10 minutes estimated reading time
Hackers hijack and publish mental health data of hundreds of people – a scandal caused by the extortion of a group of hackers to a private company that provides mental health services as a psychotherapy center for the Finnish public health system. Finland claims to be at the forefront of digitisation and data security. The criminals managed to access the mental health data of thousands of customers of the Vastaamo after detecting vulnerabilities in their system.How can Vastaamo be sure that mental health data won’t be leaked or sold on in the future. Hackers have already targeted women who shop for plus size clothing with weight loss scams. Now imagine the ‘opportunities’ for bot based counselling, black mail or fake medications that mental health patients offer. Hackers would enrich this data and sell it on again and gain over time allowing for relentless targeting and retargeting of vulnerable people with mental health issues. Given the increase in mental health issues among adults, this would present hackers with a total lifetime revenue stream.
Smart Solution: Laser Indicators to Make Backing Trucks Up to Loading Docks Easier – wonderfully clever piece of design
Mark Ritson: Fred Perry must do more than stop selling the Proud Boys shirts – Indeed, if you really want to make something hot among any group, the use of faux-exclusivity or – even better – a genuine attempt to exclude people from the product typically sends them rabid with desire. De-list a salad cream and once-uninterested consumers start bulk-buying it. Make your clothing in sizes that won’t fit older blokes and they will queue up around the block to squeeze their big units into it. Shutting down sales of black and yellow Fred Perry shirts in America will have zero impact on the proportion of them being worn by the Proud Boys. It will most likely exacerbate the situation. Those who already own a shirt will treasure and wear it with even greater pride. And the rest of the membership will resort to the grey and black markets to ensure that they too look like all their fascist mates. – advertising is the way forward, though I would be doing a photo shoot with leather subculture members
The 1.4bn-people question – Apparatchiks and academics alike struggle to take China’s pulse | China | The Economist – For decades the party had scorned opinion polls as bourgeois and unnecessary—it embodied the will of the Chinese people, so why ask them what they thought? But it has become more open to pulse-taking since Mr Yang’s ordeal, which was described in an article by Tang Wenfang of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, published in 2018. Mr Yang says the party is “more paranoid” about public opinion than its democratic peers because it lacks elections or a free press for feedback – this also explains why IPSOS MORI type research is very hard to do in China
Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police – The New York Times – “I am involved with developing facial recognition to in fact use on Portland police officers, since they are not identifying themselves to the public,” Mr. Howell said. Over the summer, with the city seized by demonstrations against police violence, leaders of the department had told uniformed officers that they could tape over their name. Mr. Howell wanted to know: Would his use of facial recognition technology become illegal? Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, told Mr. Howell that his project was “a little creepy,” but a lawyer for the city clarified that the bills would not apply to individuals. – I can see an increased pressure for legislation making videoing and photographing law enforcement a crime
‘Small-budget fallacy’ hurts marketing effectiveness | WARC – Marketers, similarly, erroneously presume that newer digital tactics represent the best approach for brands on a limited budget – a perspective countered by analysis of thousands of case studies from WARC. “Channels like content marketing, social media, influencer marketing, or online display are among the media more likely to create an effectiveness disadvantage,” Hurman said. “And some of those more traditional channels – like TV, PR, events or [direct mail] – are the ones creating an effectiveness advantage.” – Probably one of the most effective articles that marketers could read right now. I don’t disagree that influencers can be effective, but there seems to be a dataless cargo cult built up around it over the past few years.
Mark Sedwill: Dominic Cummings undermined the government | News | The Times – He also conceded that Britain had at times been “naïve” in dealing with threats from Russia and China. “I think when we’ve allowed the rhetoric to suggest that countries with very different political systems, essentially authoritarian political systems, are edging towards our values and viewing the world, then we’ve probably been mistaken and have overstated the natural alignment.” – the tone towards China in political elites throughout the world is going a lot colder
Donald Trump paid nearly $200,000 in taxes to China, report claims | The Guardian – paid more tax in China than in the US. I am surprised that more hasn’t been made of this
Chinese tech firms eye Singapore base amid US-China tensions, coronavirus border closures | South China Morning Post – Bytedance and in particular TikTok data safety issue moves from US and Europe to Singapore
Nearly half of internet users in Philippines pirate content | Data | Campaign Asia – I wouldn’t be surprised if that number was that far off in the UK given the amount of pirated content on YouTube etc
If Crisis or War Comes – The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency – great advice in general here (PDF)
Daring Fireball: The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro – interesting thoughts on the iPhone 12s. What Gruber doesn’t touch on is the radio improvements, particularly in 4G. I suspect that smartphones are on a 4 – 5 year replacement cycle for many people
Justice Dept. files long-awaited antitrust suit against Google | Ars Technica – why so rushed? There aren’t votes in this prosecution and going off without the required level of preparation against a well-resourced defence is very risky
#DanceAwesome Hashtag Videos on TikTok – Samsung has low consideration amongst the young, they used the existing Samsung partnership with K-Pop girl group BlackPink (18.9 million fans on TikTok). A new track Dance Awesome was created with an accompanying dance. Black Pink give it some energy and the dance instructions got 2m views on YouTube. It felt authentic. It resonated with TikTok users. The campaign generated 5m user videos and over 20 billion views, though I would like to see how it affects longer term consideration levels.
Open backdoors into apps and adversaries will use them too | Financial Times – it is interesting how long this has been discussed without significant action taking place. Japan underwent a sales boycott by China of rare earth metals ten years ago and this is still only at the discussion stages in the west
Conoco/Concho: surfing the wave | Financial Times – interesting consolidation in shale oil businesses. I found CK Hutchison selling out at this time interesting: Cenovus snares Li Ka-shing’s Husky Energy in $7.8bn deal | Financial Times
Toshiba launches global Quantum Key Distribution QKD business with UK factory – Toshiba estimates the QKD market to grow to approximately $20bn by 2035 and the company aims to take 25 percent of the market (approximately $3bn) in 2030. TDSL has been awarded the contract from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan to deploy and manage the QKD systems that will be installed at multiple locations on their network. Toshiba plans to deliver the system in the fourth quarter of FY2020 and the deployment will start to roll out from April 2021. Outside of Japan, Toshiba Europe worked with BT on the UK’s first industrial deployment of a quantum-secure network, while in the US, Toshiba has participated in the recent QKD demonstration by Verizon Communications with Quantum Xchange. – Fascinating, it means that banks and governments can have secure communications, but consumers can’t, at least until we have several qubits of quantum computing power in a desktop computer and PGP-type situation gain.
Ericsson and China Telecom achieve 5G Standalone data call – Ericsson Spectrum Sharing is a new way of rolling out 5G that uses existing hardware, spectrum and sites, while enabling increases in mid/high band coverage. It enables 4G, 5G NSA NR and 5G Standalone to be deployed simultaneously across FDD spectrum without the need for dedicated 5G spectrum. With Ericsson Spectrum Sharing, 5G radio resources are shared on a 1 millisecond basis, maximizing spectral efficiency. Most 5G networks have so far been deployed in Non-Standalone (NSA) mode where the underlying 4G network layer supported the necessary signaling. SA removes this 4G dependency. – Great, but Sweden’s ban on ZTE and Huawei in their network is likely to kill off Ericsson’s potential business with China Telecom – Sweden bans Huawei, ZTE from upcoming 5G networks | Reuters
First room-temperature superconductor demonstrated | Smart 2.0 – I am skeptical. I wouldn’t have shared it at all but for the fact that the article is from from part of the EE Times group
Apple Launches ‘Apple Music TV,’ a 24-Hour Music Video Livestream – Variety – MTV left the door open for this, surprised that it hasn’t been done before
Taiwan’s top 100 brands: Line, Taiwan Mobile, Rakuten among biggest gainers | Campaign Asia – Among the worst declines this year, Japanese electronics brand Sharp and China-based smartphone maker Xiaomi. Sharp’s decline mirrors the waning power of Japan’s legacy brands that we have seen in several other markets this year. – To be fair Sharp’s star has been falling for a long time, which is why Hon Hai Electronics could purchase them. Even Sony is inconsistent across product categories. Toshiba and Hitachi are no longer really consumer names
String of Firms That Imploded Have Something in Common: Ernst & Young Audited Them – WSJ – is Ernst & Young damaged in the same way that Arthur Anderson was after the Enron scandal or will they survive? It is easy to forget now, but even if Arthur Anderson has escaped the Enron scandal, there was also the WorldCom scandal to pull them down. This is why E&Y feels rather like deja vu
The flipside of China’s central bank digital currency | ASPI – DC/EP intersects with China’s ambitions to shape global technological and financial standards, for example, through the promotion of RMB internationalisation and fintech standards-setting along sites of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In the long term, therefore, a successful DC/EP could greatly expand the party-state’s ability to monitor and shape economic behaviour well beyond the borders of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Another great paper by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. – I suspect that is the fear of most consumers with a government backed digital currency. I can also understand the concern regarding a digital reserve currency. It is also similar to what can be had with a lot of credit card payment system records