Archive for April 24th, 2006


Monday, 24 April 2006; 15:48

CASIO G’zOne TYPE-R. Quite a mouthful, eh? Well, it’s a name worth speaking. This has to be one of the coolest looking phones/compasses/PDAs/cameras/clocks/kitchen sinks I have seen. And why is it that the very best Japanese gadgets never make it across the Pacific? (But yes, this site is entirely in Japanese. Should someone out there wish to help with a little translation, the assistance will not be turned away.) Even so, this is one very slick web site.

One other thing: Note the excellent 3-D effects obtained even when adhering to de facto standards (i.e., Macromedia Flash). CASIO’s message gets out even if one does not speak the language. The same cannot be said for Maserati’s attempt at 3-D.

G'zOne logo


Monday, 24 April 2006; 15:11

Maserati. Cool sounding name, is it not? But, does the Maserati web site live up to the legend and reputation of its automobiles? Answer: Yes and No. It could be entirely “Yes” with only the addition of music in selected areas throughout the site. That said, video gems are found throughout the site, such as this very short interview with Formula 1 legend, Michael Schumacher. (That is saying infinitely more than can be said for Ferrari, which will soon join The Distillery’s Wall of Shame.) Although not multi-media, you will find the largest collection of nice automobile desktop wallpapers from one manufacturer that I have found to date. One finds the Virtual Factory Tour, which is also downloadable as a 22 MB zip file.

The most irritating aspect of the site is that far too many links open new pages. At this very moment, I am looking at seven open tabs after only a few minutes of navigating the site. This is a web site where the OnStar navigation system would be most helpful. It is very easy to get lost. (Now, where was I?) Oh yes, I now point you to where there is a large collection of [mediocre quality] videos. However, they are sufficient in number to satisfy anyone looking to see Maseratis in action.

Whoa, Nelly! And what do we have here? No less than [supposedly] interactive 3-D views of several F1 racing circuits. However, one must download a player (Anark) of which I have never heard. To its credit, after several spyware scans, it does come up clean. But try as I may, I cannot get the player to load and display the 3-D circuits. (Was anyone paying any attention at all to this aspect of the site’s design? Eschewing de facto media/content standards and players? Clearly not. Duh.) It therefore appears one of the main foci of the site is entirely kaput. And such is why I can again say both “yes” and “no” to the question of whether the Maserati web site equals the reputations of its cars.

Maserati logo Maserati racing.

Words at Play (Adobe)

Monday, 24 April 2006; 11:38

But words are things,
and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew
upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands,
perhaps millions, think.

Words at Play pic


Monday, 24 April 2006; 11:13

From where did Batman get his Bat-suit in Batman Begins? And who does not remember the leather mask worn by Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs? Who created the impressive Romans’ armour in Gladiator? And given his well-known misdeed, who would Sir Lancelot trust to build a suit of armour not knowing what King Arthur may have had hidden and awaiting him under the Round Table? (And no, in each case I am not talking about in real life, but in the movies!)

In each case, it was FBFX LTD, “the UK’s leading prop and costume effects company.”

Hannibal's mask Scene from Troy

FLY Pentop Computer

Monday, 24 April 2006; 10:40

You have no idea how happy I am to have found this online advertisement for the FLY Pentop Computer. Why so? I was in KMart just last week, saw the FLY PenTop Computer, but even after looking at the packaging and reading its notes remained very confused about what I was holding in my hands.

All is now explained. I especially like the seemingly magical calculator functionality. Almost, if not indeed, quite amazing. (However, I am often easily impressed by the obvious.) You can even play games with this neat “gee whiz gadget.”

(A shameful admission: I likely remain clueless about many products because I do not own a TV. As you will see at the product’s web site, there are television commercials for it. And although both the commercials and product are apparently targeted for a younger market, I have a feeling a few adults will buy a FLY for themselves. I will.)

FLY logo
FLY Pentop Computer

Sxip (pronounced “skip”)

Monday, 24 April 2006; 9:23

I have a difficult time quickly summing up just what Sxip is. Luckily we have a video, Identity 2.0 by Dick Hardt (Founder & CEO of Sxip Identity), to do it for us.

(Notes: Follow the latter link for other presentation formats. And although the video is far from short, please do try and find time to view it. It is a superb presentation about a very important subject. You might first read what Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing has to say about it.)

Sxip logo Dick Hardt - Web 2.0 presentation