Links of the day | 在网上找到

Google and the Right to Be Forgotten | New Yorker – gives a Europe is from Mars, America is from Venus context to the story

The Myth of the “Maxxinista” — Medium – I remember seeing baskets in Shenzhen for Woolworths as it then was complete with price reduced sales tags before they had even left the factory

DOCOMO, SYSTRAN and FueTrek Form Joint Venture to Develop Translation Services | NTT DOCOMO – interesting move

Twitter UK consumer behaviour infographic – data from Nielsen

The Power Paradox Facing Xi and Modi: Seize Control to Give It Away | Caixin – interesting article in Caixin

Hong Kong’s share of Chinese GDP | Marginal Revolution – interesting economic data given current circumstances

Oil overflow: As prices slump, producers grapple with a new reality – The Globe and Mail – peak demand?

#HeyASIO, forgot my Gmail login. Text me? | Sydney Morning Herald – good idea not to put your data centres in Australia

Faith in ‘one country, two systems’ plunges in latest HK survey | WantChinaTimes – there seems to be a schism in the way Hong Kong has broken with China from a consumer attitude point-of-view

Microsoft CEO Visited Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, Mi Pad Windows Tablet Or Xiaomi Windows Phone?– doubtful given Xiaomi’s eco-system. Most likely knowing your enemy, looking for possible common ground and gaining insight through the eyes of others. It could be about Microsoft’s patent claims on Android or about web services for international markets – Bing as default search engine outside China for Xiaomi?

ZTE’s ‘smart voice alliance’ to take on Apple, Google and Microsoft | WantChinaTimes – will ZTE be able to extend into services?

You know when you’re a Yahoo when…

I bumped into some former colleagues over the past couple of weeks and the experience reminded me of a lot of the items in this post. Given the circling activist investors surround the current iteration of Yahoo! this maybe a capsule of a soon-to-disappear culture.

You know that Yahoo! was the brand and Yahoo was a person who worked for Yahoo!

You were told that you bleed purple.

You have an address book full of friends and aquantances working at great companies in digital media. The business was a rotating door for talent, in six months you had a great Rolodex full of contacts.
Yahoo! timbuk2 bag
Your have an old brand Yahoo! laptop bag that just won’t die. Not too sure what they made those Timbuk2 bags from but mine is eight years old, well travelled and still looks new.

Friends introduce you to former colleagues you were less familiar with by including their IM identity as well as their name.
Yahoo! star
You still have a star kicking around in a box somewhere from when you packed up your desk one last time.
Your colleagues gave you a list of tchotchkes to get from the shop in building D if you went to the headquarters campus in Sunnyvale.

You’re still using at least one of Jerry and David’s Christmas presents around the house.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Secrets of a Chinese Router Factory | Re/code – extract from a new non-fiction work by Douglas Coupland

Malaysia’s crackdown on Uber isn’t a total ban | Techinasia – but it’s pretty serious

Hootsuite Reaches $1 Billion Valuation in Latest Funding Round Recode – insanity, I heard that they’ve already burned through 250 million?

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

My week was dominated by Social Media Week. I got to see Battenhall’s opening presentation and catch up former colleagues from past agency and in-house lives. I am gutted that I didn’t get to see Ogilvy’s presentation on Twitter cards so will have to make do with Slideshare:

The Eagles are known for being difficult. For instance, it is impossible to clear samples or have the tracks played on television. David Letterman takes them to town:

JJ Abrams reinvigoration of the Star Wars franchise includes a Millennium Falcon with a Batman tumbler easter egg

I love this advert for Hong Kong app / service GoGoVan; chock full of memes and Hong Kong cultural references.

Finally Slate wrote a great ode to the font Futura.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Keybase – ‘Keybase is a website, but it’s also an open source command line program’ – outlines one of the key problems with encryption right there for widespread consumer adoption

iPhone 6 Is the Most Durable iPhone Yet, Says Insurer – WSJ – you would need to do a larger sample of phones for statistically significant sampling

LOOK Google gamifies search with Google Mo Lang | Marketing Interactive – interesting Google tactic to increase usage

Facebook Earns 10% of Digital Ad Dollars, More Than Any Other Online Platform | Adweek – a third of global social spend is in APAC

MIT Students Battle State’s Demand for Their Bitcoin Miner’s Source Code | WIRED – it’s all a bit weird

The free wifi war’s security edge in China | WantChinaTimes – interesting that Chinese internet companies are rolling out free wi-fi. Where does this leave the likes of China Mobile?

Line temporarily cancels its IPO | Techinasia – avoiding the kerfuffle around Alibaba

The Athens Affair – IEEE Spectrum – anatomy of the Vodafone Greece hack. Very Snowden-esque

Apple – Press Info – First Weekend iPhone Sales Top 10 Million, Set New Record – take this with a pinch of salt may have something to do with not all markets being address which has driven demand and scarcity

VML China acquires Teein, fills hole in social media capability – Campaign Asia – really interesting that IM2.0 didn’t already have social and used to outsource it. VML in China is formidable

What Chinese brands know that MNCs don’t – Campaign Asia – marketers targeting too small a segment of Chinese middle class. Don’t really get Chinese middle class dynamics (paywall)

Microsoft no longer Trustworthy | The Register – interesting that it is getting shut down, I suspect integrated is a better way of looking at it

One in five Hongkongers may emigrate over political reform ruling | SCMP – no they won’t and the people who feel the most strongly about this are in the least good position to leave

Luxury brands in a quandary as China’s wealthy young develop resistance to bling | The Observer – picking Wendi Deng as an ambassador won’t do anything for their appeal to a Chinese market and they could have got more contemporary than Gong Li (gorgeous as she is)

Social Media Week trends presentation by Battenhall

As the five areas were presented, I mind mapped them all out

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Places – privacy based network that the record and movie industry will hate

Facebook just changed its News Feed yet again. Here’s how it could affect you. – The Washington Post – tweaking the feed algorithm again

WPP’s Sorrell: In-House Ad Buying is a “Temporary Phenomenon” | WSJ – he wishes

Guangzhou police reveal bust of ‘billion-yuan’ counterfeit bag ring | South China Morning Post – with a potential street value of about 1 billion yuan (HK$1.26 billion) – The challenge with valuing these things is multi-faceted. Because it is criminal in nature pricing structure and market isn’t transparent. Secondly purchasers of fake goods wouldn’t necessarily buy real goods so this isn’t about market substitution of Louis Vuitton bags. It is a big statement by the Chinese government (paywall)

Charlie Rose, Tim Cook, Apple and television

Charlie Rose runs the a talk show. His show appears on the PBS network. His interviews give the public something new, without ruffling the feathers of the senior executives and celebrities that he has on his show. He is both inquisitor and coach like a defence lawyer interrogating his client at the stand. Rose studied law at Duke University.
Charlie Rose / Ken Burns
Rose is also one of the elite. His estranged wife is the sister of John Mack, the former chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley. His current partner is Amanda Burden. Burden’s father was an heir to the Standard Oil fortune, her first husband is related to the Vanderbilt family. Her second was the head of Warner Communications. Burden was the former chairman of the city planning commission under New York’s Mayor Bloomberg. Before being a journalist, Rose worked at Bankers Trust; and continued working there for a while whilst working as a reporter on the weekend.

All this is why he has had access to all the titans of the technology sector, including Steve Jobs. So it made perfect sense that Tim Cook would sit down with him after the launch of Apple’s wearable products. Cook also used the opportunity to reiterate Apple’s new positioning on privacy that makes a virtue of the fact Apple isn’t an online advertising company.

Despite being on PBS, Rose’s interviews gain respect and become media agenda setters in their own right. Similar to the way BBC Radio 4’s Today programme influences the UK political agenda.

I found it interesting that Rose’s interview with Cook triggered so many news stories afterwards. I had at least one friend phone me to ask what I thought the significance was of Cook’s comments about television. Like me, they had been peppered with questions about when Apple’s transformation of TV was due?
New Apple TV w/Flickr
I found the interview of interest only because Apple executives rarely do interviews. The questions were a temperature check and update of ones Rose had asked Steve Jobs on a previous interview. The television industry comments Cook made Apple’s position in only one respect. They acknowledged that the Apple TV business is now a bit larger than a ‘hobby’. Steve Jobs called the Apple TV a hobby at AllThingsDigital four years ago. When Cook said TV was stuck in the 1970s; Jobs had said the same thing: the current TV business model squashed innovation. My understanding of news was that it was about events that were new, surprising or noteworthy. The commentary on TV was none of these things.

The media took this to mean that Apple was going to do ‘something’. What they failed to pick up on was Cook’s comments later on where he talked about business focus. Steve Jobs had talked about all Apple’s product range could be fit on a desk, showing the level of company focus. In contrast to industry peers with thousands of SKUs (stock control units). Cook made the same comment about the entire Apple product range fitting on a desk in this interview. The people at Apple are smart enough to realise that lots of products and services are bad. But they will only address a few where they can make the most difference.

The media saw a hook and ran with it, psychologists would call it perceptual closure. There is a temptation with a company as private as Apple to write anything. There is also the pressure of producing enough content for online. This pressure can have a few outcomes:

  • A temptation to ‘chunk’ content without context to create more stories out of a given bit of information
  • Insufficient time to research how this content fits with past statements
  • No longer the same level of fact-checking that one would have seen at traditional publications like The New Republic (and even then they had Stephen Glass)

More informtion
Charlie Rose interview with Tim Cook part one
Charlie Rose interview with Tim Cook part two
Apple sets its sights on redesigning the TV after CEO Tim Cook describes it as being ‘stuck back in the Seventies’ | Mail Online
Tim Cook Hints at Improvements for Apple TV in Charlie Rose Interview | NBC News
Apple CEO Tim Cook talks to Charlie Rose about TV and why he bought Beats | Engadget
Tim Cook Talks up Apple TV, Steve Jobs and the Future with Charlie Rose | Patently Apple
Jobs: Apple TV a hobby because there’s no viable market | AppleInsider
Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organisation |
Stephen Glass | Wikipedia

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Yahoo Stock Crashes As Alibaba IPOs – Business Insider – Yahoo! represents an ideal target to do an LBO and asset strip to pay down the debt

Ashley Madison Steps Up Search For Asian PR Support | Holmes Report – they are banned in South Korea and Singapore. Thailand would likely be added to the list if Ashley Madison launched there

Logistics: The flow of things | The Economist – explains why e-railers are building their own logistics networks (paywall)

Dude, where are my socks? | the Anthill – great story about a small TaoBao reseller

Bits Blog: Net Neutrality Comments to F.C.C. Overwhelmingly One-Sided, Study Says | New York Times – paywall

Apple – Privacy – interesting that Apple didn’t do this sooner

Peter Thiel Says Computers Haven’t Made Our Lives Significantly Better | MIT Technology Review – Peter Thiel often comes across as a bit of a dick but is right on the money with regards the lack of hard innovation and excess of soft innovation

Single Chinese company owns 60% of world market for tantalum | WantChinaTimes – which is really important for electronics manufacture

Move over Hong Kong, here comes…Chengdu? | SCMP – huge economic growth in Chengdu which is viewed as an important city due to its proximity to the western edges of China which are the current high growth areas

Smartphone stress in Coolpad cuts, China Mobile ‘naked’ strategy | SCMP – bottom end of market suffering with Coolpad laying off 1,000 employees

Why news extortion is so hard to uncover | China Media Project – not just a Chinese problem, look at the uncomfortable aspects of media power with NewsCorp / News Int’l

Clamshells Gets Smart | CSS Insight – could we see a return of clamshell devices?

Facebook Is Hiding Important Information – Business Insider – nothing new pointing out yet again that mobile app adverts count for a significant amount of their revenue sales

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week included:

The World Economic Forum held another event in China this year and there was a rare opportunity to hear Chinese policy makers talk about the web. In short, the libertarian values of the web that we all know and love which came from the 1960s counterculture movement is likely to be reined in globally because the one thing governments can agree on is that more regulation and power is something they rather like.

It included Lu Wei the minister of cyberspace administration from the Chinese government. It is impressive that they take it so seriously when the internet was largely seen as a joke by UK politicians prior to Edward Snowden’s embarrassing disclosures.

The only technology vendor / service provider represented was Qualcomm which felt unbalanced.

SmartInsights had a great set of examples of digital experiential marketing using VR headsets like the Oculus Rift.

Virgin Atlantic’s forthcoming #FlightDecks event on board a plane being managed by Cake rather reminded me of the KLM Fly2Miami campaign done some three years ago.

Apparently Virgin will be live streaming their event.

iOS 8 rolled out the other day, my iPhone toting counterparts in the office are happy with it. I am giving it until after the weekend to ensure that any vagaries with carrier settings are ironed out before upgrading my phone.

Liam Neeson’s A Walk Among The Tombstones is actually based on a novel rather than a darker remake of the Taken series of films but the trailer looks epic.

On wearables

The Apple Watch launch gave me a chance to go back and revisit the development of wearable computing and my experience with wearable devices.

Wearable computing had it’s genesis in academic research; some of it government funded. For instance DARPA had a hand in the US Army Land Warrior programme. France has it’s FÉLIN programme and Germany IdZ. All the programmes sought to provide soldiers with location data  and in communication with their colleagues.  Unsurprising  key issues for the soldiers involved included:

  • Weight
  • How cumbersome the equipment was
  • Battery life
  • Reliability / robust product design
  • Value of information provided

It is worth bearing in mind these criteria when thinking about wearables in a consumer context.  SonyEricsson’s LiveView remote control for Android handsets launched the current spurt in ‘smart’ watches. Sony made a deliberate decision to position the LiveView as an augmentation to the smartphone. Think of it as a thin client for your wrist.

Samsung and Apple in some of their communications have looked to muddy the water in the way that they presented their devices, despite the fact that both of them rely on the smartphone  in a slightly more sophisticated way than LiveView.

Much of the early drive in wearables has been around health and fitness where the likes of Nike and Jawbone reinvented the kind of service provided to dedicated fitness enthusiasts by the likes of Polar and Suunto. These devices are primarily about simplification of design to democratise the technology.

By contrast Samsung and Apple have a greater ambition for their devices in terms of the what they can do. I don’t know what the killer app is for a general purpose device and I suspect neither do Apple or Samsung.

Wearables are not particularly robust by design. I have had three Nike Fuelbands fail in 12 months or so. Compare this to the Casio G-Shock and IWC watches that I generally wear. I don’t have to think about wearing my watch; I didn’t worry about washing my hands or stepping in the shower or the swimming pool with it on. You couldn’t do that with a Samsung Gear.

A second unknown factor is how often consumers would be willing to upgrade a smart watch? When one thinks about the expected price point of Apple’s premium watches, it is similar to the products coming out of Switzerland. The cases and straps are well made, but the price of buying an Omega watch is also about buying into a service centre that will keep the watch going for decades to come. Apple’s iPod Classic barely lasted 13 years. The electronic innards of an iWatch would be built from components that would become obsolete, even if Apple wanted to service them.

Would Apple compromise with a modular design that could make it easy to swap out smart watch innards in a case as an analogy to having a watch serviced? I don’t think so, if one looks at Apple’s design move over the past decade towards sealed computing appliances: the iPod, the iPhone, the MacBook Air and the Retina MacBook.

More information
FÉLIN | Army Technology
SonyEricsson LiveView remote and the changing face of mobile computing | renaissance chambara

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Pioneer To Sell DJ Equipment Business For More Than Half A Billion Dollars » Synthtopia – interesting move, particularly with the launch of the new turntable. What will happen with things like IP?

Fareed Zakaria Never Stopped Plagiarizing: How Dozens Of Episodes Of His CNN Show Ripped Others Off | Our Bad Media – looks like a potential new media storm-in-a-teacup. If he plagiarises, he has good taste with the material he takes

Daring Fireball: Apple Watch: Initial Thoughts and Observations – a key point missing here is that you don’t buy a watch when you pay for a luxury watch; you buy into the support network behind it which will keep it running at a price decades from now.

Foreign firms should not control so much of the Chinese economy | WantChinaTimes – explains antitrust crackdowns

This Chennai startup thinks the first click for an e-commerce purchase will soon be on a camera – reminds me of the virtual Homeplus (Tesco) stores in Korea

Daring Fireball: Promotional Images That Hide the iPhone 6 Camera Bulge – interesting that John Gruber has called it a mistake

Using app-specific passwords | Apple – Apple’s way around dealing with recent hacking scandals

Facebook partners with Google, Twitter, others to launch ‘TODO’ – Inside Facebook – interesting move and interesting omissions in the participants

The Apple Watch Won’t Kill the Swiss Watch Industry | The NextWeb – it makes sense that TAG Heuer would make a smart watch being the most feminine of the brands in LVMH’s roster of serious watch brands

Are Agencies Killing Their Programmatic Golden Goose? | WSJ – opaque practices and pricing models of some of these agency groups have recently led marketers to question how their money is being spent, and in some cases to shun the groups completely in favor of building their in-house alternatives

The single, buried statistic that explains China’s slowdown – Quartz – implication that construction is down

DisplayPort 1.3 announced w/ support for upcoming 5K displays, enhanced 4K performance | 9to5Mac – 5k displays already

Mobile Monday demo night

I just got back from Mobile Monday’s demo night ran at the Thistle Marble Arch. This evening’s event used the facilities of an Informa-ran telecoms conference: Service Delivery Innovation Summit. I missed the start of the event so my notes probably miss part of the applications on display.

Swytch – multiple mobile numbers on an application, these numbers could be different country codes and not only allowed calls but messages too. The application is basically a VoIP client rather than a soft SIM. There are other similar services especially in Africa, at the moment the founders think that their USP is the provision of access multiple UK mobile numbers. I don’t want to even go there with potential use cases

Quiztix – Q&A game on both Android and iOS, because of its focus on venues as a metaphor for different game levels a couple of people were interested in reskinning it for brands. The most interesting thing for me was the way that they used advertisements to level-up within the game – increasing ad engagement.

Mylo – was a classic millenial application that helped facilitate splitting bills in house share. The application collects billing data from suppliers including Sky. Ovo Energy. Payment of one’s share could be done by PayPal. They admitted that at the moment they had no business model.

ViewMaker – location-enabled AR application that allowed a user to show & publish geotagged content. The business focus was to be infrastructure for other application or brands who wanted to publish their own data. They didn’t currently have a plan to overlay information from other sources such as Foursquare, Flickr or Google Maps at moment. One thing surprised me in the Q&A session was that clients not interested in indoor positioning yet.

Pronto – A Deliverance-type food service with some key differences. Instead of it being a web interface, Pronto relies on GPS for location. Secondly they have a really simple menu, in order to allow two-second ordering and swifter delivery. The menu doesn’t change very often which is great if you are an ‘eat to live’ person. The application recently launched in Italy and is coming to London soon. Apparently a reliable set of delivery drivers is a problem because of the piece rate / zero-hour contract nature of the work they aren’t necessarily as reliable to showing up as one would like.

Adsy  is mobile or PC platform to create mobile applications that reminded me of a  simple HyperCard set – but no scripting for fuller functinoality. They are handy for building catalogues, or a card-based personal site and can be embedded like a Slideshare or YouTube clip.  It was deliberately kept simple and non-technical to appeal to teens – which was interesting given that most CMOs think of teens as master hackers…

IFS – IFS has its own innovation lab and they demonstrated a working prototype of wearables driving business efficiencies – business notifications to wearables, logistics etc from ERP system. Think of a smart watch as a pager. I think that most of the interesting aspects of this was the connectivity with the legacy systems. Given the current lack of compelling use cases for smart watches this could be interesting due to the provision of glance-able data.

OpenTRV – TRV is a thermostatic radiator valve. They wished to use technology to control temperature localised within a house radiator by radiator. The current model by the likes of Nest or Honeywell relying on one centralised thermostat per house controlling a boiler was considered to be a broken model. They are aiming to lower the cost of their smart TRV 10 pounds per unit.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

On Death and iPods: A Requiem | WIREDI miss the time when we were still defined by our music. When our music was still our music. I miss being younger, with a head full of subversive ideas; white cables snaking down my neck, stolen songs in my pocket. There will never be an app for that.

As Phones Expand, So Does the Word ‘Phablet – WSJ – the etymology of the word phablet – originally from GSMA and first mentioned in print by TelecomTV

Grandparents Accidentally Tag Themselves As Grandmaster Flash | NPR – genius.

IBM News room | IBM and Yonyou to Accelerate Big Data and Analytics Adoption – interesting Chinese partner on big data

Apple Watch ‘too feminine and looks like it was designed by students’, says LVMH executive – Telegraph – ok a bit over-exaggerated coming from the man who heads up TAG Heuer, but beneath the comments lies a deep truth about the watches that I agree with

Huawei In Bad PR Move With Anti-Corruption Campaign | Young’s China Business Blog – interesting analysis of Huawei’s corruption drive

China May Be Heading for a Japanese-Style Economic Crisis | TIME – the Chinese have a lot more levers to pull and a stable government (rather than a new prime minister every year like Japan); both of which are in China’s favour. On the downside China has bigger internal security issues than Japan

阿里美国IPO首场路演的38张PPT(全) – Alibaba IPO deck

Microsoft is found in contempt of court for refusing to hand over user emails | The Inquirer – Microsoft has to go to the line on this as it is likely to affect future international cloud services businesses

China Misses Out on First Wave of New iPhone Releases | Re/code – I wouldn’t be surprised if the government is holding it up deliberately rather like the FCC did with H-silicon-powered Huawei phones

A Watch Guy’s Thoughts On The Apple Watch After Seeing It In The Metal (Tons Of Live Photos) — HODINKEE – some interesting observations, kudos for their industrial design and manufacturing but some really good questions

For Alibaba’s Small Business Army, a Narrowing Path | Foreign Policy – TaoBao needs to fix its model for smaller merchants