ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Upgrade to 5G Costs $200 Billion a Year, May Not Be Worth It | Advertising Age – this will be interesting. 3G mobile networks were in a similar position at launch. Three didn’t manage to build a business selling football clips…

Why Is There No Freighter Equivalent of the Airbus A380? – this is explains why Airbus made non-cargo optimised design decisions (like a cockpit on the lower flight deck so you can’t fit a cargo door in the nose)

Jaron Lanier interview on Silicon Valley culture, #MeToo backlash, AI, and the future – Business Insider

Hiroshi Fujiwara Explains Why Fragment Sneakers Are So Hard to Get | GQ  – There’s many shoes out there. I want everyone to have it who wants to have it. But it’s hard because so many people buy them just to make money. And I don’t like that. And sometimes it’s good to work hard to get a sneaker, because otherwise you won’t buy it – Fujiwara-san on point as ever

China unveils satellite network plan for round-the-clock lock on South China Sea | South China Morning Post

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Chinese woman offered refund after facial recognition allows colleague to unlock iPhone X | South China Morning Post – when you have a huge population like China even small odds become significant – I do have a nagging doubt about if the story is true though

Outlaw Appeal: The Yakuza in Film and Print | Nippon – nice analysis of the Yakuza in popular culture

Telling AI to not replicate itself is like telling teenagers to just not have sex | Quartz – runaway singularity?

No news, just snooze: Japan’s paper deliverers enjoy press holiday | World news | The Guardian – I love that Japan still values print

FT Opening Quote – Dixons Carphone profits fall 60% – UK consumer upgrade cycle stretched. More people going for SIM only deals and upgrades are pretty meh (paywall)

Family Greatly | Kraft Brand – YouTube – classic planner driven creative targeting important family moments. Textbook FMCG advertising

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

WSJ City | Gig work may stifle some startups – a gig firm’s entry into a given area caused a decline in the number of unfunded and underfunded Kickstarter campaigns launched locally a year later

Ctrip launches global rebrand to Trip.com – interesting staking out global ambitions against Agoda, Booking.com and Expedia

Google Translate: Telefonini e patenti | L’Espresso – Umberto Eco making the valid point that communications by phone are often less circumspect because of the immediacy of the medium. Writing a letter allows more time for consideration and weight in the communications

Red Bull Content Pool – interesting that Red Bull has its own inhouse picture agency

Vote Leave donations: the dark ads, the mystery ‘letter’ – and Brexit’s online guru | Politics | The Guardian – The Guardian have the bit between their teeth on this and other media aren’t picking it up at all. How to Use Facebook Dark Posts | Duct Tape Marketing – nice simple explanation of dark ads for non marketers out there – far more elegant than when I have explained it. Despite the name it isn’t sinister

PR Research: The death of Twitter as a marketing tool? Recent research says half of marketers don’t see the point of Twitter any more | PRmoment – probably not the most scientific pieces of research, I think the answer is more nuanced

Understanding “New Power” | Harvard Business Review – interesting read, if you haven’t had the chance already

Is The Streetwear Market Headed For The Mainstream? : NPR  – interesting piece on streetwear by NPR. It echoes some of the concerns I had about the streetwear market. If you want to know how it all got so big: Louis Vuitton, Supreme and the tangled relationship between streetwear and luxury brands

JR Tokai gives media a peek at maglev work underway at Shinagawa Station | The Japan Times – so cool

Chadlington: ban all ads and promotion for gambling | PR Week – (paywall)

Throwback gadget: Sony Walkman WM-R202

sony wmr202
Back when I started work I was obliged to do night classes in chemistry. It was tough going (partly because I wasn’t that focused) and my existing Walkman WM-24 whilst good had given up the ghost.  I decided to put what money I had towards a Sony WM-R202.

Why that model:

  • It could record reasonably well which I convinced myself would be handy for lectures. It was not up to a Pro Walkman standard as the Dolby circuit fitted was for playback only. (I couldn’t afford the professional grade WM-D6C at the time and they weren’t the kind of device that you could easily fit in a pocket either. They were big and substantial.)
  • It had a good reputation for playback. Not only did it have Dolby B noise reduction and auto reverse on cassette playback, but it held the cassette really well to its metal construction. I learned the benefits of good tape cassette fit in a rigid mechanism the hard way. I had got hold of a WM-36 which on paper looked better than my previous Walkman with Dolby NR and and a graphic equaliser, but hand to keep the door closed with an elastic band. It was a sheep dressed up as a wolf
  • Probably the biggest reason was that it intrigued me being not much larger than an early iPod and was crafted with a jeweller’s precision. It was powered by a single AA battery or a NiCd battery about the size of a couple of sticks of chewing gum. It looked sexy as hell in in a brushed silver metal finish.

Whilst the buttons on the device might seem busy in comparison to software driven smartphones it was a surprisingly well designed user experience. None of them caught on clothing, the main controls fell easily to hand and I can’t remember ever having to use the manual.

What soon became apparent is that you needed to handle it very carefully to get cassettes in and out. I used to carefully tease the cassettes in and out. Despite my care one day it stopped working.  Given that mine lasted about two weeks, I am guessing that mine was a lemon and that the build quality must have been generally high as you can still see them on eBay and Yahoo! Auctions in Japan.

Since mine gave out well within a warranty period, I look it back to the shop and put the money towards a Sony D-250 Discman instead.

Here’s a video in Japanese done by someone selling a vintage WMR-202 on Yahoo! Auctions which shows you all the features in more depth.

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Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week

The soundtrack to my week was this three hour programme on the music of jazz musician Thelonius Monk

Only Japan could successfully leverage a much loved children’s TV and comic book character to try and reduce syphilis infections. It was interesting to hear that the creator of Sailor Moon was a pharmacist who saw the urgency and need. Quartz alludes to Shinjuku – the entertainment district being the epicentre. It has seen an increase in foreign sex tourism from other Asian markets driven by a larger middle class (cough, cough China).

Great short film by the Wall Street Journal about obsessive Japanese Hi-Fi buffs

A Uniqlo campaign is always something that I look forward to and Uniqlo Danpan is no exception

Interesting effort to move the discussion on around the Volkswagen brand from dieselgate