A while ago I blogged about children’s cigarette packets that had ambiguous designs which may encourage children to smoke as adults. You can see that post ‘Deliciously Wrong‘ here. Cyber Candy had some new package designs.
Death Row cigarettes are really exceptionally honest or trying to singlehandly bring back a west coast gangsta rap revival that would make Suge Knight very happy.
Just Like Dad makes no pretence about its ulterior mission to develop future cigarette smokers, but you have to love the 50’s clip-art used on the package design. The young boy looks like the protagonist in 1950s TV show Leave It To Beaver.
Buy Your Mind (BYM) – the exact opposite to DIY-culture. Instead of tinkering and hacking hardware, customising a set of jeans or designing your own t-shirt range (even if its, Threadless, Spreadshirt, Le Fraise or Cafe Press printing them) you purchase someone else’s designs.
This came from a sub-titled video that I watched at the V&A’s China Design Now exhibtion. The video showed the grass roots feel of the MIDI music festival in Beijing (my experience of a Taiwanese oi band last summer at the Hong Kong Arts Club was not a fluke, punk is apparently big in China) and the way DIY small-scale t-shirt and badge sellers were being edged out as new business took over (think Glastonbury but without the pseudo-hippie undertones).
The festival merchandise and experience was described as moving from DIY to BYM. Most of the film was shot in 2005/6, the final shot being a sign forbidding the small scale merchants selling their DIY items. With the cancellation of this years MIDI music festival until after the olympic games, the organisers are instead throwing a grand party with a return the DIY ethic of earlier MIDI festivals.
Hong Kong smart card service in its 11th year on PSFK – nice article on how HKG’s funky Octopus card kicks ass (I use mine to pay for popcorn at the AMC cinema in Pacific Place as well as getting around HKG), whilst LDN’s Oyster is about as much use as one hand clapping. Once personal issues move out of the way, am very tempted to sack off Europe and move to Asia: either TYO, HKG, SIN
100 Cheer Girl – interesting flash animation for a Japanese recruitment agency
Five Tips for Podcasters
Upgrading processors for speed is doomed to failure – the need of paralellism in software – PS3 coders who have had a lot experience on programming for paralellism could be in demand doing business software
RCRD LBL | Free MP3 Downloads
PingMag – Archive » Style Wars: Art or Crime? – reflections on the classic graffitti documentary
Grou.ps Launches Public Beta – ReadWriteWeb – Interesting social network tool aggregator / groupware platform
Web 2.0: Obsolete within three years? – this isn’t as bad as it sounds, most technological progress is littered with failures.
New rules for expats in China – International Herald Tribune
Consumers Using Social Media to ‘Vent’ about, Research Customer Service
Ok so this isn’t about the obvious answer that Twitter is a social network that provides status information, but instead that Twitter’s API has changed in use. Its gone from people building countless front-ends to the service (from mobile clients to Mozilla plug-ins and stand-alone applications for both Mac and PC user) to becoming a front-end in its self.
Social search engine and mobile question-and-answer service ChaCha provides its service through a Twitter page, gambling on the fact that familiarity will eventually have Twitterers visiting their site so ChaCha can vend click-through adverts. However like Facebook applications before them, Twitter pages are more likely to keep the users in the Twitterverse providing zero benefits to the content supplier.
To counter-balance this posting that rings of doom and gloom, Web Worker Daily has some services listed that have put some lateral thought into how they would incorporate Twitter into their offering, more details here.
Lloyd Davis invited me along to his increasingly successful Tuttle Club/London Social Media meetings. The event started at a brain-numbing 8:30 in the morning at One Alfred Place, right by Goodge Street station. I rather missed on an illuminating end result from the meeting, this wasn’t due to my lack of caffiene, but mainly because I was too busy catching up with Steve Moore of PolicyUnplugged, Rob Hinchcliffe, Jonathan Hopkins, Rax Lakhani, LJ Rich and Justin Hayward.
That evening after work, I braved the circle line to to across town to Clerkenwell House on the edge of the Hatton Garden jewellery district for Ian Jindal‘s occasional meet-ups ironically titled Just The One. This was the first time in a long while that I caught up with Ian and following his trip out to Hong Kong in January I found that we are both big fans of life in the former crown colony.
I also managed to catch up with Viv and Naveed from e-Consultancy together with John Horsley who has joined their team. I knew John in his pre e-Consultancy life working for Attentio and setting up his own social network Marzar (go and register, all sign-ups gratefully received). I look forward to hearing some of the acid techno he makes under the Longshore Drift moniker.
The UK government recently announced plans to offer children five hours of access to arts and high culture per week. The debate focused on what impact will it have on the kids, on the education system and the subsided arts/culture sector. The debate featured Jeremy Hunt who is shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport and Margaret Hodge, the current government minister for culture, creative industries and tourism.
I had been a bit wary of the role of government and culture since the ‘repetitive beats’ controversy of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, but thought that it would be interesting to hear what the political panelists would have to say.
Peter Jenkinson, a self-described culture broker who I had previously met through his involvement in Channel 4’s Big Art project chaired the meeting. The clincher for me was when Peter asked Margaret Hodge what role broadcasters would have to play, how could television and online be used to bring culture to young people?
Margaret was smart enough to play the jargon name dropping ‘media convergence’, but her reaching for an answer showed that the government minister did not get online, she could not grasp its power or the way that it could be channeled.
Whilst Margaret is obviously a very bright and articulate woman, I did not feel confident that she would be able to chart a course for creative Britain in an age of web 2.0 technologies and user-generated content. And that’s a very scary feeling, particularly when the creative economy is becoming of increasing importance to the UK.
We are faced with all kinds of challenges from harnessing and encouraging the creative sector to the changing nature of intellectual property and the role of consumers as producers in an online world.
William Gibson: The Rolling Stone 40th Anniversary Interview : Rolling Stone
Droste Effect: when a package’s artwork features the package itself – Boing Boing
britannicanet.com – attempt to harness social media karma into clicks
Facebook: the lobbying boiling pot (Part II)
Ajaxian » Yahoo! BrowserPlus: The rumour is true – surprised that this didn’t happen soon, Yahoo! purchased Konfabulator (the granddaddy of the modern widget / offline engine for online applications and services a few years ago)
Software As A Disservice: Microsoft’s absurd software subscription – Valleywag’s take on Albany
PR Squared: Social Media Release Template, version 1.5 – Todd Defren talks us through the latest changes to the SHIFT format release, he talks about being able to individually ‘atomise’ each piece of content on the release rather than just the whole document. Think social media ‘soundbite’
I am not a great fan of dubstep, but occassionally you get artists who climb above the limitations of their genre to take their sound to a wider audience like Roni Size for drum and bass, Benga is such an artist and Diary of An Afro Warrior is his debut album.
The opening track on Diary of An Afro Warrior M2 sounds feels like AIR doing a detroit-style techno track and others reminded me of artist such as Sabres of Paradise, Autchre, LFO and Juan Atkins. In common with most electronic albums it doesn’t have a unifying concept, but somehow all the tracks work together with some dark but yet not sinister vibes.
I am not going to say that this is the best album in the world ever, but I am glad I left my musical prejudices and pressed play.
Over the next few weeks I am going to be speaking at a number of events. Feel free to come up and introduce yourself if you are at any of the following, I make better company when I’ve had some coffee though! The details of the events are below:
- MobileYouth trend workout. Graham who runs the event has invited me back to participate on a panel discussing social media. I hope that I make a better job of it this time! (May 1 – 2, 2008)
- CIPR PR Strategy Conference. Wearing my e-Consultancy hat, I need to get cracking on my presentation for this event. (May 12, 2008)
Cuill – Welcome To Cuill – one to watch in search
In China, returning to greener pre-plastic shopping tech – China way ahead of Target in environmentally friendly shopping
Interesting research on consumer behaviour and mobile devices – What Hijazi-Omari and Ribak are finding with Palestinian girls is that the mobile is allowing them to have private encounters and relationships when these would be otherwise impossible.
HELLOTXT TWHIRL – Robin Grant gives an overview of Twitter applications (pay wall)
Blyk: 29% average response rate to adverts
YouTube – HouseMasterz’s Channel – fine collection of house music
BPI – Music Business Group Response to UK IPO consultation on copyright exceptions – Music industry wants to tax consumers for format transfer. Either a flight of fancy or a speculative shake down racket that will not benefit artists one iota
Google bots are crawling in a new way – Networks – Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com – interesting move on Google’s part, I wonder if they have a way with handling captatchas to get at hidden data?