Links of the day | 在网上找到

WSJ City – Post-Brexit, The City Has English Law on Its Side – “You can think of London as a Silicon Valley of international business law. The robustness of English law and its utility are not going anywhere.” – But Ireland has a similar legal common law system and would still have an EU passport for its financial system

WSJ City – UK and Eurozone Part Ways on Confidence | WSJ – no real surprise there. Waiting for this to be attacked as ‘project fear’

In defence of Byron | FT Alphaville – interesting run down on UK immigration law

Twitter quarterly results – interesting increase in cost of revenue and corresponding reduction in R&D. Sales and marketing costs increased substantially as well

The guy trying to demolish Android with Cyanogen uses an iPhone | TheNextWeb – actual LOL. I get why he might use competitor products to understand them, but the optics on this are bad

Steam On Windows 10 Will Get ‘Progressively Worse’: Gears of War Developer – Slashdot – interesting accusations of ‘antitrust’ busting practices in gaming by the beast of Redmond

I, Cringely Is anyone at Yahoo! paying attention? Probably not. – I, Cringely – unfortunately its already game over. The money is committed to be returned to shareholders, patents will be licensed and approaches to get rid of Alibaba and Yahoo! Japan stakes. I wonder how they will juggle the rights to the Yahoo! name which now sits with the Verizon business for the Japanese JV?

Preliminary EDPS Opinion on the review of the ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC) | Europa.eu – interesting pro cryptography stance (pdf)

Companies Are Promoting More Than Ever, With Too Little Success | SocialBakers – interesting Facebook data points

Gigaom | What’s going on in Phoneland? — is leading to consolidation, the classic market maturation that comes right before a new era of breakthroughs and growth. But those breakthroughs won’t be in 2016

Things that made my day this week

Things that made my day this week:

A great summer soundtrack by Amerigo Gazaway who do some of the best blends of hip-hop with soul

I got this from an old college friend who studied industrial design.

Moby did a great mix for Dazed Digital

Weiden & Kennedy for Nike came up with the Unlimited Future campaign. Nike opponents pointed out that it could be construed as a reference to their sweat shop factories. Either way you don’t see other sports apparel brands doing powerful brand anthems like this

Pirate Printers: Shirts and Totes Printed Directly on Urban Utility Covers | Colossal – just waiting for a Stanton Warrior t-shirt…

US public broadcaster has been bringing some of its vintage interviews to life like this video featuring Marlene Dietrich

Benetton’s new positioning

For me Benetton was a brand of the 1980s and early 1990s. It was a family run business that pioneered the use of technology to automate clothing manufacturing in the face of globalisation. It has a famous series of adverts that provided progressive social commentary through shock tactics.
Benetton new positioning
It’s new positioning is a marked move away from this heritage. It’s ‘Clothes for Humans’ tag line moves the brand towards the everyday – almost norm core in its message. It positions the brands as clothes for everyone – more Uniqlo or Gap than designer wear.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Departing the wheat from the chaff: identifying fallacies in the pharmaceutical promotion – Shaughnessy, Slawson & Bennett – different logical fallacies deployed in promotional activities (PDF)

Why Armstrong Really Wanted Yahoo — The Information – interesting play but not sure that it will be successful (paywall)

Money as Message – Andreessen Horowitz – Connie Chan’s 101 on WeChat wallet is up there with her other WeChat posts

Three Proposes Protection in UK Spectrum Auction | CCS Insight – I would put good money on it that Three loses this fight as well as an ‘invisible hand’ continues to move against the CK Hutchison Group as a whole

How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President – Defense One – where is the evidence that they can leave this at the door of the Russians. Also ‘weaponising Wikileaks’ is a great message to put out there prior to shutting down Wikileaks. It will be more interesting seeing what the FBI investigation comes up with

Neil Young’s PonoMusic Store Goes Offline as It Switches Content Providers – interesting that the UK music technology start-up scene seems to be imploding on itself (Crowdmix, Omnifone) and that Neil Young’s PonoMusic was taking so much time to get on 7Digital’s HD music offering?

Superbook turns your phone into a laptop for $99 | Techinasia – reminds me of the Palm Foleo companion laptop device that was previewed but never launched

GitHub – nerevu/riko: A python stream processing engine modeled after Yahoo! Pipes – interesting tool, BTW who said that RSS is dead?

Decacorns continue to get funding while the rest of the startup investing declines | TechCrunch – funding skewing towards really big funding projects concealing overall drop in funding

Microsoft debuts Bookings, a new Office 365 service for online appointment scheduling | TechCrunch – is it just me or is Microsoft throwing out a lot of services that overlap with its core offering and it feels a bit confusing?

US Congress – Committee on Energy and Commerce – letter to Niantic re Pokemon Go – concerns that consumers understand potential impact on their mobile data allowance (PDF)

Pokémon Go will launch in Japan tomorrow with game’s first sponsored location | TechCrunch – McDonalds coming in with a sponsorship deal for Pokemon gyms

China appliance makers share SoftBank dream | FT – many expect SoftBank to sell ARM on after a decent waiting time to companies like these (paywall)

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

Mastercard have redesigned their logo and its struck a nice balance between  change and heritage. Wired magazine has more details on the move and how the logo has changed over the years.

Snoop Dogg on a US game show via Zak Agency’s ‘cool sh*t‘ email newsletter

Masaaki Hiroi’s wooden toys look amazing

Our Iain switched me on to Snoring (music to sleep by) from IGLOOGHOST

I went to see The Avalanches play their new album at Oval Space back in June and there were a number of people in the audience ignorant of their process and exceptionally vocal on social media.


I honestly don’t know what they were expecting – Led Zeppelin type stage antics?
This was in advance of their new album drop Wildflower. Wildflower has been on heavy rotation in/on my iPod. Buy it, gift it to friends and relatives.

The folks at who sampled put together this great run through of where all the pieces came from.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Daring Fireball | U.S. Army Special Operations Switching From Android To iPhone – interesting comments on OS stability, not sure why

Digibarn Stories: Rob Barnaby and WordStar and much more (June 2008) – Barnaby’s ability to code in assembly was legendary

Blimey, it could be Brexit – the whole book so far | openDemocracy – probably one of the best readers on it post-Brexit

Perry Anderson · The Italian Disaster · LRB 22 May 2014 – interesting read in the light of current things rolling out in Italian banking

Boris Johnson booed at French Embassy – BBC News – and what did they expect to happen?

When Virtual Reality Meets Data Journalism | Global Investigative Journalism Network – interesting takeouts for VR designs

Gossip magazine group buys newspaper rival RCS Mediagroup – FT.com – looks like a professionalisation of Italian media ownership on first impressions since the new owner seems to be less interested in political influence and more interested in profitable titles (paywall)

The Difference Between VR and 360 – Gear Patrol – interesting examples about how modern technology marketing is ‘post factual’

The demise of the California fitness brand | Marketing Interactive – spectacular corporate implosion

Chinese $1.2 billion takeover of Norway’s Opera fails, but alternative deal set | Reuters – in some respects as significant as the ARM deal that dropped the same morning

When Yahoo Ruled the Valley: Stories of the Original ‘Surfers’ – The New York Times  – When the Grateful Dead musician Jerry Garcia died in August 1995, Yahoo searches on him spiked immediately. The surfers put a Garcia link on the home page. “That was the birth of Yahoo News,” Ms. Srinivasan said. Today, it remains one of the most popular online news portals

Currently reading….

I have a couple of books on the go at the moment:

  • Smartphones and beyond: Lessons from the remarkable rise and fall of Symbian by David Wood. Wood was a senior executive at Psion and Symbian. A combination of an extensive email archive and electronic diary allowed him to produce a blow-by-blow account. Much of it is in the weeds, interesting, but tough to tease definitive answers out. I keep reading it in spurts and then going away. A more details review will come once I work my way through this.
  • The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin’s book has been applauded as a science fiction classic in both Chinese and Western circles. Liu has won a Hugo award for this book and is the recipient of the Galaxy award (China’s Hugo award, but with a better name) on nine occasions. I have just started on the book but it seems to have contrasting narratives, the first of which is a shocking portrayal of how intellectuals suffered during the cultural revolution. This is my go to book for commuting, expect a full review soon(ish).

Links of the day | 在网上找到

LG’s Ken Hong: ‘It’s Very Hard To Unseat WPP’ | Holmes Report – “There are very few companies in the world that have products as diverse as LG, so we’re finding it more challenging every time procurement calls for a review to find agencies that can handle this wide scope. Simply because there are so many players in this space and so many conflicts.” 

Hong noted that seven contenders were invited to pitch for the business this year but declined to confirm how many actually took part. The Holmes Report understands that at least two major groups — Omnicom and Interpublic — declined the opportunity, after previous attempts to win the business proved fruitless. 

“We invited most of the major holding companies, but I’ve seen a lot of these companies running into conflict accounts very early on,” said Hong. “We are maybe going to have rethink our strategy going forward if we’re going to keep asking agencies to come in.” – interesting article. Reading this if I were WPP I would look to gradually raise my prices as the client has basically admitted that they are in a monopoly position and both Omicom and Interpublic won’t even bother pitching for the business.

Dennis Cooper fears censorship as Google erases blog without warning | Books | The Guardian – His advice to other artists who work predominantly online is to maintain your own domain and back everything up.

ジャパンアーカイブズ – Japan Archives 日本の近現代史150年をビジュアルで振り返る – OMG I love it

Posting photos or GIFs on Twitter | Twitter Help Center – 15GB GIFs WTF

Breaking up with London’s most-loved party | Dazed – I fell out of love with the internet the moment Tumblr appeared. Too accessible, too many filters… the same three pictures of Kate Moss and the Britney Spears circulating… I did, however, make a private Facebook group and an event. I love the idea of how limited Facebook is, visually. The way we used the group/event page was still very DIY. It became a resource, a way to practically get the party moving, from people getting in touch to help, to DJ’s finding out if people had spare headphones

Uhans A101 – a nostalgic Nokia phones tribute in the making ? – Gizchina.com – and I was just saying the other day I could do with a good robust voice orientated mobile phone to go alongside my iPhone

VIRALS – The Woolshed Company – punk’d viewers of viral content

Statement: the status of EU nationals in the UK – News stories – GOV.UK  – When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected. – interesting that this contradicts the keeping their options open stance of some senior government officials. Would Irish status continue to be the same?

Razer made a mechanical keyboard for the iPad Pro | The Verge – regardless of whether you game or not, having a decent keyboard for the iPad is a good thing. Not sure the iPad/tablet format is a laptop killer though

Big Food is disclosing the nitty gritty details of our food—in a place where no one looks | Quartz – this could drive increasing US use of QRcodes over time

Google Announces New Shopping, Travel Search Features | Digital – AdAge – interesting move into visual ads in SERPs

How technology disrupted the truth | Katharine Viner | Media | The Guardian – “It was taking an American-style media approach,” said Banks. “What they said early on was ‘Facts don’t work’, and that’s it. The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.”

Headphones Everywhere – The New Yorker – interesting insights into behaviour and world perception

China Manufacturing Contracts, Part 2: ODM Arrangements | China Law Blog – interesting legal implications on China climbing up the value stack and crowdfunding

The Ad Contrarian | Revenge of the Philistines – There is no one who has ever made more money from the advertising business than Martin Sorrell. There is no one who has ever had more influence on the advertising business than Martin Sorrell. And there is no one who has ever done more damage to the advertising business than Martin Sorrell. – probably disruption rather than damage, but you get the idea

Brexit forces Ireland to make new friends fast — FT.com – interesting article because of nuances it implies about UK Brexit negotiations

Video: Dame Kelly Holmes on the GSK Human Performance Lab – Telegraph – interesting native advertising content

Modanisa | Facebook for Business – interesting international lookalike targeting

More than a year after its release, and still no one wants to buy an Apple Watch | Quartz – I suspect that this is a wearables category issue and the problem is compelling use case

Amazon’s Chinese counterfeit problem is getting worse | CNBC – not just an Alibaba problem

Beijing Extends 4G Coverage Through All Subway Lines | ChinaTechNews – and London struggles with decent wi-fi in stations

AP: Islamic State’s Twitter traffic drops amid US efforts | AP – interesting story on the US state department efforts to counter ISIS on Twitter

NHK World to cover Sumo in English! | Japanator – dialling up Japanese soft power

5G manifesto | European Union – Having read the 3,000-word document, its apparent that they don’t have a clue what the killer app for 5G will be (PDF)

Where machines could replace humans–and where they can’t (yet) | McKinsey – Interesting article and good use of Tableau by McKinsey for publicly facing content

Tech workers think Silicon Valley and startups are losing their luster | Quartz – not terribly surprised by this

225m reasons for China’s leaders to worry | The Economist – before the late 1990s China barely had a middle class. In 2000, 5m households made between $11,500 and $43,000 a year in current dollars; today 225m do

Is This The End Of Freemium Music On Spotify? [Mark Mulligan] – hypebot – interesting analysis on the freemium offering

The ISHU – interesting use of ‘anti’ flash photography technology in fabrics

[Update: Huawei removes photo, responds] Huawei publishes implied P9 camera sample, but EXIF data reveals $4500 camera took it – absolute corker

Things that made my day this week

Apologies for the lack of posts, work commitments became rather all consuming. Its been an eventful week and here are some of the key things that happened, or inspired me:

My social media feed filled up with poor ad placements against news about the Nice murder-by-truck incident. Sesame Street’s handling of the event on the social media accounts was a paragon of how these things should be done on Twitter and YouTube

Hat tip to our Ana

Top of the month: ‘Leave’ offers a masterclass in effective comms campaigning | PR Week – While pro-EU media and society may try to rewrite history and claim that the vote was purely a result of Stronger In’s failings, that would not do justice to the hard work and nous of the Brexit campaigners. – Interesting to see the hostile reaction amongst PR peers to this PR Week article. Admittedly many of the agency PRs I know are just the kind of metropolitan elites that many Brexiters despise, but I knew PR people who voted on both sides.

What I found particularly striking was the universal perception amongst PR sharing this on Facebook.  The post factual nature of the campaign was seen to add credence to PR being just lies and spin rather like the 350m pounds a week to be spent on the NHS. PR Week not only managed to inflame the political divide, but knife the very professionalism of the industry. I thought that this was a sterling piece of advertising work to encourage PR pros to read The Holmes Report instead.

My soundtrack for the past week has been The Avalanches new album Wallflower and this epic Paul Daley (Leftfield) mix from five years ago with an Ibizan vibe that belies cruddy summer weather we’ve been having

I love Japanese advertising; it contains a lot of the craft and storytelling that is currently missing from UK advertising. Nissen make the iconic ‘Cup Noodles’ (that also inspired Pot Noodle). Their ad channels the vintage chambara films of Akira Kurosawa with 1950s science fiction in this 30 second slot

This is what happens when you let Rus Khasanov loose with glitter and ink. The music is by Dmitry Evgrafov

Links of the day | 在网上找到

How much TV money goes to footballers? Lord Puttnam attacks hike in sports rights costs | Radio Times – what a depressing thought

How much TV money goes to footballers? Lord Puttnam attacks hike in sports rights costs | Radio Times – what a depressing thought

‘Conflicted’ media auditors come under fire from Sorrell | Campaign – wider issue of trust between media buying and clients (reg wall)

The next front in the patent wars? Chinese telecom giant Huawei sues T-Mobile for patent infringment – how to make friends and influence people

This photo from a Huawei camera phone ad was actually shot with a $4,500 Canon camera | Shanghaist – Huawei gets called out, Nokia had been caught doing this in the past as well.

Twitter estimates that it has 10 million users in China | TechCrunch – how many of these are ’50 cent’ propagandist accounts?

Vice Media buys Dasha Zhukova’s Garage art magazine – FT.com – paywall

Applying ML to InfoSec — Startup.ML Conf – ML (machine learning)

New Cars Are Too Expensive For The Typical Family, Says Study | Slashdot – more data on the decline of the US middle class

Top Korean carrier launches cut-rate internet of things network | HKEJ Insight – interesting move by SK Telecom

Martha Lane Fox: Brexit is all about MEEEEeeee! • The Register – It’s almost as if the Establishment is so loath to address the real issues raised by people on “those horrible council estates” it’s created a virtualisation container for the working class instead

Ask.fm changes hands once again – BBC News – too hot to handle? Reminds me of the debacle about trying to take FriendFinder public a decade ago

Snapchat’s Teen Fans Wince as App Catches On With Their Folks – WSJ – the Snapchat is fucked moment, parents are venturing on there, partly to stalk their kids, partly for Sky Sports coverage

All news stories must be verified, China’s internet censor decrees as it tightens grip on online media | South China Morning Post – yes I know its China, but on one level does this sound very sensible in what is likely to be a vacuum of journalistic ethics

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

Interactive Site Brings Hennessy’s Mastery To Life | Marketing Daily

John Ciena on patriotism

Why small Northern towns voted to leave

Toyota builds an actual Initial D concept car, plus awesome manga artwork for it 【Photos】

Converse Gives Away 38,000 Samples for FREE feat. RJD2, HudMo, Com Truise and more

Links of the day | 在网上找到

As Tastes Mature, Chinese Crave Native Materials | Global Currents | BoF – also mirrors a desire to look less flashy and moving away from tu hao jin products

Photographer Bill Cunningham left the fashion world some brilliant advice on how to dress millennials – “I think what they should really think about, and be fearful [of], is the high-tech, and the high-tech kids,” he tells the interviewer, fashion consultant Fern Mallis. “They’re no longer dressing the outsides of their heads. This generation are dressing the inside of their heads.” 

Asked by Mallis to clarify what he meant, he continued: “The whole country is electronically connected. They’re educating the insides of their heads, as they should do! Not the outside, with a fancy hat or a dress. Simple clothes… That’s the key. I think that’s what the fashion world should really think about.”

BlackBerry has not informed Verizon or AT&T that BlackBerry 10 devices have been discontinued | CrackBerry.com – being a BlackBerry user must feel like being a Mac user circa 1996, though I don’t expect there will be any salvation with those few keeping the faith. In Senate, Blackberry Era Officially Over | bomble.com – the West Wing will start to look dated pretty darned quick once this goes through

Brands who are part of Beijing’s Hutong Neighbourhoods – SocialBrandWatch – interesting the way Nestle has built a quality Chinese brand

After Brexit, British scramble for foreign passports | HKEJ Insights – really good read on the change in dynamic between Britain and Ireland

Chinese smartphone brands are dying off fast as market consolidates | Techinasia – Xiaomi’s diversifying strategy may look smart

Private Equity Has a Crush on Tech – WSJ – recurring subscriptions, but cloud may disrupt traditional packaged enterprise software and is cycle resistant only insofar as the clients stay in business

Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices – The New York Times – “When Amazon began 21 years ago, the strategy was to lose on every sale but make it up on volume,” said Larry Compeau, a Clarkson University professor of consumer studies. “It was building for the future, and the future has arrived. Amazon doesn’t have to seduce customers with a deal because they’re going to buy anyway.”

Pollster who called the EU referendum right: No late Leave swing after all • The Register – interesting descriptions about errors in poll design

Sony chief Hirai places faith in AI | FT – interesting move given Sony’s relatively lack of prowess in software and services

DriveTribe social network founded by the former ‘Top Gear’ presenters is launching this year – Business Insider – interesting that they’ve set up a passion based network.

Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech – really interesting essay

EU regulations on algorithmic decision-making and a ‘right to explanation’ by Goodman & Flaxman – potential impact of the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation on the routine use of machine learning algorithms. The problem revolves around the ‘right to explanation’ (PDF)

A failure of stock markets or innovation?

In the past the Silicon Valley dream was relatively simple. Hard graft with a possibility of a reward in terms of a stock market listing or a buyout by a larger technology company eager for the new, new thing.

Now things are different, businesses like Google, Uber and Facebook held out for as long as possible to go public. Technology companies from Apple to Zynga have been punished repeatedly in the market for real and perceived mis-steps. Activist investors charge around Silicon Valley in a similar manner to the way they bullied the S&P index in the 1980s.
160704 - private equity & the tech sector
Now technology companies are making up almost half of private equity LBOs. An LBO is a leveraged buy out; its where a prospective owner uses a mix of loans and their own money to purchase a company. The company usually has a steady cash flow that is used to pay down the loans and associated interest. These businesses are generally discounted because they are no longer perceived as being high growth companies.

The private equity owner looks to either flip the company to another purchaser, or flip parts of the company to pay down the loan. Either flipping or piecemeal sales are designed to raise more value than the original price paid.

Since these businesses are servicing large amounts of debt, they are vulnerable to fluctuations in their business conditions or interest rate rises. For example, Irish telecoms network Eircom defaulted on corporate bonds in 2012, having been through a couple of LBOs in the previous decade.

There always has been some LBOs in the Valley, Computer Associates bought up rivals and ran them as part of a conglomerate, with a focus on maximising the business cash flow rather than market share growth. General Atlantic Partners and Cerebus Capital Management had specialised for a long time in LBOs of mature ‘also ran’ business software companies with regular support customer support contracts. But the recent growth in LBOs is unprecedented for the technology sector.

*January, 1 2016 – July 1, 2016.

More information
Private Equity Has a Crush on Tech | WSJ – paywall
What are the major reasons behind Yahoo’s drastic downfall?
Barbarians in the valley

Links of the day | 在网上找到

BREXIT – Letter to MPs from a Remain voter: a plea for realism, tolerance and honesty – this gives a great background read on how the UK chose to go Brexit. It’s also a blueprint of how project fear is likely to turn into project understated the full calamity

Osborne abandons 2020 budget surplus target – BBC News – he wasn’t likely to meet it anyway but this emphasises how bad it is

Juncker on EU critics: Nobody says what they want – POLITICO – no one in Brussels could have stopped the Brexit train

How Britain stays in the EU – POLITICO – err no it probably won’t. The most interesting thing for me was leavers saying, I won’t benefit but I want others to suffer too

The New Furby Definitely Will Not Kill You In Your Sleep | Refinery 29 – it was only a matter of time for an app enabled Furby

We broadcast from TV to Facebook Live for 24 hours. Here’s what we learned. — Medium – In addition to not getting a push notification, we believe that Continuous Live Videos are not distributed in the News Feed in a similar way to their non-Continuous counterparts. When we started our first stream on Thursday, we wondered how Facebook’s News Feed algorithm would deal with a 24-hour video. The answer, it seems, was simple: it doesn’t – some great insights via the Aljazeera labs team

News Feed FYI: Helping Make Sure You Don’t Miss Stories from Friends | Facebook Newsroom – pages downgraded again in audience feeds

Huawei MateBook review: this tablet wants to be a PC, but misses the basics | The Verge – triumph of design over usefulness, poor battery life.

Group M sues Ebiquity over ‘misuse’ of confidential documents | Campaign – interesting case, if I was a client of WPP I would be asking why

Line Files to Go Public | CCS Insight – really nice history of LINE messenger

Pro-‘Brexit’ City of Sunderland Glad to Poke Establishment in the Eye – The New York Times – “We’re segregated from the south, and the north is a barren wasteland,” he said, wearing a heavy black leather jacket with metal studs despite the summer heat. “It’s us against them.” 

“The E.U. is a mystery to us,” he added. “We’ve never heard about it up here.”

Mobile app shops: Diversify or die | VentureBeat – because downloads are declining