Jargon watch: yiminjian

One of the most popular articles on the South China Morning Post website this year was about the phenomenon of yiminjian or ‘immigration jail’.

That anyone should immigrate to Canada while regarding living there as a burdensome task to be endured or avoided might sound weird, but the concept is so common among some Chinese immigrant circles that there is a word for it: yiminjian, or “immigration jail”. The term refers to the period of compulsory Canadian residency (now, four years out of the previous six) which one must suffer before applying for citizenship. Think of a Canadian passport as the get-out-of-jail card.

It needs to be emphasised that this mindset does not apply to all Chinese immigrants – only that subset for whom greater opportunities exist back in China (and only a subset of those).

The problem that confronts these migrants is that Canada promises safety from the pace of change that has swept across China since the start of the cultural revolution to the rise of Mr Xi’s ‘tigers & flies’ programme. But China offers an opportunity to make out like a proverbial bandit and accumulate fantastic amounts of wealth.

More information
Immigration mega-fraud: The rich Chinese immigrants to Canada who don’t really want to live there | South China Morning Post  – paywall

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Demographics Of Social Media By Gender – Business Insider – interesting opportunities for targeting

Samsung Addresses a Growing Mobile Health Market with Industry’s First Smart Bio-Processor – Samsung Blog – am sure Apple already has custom silicon that does similar, at least since the M7 motion co-processor in the Apple iPhone 5S or the Apple Watch’s S1 SiP. It feels like they might be a little disingenuous or even dishonest claim by Samsung to call it the first ‘bio processor’ without a much narrower definition

NO.1 A10 Rugged Smartwatch – closer to what I would want a smart watch to be in terms of ruggedness, lacks the style of Casio’s G-Shock at the moment

Chinese Communist Party Modernizes its Message — With Rap-agandaChina Real Time Report – WSJ – more Cassette Boy style (paywall)

Hong Kong MTR payphones to be pulled from all subway stations – SCMP – universal wireless coverage on MTR and universal cellphone ownership in population (paywall)

Daring Fireball: Doomsaying Apple Analyst Loses Job – as was once attributed to an IRA spokesperson about the Brighton bombing of the Conservative party conference in 1985 ‘…we only have to be lucky once, you have to be lucky always‘. Eventually expect a story that Adnaan Ahmad is eventually vindicated when Apple misses a quarter or two on its numbers

A look at how Australian Bank ANZ is creating their own quality content via @ANZ_BlueNotes | Andrew Grill | LinkedIn – more of a wake-up call for PRs than a revelation for digital marketers

Google, HP, Oracle Join RISC-V | EE Times – interesting developments as ‘anything but ARM’ grouping forms in data centre giants

Why Snapchat is ‘the one to watch in 2016’ — at the expense of Twitter – Business Insider – at least in the US, according to MEC

There’s An App That Takes Care Of Your Customer Service Woes | Refinery 29 – interesting, mediated customer service experiences

China to Require Internet TVs to Use Homegrown Smart TV OS | Marbridge ConsultingChina’s State Administration of Press and Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s (SAPPRFT) Science and Technology Department and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)’s Electronic Information Department recently announced a new smart TV operating system, TVOS 2.0 – (paywall)

Samsung will reportedly make 5M Galaxy S7 phones ahead of February launch | VentureBeat – relatively small beer when you think that Huawei alone sold 100 million handsets this year

China Antiterror Law Doesn’t Require Encryption Code Handovers – WSJ – China passed a new antiterrorism law that stepped back from previous language of concern to global technology firms, however its still very similar to Teresa May’s nosey parker powers in the UK (paywall)

Delivery Rates on Kickstarter by Ethan R. Mollick :: SSRNUsing a large survey with 47,188 backers of Kickstarter projects, I examined the factors that led to projects failing to deliver their promised rewards. Among funded projects, a failure to deliver seems relatively rare, accounting for around 9% of all projects, with a possible range of 5% to 14%. There are few indicators at the time of project funding as to which projects might ultimately fail to deliver rewards, though small projects (and to a lesser extent very large projects) are more likely to fail to deliver rewards, as are some project categories.

A Brief Introduction to the Basics of Game Theory by Matthew O. Jackson :: SSRN – really nice primer

Mobile Web – Opinion – Quinn: Living our lives from inside a messaging app – US adoption on Facebook Messenger over 30 percent of population, surprised Skype is a mere 19 million monthly UUs

LeBron James releases virtual reality film for Oculus and Samsung Gear VR – Months after it had been used in football by Vincent Kompany and Aaron Ramsey

GQ is now blocking its readers running ad blockers – Digiday – Conde Naste taking action against ad blockers

Thai prime minister releases New Year song to appeal directly to the people | PR Week – (reg wall)

John W. Milnor on Differential Topology

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Marc Andreessen: ‘In 20 years, every physical item will have a chip implanted in it’ – Telegraph – but is it needed?

Browsers Are Starting to Block Ads by Default | Motherboard – interesting move, especially when one thinks about the trend of manufacturers like Sony (and others) to load their machines with crapware for money

Three Chinese state-owned banks using lie detectors and customers don’t know it | SCMP – to improve marketing, efficiency and security (paywall)

WhatsApp Video Calling Coming In Update, Leak Reveals | BGR – Skype compete

Aethra Botnet Attacks WordPress Sites – Wordfence – back doors don’t work

Samsung launches 6-inch, all-metal, super-thin Galaxy A9, in China | VentureBeat | Mobile | by Evan Blass – going after the Huawei P-series devices

Things that made my day this week

It hasn’t felt like Christmas week, the pace of work hasn’t backed off

Dragon Ball characters appear in Ford anime ad specifically made for English-speakers 【Video】 – unfortunately it is unavailable in the UK

Great idiosyncratic video that talks about the kind of product design considerations customers need to think about in buying a quality bag.

Pressure Scale – great iPhone hack as a HTML 5 web app

Quentin Tarantino has a reputation for interpolating other film makers work, that he picked up from his time working behind the counter of a great video rental store called Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, California. When it closed down he bought their complete catalogue of content.

Hungry for more clicks, Zomato is running a killer marketing campaign on porn sites

Links of the day | 在网上找到

BlackBerry sold under 50,000 Priv units, Play Store data suggests | AndroidAuthority – its probably over this number as many devices wouldn’t be allowed to download apps from the Play Store for security reasons, but it isn’t a blockbuster either

Home Broadband 2015 | Pew Research Center – plateaued with some relying solely on mobile broadband WTF

Markets in everything, tangled and untangled – real world self selecting gamefication

Uber needs more drivers in China. A partnership with a state-owned carmaker will help – Quartz – Uber faces formidable competition in China, mainly from Didi Kuaidi; which explains why its trying to get some ‘vendor financing’ for its ‘non-employees’. It has done a similar deal with General Motors in the US

In Net-a-Porter and Yoox Merger, a Fight Behind the Scenes – New York Times – (paywall)

The Huawei Watch might be the smartwatch for me (REVIEW) – Tech in Asia – If you absolutely, positively, want a smartwatch, if you’re an Android user, and if you care about how the thing looks on your wrist, the Huawei Watch is close to the best option for you (it also works with iOS, although with limited functionality). It strikes just the right balance between usability and design, looking equally at home at a dinner party or a tech event. Unfortunately, it costs twice as much as most of its Android Wear competitors, between S$549 and S$649 (about US$399 in the States).

Women Fuel China’s Fitness Craze – WSJ – reminds me of the ‘All in with my girls’ work done by B-M when I was there

How 19 Big-Name Corporations Plan to Make Money Off the Climate Crisis | Mother Jones – silver linings in them clouds

Here’s What We Need to Do to Get VR to Take Off | Andreessen Horowitz – or why non gaming content is likely to drive VR uptake first

Can’t sign in to Google calendar on my Samsung refrigerator – Google Product Forums – a sign of things to come

Why can’t China make a good ballpoint pen? | Marketplace.org – the metaphysics of quality with Chinese characteristics

Merry Christmas and all that jazz

Stop reading this post and go have a few days of fun or rest instead.

My 10 most popular (trafficked) blog posts of 2015

These are the ten most trafficked posts that I wrote in 2015, in reverse order:

Throwback gadget: Nokia N900 – I tried Nokia’s first Maemo-based phone. It was amazing how useless it was as one forgets how linked the modern smartphone is to web services. Despite these problems one could see the now lost potential of the phone.

Generational user experience effects – a meditation on user experience from the analogue era to the present

2015: just where is it all going? – I had a think about where digital and technology would go over the next 12 months or so. You can see how I did here.

Reflecting on Yahoo!’s Q2 2015 progress report on product prioritisation – by June this year, the product rationalisation that Yahoo! underwent provided ample opportunity to show that it’s core offering was collapsing in many international markets. Rather than it being a market wide condition, the data pointed to Yahoo! specific issues.

Traackr – beyond the buzzword event – a post about how a diverse range of organisations from Coca-Cola to a luxury jeweller were thinking about influencer marketing.

Throwback gadget: Made 2 Fade (by KAM) GM-25 Mk II phono pre-amp and mixer – a review of a mixer that has been lost in dance music culture history, yet was responsible for much of its popularity outside the super clubs.

That Jeremy Clarkson post (or lies, damn lies and sentiment analysis) – or why everyone from the mainstream media to PR Week got the story so wrong about Jeremy Clarkson’s departure from Top Gear.

An experiment on fake Twitter followers – I spent some of my hard-earned cash to see what difference if any buying fake followers had. I chose Twitter as a channel mainly because it would be easier to measure any impact, otherwise it could have just as easily been Facebook followers, Pinterest subscribers or Instagram followers. My overall conclusion on the fake follower business is that it almost purely about personal vanity rather than gaming a system.

O2O (online to offline) or what we can learn from the Chinese – East Asia is way ahead of marketers in the west in terms of multi-channel marketing particularly the integration of of online with offline aspects.

48 hours with the Apple Watch – hands down the most popular post of this year on my blog was my short experience living with the Apple Watch. I felt that it was a nicely designed, but un-Apple experience. It also convinced me that the use case for wearables wasn’t here yet.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Rare and the rise and fall of Kinect • Eurogamer.net – or how Microsoft fumbled the future

Backdoor on Juniper firewalls – Schneier on Security – if it wasn’t the NSA who did this, we have a case where a US government backdoor effort (Dual-EC) laid the groundwork for someone else to attack US interests

China’s share of global LCD chip market to jump from zero to 12pc – SCMP – I expected it to be higher both in terms of volume and value. (paywall)

Don’t feel guilty about buying tech toys this holiday season – Slate – interesting riff on the angst that parents of gen-x kids had about television. I suspect it isn’t about the toy, but about time poverty of the parents

The Google Nexus 6P Review – Anandtech – expensive for what it is – interesting review, bear in mind that Google chose the spec for Huawei to implement. Price point considered expensive for the product in the review

What’s next for Apple? – CBS News – Charlie Rose so not exactly hard hitting

People that have made my year

2015 has been a year of constant change winning the global Huawei smartphone business, launching New Balance Football and making margarine more digital:

My good friend and go to creative Stephen Holmes at Bloodybigspider whose office in Whitechapel I had access to during the autumn

Ian Wood with whom I shared coffee and ideas  throughout the year

The team at Lowe Profero who have helped me get to grips with a number of projects that I picked up in mid-flight

Haruka Ikezawa who was my desk mate and creative sounding board at Racepoint

My good friend Cecily Liu at China Daily, who is always a great source of intellectual discussion

Luke Zak who drove a lot of the work on New Balance Football through his love of the beautiful game

Vicky Neill who shared many of the highs and lows of pitching and driving campaigns for Huawei

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Sailfish OS Lives To Fight Android Another Day As Jolla Secures Series C Funding | TechCrunch – good news from Jolla, I hope that they manage to move from strength-to-strength

Quick-service restaurants like Taco Bell are using mobile commerce apps to drive higher order values and boost sales – in the same way that credit and store cards did before them

Gadgets from ‘Japan’s Xiaomi’ now available in Singapore – Tech in Asia – more than a dozen original consumer electronics products – season colour themes

Juniper hacked: Unauthorized code found in ScreenOS – The Register surmises that it’s either due to an internal error that left rejected code in the production release of ScreenOS, or, more likely, due to parties unknown surreptitiously inserting the code so they can spy on Juniper’s customers

BlackBerry CEO blasts Apple for focusing on user privacy, data protection | ExtremeTech – no it doesn’t make sense to me either

Tech and Banking Giants Ditch Bitcoin for Their Own Blockchain | WIRED – I wonder what kind of buzz kill this does on fintech hype, negating the need for yet another blockchain company

EU adopts new plane tracking rules, to prevent repeat of MH370 – Japan Times – I can see enhanced supply chain information being built on top of this if they can balance with aircraft security

Pressure Scale – great iPhone hack

Slack has raised so much money it’s now investing in other startups – Quartz – which gives me two strands of thought. Do these investments build a bigger business eco-system for Slack or is this a hybrid VC with a tech company attached model?

2016: just where is it all going?

It is obvious that Uber’s CEO had never watched The Princess Bride, a cultural touch stone for both generation x and generation y, otherwise they would have known the maxim:

Never get involved in a land war in Asia

There is a lot of reason why this is true, the phrase captures the essence of a remark Douglas McArthur had said. If you play the board game Risk, Asia poses a problem due to the amount of territories involved.

I expect Uber will continue to funnel money into China and still get sand in its face. Quite what this means for Lyft I am not so sure.

Twitter gets a change of management, but that doesn’t do any good. The reasons for this are already apparent:

Twitter has stopped growing at all in the US in 2015. This is a big deal because the US is the bellwether market for advertising innovation and advertisers like growing audience numbers.

It has growing content volumes on broadly static growth, which has infrastructure costs. It also has costs from trying to innovate itself out of trouble with advertisers.

Although there aren’t hard numbers to support it, there is a body of evidence to suggest that the number of times a day a consumer accesses the platform has declined and the number of impressions per post would flatten or decline.

All of this would be bad news for potential advertisers and their intermediaries in the advertising and PR world.

Fintech bubble that will take good ideas and bad ones down together. Banks are currently considered to be ripe for disruption. One of the key problems with this is that technologists think it will be easy to sweep aside regulations that banks operate under.

The reality is rather different, these aren’t taxi services or hotels but people with real political and financial clout. These are the same organisations who managed to persuade governments to bankrupt themselves in order to bail them out in 2008.

In the late 1990s and early 2000 there was a similar bubble around Linux and open source software. A number of companies at the front of it including VA Linux didn’t last the bubble, but the effect was to make Linux ubiquitous from consumer electronics to banking systems. I suspect a similar impact for technologies such as Blockchain. It may prove to be a handier way than historic transactional databases for say credit card companies; but that doesn’t mean that corporate enterprises will buy the technology or services from start-ups. Instead, the bits that prove themselves through the Linux Foundation are likely to be co-opted by the likes of HP, Oracle or Huawei in the future.

Ultimately these providers aren’t selling a shiny technology but trust. Think of it in terms of two axis of risk:

  • CTOs will take a chance on a technology where a major vendor is involved if it makes sense (IBM and the internet for instance)
  • They will take a chance on a new vendor to do something that is well understood (think the Indian outsourcers like Infosys and Wipro)
  • But they would be hard pressed to take a risk on both vendor and technology at the same time, think systems integrator marchFIRST which championed then new web technologies to enterprises around about the time of the dot com bust

We will have reached peak ad-blocking. Ad blocking still requires a modicum of savvy from a consumer audience, just as an in the same way encryption isn’t completely mainstream – the same will be true with ad-blocking. However there will be an increased interest in native advertising.  There won’t be the complete meltdown of retargeting or programmatic for instance that ad blocking would tend to imply.

The internet in the EU will become increasingly regulated. At the moment the European Union is succumbing to The Fear. In the past, whether it was the Red Brigade, The Baader Meinhof gang or Northern Ireland there was a lot of emphasis put on keeping normality. The only real notable change in the UK was sealing up bins on the London Underground and other public transport services. Because there was a collective memory going back to the second world war, there was a recognition that keeping society normal was a key element in dealing with terrorism – whether the rise of the right or the left.

After the cold war the parameters of risk versus impact on societies reaction acted to it changed. This was the coming of The Fear – the roots of it can be found in the US reaction to 9/11. America had not experienced terrorism or foreign attack on its soil since the war of Independence. The fear felt by Americans was palpable and infectious. Each risk faced by a society was coupled to an asymmetric response. This was something that terrorist theorists planned. The risks become more abstract including paedophiles or the catch-all of ‘organised crime’ to give governments greater insight into consumers lives. It has only taken 20 years for Germany to forget the lessons of life under the Stasi.

This won’t change any time soon as governments have a lack of incentive to give up on powers they have already legislate for themselves. If one looks at the UK mainstream political spectrum, both Labour and Conservative regimes have been remarkably similar in terms of legislating consumer privacy out of existence.

We will have reached peak smartphone and tablet. China has now reached replacement rate for devices, there is a corresponding lack of paradigm shifts in the pipelines for smartphone design and software. Tablets have shown themselves to be nice devices for data consumption but not requiring regular upgrades like the smartphone or replacement for the PC.

VR in 2016 will be all about finding the right content. VR won’t work in gaming unless it provides e-gaming athletes with some sort of competitive advantage, if it does then gaming will blow things up massively. Gaming will not be the only content vehicle for VR, it needs an Avatar-like moment to drive adoption into the early mainstream. From a technology point-of-view the smartphone drive towards OLED displays should benefit virtual reality goggles.

GoPro is going to get eaten alive. Manufacturers like drone-maker DJI have been integrating GoPro-esque cameras into their products and UPQ (think a cross between gadget company and a fast fashion outfit like Forever 21) are providing much cheaper (but not cheap and nasty) alternatives.

More information
What stands between Uber and success in China? | CNBC
Uber CEO accuses Chinese messaging app WeChat of censorship | The Telegraph
Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) – Umair Haque
MarchFirst enters the terrible twos | CNet
Why ISIS has the potential to be a world-altering revolution — Aeon
LG Secures Super Bowl Slot And Ridley Scott For OLED TV ad | Forbes

Older predictions
2015: just where is it all going? | renaissance chambara
2014: crystal ball gazing, how did I do?
2014: just where is it all going? | renaissance chambara 
Crystal ball-gazing: 2013 how did I do?
2013: just where is it all going?
Crystal ball-gazing: 2012 how did I do?
2012: just where is digital going?
Crystal ball-gazing: 2011 how did I do?
2010: How did I do?
2010: just where is digital going?

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week

Amazing 3D-printed zoetrope based on Fibonacci sequence – just mesmerising

Honda Turns Car Time Into Story Time With ‘Road Readers’ Program – Print (video) – Creativity Online

Zegna celebrates family togetherness with multi-generation gift guide – Luxury Daily

Amazon Looks To Recruit Engineers With Bizarre Tinder Ad | Motherboard

It is interesting hearing about the role that Vogue China played in ‘building’ the fashion industry in China including getting Chinese models on the world stage. Why had they been ignored previously

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Sneak Peek at Rolls-Royce Project Cullinan “SUV” – Luxury Insider – interesting that car makers now leak this photography. As a teenager I remember that there was quite an industry in photographers taking pictures of engineering mules and models being tested in disguise

Discogs Relaunch Record Store Database ‘VinylHub’ – hyponik – good to see that Discogs is not sitting on their laurels

New proposal for Yahoo’s turnaround: get rid of Marissa Mayer, 75% of staff, and lavish perks – Quartz – they would struggle to keep the other 25% of the staff left

Michael Tsai – Blog – Apple Pushes iPhone 6s Pop-up Ads to App Store – which indicates that Apple’s customer upgrade cycle might be too long