Links of the day | 在网上找到

Friendly foxes pull in tourists to give Tohoku region a boost – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun – interesting that this is word-of-mouth driven across so many different cultures

Avicii Has Announced His Retirement – Magnetic Magazine – probably makes sense when you look at the current state of SFX. I suspect Avicii will still produce under one alias or another

HKTB taps influencers to discover hidden gems in Hong Kong | Marketing Interactive – interesting passion-led campaign

RuTracker to Bypass Web Blockade With IM Delivered Torrents – TorrentFreak – using a bot system to deliver torrents in Telegram messenger

Mouse Movements Could Identify Tor Users’ Real IP Address | Greycoder – not terribly surprising given that back in WWII, radio operators were identifiable by their morse code key style

Instagram Users Are Losing It over the Company’s Impending Switch | Vanity Fair – they’ve seen how algorithmic models have nuked influence in favour of brand advertising

AP Investigation: How con man used China to launder millions – Law enforcement has not globalized as fast as crime, and the legal firewall that surrounds China has added to its appeal as a money-laundering hub. 

Chinese authorities generally have done little to help Western companies defrauded in Chikli-style scams recover their money, according to European intelligence documents reviewed by the AP. 

The U.S. State Department, in a report this month, reproached China for lackluster performance on money-laundering investigations. 

“China has not cooperated sufficiently on financial investigations and does not provide adequate responses to requests for financial investigation information,” the State Department wrote.

Xiaomi Exec: ‘We’re Playing a Completely Different Game’ | TIME – ‘we’re in the business of getting internet users’ -hmm sounds familar

The next big thing in phones may not be a phone | VentureBeat  – “Everything in the phone industry now is incremental: slightly faster, slightly bigger, slightly more storage or better resolution,” said Christian Lindholm, inventor of the easy text-messaging keyboards in old Nokia phones that made them the best-selling mobile devices of all time – lumpy innovation

How to Transfer Your Notes from Evernote to Apple Notes | Lifehacker –  this article and Microsoft’s migration path for Evernote users gives me a good idea of how in trouble Evernote must me

Cultural differences in responses to real-life and hypothetical trolley problems by Gold, Colman and Pulford – the trolley problem is whether you allow 5 people to die on a tram or divert it with a switch and only kill one person instead. Ordinary British people will pull a switch between 63 and 91% of the time but Chinese people would do so between 33% and 71% of the time. Chinese decision making seems to be based on belief in fate (PDF)

What the IFTTT is going on?

So first it started with an email just under three weeks ago:


We have been busy bringing improvements to the IFTTT platform. Because of these technical updates, some Channels will no longer be supported.

On March 23rd, the following Channels and their Recipes will be removed from IFTTT:, BuzzFeed, Campfire, Diigo, Etsy, ffffound,, Readability, Yahoo Fantasy Sports, and Yammer.

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve added over 30 Channels and encourage you come check out what’s new and noteworthy on IFTTT!

—The IFTTT Team

Now this list includes a mix of former digital titans like and Yahoo!. But some of the others listed there are business that still have a lot of heat behind them like Buzzfeed.

Then Sunday I get this:


We’re working on a new IFTTT platform for developers that makes building Channels and Recipes a breeze.

Recently, we’ve worked with our partners to migrate to the improved platform, but some have chosen not to do so. Unfortunately, the Pinboard Channel did not migrate to the new platform and will be removed on April 4th.

Pinboard is one of our favorite services and we’re all sad to see it go. We hope down the road it may be back.

Stay tuned to the latest Channels launching on IFTTT!

— The IFTTT Team

Ok, isn’t a service that huge amounts of people rely on. But for those of us that do rely on it, its as important as Evernote or email.  It’s user base tends to be tech forward kind of people.

But it begs a wider question, why the short notice and how come IFTTT can’t bring services along with them that have tech forward users? Pinboard have posted their version of what happened on their blog and it makes for disturbing reading. The link is at the bottom of this post, I recommend that you take some time to check it out.

A quick look on Google News shows that this loss of services from IFTTT hasn’t been covered, and there is nothing on the IFTTT blog that I could see.

I have rebuilt my recipes that use in a services called Botize. It costs €4.99 a month or €49.99 a year and only accepts payments by PayPal.  If I come across better services I will share them on here.

More information

My Heroic and Lazy Stand Against IFTTT | Pinboard blog – disturbing guide to IFTTT’s designs on your data and business model.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer downplayed Starboard threat – Business Insider – she didn’t see that Microsoft could use its money to leverage a more friendly board. Mayer has quite rightly looked to better monetise search. I don’t agree with a lot of what’s she’s done but her instinct on this was right

Those Entry-Level Startup Jobs? They’re Now Mostly Dead Ends in the Boondocks — Backchannel — Medium – looking at this, even Silicon Valley doesn’t value Cluetrain Manifesto

Andy Grove’s Warning to Silicon Valley – The New York Times – Mr. Grove contrasted the start-up phase of a business, when uses for new technologies are identified, with the scale-up phase, when technology goes from prototype to mass production. Both are important. But only scale-up is an engine for job growth — and scale-up, in general, no longer occurs in the United States. “Without scaling,” he wrote, “we don’t just lose jobs — we lose our hold on new technologies” and “ultimately damage our capacity to innovate.

Facing 35 percent ad-block rates, Future decided to drastically cut ad impressions | Digiday – interesting and probably smart approach to ad blocking

Jean-Claude Biver: ‘The Watch Industry Is Not in Trouble, The World Is.’ | BoF – TAG Heuer has latched on to wearables

Domo, Slack and Tableau: How the disruptors are already facing disruption | VentureBeat – not terribly surprising: easy rather than hard innovation with low barriers to entry. The barrier to entry is brand, marketing and user inertia

The FTC Cracks Down On March 2015 Lord & Taylor Social Media Launch: Native Advertisers Beware! | Fashion & Apparel Law Blog – native advertising, not quite the wild west it had been

Dynamic battery for the future developed by Japanese team  – A lithium-ion battery more than three times as powerful as normal that could be used in vehicles and power grids has been developed by a team of academic and corporate researchers in Japan

Microsoft seeks a continued role in the Yahoo! saga of it’s own making

Re/code has an interesting article on how Microsoft wants to influence the sell off of Yahoo! assets by investing money in whichever bid coalition wins. This feels like a riff on Yahoo!’s history over the past six years.

Careful balancing act for Microsoft

The 2010 aggressive bid for Yahoo! was one of the factors in the departure of Steve Ballmer as CEO. A Microsoft-owned Yahoo! made almost as little financial sense as the Nokia handset acquisition.

A later deal via active investor Carl Icahn gave Microsoft everything it wanted. Access to Yahoo! search inventory with no upfront payments. Under the Microsoft deal Yahoo! lost search market share and ad money. Microsoft’s AdCenter was not able to monetise Yahoo!’s search traffic as well as Yahoo! did. Search used to be responsible for half of Yahoo!’s revenue.

Whilst Yahoo! now represents a smaller proportion of search traffic it is still lucrative for Microsoft. Microsoft’s advances in cloud services are still not as lucrative as search advertising.

Microsoft will want to defend a position that on a rational analysis shouldn’t last. By loaning money, it gains leverage over a new management team.

Cheap money to structure deal would be attractive for private equity groups. But it will be bad for the management team put in place and Yahoo!’s future prospects.

 All just a little bit of history repeating

Microsoft provided financial support for Icahn’s run at Yahoo! which saw the departure of Jerry Yang – and the sale of his position in the company. At the time of his overthrow, Yang was the largest single shareholder in Yahoo!.

Six years later we can all see how successful that was.

Problems that it won’t solve

Yahoo! morale. There will be a right-sizing of  the workforce, private equity will be ill-prepared to retain the talent required to maintain and evolve Yahoo!’s services. They will also find it impossible to bring in talent in key areas (beyond senior executives). Yahoo!’s former chief product offer Blake Irving is a case in point of this. Expect Facebook, Amazon, Google and others hoover up the key technical talent Yahoo! needs to retain.

Yahoo!’s international business seems to be a point-of-failure. Yahoo! has withdrawn from markets, particularly in Asia where market conditions should be much better. It has wound up businesses that it had recently acquired in the Middle East. Yahoo! Europe seems to have gone from bad-to-worse.  Expect Yahoo! to shutter more businesses and consolidate its business in North America.

A highly leveraged Yahoo! still won’t have a mobile advertising solution beyond Flurry. Yahoo!’s own mobile apps consistently under-perform in app marketplaces. The mobile talent Yahoo! has gained will head for the door.

Yahoo! still won’t work out how to sell millennial advertising. Tumblr is a good property, yet Yahoo! can currently monetise 15 per cent of advertising inventory on the platform. How will private equity solve this? Or will someone else pick it up at a fire sale? Microsoft is likely to try and stop any sale to Google (which would be a natural home).

Yahoo! still won’t have an effective play in social platforms. Flickr will still be a niche rather than mainstream product.

A key goal for Microsoft would be to obtain search traffic from Yahoo! Japan. Since Yahoo! Japan is a joint venture with SoftBank, this won’t happen. Yahoo! Japan has already gone to court to keep Microsoft out of its business. The new relationship with a divested core won’t change this.

Getting Yahoo! on Microsoft’s cloud would be a major coup, but would require major coding, something that private equity owners probably wouldn’t want to do.

Yahoo!’s IP including core patents for paid search offer little opportunity for additional revenue. They can’t be used against Google and would be unattractive to sell on. Yahoo!’s contributions to open source software would be missed – PHP, Hadoop and the Debian distribution of Linux have all benefited.

History as an indicator of failure

This would represent the second activist shareholder owned board. The current one has been responsible for a catastrophic destruction of value. None of the acquirers have articulated a reason why advertisers should believe in them. Whilst a deal needs to maximise value for Yahoo! shareholders; if it doesn’t offer a plan that pleases customers – it will fail.

A highly leveraged business will not be in a good place to cope with programmatic advertising which will likely reduce the cost of Yahoo!’s over-priced display ad inventory. The likely leverage also means that Yahoo! would make an unattractive long term partner for the major marketing groups.

More information
Microsoft Tells Possible Yahoo Buyers It Would Consider Backing Bids | Re/code
Yahoo! – how did we get here? | renaissance chambara
Reflecting on Yahoo!’s Q2 2015 progress report on product prioritisation | renaissance chambara
Facebook: the Yahoo! patents case | renaissance chambara
Why I am sunsetting Yahoo! | renaissance chambara
The trouble with Yahoo!’s M&A scuttlebutt | renaissance chambara
Thoughts on the Microsoft and Yahoo! search deal | renaissance chambara
Yahoo! Japan and The Gordian Knot | renaissance chambara
Yahoo!: some things I am worried about | renaissance chambara
Barbarians in the valley | renaissance chambara
The Steve Ballmer Post | renaissance chambara
The Wall Street Journal Online bounced my comment | renaissance chambara
A quick primer re @blakei @yahoo #delicious | renaissance chambara

8 life hacks using in OS X

Terminal is a way of getting to the Unix underpinnings of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system. It is generally kept out of the way because an uneducated user could do a lot of damage. I have put together eight of my favourite life hacks using Terminal here. Your mileage will vary. Over time Apple has stopped supporting some commands and introduced others grep used to come in handy for finding and removing duplicate files.  A new command called ditto makes it really easy to make copies of folders.
Check the weather
Ping a website
Find the address of every device on your network
Get details about a domain name
Change the screenshot format
Show hidden files in Finder
Show path view in Finder
Strip out unnecessary system animations
I have put together each of these as a presentation as well