAP4 for comfortable, server-based e-mail handling.
 
There have been theoretically two ways to go online with the Nokia 770: Wi-Fi (b/g) or via Bluetooth Dial-Up. Unfortunately the current Bluetooth software only dials up via mobile phones but not via common household access points. So Wi-Fi access is much more convenient, though activating encryption is somewhat ponderous.
 
This is what leaves you hoping for the promised firmware upgrade early next year which will hopefully not only include some fixes for its mediaplayer but also some sort of scheduling software which is missing by now.
 
Something to praise: Although Nokia published a battery life of only three hours, I have to admit I had almost no chance to get it empty within less than three DAYS. Clearly enough time to find a place for recharge.
    I’m also a fan of the handwriting recognition software: Right after teaching it the often strange looking of the characters I produce ;-) i t did an amazing job on their transfer to plain text.
 
I’m really looking forward to what the maemo.org community has saved us for the next upgrade…
 

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Best Podcast Recording Device, by now ?

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: Despite its amazing features, this device seems to be of the "give me this day my daily firmware"-kind…
UPDATE: The MicroTrack 2496 won German c’t magazine’s recent competition against two other mobile recording devices.

 
Last week I had the chance to try out a M-Audio Micro Track 2496 portable recording device for a customer who wants to do podcasting with it: It’s amazing. O.K. we had to upgrade It’s firmware first, since the one it shipped with rendered plain unusable, but afterwards we were granted a fine 24/29 audio experience.
 
Unfortunately the device needs about 30 MB of the accompanying 64 MB Flash-Card as RAM, so if you want to record anything other than cd-resolution MP3, you are strongly advised to invest in a bigger card or even a microdrive.
 
The device comes with a plug-on microphone for conference-recording, though also being open to a variety of other connectors, including S/PDIF. Please see the specs for details. Just keep in mind that the phnatom power provided by the device is limited (though not quoted in the specification) – so if you also consider buying a microphone, be sure to give it a try at the shop before buying.
 
However the most fun part of it is, that if you are recording directly to MP3, you just need to connect the device to your PC’s USB port and it will switch to "server-mode" and you will be able to operate it just like any exernal USB-drive.
 
For podcasting, where time and flexibility count, it’s the most suitable device I’ve seen by now. I’m sure, we’ll have some serious fun with this thing throughout the coming weeks.
 

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