Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

If you manage to pull your reading out of the UK media you would have seen that the World Economic Forum in Davos. What’s really interesting is how the gathered elites don’t have an answer for populism.

Two things from Davos, the panel below featuring Christine Lagarde of the IMF, Italian finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan, academic and statesman Larry Summers. The message that there is no silver bullet just won’t work in a western style democracy and the kind of changes needed would require a long term consensus

Edelman launched the 2017 edition of their Trust Barometer with the theme the implosion of trust. The reality is much more extreme and internalised; a prolapse of trust would be a more-fitting description – but probably not very Bloomberg or FT friendly.

Global results

UK cut of the data: Richard usually goes to Davos, but has a stop off at the London office to give the first local barometer presentation


Teresa May’s speech on Brexit was primarily designed to address a delusional domestic audience of grassroots Conservatives and the UKIP sympathisers (who historically would have been the ‘Loadsamoney Tories‘). HSBC announced the following day that it was moving 20% of its staff out of the London headquarters to Paris; expect more similar announcements. I will leave the last word on it to the FT.

Opera have done some interesting UX work on their browser and how to interact with the web. I don’t expect Opera Neon to change the browser world, but we could see iterations on its themes in other products.

This anti-smoking billboard is a great example of well designed digital out-of-home creative

The Weather Underground have come up with some amazing posters, more here.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Getting to know: Perkbox – TalentRocket blog – great profile of my hombre from Yahoo!: Chieu’s joint

EU Space Agency’s Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures • The Register – hacked?

Theresa May’s speech: The view from Europe – University of Liverpool News – University of Liverpool – playing for the peanut gallery

Qualcomm: FTC Alleges Special Deal with Apple – Tech Trader Daily – – Extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties. Qualcomm precluded Apple from sourcing baseband processors from Qualcomm’s competitors from 2011 to 2016. Qualcomm recognized that any competitor that won Apple’s business would become stronger, and used exclusivity to prevent Apple from working with and improving the effectiveness of Qualcomm’s competitors.

WSJ City – CPI Hits Two-Year High – UK price inflation due to currency devaluation is going to put a pre-Brexit squeeze on the economy prior to the post-Brexit tumble

Uber and Seamless ads reveal how Silicon Valley is screwing us – Sandpaper Suit – Medium – Silicon Valley’s gateway to serfdom

Instagram Live Stories officially lands in the UK | The Drum – now be able to officially go live within its ephemeral content service

The Problem With AMP | 80×24 – behaviour worthy of antitrust player

Google RAISR Intelligently Makes Low-Res Images High Quality | – whats the difference between this and a near lossless compression algorithm?

Microsoft Veteran Will Help Run Chinese Search Giant Baidu – Bloomberg – Qi Liu from Yahoo! to Microsoft and of to Baidu

Rubicon Project Reportedly Exploring Potential Sale | Media Post – ad tech is taking a beating

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #337  – interesting data on SnapChat and brand abandonment of the platform

EU: Robot Workers Are ‘Electronic Persons’ – Robotics & Automation – Products

Greggs to trial delivery service in London | London Evening Standard – unfortunately only in the Square Mile at the moment

Korean duty free shops rely on online Chinese celebs | SCMP – when will the duty free trade be weaponised by China to deal with THAAD

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 – UK Findings – trust in business, politicians and media all dropped precipitously

Stealing passwords from McDonald’s users – Tijme Gommers – weakness in angular.js

Xiaomi stops disclosing annual sales figures as CEO admits the company grew too fast | TechCrunch – a couple of things. Smartphone manufacturers need to move as a metric from market share to share of market profits. Secondly Xiaomi makes many more products than smartphones now. Finally they seem to recognise that they need to dial down the hype engine

China Orders Registration of App Stores | – Also partly down to the proliferation of Android app stores in China

A Beginner’s Guide To Iconic House Vocalist Colonel Abrams – Electronic Beats – amazing tracks, even a couple I hadn’t heard of previously. As a 14 year old Trapped alongside The Conway Brothers Turn It Up and 19 blew my mind

Science AMA Series: I’m Joanna Bryson, a Professor in Artificial (and Natural) Intelligence | Reddit – great AMA on AI

Why Trump Doesn’t Tweet About Automation – will the Luddite fallacy be proved right again? Don’t count on it

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Amazon, Microsoft Face Tough New Limits on China Cloud Market — The Information – why aren’t companies lobbying the US (and other governments) to hammer China on the WTO?

China’s answer to Quora now worth a billion bucks | Techinasia – it pisses me off that the way this is phrased. Knowledge search Q&A type sites have been a staple of Asian web for over a decade: Naver being a classic example. Baidu has had a version for years.

What Comes Next Is the Future (2016) on Vimeo – great documentary on the history of the web and where it going in the future

Journalism, media and technology trends and predictions 2017 – Reuters Institute for the study of journalism – interesting issues that will affect media planning and creative (Facebook Live, VR, AR). Social becomes a policy tool as politicians use social for campaigning and dialogue (PDF)

Netflix is even more popular than porn in hotel rooms | Quartz – it doesn’t look as douchy on your credit card statement?

Google Maps now displays Uber drivers in real-time | TheNextWeb – is this real data though?

Apple Sets Its Sights on Hollywood With Plans for Original Content – WSJ – its about competing with Spotify; not Netflix apparently

Gartner Says 2016 Marked Fifth Consecutive Year of Worldwide PC Shipment Decline – PCs aren’t dead, but they aren’t the general purpose device; instead their are a serious computing device where more computing power, more focus or better ergonomics are required rather than the casual or glanceable computing of mobile and tablet devices

MacFarlane quits Sonos | TechEye – Amazon on the low end and Bose alongside other hi-fi companies now in the market

Future Health Index – interesting resource on future of health thinking

Collett Dickenson Pearce | BraveNewMalden – how to ruin an ad

Sterling’s Plunge Spoils FTSE 100 Record Winning Streak – MoneyBeat – WSJ – sterling’s drop shows that the FTSE gains are mostly illusory

Russia’s D.N.C. Hack Was Only the Start – – interesting if a bit self-serving op-ed by Robby Mook who managed Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign for president. His distinction between leaks versus doxing is a relatively week argument. Where would he stand on whistleblowers?

Alipay User Overview 2016 – China Internet Watch – the spend sounds high given China’s average wage

Yahoo! remainder to rebrand as “Altaba”, CEO resigns – the truly sad bit is David Filo’s resignation, despite being one of the largest shareholders

WeChat is morphing so Chinese smartphone owners will never have to download an app again — Quartz

Venture capital is going to murder Medium – Business Insider – $132 million in funding…

TV anchor says live on-air ‘Alexa, order me a dollhouse’ – guess what happens next • The Register – epic

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

I’ve been a bit quiet here, working on a post that isn’t writing itself and requires a lot of data. If I don’t crack it soon; I’ll move on and service will go back to normal.

Things that made my day this week:

Ventusky global wind, rain and temperature map – mesmerising

Usually the luxury industry uses Instagram as a marketing channel. Omega have used it to inspire product development and tap into a ready made market. More on the Omega Speedster Speedy Tuesday

NEOMECHANICA – the best Tumblr account ever

I love sleep so Under Armour’s new performance pyjamas are ideal for me

I have been listening to Stone Throw Records’ Peanut Butter Wolf who put together a mix based on artists that we lost in 2016, check it out

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Sony’s New OLED TV Emits Sound From Screen – Nikkei Technology Online

Hackers threaten smart power grids – POLITICO – really interesting data that shows for many countries the cost benefit analysis of smart metering wasn’t proven. Guessing security costs weren’t considered seriously by many who thought it was a good idea

Theresa Maybe, Britain’s indecisive premier | The Economist – unflattering comparison with Gordon Brown

How Social Cash Made WeChat The App For Everything | Fast Company – if you look at WeChat you have some idea where Facebook Messenger is trying to go

The Blueprint | The Expectations Game – managing expectations

Cellulose Nanofiber-based Engine Cover Exhibited at Show (1) – Nikkei Technology Online – lighter than current GRP (glass reinforced plastic) covers

Tommy Mottola Pens Open Letter To Mariah Carey | Idolator – “I would never have encouraged her or guided her to do something like a reality television show!!!!! I don’t get it!!… that does absolutely nothing for her integrity, her credibility, or her massive talent!! She should take a step back, think carefully and figure out what to do next.” I still don’t get why the music industry continues to go along with reality TV

Edelman Digital Trends Report – (PDF) makes some interesting reading

Visvim Dissertations: Boro (Aomori, Japan) | Union Los Angeles – great read

Babylon Health partners with UK’s NHS to replace telephone helpline with AI-powered chatbot | TechCrunch – Working with a number of health authorities in London, Babylon will begin a six month trial starting at the end of January to offer its AI-powered chatbot ‘triage’ service as an alternative to the NHS’s 111 telephone helpline that patients call to get healthcare advice and be directed to local and out-of-hours medical services.

Foxconn boosting automated production in China | Digitises – it would be interesting to see how they cope with the fine motor work required for iPhone assembly (I suspect not very well)

Daring Fireball: Why Chris Adamson Bought a New Mac Pro Last Week – capitulation – the word a power Apple customer used to describe his purchase of a new Mac Pro. When you’re customers resent you there is a problem

Apple’s 2016 in review | Chuqui – a great read

The polity that is Singapore cybersecurity | Marginal Revolution – go analogue

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

What made the first week of 2017?

Epic mix put together by Noodle of the Gorillaz on Soundcloud. Great collection of female performers, check it out

This video by Malaysian agency Naga DDB was one of the most jarring things I had seen in a while. They used the Mannequin Challenge meme as a hook to increase awareness of child sexual exploitation, which explains its title ‘The sickest Mannequin Challenge’

An epic traditional Japanese rendition of Pen Pineapple Apple Pen (PPAP) by Masashi Sada. Sada san is a well loved Japanese actor / performer who was at his peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s

Speculation grew online that the KLF would return to create more music due to this video. It is an engaging documentary on the band, even if fans quibble about one or two of the facts


Audi turns UGC into fine art | Luxury Daily – art imitating life

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Britain’s view of trade with China sounds fanciful | FT – TL;DR version – UK will get fucked by China due to Brexit. Asset stripped, no negotiating power in any trade agreement,  expect nominal sovereignty in return for expected compliant behaviour. The Chinese may load up on UK treasuries for use as a financial cosh if necessary. Expect lots of Chinese immigrants

2G or Not 2G | CCS Insight – on GSM network shutdown

U.S. companies want to play China’s game. They just can’t win it. – The Washington Post – “When I think about Facebook in China, I think, ‘What’s their advantage?’ ” said William Bao Bean, a Shanghai-based partner at SOSV Ventures and the managing director of Chinaccelerator, which invests in start-ups. “Their product is so outpaced by the local companies.”

Quanta to make next-generation Apple Watch, says paper | DigiTimes – battery efficiency focus but little consumer-facing innovation apparently

A Turntable Reborn Turns Its Back on Its Hip-Hop Legacy – The New York Times – The biggest competition is second hand 1200s because they are so robust and user serviceable. Technics need to do a lot of work to get hifi afficandos on board so if they want to grow the market and let it scale, you put your money on the hifi buffs and let the product be the marketing for the turntablist fan base. I am just glad to have it back

Japanese white-collar workers are already being replaced by artificial intelligence | Quartz

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Indonesia and India set to ‘steal the show’ as APAC tipped to lead global ad growth in 2017 – Mumbrella Asia

What’s really behind Thailand’s hostility to Chinese tourists? | South China Morning Post – instructive article on what happens when Chinese culture goes abroad

How Russia Recruited Elite Hackers for Its Cyberwar – The New York Times – the bit that I found most interesting is how Russia now relies on a series of private military contractors, rather like the US

Happy new year

It’s going to be rocky, but all the best for the new year.


Links of the day | 在网上找到

Suddenly, Corporate Values Might Come With A High Price – Paul Holmes on corporate and social responsibility in a populist political environment

U.S. wearables market is doing much worse than expected | TechCrunch – no consumer use case

Baidu Plans $1 Billion IPO for Video-Streaming Site – WSJ – (paywall) value nominally at $5bn

WeChat Update: Add Stickers To Your Pics

Merry Christmas

Have a happy and restful Christmas

Muji Xmas

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

This week has been all about 2017. Internal team planning, planning for client activity and receiving forecasts from various different organisations

Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson on the important things coming out of 2016

Inspiration for a successful 2017 – Kantar Worldpanel – good for consumer marketers

James Whatley and Marshall Manson at Ogilvy

JWT’s annual 100 trends

Future Today Institute

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Congressional group says backdoor laws would do more harm than good – The Verge – smarter approach to cryptography than many politicians

Apple Extends Discounts on USB-C Adapters and Accessories Until March 31 – Mac Rumors – the MacBook Pro disaster continues

The Methbot operation | Whiteops – video ad fraud business worth $3-5m/day (PDF)

Vine Update – Medium – Vine becomes a feature