Saturday, September 02, 2006

CoolHints - next take :)

CoolHints was an idea launched on this blog about cool things that companies should do to their (mostly existing) products - since the original post Apple did nothing worth mentioning but Archos have launched the 404, 504 and 604 - reviews can be seen on CNET and on PCMagazine - however they seem to still lack a decent HDD (60-80 GB is my first CoolHint for them, and the second would be CF and SD slots) and insist on neglecting the smaller Gmini XS - so I'm still waiting ... Sandisk on the other side launched the new c200 and is putting more and more pressure on Apple :) The only two suggestions for the c200 are a full SD slot instead the miniSD and a direct USB connector (so that you can use it as a thumbdrive too - in this respect the Samsung YP-U2 is superior).

Ricoh was also a small disappointment - they have announced the Caplio R5 and while it looks quite very nice the extra megapixel will be totally worthless if noise will not be improved over the R4. What they have also missed was the opportunity to also add a MP3 player as my CoolHint was suggesting - the very little available info suggests that the R5 might not even have the voice recorder from the R4 :( However Samsung knows better that you must 'stand out from the crowd' (and the market for small digicams is quite very crowded this fall) - so their new NV3 does have such a MP3 player - you can see a review here - and I can bet that Samsung will sell more of that (certainly photographically inferior) model than Ricoh will sell the R5 :(

So my CoolHints for the Ricoh R6 will be - MP3 player, focus-assist with LED/pre-flash and lower noise at high ISO. I also have a CoolHint for the Ricoh GRD2 - get a Foveon sensor - the GRD is certainly a luxury/rare item and a Foveon sensor will work on that direction (in the same way as the MP3 player will add NOTHING to the photography part of the R6 - but it will also not take away anything - yet will certainly appeal to the CONSUMER).

The final CoolHints are for ... GOOGLE :)

First of all the rather silly one - if they are so serious about scanning books why not going the next level and start scanning magazines - there are moments when I would really love to take a look at how things were looking 50 years ago - for instance you can take a look at PopularPhotography ...

And now the serious one - since Google is looking more and more like an investment fund why not actually use some of that money for something long overdue (and where a lot of small companies have failed before) - the elusive world of MICROPAYMENTS - a lot of people were writing about that starting probably with Jerry Pournelle and Dvorak but in some way Google already did a part of that - and today most of the blogs get their money from advertisers via Google - but wouldn't it be really nice to not depend exclusively on advertisers and instead have a way to pay for the real value of the content - no matter how small it is ?!

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