C|Net is carrying a story about cell phone ring tone markets, and the Napster-ish implications (Read C|net's story).
I'm amazed how something so tenuos and slight as a cell phone ring tone can be considered a big enough market to be persued for royalties from a group like ASCAP. I realize that sort of thing is ASCAP's business (I think ASCAP should do their job).
The thing that really kills me is that downloading a song to your phone is something that people will pay for, and in some cases, pay $10 for. If enougb people do that, and become repeat customers, then you have a market worth looking at. C|net notes that Nokia says they'll be making billions off of this service and that "More than $300 million in ring tones were sold in Japan last year." This is big enough money for ASCAP to notice, and I think they should persue their royalty rights.
Now, the last time I bought a phone (a tiny Samsung PCS phone) I looked at features, size and battery life, but not ring tones. Then, I saw a commercial last night where one of the few features mentioned for a cell phone was the custom ring tone capability. I have no clue what the company was, because that feature is not a compelling feature to me, but I guess it is to the Japanese.
Maybe Iridium didn't make because they didn't offer custom ring tones. :^/
The Xbox costs more and has more goodies inside, but the Gamecube sold more units with weaker components inside, fewer games at launch, and with fewer marketing dollars backing it up. The Gamecube's lower price and key franchises creates competition, which Microsoft will need to get used to.
I think this next technology war, the console war, will be a long and bitter fight, which is exactly what I want to see. The competative advantages of the Xbox vs the Gamecube are equally strong in both directions. If it were all in one console, the PS2 would simply not matter (and perhaps it doesn't right now to lots of Linux geeks). The longer it all goes on, the more the competition will provide the usual yields that competition brings.
After reading this article at doorsofperception I find that I can remember very little contained in the article, other than database experiences may be a new form of human experience with beauty (aka, function morphed into form in a positive state).
I'd argue the network experience or the interaction experience, regardless of the tech behind it, should be the topic. Another point to think about is that people don't surf databases without some sort of interface. Some people use SQL directly (programmers), but most of us (consumers) have interfaces between the database and our eyes (websites) that are designed by people as representations of the data they wish to present.
Data without designed interfaces (which could be heard or seen of felt, take your pick) is like the sound of one hand clapping.
I've been reading Jef Raskin's _The Humane Interface_ and have been thoroughly enjoying it. Raskin write in lucid style which nicely compliments his theories and assertions. But the chapters about UI efficiency are, imho, a bit extreme in their faith in the GOMS model which is a purely quantitative measurement.
A UI that should do everything it can to merely reduce the amount of time it takes to do thing is a story without a plot. Ease of use != speed of use. But efficiency is still a concern, but probably more so for government forms than for websites where issues like marketing and branding are important.
The bottom line though is that this 'fundamentals' book is a must have if you are a UI developer or designer and want to produce successful web sites/applications.