Unlearn English with Zlango

Zlango has received $12M funding from Accel Partners (fyi, the facebook investors) and Benchmark Capital. The service they provide is a text-to-icon translation service. I see it having immense impact among the IM users of ages 10-16 , also regarded as the next generation of kids who already are struggling with their English writing. Zlango, if successful, will eradicate the use of english over the web. We will enter the Web Version of the Caveman Era.

Here’s a horrible peek into the future, with the Adam and Eve story from the Zlango site.

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I think its a ridiculous idea. I already dislike people who use too much icons to talk in IM, why the hell do I want more? Did I tell you this site was created by the Israelis? Man, I should emigrate there, my fart could probably be the next bio-fuel to solve the world’s problems. 😉

Wkend Roundup: iPod is so Passe

While the blogosphere continues hyperventilating over the iPhone, some sensible folks always exist.

1. Get rid of your old Pod

This guy wants to make sure his new love for the iPhone will be undiluted by his love for his old iPod.

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I am kidding. This “sensible” guy is actually from Blendtec. Cleverly disguising a shameless plug for their new blender product, they have come up with a super-simple idea to market their blenders – blend everything possible and put it on the web.

They might have tried the iPod here, but they also tried a crowbar, Barbie dolls among everything else. Click on the pic above to find out what else they blended.

Hmm, what happens if you are unimpressed by the hype over iPhone, like the Japanese who think buying music over the Internet also is so passe when they can use their phones to buy tickets, watch live TV and swipe it to enter stadiums to watch games, scan bar codes to get discounts?

2. Why iPhone? Buy iEverythingElse. 

The answer might come from Google. Specifically their ultra top-secret Black Ops Directorate. They have created the iEverything Else aka the iEE. Sick of just calling, watching video and listening to music or surfing the web on your phone? Then you should click here.

After Gore, Another “Internet Guru” Ted Stevens Muses about the Internet

Washington DC always thinks they know best. Even the tech sector. After Gore proudly proclaimed his role in “inventing” the Internet in 1999 on CNN, we have a new Internet guru in the form of Senator Ted Stevens who continues to expand on Gore’s good work and derive new theories to think about the web. Now, the Capitol Hill debate and decisions over Net Neutrality is really getting out of hand.

By the way, Ted is the head of the Senate Commerce Committee who’s supposed to regulate the e-commerce, and by association, the Internet. His knowledge of the Internet, no matter metaphorical or not, is simply astonishing, to say the least.

Ok, lets be fair here. The above comments were taken out of context by Jon Stewart. You can check out his hilarious takes via the 2 Youtube videos below:

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But lets get serious and understand the context of Ted’s revelatory comments.

(Source: Wired Magazine) Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) explained why he voted against the amendment and gave an amazing primer on how the internet works.

There’s one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service is now going to go through the internet* and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let’s talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren’t using it for commercial purposes.

We aren’t earning anything by going on that internet. Now I’m not saying you have to or you want to discrimnate against those people [¿]

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says “No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet”. No, I’m not finished. I want people to understand my position, I’m not going to take a lot of time. [¿]

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Seattle Post Intelligencer has a more balanced article trying to balance and explain Ted’s analogy of Internet tubes here.

Summary of it here:

Popping up on Web sites is the “DJ Ted Stevens Techno Remix,” in which audio excerpts from Stevens’ speech are set to an electronic dance beat. More recently, a file appeared on the Internet that added video to the mix.The creator of the song, Paul Holcomb, who helps run an advertising agency based in Atlanta, said the song has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.

“I think, unfortunately at Sen. Stevens’ personal expense, people see the same irony that we saw when we created the file,” Holcomb said. “I thought it was ironic that a person such as him, someone who has such an influential vote, wasn’t able to articulate the nuances at a basic level of how the Internet works.”

A spokesman for Stevens declined to be interviewed. Commerce Committee staff director Lisa Sutherland said in a statement that Stevens has a deep understanding of the technical, legal and economic aspects of new technology.

“Yes, a few bloggers are going after him because he used the word `tubes’ instead of “`pipes’ – but when you look at the body of his work and how he has crafted a bill that will not only serve Alaska, but the nation, I think the final product speaks for itself,” Sutherland said.

For more Youtube mashups and remixes of Ted Steven’s famous speech above, check out this really catchy video mashup of tubes, 1960’s computer mainframes, techno music overlaid on Ted’s speech. Or how about Ted Stevens + Nas + OutKast + Trippy Shite? You can hear his entire speech where he ranted on and on rabidly as if he had a war agenda on his ISP.

But seriously, Ted Steven’s 82. He’s also the guy who tried to spend $223 million for the “bridge to nowhere” that would link Ketchikan, Alaska, and its airport on Gravina Island, population 50.

Whats the wisdom of getting an 82-year-old more familiar with the Industrial Revolution try to grasp the intricacies and sophistication of the Digital Revolution? Yea, his status might indicate intelligence, experience or plain manipulation through his special interest backers, but maybe he should stick to his turf slipping in little amendments for oil drilling in the Alaskan Reserve in defense bills, STFU, and stop his meddling in MY Generation.

Guns, Alcohol and Murder (Almost) –Dick Cheney Hunting Chronicles 2006

Truly, these Republicans sure know how to stir shit up, they are done shooting them up in Afghanistan and Iraq, almost complete racking up huge debts on the National Treasury to pay for their extravagant armies, and now with not much spare cash for another war, Dick Cheney, resident hawk in the Administration, couldn’t bear the lull and decided to shoot his friend. lolz…

This one was quirkily funny. He mistakes a human for quail. Jon Stewart got all the comdeic elements of this covered though…

I love the reference in the video by Rob Corddry of the similarities in the hunting misfire incident to the Admin’s policies on terrorism. These guys always take aim and shoot at the wrong target. Afghanistan was fine, Iraq? hallo?? anyone still rem where the WMDs are?

Another gem in a line of comedic drama to come from the greatest country’s government on Earth. These guys are on a roll, and just can’t stop being making fools out of themselves.

In a new peek into the weekend hunting activities of Dick, he mistakes his hunting buddy for a quail. Apparently, he drank beer too before his hunting trip. No big deal, just a small fact that this guy just had multiple heart operations before.

PR Disaster

So it seems that the communications strategy for this mishap took 18 hrs or more before the press and world media were properly let in on the details. Read more on the media clampdown here. Why, you might ask, for all the fancy gadgetry and well-oiled PR machinery of the White House, they had to take such a long time to reveal details of this incident that happened to the 2nd most powerful person in America? Did they have somethign to hide there? Huffington Post has a theory that since beer takes time to cleanse from the human system, the long time delay was quick thinking by the Veep’s men on damage control to avoid embarrassing tests.

Lets also not ignore the fact the Vice-President actually thought it appropriate for Katharine Armstrong, a private citizen and also a ranchowner of the hunting ground, to be the first person to break the news to a local paper.

Found this off another blog:

Hunting party included Vice President + U.S. ambassador to Switzerland + American lobbyist for vaccine company in Switzerland + big fat Republican lawyer, and took place on the ranch of the American lobbyist for the vaccine company in Switzerland who also happens to be a huge Republican contributor.

Technorati Tags: Dick Cheney, hunting, Jon Stewart

ScreenHead — The Web’s Answer to Comedy Central?

Another blog from Gawker Media – the guys who gave us Gizmodo, Wonkette, ValleyWag and are competing head to head with WeblogsInc (WBI) for domination of the web-publishing sector. Personally, I like the philosophy and see immense potential for such a blog network to disrupt the offline magazine publising sector. Reader-attention/ eyeballs are shifting from offline to the web without a corresponding shift in terms of advertising dollars. That is bound to happen as companies like WBI and Gawker improve content and develop a model that harness the advantages of web-mased media presentation platforms such as vsocial.com and youtube.com to present an interactive media-reading experience for their audience.

I still remember talking to a friend from Columbia during my time in Berkeley attending the PlayConference last year. He flew from the East Coast, (says he came specfically for this event but i didn’t really buy that) and simply loved the fact there was so much disruptive innovation for web and media startups in the Bay Area. He wanted to create his own Next-Generation Movie Studio creating straight-to-internet video content leveraging on lowered movie-making gadgetry and advanced software that made editing and producing much cheaper. How he intends to find the acting talent to do so at shoestring budgets remains unknown to me but it surely sounds exciting! After all, magazines can never carry more than photos and text but on the web, u can carry much more than that and deliver a whole new experience.

Localizing that, how can I create my own web media publishing enterprise? I believe the market here is under-developed for this new content publishing model. But the money is there and advertisers around the world are always looking for bang in their buck. As awareness, understanding and recognition of such new marketing channels take off, I must ensure I am ready to ride this wave/ tsunami when it comes. Are you a content creator, budding movie-maker or have i struck a chord with your brainwaves? Drop me a mail at lee.bjorn@gmail.com if you concur with my thoughts. =)

Technorati Tags: Gawker, screenhead, gizmodo, wonkette, valleywag, web publishing, nick denton, weblogsinc