Archive for May, 2006

BBC – Later – May 26th 2006

You may remember the story in the news about BBC staff making up the audiences for popular BBC shows like Top Gear, Jonathon Ross and An evening with Paul O’Grady.  Well one show that sort of went round via viral whisperings was Later…with Jools Holland, and it was to this that I went last night.
Bonkers lineup though. Crosby and Nash, Dave Gillmore, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello and…. The Streets.  (Plus some crazy Brazilian drumming band) The Green room must have felt like a retirement home. What Mike Skinner was thinking as he nodded along to Simon’s ‘Graceland’ is anyone’s guess.  Jool’s interview with Simon didn’t reveal much. Jools: Why’s it taken you 6 years to release a new album?” Simon: “Well 9/11 happened….” There was a tiny groan from people around me. But hey, he’s the envy of every Starwars fan.

Likewise his interview with Skinner, but then Jools isn’t about the probing NME style interview, he more of a ringmaster of aural blood sports.  A guy I know is in Belle & Sebastian, and he says that doing Jools is liek stepping into the gladatorial arena. Didn’t really feel like that last night, more of a aural chess match, still had a great time and was glad of the opportunity to go. I think the public performing license has come through now, so they’ll be letting ‘normal people’ back in for next weeks show.

Blurry pics on Flickr.

Technology | Yahoo homepage to get make-over

So the Yahoo redesign is nearly ready for launch. Design and stuff aside I think they’re onto a winner simple by offering a sneak preview.  Oh how I wish we could have done this on the BBC redesigns.  Why? Well it goes some way to stopping all the ‘what have you done to your homepage?’ comments that come flooding in.

In recent years we’ve taken steps to garner feedback, most notably, the dalek, flash promos and planet earth. Add to this actually inviting users to help us redesign the page in the reboot comp, and it’s a much stronger position than we were in back in 2002.

Last week I was at an away day entitled something like ‘where will be in 2009?’ (Manchester?!) It was run by the Suggs of New Media, Tom Loosemore and was an open invite to anyone BBC new media who wanted to come and talk about where we’re going / what were doing and it generated a lot of good ideas.

But back to the Yahoo! design.  It’s very light, with not much colour or tone, they’ve gone for the lightest of light blues, a few drop shadows and small images (again). It hardly represents a paradigm shift though… I’m all for evolution not revolution in homepage redesigns but this, on the surface, doesn’t seem to be much. In fact I think they’ve just swapped stylesheets with who’ve ditched their left hand nav and moved it to the top, just as Yahoo! have moved theirs from the top to the left! Heh heh.

See the face you love light up.. With LG’s Choco phone.


So the other day I received a mail of Guy at Hill and Knowlton, a PR agency, asking would I like to be an early adopter for LG’s new Chocolate phone, a.k.a KG800. I’d get one to play with, and further more, an invite to the launch bash as which Goldfrapp were playing. Well never one to turn away a canapes, I graciously accepted.

More on that later, but first the phone. First off, the box is gorgeous, not quite as good as opening an iPod, but a load better than every other pulp cardboard egg box effort. Dunno about you but I’m a big box keeper, mainly for insurance and selling on purposes. So LG have got it right with the chocolate feel, think Black Magic stylee box but far nicer. As to whether the branded one’s are the same, I’m not sure. Orange love to add their own logos and stuff on boxes.

Phone wise the touch button thing is novel. It takes a second or two to get used to, as resting a finger on the button counts as pushing it, so sometimes you over shoot. However, why read my words when you can have Coleen McLoughlin, the official face of the handset. “the black and red theme really makes this phone stand out and the touch sensitive buttons make it beautiful. All in all, the LG Chocolate phone is perfect”.

Coleen have some blurb on it, as do Gizmondo. An interesting counter point to the general girly chocolate angle is Cnet’s review, They describe it thus “he hidden touchpad that glows like an Imperial lightsaber, smooth slide mechanism and minimalist overall look, make this one of our favourite phones this year” So is it the phone the Dark Lord of the Sith would use, or is it for Coleen and Chocoholics…? Well I think LG have struck it just right on the fence. It’s no pink Razr, but I’d say slightly more feminine; no warmer, than perhaps a black Razr, but it’s sure aiming for the same fashion style market. Mind you I think Green & Blacks have done a great deal to move chocolate away from sweet brown lard in heart shaped boxes to something cool and sexy for both genders.. And now I’m talking about the sexuality of mobile phones and chocolates… enough!

Talking of sexuality, back to Goldfrapp. Launch parties eh? Doncha just luv ’em. For a second I got misty eyed for the dot com days when everything had a launch party. Bags of cash must have been thrown at this one, as Alison et all and hiring Sketch (check out the lavs!) don’t come cheap I’ll wager. It deffo got my vote for crimes against canapes however. Exhibit 1: Scallops on little plastic spoons, but served resting on little piles of sand! Food and sand don’t mix unless you’re on holiday on a beach and it’s windy, and some of the more drunker and greedier guests had sent a few flying. Exhibit 2. Tuna carpaccio and… marsh-mellow! Well inventive yes, but not sure it came off that well, Still, after short LG speech The ‘Frapp took to the stage. They kicked off with a 5 or 6 song set that was mostly lifted off Supernature, though Strict Machine was there.. is it about a vibrator or Lab mice? Who knows? Mind you I think Alison and the horsey dancing girls could read the phone book and It’d be sexy.

So in short the (boys)KG800 / (girls)Chocolate phone is a style/fashion phone, and a very pretty/stylish/sexy one if you after that sort of thing. Will I give up my K750i for it? Nah, it’s got a better camera, which is a big thing for me.

More pics on my Flickr

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
May 2006
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