Ged Carroll

Honey Badger Cummins + more stuff

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Nick Honey Badger Cummins

I wasn’t aware of Honey Badger Cummins until a couple of days ago. Cummins was a former professional rugby union player who managed to parley his career into work on television and a professional social media following. Nick Honey Badger Cummins had played 15 times for his country, including the international rugby sevens competition and for top flight clubs in Australia and Japan.

Following his retirement as a professional sportsman, he had appeared in a number of reality television show and gained a following as a travel influencer on social media. His travel influencer status, personality profile in Australia and former rugby sevens career were obvious points of interest for the Hong Kong Tourist Board.

Propaganda

The problem for Honey Badger Cummins is that he’s at the centre of Hong Kong’s campaign to remake its international image. This is after its COVID-19 isolation, 2019 protests with brutal policing actions, the national security law mass imprisonment, crushed media | civil society sectors and the large amount of Hong Kongers who have gone into exile. It isn’t perceived as a ‘straight tourism’ brief, but instead part of a white-washing exercise.

The comments on this video are universally negative in nature at the time of writing this post.

Restaurants and other venues portrayed in the videos have closed down and Cummins flouts what would be now current masking regulations and QRcode health app tracking. This is due to the footage having been shot at the beginning of 2020. Even that timing shows a lack of good judgement by Honey Badger Cummins. But Cummins isn’t the only party to blame.

Poor judgement by Always Human

The Australian creative agency Always Human; which created the videos being used, should be ashamed of themselves in terms of their ethical stance. The content was originally shot in January 2020, when the brutal police crackdown was still fresh in the minds of the general public around the world. Its not a good look for the other agency clients like Asics, GoPro, HP, Nike, Oakley, Under Armour and Volkswagen to be associated with the agency.

China

China sends criminal experts to halt kidnappings in mineral-rich Democratic Republic of the Congo | South China Morning Post – Pax Sinica

Design

The Woes and Wonders of Wayfinding Design – DesignSingapore Council 

U-Boat Worx’s New Superyacht Submarine Can Dive to More Than 650 Feet – Robb Report 

Economics

Risk of Recession: CEOs Preparing to Cut ESG Spending, Lay Off Staff | Business insider 

Kioxia cuts flash memory output by 30% | EE Times – market cyclical demand trends

Dollar Vs. Pound: How Brexit Is at the Heart of the UK Currency Rout | Business Insider

Book Review: “Freedom’s Forge” – by Noah Smith – Noahpinion 

The Chinese economy: Troubled times ahead – Council on Geostrategy 

Energy

Supertanker Becomes Vastly More Efficient by Adding Small Sails | Futurism – similar concepts have been around for decades, but not acted upon. Appledore were doing concepts like this during the 1980s and it was investigated by the US following rising fuel prices in 1981. The US have used kite sails as well. There has been commercial experiments with Flettner rotors.

I come bringing good news about hydrogen – by Noah Smith 

Ethics

Anand Giridharadas: Persuasion Isn’t Dead – The Atlantic 

Finance

NFT sales plunge in Q3, down by 60% from Q2 | Reuters – capital tightening

Inside the Secretive World of Irish Limited Partnerships – bellingcat 

Hong Kong

China demands foreign diplomats provide floor plans of Hong Kong missions | Financial Times – China really wants to close off from the west

Hong Kong ‘Rick and Morty’ fans spot protest codes in new episode – Hong Kong Free Press HKFP 

Gambling tycoon Stanley Ho’s family risks losing Portugal casino licences to rival bidder | South China Morning Post 

Hong Kong to woo family offices from Middle East, Europe as city reconnects with investors after Covid-19 isolation | South China Morning PostA team of InvestHK officers will visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi from October 17 to 22, followed by a trip to London and Zurich in November. InvestHK’s family office team has helped 14 overseas family offices set up in Hong Kong since it was set up last year, with another 50 in the pipeline – I think that most of them will come in from the gulf states rather than Europe

Virgin Atlantic pulls out of Hong Kong after 30 years | Telegraph – Virgin Atlantic is pulling out of Hong Kong, scrapping flights and shutting its offices as strict Covid restrictions batter the island’s status as a global financial hub. Ending three decades of flying to Hong Kong, Sir Richard Branson’s airline blamed the closure of Russian airspace as well as the declining profitability of the route. American Airlines and Virgin Australia have also backed away from Hong Kong. I could see other airlines from Europe backing away from Hong Kong due to the disadvantage that Russian airspace provides to them versus Cathay Pacific

Ideas

Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom – Rob Henderson’s Newsletter – Understanding the artificial dialectic. The zigzags of politically correct opinion in communist regimes.

Indonesia

iPhones of Indonesian minister Airlangga Hartarto, military officials targeted with ForcedEntry spyware | South China Morning Post 

Innovation

Joe Biden says US$20 billion IBM investment will boost US in tech competition with China | South China Morning Post – yes IBM has had a succession of bad CEOs and business performance, but IBM Research is an amazing organisation

Ireland

AerCap faces $3.5bn fight with insurers over stranded Russian planes | Financial Times 

Luxury

Here’s How Rappers Won Over the Once-Squemish Luxury Industry – Robb Report 

Meet the Visionaries Behind Music’s Most Recognizable Stars – Robb Report 

Luxury Daily | “A small, concrete happiness”: Why luxury brands in China love cafés – Facing weakening consumer demand, luxury brands are building experiential cafés across China to pursue new consumer touch points and growth areas – it reminds me of the ‘Revlon effect’. During recessions consumers who can’t afford big luxuries like small luxuries like a lipstick or a chocolate bar

Materials

All you need to know about the technology behind Bella Hadid’s spray-on dress | WIRED Middle East 

Chinese scientists say their silkworms beat spider fibre for strength | South China Morning Post 

Land Forces 22 – Wraith Multi Spectral Combat Uniform – Soldier Systems Daily 

Media

DALL-E now allows anyone to cash in on AI art, but ownership gets complicated | Quartz 

Hollywood says farewell to Chinese investment bonanza | Financial Times – inevitable

Security

Taiwan says it discussed semiconductor supply chain resilience with ‘Chip 4’ countries US, South Korea and Japan | South China Morning Post 

Mystery Hackers Are ‘Hyperjacking’ Targets for Insidious Spying | WIRED 

When will the war in Ukraine end? And how? : News Center – really interesting read

US defence department adds drone maker DJI and BGI Genomics to blacklist it links to Chinese military | South China Morning Post 

BGI Group: Concerns raised about China’s gene giant in UK universities | Evening Standard 

Intercepted: Inside China’s Growing Surveillance State

Software

NSF hopes big data will finger grantees not reporting foreign support | Science | AAAS 

Telecoms

Elon Musk says Beijing disapproved of him sending Starlink to Ukraine, wanted him to promise he wouldn’t sell the satellite internet in China 

Web of no web

Meta’s VR platform Horizon is too buggy and employees aren’t using it enough, says exec – The Verge and Facebook Leak: Metaverse So Glitchy Not Even Employees Use It