A ZDNet Multiplexer Blog What's this?

12 Days of ‘Staircase Wit’ for 2013 (Day 8)

Rather than end the year with a ‘best of’ list or predictions for 2014, I’ll be delivering 12 days of holiday gifts to you in the form of treppenwitz: all the afterthoughts I had all year.

Treppenwitz or perhaps more correctly ‘l’esprit de l’escalier’ is the expression for when you think of the perfect thing to say, but long after the moment you should have said it. In this series of blogs I given myself a second chance to comment or correct topics I’ve covered this year.


SMS Still Rulz

I love SMS, almost as much I love stories about SMS. So when I walked through Waterloo station last summer, I was very excited to see SMS as a key element in a campaign for a new electric toothbrush. Sending a message to a shortcode added you to a service that would remind you a few days later to bring your old toothbrush to the station with you and swap it for a new one. I remarked on how effective it was.


Well, it turned out to be way too effective, as huge crowds descended on the station. Organizers had to shut down the promotion. A number of minor other missteps created a mini ‘Brushgate.’ This article is a great summary of the timeline of events.

tooth queue

And yes I was there. No I didn’t get a new toothbrush. However, the SMS reminder worked a treat.

Perhaps Philips should have employed the same tactics used when filming the amazing sequence in Bourne Ultimatum.

Fair Game: Consoles vs. Mobile

I was very optimistic about the chance for Android-based consoles to open up the gaming world. As an OUYA Kickstarter backer, I can tell you that the journey has been bumpy. What has been clear is that Android only provides the most basic of foundations for a console.

Whilst on a mobile, the quest of a pure Android device would be my goal (and a Nexus potentially my next device). For consoles, it’s clear the overlay is way more important.

Early releases of the OUYA firmware provided only the barebones, and you had to sideload to gain a lot of functionality. We had to wait until November for this release to finally deliver what many expected out of the box. Particularly USB support.

I also mentioned the potential to create iOS controllers thanks to new APIs in iOS. A number of these appeared in November, the MOGA Ace Power controller, the Logitech PowerShell, and the Razer Kazuyo. Still, we’ve no standalone controller for Apple TV. Perhaps the next model?