Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Today a new Dutch PC was launched, the SimPC. An easy to use networked device,retailing for 349 EURO and a monthly fee of 10 EURO. The nifty device is meant for those not yet connected or those that require a simple second device for basic functionality. Our Minister of Economic Affairs described the device as an ideal device for people like himself and therefore happily opened the introduction today in Amsterdam.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

We are starting to see the first new ideas made possible by a combination of high speed internet access, settopboxes and companies working together on cross media formats. Big Brother is being broadcasted by Talpa and there are four live streams at Versatel all the time too. I am not sure why Edwin Tromp did not share more of this earlier in the week, that would have made an interesting case study. I must admit that it is a promising set up that can lead to many good new concepts and business models. Watching the streams by the way is reality tv at its most vivid state...

In the city hall of The Hague, real metal hard art is to be found. Copper or brass installations stating words like 'sit' and 'go' are displayed, giving the environment something special.

At InterimIC digital creativity is a core focus. Not only in 'innovation' but also in art. We sat together with some experts in this field to explore the possibilities to create something together were entrepreneurship, art and networks come together. An animated gettogether with some promising ideas forward.

Next day the AMNI lecture was about mainstream media following the new media session on blogging.Five time the amount of people showed up, indicating that mainstream media are still of interest.... Two speakers Edwin Trop the Cross Media director of Talpa and Michiel Buitelaar, SVP Consumer of the fixed line business of KPN. Both shared from their perpective the rocky road to come. The path forward in their perspectives has many opportunities, but choices have to be made and winners and loosers will emerge.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Also I attended a conference organised by Han Gerrits, among others Director of, the Amsterdam new media institute. The topic was one of my favourites; blogging. Speakers included Paul Molenaar and Michiel Houben of Ilse Media and Hubert Roth of one of the wellknown big blogs within The Netherlands and (in)famous for its style and content. An interesting and animated discussion followed the presentations.

A day discussing main stream media (msm) and new media, such as blogging, podcasting and videoblogging. Jonathan Marks takes a world perspective on these developments through his projects, in which he doing more and more HDTV capturing with the Sony HD Cam he recently acquired. Talked with him about the issues facing media and new media producers, both technical as wel as content wise. The old adagium 'content is king' is certainly true, but only when technically well packaged.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

To avoid the garbage, many fled to the water for activities.

Instead taking pictures of nice colourfull flowers, now 'the picture this' opportunity for garbage has been created. Frighting to see how many tourists were taking pictures of this. Needless to say what kind of stories they will be telling at home.

Where the (international) reputation of Amsterdam is sometimes iffy anyhow with regards to prostitution and drugs, the strike of the garbagemen during the internationally acclaimed festival 'Sail' does unfortunately not to much to enhance the image.

Grafiti can have its appeal in certain places. When it started, it was seen as pure vandalism and plain ugly. Over the years it has achieved a certain status as decoration or even art.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Maite had the opening of her new art project today. The musical bridge plays especially produced tunes when opened. The wheather was unfortunately not in favour of open air activities. The project can be seen and heard in Amsterdam until end of October.

The world of consumer generated audio, or in egocaster speak 'podcasts' is a challenging one I must say. After getting the hang of listening to podcasts and getting them on different computers and devices, it is time to move to production. Audio I find is very different to the two formats I have used sofar, writing words and putting pictures with them.
Now I will try to move into the world of spoken word. I read some podcast books, went through lots of how to's on the web and asked many people. In short, if anything it became more confusing.

I learned a couple of things; one that the actual quality is very important and determined by the capturing device and microphone and two that is some steps to go before you get there.

One piece of kit that comes highly recommended is the Edirol R-1 MP3 recorder, which was long out of stock everywhere. After a great how to from audio capture specialist Luc of I should be ready to do some recording...

Reviewing the observations of the Japan visit together with the delegation and representation of Japanese business and Ambassy. A very interesting afternoon, discussing the elements of convergence of media and technology.

Towers of knowledge.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The mighty mouse, the latest addition to the toolkit. Many things have been said about this tool from Apple, only now introducing the right and left click and scrolling. But in great ways. I must admit it is always a delight using new things from Apple, they definitely set the scene in comfort, style and usability. Of course sceptics could say that multi-buttons and scrolling has been around for years on mice from other manufacturers...but that is for the sceptics to say....

Media companies form a cornerstone of Amsterdam. They are building blocks in creativity. The potential is only starting for them.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The other new tool is the MotoNoir the special edition of the Motorola RAZR V3. The phone came through Swedish connections and I must admit it is an impressive phone. A couple of the most important features included very long talk and standby time and the ability to sync my contacts with my ApplePowerbook. Features I had to lack with the Neonode N1. The RAZR is not an UMTS phone, but that is not a problem sofar. I use the Blackberry for email on the go and KPN UMTS card for laptop connectivity. That latter proved to be useful in the time before the Versatel Adsl. In two days I spend a few hundreds of MB's surfing without any serious downloads....

Today the Versatel 20 MB ADSL came. Krijn had already given a good overview what woudl and could be happening on Therefore I was prepared. But in my case it went very very smooth, within 40 minutes (most time taken by making a long cable between the modem and the set-top-box) everything was up and running, including both wireless and wired computers and the television. I was very impressed to say at least after some of the stories I heard. Also the auto-update function of the Samsung kit seems to be very smooth. Let's see how it goes, but sofar it has been a good start.

Returned from a very pleasent and relaxing trip to Sweden. We have seen very little rain, despite the Tretorn boots on display, as on Gotland the rain was hardly around. On the pictures of the trip can be found including the nice shots of the medieval activities we joined.