Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week

Interesting Thoughtful China talking about mobile marketing and likely implications of marketing on wearables.

McDonald’s GOL! trick shot video to tie in with the FIFA World Cup is my favourite video, out of all those done by sponsors and major vendors.

Mary Meeker’s presentation was the most shared of the week, some interesting easy to pinch slide ware but not so sure about the conclusions and some of the directions that Meeker and Co. were driving in. More on this at another time. I have a larger post that is taking a lot of time to write.

Rainforest by Gun Architects outside the Bedford Square premises of the Architectural Academy.
Outdoor art by London Architectural Academy on Bedford Square
Honda brought an Oculus Rift to MCM ComicCon to give geeks a virtual ride through Neo Tokyo.
MCM ComicCon London

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Schneier on Security: TrueCrypt WTF – fascinating commentary discussion on TrueCrypt

Am I Crazy For Wanting A 4-Inch iPhone 6? | BusinessInsider – good points in terms of usability. It does beg the question do consumers actually want a phone anymore? I suspect some of them do, but handset manufacturers tend to disagree if one where to believe the big screen trend

It’s alive! What NPR learned from turning its @nprnews account from a bot to a human | Nieman Journalism Lab – interesting experiment in bot versus human curation on a Twitter feed

Influicity Launches YouTube Influencer Marketplace – the phrase influencer marketplace made me feel uneasy

Digital Intelligence :: Marriott offers loyalty points for social shares – loyalty points for advocacy

Watchmen writer Alan Moore unveils comic book app and open-source toolkit Electricomics – really interesting media experiment by Alan Moore

Jet setting as a Brand in China | L2 ThinkTank – interesting consumption pattern

Comptoir des Cotonniers’ 20-Second Shopping | L2ThinkTank – really nice pop-up execution

Amazon Deserves All of Its Bad PR | Valleywag – any article that starts with the Lovecraftian sobriquet ‘ the Cthulhu of retail’ has to be read

The History of the Modern Graphics Processor – TechSpot – interesting story, particularly how cyclical the market was

Electro-Optic Camera: The first DSLR – really interesting history

Comcast promised poor Americans cheap internet, but most of them didn’t get it | Quartz – the money quote for me “The Internet today is like electricity. If you don’t have it, you’re screwed.”

Kakao-Daum – The Next Big Thing From Korea? BeTech – some of the best analysis I have seen about the Daum Kakao merger

BAD CLOUD | Will McInnes – am sure we can all relate to Will’s experience

Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium – interesting essay on computer security

New video shows you everything cool about the LG G3 in only 2 minutes – they had me at lasers

BlueFocus: China is changing not slowing | Marketing Interactive – investing in big data, mobile, video makes sense. I thought e-commerce was an interesting area to choose, especially given China’s unique landscape

Dutch Lady reaches out to employees to push its brand | Marketing Interactive – interesting smart FMCG strategy

Watch Skype translate a video conversation in real time | Quartz – you know that time when you first saw the internet and it was a thing of wonder, rather than where you go to work? That’s how I felt when I saw this, mixed up with feeling dirty realising that Skype is actually Microsoft

Real Estate Tycoon Sees Titanic Moment for China’s Housing Market – China Real Time Report – WSJ – he made these comments in what he believed was a Chatham House style setting

China to clean up instant messaging services – – rumour spreading and fraud

Guangdong to loosen hukou household registration system for millions of migrants | South China Morning Post – presumably to help stem some of the migration of factories inland. Good to see these people getting some government respect though (paywall)

Omnicom Strikes $230 Million Two-Year Mobile Deal With Twitter | Ad Age – this is all about access to information

B-52 receives first tech upgrade since 1961: Now with color screens and wireless networking – this is a credit to the engineers that designed and manufactured to the B-52, there was something dieselpunkish about mixed analogue and digital controls that appeals to me though

If you encounter a natural disaster in Japan, you can connect to wifi using SSID “00000JAPAN” – way ahead of emergency planning elsewhere Has been Added onto WeChat as the Shopping Channel | Technode – Tencent is the largest shareholder of JD so this makes sense. Mirrors what Alibaba did with Weibo

Great primer on Chinese social media platforms

Imagination has put together a great presentation which is an ideal primer on the Chinese online environment.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Honda’s Super Cub now protected under 3D trademark registration | AkihabaraNews – allows trademarks of iconic shapes

U.K. police try (and fail) to shut down largest torrent search engine on the Web | VentureBeat – interesting editorial by VentureBeat, I would have expected this more from the likes of Cory Doctorow or Laurence Lessig than a business publication

Australian Apple iDevices hijacked, held to ransom | The Age – using passwords from recent data breaches. Interesting Australian focus

No Time to Text? Say It With Stickers – – LINE doing well in LatAm and Asia

Playing the sales game: Do game releases actually increase console sales? | ExtremeTech – working with small data sets but interesting

Kakao And Daum To Merge, Creating One Of South Korea’s Largest Internet Companies | TechCrunch – this is a really big deal in South Korea. Daum is big in areas such as mobile search and social networks, KakaoTalk has gained ubiquity amongst Korean phone users and made a profitable business from games and stickers. I wonder what Tencent’s share will be in the combined company?

China clamps down on US consulting groups | FT – as the likes of McKinsey maybe passing on commercial secrets to the US government

U.S. Companies Hacked by Chinese Didn’t Tell Investors – Bloomberg – which is pretty shocking. They would have at least been at a disadvantage trading with Chinese state-owned companies and the disclosures may have impacted goodwill as partners would be concerned about what information was disclosed. I would have thought all of this would have been meaningful to the share price?

Chinese brands in world of their own | South China Morning Post – amazing to see the rise of Tencent

Carnival’s CEO Explains the Cruise Industry’s Biggest Problem | BusinessWeek – interesting consumer perception conundrum

Jolla’s Small-Scale Approach to Tackling Android | CCInsight – interesting analysis of Jolla. Will Sailfish really be able to go up against Cyanogen etc?

Microsoft’s golden era in China coming to an end | WantChinaTimes – Microsoft will not only lose government purchase orders, but will also lose the central enterprise purchases and OEM market–the three major revenue sources for Microsoft in China – according to a Chinese newspaper, if true then this clobbers Microsoft in China

Tokyo Girls Collection in Fukushima’ brings big smiles to battered Tohoku | Asahi Shimbun – an interesting move given the mix of real-world event and m-commerce that TGC is. Nice to see that they will have made money and done good

Can the Nervous System Be Hacked? – – Johnny Mnemonic anyone?

Retro phones: the new vinyl or film photography?

The South China Morning Post wrote an article about what it perceived as a rise in retro or feature phone usage. The article cited Lëkki as an example of such handsets becoming trendy, rather like retro re-issues of Nike Air Jordans or the adidas Originals range.
In reality:

  • This isn’t a new trend, UK site, Retro Fones have been going since the mid-noughties, and Lëkki has been around since 2009 and 2010 respectively. There are have been eBay stores going even longer specialising in supporting Nokia’s 6310i for well over a decade – since it worked so well for business travellers
  • It isn’t as big as the article would make one believe, this is a small craft business at best, it would make vinyl records and print photography look like major corporate concerns in comparison
  • It does highlight a number of weak points in smartphones. The designs don’t cater for self-expression, they don’t provide a ‘switch-off’ button from their electronic lives, they aren’t perceived as being robust, their battery lives are poor, they aren’t a convenient size for everyone and their call quality leaves much to be desired
  • Network technology is changing which will ‘brick’ these old cellphones once and for all. A move away from 2G networks to give spectrum to 3 and 4G technologies in developed markets effectively kills off these phones

Probably one of the best options to get the benefits of a feature phone is Nokia’s 515, which looks like a traditional candy bar phone and supports 3.5G networks. Supplies are apparently thinning out, but you can still get one new for around 100-115GBP on eBay.

More information
Dig out that Nokia 3310: What’s old is new again as vintage mobile phones take off | South China Morning Post (paywall)
Retro Fones

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Taiwan makers struggling to automate equipment | DigiTimes – current automation offerings don’t suit their businesses so the likes of Foxconn et al are developing and manufacturing automation inhouse

Digital Intelligence :: Unilever supports start-ups with global digital platform – interesting move, reminds me what PepsiCo and Kraft attempted to do over the past few years

America has a new subprime problem: cars | Quartz – not really surprising when one thinks about how the US manufacturers have been propping up car sales with low interest loans before, during and since the financial crisis

REPORT: Engagement Optimization ‘Isn’t The Best Bet’ For Facebook Advertisers – Facebook is a display advertising platform rather than an engagement platform

The Trouble With App Install Ads | Ad Exchanger – expensive despite driving growth for Facebook

Meet the People Behind the Wayback Machine, One of Our Favorite Things About the Internet“The average life of a web page is about 100 days before it’s either changed or deleted,” says Kahle. “Even if it’s supported by big companies: Google Video came down, Yahoo Video came down, Apple went and wiped out all the pages in Mobile Me.” Interesting dichotomy between permanence in terms of effect on reputation versus transient nature of pages

Geo-Target the Right Audience For Your Tweets With Sprout Social | Sprout Social – this could change the way brands think about Twitter, moving to a global page model, rather like Facebook

How is Renren Doing in China Social Media Now? | ChinaInternetWatch – about 51 million monthly unique users – no social versus gaming breakdown on this though. Partly down to the fact RenRen is a specific lifetime thing. You are on there during high school

The Launch and Fall of Burberry’s Tmall Flagship Store | ChinaInternetWatch – really interesting analysis of Burberry’s attempt on TMall

TV Show Renewals Could Hinge On Social Engagement – focus on quality of viewership with social engagement as a proxy measure

New feature helps Facebook grow ears | FT – integrates with TV (and presumably radio ads?) but you have to wonder about the privacy aspects of this

Chinese Tech Startups are Building Steaming Projectors to Beat Smart TVs TechNode – makes sense when one things about home space

Daring Fireball: ‘For Me, the Movies Are Like a Machine That Generates Empathy’ – I really like this phrase, great films like Blade Runner for me were more than the moving image or ‘air-conditioned darkness’ as Sir Run Run Shaw put it

PwC: Marketers not moving fast enough to mobile | Marketing InteractiveWhile there is plenty of money in social media marketing in mainland China, there’s still not enough attention to the fact that accessing ads and special deals from mobile is just different

Chinese Cyber Attacks Trigger US MIDLIFE Crisis | VICE News – interesting analysis the recent U.S. action against China

How Naver Hurts Companies’ Productivity | WSJ – surprising critique of Naver. Korean consumers wouldn’t use it if Google offered a better search function in Hangul

Bounden on Android delayed: we need your help – Game Oven – rather reminds me of PCs and driver problems, were Sound Blaster compatibility meant that you might be able to get audio on a game

A CliffNotes-style guide to The New York Times Innovation report

The internal Innovation report by The New York Times leaked widely and has been reported on, mainly in how it reflected the internal politics that led so the departure of Jill Abramson from the paper. It has also been heralded as document of importance in the industry. Given the nature of the document I decided to do page-by-page commentary on the report (so that you don’t have to read all 96 pages). I read it once first of all to get an overall picture of it and then made notes on a page-by-page basis as I read it a second time in more depth. Below are the notes that I made on the second pass through the document:

Page 3 – The memo starts by outlining its faith in the quality of the journalism at The New York Times. I think that this may be their first flaw as later they compare themselves unfavourably to outlets such as Yahoo! News which implies general news coverage is a commoditised product and The New York Times isn’t providing enough analysis of sufficient value to share.

Page 4 – This is an executive summary of recommendations, most of which are quite prosaic. Develop the audience, strengthen the news room through working with other parts of the business and develop a newsroom strategy team. First up, developing the audience focuses on growth; there isn’t a mention about the quality of the audience – which would matter to advertisers. Strengthening the newsroom as described shows a willingness to bend the journalism / sales Chinese wall to breaking point.

Page 5 – A graph of what I presume is monthly unique visitors under the headline of “…But Many Competitors Are Growing Faster” calls out Huffington Post and Buzzfeed as competitors who are outstripping The New York Times in reader traffic. There are no qualifying demographics for this; in the print space would The New York Times compare itself with The New York Post? Both are newspapers but both have different demographics.

Page 6 and 7 – “Our Proposals, In Brief” basically reiterates pages 4 and 5.

Page 8 – “Our Mission (And How It Evolved)” explains the methodology behind the report. Having read it, there were a couple of knowledge sources that didn’t seem to have been tapped, but that would have been useful.  Interviewing some of the media agencies to get their takes on media consumption trends, looking at external data sources such as comScore, Nielsen Net Ratings and academia such as the MIT Media Lab, Annenberg Journalism School and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society to peer further into the future.

Page 12 – the start of the “Growing Our Audience’ section starts with a users guide to the report which basically explains the filters they used in writing and presenting the report in order to dumb it down for the readership.

Page 14-15 – contrast moves in the news media industry with moves at The New York Times.  The three big NYT moves were:

  • Redesigning
  • Ravaging and rebranding The International Herald Tribune as The International New York Times (this alone would have precipitated a need for a redesign or reengineering of the  The report itself calls The International New York Times a launch
  • The rollout of native advertising described as a ‘new world’ giving it a romantic heroic quality rather than it having been demanded by media buyers and becoming the norm

The New York Times is facing the classic disruptee problem, trying to re-orientate itself for the digital age whilst change churns around it. The report treads lightly rather than scaring the bejesus out of its readership  (who are likely part of the problem and need to get on board with a radical attitude adjustment and become part of the solution).

Page 17-18 is interesting as the document sets out “A Competitor Cheat Sheet”:

  • Buzzfeed
  • Circa
  • ESPN
  • First Look Media
  • Flipboard
  • Vox
  • Yahoo! News

Here was a few of my takeaways from that list:

Circa and Flipboard are aggregators with a bit of smarts behind them. These are disrupting the editorial process. I would argue that this goes back further than Circa to email newsletters like Dave Farber’s Interesting People or conferences on The WeLL. Neither of these are new and a news room should have recognised and evolved with this years ago.

ESPN is particularly interesting as this is a traditional media company that has embraced digital particularly well, highlighting a failure of imagination and gumption in management.

I think that First Look Media is less about the disruption of news media by digital technology and more about younger consumers being hungry for a reboot of news journalism. This is the reason why Shane Smith and company have moved style and culture magazine VICE successfully into news journalism; showing up major news organisations on their coverage of North Korea and the situation in Ukraine.

Again there is no questions about whether these companies have the right type of audiences, merely the size of the audiences attracted.

Finally a good piece of news for Marissa Mayer at Yahoo!. At least The New York Times thinks that her efforts are delivering business difference, I was surprised to see Yahoo! cited as a competitor news source due to the brand positioning. Yahoo! has been experimenting with original news on-and-off for the best part of a decade such as The Hot Zone which featured reportage from journalist Kevin Sites back in 2005/6.

Page 23 – highlights three graphs under the heading “Tough Trends”. In contrast to the soft soap language that accompanies the charts the data is displayed in a manner to ‘cut to the chase’ and it is important to bear this mind when reading a chart.

Home page visitors had almost halved over three years. This could be due to changing usage patterns has The New York Times introduced its paywalls. Overall page views showed a less aggressive rate of decline. Time spent on the site dropped by a third which I suspect again is a function of the digital paywall The New York Times introduced. I try and only pick my 10 articles a month carefully to maximise the utility of it.

It was also interesting to see a drop in mobile readership using the iPhone app.

Page 24 – there was one quote that stood out for me:

“The hardest part for me has been the realisation that you don’t automatically get an audience,” said Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of The Guardian’s website. “For someone with a print background, you’re accustomed to the fact that if it makes the editor’s cut – gets into the paper – you’re going to find an audience”

I think that this rationale is based on a logical fallacy, that if a paper is put into the hands of a reader it will be devoured cover-to-cover. I would flicking though a paper analogous to skimming past links without clicking.

Digital now makes this more apparent which is where Gibson had her satori that content needs to be promoted to an audience on digital platforms.

The authors of the report split their view of competitors into content and delivery mechanisms:

But BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and USA Today are not succeeding simply because of lists, quizzes, celebrity photos and sports coverage. They are succeeding because of their sophisticated social, search and community-building tools and strategies, and often in spite of their content.

I think that this division is particularly interesting. Firstly, content is complementary to and indivisible from search and social strategies that these people may have. Secondly, the last bit of the quote dismisses the ‘snackable’ nature of these content formats, when in reality this might be part of their success.

Page 25 – features a bit of future gazing on how with the right contextual information available, content could be serviced just-in-time to a mobile device from the paper’s news section, alongside archive content like restaurant reviews etc. There is also an ongoing challenge in managing that data to keep the context fresh and relevant – for instance knowing restaurants close or move location.

Page 26 – “Our Proposals, In Brief”. I am shocked that the current technology used by the paper to support it’s newspaper seems to not used to tag or structure the vast amount of data published to date.

Page 27 – is an explanation of ‘deep linking’ without mentioning that terminology once. The concern about readers not going to a home page or a section page is interesting, these are print paradigms put into pixels; yet on page 26 the authors had pointed out that one of the paper’s CMS limitations was that it was structured to reflected just this kind of print view.

Page 28 -30 – talks about using curation to highlight older relevant content that can be used to provide context for a newer piece or timely collection. This raises the lifetime value of archive content because of the increased option for ad inventory to be viewed. I know this might sound obvious, bit it was obviously a revelation for the authors.

Page 31-32 is a basic schooling in the scientific method  of experimentation – presumably to inspire innovation in the report readership.

Page 33-35 look at how clustering coverage around common interest collections can increase readership

Page 36 “Balancing Act: One-offs vs. Replicability” compares and contrasts The New York Times blockbuster approach to big digital projects versus competitors who build tools that they can use again and again; in order to maximise technical investment. An example of this would be Quartz’ Chartbuilder.

Page 39-40 – The New York Times reimplemented a function to allow readers to follow columnists. Some of the data on the page would make me question the value of a prominent journalist in terms of the amount of loyalty and fan base that they can build. This is basically advocating that the journalists cultivate fame and a fan base. It would have been interesting to explore a bit more the dynamic between the newspaper brand and the journalist brand.

Page 41 – talks about structured data and tagging. What I am surprised didn’t come up was the topic of folksonomies which could have been an answer to the ‘tag famine’ that they paper seems to suffer from. For instance, no tag for Benghazi despite the fact this was a story that would run-and-run.

Page 43-44 – “Promotion” talks about social. Here’s what it says about email newsletters:

Other competitors, like The Atlantic and Politico are also using emails as direct channels to readers. This basic tool has become one of the most popular and efficient ways to cut through all the noise of the social web and reach readers directly.

The New York Times already does use email marketing. This us and them view of journalists and the audience lacks subtlety. It neglects to take into account that some of their readers are tastemakers or curators that their friends tap into. Influencing people who can propagate content links even further is a relatively easy win. RSS seems to be the Rodney Dangerfield in this picture getting no respect. Whilst there aren’t prolific RSS usage amongst the masses, it is often used by curators and as pipework for aggregators like Feedly or Flipboard.

Page 45 – what becomes apparent is that linkages such as social sharing analytics isn’t being used to drive editorial decisions. The twitter metric of engaged fans in a chart that compares The New York Times to other media outlets is interesting. What does ‘engaged fans’ mean in this content?

Page 49-54 – “Connecting” is about The New York Times getting closer to the reader as a corporate brand:

  • User-generated content
  • Expand Op-Eds
  • Events
  • Using reader data to know them better

Page 55-59 – “Strenghtening Our Newsroom”. I was gobsmacked reading this section. The New York Times seemed to be way behind peers like The Telegraph in terms of using data for the news room. Secondly, they have a consumer insight group yet didn’t have this expertise to help drive editorial decisions as a proxy reader’s champion.

Page 60-70 – discuss what the authors call reader experience. This touches on content but also goes into how the content is manifested and the user experience. In a world where data journalism is freely bandied around, I can’t understand the gulf here. Back when I used to work at Yahoo! tweaking user experience was a major part of the creation process across the Yahoo! network properties.

Page 71-74 – The New York Times editorial team don’t seem to network with peers and keep abreast of industry developments. They hadn’t been thinking about how to change news reporting to remain current and relevant.

Page 75-77 – is a simple explanation of the ‘fast failure’ model of innovation.

Page 78-80 – outlines the cultural challenges that the editorial team need to scale in order to be able to change the organisation. A lot of this mirrors what reporters would have written about businesses in mature economies adapting to change. Integrity seems to have been interpreted institutionally has embracing a luddite philosophy.

Page 81-87 – “Digital First” isn’t exactly a new concept it has been the clarion cry of news media groups for years.  It is concerning that they even have to have a boxout defining what is means to be digital first on page 82.

Page 88 -90 “In Their Own Words: Digital Departures” looks as the reason why digital journalist have been leaving the paper. These outtakes from what amounted to be exit interviews reflected the need for a flatter structure and more agile business.

Page 91 – One quote said it all for me when they talked about talent “Winning The Talent Wars”:

We need makers, entrepreneurs, reader advocates and zeitgeist watchers.

How can you have a news organisation that is that lacking in curiosity amongst it’s journalists that the above statement needs to be said?

More information
The leaked New York Times innovation report is one of the key documents of this media age | Nieman Journalism Lab
Mondo Vice: going backwards to bring news media forwards
Quartz Chartbuilder on Github

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week.

Marketing agencies have talked about storytelling for years, but there isn’t anyone who couldn’t learn about it from Pixar, some nice thought-provoking material in this presentation

Being really bad at folding clothing myself I am a sucker for a great life hack such as this.

I miss Hong Kong taxi drivers immensely with the retro futuristic Toyota Crown Comfort cars easy hose interiors and automatic door. His short film made me homesick for the HK

WeAreSocial’s Simon Kemp provides great presentations that are a handy source of data points to dip into and this one is no exception to that rule.

Finally, I was impressed by this beautifully made micro-film made by New Balance to support marketing for their 574 / 576 running shoes in China. Smart, creative and completely in sync with modern mainstream Chinese culture.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

I, Cringely Apple’s iPad Problem – they last too long, more like a PC than like a mobile phone

Netflix’s Neil Hunt Says Personalized Recommendations Will Replace The Navigation Grid | TechCrunch – not so sure how I feel about this. It could be reductive since it relies on past behaviour and loses what little serendipity one gets through browsing and discovery to broaden taste and usage

China Bans Use of Microsoft’s Windows 8 on Government Computers | Re/code – if the Chinese government don’t trust it, should consumers?

Phablet Use Distinct From Smartphones, Tablets Re/code – interesting research and bad news for media companies hoping that phablets will be a gateway for streaming and slide loaded content

Mapping Our Interiors – – interesting business model by IndoorAtlas, if you are in retail, you should be embracing this

WePay Blames “The Rules” For Withholding Medical Funds from Sex Worker | Valleywag – still pretty disgusting given that this was for emergency medical services. There are rules and there is knowing when to lift them

Economist: China Luxury Slowdown ‘Short Blip’ In Big Picture | Jing Daily – expectations that the slowdown will see mass affluence purchases in the future

“Tech companies are being left to make all the decisions” | Dezeen – interesting perspective on wearables

Shanzhai: China’s Collaborative Electronics Design Ecosystem | The Atlantic – interesting how the rise of the maker movement has changed Shanzhai meme from quirky shadowy tech pirates to collaborative design in western media

Sichuan professor makes biocoal out of leftovers | WantChinaTimes – interesting, particularly as food waste recycling is a bugbear in waste disposal. How can the collection be done efficiently though?

American TV dramas attract high-end ads in China | WantChinaTimes – not terribly surprising as they reach an English speaking, often foreign educated technocratic middle class

Postcard from Ireland

I spent most of my time outside of the major cities visiting family and shopping in small market towns.
Here are my thoughts and observations from four days or so in Ireland:

  • The consumer economic system is largely frozen by a lack of access to credit, this has held the country in stasis with regards reigniting its property markets
  • Economic decline didn’t seem to be as apparent as say the North of England. I am not sure why this is
  • Prices are largely the same as in the UK, but Irish consumer products are generally uncompetitive in terms of price. For instance a bag of Oatfield sweets costs €2.49; a British brand equivalent would be in the region of €1.50
  • Sky usage seems to be prevalent. Irish houses outside the main towns tend to like to keep their aerials inside the roof where possible. However there seemed to be more satellite dishes secured to houses this time. In addition, in public spaces like the airport lounge, Sky News was the default channel
  • Election campaigns don’t seem to have benefited from an ‘Obama’ dividend. I found only one candidate who was using social media in even rudimentary way. They launch their campaigns in a very old school way with public meetings and traditional signs can be found in every townland
  • There was an increasing level of Euro-scepticism amongst Irish voters, despite Ireland having probably benefited the most from the rise of the EU. This has lead to good opinion poll showings for both Sinn Fein and independents focused on local issues
  • Whilst super fast broadband is advertised even in rural townlands; mobile networks gave very patchy coverage indeed


Links of the day | 在网上找到

Users folder vanished after OS X 10.9.3 update? Here’s a fix • The Register – nifty help out

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse: A Merger Driven by Interconnectivity | Euromonitor International – personally I think Carphone Warehouse is attaching itself to a turkey. Regardless of any Internet of Things synergies there maybe, the customer service culture of Carphone Warehouse is alien to Dixons. Richer Sounds and Empire Direct may have made more sense?

No matter what the boss says about flextime, get to work early – Quartz – morning bias

China’s Top Mobile Social Apps by Time Usage | China Internet Watch – why Weibo is overrated and WeChat is so powerful

Ignore the Silicon Valley Twilight Zone | Marketing Forward – I think that this is the rabbit hole WPP is a risk of going down

OnePlus Smash the Past Winner Receives Empty Box, Uploads Unboxing to YouTube | Droid Life – it sounds like buzz marketing gone horribly wrong

BBC News will post live #indianelection results via @WhatsApp – 1st serious wide scale ‘commercial’ comms use?

“24″ Win Fails To Boost Youku Tudou | Young’s China Business – probably down to government regulation of media sector

So where are we going in Mobile? | DigitalEvangelist – interesting piece by Ian Wood. The most depressing thing I find out about this is the wasted R&D when so much hard innovation is going begging

Profits Way Up at China’s Tencent As WeChat Goes Global – WeChat now up to 396 million active users

Communities Dominate Brands: Lets Do 2014 Numbers for the Mobile Industry: Now we are at 100% Mobile Subscription Penetration Rate Per Capita Globally – that headline number now isn’t as meaningful as it could be. I personally have two numbers on one smartphone. 3UK via the SIM and China Mobile Hong Kong via Jego. It also conceals the continuing gulf between established markets, the developing world and the astonishing acceleration of APAC markets

Is it really a tech bubble, or is it something else? — GigaOM – narcissism and a tech bubble

That Oracle-Google Appeal | ongoing – interesting analysis by Tim Bray, a prominent contributor to the OSS movement and former Googler

Alibaba’s Cloud Business Expands With Hong Kong Data Center | Data Center Knowledge – gradual internationalisation

Red-Hot Web in China Richly Rewards Foreign Investors (David Barboza/New York Times) – great to see that Naspers were getting a bit of respect

The Wayback Machine Passes 400 Billion Indexed Webpages | TNW – impressive scale but this misses out on the explosion of content created by social network platforms as walled gardens, and that may not be a bad thing

The audience solves a mystery in this real-time interactive TV show powered by a South Korean startup – it reminds me a lot of Majestic

Li Ka-shing’s rumoured plan to reduce investments ‘could damage Hong Kong’ | South China Morning Post – it makes sense for Mr Li to diversify, Hong Kong is optimally priced; there are bargains to be had elsewhere

Amazon Patented Taking Pictures In Front of a White Background | Geekosystem – they’ve just patented pack shot photography?

Mapping The Hidden Cost Of Mobile Apps | MobileGroove – will be reviewing my use of some of the apps mentioned

NSA spying is causing Americans to self-censor their Internet activity | VentureBeat – if you substituted PSB for NSA and Chinese for Americans this could be any other article about China in the western media

Rich pay, rich clients, but luxury retail jobs go begging | South China Morning Post – mainland clients are considered difficult

The History Of Dive Watches | aBlogtoWatch – interesting evolution of design

9 Successful Ways to Recruit Market Research Participants | PARC blog – good advice

20 fantastically helpful IFTTT recipes – the title exaggerates

Huawei Ascend P7 Review | BGR – interesting review of Huawei Ascend P7, interesting that they still have sluggishness issues and the skinning that makes it look like a shanzhai version of iOS7. You would have to pry my iPhone from my cold dead hand though

The new opium of a stressed people | FT – rise of buddhism amongst China’s middle classes

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

As usual here are some of the things that made my day this week.

I spent much of the week in Ireland. I found 3UK’s ‘Feel Like Home’ roaming service of use when I could get connectivity. In general the Emerald Isle is shockingly unconnected – but more of that on a separate post. Here is a picture I took during one of the very brief dry spells that I enjoyed on my Uncle’s farm.
Next up is breakdancing buddhist monks marking the anniversary of MCA (of Beastie Boys fame); mad skills

Silicon Valley product design stalwarts produced this great presentation on designing for the Internet of Things. Of course this won’t prevent a plethora of ‘me too’ or ‘why should I care’ products but a geek can dream

Ireland still has a lot of ill-maintained but serviceable traditional sign writing, so this video on the trade of Dublin sign writers particularly appealed and resonated with me this week.

Jane Lui’s mix of found sounds and mash up for her rendition of 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover & Happy; I love when it goes all ‘music concrete’ with the typewriter and bell sounds – go and buy the track via her website.

I like: Greg Wilson’s versions

Greg Wilson is a bit of a personal hero. He was the first person to mix on UK television and was tied up for a long time with the Manchester scene. From DJ’ing at the Hacienda to managing the Ruthless Rap Assassins. Now he is better known for doing ‘traditional-style’ remixes which are closer to the re-edits and dub effects that remixes traditionally meant on disco and post-disco 12″ records.

Here is a playlist of his 40 remixes to date, what he calls ‘Greg Wilson versions’ which always struck me as a nod to one of the fathers of modern dance music Tom Moulton and his ‘A Tom Moulton Mix‘ trademark credit.

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I will be spending some time in Ireland this week. I will start updating this blog again as soon as I am back.