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Have Pesky iPhone Battery Problems? No Fear.

March 14, 2010
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To any iPhone owners out there, have you ever had a problem holding a charge? Apple released a statement today to squelch anybodies issues with battery issues. This is the opening line from the company on the issue:

“If your iPad requires service due to the battery’s diminished ability to hold an electrical charge, Apple will replace your iPad for a service fee.”

And while the words “service charge” often frighten away prospective buyers, let me assure you here. This service charge is a mere $105.95, including shipping. And for a minimum price of $500 for the iPad, 20% of the price for a brand new one is extremely attractive.

This has its ups and its downs. You will be receiving a brand new (maybe refurbished) iPad if your iPad can no longer hold a charge. However, what it also means is any info you don’t have backed up on your computer is going to be lost. Here is the official line from Apple.

No. You will receive a replacement iPad that will not contain any of your personal data.Before you submit your iPad for service, it is important to sync your iPad with iTunes to back up your contacts, calendars, email account settings, bookmarks, apps, etc. Apple is not responsible for the loss of information when servicing your iPad.”

Sounds like a pretty good girl, don’t ya think?

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Targeted Advertising?

March 9, 2010
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While reading an article about education in Harlem, I saw this banner ad for the Miami Ad School. And while I personally have given them and their site a lot of attention, I can’t help but wonder. Is this targeted advertising? Or is this a major ad spend on Miami Ad Schools part. Either one is interesting, but I can’t imagine how the NYTimes would have known about my addiction to advertising.


Mark Your Spot

March 8, 2010
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While watching a few episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia I caught glimpse of a new campaign put out for Calvin Klein. This campaign is helmed by Laird and Partners, featuring two actors and two athletes. I know that fashion ads are not know for being overtly clever, but what in the hell…? The commercial spots are so annoying that they may lead me to never again buy Calvin Klein apparel of any sort. I also have to ask what demo this campaign is geared to? It can’t be straight men, because anybody I’ve shown this commercial too in that demo have been completely turned off.

The four actors featured are Twilight actor Kellan Lutz, aka Emmett Cullen, Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata, Mehcad Brooks, who played “Eggs” Benedict Talley on HBO’s True Blood and The Deep End, and Spanish tennis star Fernando Verdasco. While the print ads don’t really express the ridiculousness of this campaign, you can see how freaky this is with the commercials. And while the spot below is a 15-second spot, the ones featured on Hulu are 30 seconds of that. You can actually find all four spots at X Mark Your Spot.

I can understand women and gay men being very intreged by this campaign, as I usually love Victorias Secret commercials. But is this going to attract any straight men that buy underwear? I’m not sure, but certainly not this guy. Calvin Klein actually just lost any future purchases from me, as I think these commercials are horrible.


What a Crazy Random Happenstance

March 7, 2010
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The 2008 WGA (Writers Guild of America) strike shut down television production for four months between November of 2007 and February of 2008. Not many things could be worse for television than this. However, out from the damage sprung Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

Dr. Horrible redefined what could be called television. It was a three act tragicomedy that was solely released on the net, streaming from it’s own website. When traffic became too much, which it soon became enough to shut down the website, it went to Hulu as well. And as of this past week it was taken off Hulu and put in Netflix.

For being released during the WGA strike and solely online, the popularity of this miniseries skyrocketed. DVD sales and profits from advertising raised enough money to pay all of the production costs and to pay the actors, who went unpaid when shooting started because of budget restrains.

But how do you necessarily fund a 43-minute online video that was financed out of pocket by the director Joss Whedon and aired for the first week of release for free? Here is the trailer that was released prior to start of the series.

The three act series was aired for the entire first week free on the Dr. Horrible website. How do you turn this profitable? This show garnered so many fans, as Mr. Whedon does on a regular basis, that show merchandise sold very well. Captain Hammer shirts, Dr. Horrible mugs, and than there was the DVD release. The DVD released with all three acts, tons of extras, and even little easter eggs hidden by the creators.

A song from the end of Act II

At the end of the season, Dr. Horrible was called the fourth best television event of the year by Time Magazine. And since its tragic ending, fans have been clambering for a sequel. Just recently, Joss Whedon announced that a sequel will occur, and that it may not be coming as another web-series, that it could be a feature film. And when if it does come it that form, I have a strange feeling that it will be studio backed.


ebook War Receives New Contender – Microsoft Courier

March 5, 2010
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eBook reader? Tablet device? Digital journal?

With the just recently announced and yet to be released Apple iPad on the horizon, and the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook already in the market, it seems that there are plenty of contenders in the ebook market currently. And while the iPad is much more than just an ebook, Microsoft is going to be entering the market as well with the release of the Microsoft Courier.

With this last photo, you can see that this product is going to be a much closer competitor to the Apple iPad than to either of the traditional ebooks. The operating system is the same one that will be used for the new Microsoft 7 phone and the Microsoft Zune. Each screen is about the size of a 5″x7″ photo and when folded it is less than an inch thick.

The Courier appears to be centered completely around writing and drawing with some sort of pen tool. The Courier contains built in handwriting recognition programs, making this a much more intimate product. However, at this point there is no released release date or price for people to look forward to.

While looking at the spec photos above, I am very excited to see how this product plays out. It seems that Microsoft has finally created something that is extremely aesthetically pleasing. Depending on the price of this product and how the new few months of development go, I think a lot of people will be looking to keep up to date on this product.


Promoting the Mad Hatter

March 3, 2010
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Movie posters are simple in their purpose, to create interest in the movie and to ultimately get as many people as possible to see it. Since the dawn of the digital age the ways to promote a movie have increased to far more than just a creating a poster. But sticking to just the poster, there have been several design phases that movie poster designers have gone through; from illustration to copy heavy to simple photographs. Today however, movie poster designers are going with the theme of individual character posters.

More and more movies are going with specific character posters to advertise their movies. This approach diversifies the designs that film studios can take when promoting a new movie. If a man tends to identify more with Johnny Depp than Orlando Bloom, then that person can see the Captain Jack Sparrow poster. This also leads to far more sales opportunities, I know I’ve personally purchased a few character driven posters in the past.


To Save a Loved One, How Far Would You Go?

March 1, 2010
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“How fare are you willing to go to save someone you love?”

Heavy Rain, the game that is supposed to revolutionize PS3 games for the future, the way Avatar revolutionized the future of films. The game puts you in the drivers seat on a murder case, where the notorious ‘Origami Killer’ has struck. Heavy Rain is essentially an interactive movie. You control everything from anger, morality, sanity and most importantly, the most powerful of human emotions… Love. To promote this game, Broadway and film director Neil Labute put together an eight minute video about how far you would go for your loved ones? If harm would befall them, would you kill to protect them? Would you kill to prevent harm from coming to them?

Regardless of the promotional aspect of this for Heavy Rain, this is an extremely interesting video, in that it probes the bases of human emotion by those who artificially create it for a living.


Bold TV Posters

February 28, 2010
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Movie posters were one of the leading influencers that made me want to get into advertising and design. And while all production houses design their own posters, there are many designers who take it upon themselves for creating posters for not just movies, but tv and theatre. Albert Exergian has taken it upon himself to design posters for several iconic tv shows that takes a different angle. With one common theme among all of the shows, it takes one very noticeable object from the show and runs with it.

While this set of posters is very interesting, I’m not sure I really like it. With very abstract object being portrayed on the posters, you cannot always tell the relation to the show without the labeling at the top. I admire his attempt at this, but this is not something that I would be putting on my wall.


BAFTA Program Cover Art

February 27, 2010
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The word art is thrown around a lot in todays culture, everyone wants to be an artist. But on the rare occasion when someone really does create art, I think it is something that should be recognized and shared. I saw this on Kiersten Tiempe’s Blog and just had to post it here for more people to see. Travis Coburn was given the job of designing this years BAFTA Programs, and wow did he take it to a new level.

(An Education, Avatar, Hurt Locker, Precious, Up in the Air)

Like Kiersten, I hope this are released as prints, because these deserve nothing less than a frame and good spot on my wall. They are beautiful, vibrant, colorful, and leave you wanting more. I look forward to trying to find other work by this talented artist.


Italy Say What?

February 24, 2010
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Italy is the dream vacation for many Americans, and while most major corporations aren’t headquartered there, they all operate there. Today, Italian judged found three Google executives guilty of violating the privacy of a Italian student, when a video of him was posted to Google video and not taken down for two months.

While there are privacy laws in America that will prevent things like this from happening, this is unheard of even in Italy. As you can imagine, Google has come out vehemently against the decision. They brought to attention that as soon as the video was brought to Google’s attention it was released. Google also assisted the authorities in tracking down the perpetrators. Google released a statement on the situation.

“European Union law was drafted specifically to give hosting providers a safe harbor from liability so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence. The belief, rightly in our opinion, was that a notice and take down regime of this kind would help creativity flourish and support free speech while protecting personal privacy. If that principle is swept aside and sites like Blogger, YouTube and indeed every social network and any community bulletin board, are held responsible for vetting every single piece of content that is uploaded to them – every piece of text, every photo, every file, every video – then the Web as we know it will cease to exist, and many of the economic, social, political and technological benefits it brings could disappear.”

All first time offenders in Italy with a sentence of three years or less will not serve jail time, but regardless, Google will appeal the decision.


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