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I had used SCART for a long time. The large parallel port plugs and stiff coaxial cables that looked as if they were limbs that had fallen of a cyberpunk twisted oak, were just part of the living room. Even if you hadn’t looked behind the TV cabinet, you maybe seen them as part of the flight cased TV and laser disc combo back when karaoke first took off as an activity in your local pub. Or the connection between a pub’s TV for Sky Sports and the set-top box held up high on the pub wall for punters to enjoy the game with their drink.
That was up until their replacement by HDMI cables, TOSLINK and ethernet cables in my home TV set-up over the past ten years. SCART was actually the name of the French radio and television makers association who developed the standard back in the mid-1970s. SCART came along as TVs were becoming more reliable and one started to see the decline of the TV rental market.
My parents first TV that they bought in the UK was a HMV-branded set with glowing vacuum tubes in the back despite a relatively modern looking TV case with push buttons similar to this one. SCART came along just a few years later.
A lot of the SCART features assumed that consumers would move to larger TVs with better displays and sound that would come to dominate the living room of European homes. And they were right, though through much of the 1980s many homes still had a 13″ colour portable TV.
SCART became compulsory for televisions sold in France from 1980 onwards. The standard was sufficiently robust and scalable for it to be used in transmitting 1080p high definition video as HDMI came to prominence. France eventually revoked their compulsory adoption of SCART in 2015.
Things that we take as standard on HDMI like using the VCR, set-top box or disc player to turn on the TV, were also standard on SCART from the late 1970s. You could daisy chain equipment together, which was important for people who were early adopters of satellite receivers, cable TV boxes and laser disc players.
SCART came at a time when globalisation moved the gravity of consumer electronics further east. First to Japan, then Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and eventually China. Brands like Philips, Grundig, Nokia, Nordmende, Thomson and Ferguson were swept to the side by likes of Sony, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sharp, LG and Samsung.
The SCART socket and plug were clever designs. You could only put them in the right way around and for something with 21 pins in they were not only robust but easy to plug and plug out again. Though once you had a SCART connection set up, you left it well alone.
China’s property crisis is stirring protests across the country – Nikkei Asia – Around 50 to 70 demonstrations are now occurring monthly, though August saw about 100 worker-led protests, three times as many as the same month a year earlier. Since June 2022, demonstrations have occurred in 276 cities nationwide. The protests have been somewhat concentrated in wealthier cities, particularly Shenzhen, Xi’an and Zhengzhou, and together have involved tens of thousands of people.
How Liverpool’s legendary Club 051 was brought back from the brink of demolition – Features – Mixmag – “The nightclub in itself is a thing of the past,” he continues. “Most of the stuff people class as nightclubs now are bars or bar-restaraunts that have DJs playing in there and it’s booze culture. There is industrial clubs, especially in London – but in Liverpool, there isn’t really any.” It’s difficult to disagree with Lee, being in this space with its pillars and it’s expansive-yet-intimate atmosphere feels markedly different to being in the kind of modern venues that tend to be of a similar capacity in the UK — converted warehouses and industrial spaces, with a routine approach of sticking decks and the end of the room alongside the soundsystem and a bar at the back
Language Log » Eddie Bauer – young people either can’t read or don’t want cursive fonts according to this Eddie Bauer rebrand
Men May Die Quicker, but Women Don’t Have to Get Sicker | Muse by Clio – great content on better health for women. The reality is that men DO die quicker and a good deal of it doesn’t need to happen either – Men, Health, Life Expectancy, and Healthy Changes | Lifespan
Maison Margiela just dropped a hot haute couture flip phone | Dazed – harking back to the early 2000s when Prada had a co-branded phone with LG and Motorola did a special gold Dolce & Gabanna branded RAZR handset.
Case Study | Fashion’s New Rules For Sports Marketing | BoF – When the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games kick off in July 2024, the millions of global fans watching will see far more than just athletes. LVMH brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Berluti will provide uniforms for select teams, while the medals will be the work of its high jewellery label, Chaumet. For the first time ever, the games will feature LVMH-sponsored athletes, including world-champion swimmer Léon Marchand, European champion in artistic gymnastics Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos and Olympic gold-medalist fencer Ezno Lefort. The “premium” partnership between LVMH and the Olympics marks the biggest indication to date of sport’s newfound importance to fashion. Until recently, sport was one of the remaining cultural arenas in which fashion, with a few exceptions, had failed to forge long-lasting and meaningful relationships. That has changed. Fashion brands are waking up to the commercial value of sports like basketball, football, tennis and Formula 1 as they look to be part of the booming sports-sponsorship market, which is projected to grow from $63.1 billion in 2021 to $109.1 billion by 2030, according to PwC.
Revealed: how top PR firm uses ‘trust barometer’ to promote world’s autocrats | US news | The Guardian – the reality is that its more of a door-opener a la McKinsey rather than reputation washing Middle Eastern governments
Modelling short-and long-term marketing effects in the consumer purchase journey – ScienceDirect – rituals can increase repeat purchase
Survey reveals surprising age trend among paid subscribers of electronic comics in Japan | SoraNews24 – an Internet survey conducted by Oricon ME between May 17 and June 7 of this year revealed. According to 10,438 e-comic reader respondents between the ages of 15-79 who read e-comics at least once per week, the age demographic that subscribed most frequently for these services, at 50.5 percent, was those in their 50s. Conversely, the age group that subscribed least frequently, at 6.2 percent, was those between 10 to 19 years old.
Can Hong Kong libraries win back readers? Public facilities try every trick in the book to lose ‘boring’ label amid rise of e-texts, pandemic habits | South China Morning Post – Libraries are struggling to woo visitors despite pulling out the stops with new offerings, including more open areas and digital services. Residents made 18 million visits to public libraries in first 10 months of year, well below 34.7 million recorded for whole of 2019 – censorship related to the National Security law and the departure of young middle class professionals won’t have helped either. More Hong Kong-related content here.
DouYu CEO Chen Shaojie arrested in latest executive crackdown in China | CNN Business – DouYu is kind of similar to Twitch
The FT on how life is getting increasingly difficult for the creator economy
Israel Arms the World’s Autocrats—With Weapons Tested on Palestinians | The New Republic – “It’s either the civil rights in some country or Israel’s right to exist,” said Eli Pinko, the former head of Israel’s Defense Export Control Agency, in 2021. “I would like to see each of you face this dilemma and say: ‘No, we will champion human rights in the other country.’” Under this ethos, the Israeli economy quickly “abandoned oranges for hand grenades,” as one critic memorably quipped. After the Six-Day War in 1967, when the 19-year-old nation launched a preemptive strike on its neighbors—taking over the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights—a new era in Israeli politics began
The Russian Way of War | Foreign Affairs – Russia has long been home to creative thinking in both conventional and nonconventional warfare. In the conventional arena, during the 1920s and 1930s, Soviet military thinkers generated novel ideas such as the concept of deep battle—breaking through enemy lines and creating a continuous moving front. These ideas shaped, and continue to shape, NATO thinking. In the unconventional space, Soviet influence was even more profound. From its founding days, Soviet leaders developed a body of ideas and practices about subversive conflict, including forging documents, co-opting agents abroad, and establishing disinformation campaigns. An early example was the groundbreaking Operation Trest. Carried out in the 1920s, Trest operatives established fictitious underground political cells in Europe in the 1920s to infiltrate anti-Bolshevik groups and lure their members back to the Soviet Union.
Secretive White House Surveillance Program Gives Cops Access to Trillions of US Phone Records | WIRED – The DAS program, formerly known as Hemisphere, is run in coordination with the telecom giant AT&T, which captures and conducts analysis of US call records for law enforcement agencies, from local police and sheriffs’ departments to US customs offices and postal inspectors across the country, according to a White House memo reviewed by WIRED. Records show that the White House has provided more than $6 million to the program, which allows the targeting of the records of any calls that use AT&T’s infrastructure—a maze of routers and switches that crisscross the United States. In a letter to US attorney general Merrick Garland on Sunday, Wyden wrote that he had “serious concerns about the legality” of the DAS program, adding that “troubling information” he’d received “would justifiably outrage many Americans and other members of Congress.” That information, which Wyden says the DOJ confidentially provided to him, is considered “sensitive but unclassified”
Doomer vs Accelerationist: the two tribes fighting for the future of AI | Dazed and The ‘AI doomers’ have lost this battle | FT on the outcome of OpenAI and its likely pivot towards a neo-liberal hell-for-leather charge to singularity. Whether they will get there is a bigger question, I have my doubts – Garden Pathing AI – by Erik J Larson – Colligo – LLMs are a technological dead end