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August 22, 2008

Seeing things for what they are

ESPOO, Finland – We are trusting people. But, in the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, “doveryai, no proveryai” [trust, but verify]. Therefore, organizations always seek to provide more transparency, either through helpful standardized labels, blatant Chinese notes, or stripping naked.


What if we labeled electronics like we labeled food?

From one of our internal Nokia sites, I found an article by Jeremy Faludi, at World Changing, where he posits possible ways to make the nature of products better known. He discusses various labeling programs for awareness, either of nutritional value, energy consumption, and so on.

What’s interesting is he proposes a label that combines (and evaluates) the product components, production, and use. The hope is that it will bring a better more consistent awareness of the environmental and sustainability impact of a product.

The components and production of a mobile phone is really complex and would be devilishly difficult to break down to the nitty-gritty. But, I suppose there could be some simplification (akin to protein-carbohydrates-fats) that could provide a short-hand to understand the impact a product has.

I know Nokia is really sensitive to what they put in the phones and try really hard to keep reducing any impact a single phone has (taking into account in raw materials, production, distribution, disposal, recycling, and so on, of course). But, I like this idea of a simple pretty label to bring some more transparency to environmental impact of consumer electronics.

What do you think?

Here’s a new leak for you.

I want to tell you about two products we are working on. One has a code name ‘Coffee Cup’. We’re shipping it with ‘Cookie’. The specs are amazing, the camera is the best-of-class, the screen is just great to fondle, and the casing is of some hi-tech ultra-eco-savvy electro-enhanced material we’ve been perfecting over the past 3 years.

Nah. Just kidding.

We all know what the folks here at Nokia think of product leaks. That aside, it’s interesting what folks chase for leaks. Poor Zach, from the Boy Genius Report, was duped by some shifty Chinese knock-off site. Seems like they showed off photos of a device that Zach thought was the genuine thing. Well, to be fair, he was a bit skeptical, and later found out that they were real pictures of fake devices that were supposedly leaked (it said ‘plainly’ in Chinese on the photo).

One comment that we got when discussing leaks was that folks thought some companies leaked on purpose. After seeing what happened to Zach, I wondered what would happen to the interest in leaks if companies leaked ‘fake’ products. Y’know, to throw off the scent, or make real leaks seem doubtful. That would be quite funny. Uh, I think.

In any case, it seems like the Chinese knock-off experts could really make a killing on making real copies of fake products that are leaked for real… Ugh. Makes my head spin.

Let’s get nekkid.

In Finland, there is one place where all pretenses and deceptions are laid bare (well, everyone is laid bare), and that’s in a sauna. The irreverent folks at N-Gage thought that a sauna would be a good place to hold interviews with game developers, product managers, and other folks from N-Gage. And it actually works.

I’m happy to say that the first interview, with Miikka Skaffari, is up on the N-Gage Insider Sauna Talk site. Go check it out. And the graphic above is a montage of photos from behind the scenes when they were making the video. Click on it to enlarge it.