Afghanistan’s TV Phone Users Offer a Lesson

By Jeremy Wagstaff There’s something I notice amid all the dust, drudgery and danger of Kabul life: the cellphone TVs. No guard booth—and there are lots of them—is complete without a little cellphone sitting on its side, pumping out some surprisingly clear picture of a TV show. This evening at one hostelry the guard, AK-47 …

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Are We Too Obsessed With Our Cars?

More stuff from the observant and thought-provoking Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase: drivers protecting their cars in Beijing from urinating canines:  As Jan points out, lots of issues arise with this: how confused must dogs get that their choice of territory markers move around? (Or maybe that’s exactly what they want—expanding territory without them having to …

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Power to the Consumer. (Is That All?)

Jan Chipchase, roving Nokia researcher, as ever inspires and provokes with this piece on the psychology of the coffee cup: This Akasaka coffee shop includes a row of accessible power sockets (running a long the edge of the window) primarily to support laptop use – though over the course of an hour a number of …

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Ideas Are Things

One guy I’m always inspired by is Jan Chipchase, who does more for Nokia’s credibility than any of their products. Here he observes how small things are more likely to spread more rapidly than big ones, making them closer relations to ideas than to things: Today we’re comfortable with the rapid dissemination of information and …

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The Gecko in the Machine

 (This is the text of my weekly Loose Wire Service column, syndicated to newspapers like The Jakarta Post. If you’re an editor interested in subscribing to the service, drop me a line. Regular readers of the blog, meanwhile, will be familiar with some of the themes here) I found myself reading the words of one …

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Your Phone as Stalker

Phone spam feels like it’s getting worse. I and my wife have been receiving numerous calls from the local arm of ANZ Bank — a bank I am happy to identify by name because I’ve sought comment from them without reply for nearly a week now. Our mobile phone numbers were probably sold by another …

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