The Zune Ad That Could’ve Been

This is a few months old, but it made me chuckle: Welcome to the So-So


Anime Video of “Code Monkey”

The machinima videos that people have made for Jonathan Coulton’s geek anthem Code Monkey haven’t impressed me; unlike the Red vs. Blue series of animations, the visuals feel poorly matched with the storyline.

Better by far is this video, which does an excellent job of repurposing clips from the Japanese animated TV series Black Heaven. If you watch only one fan-made video of Code Monkey, watch this one:

[via Amber Mac]

Uncategorized’s Amusing Parody of Microsoft’s “Surface” Ads

I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner, but someone —, the folks behind the How to Kill Your Brand video — has finally created a parody of Microsoft’s “you should be in awe, or at least think we still have some ‘game’ left” ads for Surface, their vision of “big-ass table” computing:


36 Youth Facts in 159 Seconds

Here are some composite screen captures I took from a fascinating video called Thirty-six Youth Facts in One Hundred and Fifty-Nine Seconds:

Clips from “Thirty-six Youth Facts in One Hundred and Fifty-Nine Seconds”

The video was produced by Paul McGregor of and aired on MTV Asia. The domain name “” refers to the number of people under the age of 25 (the site’s tagline is “Now that’s a lot of consumers”). It features 36 facts about youth, and a good number of them cover their use of technology. If you’re trying to chart your future tech course, it never hurts to see what the kids are up to.

Here’s the video. It’s not too long, and it’s pretty fascinating stuff:

For the benefit of the search engines and those who can’t watch the video, here are the facts that appear in the video:

  • There are 3 billion people under 25 on this planet
  • 61% of them live in Asia
  • 67% of young Asians have downloaded music in the last month
  • Only 27% paid for it
  • Hong Kong youth spend the most time online per day (4.7 hours)
  • Indonesian youth spend the least (0.9 hours)
  • Young Filipinos watch the most TV per day (6.2 hours)
  • Young Chinese watch the least (3.2 hours)
  • There are 37.5 million gamers in China
  • 90% play online games
  • Weekly, Korean teenagers will spend
    • 14 hours on the computer…
    • .12.8 hours watching TV
    • 0.7 hours reading newspapers
  • Taiwan has the highest teenage birthrate in Asia
  • South Korea has the lowest
  • 45% of young Japanese women said they were in love
  • Only 30% of young Japanese men said the same
  • 82% of Japanese teen males said they used contraception the first time they had sex
  • Only 12% of Japanese 20-year-olds use the home PC to access the internet — the same level as 50-year-olds — they’re using their mobile phones instead
  • 26% of all youth deaths in China are from suicide
  • In India, 50% of girls will be married before they are 18
  • In Nepal, the rate is 60%
  • 85% of Korean teenagers own a cell phone
  • They send an average of 60 messages per day
  • 46% of students send messages in class
  • “Our children are seriously addicted to cell phones” — Parent’s Union Spokesperson
  • Chinese people spend 10x more money on the internet than people in the west
  • It represents 10% of their monthly income
  • Who prefers a laid-back hassle-free lifestyle?
    • 14% of Chinese teens
    • 22% of South Korean teens
    • 43% of Japanese teens
  • 99% of Saudi teens use Bluetooth
  • 99% said that the device had broken social taboos
  • 85% said it was safe for communication with the opposite sex
  • 69% of messages exchanged by Saudi teens were pornographic

[via YPulse]


johnnyOnline: “Love Two Point Oh”

Jonathan Coulton’s Code Monkey was the catchy nerd-friendly rock tune of last year. This year, the crown could very well be johnnyOnline’s Love Two Point Oh, which features lyrics like:

You’re prettier than fine CSS
You’re finer than

as well as the “09 F9…” HD-DVD code as whispered backing vocals.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:


Microsoft Surface, Sun Starfire and Apple Knowledge Navigator Videos

Yesterday, I wrote about how the “cyberwar” in Estonia seemed rather different from the way William Gibson depicted cyberattacks in his “Sprawl series” novels, most notably Neuromancer. I thought that as long as I was comparing speculations of what future tech would be like against how the future actually turned out, I should tie it in with the hot news of the moment, Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface’s Promo Videos

In case you haven’t seen the promo videos for Surface yet, I’ve posted them below. Here’s the first one: Microsoft Surface – The Magic:

Thos one’s called: Microsoft Surface – The Power:

And finally, Microsoft Surface – The Possibilities:

Sun’s Starfire Concept Video (1992)

I mentioned Sun’s Starfire project in my post about Surface, but thought it deserved a front-and-centre mention. Starfire wasn’t a project to develop an actual platform, but to develop concepts that would eventually find their way into future platforms when the technology made it possible and show them in a video. The video is available online in MPEG-4 format, but you’d better have a good connection: it’s 270 megs in size:

Still from Sun’s “Starfire” video.
Click the image above to view the Starfire video.

Apple’s Knowledge Navigator Video (1987)

If the Starfire video gives you a sense of deja vu, it’s probably because you’ve seen Apple’s Knowledge Navigator concept video, shown below:

If the Starfire and Knowledge Navigator videos bear similarities to each other, they should; Apple UI guru Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini helped create both.


I’m going to post some notes on some of the concepts in the Starfire video that appear to have come to fruition with Surface as well as my notes on what they thought 2004 would be like back in 1992.


Advertising: Best Left to the Professionals?

Scene from Dan Burke’s Heinz Ketchup ad, in which he uses ketchup as toothpaste.

The New York Times article The High Price of Creating Free Ads covers Heinz’s contest in which its customers are challenged to create their own television advertisement for Heinz Ketchup. The subtext of the article seems to be this: Leave this kind of work to the professionals.

Note that while advertising execs and a couple of contest entrants are interviewed in the article, there isn’t a single quote from “the audience”. Perhaps the constraints of a press deadline would’ve made it too hard to gather some “average person” reviews of some submitted ads, but it would’ve been informative. Remember that the original ads for HeadOn (“HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead!”) were created by professionals and apparently passed focus group muster.

In my opinion, at least one of the customer-submitted ads is quite good. I laughed out loud when it hit the punchline, and I thought it would work perfectly in “edgy” time slots, such as Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim (or in Canada, Teletoon’s The Detour):