Links of the day

Europe faces ‘inflationary shock,’ EU says – International Herald Tribune – it will hit the poorest people hardest

Google sites drive a third of UK Internet traffic, says Hitwise | Technology | Guardian Unlimited – sounds a bit low given that seven out of ten internet journeys start with search

Insiders: 7 Confessions Of An Apple Macintosh Specialist – the best bit is how to screw with the store manager

Google Begins Experimenting with Image Recognition – very powerful leap forward, potentially negates the need for things like tagging in the longer term?

Alibaba Killer? Chinese Ministries Unveil New B2C Website

Morgan Stanley presentation on internet trends (March 18, 2007) – Meeker and Co roll out an interesting presentation

‘Hundreds of thousands’ of Microsoft web servers hacked. FAIL | Technology | Guardian Unlimited

DDB whitepaper on social communities, brand and product marketing – or as they call it ‘digital swarms’. Are we all just giant wasps to them? ;)

Deliciously wrong II

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

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! cigarettes

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.

Links of the day

NHK’s ‘Domo-kun’ to be aired in 101 countries › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion – Way cool Domo-kun is a bit of an icon, looking forward to seeing his TV debut in UK

Facebook | Lexicon – Facebook’s answer to Google Zeitgeist

Europe Lags on Internet Penetration, Moves Ahead on Broadband Take-Up – interesting take on the mobile web here by Edelman thats a bit at odds to what I have heard from developers (rather than marketers) in terms of its viability

Faster – Why Constant Stress is Part of Our Future

EastSouthWestNorth: Why Is CNN Patriotic? – interesting piece on the western media from a Chinese perspective

Russia warming up to open source

Is Keyword Search About To Hit Its Breaking Point?

When China learned to say no – interesting interview with Chinese authors about ‘China can say no’ and the Chinese national identity

Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang: Valley Internet icon now in a tough spot –

Social Tools for the Office Worker: How to Subvert I.T. and Play at Work

Wired News – GPS market challenges – GPS devices heading towards market saturation

Apple: Salesforce to become an all-Mac shop

Jargon Watch: BYM

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.

Links of the day

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 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

Why is Twitter like Facebook?

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.

Links of the day

YouTube – Don’t Panic Client Credentials – I like the way Don’t Panic have a creds reel on YouTube which they link to in their email signatures.

Enterprise 2.0 To Become a $4.6 Billion Industry By 2013 – ReadWriteWeb

Plastic made from pig urine – interesting article especially when you think about how much waste large producers like Tyson Foods have

One in five phones will have Linux by 2013 – probably mostly in the BRIC markets

Want to Remember Everything You’ll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm

Get consistent mental energy with smaller, more frequent caffiene doses

CNET’s Molly Wood to Zune: It’s over – interesting user experience-orientated article

Event: Tuttle Club Breakfast and Just The One

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.

Event: Channel 4 – A Cultural Trip debate

Channel 4 Culture Trip debate panel

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.

Links of the day

William Gibson: The Rolling Stone 40th Anniversary Interview : Rolling Stone

Droste Effect: when a package’s artwork features the package itself – Boing Boing  – 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’

On the sofa: Benga – Diary of an Afro Warrior

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.

Links of the day

Prediction: The RSA Conference Will Shrink Like a Punctured Balloon

LOOPWHEELER – looks to do for t-shirts and sweatshirts what the Japanese selvage movement ( Evisu, Edwin etc) did for vintage denim manufacture

The New News Process on PSFK

Why Vista Is Failing Part II: It’s Slow And Expensive – Silicon Alley Insider

Free Analytics Suite Coming From Yahoo! – ReadWriteWeb

Mac OS X: Free Alternatives to the MacHeist Bundle

Marketing, Industry remains optimistic despite imminent downturn |

MindShare Disbands Standalone Digital Unit Amid Company-wide Restructuring |

MindShare Moves Beyond Buying, Planning – Advertising Age – MediaWorks

Getting around

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)

Links of the day

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 – interesting move on Google’s part, I wonder if they have a way with handling captatchas to get at hidden data?