Links of the day | 在网上找到

Global Restructuring at TBWAMedia Arts Lab as Apple Shifts Toward Digital, Regional Work | Ad Week – interesting move with their evolving relationship with Apple. I can’t say that I feel impressed by anything l’ve seen out of Apple in a while – given more creative was driven out of in-house. This move will see things going more digital, rather than just digital expressions of TV-orientated creative

Exclusive: SoftBank willing to cede control of Sprint to entice T-Mobile – sources | Reuters – guess India’s no longer as big a focus since Nikesh Arora’s big bets lost them 350 million dollars?

Once poverty-stricken, China’s “Taobao villages” have found a lifeline making trinkets for the internet — Quartz

UK Snoopers’ Charter gagging order drafted for London Internet Exchange directors • The Register – you combine this with the new espionage act going through the UK government system and things look exceptionally dark

Video formats by position | Facebook Marketing Partners – (PDF)

The Facts-Based Survey of Mobile Money Globally Focusing on the Reality and Numbers – Ignores totally the utterly trivial noise of Apple Pay, Bitcoins and Paypal

Building Global Community | Facebook – Zuck on reshaping Facebook’s direction

Oprah Time: Blood and Faith – the purging of muslim Spain (1492 – 1614) by Matthew Carr

I picked up Blood and Faith on a trip to Madrid. I have a habit of picking up English language history books if I can when visiting a place. It gives you a sense of how a country wants itself to be seen. These usually vary from clumsy propaganda to insightful works.

Coming across Carr’s book surprised me as it addressed a part of Spain’s history in an unsympathetic light. It covers briefly the expulsion of Spain’s Jewish community and covers the expulsion of the Moors in greater depth.
Blood and Faith - the purging of muslim Spain (1492 - 1614) by Matthew Carr
Carr’s background as a journalist and as the son of a controversial English teacher who got involved in post-colonial politics casts a certain lens for his writing perspective. His knowledge of Spain and Islam is second to none having covered both the Islamic world and Spain extensively in books and journalism.

Carr paints a complex picture of tolerance and a cosmopolitan society interspersed with zealotry, bigotry and criminality.  The book shows how the decision to expel the Moors came about, a mix of:

  • Security concerns in terms of internal strive and alleged support of pirate raiding parties from North Africa and Turkey
  • Changes in Spanish royalty as the Hapsburg’s came to the throne. Their German background brought a ‘neoconservative’ viewpoint on Islam due the threat that the Ottoman empire posed to central Europe
  • Internal politics within the Catholic church with hawks and doves
  • External relations with the Holy See and other Catholic countries who viewed Spain as being tainted
  • Internal injustice that caused Moor dissent which in turn fuelled the paranoia of the Spanish

The book and its subject matter feels surprisingly contemporary. 17th century Spain still provides us with a good picture of the challenges and chaos that ensues trying to deport people en masse. From discovery to logistics it was a nightmare.

The issues of conservative populism and racism also feel very contemporary given political sentiment across Europe.  The expulsion of the Moors and reconquest of Spain have been cited by both Al Qaeda and Daesh to justify their actions.

If you want a book to read on Spain’s relationship with the Moors this is a well researched book, just be careful with what conclusions you chose to draw from it.

 

Links of the day | 在网上找到

IBM, Visa partner to make the Internet of things commerce friendly | ZDNet – just goes to show that Watson is a mascot not a product from a branding perspective

What a Veteran Film Critic Learned from Watching VR Movies – This reminded me a lot of Myst

In the war between millennials and baby boomers we have forgotten about the work-hard, play-hard Generation X | The Independent – offered without comment

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

I can’t believe that its this time again. It’s been a busy week, partly because I lost a work day due to a larger Publicis Groupe meeting.  This quote from Alvin Toffler stuck with me

Alvin toffler

This video by the Singularity Institute was floating around about the future of industry

Fans of Assassins Creed would appreciate this rendition of Leave her Johnny, leave her

The British Museum have a lovely trailer for their new exhibition The American Dream

Michael Kopelman’s Gimme 5 have done a collection influenced by 1970s band Santana

#gimme5 Santana pack is now available on the site (link in bio)

A post shared by GIMME FIVE (@gimme_5) on

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Facebook’s autoplay videos will now play with the sound on – Recode – expect audio branding to make a resurgence

Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and a “modern” Nokia 3310 will be unveiled at MWC 2017 – Gizchina.com – the modern Nokia 3310 probably the most anticipated phone launch since the iPhone

ICSR Report – Media Jihad: The Islamic State’s Doctrine for Information Warfare / ICSR – how ISIS is looking to move from a real to a virtual organisation as it suffers real world defeats
General Motors Is in Talks to Sell Opel – WSJ – General Motors Co. has entered talks to sell its European business Opel to Peugeot as the U.S. auto giant seeks to shed money-losing operations abroad – I imagine that China and the US will be its main focus. Surprised Ford hasn’t taken a similar move

Banks Eyeing Dublin After Brexit Face Trader Shortage – Bloomberg – all this will change of course as things kick off

Watson’s peer isn’t an AI, it’s just like Tony the Tiger

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IBM have done some iconic advertising since the late 1990s. Sun became the dot behind dot com; but was out-marketed by IBM’s ownership of e-business.
e hip
For some early clients like Boxman – there were accusations that IBM was learning about the internet whilst it did the work. And for many many of the products it was little more than putting HTML lipstick on a mature technology pig.

In 2008, that seems to have changed to smarter planet as IBM looked to get involved in infrastructure from building management to traffic control.

In 2011, IBM’s Research division saw the culmination of a seven year project that had one of their supercomputers perform on TV game show Jeopardy!  Marketing really started to change in 2014 in a dramatically different direction. IBM started describing a mix of machine learning and big data analysis technologies as Watson – they have their own Watson business unit. The implication being that the company had a corporate mascot. Think Tony the Tiger meets The Terminator.
What I Got When I Mailed Tony The Tiger An Autograph Request
The Watson you might have been sold may use similar technology principles but there isn’t a single sentient AI doing your tax returns in one milli-second and pharmaceutical research the next. Yet having talked to friends who work in a number of sectors and that’s precisely how they perceived Watson.

 

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Facebook agrees to independent metrics audit following pressure – AdNews – guess the pressure from FMCG businesses demanding proper data and trying to stamp out ad fraud is working

Are luxury brands taking their eye off Gen X? | Luxury Daily – lets be honest about it, its a market that marketers haven’t bothered addressing due to the size compared to the book end generations

Into the gray zone – George Washington University – interesting white paper on hacking back. Not the smartest thing to do but interesting (PDF)

The Mighty Middle Market – Edelman – the US’ mittelstadt

Below Deck — The California Sunday Magazine – this kind of work was the prototype for the Ubers of this world

POSIX has become outdated by Atlidakis, Andrus, Geambasu, Mitropoulos & Nieh (Columbia University) – this seems arcane but will impact every part of information technology from mainframes and web infrastructure to Macs and smartphones (both iPhone and Android)

Online ethics in a time of unreasonable behaviour

Much of my social channels are filled with outrage and discussion about what is perceived as unreasonable behaviour.

Tea Party Express at the Minnesota capitol

On one hand we had filter bubbles that allowed audiences to stay isolated, apparently only seeing the content which broadly fitted their world view. For the metropolitan elite, its a steady diet of virtue signalling. For the right it is the Illuminati / New World Order view of an aloof elite.

On the other hand we have voices that break through and are generally viewed as abhorrent by those in my social sphere.  The archetype of the breakthrough voice would be Milo Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos is a complex character who has gone from post modern poet who borrowed from pop music and television without attribution, to technology journalist and a libertarian who has become a figurehead of the alt-right. Along the way his wardrobe has changed from a preppy sloan look to a supporting character from the original version of Miami Vice.

Yiannopoulos is very adept at provoking a response from his opponents that rallies his supporters since they think it is evidence of the backlash from an omnipotent elite.

Those on the right would point to figures like Kerry-Anne Mendoza, the editor in chief of The Canary – who has been accused of sensationalist or irresponsible journalism.

The underlying element is that everyone cannot agree on what the problem actually is. Silicon Valley is lining up to filter out the worst excesses of the right; partly because engineer political views and advertiser views are largely aligned.

Generally engineers are degree educated so tend to be libertarian and socially liberal. They will support diversity and often work in multi-national teams. They are acutely aware of the power that their technology has which is why privacy tends to be most politicised amongst the tech-literate. Whilst large corporates would like to do what made the most commercial sense, there is a tension in Silicon Valley between this desire and the ability to hold on to engineers to do the work.

At the other end of the spectrum right wingers are trying to crowd fund a lawsuit against Twitter for for discrimination against conservatives and violations of antitrust regulation. WeSearchr – the crowd-fund platform equate Twitter making a call is equated to discrimination in the American South during the 1960s.

Ken White, attorney at Brown White & Osborn LLP and blogger on First Amendment issues, disagrees.

“WeSearchr’s claims of censorship and discrimination are frivolous,” he told me in an email. “Twitter may be ‘censoring’ in a colloquial way, but it’s a private platform and not governed by the First Amendment. It’s free to kick people off for speech it doesn’t like unless doing so runs afoul of a particular federal or state statute, and WeSearchr hasn’t cited a plausible relevant one.”

“Antitrust law is very complicated and it’s pointless to speculate about what WeSearchr thinks it means by citing it,” he said. “But antitrust law doesn’t say ‘it’s illegal to be a big company that dominates a field.’ Generally it restricts anti-competitive practices, and WeSearchr has never credibly identified any.”

Secondly there is research done by Demos to suggest that those of use with more liberal values have a looser social bubble and are likely to be more aware of inflammatory commentary by those with more populist views.

People with more polarized political affiliations tend to be more inward-facing than people with more moderate political affiliations. In short, the echo chamber effect is more pronounced the further a group is from the centre.

Conversely, those who hold more extreme views will feel emboldened as part of an enclosed community of like mined people.

What should be done?

Demos suggests that the mainstream news as a point at which the different opinions are most likely to meet. However, the very subjective viewpoint of different mainstream news outlets imply that this isn’t likely to happen.

The technology companies have made it clear that they will try and curb the worst excesses of the populist faction online. My sense is that it will fuel their sense of persecution  and provide a point to rally around.

Should anything be done?

More information
Canary in the pit | Private Eye
The Alt-Right Is Trying to Crowdfund Twitter’s Destruction | Motherboard
Talking to ourselves | Demos

Links of the day | 在网上找到

WSJ City – Sinking Feeling: Shipping Is Latest European Banking Worry – Hanjin shipping slowly unwinding banking sector as shipping loans become sub prime in a tight market

Massive LED screen for Sogo Department Store – Inside Retail – this looks epic

Brexit vote has ‘chilling’ effect on start-up investment – BBC News – actually this might be the fintech bubble deflating and it isn’t likely to lose politicians any votes. Given the love Teresa May had for David Cameron the death of Silicon Roundabout wouldn’t get any complaints from the current government – it might even be a winner as elites suffer

Finnish airline Finnair adds Alipay for inflight shopping | SCMP – really interesting move as Alipay moves beyond the luxury concessions of department stores to other parts of western retail catering to Chinese consumers. I would be very surprised if the Chinese revenue officials aren’t analysing this data very carefully.

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

This week has mostly been work, followed by sleep, followed by more work. The things that made my day this week include

Filipino restaurant chain Brick Burger who came up with buns that look like an edible homage to Lego

Korean longboarder Hyojoo Ko skated and danced around Oscar Niemeyer’s International Cultural Centre in Asturias, Spain for Vogue Japan – enjoy 2 1/2 minutes of awesome.

The Enigma of Hong Kong in the 1950s: Werner Bischof’s Photos at the F11 Photographic Museum – Zolima City Magazine

Nanidato | Free Listening on SoundCloud – this week I have mostly been listening to Japanese pop with a disco feel

Fullstopnewparagraph — Freelance copywriter | London – really nicely designed site

Links of the day | 在网上找到

The End of Employees – WSJ – temp agencies, zero-hour contracts, outsourcing, asset-light businesses, focusing on core competences etc etc all driven by revenue per employee metrics. You can thank McKinsey & Company for the ‘thought leadership’ that brought on this sorry state

Is This the World’s Most Expensive Strawberry? | Time.com – interesting how the largely ex-pat Hong Kong Mums group kicked this story off. Gift giving is very important in Asia, is this any more offensive than Cadbury Christmas selection boxes, foil laminate packaging like Capri Sun or brittle plastic blister packs

Tucows – AVC – interesting how they morphing into an alternative telco infrastructure company

60% of content created by brands is just clutter | Marketing Week – Havas meaningful brands study

People are quitting gig jobs in the sharing economy — Quartz – not terribly surprising, this is likely to accelerate interest in automation

‘Planet Earth II’ Snapchat Show Will Promote BBC TV Series | Variety – bit size lean back media for millennials

hiroshi fujiwara’s park-ing ginza X SONY collection | Design Boom – great tribute to Sony – now can they just get their mojo back

Harajuku style bible FRUiTS stops publishing after 20 years | Dazed – Noooooo!

Apple tells Australian Commission that their Bank’s acting as a Cartel has a Chilling Effect on the Benefits of Competition | Patently Apple

Bot Traffic Report 2016 | Incapsula Blog – interesting drill down into bot traffic for web properties

Shell begins huge task of decommissioning Brent oil rigs | The Guardian – reduced tax revenue just as the UK goes post-EU with Brexit….

Thousands of College Kids Are Powering a Clickbait Empire | Backchannel – content marketing using university students

Apple iPhone loses Chinese market share for first time as Oppo, Huawei, Vivo gain ground | South China Morning Post – and the iPhone 7 didn’t impress

Emerging Theme Radar – Goldman Sachs – rising importance of lithium and blockchain (PDF)

This Tech Entrepreneur Shares Her Strategy For Managing Remote Workers Globally  – great interview with Tamara Middleton

Great interview with Adam Curtis

I’ve been watching a lot of Curtis’ work recently. HyperNormalisation, The Mayfair Set, The Trap, The Century of the Self, Bitter Lake and Pandora’s Box.

More information
Just Adam Curtis channel on YouTube – has curated many of his documentaries.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

This Terrifying Camera-head is Supposed to Make Adult VR Content More Intimate | Road To VR

New Life for a Modern Landmark: The Murray Building – Zolima City Magazine – form follows function

PR in Trump’s America

Interesting hour long video discussion on public relations in the US in the midst of media change with the Trump administration. It has a really interesting polling post mortem on Hillary’s loss.