Yahoo CEO Set to Refresh Turnaround Plan – WSJ – sounds desperate
Qatar to buy stake in HK department store operator | RTHK – interesting move getting them to buy a chunk of Sogo, probably because Macau is likely to pick up much of the growth in luxury sales
LVMH: It May be Time for a Smartwatch – WSJ – not so sure that this is a good move, unless it is a fashion watch rather than a luxury item it could damage brands rather like the quartz lines did to luxury watches
ISPs told to block fake luxury goods sales – FT.com – sounds like an inefficient game of whack-a-mole; they should go after the payments providers instead. That’s where the weak spot is
App enables Chinese women to take selfies with sanitary pads – Mumbrella Asia – uses the packs to activate an AR app allowing photos with the company mascot, but still WTF
MediaTek, Acer working on smart surveillance solutions | WantChinaTimes – story about internet of things but the headline is telling…
Sony’s plans to pull out of Chinese market an ‘open secret’ | WantChinaTimes – the big issue is that China is likely to be a good market for Sony’s high end consumer electronics products
Uber fired a driver for tweeting mean stuff about them – douced
Behold the awesome power of the spreadsheet, destroyer of worlds | Quartz – rather reminds me of the introduction to ‘Accidental Empires’ by Bob Cringely
Old Technopanic in New iBottles | Cato @ Liberty – or why the government arguments for weak crypto are as much use as a chocolate teapot
At the beginning of the month I took the plunge and decided to buy a Casio G-Shock connected watch. After a week or so I have a pretty good sense of the pros and cons of using it.
The connection with the iPhone makes a major leap forward in the G-Shock experience. Using a G-Shock is rather like using an old computer system like a DEC VAX minicomputer, the experience is modal. Everything revolves around combinations of button pushes to get to the functionality of the watch. The manual is a quarter of an inch thick and the commands not exactly memorable. If you have clumsy fingers or are not paying attention you have to cycle through the complete set of button commands again
The G+ iPhone application deals with every setting on the watch bar setting the time and date itself (which still requires a bit of button juggling).
The achilles heel is battery life. Most of the facilities about the watch are about husbanding a relatively meagre lithium ion battery. What Casio’s engineers managed to achieve is imperfect but impressive. The battery life is the silent hand that ruled all aspects of the product design. In order to have a sealed in battery that lasted more than a day, Casio had to go with an old school battery. Out went modern G-Shock features such as the GPS module and atomic clock radio units used to provide accurate time based on location.
Out too went the solar power option. Alerts seem to be polled every quarter of an hour for things like email. But then in this connected age, having a message to let me know that I don’t have email would be more noteworthy.
This all had a number of effects:
- The watch didn’t alert me to everything – that isn’t a bad thing. I do want my alerts to be consistent, so I shut down alerts from everything but Twitter, calendar and calls. I would have loved to have alerts for WeChat, SMS / iMessage messages, FaceTime and Skype calls but they aren’t on the programme (so far)
- The watch did cure ‘phantom’ rings. I got to ignore ringtones out in public and at home unless my wrist shook. It also worked well when I couldn’t feel my phone vibrating in my Carhartt jacket
- I remembered to take my phone with me on more occasions, the watch would vibrate if the Bluetooth link was broken
The best bit of the phone for me was that it was still a G-Shock, it could be worn in the gym, the shower, whilst shaving, washing dishes or swimming. It is a watch for living rather than a Bluetooth-enabled human leash.
On smart watches, I’ve decided to take the plunge
David Bowie talks about the internet in an interview a bit after he had sold his Bowie bonds. His discussion of the internet around the ten-minute mark is insightful.
He talks about how the fragmentation of culture was responsible for the the internet – a number of books from Accidental Empires on talked about how the counter culture shaped Silicon Valley. It is also interesting the way he talks about the then current fragmentation of culture.
Bowie acknowledges that we have only scratched the surface on with the internet, but that there would be both good and bad consequences or as he says exilerating and terrifying’. In one particularly interesting remark, he describes the internet as an ‘alien life form’ that will change life utterly.
Things that have made my day this week.
Russian crew ontheroof took their skills to Hong Kong, hacking one of the city’s iconic electronic billboards mounted on the top of an unfeasibly tall building.
Not too sure if the swiftly added disclaimer would be enough to stop the lawyer letters coming through the letter box with this ode to Invisalign braces
Wee Scottish travel agent Thorne Travel put together a unique YouTube advert. Not too sure that they have permission from David Guetta for the soundtrack or Disney for the appearance of Mickey and Minnie Mouse – which probably explains why it got taken down. I thought that the N.W.A. soundtracked remix of the video was inspired.
Warner Brothers are pushing out to Western audiences Black Butler, a Japanese live action adaption of a Faustian manga tale.
Finally, Agence France Presse put together a really good animation on how Ebola attacks the body, surprisingly it was hosted on DailyMotion.