Coolest iPhone App

Here’s a great app from DishPointer, released in August:

Very surreal, this is the next generation satellite finder: Point your iPhone anywhere towards the sky and see all the satellites lined up, on the live video screen! At a glance, you’ll see where the satellite is and whether any trees or buildings are blocking the line of sight. Think of multi-lnb dishes and now you know where to place your dish best. Doing a site survey and setting up a dish is going to be a piece of cake with this app. This is a truly useful augmented reality app for the professional and diy enthusiast alike.

The app uses the gps, accelerometer, and the compass of the new iPhone 3GS. Just move the phone up and down and left and right and the satellite arc will follow the live video on the display. The compass has a bit of a lag though, so when doing quick sideways movements the satellite arc is trying to catch up but then settles to the correct position.

If you’re in the satellite business, you know how valuable this can be. Available now — a steal at $20.

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Music, Surviving and Thriving

Good-bye, satellite radio. I cancelled my subscription last month, a service I loved from the get-go. Had it for four years and I’ll admit it saved me from going nuts while listening to commercial radio stations on my way to work.

Today, in our “reset economy,” I looked for costs to cut. Radio seemed a likely choice for a number of reasons: (1) it costs $12 per month, (2) I wasn’t listening to it as much, (3) the playlists got tiresome after Sirius bought XM and combined channels, and (4) I no longer drive to work every day.

I’ll find a way to survive, I thought. I have my iPod for recorded music, and the iPhone can tune in to Internet radio station. In my area, I’m lucky to receive listener-supported WFMU 91.1 FM on my home and car radios. Fortunately, WFMU is also available in iTunes’ radio (under eclectic), and via on a number of free iPhone apps that feature public radio stations (listened to my favorite show last Thursday while driving on the NYS Thruway). You can also listen directly via iPhone. That’s cool. Out driving earlier and I hear a song on WFMU that I wanted to make a note of. Sounded good; sort of ghetto-tech. Quickly turned to the iPhone and brought up the live stream, where the name of the artist came up: Buraka Som Sistema, from Portugal. The song was Kalemba (Wegue Wegue). The genre is actually kuduro, originating in Angola. Bet you can’t sit still listening to it…

Thanks to listener-supported WFMU, my musical interests are continually expanding. Learning never ends: read more about the group here.

Kindle Advertising

Showtime, a subscription-based television channel, is not afraid to try new media and/or techniques to promote new shows. Ad Age reports they’re using Amazon’s Kindle to promote “Nurse Jackie,” a new series that starts next week:

Showtime may have finally cracked the code on using Kindle as an ad medium. Starting today the cable network is offering Kindle users a free, downloadable version of the pilot script for its new series “Nurse Jackie,” featuring Emmy Award winner and former “Sopranos” star Edie Falco.

Working with its media shop, Omnicom Group’s OMD, Showtime will use banner ads throughout Amazon.com and on the Kindle storefront to promote the free download, which will be available until Aug. 31. Along with cover art and a title page, the script comes with show scheduling information and a call to action urging readers to visit Sho.com to watch the premiere of “Nurse Jackie.”

“We were looking at the Kindle as a new concept platform that no one has figured out,” said Jon Haber, U.S. director of OMD’s Ignition Factory. “And while there is no advertising model on it yet, we still saw it as an opportunity to use our client’s content as advertising.”

There’s also a podcast on iTunes (hat tip: Mediabistro.com).

Good idea.