How A Cartel-Linked Murder Rocked A Wealthy Dallas Suburb | Texas Monthly – a great read. The painstaking research of the stalkers is like something out of The Wire. It also brings home how much telematics have fallen in cost and user complexity over the past two decades
Why Yahoo Japan Needs to Be Part of Your Search Strategy for Japan – my advice would be don’t be a cheap SoB and pay for a decent SEO agency based in Japan, so that they can look at content strategies and link placement across the different sources that Yahoo! Japan Search uses. This guide just opens you up to the kind of possibilities there, but is no substitute for a local team
Qualcomm CEO thinks Apple will eventually be a customer again, despite escalating legal battle | 9to5Mac – There’s less to these than meets the eye, beyond Qualcomm wants to make Apple it’s prison bitch
WhatsApp Founder Speaks, EU Deception?, Facebook Ideology | Stratechery – probably one of the best reads about founders and Facebook. What gets me is that this is news. Eight years ago in tech circles the term zucked – a portmanteau of (Mark) Zuckerberg and fucked was already in common enough use for me to blog about it. Facebook has demonstrated this time-and-time again to consumers, partners, acquired businesses and even government and regulatory bodies. When do they get their Judge Jackson moment a la Microsoft? The main point of interest is how closely aligned Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg in terms of their collective moral turpitude
How China Systematically Pries Technology From U.S. Companies – WSJ – China isn’t going to change this conduct, any more than the United States were willing back when Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling were complaining about book piracy in the New World. China is already putting in strong protection for domestic intellectual property, but unlike the US, there is no sign that they will ever support foreign IP rights as they pursue a mercantilist imperial agenda globally
Spotify’s Big Tencent Risk [Mark Mulligan] – hypebot
How China’s army of online trolls turned on Sweden | Abacus – I am surprised that Facebook allows groups that are organising way stations to remain on the platform. It fits into a wider narrative that Facebook is facilitating and profiting from the weaponising of the web by Russia/China etc. etc. I don’t think Sweden will be that sympathetic to Facebook lobbyists when they come complaining about EU overreach.
“Swiped” HBO documentary – director Nancy Jo Sales explains why swiping on Tinder is addictive – Recode – great read, you could probably say similar things for scrolling through Instagram or a Facebook feed
Seventeen follows Yokohama’s first break out book translated into English; Sixty Four, but it isn’t a sequel or a prequel.
Hideo Yokohama is a former journalist. he used to write for the Jomo Shimbun, a regional paper in Japan. It was obviously easy for him to write about life as a journalist. Yokohama-san captures the atmosphere in a news room. The egos and tensions. Perhaps the biggest tension being the solitary nature of being a writer, whilst participating in the team effort of a daily miracle of creating a newspaper.
It describes a pre-internet world, where pagers were hot items, cellular phones were starting to make an appearance but outrageously expensive. Two-way radio sets were commonly used by taxi-companies, field services organisations (utility vans) and possibly media who couldn’t afford cellphones.
Seventeen isn’t a straightforward book to read, it has parallel narratives that wind together. One narrative is that of a senior journalist in a local paper in 1985 in the aftermath of Japan Airlines Flight 123; the world’s largest loss of life in a single aircraft accident. The second strand is the journalist some 15 years older; preparing to climb a rock face with the now adult son of a friend who died at the same time as the air crash.
The book mixes the existential crises of the journalist in both home and professional life; with the emotion involved in reporting such a horrific event. Yokohama captures the politics and internal pettiness of his office colleagues and the perverse nature of the company chairman.
Seventeen is a great read, which I can highly recommend as a summer holiday read.
Things that made my day this week>
I first knew of Hiroshi Fujiwara though his work on old school Japanese hip-hop label Major Force. He was cited as an influence in Bomb The Bass’ first album Into The Dragon. His influence has been much bigger in terms of streetwear and Harajuku culture that fuelled fashion and culture of the past two decades. He is now collaborating Moncler and did some media interviews :
Thailand is famous for emotion-filled adverts and this Sunsilk film is no exception, dealing with family acceptance of Kathoei (กะเทย). Its a beautiful piece of work by JWT’s Bangkok office.
I’ve never worn Doctor Martens myself but they were often seen in the school yard and during my early working life. They are as British as Marks & Spencers chicken tikka masala. I thought product had been moved offshore as part of globalisation, but it seems that there is still a small production facility in the UK. The process of how the shoes are made is fascinating.
The application of machine learning in the criminal justice system is something of concern. The natural inclination of authority is to inflate itself with every tool that progress provides.
Great documentary on Chinese wealthy migration away from China. The move to Vancouver was pioneered in the early 1970s with wealthy Hong Kongers preparing for its handover in the decades to come. They’ve been followed families who got rich on the mainland following the opening up of the economy.
It reflects the reality of major cities around the world now as capital flight out of China continues. Non-domestic earnings (like that from Russia and Middle East) is a factor driving unaffordability of housing. The experience of Mau and the opening up founded a culture of ‘now’. This has manifested itself in different ways: capital flight, having a bolt hole abroad and a foreign passport in case things go suddenly bad. It also explains historic product quality issues as entrepreneurs think about the now and let the future take care of itself, preferably while you have gone abroad to live a comfortable life.
I should have got this posted earlier but life got in the way. Things that made my day this week
I had an amazing opportunity to see the V&A exhibition The Future Starts Here as a preview
The local Unilever business in Hong Kong did their own version of a Dove advertising campaign. What’s interesting is how it differs in tonality from the usual Dove work.
‘Appreciate don’t adjudicate’ is very local as Campaign Asia put it:
The campaign is “by locals, for locals” and because Cantonese is famously colloquial and fond of wordplay, the use of Cantonese lingo is expected to resonate with the audience.
Over 100 sony aibo robot dogs get their own funeral in japan – so much here on human robot interactions and a meditation on the metaphysics of quality. This contrasts with the horror that greeted demos of Google Duplex.
I am a big fan of Eno’s Oblique Strategies so this was right up my street: The Quietus | News | WATCH: Brian Eno Installations Talk
Interview with JJ Connolly, the Author of Layer Cake and Viva La Madness – YouTube – great interview with JJ Connolly of The Layer Cake. I particularly like his description of his creative process