Why Apple did not need to do a SuperBowl ad

The Best Super Bowl Ad
[Via Daring Fireball]

Jim Cramer:

But there was one ad that struck me as the most honest, most riveting and most compelling of all. You see, the game had just ended, and Colts great Raymond Berry ran the Giant gantlet with the Lombardi Trophy. Suddenly it seemed like every other Giant pulled out an Apple iPhone to snap pictures of the moment. One after another after another. And I said to myself, there it is, not some pet dangling a bag of chips or some headlights killing vampires or King Elton getting trapdoored. Nope, there was an ad worthy of Steve Jobs and the company he built.

Screenshots here.

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You cannot pay for publicity like this.

Does Google become truly evil when it incorporates Motorola’s benighted patent policies?

evilby UggBoy♥UggGirl [ PHOTO // WORLD // TRAVEL ]

Google to continue Motorola’s FRAND licensing that seeks to monopolize H.264, UMTS
[Via AppleInsider]

Google’s worst fears about greedy H.264 patent holders and “bogus patent” warfare involving Android are coming true, albeit at the hands of Motorola, a company it seeks to acquire. Google is now promising to continue this same behavior itself after it buys the increasingly unreasonable and (outside of patent claims) unprofitable Android licensee.

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So, it commits its patents to FRAND licensing, sees the technology based on those patents licensed by corporations expecting FRAND and then sues them for 100 times what the FRAND licensing is worth.

Talk about stabbing someone in the back.

Google howled about this when it was used against them but looks to use it against both Microsoft and Apple.

Does the IP world really want these sorts of stealth attacks? Will anyone ever license anything under FRAND if any of the patent holders at anytime can sue. That negates the whole purpose of FRAND.

Google and Motorola might kill an entire industry if FRAND does not hold.

A young man places mines to kill anyone stepping on them. He then leads others directly to the mines, all while pretending to lead them along an open path devoid of mines. Would you call such a person evil?

Making money wth iTunes Match

iTunes Match generates ‘magic money’ for music copyright holders
[Via AppleInsider]

As the first iTunes Match royalties trickle in, online music distribution company TuneCore says that the service created money “out of thin air” as it monetizes music whether pirated or not.

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Nice article about creators of music getting unexpected money because of iTunes match. Because of iTunes – creators get paid when people download digital music and when people upload ripped music that iTunes also has in its library. Even pirated music gets money. If it is already in the iTunes store.

The only time they do not get paid is when they rip and upload music that is not in the iTunes library.

So, one of the commenters had it right:

Another direction that may occur is that the music that is presently not available and on iTunes, will not be known about unless a service like iMatch determines a “Demand”.

what better way to bring more producers into the fold than to say “Oh hi, we’re apple, we happen to have a bajillion copies of your new song being uploaded to our iMatch service, so we thought we’d give you some money. We don’t presently have a distribution agreement with you, care to supply your catalogue to us and get more money?”

ACDC, which currently refuses to allow any of its music on the iTubes Store, is one who might listen. All those people with ripped copies of their music would give them a little money simply by the band including their music in the iTunes store. Nothing else.

 

Best crowdsourced movie of the summer – Nazis from the Moon

NewImage

Is Crowdsourcing The Future Of Film?
[Via American Times]

Filmmakers for the indie science fiction film Iron Sky utilized crowdsourcing to create and fund the picture.

Alex Knapp captions the above trailer for the yet-to-be-released film Iron Sky:

What makes Iron Sky particularly cool, in my opinion, is that despite its goofy, B-movie premise, the production values look to be top notch. And tons of the ideas, visuals, and other aspects of the film were all crowdsourced. Internet fans also provided about $1 million of the funding for the movie.

More like this please.

I still think the best Superbowl commercial was the one that Chevy crowdsourced.

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I’ve written about the death of the movie industry because the barriers to entry are now so low. Here is a movie where crowdsourcing brought in a ton of financing.

And not only money but ideas and visuals. The actual creative content. Yeah, it is cheesy – great scriptwriters are worth a ton – but it is not meant to be great art.

Just a nice way to spend some time.

And at least this will be a movie not based on any sort of sequel or pre-sold book.

It does show how technology can now create great production values for much less money. The picture above is the movie poster. You can see how it was put together online also.

I wonder just how disruptive this movie will be. Considering it will get its world premiere in Berlin I expect to hear quite a bit about it. It has already sold out.

The archbishops complain now because they want the Federal government to override state legislaton

archbishop doalnby photoactionusa

ANALYSIS: Obama Reproductive Health Reg Mirrors State Conscience Protections
[Via Think Progress]

The Catholic Bishops and their Republican allies argue that the Obama administration’s regulation requiring insurers and employers to offer reductive health coverage at no additional cost sharing is an “unprecedented attack on religious liberties” that will force houses of worships to sacrifice deeply held beliefs. In reality, the rule, part of the Affordable Care Act, exempts houses of worship and other religious nonprofits that primarily employ and serve people of the same faith. But religious groups contend that its conscience protections are too narrow.

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I believe they are complaining now so that they can circumvent the current laws in 28 states, do an end around by using Federal laws and accomplish what they could not at the state level. Small government politicians are going along with this for political reasons. Politics does make strange bedfellow.

Just a reminder that the PPACA regulation states pretty much what is already in the regulations of a majority of states (28) and the conscience exemption language follows that of at least five states, using language that has been shown to meet constitutional muster. In eight states, there is no conscience exemption at all. In fact, PPACA allows greater latitude for conscience exemptions by overriding these 8 state regulations. Remember, Federal law almost always trumps state law.

Contraception benefits are not a new thing. Catholic hospitals and universities have been doing this – covering contraception – for many years. For example, the largest Catholic University in the country offers contraception  benefits.

Any of these places could have self-insured or refused to offer any drug coverage at all – the regulation in these states say that if they offer prescription benefits they have to include contraception. But they haven’t.

This current effort by the Archbishops – up to and including claiming that Obama is taking away freedoms that our military fought for – seems political. They were not raising this level of fuss in the 28 states that already mandate contraception benefits, nor in the 8 states that provide no conscience exemptions at all. Why now?

They are careful not to mention the laws in these 28 states at all. Instead of asking for a countrywide change in regulations, they only pinpoint this regulation. Why?

Why aren’t the Archbishops discussing current policy in the 28 states that goes against their teachings? How about the eight states that permit no conscience exemption at all? Why aren’t they stopping all those Catholic hospitals and schools that are currently providing the same contraception benefits they now caterwaul about?

Why have they chosen this moment to write such diatribes?

And when you throw in polls indicating that a majority of Catholics agree with the new regulations, you have to wonder. In fact, according to surveys, 98% of sexually active Catholic women have used non-Church approved methods of contraception with almost 70% using exactly the same methods covered by the regulations.

The Archbishops are certainly not aligning themselves with their parishioners. The only people that align themselves with the Archbishops – who have a majority that are against the new regulations – are white evangelicals.

Why are they doing this now? Why make it a political issue?

Here is my conjecture.

If they can get the Federal program to cave to their demands, it means that they will be able to get around the current laws in 28 states. They will be able to overturn the will of a majority of Americans.

Federal law trumps state law. If the Feds mandate a certain exemption in the PPACA, it would cover all 50 states. If the Archbishops can get the Feds to exempt ALL Catholic institutions, it will carry through all states and the 28 laws on the books will be vacated.

Then every Catholic institution gains a competitive advantage over non-Catholic institutions providing the same services. The level playing ground we aspire to will be gone, tilted in favor of the Catholic Church.

The Archbshops hope to go against the people of 28 states, against the will of the people and against their own members by using the politics of the situation to steamroll through their religious agenda – an agenda that they have failed to accomplish at the state level.

In the greatest irony, they are using the Federal government to accomplish the same sorts of overreach that they and other conservatives complain about. Supposed small government politicians are joining forces with them to use the Federal government to override the laws in a majority of states.

Funny how small government views smply disappear when politics is on the line. For them,  centralized government is bad unless they get to control it. Then it is just fine. This is all about using Federal muscle to go against the wishes of a vast majority of Americans.

What is it called when a connected religious minority dictates the governing of the majority? Theocracy is too strong but it certainly is the endpoint.

Not really a good use of our government. But such is its current state of decay.

Our Geek-in-Chief

marshmallow

Splat! Geek-in-chief Obama tests marshmallow gun
[Via Yahoo! News]

US President Barack Obama tested a new prototype Tuesday for his commander-in-chief’s arsenal — a high-powered marshmallow gun that sent a tasty missile screaming through the White House. Watched over by a brooding portrait of his hero Abraham Lincoln, the US president fired the launcher and marveled at other inventions on display at a White House youth Science Fair.

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We have known for some time that we have a science geek for a President. Here he is so excited to try out the air gun to shoot a marshmallow, Secret Service be damned.

“Shooting marshmallows? Can we demonstrate?” His eyes just light up. “Would it hit the wall up there? Would it stick?” Those were my exact thoughts also.

I mean, who would not want to shoot a marshmallow in  the White House? His eagerness betrays him when he ‘helps’ the boy pump up the gun.

The look on his face is priceless. Watch the whole video in the article. Nice to see politicians when they act like humans.

Discussing the economy and how to fix it

How to Get Beyond the Bubble Economy
[Via David Korten]

Public anger at the 2008 Wall Street bailout, concerns about debt, and a deep and pervasive fear that another financial crash is just a matter of time create an important moment of opportunity for a long overdue public conversation about the purpose of financial services and the necessary steps to assure that the financial sector fulfills that purpose.

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The financial sector is rally a means to an end. When it becomes an end in itself, we have problems. Loo at this figure from the article, looking at the percentage of our overall economy devoted to financial service:

financial

You can see the effect of the Great Depression, where we actually made severe changes in the regulation of the financial industry. Notice how even the drop in 2007-2008 had no effect on the financial sector.

It still remains an end and as long as it does, it can still come back to kill the rest of the economy. None of the financial practices that caused our current problems have been fixed.

Market advocates correctly note that markets have a wonderful ability to self-regulate in the public interest. When market advocates go on to argue, however, that the solution for market failure is to get government out of the way, they demonstrate remarkable ignorance of basic market economics. Markets self-organize in the public interest only if incentives align with the public interest.

As Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz correctly observes: “When private rewards are well aligned with social objectives things work well; when they are not, matters can get ugly.”

What do we do? The article mentions 4 possible responses. Only one looks realistic to me. Well, more realistic than doing nothing, which has been our current approach. The full report has some interesting ideas. Most involve changing incentives or decentralizing the sector.

One is to break up megabanks and recreate the community-centered banks we used to have. Do this by charging higher fee and greater reserves the bigger the bank is.  If a bank wants to become too big to fail, it will pay the ‘insurance’ fees to pay for that failure.

Another is to restructure the Fed to make it accountable to the people.

As it says, corporations or governments can do these things but not both. The people need to get control of their economy back from the corporatists. Let’s start now.

Quiet spaces

[Crossposted at SpreadingScience]

solitideby ajari

Five Collaboration Tips from Introverts
[Via Greater Good]

In her new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, attorney Susan Cain pits two starkly different work styles against each other. On one side, we have the pro-collaboration, open workspace plan camp. On the other, we have the solitude-is-good supporters clamoring to keep their offices. This debate on the best type of work style has important implications for workspace design and office environment. It also delves into fundamental questions about human nature. While we are social animals, drawn instinctively to work and cooperate with others, we are also territorial creatures who enjoy and guard our personal autonomy.

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It is important to realize that extraverts should not dominate collaborative processes and that introverts need their space. Classically, extraverts need to speak in order to think. Introverts need quiet and time in order to think.Either does very poorly if kept fully in the other’s environment.

What an Apple Marketing Wiz does when he becomes CEO

Ellen DeGeneres hiring as JCPenney spokesperson draws anti-gay protest –
[Via Celebrity News - Digital Spy]

An anti-gay group has called on retail chain JCPenney to fire Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson.

DeGeneres was unveiled as the new face of JCPenney last week and the company’s president Michael Francis said at the time that the department store shares “the same fundamental values as Ellen”.

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Remember that the guy behind the Apple retail stores – Ron Johnson – has been CEO of JCPenny since June. He has already announced remaking over the entire store.

But here we have a wonderful example of smart marketing. Hiring Ellen is a great choice as she is a wonderful sporkeperson who connects with a large mainstream audience.

And she is ‘edgy’ not mainly because of being gay but because of the effect that has had on her career. Many people value Ellen because she fought back against these haters mostly on her own and recreated a successful career, remaking herself in the process by becoming something almost mundane.

Her life serves as a great model for remaking JCPenny and the protests simply resonate with their previous effects on Ellen herself 15 years ago.

And JCPenny now has a great advocate for their own changes. An advocate outside of standard commercials and ads.

The haters fell right into the role set by Johnson and JCPenny. Their hate took a standard PR announcement of a new spokesperson and elevated it to the main page of the news media. All for free.

Here she is announcing being hired by JCPenny, from January 25.

And here she is responding to the critics.

Of course JCPenny will keep her. You can not buy this sort of publicity and of the good kind. Compare with what Komen went through last week?

Komen was totally unprepared for what happened, did not respond coherently and eventually looked stupid to just about everyone.This controversy with JCPenny and the results did not just happen. The store knew exactly what was going to happen and had a well thought out plan to deal with it. Ellen knew this was going to come and was prepared for it.

Ellen’s performance was wonderful but it was not truly off the cuff. I think both she and JC Penny were expecting some sort of protest and actually welcomed it.

This is how you change a brand. JCPenny becomes edgier, they stand up to pressure and are courageous with their choices. They are now different than they used to be and will be a force to reckon with in the future

Genius

I would suggest that Ron Johnson is not only behind this but that the current episode is exactly what he wanted. I mean, even Bill O’Reilly is defending Ellen and JCPenny.

You know someone is genius when both Ellen and Bill fall on the same side.

Now a lot of people have heard about JCPenny’s changes but in a context that will have a lot of people look at them who might not have before.

The genius behind the Apple stores may just be genius enough to remake JCPenny. He is off to an interesting start.

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