Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Is This Wrong?

Fowl Ball shirt
Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.

Ha Ha NY

Ha HaTee
Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.
Curse? Whatever. The Cardinals are a great team and it looks like it's over considering we're up 3-0, but knocking the Yankees out of it was So Sweet!

That's Right - Ha Ha!


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Go Sox!

Go Sox!
Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.
SAN JOSE, Calif -- During Tuesday's U2 event in the California Theater, Apple CEO Steve Jobs not only anounced (at least in the abstract) that he too is a Boston Red Sox fan, he also announced Apple's first iPod accessory, the iPod Sock. The socks come five to a package, with one each in green, purple, orange, pink, and blue.

Packaged just like normal socks, the accessory is intended to keep your iPod warm, or so Mr. Jobs quipped during his presentation. Those in attendance offered Mr. Jobs a round of enthusiastic applause when it became clear that this was indeed a real product.

iPod socks will be priced at US$29, and are expected to ship in mid-November, well after the curse is reversed.

Go Sox!

That's Right,


Monday, October 25, 2004

We're Going Streaking!

There’s no doubt the fact that the Red Sox have won six playoff games in a row is the most improbable October event since Black Tuesday crippled a nation. It is the streak that most folks have got first and foremost on their minds, with Boston just two wins away from its first World Series title in 86 years.

But this has truly been a postseason filled with streaks. Consider:

* St. Louis’ 6-2 loss last night in Game 2 was the Cardinals’ fifth straight road loss of the playoffs, in which they have lost six of seven games this month. The Cardinals were an NL-best 52-29 on the road during the regular season, but have had the challenge of playing the Astros at Minute Maid Park, where Houston never lost the last two months, and the Red Sox at Fenway, where Boston compiled the AL’s second-best home mark.

* While the attention was focused on the fact that Manny Ramirez went seven straight games in the ALCS without an RBI, everybody has missed the fact that he is in the midst of a 12-game postseason hitting streak, batting .346 for the month.

For the 12th straight media session, an out-of-town reporter asked Johnny Damon about his hair.

* Closer Keith Foulke, probably a close second to David Ortiz in the ALCS MVP voting, has made eight straight appearances these playoffs and has yet to be charged with an earned run over 10 2/3 innings.

* On the flip side of things for the Birds, they have won all six playoff games at Busch, where St. Louis had a mark of 53-28, just one game better than its away record. The Red Sox were 43-38 on the road, where they struggled for much of the first half of the season.

* Mark Bellhorn has not homered in one straight game.

* More remarkably, Mark Bellhorn has not struck out in two straight games.

* Oh, and that football team has won something like 21 in a row too. Not bad, eh?

That's Right!,


Thanks to Eric Wilbur of the Boston Globe

Thursday, October 21, 2004

iPod News Flash!

I've been saying this since the beginning of 2004 - The only thing missing from the iPod family is an inexpensive, groovy little flash drive micro-mini-pod: A 1-2 GB flash based music player about the size of a business card that holds 250-500 songs, comes with earbuds, fire-wire cable and dock. Price it at around $100US and nobody will be able to touch Apple's mp3 player domination. And why not? C'mon Steve - make it so. All I'm saying is if the Red Sox can make history by winning the World Series this year - then my wish for an Apple FlashPod in my stocking this Christmas should be really simple, right?

That's Right,


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Who's Your Daddy New York?

NY = Next Year
Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.

Please God, show me a sign...

Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.
Taken from the centerfield bleachers at Fenway Park (Gabe Kapler is No. 19 and Johnny Damon is No. 18). Coincidence? I think not. Destiny is on our side. May the Force be with you, Boston Red Sox.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Black U2 iPod?

The infamous black iPod looks set to make a second appearance next month, when Apple ships a special edition digital music device to commemorate the arrival of rock band U2's newest long-player.
So claim a variety of web sites, including Apple itself isn't commenting on the specifics of the rumour, but it has already sent out invites to a music-oriented event taking place on 26 October.

U2's new record, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, isn't due for release until a month after that, but lead singer Bono and axe man The Edge will join Steve Jobs on stage.

U2's fondness for Apple was seen most recently in the band's latest video, which pastiches Apple's iPod ads. Or is it an iPod ad that pastiches U2 - not sure. Either way, they both do nicely out of it, promoting the iPod and the single.

Sounds cool - I will follow up later...

That's Right,


Thursday, October 14, 2004

All I Want For Christmas

Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.
Just when I thought my music/audio fetish "Must Have" list was complete, Griffin follows through with it's long promised and long delayed, RadioSHARK. It's the quintessential "product that you wish someone had invented ten or fifteen years ago." Requiring only a USB cable for PC or Mac connectivity and power, the seven-inch-tall white plastic shark's fin sits on a chrome base, picking up FM and AM radio signals whenever a computer's connected. With a few button presses, you can easily "time shift" radio programming in TiVo style, pausing and rewinding live broadcasts, while a few more button presses enable you to create VCR-style recordings of whatever's on your local airwaves. Three lights on each side of the RadioSHARK's fin glow blue to indicate power, and red to indicate recording.

And if you're reading this Chrissy, the best part is - it'll fit in my stocking!
Groove Me!

That's Right,


Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.
WanderPod Brings Wi-Fi Anywhere 

Dennis Stacey had one of the best seats at the Ansari X Prize launches, right alongside the taxiway where Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne rolled out to make history earlier this month. But the Montreal entrepreneur was at California's Mojave Airport not to catch a space launch, but to prove that he can bring internet access to people wherever they happen to be.

Stacey, 30, is CEO of WanderPort Wireless, a 2-year-old firm that's established itself as a provider of Wi-Fi hot spots in business, boutique and luxury hotels in Canada and the United States. Now Stacey and his 15-person firm want to take wireless connectivity where it's never gone before.

WanderPort sent a small crew to Mojave to unveil the WanderPod, a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot consisting of a small trailer tricked out with a diesel generator, an antenna, juiced-up access-point hardware and a satellite dish that serves as a broadband data link.

The target market: anyone who needs to get on the net from remote locations or places where infrastructure has been knocked out.
What Stacey has in mind is a place like Florida, in the wake of its recent series of hurricanes, or even Sudan, where the United Nations and aid groups are responding to the refugee crisis in Darfur. In other words, places well beyond conventional net access.
"We'd like to see this used by disaster-recovery groups like the Red Cross, like FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), or even engineering groups rebuilding infrastructure can use this sort of thing," Stacey said.

The pod could also be useful for film crews in the field as well as for providing connectivity at large-scale events in out-of-the-way places, like the X Prize race.
Until a month or so ago, though, the WanderPod was just an idea. That's when Jack Bader, of St. Louis-based network services company NetEffects and director of infrastructure for the X Prize event at Mojave Airport, went googling in search of backup Wi-Fi providers. "I contacted them with what I call one of my 'cold mails,'" Bader said. "And they agreed to show up." WanderPort got in touch with Wisp Gear, the Austin, Texas, company that handles most of its Wi-Fi deployments. Wisp got to work putting together the WanderPod trailer -- complete with a checkerboard floor and the WanderPort logo in neon -- and hauled it to the Southern California desert. By the time the WanderPort crew arrived, though, its job had gone from backup to essential.

A documentary film crew and a webcast team had set up camp next to the tarmac and needed Wi-Fi access, so the WanderPod was set up to serve them.
"We weren't planning to have Wi-Fi in this particular area," Bader said. "But when we got there, everyone wanted it. On an event like this, everything's in flux, everyone's got a laptop, and they just expect" to be able to get online.

Stacey said the WanderPod, designed to let anyone within 2,000 feet get on the net and which handled as many as 200 users at a time, performed well during its live-fire test in the desert. But he said Mojave was just the beginning of what his company hopes will turn into a significant business.

He said the pod trailers will cost about $50,000 apiece to produce, complete with heavy-duty tires and suspensions so they can be hauled into remote areas. WanderPort hopes to sell the units for $80,000 each, he said, adding that the company has full funding to go into production when it starts getting orders.

But it's unclear how big the market will be. The WanderPod has no apparent competition and the idea of using it in out-of-the-way places beyond the reach of cellular service makes sense, said Jupiter Research Wi-Fi analyst Julie Ask. But she said its usefulness could be limited by practical factors such as the performance of satellite broadband and the difficulty of hauling a trailer into truly remote places.
"Satellite is weak. If the weather's bad, if it's foggy, if it's pouring down rain, that'll hurt you," Ask said. "My gut reaction is that this sounds a little dreamy."

Stacey said his company plans to take the WanderPod on the road to show it off to surfers and potential customers in New York, Boston, Chicago, Toronto and Montreal.

Wi Fi Me


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Eiffel El Noche

Eiffel El Noche
Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.
This one is for Brette! Michael and mommy love you and Dalton!




Originally uploaded by H. Michael karshis.
I shot this on our walk over to the Louvre from some other amazingly awesome place.
Beautiful city. But, can you believe we were charged 6.50 euro for a glass of tap water, and my beer was 2 euro less...

That's Right. That's Crazy.


Saturday, October 02, 2004

5 Vital Steps

Implementation = Great Work

We've done this before. These are the steps. The right people do the right things in the right order to consistently achieve the right results.

Purpose: To understand the context in which the solution must work, and to articulate the strategy that underlies the creative direction.
What's really going on: At the beginning of this step, we tend to look at
documents (communications, business plans, studies, etc.). From there, we tend to engage in conversations, conduct interviews. The context includes the marketplace, the competition, and the company or brand itself. In gaining a detailed working understanding of the context, our goal is not to become more expert at our client's business than they are, which is not possible, but to become sufficiently grounded to ask the right questions.
Deliverables: Vary. At a minimum, a set of criteria to guide exploration (the next step) and to help evaluate results. Depending on the assignment, deliverables might also include audits, assessments, and competitive surveys various types of findings.

Purpose: To chart the possible creative directions that might yield a solution.
What's really going on: During this step, we're essentially asking, "What if?" Drawing on inspirations. Making connections. Surveying the realm of possibilities. We try to remain open to anything, to edit nothing out. This is where it's helpful to have a broad range of experience and wide-ranging interests to draw upon.
Deliverables: Notes, scribbles, show-and-tell, found objects, things torn from magazines, pages marked in books, etc. Strictly speaking, these aren't always deliverables, since our clients don't always see them.

Purpose: To develop the most promising creative directions in depth.
What's really going on: From the universe of possibilities, a handful emerge as the most promising — often because they hold the best hope of satisfying the criteria we developed in step one, or because they hold the richest potential for further development. At a minimum, we focus our attention on two or three of these directions, and develop multiple variations or interpretations for each.
Deliverables: A presentation of many ideas, possibilities or alternatives expressing multiple creative directions. Depending on the solution, this presentation can take a variety of forms.


Purpose: To refine the most promising candidate(s) from the most promising direction(s).
What's really going on: Now we're really narrowing our focus. Step by step, our concerns have moved from the most strategic and conceptual to become increasingly formal. At this point, we've more or less committed to a limited number of solutions (knowing, of course, that we can always go back to explore other possibilities if we gain new insight or if the context changes). Now we're refining and modulating their specific features or qualities.
Deliverables: A presentation of a chosen solution (or a limited number of solutions) showing a higher level of resolution now that we have focused our attention on working it out.

Purpose: To finish the solution, once agreement has been reached.
What's really going on: In this step and the one preceding it, care and attention to detail play a critical role. A good idea that's been poorly executed is not the same as a solution. "Finishing" the solution means "giving it a high level of finish" at least as much as it means "completing it."
Deliverable: The completed work in final form, ready for application and use or, depending on the assignment, replication and dissemination to its intended audience.

We care about our work. Above all, we sincerely want it to work for our clients. After completing an assignment, we actively seeks to stay in touch. We're eager to see how our solutions perform, to be available for any necessary refinements or updates, and to identify additional needs or opportunities, including next steps in the brand-building process. There's no greater satisfaction than helping our clients achieve their objectives —except helping them to attain their next set of objectives.

Thanks to Scott Mires.