X-Ray Photography of Everyday Life

Nick Veasey uses x-ray machines of various sizes to create stunning photography of everyday objects.

And AdLab is going on vacation and will be back after the Labor Day.

One Newspaper That Isn't Dying

Arizona's ABC15: "The 15-page paper, called The Slammer, is nothing more than mug shots of wanted and arrested people and short crime stories, but it's a hot seller. [...] Those who work at the gas station say they sell 10 to 15 copies of the paper each day which is more than the newspapers and magazines it has on the rack."

Read back issues of The Slammer.

Future: Disposable Video Players

"Wait, what??? did I miss a few years of tech?"

I bet a lot of us had the same reaction best expressed in a comment about yesterday's news that a September issue of Entertainment Weekly will come out with an insert sporting mini video screens to promote Pepsi and CBS's fall line-up. Not particularly impressed with the execution of the Esquire's eInk cover stunt, many wondered what kind of technology would be powering the screens that apparently can run up to 40 minutes of video each.

CNET has some answers: "The technology for the battery-powered ads was manufactured by a Los Angeles-based company called Americhip. The screen, which is 2.7 millimeters thick, has a 320x240 resolution. The battery lasts for about 65 to 70 minutes, and can be recharged, believe it or not, with a mini USB cord--there's a jack on the back of it. The screen, which uses thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD) technology, is enforced by protective polycarbonate. It's a product that has been in development at Americhip for about two years, spokesman Tim Clegg told CNET News via e-mail."

Financial Times quotes an ad exec on a potential price tag: "One magazine industry executive with knowledge of the technology estimated that running one video ad in 100,000 copies would cost in the low seven-figure range. That would translate into a cost of several dollars per copy. By contrast, a full-page colour ad in Entertainment Weekly costs about 9 cents a page per copy."

I like it. I also like how it creates an entirely new channel for video content distribution. In a few years, disposable video players will be something you pick up from a vending machine in the morning on your way to work, on in the airport.

Update [Aug 21 '09]:  1) Oh, this thing would be useful on some packaging too. 2) AgencySpy got a video of the insert in action.

P.S. I remember posting about a video business card back in 2005.

-- news via Mike Proulx, image credit to Charlotte Observer / CBS

Dropbox with Extra 250Mb [ad]

If you've heard about Dropbox -- a virtual thumbdrive for moving your files between computers -- but never got to try it, you can use this affiliate link to sign up and get an extra 250MB of space on the top of the free 2GB (and so will I).

I've been using it since last winter to move stuff around between my work and two home computers, and love how it looks just like another folder and I don't have to upload anything through the browser. I can also send file links instead of emailing huge attachments. Magic.

(And if you prefer a non-affiliate link -- here.)

A Story Told in Nine Billboards

A 1989 campaign for a Buffalo pub tells a love story that unfolds over nine weeks on a billboard.

Samsung'sTake On MySpace Angles

To promote its new ST 550 camera (why don't camera models have names?), Samsung has tapped into the online pop culture to create a series of interconnected videos spoofing the sexist-ish MySpace Angles phenomenon -- profile photos on social networking sites taken from overly flattering vantage points.
-- Thanks, Alex

Branded Virtual Clothes on XBox Avatar Marketplace

Spotting some track jackets, shoes and other stuff by Adidas, Quicksilver flipflops, and other branded virtual merchandise on the newly opened Avatar Marketplace for Xbox 360. None of it free; each item costs a certain amount of paid points.  Previously available -- other Adidas content.

Email Links With Delicious

A useful and long-overdue new feature on Delicious I've always wanted -- send links to others by email. Hope they will also let people create groups of recipients.

This is how I imagined it would work in this crude mock-up back from January:

Hype Cycle 2009: Augmented Reality, 3D TV on the Rise

If you think there's too much talk about augmented reality these days, the good news is that you are not alone, and the bad news is that it's far from over. Gartner has released its latest and retweaked "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2009" report, and AR is right there, climbing steadily towards the Peak of Inflated Expectations (definition).  One change from the last year's graph is the estimate of years to mainstream adoption: from "more than 10 years" to "5-10".

I haven't read the complete report, so I'm making this up, which I shouldn't, but plenty of surprises in this edition: 3D printing doesn't really feel quite so hyped yet to be that far up the slope; ditto mobile robots (?). And what's Behavioral Economics doing there?  If we graph theories, shouldn't the "Free" movement be there as well?

And has Tablet PC already passed the trough of Trough of Disillusionment? (Or there must be a separate graph for Apple's tablet. Does a tech actually need to exist to march through the complete cycle?)  What about electronic paper?

Speaking of 3D flat-panels:  Sky is planning to launch a 3D channel in Britain, just for those 3D-ready TVs.

Human augmentation sounds pretty cool. 

If you are a fan of the hype cycle approach, there's a recently published book [ref. url] on the subject written by two Gartner analysts; one of them, Mark Raskino, left a comment here last year.

Widgets Not So Hot

Bob Garfield gushing about widgets in AdAge (cached reprint) last December: "[...] the widget is something like the magical connection between marketers and consumers, not only replacing the one-way messaging long dominated by media advertising but vastly outperforming it. Because online the link is literal and direct, and along its path, data of behavior, preference and intention are left at every step. Oh, and your target consumers actually go out searching for your branded gimcrack. Oh, and they display it within easy reach. Oh, and [...]"

WSJ today: "A year ago, investors thought of these start-up companies primarily as application, or widget, makers, referring to games and other applications for social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Some of the most-hyped businesses on the Web a year ago were such companies. Backed by venture-capital dollars, these companies had grand plans to capitalize on their popularity among Web users by selling ads. They opened New York offices, hired ad-sales executives and hosted hip widget conferences to evangelize the new media to marketers. Turns out, it wasn't such a good idea, particularly during a recession. Now, many of these companies, such as Slide, are searching for more and different ways to earn money."

Beware Trolls on Air

If the Chevy example seems too dated for your cutting-edge PowerPoint deck, here's a fresh one to illustrate the flip side of engaging people in unmoderated live content production. The teaser Tap and Take microsite for a Samsung product (camera?) asks people to guess what the whole thing is about by typing in suggestions that are posted in real time to the site, and they do.