Google Translate sucks & other news

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Why Google Translate fails

The Shallowness of Google Translate – The Atlantic – Google Translate really weak on language that uses metaphors or symbolic elements in their discussion. So examples that I am familiar with Google Translate failing on include both Cantonese and Mandarin. It’s Mandarin is slightly better, likely due to a wider body of material to work from.

Beauty

Kiehl’s sends its moisturizer for men to space – POPSOP – it hits all the touch points for luxury: limited, heritage (space race), desirable and captures the imagination

Business

Apple plans to reduce net cash balance to “approximately zero” FT – I personally think that this is a bad idea (paywall)

Consumer behaviour

Are you addicted to your smartphone? You may need professional help | SCMP – it is interesting that ‘internet addiction’ isn’t diagnosed as say obsessive compulsive behaviour or sociopathy but its own unique disorder. The likes of TV soap operas or music offered similar escapes – the amount I spent on vinyl was definitely the wrong side of sanity (paywall)

‘Social discovery’ is not about making friends. It’s about sex, narcissism, & gossip | VentureBeat – interesting if slightly depressing interview with the people at Tagged

Edelman Study: ‘Selfie-Style’ Entertainment On the Rise – In2 – interesting that selfie is now used as a descriptor for instant self gratification

Design

A synth has been designed to get kids into making electronic music | hhhhappy – want

BIC – Universal Typeface Experiment – I really like this idea by BIC, it could also build a very useful data set for technologists

Shanghai Street View: Branding The Zone | Young’s Chinese Business – interesting article on the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Shanghai

Economics

Mainlanders’ spending in Hong Kong doesn’t show up in our GDP – that’s statistical reality | South China Morning Post – which is crazy when one sees how much retail is done to cater to cross-border visitors

Ethics

Robert Peston’s speech warns of threat to journalism from native ads – full text | theguardian.com – usual chest thumping about PRs, interesting commentary on native advertising

Watchdog voices fears of privatisation risk to ethical standards – FT.comCommissioners tended to assume that providers would conform to ethical standards so they were not explicitly incorporated into either the selection of providers or contracts. If monitoring occurred at all, it was focused on performance and financial measures rather than ethics, the committee said. (Paywall) – because that’s going to work well…

Ideas

Automating Influence: The Manipulation of Public Debate – Stratfor – nice digestible write-up (paywall)

Legal

Knowledge Hub | Review of PAA Forum in Beijing – federation of regulation in China was interesting, since Mr Xi’s moves more like bring order towards the centre

Luxury

Prada promotes its latest Candy fragrance with a comic book | Popsop – it reminds me a bit of Modesty Blaise in terms of the drawing style

Media

Adidas Launches World Cup Campaign with Google | Adweek – interesting move more because of the new Google ad formats

Xaxis rolls out a new, real-time global DMP | CampaignAsia – with real-time audience profiles, interesting to see my old client Crystal Semantics technology is now used by Xaxis

Online

In a Mobile-First World, Shorter Video Ads Drive Results | Facebook Business  – Average watch time for both the 6-second and 30-second video ads was the same, but ad recall was significantly higher for the 6-second ads. The difference in ad recall underlines the importance of keeping video ads short and communicating key messages in the first few seconds. – And here is the flaw in the argument

Retailing

Alibaba’s 11 Main online mall bids to lure U.S. shoppers – SFGate – interesting that development is separate rather than utilising the TMall codebase

Technology

Safety in their hands | Federation Internationale de l’Automobile – biometric data from racing gloves

Netflix Closing Public API Later this Year | ProgrammableWeb – interesting that Netflix closed their public API as this would be handy for new start-ups making next generation consumer electronics product like Roku or Apple TV

Twitter’s new API lets developers sift through every tweet in history | TheNextWeb – potentially good news for social listening / analytics tools

My Thoughts On It » Is Paper From Facebook To Be Tossed? – interesting comScore data on Paper app

Daring Fireball: Only Apple – interesting article. I think that Apple’s decision to not try and build a curates egg helps, also iOS and OSX are being evolved rather than being completely shaken up at the moment. Lastly Apple has to worry about a smaller amount of variance in hardware than other software teams

Web of no web

BBC News – Tomorrow’s Cities – thought that this was interesting primer for smart cities, internet of things, programmable web, machine-to-machine

Nokia’s Here Buys Medio Systems To Push More Personalised Location Services | TechCrunch – interesting move putting lots of contextual pieces in place

Wireless

Goodbye, Pure: near-term, post-transition guidance for ex-Nokians regarding their branded future – Evleaks – interesting insights into rebranding a newly acquired company

Huawei, ZTE On Global Hiring Sprees | Young’s China Business – a symptom of the decline of Alcatel Lucent, Nokia and Ericsson’s business. Expect Cisco and HP to suffer too

Weibo Adds Gaming, Review and Payment Features to Mobile App Update | TechNode – starting to look more like the kind of eco-system Tencent has built around WeChat and QQ respectively. More related content here.