Bargain vs. Usefulness

Wednesday, February 27. 2008

Up to buy a new Ipod? Additional mass storage? Or some beauty related present to your girlfriend? You might want to have a look at the shopping community. They sell a lot of those gadgets at decent prices. But there is more about this web page. It is called a “social shopping experience”, goods are offered at a certain starting price and the more people that click a certain link, the less expensive the product becomes – until it hits a certain minimum price. Of course you can buy the good at any time for the current price – but if you have chosen to lower the price, you will get a notification after the good reached its best price. I think this is quite a good concept to bring attention to offers. Once you are in the loop for a product, you might be likely to buy it.

I think this kind of shopping catches up with the old “Geiz ist geil”-idea (stinginess is cool) idea. People are tempted to buy products, because they are a real bargain – although they don’t really need them. In my opinion, you don’t just spend money for a good; you also pay for the shopping experience. Although you might get your 5th pair of headphones – you just get them, because you are one of those fast enough to catch the offer, or because the offer is just too good. So you spend the money to get the adrenaline kick of getting the good, and for the possibility to tell all your friends “I bought this great thing – it was half the regular price.” This might be exactly the problem within our consume-orientated affluent society. There is plenty and people are need guidance on their way through their plenteousness. Just cheap prices might not be the right guidance.

Nevertheless, I want to encourage you registering at, since those guys get me 2EUR off the next thing I’m going to order per newly registered member I referred. Although, should you oder something there within the next days, which are not those earphones, please contact me, to help saving shipping costs ;-)

ViiF - your mobile entertainment company

Monday, February 25. 2008


Ever tried to use video calling on your brand new UMTS phone? Guess most of us will answer that question with a clear “No”. Rates up to 0,99 EUR, while a normal call is priced at 19 cent or is even free (since many of us have flat rates) this feature is still really uninteresting. It also requires UMTS connection enabled – and most us will switch of this feature, since it is power consuming. Well, I don’t want to write a statement on why not to use that feature, but rather point out a possibility on why it might be interesting.

The Berlin base ViiF mobile Video GmbH, which calls there product “your mobile entertainment community”, offers a service which could get you to at least try out the video call feature. There software uses this video call feature as interface to get videos of your phone and into the internet and vice versa. Currently this feature is free for customers using the German O2 network. All that is needed is an UMTS connection and a call to the service number 22557. No special software or data rate needed!
Especially the feature enabling direct vlogging caught my attention – media directly to your personal weblog is the promise you get at the ViiF homepage. Unluckily I’m currently at my parents place in Truppach with no UMTS coverage, so I won’t be able to try this feature before I at least visit Bamberg or Bayreuth. But I’m really curious, whether this vlogging feature will work any good, since I’ve tried to start a kind of mobile vlogging some while ago, but never kept up with it. If the ViiF service produces any reliable quality I might get back on track here ;-) Also it will be interesting to see, which kind of Media they will offer in there community. Probably some of me readers in an UMTS area could try the feature and comment a few words about this?

As long as the ViiF manages to keep there call rates low, considered an enabling technology – enabling to distribute and receive content without having to subscribe to expensive data rates, and without having to tweak your mobile phone too much. With all those mobile carriers still trying to get back the billions they invested in UMTS licenses and their UMTS network, I really hope this can be done, our mobile market needs such innovations - at decent prices, though! I’ve subscribed to the ViiF-Blog and will be watching their progress. Also expect me trying this vlogging feature soon.

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The 80th Academy Awards – Impressions

Monday, February 25. 2008

For cineasts around the world, tonight was the night. Since I didn’t have to work this morning I took the chance and started watching the show broadcasted through Pro7. The red carpet show produced by Pro7 themselves really impressed me. The reporter was well informed and got a lot of interesting stars to short interviews. Of course the format only allows some small talk but I wouldn’t consider it as too shallow. Unluckily Pro7 didn’t continue until the show started, but got the last 30 minutes of the red carpet show from ABC. ABC broadcasting the whole event of course had several correspondents all around the venue and did good work in cutting from one to another.

The American Comedian John Stewart has been hosting the show, and continued the vivid impression with an interesting opening speech including some elements about the author’s strike and the presidential election campaign. But after he was done the award went to a tiresome trot. Since the format has been really restricted through the last years, there was no way out of this. Mentioning restrictions I’m talking about the rigid time restrictions for winners to say there thanks (after a certain amount of time music will be played, which becomes louder after another while), also censoring aspects (after some political statements in the past, a winner mentioning something in this direction would have been muted). Also due to the time restriction the interaction between the person handing over the award, and the winner was limited to a short handshake, or greeting kisses. So banalities like Spanish actor Javier Bardem (He won the award “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” for “No country for Old Men”) saying some thanks in Spanish grew to something special. I really was missing something special about the award show. The music performances taken from one of the nominated soundtracks really bored me and there were no big surprises on nominees and winners. Although I got to admit, that I support the view of the SPON article, I really would have loved to see Ellen Page winning the award fot “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role”, she did really, really a terrific job playing Juno. To see an overview of winners and nominees, I suggest to visit Imdb's Oscar-Page.

I think the Academy Awards are a good example, that a show targeting a large audience, and trying to meet the requirements for different groups in such an audience is hard to assemble. For me this requirements matching has been overachieved by the creators. I feel like years ago the Academy Awards where more targeted to this cineastic community of the academy. Dominated by progressive people the show has already been good for some surprises. But at the moment my impression is, that the show matching too many requirements became pabulum. Sad, sad.

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Monday, February 25. 2008

Starting today I will be guest-blogging in It is a Watchblog covering offers of Liveshopping Pages. I will go more into details later. Have fun reading my most recent post here.

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Living alarm clock

Wednesday, February 13. 2008


Had to post this, still LMAO! (via

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It’s all about the usability

Friday, February 8. 2008

This skiing holiday, I discovered some flaws using my S/O/N/Y P1i combined with an AD2P Bluetooth headset as mp3 player. First of all my headset’s batteries won’t last longer than four hours playing music. Not a problem if you want to listen to a song occasional while you are busy anyway – but if you want to listen continuously for a longer time it is just not enough. Switching to a cable headset I then had had the problems, that I couldn’t influence the played songs as much as I liked to. I first had to get the phone and then even use the touch screen to make adjustments.. To get a cable headset with remote control would cost another 30-40 Euros :-(

Add another 20 Euros and you can get a full fetched mp3 player! But then there is the problem which one to chose. For sure it shouldn’t be too big. The BT Headset weighs about 30gr and it would be nice if the mp3 player would not be too much heavier – but then you only get those pretty “cheap” looking ones, or pretty basic ones. But it should be at least as nice and sexy as my BT headset.. Well, not to easy to find something. But I already had seen a nice and sex player with some of my friends – an Ipod Nano.

The touch wheel fascinates me since I first got to use a friends first generation Ipod some years ago. Now I couldn’t resist in paying a hug extra amount for an mp3 player just to get one. How can men like me be so obsessed with gadgets? Anyway – at least I will be able to scrobble music, to which I’m listening on the road. But at least there is no use to get a Napster to go subscription now, since it won’t work with that Ipod. Should you be interested in getting an Ipod Nano, you can do it here.

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Friday, February 8. 2008

I returned from a short skiing holiday this week, and I hereby vow to write more blog posts in the future!