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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 4 minutes

China’s inward-facing ‘dual circulation’ strategy leaves many wondering where domestic demand will come from | South China Morning Post – dual circulation faces an uphill struggle. some structural issues. Finances in China are designed to benefit the state and the uber rich. China’s Gini co-efficient shows an astonishing gap between rich and poor. COVID-19 has meant that Chinese consumers have even less money to spend. This means that the domestic demand aspect of the dual circulation strategy won’t work as desired. More on China here.

Forget TikTok. China’s Powerhouse App Is WeChat. – The New York TimesIt has even extended Beijing’s reach beyond its borders. When secret police issue threats abroad, they often do so on WeChat. When military researchers working undercover in the United States needed to talk to China’s embassies, they used WeChat, according to court documents. The party coordinates via WeChat with members studying overseas – I loved the descriptor of WeChat as a super filter bubble. I am continually surprised by how nationalistic Chinese friends have become over my nine years using WeChat

Jaron Lanier Thinks Things May Have Gotten Better, or Facebook ‘Might Have Won Already’ – Slashdot – interesting takeouts from an interview with GQ. This wouldn’t have made GQ five years ago, which goes to show how online privacy has become more important to the general public

The True Story of Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore | Palladium Magazine

The User Always Loses | Hacker News – fascinating Silicon Valley discussion on user-hostile companies

How Did the Internet Get So Bad? | The Nation“Search strings used to be phrased like ingredients: ‘revolution AND french OR russian NOT american,’” McNeil writes. But in the past two decades, the language and tone of our search queries have become more baroque and confessional. “When I search for information now, I feel like I should add ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to every request. There is no way around it, talking to the Google search bar like a human generates more relevant results.” This feels anecdotally true; I’ve certainly gotten into the habit of phrasing my searches, as McNeil notes, along the lines of “‘how do i download a printer driver for mac’ rather than ‘download printer driver mac.’” – one of my biggest frustrations is the lack of depth that ‘human language’ search allows versus the previous use of boolean terms

‘Is PR structurally ageist? Sadly, I think it is’ – PR leaders respond to Mark Read’s comments on age | PR Weekwhen the realisation you’re old hits you in PR, you have six options. You can set up your own shop (if you haven’t already). You can go in-house for breadth. You can run an agency (or help someone run theirs). You can become a functional ‘guru’ (a strategist, for example). You can fully embrace freelance consulting. Or you can go full side hustle and open a gin still

Apple Watch Podcasts App Found to Falsely Inflate Listener Numbers – MacRumors – interesting, I wonder if this will change as we go ‘post-smartphone’?

TikTok ads have pushed scams about apps, diet pills, other products, report says – CNET – to be fair most of Facebook and Instagram ads sourced from Chinese merchants and drop-shippers are just as bad. Given the continued export focus of China’s dual circulation strategy I can’t see TikTok changing this at all

SoftBank unmasked as ‘Nasdaq whale’ that stoked tech rally | Financial Times – this almost sounds like a desperate gambler

The Big Tesla Hack: A hacker gained control over the entire fleet, but fortunately he’s a good guy – Electrek – but what happens if its the GRU, the MSS or North Korea who find the next hack?

‘The Man in the White Suit’: What Will We Do When We’ve Nothing to Make? — Jim Carroll’s BlogShould science pursue innovation that improves people’s lives regardless of the impact it may have on industry and employment? How do we deal with the concentration of capital that results from such disruptive change? How do we accommodate the workers who have lost their jobs? What will we do when we’ve nothing to make?

WePresent | Mong Tong are an ambient psychedelic group from Taipei – Taiwanese krautrock?

Harrods’s bold new bet: Suburbia | Vogue Business – in Essex and Milton Keynes. Surprised at this, I would have thought branches in Singapore and Berlin would make more sense?

Dive action hero: meet the new Rolex Submariner | Financial Times – still the cleanest design of dive watch. The 70-hour power reserve is impressive

Hong Kong cardinal warns priests to ‘watch your language’ in homilies – Catholic HeraldThe priest, who asked not to be named because of concerns he could be prosecuted under the National Security Law, told CNA on Tuesday that many local Catholics were dismayed by Cardinal Tong’s actions. “The youth of the Church is for democracy, they simply are,” he told CNA. “They are looking for leadership, and I doubt you would find any Catholic under 35 here who is not angry and does not see the chancery as siding with the people tear-gassing them in the streets.”

A TALE OF TWO NIKE ADS: MARKETING’S UNHEALTHY OBSESSION WITH “INSPIRATION” – BBH LabsGenerally speaking, ordinary folks are just much more chilled out than marketers. They are far less preoccupied with their careers, their personal fitness, keeping up with technology and looking at social media. They look for good deals and use coupons and loyalty programs but they are less likely to consult “expert opinion” before a purchase. They are much more interested in books and literature than they are in business. They are unashamed about their love of television. In fact they just love to be entertained.

‘We May Be Losing The Race’ For AI With China: Bob Work – US defence establishment think that they may be losing the race for AI with China.

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Keyboard cover

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I have been using a keyboard cover on my Apple MacBook Pro. It’s easy to wipe clean and keeps oil, grease and debris from clogging the individual key mechanism. This is particularly important for Apple keyboards with their infamous butterfly key mechanism keyboards.

I have been using keyboard covers by Mosiso. The first ones that I used were moulded silicone rubber. They fit like a glove and don’t affect your ‘feel’ as touch typer.

Finite life of cover

The big problem with the silicone cover is that it tends to change shape over time. It no longer neatly fits the keyboard and slides out of position. I have had two of them and they tend to last about five or six months.

Here’s what a tired keyboard cover looks like. I seem to cause most of my keyboard cover wear on the lefthand side of the keyboard by the look of this picture.

Worn Mosiso silicone rubber cover


Given that I seem to be wearing out my current covers at a rapid rate I chose to go with an alternative keyboard cover material this time. The current material I am using is TPU – thermoplastic polyurethane. Thermoplastics have the relative toughness of plastics, with rubber like qualities in terms of flexibility. So the keyboard cover is floppy rather than a rigid sheet.

TPU has a wide range of uses from high performing films to tough plastics, for instance the ‘indestructible’ Nokia 3310 phones had TPU moulded cases that would pop off to absorb some of the kinetic energy of a fall.

Nokia 3310 by Thomas Kohler

The caster wheels on your office chair will be predominantly TPU.

What I’ve ended up with is a cover this is more form fitted to my keyboard than the silicone version, thinner and more transparent. It has all the original benefit of being able to be wiped clean and keeping debris away from my keyboard.

It remains to be seen how hard wearing the keyboard cover will be.

More about the original Mosiso silicon cover that I’ve been using here, and the TPU version that I am now using here.

More on the Apple MacBook Pro keyboard here.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Listening in – Podcasting provides a space for free thought in China | China | The Economist – I suspect that podcasting will represent a new frontier in censorship for Chinese regulators. China has an eco-system that allows paid subscription via podcasting platforms for experts in different fields such as business or investing. More China-related content here.

Mike Pompeo renews attack on HSBC as bank walks line between US and China | Financial Times – HSBC is about to get a lot of trouble coming its way. It has managed to make enemies of the Chinese government over Huawei, the US government over Hong Kong sanctions busting and the UK government over its support of the Hong Kong national security law. I don’t think that they will be able to wriggle out of the mess that they have got themselves into

Chinese Diplomats Helped Military Scholars Visiting the U.S. Evade FBI Scrutiny, U.S. Says – WSJ – not terribly surprising

Can virtual fit technology step up and replace fitting rooms? | Vogue Business – this could also accelerate the move to digital

Alibaba wants American brands. The same ones as Amazon | Vogue Business – this could kill and Amazon China

Rolls-Royce unveils “confident but quiet” rebrand by Pentagram – move away from skeuomorphic 3D branding lends itself better for apps online etc etc

Are creatives better at creativity? | Contagious – While we’re always interested in the nature of creativity, it’s important to put experiments like these into perspective – there’s a lot more to being an agency creative than what was tested here. After all, being good at keep-ups doesn’t mean you can play professional football.

Tech war chronicles: How a Silicon Valley chip pioneer landed in China  – Reuters – really interesting. MIPS, SPARC and RISC-V are arguably better architectures than ARM’s Core series of processors. MIPS has been ubiquitous in high performance computing to embedded electronics. It is very well understood, in terms of both design and writing software for it

Wilderness of Mirrors – The Burning Shore – great meditation on the nature of conspiracy theories and culture

KFC temporarily drops ‘finger lickin’ slogan in first global campaign – KFC believes its slogan is “inappropriate” at a time when hygiene is top of mind and so is dropping it temporarily, but is on the lookout for an interim replacement.