OMG! PSFK NY!

Try and contain your excitement, dear reader, but PSFK New York is back! (On April 9th, 2010).  Its a (quite liderally) unmissable opportunity to listen to over 20 speakers as they share ideas and opinions from the forefront of culture.

Topics range from the arts to entertainment to business to the web. Previous speakers at PSFK events include Shepard Fairey, Seth Godin, Jeff Staple; and key innovators from Apple, BBC, Esty.com, foursquare, the Guardian, MTV, NASA, Nokia, Starbucks and Virgin America.

This year (it says here) the mainstage will host talks by up 20 speakers behind some of the most inspirational projects that have featured recently on PSFK. This years crew include:

Rob Walker [if you haven’t read Buying In, you should]

Grant McCracken [everyone’s favourite Chief Culture Officer]

Nick Felton [early prophet of personal data and creator of the FELTRON report]

Shantell Martin: [vj and installation artist]

And many more!

Hosted of course by the purple polymath Piers Fawkes.

Tickets available after the jump.

Piers do I get my £5?

Other coverage:

Psfk-nyc (farisyakob.typepad.com)

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Lifecasting: Nokia, Taste, Robbers

The new Nokia Ovi vehicle is presented almost as if lifecasting is something Nokia’s invented. But in reality this is a simple Facebook front-end app, like one on any other smartphone. There are some geotagging extras, thanks to Ovi Maps and A-GPS tie-ins from the N97’s hardware, but frankly that’s nothing terribly amazing. Android phones, Palm’s Pre, and the iPhone do most of this already.
advert_lifecast_wordpress
If vintners can conduct wine tastings via Twitter, it stands to reason that restaurants could do much the same thing to promote their foods. Which is just where TasteCasting comes in, facilitating the use of social media for taste tests and other promotional events to help restaurateurs get tongues wagging about them throughout the socially networked world.
Users of social networking sites are giving away vital information about themselves and their whereabouts that is potentially being used by professional burglars to establish a list of targets, according to a new report from UK insurer Legal & General. “The Digital Criminal” report, which was prepared with assistance from reformed burglar Michael Fraser, found that nearly 38% of users of sites such as Facebook and Twitter have posted status updates detailing their holiday plans and one-third (33%) have posted status updates saying that they are away for the weekend.
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Brand Extensions: Nokia v Money

Phone Company Becomes a Bank
Using the mobile financial service provider Obopay, Nokia is poised to revolutionize the world of banking through its new service Nokia Money. It’s reportedly very easy to use, and will facilitate all kinds of financial transactions, such as bill paying. They are also building a large network of Nokia Money agents, where consumers can come in person to deposit money or withdraw cash from their accounts. Users will pay 25 cents to send any amount of money up to $1000, and receiving a payment is free. Right now, Obopay only works in the US and India, but more information will be released at Nokia World in September.

nokia bank

[Picture credit: textually.org]

Nokia already owns the global cell-phone market. Now Tero Ojanperä is launching the world’s biggest delivery system for services, apps, and entertainment.
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A Superb Rant From Stephen Fry

I (s0mewhat belatedly) just came across this excellent rant by Stephen Fry on the mobile industry, which is also published on his website. The bumbling incompetence he talks about at the companies below put me in mind of characters in the ’90s sketch show “A Bit Of Fry And Laurie”…

Here is the choicest part of the rant:

“Ever try to connect to a wireless network on a Sony Ericsson P series or WinMob smartphone? The contempt implicit in these foul, fiddly behemoths was breathtaking. The profound ugliness of Nokia’s e range, the horrible underpowered nightmare of Sony’s UIQ devices, the quite staggeringly insulting ghastliness of Windows Mobile… for two years I kept believing that the manufacturers and software developers in this field would eventually get it right and produce something as truly usable as the old Psions, the old Palm Pilots and Treos, while utilising the newer technologies and capabilities of the 21st century. The only major player an enthusiast like myself could genuinely admire was RIM, because the BlackBerry was everything it aspired to be. It deliberately had no camera, (secret business meetings, factory visits and so on often necessitate the leaving of cameras at the door, like guns in a western town being cleaned up by James Stewart) and never embarrassed itself by pretending to be a media player. It did what it was supposed to and refused to pretend to be anything other than what it was.

So there we were. They all left an open door through which Apple charged. And now, with unblushing fanfare they each attempt to bring something similar to market. This is good. Apple have shown that there is a huge demand for exciting, innovative, lovable and imaginative consumer devices. All the rivals have to do is to … is to what? To produce cut price lookalikes or truly to pioneer and innovate? Well, the latter is what they should do, but the former is what most of them will do of course, because these dumb firms never ever learn. They are afraid to be good. They will blame stockholders, consumers, anyone but themselves.

Don’t you sometimes long to be CEO of a company like Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia or Microsoft? So that you can say to your coders, your designers, your development teams and your software architects: “Not Fucking Good Enough. I haven’t said ‘Wow’ yet. I haven’t gasped with pleasure, amusement or admiration once. Start again. Not Fucking Good Enough.”

And (forgive this ranting sidebar) how one would lay into the packaging department! “Nowhere near Fucking Good Enough. I’m not enjoying opening this. It’s clumsy, dumb and contemptuous. I’m in product-opening hell. Not Fucking Good Enough.”

Oh, yes Stephen. That’s all very well, but you try being a CEO in the real world of share prices and financial officers. Bullshit. Any CEO who hides behind his shareholders isn’t worthy of their job: I’ve met enough business leaders to know that the good ones lead, they don’t follow. Isn’t that kind of what ‘leader’ means? I seem to be straying. But it’s all relevant really and it all needs saying again and again. Managers, corporates, finance people, executives in tech companies – they all need to understand for the sake of their pride and happiness as much as their success, this simple rule: ‘That’ll do’ won’t do. ‘That’s good enough’ is never good enough.”

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Mobile: Pomegranatephone, Somebody Else’s Phone

Strange and vaguely annoying “viral” for Nova Scotia. That said, I’d rather this than a vaguely annoying TV ad …


Somebody Else’s Phone – My Phone Knows Everything About Me
Nokia, it appears, has our number, launching a voyeuristic campaign through Wieden + Kennedy London that appeals to us like the nosy weasels we are. The campaign gives you the chance to flick through someone’s phone, including text messages, personal contacts, diary entries, photos, voicemails and private video clips, demonstrating just how central our mobiles have become to our ability to function as well as how hard opportunities like that are to pass up.