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 All Is Social author 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.


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