Monthly Archives: February 2012

On the sofa: Safe House

When I see that name Ryan Reynolds on a poster I cringe. Reynolds has appeared in a number of unintentionally comic roles from the Green Lantern to Blade Trinity; or the Marks & Spencers marketing campaign.  So I had my expectations set pretty low for Safe House.

Safe House is a beautifully shot film based in modern-day South Africa; a paranoia-driven thriller a la 3 Days of The Condor, but for the war on terror rather than the cold war. Reynolds does a pretty good job of playing a convincing scared novice CIA officer. What brings it is the ensemble cast around him like Brendan Gleeson who recently stared in The Guard.

The story ends in a bloody Reservoir Dogs-esque climax, whilst there are no surprises the film takes the audience along for an enjoyable ride.

The trailer is on Tudou so may need some patience whilst it loads.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Attack on Vatican Web Site Offers View of Hacker Group’s Tactics – NYTimes.com

GPs to ‘prescribe’ apps for patients | Department of Health

DDB makes Shanghai global creative centre, led by Amir Kassaei – Campaign Asia-Pacific – interesting refocus. Expect PR to follow

How to get a job in porn | The Next Great Generation – really interesting research on the economics of the adult entertainment industry

China accounts for one-third of world’s smokers|WantChinaTimes.com

Beijing couples stay together for the sake of the house: law firm|WantChinaTimes.com

The Pirate Scene Nimbly Adopts New x264 Video Codec | SiliconANGLE – innovation

Communities Dominate Brands: The State of the Union blog for Mobile Industry – all the stats and facts for 2012

Gloom versus Boom in Indian PR | Forbes India Blog

China’s economic growth ‘unsustainable’ – RTHK – according to World Bank president. Reflects the law of big numbers and China’s own refocus beyond GDP

Steve Jobs was right: Dropbox is a feature, not a product | PandoDaily

Where to Buy Android Tablets Safely From China | gizchina.com

GPS ‘spoofers’ could be used for high-frequency financial trading fraud (Wired UK)

Innovation and the Bell Labs Miracle – NYTimes.com

Sony Music Boss: Censored YouTube Videos Cost Us Millions | TorrentFreak

Is the honeymoon over for Facebook gaming? — Tech News and Analysis

Print Index Social Media Performance | Global Rankings 2011

Are Twitter And Facebook A Serious Threat To Your Privacy? [INFOGRAPHIC] « AllTwitter

Sharp develops modules for digital signage players ‹ Japan Today – interesting that Sharp thinks that there is a market for PC-free controllers, a small move away from the general purpose computer

Why Are Harvard Graduates in the Mailroom? – NYTimes.com – anyone thinking about the equity of internships should read this article

How Microsoft is killing off the Zune and Windows Live brands in Windows 8 | The Verge

Oprah Time: All is social by Graham Brown | 书评:全部是社会所

I’ve known Graham for a number of years. We first met when he ran MobileYouth selling marketing research to mobile operators, focused on the youth market. All is social is a mix: Graham’s own journey as an observer of Japanese society during his time as a JET scheme member and onwards with his experience in market research to date and a treatise on the interactions of consumers and brands. He considers that this all has an essential social component which makes a lot of sense.

Graham puts out marketing, the idea of branding on its head. Instead brand comes from consumer’s use for the brand, or what we describe as ‘intent and context’ at Ruder Finn. He thinks that innovation is in the use rather than the design. I’d be less inclined to completely believe this, when I think about how iconic design and engineering can make a difference:

  • Dieter Rams work at Braun, which was part of the German economic miracle and has echoed down into many Apple products
  • Christian Lindholm’s work at Nokia on smartphone user experience: S60
  • The industrial of design of Sony from the 1960s through the 1990s
  • Henry Ford and the Model T
  • The user experience of Twitter and Google

But anthropological co-creation can make a real difference. Whilst Graham’s writing focuses on young people, I think that it the principles fit consumers in general. Check it out Kindle.

More information
All is social by Graham Brown

I like: The Gipper by Frank Kozik | 我喜欢: 罗纳德·里根的雕像

Amongst groups of conservative political bent there is a concerted effort to canonise Ronald Reagan in a similar way to presidents like Abraham  Lincoln or John F. Kennedy. This process has extended beyond the United States, for instance there is now a Ronald Reagan statue in a corner of Grosvenor Square near the site of the (soon to be replaced) American embassy.
The Gipper
During his presidency Reagan was a divisive character to American and international audiences.

From supply-side economics that were attached to the decline of industrial jobs (on balance probably a judgement, this is partly unfair due to sustained stagflation through the 1970s) – though it was responsible for penalising people who paid payroll tax or made new investments, instead rewarding high income earners and reducing tax on existing investments. His administration oversaw the Libya bombing, the Iran-Contra scandal and the invasion of Grenada – all of which were controversial.

There was an escalation of the weapons race in the Cold War with the Star Wars programme and roll out of cruise missiles in Europe. All of this came from debt funded government spending with a rise in US government debt from 26% of GDP in 1981 to about 40% in 1998.

Frank Kozik uses the visual language of Reagan’s conservative canonisation to express a partisan view of Reagan’s legacy.

More information at Munky King.

Out and about: The Star Café, Soho, London | 明星咖啡屋,Soho,伦敦

I caught up with Steve Earl last week and tried to wrap our heads about marketing agency economics over coffee and a vegetable grill. Our venue was The Star Café, a little bit of old Soho from before the hedge funds, Albanian organised crime families and Starbucks moved in. The entire area around Great Chapel Street has been demolished so I was a bit thrown trying to find the venue. There is used to be a drop-in centre for drug addicts and a mobile repair shop that was part of Carphone Warehouse there is now site preparation work and building cranes.

Back to The Star Café: the wood paneled interior is covered in a dark brown patina. A similar colour to what a traditional pub used to have, if the interior hadn’t been ‘refurbished’ by the brewery – back when smoking inside would have been still legal.

Most of this wood is covered with vintage enamel signs from the late 19th and early 20th century advertising everything from travel to condiments and pet food. On to the food, The Star Café does a good cooked breakfast and a great coffee.
Business breakfast
It is ideal for business as its quiet enough to have a civilised discussion. What the The Star Café also has is character in spades with its customer base of Soho veterans and staff that are part of the fabric of Soho itself.

The Star Café
22 Great Chapel Street London, LONDON W1F 8FR
+44(0)20 7437 8778

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Caterina Fake: Fast Growth for a Social App Is a Very Bad Thing – AllThingsD – it’s not just about numbers, its about community social norms and ethos which take time to develop within a group

3 in 10 display ads delivered are never seen, often because users fail to scroll down the webpage or scroll too fast

Data point: How shoppers are using their phones | JWT Intelligence

Wired for chance | Excapite – Nigel Scott on my recent post on online marketing

New Rules of the New Economy – Wired – from which Kevin Kelly’s book sprang from

In Back Alleys and Basements, Video Arcades Quietly Survive | Wired.com – a bit like music genres when they get taken back underground

American Households Not as Reckless as You Think | Mother Jones – or why the debt is going to take decades to work out

Apple Readying ‘Products That Will Blow Your Mind’ – Forbes

Mozilla partners up with LG to combat Apple and Google with its own device | ExtremeTech

Weibo Increases the Frequency, Speed and Impact of Crises | China IWOM Blog

comScore Releases the “2012 Mobile Future in Focus” Report – comScore, Inc

U.S. moves to isolate Japanese, Russian crime groups ‹ Japan Today

“Unethical” HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism from W3C reps

SynergyKM | Free software downloads at SourceForge.net – use one keyboard across multiple machines without special hardware

China Social Users More Likely to Engage with Brands | China Internet Watch

Is Pinterest the Next Big Social Network in Europe?

Bracelets by another name | FT.com – how a change in language sells accessories to men

30 Inspiring WebGL (Chrome) Experiments

The New Classics

rikumo.com – really nice simple Japanese products

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

This is a guest post by Amy Giffin, from my client Alchemy. Amy spent an afternoon with us so it made sense to have her write this weeks post .
Fox suit
It goes into why we spent Friday afternoon drinking coffee, photographing grown men dressed as woodland animals and photographing banks.

1. Firstly it made me open my mind, take note of the small things around me and things that advertisers might have missed. I noticed the stunning red ball gown in the window of Coutts, I read the paragraph next to it, I thought ‘that was interesting’, but then I walked away. The window pulled me in as I love fashion and glamour, but it didn’t engage me any further, Coutts didn’t use my initial interest and ask me to look at their web page or engage with them on Facebook, a social networking site that attracts people like me who are interested in fashion. After the initial engagement, there wasn’t a clear call to action to capitalise on the interest

2.I decided that I wanted to talk to my colleagues more, find out what makes them tick, what their hobbies are and their ‘extra-curricular’ activities. Why do they do what they do? What makes them sit in the corner of the room and scowl whenever ‘Artful Dodger’ is played on Spotify? Gain a better understanding of the personalities that make up the community in which I work will enable me to tap into the creative heart of Alchemy and I will in turn be better able to communicate our brand through the individuals that make up Alchemy

3.I realised that I am not limited to talking about ‘Facebook’ or even ‘social’, just because that’s what it said on our marketing literature. I can look at the world around our building, even at our building and take inspiration from that. Why is our building called ‘Tea’? You would think it was because it used to be an old tea factory, in fact, this is exactly what we told our US colleagues when they came to visit a few months ago. I fact, we had no idea about the buildings history, but it sounded great and the Americans liked it because tea is synonymous with all things British. Everything can be used to tell a story and communicate a brand persona rather than just what we do / sell

4.This leads me to the concept of ‘authority’ … if someone tells you something in a posh voice an looks you straight in the eye, you are more likely to believe them over someone who tells you that grass is blue whilst biting their finger nails and looking shifty

5. Finally, Ged showed me one of, if not the most effective commercials I’ve ever seen. It was so effective because the customers did it all for them. There was no smoke and mirrors, it was a montage of genuine reactions from the general public. Why did they react this way? Because one of their beloved burgers, a burger that symbolised a family outing, or a first date, a burger that evoked a special memory or emotion, had been taken off the menu. This proved to me that if you take something away, or ask a question that leaves the reader something to think about, it is as effective as giving something. This was a social object

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Nike Introduces Flyknit Technology | NEW YORK – TOKYO – made out of a single polyester thread woven to a shoe

Lumus’ OE-31 optical engine turns motorcycle helmets, other eyewear into wearable displays — Engadget

Hands-on with Immersion HD Integrator hi-fi haptics — Engadget

MIIT Says Telecom Growth Outpaced GDP Growth Last Year | Tech in Asia – in China

As Sure As Night Follows Day, Tencent Launches a Pinterest Clone | Tech in Asia

Why Chinese Luxury Consumers Prefer to Shop Overseas | The China Observer

TelecomTV | Pride and Prejudice: Facebook’s censorship rules laid bare for all to see

Taking Vietnam’s economy to the next level – McKinsey Quarterly

Wi-Fi Passpoint standard could end hotspot sign-on hassles

F-Commerce provides more proof that online traffic != customers | Excapite

Bing to embarrass: Feature lets you link Facebook friends to search results | VentureBeat – google bombing for 21st century?

Mastered for iTunes: how audio engineers tweak music for the iPod age

Identification, engagement and measurement: putting it all together for WOM marketers by Nilesh Bansal & Dr Nick Koudas – good whitepaper by Sysomos

Qualcomm just announced the chip that would be a one-stop shop for Apple’s mobile needs | 9to5Mac

Flickr Is Getting a Major Makeover | Betabeat – not sure how I feel about the view, likely to be resource hungry?

How best to reduce power on future ICs - really nice article by Junko Yoshida at the EETimes

ISSCC: Intel focuses on low power, digital RF

Remember ‘If Microsoft made cars…’ jokes? – great piece on poor user experience in car design

Unchained workers of the world rejoice

One of the frustrations of the mobile PR person is having to deal with different building’s wi-fi networks: be it at a client or in your favourite global chain of identikit coffee shops, wi-fi requires a lot of account juggling in order to be productive. This could all be a thing of the past, just like quaint tales of faxing press releases out if the Wi-Fi Alliance gets wide acceptance of it’s Passpoint technology.

In simple terms it allows access on different networks as easily as the SIM card in a mobile phone on cellular networks. Though I am sure that someone will come along and charge outrageous roaming wi-fi charges a la your average business hotel.

More information
Wi-Fi Passpoint standard could end hotspot sign-on hassles – ComputerWorld

Archived from the blog that I used to write at PR Week.

Oprah Time: The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin | 书评

Daniel Yergin became the defacto historian of the oil industry when he published his first history of the industry with The Prize. The Quest is a logical successor to The Prize, whilst not exactly being a sequel to the book. Which means that readers who are new to Mr Yergin’s work can pick up the book and read The Quest without having read his earlier work.

Whilst the body of the book is from the decline of the cold war onwards, Yergin delves into history where context is needed. Secondly, Yergin dives into alternative energy sources including a balanced view on nuclear, wind and solar power. His insightful analysis of these alternatives makes compelling reading.

All of this detail comes at a cost; The Quest is a weighty book both in terms of its size and the amount of content that you have to go through. His work is a wake-up call to the energy industry, policy makers and environmentalists alike – all of which have been guilty of not having a sensible attitude towards energy.

Specsavers tube pass cover

Londoners are used to having things pressed into their hands as they come out of the station. Usually it’s gym leaflets or magazines full of secretarial job adverts. Occasionally you will get a heavily branded cheap looking holder for your Oystercard.
Tube pass cover
So far play to Specsavers for not going hell for leather on the branding and going to the trouble of coming up with an interesting design that says ‘the tube’.

The Facebook shops post

Over the past few days articles have appeared talking about Facebook shop closures triggered by a piece in Bloomberg. There is a really good post on the whys and wherefores on Mashable. I found that there were some interesting underlying assumptions in the coverage:

  • Experiments are not businesses. Many brands like P&G went on to Facebook as an experiment. They hoped that it would achieve increased engagement with consumers and increase sales via a new channel. It didn’t work out, most experiments don’t. This is how progress is made however
  • It’s not a complete wipe out. Yes shops are expensive to develop compared to the return on investment; but the knowledge of what worked and what didn’t is invaluable for a business IF it has been captured properly

Finally this shouldn’t put decision makers off risk taking, the online eco-system is going to evolve but the clock isn’t going to back and there will be failures along the way; which is fine so long as we keep making new mistakes, learn and move forward.

More information
Why are brands shutting down Facebook Stores?
Gamestop to J.C. Penney Shut Facebook Stores: Retail – Bloomberg

Archived from blog posts I wrote for PR Week

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Meiji’s Tweet Mystery Campaign – interesting multi-channel programme by Japanese sweet company

Google pads IP portfolio, purchases Cuil’s pending search-related patent applications — Engadget

% of people with active social media profiles: infographic | Econsultancy

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences: ‘Real Name’ Weibo Isn’t A Viable Solution | Tech in Asia

Gamestop to J.C. Penney Shut Facebook Stores: Retail – Bloomberg – the context is wrong. Context is the location of the online world

Is reality catching up to Facebook f-commerce dreams? | Econsultancy

Sony and Tokyo Tech develop record-setting 6.3Gbps chip for 60GHz transmissions | The Verge – short distances only

Once upon a time in the West| SCMP.com – great article in the South China Morning Post that posits that shows like PanAm and Mad Men are about the US looking for Paradise Lost in a post-American century (paywall)

Brands Face Stream Fatigue as Consumers Look Beyond Gimmicks in Social Networks – Brian Solis

Lamborghini Expects Supercar Slowdown In China « Jing Daily

The Pirate Bay could be blocked in UK | guardian.co.uk

Context Optional – social media workflow

Artificial Inflation: The True Story of Trends in Sina Weibo – Cornell University Library – report by Hewlett Packard researchers

Is the internet too perfect a market?

The train of thought on this blog post coalesced when I was re-reading Kevin Kelly’s New Rules for the New Economy for the first time in a decade. Kelly’s book built on the work done by fellow Wired contributor John Browning who pulled together The Encyclopedia of the New Economy which was published over a couple of issues of Wired magazine and as a compilation in a now out-of-print pamphlet that used to sold via the Wired web site.

What is the new economy?

Back in the 1990s when the internet started to move out research and academia into the commercial and consumer world lot’s of things were happening.

The cold war had finished, television viewers had seen CNN revolutionise coverage of the Gulf War conflict and the Iraqi army had been routed largely due to technology (and overwhelming firepower). Proto-reality show The Real World was fresh, with David ‘Puck’ Rainey becoming the first reality TV villain to capture the public’s imagination. The M in MTV still stood for music; but also stood for ‘much innovative programming’; Gap had some of the coolest ads on TV and the record industry was making money like music sales were going out of style.

Francis Fukuyama’s political philosophy tract The End of History (and the Last Man) seemed to catch the spirit of the time in terms of a utopian vision of the future, even if most of the people who name-dropped his work had never read it.

People realised that the internet would change things, just in the same way that mobile phones had started to change everyday life (punctuality suddenly became passé, when you could phone ahead give your excuses and have a much more fluid schedule). It was going to change lots of industries perhaps creating a ‘new economy’ of online businesses. From a cultural point-of-view the new economy and the information superhighway was something to hitch one’s utopian hopes to with echoes of Roosevelt’s New Deal some 60 years earlier.

 The assumptions

The new economy was thought to bring about what economists would call a perfect market. Consumers would have information available at their finger tips and be able to compare the price of products throughout the world to get the best deal. There were even those who thought that consumers would have software agents to do this on their behalf and companies would have their power reduced by consumers. All of this change would be brought about by connected information and the rise of hobbyist communities who often knew more about a company’s products than the company themselves. This was seen to be a logical extension based on what people knew of the power of networks.

Consumer opportunities

Many of the early e-commerce businesses were arbitrage plays. Boxman had complex software from IBM that bought CDs from the cheapest distributors across Europe, shipped to its warehouse in Belgium and then shipped to consumers with some of arbitrage gained reflected in their discounted price. CD-WOW.com sold CDs from Hong Kong and other markets to UK consumers at prices that were up to 25 per cent cheaper than other suppliers. In the end, Boxman was brought down by poor software performance due to IBM learning about e-commerce as they went along and eventually CD-WOW had to pay £41 million pounds damages due to a prosecution brought by the BPI under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988.

The ruling gave record companies a free hand to continue predation on UK consumers by supporting excessive prices on CDs compared to non-European markets. If it had been a bank instead of a record label, they would have been labeled loan sharks.

I worked on agencyside on the launch of a comparison shopping service called Dealtime UK (it re-branded to Shopping.com and is now part of eBay) which showed the price of CDs, consumer electronics shops and compared them across a swathe of retailers. Eventually search became a big part of the comparison shopping play with Google having its product search function and Yahoo! buying Kelkoo and tapping into that expertise to roll-out Yahoo! Shopping functionality across the international Yahoo! network.

Big Data

The demise of the dot com era saw changes in media consumption that went hand-in-hand with the roughly 30 per cent decline in online advertising spend bottoming out in 2002. Consumers started to find their way around the web in a different manner. Instead of having there homepage of their browser  as a personalised melange of news, weather and horoscopes served up by a portal website like Yahoo!, Excite or MSN; there was instead a search box from Google, Baidu, Naver or Yandex depending where you lived in the world.

As search engines tried to provide better results, they realised that context was important and that a record of what searches people did may make some sense of it. This data is immensely powerful. An example of how powerful it is was show by the AOL Search debacle. In August 2006, an AOL Research project put three month’s worth of search data for 650,000 users online. The data had been anonymised, but that didn’t stop the New York Times tracking down Thelma Arnold based on her search data. At the time I worked at Yahoo! we were gathering as much data each day from consumers as would be held in the US Library of Congress two times over.

It wasn’t only search engines that had this inferred data inside it, other businesses like Amazon had been gathering information about consumer’s preferences towards different products. Netflix like AOL released anonymised consumer data into the public as part of a programme to crowd-source a better recommendation algorithm. Privacy concerns were raised following work done by the University of Texas and Netflix pulled the data set following an agreement with the FTC.

Web 2.0

The web as a platform or web 2.0 came about out the ashes of the dot.com crash. The idea was that the web, had become a web of data that could be used through APIs to build new services and become more useful through mashing the data up. The key concepts that pioneers focused on was making the data usable and ensuring attribution of the data sets – (I’d recommend having a look at Tom Coates’ Native to a Web of Data presentation as a primer.)

One of the key things about this was that a number of the pioneers in this area like Flickr’s founder Stewart Butterfield said that APIs gave consumers power over their data, they could back up their images or take it elsewhere. Their content was exportable and market forces kept all the players honest and competitive.

However it could also be easily matched with existing data sets and much greater inferences derived from it.

Secondly, over time the moral imperative changed in these businesses. Facebook developed its site as being a digital equivalent of the Hotel California where you data can enter, but never leave. So as a marketer you have never had so much consumer information between the big data, inferred data and the ability of blending in further data to refine the knowledge further moves the needle from consumer to marketer in terms of economic power.

How could this be used?

  • Targeted advertising – based on understanding of the consumer behaviour, consumer spending power, life-state information. If you want to know the power of this information, look at how US supermarket Target wants to get hold of consumers as they are ready to start a family.
  • Targeted offers – save your best offers for people who are most likely to act on them
  • Dynamic cross-selling and up-selling opportunities – one of the biggest problems that we as marketers faced when I worked at MBNA a number of years ago was the irate consumers who would reach out when they had been offered a superior deal by us via mail. This need never happen again, instead inventory could be used to target them with additional services from a trusted brand
  • Differentiated pricing – this is where things get interesting. For luxury brands you could deliberately use differentiated pricing as a barrier to the kind of consumers you don’t want. For insurance companies you could use a much wider set of data to make inferences about likely risks for everything from health to their likely driving-style

The trust issue

As the Edelman Trust Barometer has shown for the past decade or so trust is extremely important in consumer – organisation interactions and ongoing relationships. Or as Kelly puts it:

With the decreased importance of productivity, relationships and their allies become the main economic event.

He lists attributes of trust that shows how difficult it is to foster, and how fragile it can be to maintain:

Trust is a peculiar quality. It can’t be bought. It can’t be downloaded. It can’t be instant

So where does trust leave the information imbalance between consumers and the organisation that they interact with? It’s a big challenge, Kelly points out that for trust to work consumers have to know who has the knowledge and a full understanding of that they know.  The problem is that organisations aren’t ready to have that adult conversation and full disclosure, particularly about what they can infer from the data that they have access to. The benefit that the consumer gets in relational activity is much less than what the organisation derives from that data. This would be especially true for someone like Facebook:
netbase on Facebook
Netbase looked at how consumers relate to brands, it indicates that many people feel that they have to be on Facebook rather than they want to be indicating that the consumer benefit is low, so the corresponding trust they are prepared to put into the social network regarding their privacy is low.

Companies like Facebook and Path are treating privacy as an inconvenient hang-up of consumers that they must run an end game around rather than engendering trust. The less engagement these businesses have with their audience the lower the quality of the information and the consequent lower utility that they have for marketers.

In the same way that consumers have a reduced trust in the media following incidents at organisations like News International; there is likely to be an inciting incident at some point between consumers and the online advertising eco-system that is likely to bring trust to a head. The perfect market knowledge advantage then becomes mute.

The internet becoming too perfect a market kills the golden goose being bad for consumers and bad for advertisers. The challenge is that the eco-system is a victim of its own success from 2002 to the end of 2011 the US online advertising market grew over four times to roughly 8 billion dollars a quarter. If someone steps back from the plate to take a more considered approach, someone else will rush in.

A prime example of this is the use of facial recognition software which even Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt agrees is a step too far, Facebook has already implemented it and Google has rolled it out as an opt-in feature on Google+. The problem with the opt-in is that Google doesn’t spell out to the consumer the full ramifications of the technology – yet it was obviously concerned at the highest level in order for Schmidt to go on record about it at a conference.

Looking at all this; it is counter-intuitive, but the market for consumer privacy should actually be with the brands that they are trying to engage them. How powerful would it be if a brand said: we can do all these things skulking around behind your back, pulling the strings but we aren’t going to and we don’t want to. We want to be a brand that you can address on your own terms.

The clock is ticking for the brand that will make that leap and the advertising eco-system that won’t. It was the Cluetrain Manifesto accused PR people of being afraid of their publics; were now in a situation where the online advertising eco-system is afraid of being completely honest with its audiences and afraid of their advertisers.

As Chuck D said:

The easiest and the hardest word to say is NO

More information
Here’s What Really Scares Eric Schmidt – Allthings D
Google+ Introduces Automatic Face Recognition To Photo Tagging (But It’s Completely Opt-In) – TechCrunch

Facial Recognition Technology: Facebook photo matching is just the start – PC World
Netflix Cancels Contest After Concerns Are Raised About Privacy – New York Times
CD Settlement forces prices up – BBC News
Tom Coates famous ‘Native to a web of data’ presentation that he gave at Future of Web Apps back in 2006  and Simon Willison’s write up of the presentation
How Companies Learn Your Secrets – NYTimes.com – How Target zeros in on consumers right around the birth of a child, when parents are exhausted and overwhelmed and their shopping patterns and brand loyalties are up for grabs
Where’s the Market for Online Privacy? | The Precursor Blog by Scott Cleland