New Sony, Old Sony

Scoble's new Sony HDTV

Astute watchers of my Flickr feed noticed something new showed up in my family room tonight.

How did I get Maryam to allow this? Five simple words:

No payments for 18 months.

Heheh.

Here's the Sony model I bought.

It's awesome, by the way. It's HUGE and crisp.

My brother also has one, he did a lot of research and found it's the sharpest resolution at about a $3,000 price range.

That's our old Sony in the background. We're off to Fred Meyer to buy some cables and get it setup.

Maryam's reaction? She's playing Zuma and says "great, now I'll have to call in sick tomorrow." She loves it! See, Maryam, far better than a stove. 🙂

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Let’s ban “cool” codenames that don’t pass search test

Last week I had a great meeting with the guy (David Webster) who runs naming for Microsoft. He enumerated the ways that fun code names suck. Why? Cause he has to do a few things to any name that we use:

1) It has to be trademarkable. Even after his team does a trademark search they still get into trouble over names that other people own.
2) It has to test well in most markets (they do focus groups and other testing to make sure they don't pick a name that accidentally turns off people in a marketplace — even with all this testing finding names that work well everywhere is really hard).

What got me to write about it? Chris Smith talks about his favorite code names (and about Nintendo's "cooler" code name).

What's the answer? Well, he has a whole bunch of rules for product teams as they make names. For one, he wishes that teams would talk with him before coming up with "fun" code names. For two, he wishes that teams would come up with names that don't exist in Internet searches. Remember my "Brrreeeport" test? When I put that name on my blog there were zero results on Google and Live.com. Today it has 169,000 results, according to Google (yes, we know that isn't true, but let's go with it anyway, heheh).

He says that if companies and teams come up with names that simply don't exist in Google and Yahoo and Windows Live that they'll have a pretty good chance of surviving any trademark search that you come up with (it's a rare trademark that doesn't make it to Internet search engines).

I think the day is coming near when companies simply ban any product name that doesn't pass this test.

What do you think?

New reading technology from Microsoft

The new reading technology announced on Friday with the New York Times by Microsoft is at the top of Memeorandum.

I saw an early prototype and this stuff is awesome. Comes out of a lot of research and work that teams are doing here about how the human eye works. Vista will have new fonts, and new technology (aka Windows Presentation Foundation) that opens up a lot of new possibilities in how we can present information, particularly for new high resolution screens.

I'll have to do a video on this stuff. The demos are spectacular, by the way. Makes a Tablet PC far more useful too.