Monday, February 18, 2008
Thinsturbation at the Mac store
The Macbook arrived in London while I was on my Euro tour. I had to feel it, like so many others. I had spent hours deliberating if this is the machine to get. I decided to upgrade. Those who know me from model yachting, I love saving weight. I could spend hours saving a couple of grams of my 5kg boat. What has not been solved on the Macbook air is distributed data storage, in particular visavi music and photos. I need a split style libraries some online some at home and everything on the mac but lowres like on the iPod. The Macbook air is like an iPod a data satellite rather like my 250gb Macbook which is a hub. This will be an interesting data archiving experiment.
Google is 'down' ... most amazing stuff...
I just realised that Google is redirecting and assuming that I am a machine even-though I am signed in an do searches. This is really fantastic. I had all colleagues try and same results getting a message like this. This is very very serious.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Comerç 24 restaurant in Barcelona is a full sensory reconstruction.
Comerç 24 is a truly moving experience, I knew this from my first visit last year, having a serious cold, its intense smells and tastes still penetrated my numb senses. I had to go back in full vigour, again with with good company. We had the grand Festive menu and it was a Spannish fiesta. What I find particularly cool with Carles Abellan’s cuisine is the deconstruction of traditional dishes. They are like the distilled version of the traditional dishes, like Cognac is to wine, incredibly intense, presented in an elaborate compact form with heritage of Spannish Tapas. It is like stuff you have not seen or tasted. I particularly fond of the Onion soup with a raw quails egg. I also like the asian influence, the Soba noodles, where the noodles had been replaced with fine strims of fish and carrots was pure fun. Many dishes are big surprises in the mouth, it is at that moment I pays tribute to tradition. Some dishes almost feel like they could have been served for hundreds of years. The place is open and inviting and the service is really caring. Compared to Omm, which I also like, it offers less theatre.
The décor is a fusion, bare old walls, mixed with vivid colours and organically shaped colourful chairs. There are tables places at different heights. Topped up with beautifully simplified flower arrangements of submersed roses. In short the décor complements the food and amplifies the experience.
Carles Abellan, worked under Ferran Adriá, at El Bulli. As I have not been there it is hard to say what the influence has been, but I imagine one cannot leave that kitchen untouched.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Mobile World Congress was a feast of bling skin deep.
Of the services the Yahoo OneConnect got a lot of buzz. Good job, would have been great to distribute betas at their cool stand.
I have never seen so many different phones in different colours shapes and still feel unsatisfied. We have entered era of bling, where there is less substance and more eye candy. Walking around the floor gave me a sense, I have seen this before.
Now that the dust has settled, I think my favourites of the show was the SonyEricsson X1 and the Experia brand. Unfortunately it somehow got lost among all the bling. I had a great moment to sit down with its creator and get hands on with it. On the floor it was kept under tight surveillance. Nothing beats touching a device, and this device is a winner and will be a huge hit for SonyEricsson. It will also be a hit for HTC, who according to rumours on the floor was deeply responsible for co-creating the device. The great debate on the floor was whether it was a pure ODM by HTC. My own verdict is that the finesse of the design tells me it was strongly influenced by SonyEricsson, it is simply clearly better than anything HTC has done to date. What I really liked was the super high-res display which was 800x320(?) and about 3” The Experia Widgets actually rendered live screenshots of when they were used last. Very cool, and shows what can be achieved when resolution goes up. The device was running Windows mobile 6 and seem to have some more work needed.
I also liked the Samsung Soul, I do not think I ever seen as clean UI from any of the Asians, the styling is also great, so I expect to see it en mass on the street. I spent lots of time looking at LG, but I must say, I was disappointed, last year my jaw dropped at their stand, with wonderful mechanics and the Prada phone, now it seemed half done. The Viewty with strong Camera styling is great, but sales are already telling that.
The Nokia 6220 Classic will be a massive hit. 5MP Carl Zeiss optics and S60 in a clean balanced design with the right price point. That is what will win Nokia the Christmas sales once again. Nokia has it mid range in great shape. Beware smaller players, they will eat your lunch. I really liked the video push with N96 solid progress from N95. It is the first couch potato mobile. It will not be long when we carry movies in the pocket and project them in hi-def on any screen (check out OMAP 3430).
Nokias midrange lunch will certainly be a shared one with Sony Ericsson. The splash proof SonyEricsson CyberShot C702, felt suberb in the hand. I also like the Minox style 5MP C902 CyberShot. Last year SonyEricsson looked weak, now they are back. I only hoped their marketing people would have been better prepared for the splash of great new products. I feel real sorry for the creators, whose phones were crammed in their tiny booth.
Motorola, what should I say? I somehow feel sad. I do not think they will be around for the next show in their current form. I heard people calling it the morgue, while walking by it. It is sad they did not acquire Trolltec, it could have rescued them, I am sure they were asked.
I am really interested to see who can break through the bling of SW and services into new era of experience businesses.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Hotel Cornavin, Tintin's and my hotel of choice in Geneva
To my great delight I realised I had chosen the same hotel as Tintin in the Calculus Affair, Hotel Cornavin in the center of Geneva. It was in this Hotel Tintin and Captain Haddock start to search for the kidnapped Professor Calculus.
At the Lift conference in Switzerland
The past couple of days I have been spending at the Lift conference, a conference of thought, technology and entrepreneurship. It is one of the hot conferences in Europe, gathering people all over the world founded by Laurent Haug.
Bruce Sterling, the sci-fi writer, gave a somewhat lame keynote talk speculating on the ambitions of French President Zarkozy and his new wife Carla Bruni. I enjoyed the talk of my former collague Yonghee Jung on research Nokia did in emerging markets, followed by Genevieve Bell, an Australian antropologist working at Intel, talking about some research she had done on the topic of lying and it implication on Internet and security. One of the sound bites I learned was that 10% of Myspace users are 100 years old, hardly true. I had a great discussion with Marc Laperrouza, a researcher on new technologies in China. Good conversations on motivations for blogging and sharing on-line with Bruno Giussani and Ouriel Ohayon. In the evening a great Fondue party. My local guides gave me a great tip: Drink black tea with Fondue, and it worked great no 'Boa-swallowed the rabbit'-effect during the night.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Stop by at the Fjord stand at MWC in Barcelona
Readers of this blog have noticed that I write a fair amount about technology and food. This is certainly an odd choice of topics, but I do have an interest in both. I have often wondered if creation of Haute Cuisine and High Technology have any similarities. I posed this question to the designers at Fjord, many foodies, and I am delighted to announce we have some insights you can experience first hand at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona between 11th and 14th of February. You find us easily in Hall 1, Stand 1F07.
PS: If you print this out and put your name and contact details and bring it along to our stand, I will enter it into a draw for a iPod Touch 16GB, one of my favourite gizmos. Worth noting, my blog is not Engadget, so the chance of winning could be fair ;-)
PS2: If you are part of media, we have prepared for you a highlights guide for the congress, with our hot picks of trends emerging at the show. It is output from our think tank Fjord Thoughts. We call it 8 trends for MWC ’08. Our experts on the floor and are there to sniff out the hot announcements. The first edition is available at our booth at noon on Monday the 11th, we will expand it over the week as news unfolds. If you want us to brief you more in details, drop me a mail (first name at fjord . co .uk) and we will schedule a meeting and take you through the highlights. I am sure it will help you navigate the show and provide you with that different point of view you need.