Toothbrush test + more news

5 minutes estimated reading time

Toothbrush test

Google Canceled the Launch of a Robotic Arm After it Failed the ‘Toothbrush Test’ – Bloomberg – executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc. nixed the plan because it failed Chief Executive Officer Larry Page’s “toothbrush test,” a requirement that the company only ship products used daily by billions of people, according to people familiar with the situation. – Surely this would nix Google‘s enterprise products as well? The toothbrush test poses a serious problem to Alphabet. The business can no longer go after most business opportunities, due to the tyranny of large numbers involved in their earnings. Secondly, they may not get lucky twice, the only benefit of the toothbrush test is preventing the kind of problem that Yahoo! had with the acquisition. The toothbrush test sounds like an innovation killer

Consumer behaviour

More millennials switch off social media | FT – qualitative rather than quantitative data


Pound sterling could be worth less than a dollar within three years, investor Jim Rogers warns | The Independent – You’ve got a lot of debt, you’ve got a serious balance of trade problem which shows no signs of being corrected. I don’t see anything to make sterling go up – not terribly surprising conclusion. The only alternative would be massive cuts outside the South East including rural subsidies and infrastructure spending. The state pension would likely have to be means tested and cut. It would also make sense to up taxation on capital gains and death duty


One on One – Edelman – Six of the top 10 PR firms did not grow or went backwards in 2015. This should be PR’s time, given the complexity of the environment (nationalism, populism, fear of pace of innovation) and the explosion of media options… I contended that the management of PR agencies has not sufficiently recognized the opportunity on the marketing side of the business. The emphasis on continued increase in profit margins has pushed our sector toward public affairs, crisis management and corporate reputation… – in addition PR is letting its top talent walk out the door, pay is below par for other disciplines and needs to get general managers that won’t have a rotating door on the new types of talent that they want to get in


The Man Who Stood Up To Facebook : All Tech Considered : NPR – which all goes back to where Facebook deviated from the web 2.0 credo and used it to its own advantage – for instance hollowing out Yahoo!’s user base

Tag Heuer’s adventure seeking leads to a Red Bull TV sponsorship | Luxury Daily – interesting wrinkle on brand content where other brands come in and sponsor the brand content

Some Thoughts on Reuters, NY Times, and Yahoo – Lawfare  – Benjamin Wittes flags that much of the Yahoo story is unclear, including legal arguments and the objective of the search, and further reporting from Motherboard and the Intercept


Analysis: Trump ‘rigged’ vote claim may leave lasting damage | AP News – I don’t think that you can pin this solely on Trump when you have thinkers like marketing professor Philip Kotler has written a book on how the current framework is broken to ‘repair’ US democracy.

The Latest Celebrity Diet? Cyberbullying – The New York Times – which is going to legitimise the tactics in the minds of many people out there as ‘normal behaviour’

Bronte Capital: Measuring how bad Twitter is – needs to fire two thirds of its staff


What Surveillance Will Look Like in the Future – The Atlantic – of course this depends on not having Note 7-esque battery problems

Europe to Push New Security Rules Amid IoT Mess — Krebs on Security – it is the right thing to do, but will be hard to police and won’t stop shoddy security on products coming out of the Shenzhen, Dongguan, Goungzhou silicon triangle in the Pearl River delta


The Telegraph overhauls mobile app to focus on speed – Digiday – interesting focus on immediacy, goes against the ‘abundance of bandwidth’ assumption many developers use

WTF is a container? | TechCrunch – really nice primer

Huawei has formed a strategic partnership to develop AI – Business Insider – but could you trust it? Interesting that this hasn’t caused upset in the US body politic

Daring Fireball: Walt Mossberg: ‘Why Does Siri Seem So Dumb?’ – John Gruber’s take is really good. I won’t even get into the fact that Siri just doesn’t understand my BBC northern English accent and so I just don’t bother using it

Baidu Launches A Medical Chatbot That Acts As A Physician’s Assistant | IPG Media Lab – interesting application, IBM Watson has aspired to go in this direction. Maximises the 8 minutes a patient has in a doctors surgery

Web of no web

Most Drivers Who Own Cars With Built-in GPS Systems Use Phones For Directions – Mostly Out of Frustration – explains why TomTom and Garmin are still going

Building a Smart Home With Apple’s HomeKit | Wirecutter – shows how immature the smart house still is. That is if you’re not concerned about your IoS (internet of shit) devices being compromised and turned into a bot net for hire


Verizon just raised a big warning flag for Yahoo – The Washington Post – hacks had a material effect on the business

The exploding Note 7 is no surprise – leaked Samsung doc highlights toxic internal culture • The Register – the Note 7 seems to have shone a light on the Samsung business

iPhone 7 vs Leica M9-P: A Side-by-Side Photo Comparison | PetaPixel – to me these show the limits of the smartphone rather than how great it is