Jargon watch: seabasing

In a tale of fact imitating fiction the US Navy is looking at ways to support the military in future conflicts by creating bases which allow ships to act as a combined space, which they call sea basing (or sea basing). The reason for this is in battles with the likes of China they may not have the luxury of a nearby land base like they have had in the Middle East, so they need to provide a flexible platform that will perform a similar function including floating docks and logistics.

Being out at sea and operating in this way helps put the force out of range of enemy weapons as well, or what the US Marines describe as exploit the sea’s maneuver space.

This includes ramps and sensors that would allow service men and equipment to exchanged from ship-to-ship with as much ease as moving around a base on land. Presumably this would have some sort of affect in terms of increasing the data network connections between ships to help them function better and more cohesively.
The idea of seabasing echoes the carrier and lashed together boats of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash – a classic work of cyberpunk fiction written in 1994. In the story, refugees have attached themselves to a privatised aircraft carrier owned by a media company that is heading to the US .

More information
The future of sea basing | Armed Forces Journal
Sea Basing: concepts, issues and recommendations by Sam J. Tangredi (PDF)
Pacific seabasing exercise will highlight new ships | Marine Corps Times
Globalsecurity.org – Seabasing
Figuring Out the Future of War in the Pacific — Or, What the Hell is Seabasing? | Vice News
What is Seabasing | United States Marine Corps
Seabasing Annual Report | United States Marine Corps

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Index funds may be conspiring against the very same investors who fund them | Quartz – interesting analysis, surely this would also be the issue with ‘shareholder value’ in general?

Oracle’s cloud sales – Business Insider – short term numbers for long term losses

Shanghai Street View: Wealth Explosion – high street wealth management products, explains a lot

Exclusive: Amazon planning drive-up grocery stores with first coming to Sunnyvale — sources – Silicon Valley Business Journal – it feels like a retrogressive move to me. I think of drive-thrus as being representative of 20th century America. The drive-in cinema, the drive-thru/drive-in fast food restaurant a la McDonalds or American Graffiti

What Really Killed Homejoy? It Couldn’t Hold On To Its Customers | Forbes – which sounds very dot com in its nature

Apple Watch to Be Sold at Best Buy – Digits – WSJ – interesting how this fits with their luxury positioning

Nike, Apple agree to $2.4M settlement in suit over false FuelBand claims, Apple to pay nothing – I guess tis scuppers Nike’s wearable ambitions and possibly Fuel being part of a wearable eco-system

If what you say is useful, people will pass it on | SiliconAngle – if they see it at the right time…

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Update on the Autocomplete API | Google Webmaster Central Blog – basically it was a drain on resources that didn’t provide Google with useful data

Firefox is getting audio indicators to show noisy tabs, and will let you mute them | VentureBeat | Dev | by Emil Protalinski – brilliant for them auto playing videos in my RSS feeds

Frank Wilczek: “A Beautiful Question”

Really interesting talk on physics and mathematics as it relates to aesthetics.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Here’s What’s Next for the Future of Amphibious Warfare | VICE News – reminds me of the aircraft carrier sprawl in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash

Flickr Bringing Back Pro: Pay to Get Badge, Analytics, and No Ads – interesting moves and some UI tweaks

Q. and A.: Ma Xue on Why China Has Embraced Korean TV – The New York Times – interesting hypothesis that the Chinese government stepped in to prevent overinflation of foreign entertainment licence prices

The Financial Times deal is part of a more global stance for Nikkei—and for Japan | Quartz – nice article that puts the Nikkei deal into a broader perspective

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

Some Australian developers have made an immersive game around hacking that will be distributed on Steam when released.

Hacknet tells the tale of Bit, a hacker responsible for creating the most invasive security system on the planet. When he is murdered, his failsafe kicks in, sending instructions to a lone user who can help unravel the mystery and ensure that Hacknet-OS doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Using a wide array of terminal commands and specific hacking protocols, Hacknet teaches the player how to complete a series of core missions but does not hold their hand. The world is open to explore and features multiple branching pathways and secrets to discover. Players will need to be vigilant when covering their tracks, and careless decisions may come back to haunt them.

More on Hacknet OS.

Toyota’s advert to stop smartphone distraction in Sweden was really clever

Ipsum lorem is so last year, instead try Samuel L. Ipsum

The Chicago Business did a fantastic interactive story of the rise and fall of Motorola, you can find it here.

Yolk – interesting solar charger design, could be interesting to reinvent the organiser

Links of the day | 在网上找到

iOS 8 hits 85 percent adoption as Google goes dark on Lollipop figures- The Inquirer – Android still suffering from fragmentation

Hackers Remotely Hijacked A Jeep On The Highway | Fast Company – I really don’t understand how this would be news

If this is “disappointing”, count me in: Apple produces another record quarter | TelecomTV – Revenue up 33% to $49.6bn, iPhone sales up 35% to 47.5m units, average iPhone selling price up to $660, $202bn cash in the bank

Intel CEO on layoffs meritocracy – Business Insider – nice mess for the PR team to try and clean up

Apple Pay in the UK

Even if I wasn’t interested in technology I would have known about the launch of Apple Pay in the UK some eight days ago. My inbox was bombarded with emails from credit card providers explaining how I use their card on the service. Apple Pay logos appeared in retail partners and on billboards in tube stations.
However despite this onslaught of media hype, educational material and free advertising for the service I have only seen one person use it. A tech forward looking gentleman twisting his arm around to pay for a coffee in Starbucks with his Apple Watch.

Now this isn’t necessarily a big issue. Apple Pay is a feature that Apple provides rather than being a money generating service (a la iTunes) in its own right. I tend to see the service as an emergency measure of if I left my wallet at home (as I do on occasion). For retailers and TfL there is not really a compelling argument for supporting Apple Pay, beyond the brand positioning of being ‘on trend’. Indeed TfL warns that transactions take longer than NFC enabled credit cards – which isn’t that desirable when you have a big queue of people looking to go through the gate during rush hour on the central line.

More information
TfL cautions users over pitfalls of Apple Pay | The Guardian

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Jing Daily: Burberry’s plan to turn it around in Hong Kong – go local – designs that better suit the climate

Human Curation Is Back | Monday Note – The limitations of algorithmic curation of news and culture has prompted a return to the use of actual humans to select, edit, and explain. Who knows, this might spread to another less traditional media: apps.

Is consciousness an engineering problem? – Michael Graziano – Aeon – interesting questions around artificial intelligence

Intel chief raises doubts over Moore’s Law – FT.com – while Intel’s enduring pace of innovation has “disproved the death of Moore’s Law many times over”, the time between each new generation of microprocessor has widened.

Boeing Patents Laser Nuclear Fusion Jet Engine – IEEE Spectrum – starred as most of the engine room in the most recent Star Trek movie

China’s Xiaomi Building Patent ‘War Chest’ | Re/code – this makes sense as it will also benefit Xiaomi in China for dealing with Qualcomm

The Next Wave | Edge.org – slowing rate of technological progress: Moore’s Law seems to have hit a problem, robotics like artificial intelligence is making very slow progress

Apple Waits as App Developers Study Who’s Buying Its Watch – The New York Times – interesting how many app developers are struggling to envisage a good user experience through the Apple Watch

Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao: The trolls are winning the battle for the Internet – The Washington Post – interesting take on the state of trolling online

Crimson Hexagon Now Offers Access To Tumblr Firehose | Marketing Land – are they still outrageously expensive?

Best Practices: What Is the Optimal Length for Online Video? | Advertising Age – maybe it isn’t about length of time but quality of content?

The socio-economic contribution of European shopping centres | ICSC – 90% of sales still occur in physical locations (PDF)

What’s With All The Yoga Pants? | Fast Company – some interesting consumer insights into the American market. Yoga pants are an interesting crossover design in a way that Jane Fondaesque lycra isn’t

Q&A: Martin Sorrell on innovation in China – Campaign Asia – nice write-up with Martin Sorrell on the Chinese market

Jason Matthews on trade craft and social engineering

Jason Matthews is a former CIA spy who used to run agents. He retired and became a novelist. In his Talk at Google he talks about the spy game, but its also interesting in terms of thinking about social engineering in a wider sense.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Estée Lauder Companies Hires Irene Kim and Tavi Gevinson | L2 – the bloggers have profiles that I wouldn’t have expected Estée Lauder to have gone for

Dual-SIM smartphone sales to hit half a billion next year | TotalTele.com – waiting for the dual SIM option on the iPhone :-)

China’s official GDP charade is in—and, surprise! It’s 7% – Quartz – it would be good to see PMI data alongside this

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

Subaru US put together this great advert, which is a step removed from car advert cliches

Drones and Peanuts Snoopy in his guise as The Red Baron is a sure fire winner

DJ Nu Mark put together this mix for a long car journey and it’s splendid

German writing instrument company rOtring have been putting together a set of interviews that talk to creatives about their process. My favourite one to date was this interview with Jules Kim

Not only is the Flyease an interesting product concept, but also an interesting repositioning of the Nike brand and moving product in an ageing world

The not-so-secret internet diary of a gen X man – the directors cut

Stephen Waddington’s daughter Ellie posted about her media consumption with a guest post on his blog, go and have a read of it. This snowballed into what is likely to be a series of media diary posts by different people. My contribution was published on his blog this morning. I penned the original as a stream of consciousness whilst laid up. I have cleaned up a few typos and expanded on a few bits for clarity, hence the director’s cut comment.

I wouldn’t say my media diary is that of a typical consumer, I have lived inside the technology-media industrial complex since the late 1990s and worked in the scientific side of the UK’s now largely defunct industry prior to that. I am steeped in counter-culture since the mid-1980s and spent a fair bit of time in Hong Kong – which changed my outlook somewhat. I am also unencumbered by family life at the moment.

The reaction so far to the posting has been interesting:

  • I was amused at being called a mature hipster, which I guess goes to prove that geeks are the new cool. I always thought of myself closer to the comic store owner in The Simpsons
  • The last part of the article was called out by a few people who got in touch, my comments on privacy seemed to touch a nerve in a way that my concerns about innovation didn’t. The UK economy is not going to get saved from going a bit Greece with just a few blockchain start-ups

Messenger for keeping in touch and on track

Over a decade ago I used to use Adium X, a multi-service instant messaging client for the Mac to keep in touch with a wide range of friends, colleagues, suppliers and clients. Each client was like hitting a different layer of clay in an archeological dig, indicating when I knew them.

People on ICQ where the longest held contacts, then Yahoo! Messenger (I even ended up working at Yahoo!), Windows Live messenger was purely about my time at Waggener Edstrom and GoogleTalk became de-rigeur when the bots on Yahoo! Messenger came too much.

Now I use WeChat, LINE, Signal, Skype and Telegram. Like IM platforms before it each messenger platform fits a segment of friends, colleagues and clients.

Flickr is an archive

I have friends that are talented photographers and you can’t convince me that some nice filters and a square picture adds up to the pretentions of photographic art that many people seem to feel it has. I have been on Flickr for 11 years and 18,345 photographs later, it would have to be a really compelling service that would get me to move. Flickr is my stock image library,it is my visual diary, image hosting for my blog and my mood board for when I am looking for inspiration at work.

I think it has a better community than Instagram because it isn’t ubiquitous, it still has that early web 2.0 smell to it, though my heart is in my mouth every time Yahoo!’s finances take a wobble.

Facebook is utilitarian

I use Facebook in a similar way to developer friends using Stack Overflow or other forums for professional social discourse on a couple of private groups. I don’t even bother with cognitive dissonance type of posts of it always being sunny on Facebook. I know it’s crap; in your heart-of-hearts you probably know it too. Facebook events are often used, alongside meetup.com and Eventbrite. For loose network contacts, Facebook acts like a poorly designed phone book.

Twitter: I have a bot for that

Twitter is used as a messaging service for some of my friends, but mostly I use it to passively consume content like breaking news in lists and syndicate content that I find interesting. I do this syndication through various ‘recipes’ set up in IFTTT.

Media content

Steve Jobs talked about the only way to fight music piracy was to have a better idea. So for a number of years I have bought my music on iTunes, Bleep and Beatport alongside my love of vinyl records. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the record labels as they have consistently focused on short term blockbuster hits at the expense of slow and steady selling artists – which is especially retarded when you think about the long tail model of media consumption. They need to evolve their business model to become cheaper and more efficient in their A&R processes in order to do this. I have recently started ripping CDs into my music library again as an arbitrage play (these are often cheaper than digital downloads) or offer back catalogue content that digital services don’t.

I use a late model iPod Classic because of its 160GB storage. For streaming music I listen to mixes, mash ups, edits and remixes on Soundcloud and deephousepage.com. My current favourite remixer is Luxxury. I use the online radio channels (not Beats 1) in iTunes to have as relaxing background music prior to turning in at home.

I watch live news on television as the broadcast network is better for supporting big audience numbers in comparison to the infrastructure of the internet. We have more bandwidth at the edges, but still the same bottlenecks I experienced some ten years previously during the July 7 bombings in London.

I have an Apple TV box that I use for Netflix, internet radio and iTunes store content. Out of the terrestrial channels I tend to only use iPlayer as it is so much better designed than 4oD, ITV Player or Channel 5’s offering. I stream RTE News, Bloomberg TV and the BBC World Service. My favourite news content comes from Vice – it feels like the channel that CNN should have been and is less shaped to meet the norms of the establishment, though this will undoubtedly change in the near future.

News is apps and RSS.

My RSS reader of choice is Newsblur.com. I was a minority amongst my peers in that I never trusted my bookmarks and OPML data to Google’s Reader, instead using Bloglines and then Fastladder.com. Both of which where driven out of business by Google prior to them closing Reader.

Instead bookmarking is done with pinboard.in. I also get news from the RTE News app, a breaking news list I built in Twitter, stratfor.com, vice.com and the South China Morning Post mobile app. If you’d asked me this ten years ago then The Economist would have been on here, but its been replaced by vice.com and Monocle magazine.

When I get to read a newspaper; it is the FT and the Wall Street Journal on the way home from work as a way to decompress, or the weekend FT for a mellow Saturday morning. I still read the US edition of Wired magazine in a print copy as the accompanying digital subscription has somehow become borked on my iPad. My media indulgence would be occasionally rifling through the pages of Japanese style magazine Free & Easy.

I subscribe to a number of email newsletters for specialist analysis.

Brands that cut through

The brands that cut through for me are ones that cut their own path. I don’t wake up in the morning and think:

hell yeah I want to engage with a brand on a social channel

With people like Carhartt, Gregory Mountain Products, Canon, Nikon, Mystery Ranch, Barebones Software, Apple, S-Double Studios, Porter Tokyo and IWC Schaffhausen the product is the marketing – the online marketing efforts of these brands are coincidental. I do know that many of these brands do spend a good deal of effort to influence the kind of publications that I read. Monocle magazine does a really good job of integrating marketing and content.

I buy much more online now, the high street has become quite bland, especially after having lived in Asia. I use trans shipment company buyee.jp to buy items in Japan and lightinthebox.com has replaced many of the none-impulse purchases that I would have made at Argos.

Challenge for brands, media and life itself

The internet has come to mirror the wonders, banalities and horror of everyday life. As I write this Ellen Pao had resigned as CEO at Reddit. Reddit is a poster child for all of these categories from organising gifts for the poor to water cooler chatter, racism and death threats against Ms Pao.

Culture has now been made massively parallel by the internet. As an 18 year old, I remember having to get a train down to London to go trawling through specialist shops from Camden to Soho  looking for Stussy clothing and records on the Japanese Major Force label. Now everything is up on YouTube or Soundcloud for you to enjoy.

Making a difference is a work in progress

Like Ellie, I am not that optimistic about aspects of the world. In many respects the concerns of gen-y&z mirrored concerns of a young gen-x. I held McJobs and had a constant fear of unemployment over my head, was concerned about nuclear holocaust, economic meltdown and an environmental dystopian future – concerns that I still have today. There is an anti-science bias and a lack of hard innovation coming through that will fuel the next forty years of innovation. The current outlook reminds me a bit of the film Interstellar where the lack of willingness to focus on anything but on our own small plot was killing humans as a species. The current political climate with regards to privacy and digital services indicates a luddite and megalomaniac political tinge, where freedom is being sacrificed for the illusion of safety from extremism. The only thing that actually offers that freedom is a better idea, not an Orwellesque vision of privacy.

About Ged Carroll

Ged currently works heading up digital services at Racepoint Global in London. He lives in the East End and spends a lot of time in Hong Kong. You’ll find him online at renaissance chambara.

More information

Luxxury on Soundcloud
RTE News Now
South China Morning Post


Links of the day | 在网上找到

Welcome To Hypeddit – brilliant selection of free tracks rather like an old school DJ pool

It’s almost impossible to make money selling Android phones | Boy Genius Report – which shows the hard place where Microsoft, Nokia and BlackBerry have been

Hillary Clinton Takes Aim at Uber, Wall Street In First Economic Speech – it was inevitable the sharing economy was going to get political

Privacy talk at DEF CON canceled under questionable circumstances | CSO Online – the information that’s out there points to a national security letter being served on the developers

Daring Fireball: Apple’s Share of Phone Handset Industry Profits Climbs to 92 Percent – John Gruber on Apple’s ‘profit monopoly’ in the smartphone sector

The Use of Encrypted, Coded and Secret Communications is an “Ancient Liberty” Protected by the United States Constitution – which puts the law at odds with the U.S. intelligence industrial complex

The truth about blogging on Medium | TheNextWeb – why are we having to even have this discussion, Medium is the new Blogger or Typepad

John Maeda’s presentation on design in technology

John Maeda was a computer scientist and design academic prior to moving to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.