PopVox is the peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s choice awards held during Vancouver Digital Week. The PopVox Awards recognizes all major sectors of the digital media industry and celebrates its creativity, talent, and achievements. Creators submit their projects and the people vote online for their favorites.
The first time I saw an LCD display built into the back seat of a taxi cab, it was last New Years Eve in Mahattan. It mostly ran advertising, with intermittent weather reports and news clips. At the time, I wondered how long it would be before I saw them in BC. The answer, it turns out, is about four months.
This latest intrusion was in the back seat of a Vancouver Taxi cab. The company that offers them is Moving Media Group, a Vancouver-based company that specializes in digital screens in cabs. The screens have apparently been in operation since last November.
In my taxi, the screen replaced the headrest on the passenger side front seat. The unit is actually surprisingly thick (here’s a side view), and with the seat reclined, the screen really imposed itself on my field of view. In New York, the display was built into the back of the cab’s front bench seat. Its commercials had audio, which (thus far, at least) my Vancouver cab didn’t. As in New York, the content seemed like it was mostly advertising combined ‘breaking news’ headlines and weather updates.
Dumb Display Ads
Does anybody not find this development totally egregious? In an age where marketers and media companies are re-evaluating the fundamental efficacy of ‘dumb’ display ads, why introduce yet another distraction engine into the consumer’s view? Does the Moving Media Group imagine that we don’t yet have enough commercials and advertisements in our daily life?
Besides, I’m already paying the driver to take me from Point A to B. I’m not paying for the privilege of watching ads for the balance of my journey.
A couple of years ago I went to the bathroom in a pub. Stepping up to the urinal, I looked up to see a video display showing a beer commercial. Increasingly, we’re ceding space to useless, ineffectual advertising. This trend is particularly offensive where, in places like pubs, hockey arenas and taxis, we’re already paying for a service. Shouldn’t we be able to enjoy the experience of, say, riding in a cab or micturating without the intrusion of a commercial?
I touched the screen (I know, kind of gross, no?) only once. Following instructions, I touched the “Touch for Menu” button at the bottom of the screen. And I apparently broke the thing:
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a descendant of the McLeans. Emilie Delphine Robb of New York granted Zavikon to Andrew McLean of Passaic, New Jersey on June 27, 1918. Andrew was a cotton goods manufacturer. He died in March 26, 1931. His property was then divided among his children. On August 22, 1931 they sold Zavikon to Philip A. Castner of Philadelphia. The Great Depression caused the McLeans to end the familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s business and sell Zavikon!
I’m always pleased when something on this site enables a little connection like this that didn’t exist before.
I tried to write this post a couple of times, but faltered. So, I figured I’d try to articulate myself using video. The result, I’m afraid, is really no better. Remember–that’s four minutes of your life you can’t have back.
Building on what I ramble about in the video, consider the example of somebody receiving 1000 tweets a day. Let’s imagine that they actually read 200 of those. The other 800 just float by in the endless Twitter river while they’re working, interacting with other humans and so forth.
If each person in their Twitter network posts 10 times per day, then, on average, 2 out of 10 of each person’s tweets get seen.
Now imagine that the size of the average network doubles, to 200. That means 2000 tweets a day. The user still only sees an average of 200, so only 1 out of 10 tweets get seen.
Everything increases but our attention bandwidth. Is there some kind of threshold where the river o’ Twitter becomes too diluted? If the average follower count continues to go up, will we someday rely almost exclusively on DMs and @ messages? Or, as I speculate about in the video, will we just get better at filtering and personalization?
At BarCamp last month, Julie and I shot video of a bunch of people answering that question for DreamBank. If you’re in and around the Vancouver tech scene, you’ll probably recognize a few people in this video:
As you no doubt know, there’s been a great deal of online buzz about the Large Hadron Collider, and how they recently flipped the big on switch. My physics career ended at grade 12, so I really had no idea–aside from some PR-powered notions about the origins of the universe–what the LHC was for. Then I watched Brian Cox’s TED talk, and things became much clearer:
I should mention, in passing, that the ‘Large Hadron Collider’ is yet another example of poor naming. It’s what happens, in my experience, when the scientific or engineering term sticks and gets used by the general public. Other recent examples are ‘global warming’ and ‘network neutrality’. The names of things matter. It would be easier to get people to care if ‘network neutrality’ was commonly known as ‘network discrimination’ or even ‘network prejudice’. I can’t think of a better name for the LHC, but I’m pretty sure one exists.
We spent a couple of hours with John walking through the house, discussing various room arrangements, orientations and finishes. Because SketchUp is free, we were able to also spend time at our leisure, mulling over options. Still, we’re probably 85% there. There’s a few changes we’d like made–the removal of a balcony, the re-arranging of a room–but the house’s essence is there. Of course, the practical realities of spiraling costs will no doubt change what gets built. For now, though, we’re pretty happy with John’s work.
We wanted to solicit feedback and suggestions from far and wide, so we made this little 8-minute video walkthrough of the 3-D model. We’re not very good at video editing, narrating or Google SketchUp, so please tolerate the rough edges. I meant to mention in the video that the property is 3.5 acres, and the 3-D model only renders the building site itself.
For those non-gamers who get motion sickness from my dodgy SketchUp work, here are some screen captures that show a few views of the house. They’re quite larger, but you can see smaller versions in this Flickr photo set.
Get Your War On is a series of red-ink comic strips about post-9/11 America, and an important voice of satire and reason in an unreasonable world. And now they’ve gone all stop-motion on us. Here’s the first episode (er, rated M for language):
Is there a name for this style of animation, where an artist draws (or uses some clever video editing tricks to appear to draw) over live video to achieve a very realistic style of character movement?