Friday, March 31, 2006

Wi-Fi Radio

Just been playing with a Wi-fi radio which picks up internet radio streams from hundreds of stations around the world. Its based on Reciva technology, a start-up company from Cambridge UK. I expected it to be complex. In fact it was a question of plug and play...with a database of stations that ranges from UK to Australia. This set is the only one that has RealAudio built-in. It has a beautiful sounding speaker which makes even the narrow-band feeds sound better than AM radio. Suddenly my SW radio is obsolete.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Radio and Google Maps

While Google works out the business model for Google Maps, Heineken has come up with a neat world tour, in which you have to find a stadium for one of their live events with the help of what sounds like an old-fashioned AM tuning dial. I must fit the demographics they're after....or the person who made the game is of the same generation. I think it is rather well done.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Image Problem


Apparently, Dutch telecom KPN is working on a new image. It will all be for nothing if they don't stop complaining about a bit of fun at their expense from the Swedish company of Tele-2. Using a boxer called Small Bill, the little chap runs rings around the larger competition, especially when it comes to price. I think KPN needs to seriously look at why people are deserting their fixed network in droves, rather than spending time in court trying to stop the opposition. Judges are supposed to rule about the advert shown here on March 31st. Meanwhile, customer service from KPN? Hah! Don't get me started. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Who to trust?

Have you ever bought stocks or shares based on an analyst you saw on television, especially one of the financial channels? Me neither. Not in my wildest dreams. Knowing how "over produced" a lot of TV news can be, I find it impossible to separate the truth from spin. Having watched World space promise and fail for so long, I am therefore convinced that this MSBC story about Worldspace is pure spin. 1.2 billion dollars blown in 10 years. Under 200,000 subscribers. Sorry fellas, this is not another XM satellite radio story.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Another sort of pen being shown at CeBit in Hannover to combat RSI. Strangely, the website at is full of mistakes. Wonder if they used the thing to write their own website? I can't believe these guys will be around for long. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

View from the Hotel Room in Bergen

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Fresh Cod

  This fisherman is beheading the cod on the waterfront at Bergen. Ten minutes later these were on ice on his fish stall. They also had the most heavenly salmon I have ever tasted. I'm sure sales will rocket with the avian bird flu scare reaching this part of the world. Posted by Picasa

Great Workhorses of the 90's

 This giant purple box is still generating graphics at TV-2, but not for much longer. These computers were great in their day for generating captions and graphics for TV stations - now the PC is faster. At least Silicon Graphics had a distinctive style for the box - and a colour too. Posted by Picasa

TV2 Newsroom Bergen

  I really like the design of TV2 in Bergen. Even though the building wasn't designed as a TV station (originally a shipping warehouse), they have managed to mix old-world charm with modern technology and clever lighting. That giant LCD screen shows the other side of the newsroom in Oslo. Posted by Picasa

Big ferries and mountains

  Got the big ships in Amsterdam too...but not those mountains.. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bergen at Dusk

Great weather we're having. And they say that it is always raining here. Posted by Picasa

Satellites and Ships

  View outside TV2 in Bergen Posted by Picasa

TV2 Bergen Norway

  This is the studio complex of TV2 where I have an appointment in a few minutes. This is the main commercial network in Norway, competing with NRK, the public broadcaster. Talk about great weather, and a great location. Bergen is a historic harbour town and TV2 have built their studios down on the keys... Posted by Picasa

548 Euro to Edinburgh?

  No, 548 Norwegian crowns. Just landed in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway. BBC made an excellent series on weather (Wild Weather) and their second programme in the series begins here...apparently Bergen gets some of the heaviest rainfall in Europe. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Vatican Radios Secret iPod

Hey did you know that Vatican Radio technical staff have just given Pope Benedict XVI a brand new 2G iPod nano loaded with special Vatican Radio programming and classical music? Probably not. The copyright notice at the bottom of the "story" from the Catholic News Service warns that the material from this Washington based organisation "may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed". Why don't they want anyone to spread any of their news?? May be they need to move their strategy into the 21st century, just like Vatican Radio appears to be doing already.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Boundless Sound

  This is a perfect example of a conference which has gone on too long - and is now wrapped up in self congratulatory nostalgia. In the early days I supported such a conference of radio documentary makers, held every two years in Amsterdam in the Balie theatre. We even invited guests over from Canada and Australia. But Dutch radio has been cutting documentary budgets for radio for years - and now most are hidden away on Radio 747, the 25 million Euro network that no-one listens to. (I am not kidding - audience research in the evening consistently show a reach of 0.0. 40,000 is the peak). Because documentaries are being made to "fill airtime", there are simply too many - and the style is very old fashioned compared to what you hear in the US or UK. So, now the conference is populated by middle aged grumblers, complaining it ain't what it used to be....when you had 3 months to make a 60 minute documentary - and 3 weeks fiddling around in the studio. Get over it - those days have gone. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Great Students, Great Weather

  Part of a training session today on the effects of globalization on the media. I met a great bunch of curious students who are clearly going to be asking the right questions infront of bosses of tomorrow....and will probaby be leaders themselves the day after. Posted by Picasa

Tree Witch


That tree looks more like a witch by the side of the road this morning. Posted by Picasa

Heavy Snow today

  Trees are really full of it today! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Bluetooth Gadgets


Seems the Bluetooth headsets from Sony Ericsson are developed in Holland. I like the one in the middle, since it sits next to the ear, not plugged in to it. No word on price as yet - all second quarter 2006. I think Sony may be announcing these products too soon. Their competitors announce product which is available immediately. What you see here is months away and the retail industry people in Holland that I speak to complain it leads to disappointment when customers realise it isn't there yet. Fine for editors of magazines though with 6 week lead-times. Posted by Picasa

Cold Start to March


So where is this "coldest winter since 1963" that the weather men were promising back in September. We've had a cold snap for a few days, but it is not exactly time to get out the ice skates. I remember 1963 when the pipes in our house in the UK froze. My father used the upright vacuum cleaner on top of paraffin stove to generate warm air to thaw the system. It worked too...good job the pipes didn't burst. Posted by Picasa