Asus puzzled me. Great tech, but somehow it misread current consumer trends. Finally here’s something that may hit the mark.

Wait – put that credit card away. Don’t get too excited just yet. Both the Asus ePad Transformer and Slider are still at the mock-up stage.

But as Android devices, they’ve had the courage to break ranks with the rest of Microsoft’s serfdom and could have a hit on their hands.

This question never seems to go away. When is a freedom fighter not a terrorist? Well, the answer of course depends on your perspective. Do they have a right to tell us and who has the right to stop them?

And nothing is crystallising global social opinion more than the WikiLeaks battle. But its only when we look beyond this that we see the real battle lines.

Think hard before deciding. Because what is being done is done in your name.

Have you noticed how TV media is featuring a lot of web-style graphics recently?

I guess with the closely-tied relationship between web and TV content designers, we shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, the web is becoming …beautiful. Noticed how beautiful the web is getting?

No, our web designers haven’t suddenly become more artistic or talented, they’ve just found new tools. But corporate designers are way, way behind…

Our eyesight. Its the most developed, critical and relied on of all human senses. And probably why we make such beautiful things.

Basically, we like what we see. Or rather we tend to buy what we like the look of. How about web browsers?

experienec how the web can look, with Google's Chrome...

Given a choice, few would go for a conventional TV over a flat screen HD beauty. The quality, colour depth and sheer pleasure it is to watch is amazing.

Contrast this to web browsers, which don’t cost thousands, they’re actually free. So why don’t we go for the best there is?

Take a good look at this picture. This, my friends is a 1956 Fender Stratocaster®. Savour this moment. Because you’ll never experience it through an iPod.

The Fender Stratocaster - the guitar that made rock and roll

iTunes gives you fast downloads and lots of stuff to load on your iPod or iPhone. What you’ll never get to listen to is great music quality.

You’ll never hear that Strat. Sure, you may hear something that’s a bit like a Strat, something will be missing. And while video has innovations like Blu-Ray and HD, iTunes is sending audio back to the dark ages, a blurry sketch of the real thing.

So why is Apple killing music?

Some time ago, I did a round-up of Cloud-based project management software.Projects have been a big part of my life, so I knew what I was looking for.

Application value changes over time. Better, worse, cheaper or more expensive.One now stands out. Wrike. So I’d like to update my review.

LANZen Strategy's review of Cloud-based project management applications found Wrike to be a great option!

Wrike brings social networks to project management – let’s see how it works…

I spotted a group of excited ladies leaving a local bridal shop a few evenings ago. It had me thinking. No, not about getting married. About retail planning.

Congleton - a typical Cheshire town and the home of LANZen strategy!

My town has four bridal shops. But just how many shops does one town need?

Footfall’s too weak a metric. it doesn’t consider a shop’s purpose and utilisation. Nor does it explain why some high streets can sustain so many takeaways.

Time to think about what people do rather than simply where they walk

I guess most people today now realise how important it is to have a good web presence. That’s fine, but what if you don’t have any web design skills, don’t want to spend a couple of grand and find Twitter, well a bit limiting?

This could be for you. It’s called posterous and it’s the answer to your prayers.

when you havn't got a blog - you've got posterous!

There’s no need to write a lot more about this. Its pretty much self-explanatory. The site’s designed well and easy to use. Go for it!

It must be like a breath of fresh air working in the design department of a car manufacturer. You don’t have to jump through hoops or sell your soul to get an idea listened to.

You don’t have to justify innovation to a bunch of old farts, its part of the job description.

Its not as though in the other industries they work so efficiently your ideas are redundant, More like while the money’s flowing in, they just don’t care. They prefer the easy life.

The most obvious example of this is in financial services. You’d think the banking crash would have been a wake-up call. But no. Its business as usual in Complacent City.

Imagine buying a new car that was unsafe, wasn’t efficient had offered no cool features. Imagine it just not working right. Imagine financial services…

Have you ever had to take a drive through the ruins of the UK’s great shipbuilding areas? Those once proud, thriving centres of excellence where skills were developed and honed. These ships set the standards of a great trading nation.

These places saw skills pass from fathers to sons, each generation contributing their own evolutionary change to age-old methods. Places where quality created value.

Those skills are gone forever. Lost in the vortex of a lowest common denominator market. These places should teach us a lesson about off-shoring.

Once the eco-system supporting a skills base is lost, its gone for ever, never to be re-built. Something we should think about when we use words like “sustainable”.

But there are more lessons to be learnt from all this…

Sitting on my desk I have a wide-screen, 24-inch monitor. Good for you. I can hear you say. Stick with me on this one. there’s a point to me telling you this.

My web statistics show that 90% of visitors are using 1200×800 resolutions as a minimum. Tablets like Apple’s iPad have similar broad screen landscapes.

But that’s only half the story. Lots of my visitors use SmartPhones, like iPhone or Android. Resolutions for these is similar, but they use a sliding window.

Web design follows user hardware, that’s why most sites used an 800×600 screen canvas. This layout is now less common as we move to wider displays.

A website’s real estate has a value, which roughly follows the page layout of a newspaper. What you see first is premium, what you have to scroll around to, less so.

So to keep visitors happy, how big should a website be. Just how big is your world?

I love the stuff that comes my way through Facebook. Its a regular part of my daily routine, just as much as checking my post, answering my phone or opening my email.

What’s cool about Facebook is that it’s actually reflecting us. We’re shaping it every day. Facebook is as we are.

But you know, there’s another side to this. No, I’m not talking about some clandestine plot, What I’m suggesting is that Facebook is actually shaping us, too.

OK, so what do I mean by that. Do I mean its changed our habits, like fashion or television?

No, I’m saying it goes beyond that. Way beyond it. I’m saying its changing us as a society.

Credit unions. Always a bit of a mystery to me. An obscure part of some urban sub-culture. Almost the corner-shop of the lending world.

But a flyer dropped through my letterbox yesterday, one of those local news-sheets still produced in this world of websites and digital media.

A second credit union has just set up shop in the little rural town where I live, apparently. News to me. I wasn’t even aware of the first, so I kept reading.

I’ve just written about Zopa, the rapidly growing social lending site, I wondered how credit unions compared. After all these are local community driven, low overhead enterprises.

Would they be as competitive as Zopa?

Watch people with smartphones. They seem engrossed. But they aren’t talking, or texting. They’re playing with them.

Its the applications. People are downloading stuff and exploring this latest cool technology. Suddenly the means has become the end. Again.

What do I mean – again?

What I mean is, it seems just like PC’s were when we first discovered them. Exciting, cool. Until Microsoft made it all the same and well, boring.

But this is different. There’s diversity. We’ve got iPhone and Android. Nokia’s joining in, too.

We’re learning stuff, not just using the shiny bits. Could this bring PC’s back to life…?

Memory makes liars of us all. Social networks with all their familiarity, feel shiny and new. Facebook, YouTube, LastFM, all super-clean Web-two-dot-zero design shout 21st Century. And the content certainly reflects that.

But click that browser’s back button enough and you’ll enter a shadowy, less inviting world. Yes, friends. I’m talking about uncharted Forum Land.

Forums hosted the very first Internet dialogues. The place you sought to discover The Truth. Well, someone’s often twisted interpretation of it, anyway.

And despite advances made elsewhere, they stubbornly remain routed in the last century. Curiously, they’re home to a lost race of nerds and the disenfranchised.

In fact, the term enter at your own risk may well have been coined for them…

Metro Bank announced recently it had met the twelve-month target it set for new accounts. What’s astounding is that it took the start-up bank less than 30 days to do so.

Its easy to be dismiss this based on the millions the high-street banks spend on marketing. But to do so ignores the facts here.

You see, there was no high profile, A-list celebrity endorsed, multi-media campaign worthy of Hollywood here. No glitzy launch attended by the good and great at the new bank’s HQ. No, Metro’s launch barely made the financial pages at all.

Global banking is in crisis. Banks won’t lend, people won’t spend, so money’s not moving. How could one little bank attract so much money and be so well received?

I read an interesting and light-hearted observation from Phil Houghton on Twitter recently. 10th October 2010 will be 10-10-10. That’s 42 in binary.

Of course, keen Douglas Adams and Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans will instantly realise that the number 42 is the key to the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Here’s a question. what’s the meaning of life to you?

I pose this rather philosophical question because during a meal recently, I said I used Twitter and Facebook. The couple we were with asked if I was trying to change the world.

Maybe I am. If not, what are you and I trying to do with our lives?

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