Things that made my day last week

Here is a collection of things that have made my day over the past week or so

I am a big fan of Studio Ghibli – a kind of Japanese thinking mans Disney Studio. One of their alumni Yoshiharu Sato has branched out and produced this amazing advert for a Japanese alcohol brand with a strong theme of nostalgia.

Before Christmas Fox Studios had used LinkedIn to launch the latest in the ‘Taken’ series of films with Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills riffing of his ‘particular set of skills’. Well we now know who won the endorsement from Bryan Mills and here it is.

The Prodigy are back and their latest track Nasty has a psychedelic urban fox video to accompany it.

INK Hotel in Amsterdam have used storytelling to create a unique recruitment video, labouring heavily the cast metaphor that service industry businesses have adopted a la Disney.

CAS software company Autodesk have an artist-in-residence programme called Pier 9, and created a great video about it.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

From ‘superman’ to ‘big tiger’, Li Ka-shing loses favour with Beijing | South China Morning Post – interesting analysis of the changing sentiment to Li Ka-shing

Smartphones At Tipping Point In China | Young’s China Business – domestic Chinese smartphone market likely to contract 10 per cent over the next year – shipments of all types of cellphones actually plummeted 22 percent in China last year to 452 million units, led by a 64 percent plunge in 2G models and 46 percent drop in 3G ones. (Chinese article) China’s mobile users now number 1.28 billion, giving the nation a penetration rate of 95 percent. 

Smartphone shipments didn’t fare nearly as badly as the older 2G and 3G models, but were still down 8.2 percent last year to 389 million units. That means that a hefty 86 percent of all cellphones shipped in China last year were smartphones, which were rapidly flooding the market as new players jumped joined the space and older ones ramped up production. 

It’s worth noting that the 389 million figure is unit shipments and not actual sales. I suspect a big portion of those smartphones — perhaps as much as 20-30 percent — are still sitting in distributor warehouses and on store shelves as unsold inventory due to the market saturation – expect channel clearing sales or developing market dumping

The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis: Drivers of Prediction Accuracy in World Politics – Journal of Experimental Psychology – interesting traits and teams rather than individuals tend to do better. It would be interesting to see how this affects the wisdom of crowds given they are a mass of individuals rather than a team per se (PDF)

LIVEhouse.in – Online Broadcasting Service – really cool Asian content

Case Study: How Huawei turned its smartphone business around | Marketing Interactive – superlative headline but interesting overview of programmatic buying in China via iClick

BlackBerry Responds to Media Report – Press Releases – not talking to Samsung, it didn’t sound like it made sense to me

Millward Brown Digital partners with Snapchat | Research Live – interesting they can tell an ad

UK’s Cameron won’t “allow” strong encryption of communications — GigaOM – this is the most disturbing stuff I have seen and read in a long term, the Home Secretary is a political role by its very nature. It is not even an independent judiciary signing off. Secondly, given the poor understanding of technology by the body politic in the UK it doesn’t inspire confidence – if there is a back door for HMG, there is a back door for an abusive third party. Finally this is crush or encourage innovative start ups who focus on privacy to move offshore – Shoreditch to Berlin for instance

Vinyl’s difficult comeback | The Guardian – interesting opportunity for manufacturing record press machines

Most Energy Drink Companies Market to Minors, Report Finds | Time – this could be a ticking time bomb from a regulatory point of view

The return of Luxxury

US remix and edit master Luxxury has returned with a remake of Kiss – I was made for loving you. In my view it sounds better in this version than the original. Luxxury’s style reminds me a lot of 1980s remixes a la Shep Pettibone and the Latin Rascals with a lot of use of dub effects.

Luxury got into hot water last year after remaking the The Eagles Hotel California and Blondie’s Rapture.

Retail patterns

Interesting video on changing retail behaviour that is moving way from significant dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (despite retailers bringing them to Europe). Consumers are looking for discounts outside ordinary periods and retailers have the option to vary price based on the consumer – we could even see programmatic selling in the future, not something really discussed here but an interesting and frightening possibility.

Links of the Day | 在网上找到

Asiajin » Jerry Yang’s 1999 Order Thanked By Japanese Auction Dominator Yahuoku | Asiajin – interesting how Yahoo! engineered the product to meet Japanese characteristics

Why I’m not impressed with your smart device | VentureBeat – interesting take on CES

Rumor: Skype Set To Launch A Social Network To Compete With Facebook | Social Networking Watch – this seems a bit pointless to me

Huawei Bets Americans Will Want Contract-Free Phones – WSJ – I guess they are struggling to get carrier deals, is the new burner phone a smartphone and is the FCC holding up approval on HiSilicon-powered smartphones?

Beijing cracks down on Uber and its rival taxi-hailing apps | Quartz – interesting that Didi has been declared illegal

Spies are putting off writers | Channel EYE – more than 75 percent of respondents in countries classified as “free,” 84 percent in “partly free” countries, and 80 percent in countries that were “not free” said that they were “very” or “somewhat” worried about government surveillance in their countries

Chinese chip makers want in on bank card business | WantChinaTimes – threat for Infineon and Gemalto

Jeff Mills: The Failings Of The Future | Hypnotik – interesting to read this, especially after reading William Gibson’s latest book

The Behavioural Economics Guide 2014 – (pdf)