Caine’s Arcade

April 13, 2012

What an amazing kid! which games company is going to snap him up?

I love the calculator authentication bit…

The Fun Pass is an awesome deal!

 


The Web won’t make you more creative, but it can certainly help!

July 5, 2011


It’s an odd fact of the marketing industry, that as you climb up through the ranks as a creative in agencies, you do less and less actual creative work. In fact your reward for progressing by demonstrating you creative prowess is,  the company makes you ultimately responsible for a whole load of activities that 1: you’ve never done before, and 2:That couldn’t be further removed from a creatives’ skill set than feasibly imaginable. Usually taking the form of a whole load admin, and often people management. That figures 😦 They can draw! (well scribble) Of course they can write a years performance plan for the rest of the creatives’ in the company.

Read the rest of this entry »


Will it go dot.mum? (the real adnews article)

November 25, 2010

A new phrase has entered the building – dot.mum. It was blurted out (as these things normally are) in a creative brainstorm the other day, ‘I like it, it’s a great idea, but will it go dot .mum?’.

At the time, it came out as shorthand for ‘the mainstream’. The incomplete thesis behind the mumbling was once you’ve gone dot.com you then need to go dot.mum, which means you’ve pretty much got yourself into every household (pretty much – an incomplete thesis as I said).

As the presumed ruler of the household purse, Mums have long been the targets of some pretty one-dimensional strategies (we’ve all seen it before in this industry; food = fear, toilets = pride, etc) and, of course, the terrible advertising that accompanies it. There is a lot more to dot.mum than meets the eye though (now that I’ve actually bothered to explore my mind fart) the truth of the matter is that actually dot.mums are changing the nature of what the mainstream is.

The Entertainment Association of Australia quietly released a study last month which predicts mums are set to overtake teenage boys as the new gamers (ask anyone at Facebook and they’ll tell you they’ve already seen it happen). Their study shows that 46 per cent of the Australia’s gamers are now female, with the average age 30 years.

While we’re fighting some female marketing stereotypes, I’d like to include a side point of clarification here: In the same way that mums aren’t fear-driven, pride-seeking, FMCG buying machines, when women play games they do not necessarily want teddy bears and shopping apps.

A study undertaken in 2006 by the Australian Catholic Univeristy no less (their misspelling not mine… Given this, perhaps we should view all results as indicative at this stage) found that female gamers find mental stimulation, creativity, interesting story lines and superior graphics more important than anything else (more important than dolphins and flowers for example).

Once you’ve put your copy of Ad News down go and check your analytics for some genuine insight. When we launched our paper plane game (check it out – it’s fun) we found out that the majority of the users where female (55%) and since then we’ve taken specific learnings into a number of campaigns. One implication is the fracturing of engagement (mum’s are very busy people) so we need to make any content bite sized, flexible and something they really want to return to.

Make no mistake the dot.mum phenomena has its downside. Is something still cool if it has gone dot.mum? Just ask Dido. And then there is the question of where dot.mum finishes? Once the chick chick boom girl appeared on sunrise her cache evaporated. So where does Sunrise fit and should we include Sunrise in our media plans for dot.mums? That really is the stuff of sleepless nights.

So guess what, games are increasingly a mass marketing channel and women aren’t idiots. No, there is much more to it than that. Going dot.mum is important, it is the future of the mainstream, a future mainstream we must connect with and, in order to do so, ultimately understand. If we can’t get that far let’s at least make sure we don’t fall back on some of those bad marketing assumptions.

Now you’ve read this rubbish, go and check out some serious gamer girls here – girlgamers.com.au, thumbbandits.com or womengamers.com (the latter of which is now 11 years old btw).

Ben Hourahine is Strategy Director at Amnesia Razorfish – @benhourahine

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Published in Adnews – ‘Dot.mum is the new mainstream’ – 19.11.10

This is the original version before the re-edit, my name is also spelled correctly here too 😉

 

Once you’ve put your copy of Ad News down go and check your analytics for some genuine insight. When we launched our paper plane game (check it out – it’s fun) we found out that the majority of the users where female (55%) and since then we’ve taken specific learnings into a number of campaigns. One implication is the fracturing of engagement (mum’s are very busy people) so we need to make any content bite sized, flexible and something they really want to return to.


Web Vigilantes being banned from social media sites.

November 17, 2010

Cyber crime and Twitter scams make good headlines but somewhere underground there are a few concerned citizens that take a vigilante approach to dealing with these scammers and fraudsters. For instance http://www.419eater.com/ bait scammers using highly creative methods to engage Nigerian conmen, waste their time and then attempt expose them. There’s also the Salty droid who names and shames would-be conmen who utilize Twitter and other channels to exploit consumers. But it turns out that life of a digital freedom fighter is not easy.

imageHere’s the problem : Many scams consist of intelligent, organised individuals and groups. They syndicate and they collaborate, and they actively wage a reverse war on the people trying to expose them. Ironically scammers are using the same processes created to report spammers to shut down the people trying to expose them.

Sadly YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo accounts etc belonging to web vigilantes trying to alert people to scams are being shut down faster than than those belonging to the scammers. How do I know this?  Read on:

The Sad Story of the SaltyDroid

imageI’m not sure how I first came across the Droid on Twitter but I became interested in the Droid’s outspoken ‘attacks’ on certain individuals. Some of the people it was targeting had HUGE followings on Twitter, some with high profiles and. SaltyDroid had no qualms in confronting them directly in public view and alerting other users. I have no reason to doubt that SaltyDroid’s only purpose was to expose people it believed were engaged in unethical practices (such as this one which was exposed). 

I noticed a few months ago that SaltyDroid (which had a few thousand Twitter followers) just ‘vanished’. The blog was still alive and kicking so I wrote an email to find out what the story.

Me: “What happened? Where did your accounts go?”

Salty Droid: “I lost. I’m basically banned from the Internet.  Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Bluehost, Youtube, etc. Everywhere I go the scammers file false complaints and horrific lies about me.  The web companies all default to caving in and banning you rather than risking "trouble".  Most of them, and especially Twitter, do it with zero notice, process, or chance to respond. It says sad things about the state of free speech on the all important fringes … IMO.

I don’t have time to fight the web companies and the scammers … so I just gave up on the web companies.  I’m on a special free speech server where some really great people take special care of me … and otherwise I’m silenced.

And the Twitter bannings are not as bad as the death threats, the private investigators, the plots against my personal life, etc.”

image 

The Droid also let me know that although he began his pursuit anonymously it wasn’t long before a syndicate of scammers found him at which point the he decided it would be safer to unmask the droid. Revealing himself as a lawyer it  gives the whole saga an even bigger sense of irony.

In summary, it’s easier for a scammer to have a web vigilante shut down than vice versa. The Droid is now absent from all social networks and yet the people being named in his blog continue to tweet freely etc. In an age where consumers are able to interact so easily with anyone from close friends to complete strangers there is no easy and quick way of distributing warning messages to others in the case of genuine scams. That’s a service SaltyDroid was attempting to provide before being shut down in social media circles. The internet at present sometimes appears lawless and wide open territory for the scammers, and the presence of government and local authority is limited, and at best slow moving. I’m not condoning Salty droids methods or even agreeing with all his posts but freedom of speech is important so I certainly don’t want to see people prepared to take on these issues disappear especially with the bad guys roaming free so easily.

Beware wolves in birds clothing: Currently I know of one major Twitter account belonging to a convicted spammer in Australia with close to 100,000 followers. This person appears free to be able to act on Twitter regardless of their history. Sadly the only way you are likely to hear the name of this person is via someone like SaltyDroid.

What can you do?
1. Send this link on to people in the industry.

2. Copy and paste this story – reproduce it in your own blog.

3. Help Re-activate or read the Saltydroid: If you know someone who works in Twitter or Facebook etc ask them to reinstate the banned SaltyDroid accounts eg:  http://twitter.com/saltydroid

4. Support freedom of speech but don’t be a web vigilante. Salty Droid is a lawyer in real life and is better equipped to deal with bad people on the internet. Report web crime here:
http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx – USA
https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/reportascam/ – Australia
http://www.met.police.uk/fraudalert/ – UK

image

Above: Clearly Charles Bronson wouldn’t have lasted long in Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers,

@eunmac

Disclaimer to be quite clear: The opinion above is that of the author only and does not represent the views of Amnesia Razorfish etc.


Mini get-away: Virtual reality game from Stockholm

October 29, 2010

I love this game. The rules are simple but the game is not easy. You download the iphone app. Find the virtual mini and you ‘take’ it if you get within 50 metres of it. Then comes the tricky bit … you have to keep other players from taking the mini from you. Keep hold of it and you win a real life mini. Nice.

Watch this space for mash-ups from every agency going 🙂

From here

@handypearce

 


Project launch: The Fresh Start Project

October 6, 2010

“We wanna make this digital” is the cry of many a client when they enter their ‘digital’ agency with a shiny new TVC and poster under their arm. Too many agencies will take a client’s TVC (and money) and make it ‘digital’ simply by putting a browser around it or sending it’s animated cousin off to Double Click.

I’m proud to say that’s not what we do here at Amnesia Razorfish. When our client, realestate.com.au, shared their really nice ATL spring campaign with us, we got really fired-up by the challenge of making this campaign come to life in the digital space. We didn’t want to simply TELL consumers that realestate.com.au helps give people a fresh start, we wanted to actually GIVE someone a fresh start. Some one that really needed a fresh start.

Say hello to The Fresh Start Project from realestate.com.au.  The aim of the campaign is simple. Build a a new home, for a family in need, through people’s use of realestate.com.au. As users interact with realestate.com.au they collect ‘bricks’ which they can donate to the 1 million brick target. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity Australia, the house will be built. There’s no augmented or virtual reality here. Sure – it won’t cause world peace, but it will make a real difference to a real family in real need. And that’s why I love this project so much. Hope you do too.

Visit the site >

Read the rest of this entry »


Have you ever wondered what a tree would say if it could talk?

September 30, 2010

… no.

Today I feel ashamed of the the industry in which I work. Although I love this idea and the experimental spirit of the project, it somehow feels wrong. Is nothing safe from the internet? Leave the trees alone is what I say.

@handypearce


Louis C.K. reminds us

July 28, 2010

So you may have already seen this, but one of my favourite comedians, Louis C.K. reminds us just how far technology has come.

It might also make some of us think twice before having a whinge when our wi-fi device doesn’t pick up a signal for a few seconds.

Louis C.K.’s slightly autobiographical show Louie is currently on FX and it’s hilarious. (but it’s also NSFW, depending on where you W)


Sony NEX-5 … “Want that one”

July 1, 2010

image

 

Nex-3 and the Nex-5 both look amazing, sound amazing and hopefully they take amazing shots. Here’s the lowdown:

DSLR-style quality and shooting responses: compact and easy to use with interchangeable lenses.14.2 megapixels Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, HD 1080i movie, 7.5cm LCD, Sweep Panorama. 16mm lens.

Does anyone own one? Anyone from Sony want to send me one to test?

@handypearce


The Speed Camera Lottery

July 1, 2010

The Cannes award winning VW Fun Theory set a competition to come-up with cool ways to make boring things more fun. Here’s the winner

@handypearce


Goggles with built-in GPS

February 17, 2010

With the Winter Olympics underway, I thought I would post something fitting. Whether you’re into snowboarding or not, these goggles are pretty cool. The head mounted display gives you a load of information and will tell you how to get to the nearest bar (hopefully). Check them out here

image

@handypearce


Pepsi powered mobile phone

January 22, 2010

image

My iphone ran out of battery last night … pesky thing. I’m too impatient to wait and see if Steve has a solution to this problem so I started searching. Anyway, I stumbled across this piece of innovation: a phone that runs on pepsi … well any fizzy pop.

This little beauty is made possible thanks to a bio battery:

Bio battery has the potential to operate three to four times longer on a single charge than conventional lithium batteries and it could be fully biodegradable. Meanwhile, it brings a whole new perception to batteries and afternoon tea.

Genius. More here

@handypearce


Freedom furniture ad

September 17, 2009

Not sure if this ad from M&C Saatchi has aired yet, but it made me laugh.

via

@handypearce


Worksnug

September 17, 2009

A great little augmented reality app for the iphone 3Gs that points you to the nearest and best places to work.

image 
Launches in London soon, then San Fran. Expected to be a global service by late 2009.

See more

Via

@handypearce


Bodysurf.com.au – niche photo exhibition

July 17, 2009

These photos submitted by visitors to bodysurf.com.au capture the excitement, beauty and simple pleasure of going for a bash in the waves.

image

image

image

Love it. @iclazie


That tourist snap you don’t need to take

July 7, 2009

Have you ever stood in the exact spot that millions have stood before taking the exact photo of the exact view that millions have taken before I wondered “why am I doing this?”

I have taken this shot* of the Sydney Harbour Bridge…

image

…and this shot* of the Taj Mahal…

image

…but last year I specifically did not take this shot* of Hong Kong from the Peak because I realised I could just Google it later.

image

Does this make me lazy or just practical? 🙂

*These layered images were grabbed from Flickr and put together in Photoshop. Each is a composite of about 5 images taken from the same location by different people.

@iclazie


Xbox 360 Project Natal – Body sensing controller. Potential Wii beater?

June 2, 2009

Having worked on the Xbox account for 5-6 years and being part of Microsoft you’d probably expect we knew all about this. Nope! They kept this one under tight wraps and surprised the lot of us today. Of course there have been rumours on the web, but the fact is we did not expect to get an announcement this exciting! Most expected a ‘me too’ Wii catchup controller – but instead we have something truly groundbreaking.

Project Natal

What is it? Best to watch the videos, but in summary the hardware is a new breed of sensor for the Xbox 360 that can recognise a persons body movement accurately within a 3D space, full facial recognition and voice – without a controller. The potential is amazing… just watch. We understand that all the footage shot are real demos. Nothing canned.

The Ad: When Microsoft figures out how to make a decent ad, the competition will be in trouble – it’s the only thing we didn’t like.

Meet Milo – the virtual boy. (below)

Painting Demo

The ‘Sensor’ that lives under your telly:
image

More juicy videos and gossip from the rather raw Xbox staff blog at www.insiderx.com


NikePlus Race for unfit Twitter Users…

May 13, 2009

You know it makes sense… All that tweeting isn’t shaving any cm off the love-handles is it? OK, this is just a bit of fun… but at the same time if you can run 5km you’ll probably feel a bit better no matter what the time!

image

The Rules:
– 1 month – finishes on 14 June
– Open to all people who are unfit and on Twitter.
– No Treadmills – get outside!
– Open to international
– 1st Prize = Pride!

Instructions
– You’ll need an ipod/nano/touch and a Nike+ Sensor (they cost about AU$30)
– The challenge is here – you just need to sign in. 
http://nikeplus.nike.com/nikeplus/?l=all_challenges,2935985
– Use #5km as the twitter hashtag 🙂

New to NikePlus? 
Check it! You get to look at cool charts and stats and see how unfit you really are!

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Who is Fake Stephen Conroy? Full list of Suspects.

March 9, 2009

This week the “REAL” Politician, Senator Stephen Conroy acknowledged the “FAKE” Stephen Conroy (http://twitter.com/stephenconroy) via (article on SMH) as “healthy satire” so we thought we would start the cheeky hunt for the person behind the mask. We don’t really want the person ‘outed’ per se as it’s much more fun not knowing, but below is the list of 25 suspects to date:

image Name: Fake Stephen Conroy
Location: Canberra
Bio: I’m a 45 year old politician who’ll do anything to please you, baby. Don’t worry girl, I gots “protection”, and it’ll degrade my performance all night

Firstly, let us pay homage to the Fake Stephen (FSC). He’s actually pretty funny, satirical and most agree that the character is very well written. So… who’s doing the writing? We suspect it’s someone who’s already active on Twitter already – ie; they have two accounts running. At time of posting FSC is only following 69 people so we suspect that the guilty person may be linked to many of these in some way. We trawled various stats, engines and monitored conversations as well as looking through the #nocleanfeed list to come up with the following suspects… 

Update : Although we did discover the real identity of Fake Stephen Conroy during the compilation of the list, we did not include him in there. Unfortunatley the attention appears to have forced his hand  and in fact FSC outed himself a few days ago as Leslie Nasser from Telstra (http://www.linkedin.com/in/leslienassar)

The Suspects behind FST (Fake Stephen Conroy):

  Suspect Modus Operandi Suspect Rating
1 image DuncanRiley
Tipsters think that Duncan is a hot candidate for FSC. That cheeky smile which looks almost identical to FSC’s may hold the key.
9/10
2 image[99]  Warlach
A serious suspect, Warlach has been around long enough to know the tricks. Known to have created fake twitter accts in the past. Is FSC his creation?
9/10
3 FullTimeCasual
A new entry on the list but a red hot suspect. His suspicious lack of a photo in his twitter avatar may mean he can slip into the darkness easily if found guilty.
9/10
4 image DHughesy
We have been informed that this infamous Aussie comedian may be practicing using FSC for some cool new comedy about Twitter. We suspect FSC’s words are too big for Hughsey, but he still makes the list.
8/10
5 image[95] BarrySaunders
Normally gets highly involved in twitter conversations but not with FSC. Makes him look like a real suspect in this case.
8/10
6 image[101]  Servantofchaos
Respected blogger and Tweeter, possesses a similar sense of humour to FSC. A prime suspect.
8/10
7 image TrevorYoung
FSC insiders say suspect is based in Melbourne. Trevor Young’s writing skills certainly fit the bill as a PR WARRIOR…
8/10
8 image[106]  Mspecht
Definite candidate for the job and big nocleanfeed enthusiast. No twitter history with FSC makes him a suspect.
7/10
9 image[114]  Turnbullmalcolm
What better way to oust the current government than being the mastermind of the FSC twitter account? Must be a suspect.
8/10
10 image Wolfcat
Should have been in the list earlier – has been active on Twitter for a while and knows the tricks.
8/10
image[115]  cameronreilly
Top 5 Tweeters according to Grader.com, long history in the interwebs and definitely would have no fear of being FSC.
8/10
image[76] JonoH
First person who FSC followed. Must be a prime suspect.
8/10
image[107]  Jimboot
One of the more active people in ‘nocleanfeed’ a hot tip to be FSC.
7/10
  image renailemay
The only published interview with FSC was conducted by the Editor of ZDNet.com.au. This makes him an instant suspect. Is this man the Peter Parker of Twitter? Hmm…
7/10
image_thumb[26] Silkcharm
She has her mitts in everything else social so makes the list by default. Very few msgs to FSC makes her a prime suspect.
7/10
image[107]  Jimboot
One of the more active people in ‘nocleanfeed’ a hot tip to be FSC.
7/10
image[109]  Trib
With a mass of followers and outspoken character, he’s conveniently located in Canberra. Is he the real FSC?
7/10
image[106]  Mspecht
Definite candidate for the job and big nocleanfeed enthusiast. No twitter history with FSC makes him a suspect.
7/10
image[127] JJprojects
With 3000+ followers, a twitter junkie, nocleanfilter advocate put JJ high on the suspect list.
6/10
image[113]  Nickhodge
Microsoft’s local pin up Twitter Star has a dry earthy wit similar to FSC. Talks to FSC a lot, but could this be a cover?
6/10
image[111]  andrew303
Known to have more than one twitter account, is Australia’s most followed person on Twitter the guilty party?
6/10
image[96] Stephen Conroy (the real one)
The perfect double bluff?
You see… he’s not on Twitter, …or is he?
6/10
image[108]  Bronwen
Describes herself as combatant, maybe FSC is Bronwen’s side project. No contact with FSC to date – is this an alibi or evidence?
6/10
image_thumb[18]  Aramadge
News.com.au reporter that may see FSC as an interesting side project for a forthcoming story.
5/10
image[86] Granleese
First person to respond to my request for information and leads about FSC. Makes him an instant suspect.
4/10
image[112]  Mpesce
One of the last remaining people with a cross on their avatar’s mouth, is this inventor the real inventor FSC?
4/10
image_thumb[21] Mumbrella
Journo Tim Burrowes loves controversy so why not create it himself? Perfect motive with timing similar to launch of his mumbrella blog. Did FSC attract a few extra visitors?
4/10
image[97]  Acatinatree
Filmmaker. Active, lots of followers. Has a sense of humour. FSC might just be a side project for her…?
4/10
image[100]  markpollard
Strategist, highly active in Twitter, His no fear cheeky sense of humour puts him on the list.
3/10
image[105] KevinRuddPM
He doesn’t use his own Twitter account too much – possibly because he’s so busy running the FSC twitter account.
3/10
image[110]  eunmac
As the author of this post, this could just be a diversionary tactic. Maybe I am FSC, or maybe not? Hmmm.
3/10
image[119] OzDJ
Came up as the first suspect when I used a Twitter tool to find similar people to FSC.
3/10
image[91]  Eskimo Sparky
Husband, Father, Political impersonator? Is an instigator of prior twitter crimes such as Velociroflcoptersaurus.
3/10
image_thumb[20] Stilgherrian
Political, outspoken, but would he send so many tweets to FSC?
3/10
image[98]  Likeomg
Social Media Advisor at Amnesia and copywriter. Would certainly possess the skills but may be too occupied by other things.
2/10
  image JoelyRighteous
Has not been posting much recently. Possibly to distracted by his FSC account?
2/10
  image Davidlmorris
Very quick to dismiss some of the suspects on the list. Is this the real FSC revealing himself inadvertently?
2/10
  image LesleyWhite
Conveniently “wishing” she was on the list may make her an outside possibility.
2/10
image[131] Julian Cole
He manages to get his name on every other list so may as well stick him in this one just in case he is FSC…
2/10
image[123] DanWarne
Another journalist for the SMH active on Twitter. Pops up on FSC’s follower list too. Is he just interested , or IS IT HIM?
2/10
image SpellrUs
Claims he should be a suspect. Always struck me as being too much of a nice guy, but you then again, those are the ones you have to watch…
2/10
image_thumb[19] ProBlogger
Too busy tweeting tips to be a real suspect, but may be a dark horse in the matter.
1/10
  image InJoke
There is no chance that InJoke is the real FSC, but they felt that it would help them with the ladies if they made the list. OK good luck with that…
0/10

Breaking Update:
Suspects were seen changing their avatars to that of Stephen Conroy’s – presumably to protect their real identity.

 image
Above: View in Tweetdeck as some of the accused changed their avatars.

If you are on the list but you strongly wish to deny that you are not fake @stephenconroy post a comment with your full denial and alibi.

If you really are fake @stephenconroy (and not on the list and would like to be, follow @eunmac on Twitter and DM a message. We will keep it a secret.)


Test Yourself: Can you tell which is a 3D image and which is Real?

February 15, 2009

The real world and virtual world are gradually blurring together. Fooling the human mind into not being able to separate these two worlds is still a challenge because our brains are pretty hard wired to spot incredibly subtle details that allow us to identify the fakes from reality, especially when computer graphics are in motion. At some point in the not too distant future it is likely that we will not be able to tell. Can we really trust what our eyes are telling us?

Spotting the difference is harder with still images. Can you tell which ones of these are real and which are fake*? Answers at the bottom or on rollover.

Take the test: Real or FAKE:
(Answers shown as you rollover image)
*Please click on the image for the original references and sources.

(1)
REAL

(2)REAL
(3)
3D FAKE

(4)
3D FAKE

(5)REAL

(6)  3D FAKE

(7)REAL

(8)
REAL

(9)3D FAKE

(10)
3D FAKE 

Want to share how well you did? – Tell us how many you got right in the comments 🙂

Select/ highlight the text between the brackets below for a summary of the answers.
[ 1,2,5,7,8 – REAL
3,4,6,9,10 – FAKE / 3D
]