The Life of Bryan (Bryan Rieger)

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Updated: 11 years 24 weeks ago

Digital Lifestyle-esque

May 9, 2005 - 4:39am

[WARNING] Bit of a winding, half-baked rant ahead.

I’m always amazed at the mobile and web projects coming out of Asia these days – this is stuff that would typically never stand a chance in North America, but has a huge global market potential. A few years ago everyone kept telling me it was just Japan (pity), however apparently Korea has also become a hot-bed of activity these days (I would also argue to include Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – but the numbers aren’t as impressive). Marc has a dug up a great example with Cyworld – his post discusses the community and economy that has sprung up from this virtual lifestyle service. Then look at what the Korea Culture and Content Agency is doing to encourage and promote Korean cultural businesses throughout the world, and the (largely undocumented) fact that Studio B is now producing a show for a Korean company (discovered this tidbit at a recent Vancouver job fair). It wasn’t that long ago that many North American companies were looking to reduce production costs by outsourcing to Asia. Now companies like Cyworld are making $200K per day with users numbered in the millions, while one mobile/digital lifestyle company that I recently spoke with in Vancouver mentioned they had 12k users in 6 months – and were now trying to find ways to monetise their product.

Somewhat related, Richard Leggett from the UK has created The Wild. He’s posted a little info on the prototype project and already some ideas for the future. He’s aiming it toward the Asian market, but I can’t help feeling that his target should be ‘global’ – personally I’m finding I generally prefer Asian and European content over that produced in North America as it tends to be less violent, more thoughtful and definitely more approachable than NA offerings. And to be brutally honest, titles such as Atkins 2Go, or BabySitter 2Go from the likes of Digital Chocolate are definitely not pushing any new ground. And I would immediately welcome the opportunity to replace 90% of my western content (audio, video, games, etc.) with offerings from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

After years of waiting for Disney to spoon feed us Miyazaki films I recently gave up and purchased a complete set of non-region blocked DVD’s from Malaysia. In addition, while browsing stores in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore I’ve found tons of great movies, artists and games from over the world. Titles we simply cannot find (easily and without a high premium) in North America, and are simply too wonderful to miss.

Basically, what I’m saying is this…my (digital) lifestyle is global, my media is global, and my community is global. Companies that understand how to operate openly in a global marketplace are going to win my business without a doubt. Those however, that continue to operate using traditional ‘walled gardens’ (DRM technologies, regional availability, regional pricing, etc.) I suspect will soon find their audiences looking for better options.

So, what exactly will be in Longhorn?

April 28, 2005 - 4:39am

I spent a few minutes reading about the rave reviews of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger this morning – lots of interesting stuff happening there. But then, not two minutes later I read that Microsoft has yet again scaled back Longhornin this case Palladium. Scaling back Longhorn seems to be a recurring trend.

I’m getting the feeling that the only new thing to ship with Longhorn will eventually be Internet Explorer 7. Seeing as I’m using Firefox there’s definitely no incentive for me to upgrade – but I do have to admit that OS X is looking quite attractive these days.

When Marketing Gets Desperate...

April 27, 2005 - 4:39am

On my way downtown today I passed by a very lonely fellow dressed in a Blackberry suit outside the Pacific Cellular/Rogers store on Pender Street. Not really sure who thought this was a great marketing idea as most people walking by seemed to try their very best to avoid talking or shaking hands with the animated device. Perhaps if they could have checked their email or made a call with an actual demo device they would have been more inclined to stop.

Maybe it’s just me, but a guy in a gadget suit really isn’t going to entice me to enter the store – let alone part with my cash.

BTW - the Thai's have a great way of enticing people in - dancing girls in go-go boots and short skirts! Steph and I used to get a kick out of watching any marketing event in Bangkok, as any product was fair game - including mobile phones, colleges and tampons!

Open Source Aquisitions?

April 26, 2005 - 4:38am
Interesting article about a possibility that I’ve never really considered before – can an open source project actually be acquired and what does that mean for the community using it?

OpenLaszlo 3 Released

April 26, 2005 - 4:38am

Not really going to comment to much – my opinions of Laszlo are easily found. Lots of new stuff in this release including:

  • SOLO (Standalone Open Laszlo Output) – create standalone files that can be used with any web server and don’t require a J2EE app server.

  • Unicode support

  • Drawing API

  • Dynamic Libraries

  • Flash Player v6/v7 support

  • Resizable canvases

  • Interception of the browser ‘back’ button with a Laszlo app



Laszlo + PrimalScript

April 22, 2005 - 4:38am

Over the past few days I’ve started working on a little OpenLaszlo application – nothing fancy, just getting my feet wet in the 3.0rc1 release. One thing that’s been driving me absolutely batty is the editor/IDE dilemma. Now Laszlo Systems does have a guide to Editing LZX Source Files but I’m not crazy about Emacs or VIM, I don’t own IntelliJ and as for Eclipse… Well, I used to really like it, but it does seem to be getting a little bloated as of late. Of course IBM did make a nice little IDE4Laszlo plug-in for Eclipse but it doesn’t work with the 3.0 releases yet. I even tried XMLSPY and Dreamweaver but the Laszlo LZX DTD kept giving me validation errors. All I wanted was to be able to write XML + JavaScript with syntax highlighting and some form of ‘intellisense’ so I didn’t have to refer to the docs all the time.

Then I remembered my fave little ActionScript IDE/editor – PrimalScript. I thought I should be able to hack together something based on the existing language files, but after an hour or so of experimenting I gave up and fired off an email to support. Amazingly after couple of emails back and forth with Alexander Riedel of Sapien I had a slightly tweaked LZX DTD that would do exactly what I wanted within PrimalScript.

Anyway, if you use (or want to try) PrimalScript for editing Laszlo LZX docs here’s some info to get you going:

Download and copy this tweaked dtd to the xml folder under your PrimalScript installation folder.
If you don't have an xml folder there you should upgrade to the latest build first.

Then go to Tools - Options - Environment - Langauges
Select XML and add ;LZX to the extension list.
Close PrimalScript and start it again.
You should get PrimalSense for the tags and attributes.
As for the embedded JavaScript – that’s a bit more work for the Sapien guys. Maybe in a future release?

Again, just wanted to thank Alex at Sapien for all of his help.

Now, time to get back to some actual work.

Opera's CEO will swim from Norway to the USA

April 22, 2005 - 4:37am


An overly excited Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software, today proclaimed at an internal company meeting that if the download numbers of the new Opera 8 Web browser reach 1 million within the first four days of the launch, he will swim from Norway to the USA with only one stop-over for a cup of hot chocolate at his mother's house in his home country, Iceland.

Download Opera

Press Release | SlashDot Thread