The findings of Card, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Payne, of McMaster University, are consistent with wider concerns about the under-representation of men in higher education and in many sectors of the labour market, says Tabarrok.
“If we accept the results (of Card and Payne), the gender-industry gap is focused on the wrong thing. The real gender gap is that men are having trouble competing everywhere except in STEM,” says Tabarrok
The Equality of Opportunity Project – This introductory course, taught by Raj Chetty, shows how “big data” can be used to understand and solve some of the most important social and economic problems of our time
A decade ago I worked on AMD Live. A hodgepodge of hardware and software that provided media access where ever and whenever you wanted it. Here is a short video that we made at the time to bring it to life. The idea was that AMD would be able to sell higher specifications of PC components into the home to act as digital hub. They wanted to push their Opteron server processors into the home.
An engineer came in and spent the best part of a day setting everything up throughout the house prior to shooting the film. At the time much of the streaming boxes didn’t work as promised so some of the screen images were put in post-production. There was a mix of cloud services and home hosted content. At the centre was a PC running Windows Multimedia Centre. There was a raft of third-party apps needed as well
Network management apps
Video and image compression apps
Instant messaging (that wasn’t MSN or Skype – no idea why it was in the bundle)
TV tuner software
A music jukebox application
An AMD GUI which provided a 3D carousel effect and integrated web browser
It was all a bit of kludge.
Digital content was well on its way. Streaming technology was well known but unstructured. RealNetworks had been going commercially since 1997, but the playback quality was dependent on Internet network connectivity, We only started to see widespread DSL adoption from 2003 onwards in the UK. By the first quarter of 2003, DSL was enabled at 1200 of the 5600 telephone exchanges across the UK.
Apple’s QuickTime streaming server was open sourced back in 1999; so if anyone wanted to set up a streaming network they had the technology to do so.
Digital audio content prior to 2003 had largely been ripped from optical media or downloaded online via FTP, Usenet or P2P networks. iTunes launched its music store in 2003.
From a standing start in 2002; by 2004, 5 million devices with a HDMI connection had been sold. The built in copy protection had been developed by an Intel subsidiary and was adopted by all the big Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers.
By 2005, Apple had started selling iTunes movies and TV programmes alongside its music offering that allowed sharing of an account on up to 5 concurrent devices.
Apple launched its MFi programme in January 2005, which begat a raft of speakers and stereos with iPod connectivity in the home and the car.
Sonos released its speaker system including a wi-fi mesh network and AES network encryption. Flickr had a well documented API that allowed for a fully functioning photo album and picture streaming which was used in early web 2.0 mashups.
AMD Live was on the back-foot from day one. From a high end perspective of audio streaming Sonos had it locked down. For everyone else moving an iPod from room to room had the same effect. Mini-video servers could be configured from mini-PC boxes, but they were only for the technically skilled. Even the Mac Mini launched in 2005 didn’t make the process much easier. The key advantage is that it could use iTunes as a video source and a playing software.
Back then because it was US centric in its view AMD Live completely ignored the rise of the smartphone as a music playback device. By 2007, Nokia launched ‘Comes With Music’ which put mobile streaming in play. Apple Music and Spotify have now made streaming effortless. Video playback now comes from devices the size of a thumb drive. New intermediate screens from tablets to smartphones changed viewing habits and the PC has become redundant as the home hub for all but the most enthusiastic AV aficionados.
Really interesting design experiment from Chinese university students. It is interesting that they use the ‘goldfish’ as the avatar of the AI. It also asks questions about how we relate to pets and whether augmentation like this would work.
Very interesting student project from Shanghai Jiaotong University, has your pet fish serve as an avatar/front end for a smart device pic.twitter.com/tHDODQHArM
Scott Galloway talks about the way brands are using AI (machine learning) and the examples are very much in the background so that the impact on the customer experience won’t be apparent. In many respects this is similar to how fuzzy logic became invisible as it was introduced in the late 1980s.
The Japanese were particularly adept at putting an obscure form of mathematics to use. They made lifts that adapted to the traffic flows of people going in and out of a building and microwaves which knew how long to defrost whatever you put into it. Fuzzy logic compensated for blur in video camera movement in a similar manner to way smartphone manufacturers now use neural networks on images.
The Japanese promoted fuzzy logic inside products to the home market, but generally backed off from promoting it abroad. The features just were and consumers accepted them over time. In a quote that is now eerily reminiscent of our time a spokesperson for the American Electronics Association’s Tokyo office said to the Washington Post
“Some of the fuzzy concepts may be valid in the U.S.,”
“The idea of better energy efficiency, or more precise heating and cooling, can be successful in the American market,”
“But I don’t think most Americans want a vacuum cleaner that talks to you and says, ‘Hey, I sense that my dust bag will be full before we finish this room.’ “
China’s Booming Live Streaming Market Has Reached Its Zenith – Huajiao. Long answer: emoji-like “gifts” from the viewers that can later be cashed in for money. Chinese viewers are less enamored by mindlessly goofy check out my six pack vids (*cough* Logan Paul), and more interested in watching the mundanities of their favorite influencer’s everyday life — i.e. singing in the shower, driving, and… slurping soup? – There is a clear line between this and things like Korean ‘eating’ videos.
Korean VR dating sim demo shows the technical potential and creepiness of virtual reality
YouTube Red has a reality show on trainer designers, it feels a bit niche to me
These New York hoodlums hitting Ralph Lauren remind me a lot of the football casuals in the 1970s. Gangs of them went around Europe following Liverpool and shoplifting – a modern-day version of the Visigoths sacking Rome – just sportswear rather than gold and fine silks.
Finally, an amazing time-lapse film of 30 days in the life of a container ship going between the Red Sea and Hong Kong. It’s mesmerising.
A couple of years ago I did a presentation on connection planning and much of that thinking still has value. But some of the tenets of connection planning are now challenged by changes in marketing practice and strategy in the business to consumer space.
The focus on user engagement has been affected by three things:
Social platforms have been moving their business model and interactions towards traditional brand advertising models. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are structuring their algorithms and advertising closer towards the reach and repetition model of traditional broadcast advertising. TV advertising dollars are what social platforms are chasing, rather than going after Google
Consumer brands, particularly from publicly listed mature players are facing business pressures from the threat of private equity ownership that would look to sweat the assets at the expense of longer term brand performance. No one is immune to this, not even Nestle that was thought to be protected due to Swiss regulations. This has led to a resurgence zero-based budgeting that is locked in focus on return on investment over a shorter time period. From a communications planning perspective there are no sacred cows, no guaranteed longer campaign story arcs or brand engagements as spend has to be justified from a clean slate each year
Most marketing spend tends to be around existing products, often in mature markets. New products run a high risk of failure. New products in new categories are generally the province of start-up graveyards – we remember the few successes rather than the legion of failures. Marketing thinking for mature brands in mature sectors (so most FMCG categories and established brands). This change has been driven by research financed by FMCG companies including Coca-Cola, Mars, Kraft and Kelloggs at the Ehrensberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science. Ehrensberg-Bass’ Byron Sharp book ‘How brands grow‘ is the talisman for these marketers and their agency side media planners
The shorter focus of consumer marketers makes it much harder to build a brand culture that sticks like Red Bull has managed to do. Flow of storytelling becomes less important than reach and stream of repetition.
There’s Blood In The Water In Silicon Valley | Buzzfeed – Tech is manifestly unready for this new era. They’ve been playing small-ball politics of regulation, and coasting on incredibly high approval ratings. But there are signs they feel the winds changing. You can usually detect a political figure’s problems from their overcompensation, and Zuckerberg’s Midwestern tour had all the hallmarks of a classic reaction to a specific political polling question: “Does he care about people like me?” The move was widely misinterpreted as some kind of beginning to Zuckerberg’s political career. But Zuckerberg is Facebook, and his image is his company’s. His mission was to fix the company’s image, and I’m just not sure this one is fixable.
You can see the shape of how this plays out in a recent exchange between Mark Halperin and Rep. Adam Schiff, in which Halperin asked of Facebook: “Did they put profits ahead of patriotism in their conduct during the campaign?”
In the book Kevin Kelly touches on the kind of areas one would expect in typical presentation given by an innovation team at an advertising agency. He is an unashamed techno-optimist and The key difference is two-fold:
Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism latest Digital News Report findings discussed by Dr. Rasmus Kleiss Nielsen. This report is based on a survey of more than 70,000 people across 36 countries.
On the Equifax Data Breach – Schneier on Security – Surveillance capitalism fuels the Internet, and sometimes it seems that everyone is spying on you. You’re secretly tracked on pretty much every commercial website you visit. Facebook is the largest surveillance organization mankind has created; collecting data on you is its business model. I don’t have a Facebook account, but Facebook still keeps a surprisingly complete dossier on me and my associations — just in case I ever decide to join.
I also don’t have a Gmail account, because I don’t want Google storing my e-mail. But my guess is that it has about half of my e-mail anyway, because so many people I correspond with have accounts. I can’t even avoid it by choosing not to write to gmail.com addresses, because I have no way of knowing if firstname.lastname@example.org is hosted at Gmail.
P&G Asia brand director: ‘We were clickbaiters – and a giant duck still got more likes than we did’ – “I’ve been through generations of training in how to make a good Facebook ad, which has gone around 360 degrees and come back to the simple principles of marketing. We went through lots of complications in how to get clicks – we were clickbaiters. We honestly were. And yet that duck in Hong Kong Harbour got more likes than any of pure branded messaging, and we thought that’s maybe a good thing. But it’s not and it doesn’t help brands or businesses. It’s taken us time to get to where we are and the simplicity of those core marketing principles.”
In terms of the news agenda, the iPhone launch dominated the news. I wrote about it here and here. This image from the Chinese internet summed everything about the launch up for me.
We’re in a place of innovation stuckness at the moment – we’re celebrating incremental improvements in user experiences on smartphones as transformational, they aren’t. This is a category challenge, not a vendor-specific one. Even infrastructure and component vendor Qualcomm is struggling to envision ways to move things on.
I have been mostly listening to this playlist from this years Love International Festival
Japanese group meforyouforme combining traditional Japanese culture and dance with modern tap dancing FTW
Hong Kong stars Donnie Yen and Andy Lau go back to the 1970s with Chasing the Dragon – a thriller based on real characters involved in drug smuggling and organised crime in the turbulent go-go economic boom of Hong Kong – Lee Rock (Lui Lok) was a corrupt policeman nicknamed 500 million dollar Inspector, who avoided corruption charges by moving to Canada and then Hong Kong. Crippled (or Limpy) Ho was a triad called Ng Sek-ho who rivalled the 14K triad group. It is against the backdrop of the post-1967 riots economic boom which saw Hong Kong blow up in manufacturing and financial services. This brought rich pickings in corruption which led to the formation of the ICAC – the Independent Commission Against Corruption.