Cellular meet WiFi: Better Household Cell Service from T-Mobile

It’s the week of the iPhone and that means, for carrier AT&T, it is top billing and headlines galore.  Likely lost amidst all the hype, likely below the radar, reports are that competitor T-Mobile is today rolling out a unique launch of its own.

umaAs of today, T-Mobile will be the first major U.S. carrier to launch a national UMA  (Unlicensed Mobile Access) service.  UMA, though it sounds like just another acronym for buzz-word bingo, is a technology already widely used in Europe and worth noting.  Bypassing technical detail, UMA is a wireless telephony technology that works over wireless (WiFi) Internet networks.  That means in areas of weak signals a UMA equipped cell phone can act like a cordless wire-line phone using a local internet connection instead of a cellular tower.  Distinct from other Internet telephony technologies like Voice-over-IP,  UMA phones can hand-off between a wireless internet connection (on a private network or a public Hotspot) and a cellular connection depending on which signal is stronger; and they can do so almost seamlessly. (Dropped calls are reported to be no more likely do to the handoff, than they are in every day usage of cell phone network).

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Video Search and Advertising

Last January comScore reported 70% of the total U.S. Internet audience watched at least one Internet video stream that month. It’s been reported that there are more than 12 million hours of video programming currently hosted online.  YouTube has been reported to have more than 5.1m hours of content.  With such an enormous, and rapidly increasing, pool of content one of the bigger challenges is how to effectively index and search the data.  Without organization, it is too easy as the old saying goes “to be swimming in information but thirsting for knowledge.”

video searchA host of video search companies are lining up to try and address the problem. The approaches vary. Some are focusing on text-to speech technology, others are looking elsewhere. It’s a new market, but one with such potential, that advertisers, eager for contextual delivery, are salivating over the potential.

One of the primary cataloging and search standard used so far has been keywords and meta-tags.  They are user controlled.  To work someone has to manually identify the content and title it appropriately.  Social networking sites allow a wide range of people to share that responsibility (by adding unique “tags” as identifiers) but the trouble with user defined search is that it’s only effective when users use the same vocabulary.  If I say tom-ay-to and you say to –mah-to we could get different results.     Click to Read More

Rekindling an iPhone Beatles Connection?

iphone beatlesThe world is sitting in wait for the impending iPhone release.  Gadget lust is running full throttle.  I’ve got it (gadget lust that is, not the iphone).  I won’t be waiting in line, and I won’t be switching my cell phone service – but I wouldn’t mind having the phone to play with.  That’s not going to happen, not unless someone with better connections is feeling generous, but it’s nice to dream.

Of similar dreams, I’ve speculated as far back as early May about a possible roll out of the Beatles music alongside the iPhone launch.  The most coveted online music catalog released alongside the most anticipated consumer product of the decade is just the kind of three-ring circus marketing Steve Jobs and his Apple cohorts love to put together.  Click to Read More

By The Numbers (Part 2): More Media Metrics

Last week PriceWaterhouse Coopers released its global entertainment and media outlook report. The sweeping, broad survey was filled with data, statistics and projections on the state of the media and entertainment industries. Some of the data was previously highlighted. Additionally, the survey predicts that the global entertainment and media business will grow at an average annual rate of 4.9% over the next several years, rising from $81.2 billion in 2006 to $103.3 billion in 2011.

Here is a sampling of related data taken from a variety of sources:


plasma     The average US home has 2.5 people and 2.8 TV sets. 84 percent of US households have a DVD player. (source: Nielsen)

controller     37% of U.S. adults who go online own a video game console and 16% own a portable gaming device. (source: Nielsen/net ratings)

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Corbis Joins Microstock with Snap Village

While late to the party, Bill Gates’ owned photo stock agency, Corbis, is launching its  new microstock agency site Snap Village today.

microstockAs discussed in extensive detail on Metue earlier this month,  microstock is growing phenomena in the stock photo industry that takes advantage of user-generated content to create a pool of inexpensive images available for royalty-free license.  As a photographer, microstock services allow me to post my images and allow their use on websites, in product literature and elsewhere (even earning me, the amateur photographer, revenue).  As a web developer, through microstock, I can license images (non-exclusively) for display on Metue, or other sites.

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Yahoo: restructuring Ad Sales

In the first of what may be many announcements regarding change in practice or personnel, Yahoo has announced further management restructuring; this time in its advertising sales organization.  In the works for many months, the organization will see the departure of current chief sales officer Wenda Harris Millard and the combination of Yahoo’s search and display ad businesses into a group led by a single executive.

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Blogging, Advertising and Conflicts of Interest: Disclosure Policies

disclosure keyboardSci Fi channel got slapped in 2004 when it publicized a supposed rift with film director M. Night Shyamalan over an un-authorized biography when in reality no biography existed, nor did the rift. Both were fictionally created by marketers.

In December 2006, Sony got itself in similar hot water when it created a fake fan website to support its PSP game platform.

Marketers have learned there is a fine line to walk between maintaining the trust of their customers and promoting their products with newly emerging online techniques.   In the Internet publishing world, an online world where everyone has a voice, where anyone can be an author, or a journalist, a videographer or otherwise, credibility is sometimes assumed before its earned but its ongoing maintenance is essential. 

Over the past few days the value systems of the developing blogosphere and Web 2.0 world have been thrown again in the spotlight as Internet Ad publisher Federated Media and some of its higher profile publishing clients from Tech Crunch to GigaOm  have been drawn into a heated  debate over related issues. (Though, this time, unlike with Sony or Sci Fi channel, its been the appearance of impropriety, and not any actual wrong doing, that’s raised discussion Click to Read More

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