Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Things that have made my day this week:

Listening to the late, great Ronnie Drew telling the story of Cú Chulainn. Cú Chulainn is one of the most famous figures in Irish folklore and Drew’s ravaged voice adds much to the telling.

Nice bit of pop songwriting with Twin Shadow

I’ve been listening to Audio Books on YouTube as higher brow background noise Free Audio Books for Intellectual Exercise – YouTube – YouTube

Buffer is now allowing for direct scheduling of Instagram posts. Its a bit of a kludge. I tried it this week and it worked really well.

You can write the post on the desktop version of Buffer, but you have to do a number of things:

  • Have mobile notifications set up on the Buffer iPhone app and Instagram
  • Set your Instagram account up with a business account (this includes pairing with a brand page on Facebook)

As far as I can tell the Buffer mobile app then publishes to your Instagram mobile app at the scheduled time. But that’s the kind of BS you have to go through with Instagram’s restrictive APIs that it has to try and ensure it is the source platform for all graphic posts.

My next step is to see if this kludge will help me auto-post from Flickr to Instagram…

Matt Farah goes over the oligarch-like relationship of the Swiss watch industry – Episode 10: The Watchmaking Family Tree – YouTube

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Naughty List – Secured.fyi – Alpha – great simple checklist for n00bs. The answer per platform needs more nuance

Justice Dept. Revives Push to Mandate a Way to Unlock Phones – The New York Times – Clipper Chip style bullshit that is bad for consumers and governments since it will be broken and used by criminals and state actors

Sex Workers Say Porn on Google Drive Is Suddenly Disappearing – Motherboard – don’t assume that the contents of your Google Drive hasn’t been thoroughly examined by Google. Adult entertainment is merely the canary in the coal mine for privacy.

Is Facebook Really Scarier Than Google? | Nautilus – worthwhile reading about the effect of Google – of course they both have an impact otherwise you wouldn’t advertise on it. The question needs to be does the utility justify the impact? I think search has a better case than a social network, but both have merits

The unparalleled joy of writing with a fountain pen – and five beautiful pens to inspire you – Country Life – Among the obituaries of a former Conservative Minister a few years ago, there was one delightful snippet. A line in The Daily Telegraph described how, when she received the letter from Mrs Thatcher appointing her to the Lords, Lady Blatch initially believed it to be a hoax, because the letter was signed in Biro and she had been ‘brought up to believe that nobody who matters uses a Biro’.

Why Nothing Is Going To Happen To Facebook Or Mark Zuckerberg | Buzzfeed – consumers don’t care enough

China’s Huawei Technologies reshuffles board for first time since 2012 – I presume the reason why Mr Ren is getting back behind the wheel is that overall and smartphone revenue figures for 2017 was Huawei’s slowest growth in four years. I am not convinced that  premium products will be the way forward when they are locked out of the North American retail system. I am also not sure why the management team at Huawei Mobile Devices hasn’t been refreshed

Cloak and Data: The Real Story Behind Cambridge Analytica’s Rise and Fall – Mother Jones – probably the best account yet by the media

Restricted By YouTube, Gun Enthusiasts Are Taking Their Videos To Pornhub | NPR – Pornhub is starting to turn into a libertarian YouTube

Has Marketing Gone Too Digital? | Mediapost – a good read, send it to your clients and your agency folk

Cigarettes are the vice America needs | FT Alphaville – Cigarette smoking is essentially the anti-Facebook. While Facebook is a fundamentally misanthropic venture that pretends to be a community, smoking is a community activity for people who pretend to be misanthropes.  The activity itself is fundamentally pro-social! It gives people reasons to interact with strangers (“got a light?”). And since it was banned indoors — undeniably a good choice — it gives people a reason to go outside and make idle small talk, all while pursuing a common activity. And unlike alcohol, cigarettes alone don’t often lead to property damage or missed days of work (paywall)

China’s young consumers are snubbing foreign brands amid growing national pride, says Credit Suisse | SCMP – this should share the shit out of MNCs

Google has reportedly acquired Lytro, the Leader in Light Field Imaging Technology for Photography and VR Content – interesting, Apple had a patent licence from them

Interpublic Upgrades U.S. Ad Spending Growth To 5.5% This Year – which looks much more like what I would expect the advertising market to be with the Winter Olympics and forthcoming World Cup and an ok global economy

Building for the modern web is really, really hard | O’Reilly – average website clocks in at 4MB with 100s of elements including 3rd, 4th and 5th party based interactions – which also explains page load times – and slow AF ad related technology such as trackers

Mobike to charge bad riders more | Techinasia – a la eBay, Uber etc

Study: Smart Speakers are Changing the Way We Select Products – interesting how this is impacting retail. FMCG brands in particular should be really concerned as this is far beyond what supermarkets could do with dodgy shelving layouts and look-a-like private label brands

The Valley of Death: the students vying to be millionaires | Telegraph – In 2015 Oxford, the UK’s number one university for research, produced four spin-outs. Not per professor. That was for the whole university. The situation was not better elsewhere. Data on British university spin-outs is not in any publicly available league table. But it exists, via what’s called the HE-BCI survey (it stands for Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction). For 2015-16, Cambridge University recorded a total of two spinouts in the HE-BCI survey. Imperial College London, another of this country’s most vaunted research universities, listed three. Of 160 institutions, 59 officially produced no spinouts at all.

Does it Really Matter if James Jebbia is Not a “Fashion Designer”? The Fashion Law – Supreme is an anti-consumerism consumer brand. Its now going into luxury baskets, it doesn’t have much room left in the hype beast space though

Alex Stamos, Facebook Data Security Chief, To Leave Amid Outcry – The New York Times – Some of the company’s executives are weighing their own legacies and reputations as Facebook’s image has taken a beating. Several believe the company would have been better off saying little about Russian interference and note that other companies, such as Twitter, which have stayed relatively quiet on the issue, have not had to deal with as much criticism

Our mission to buy a fake Rolex on Facebook reveals how the company is playing host to countless criminal enterprises | Business Insider – only a matter of time for this story to be written. You also have a similar problem on Instagram

Millennials: you will not be quite so special in the ‘futr’ | FT – could it be that millennials, the most scrutinised, criticised and debated generation of our time, were not that special any more? “Millennials are still important as a customer,” Ms Ganatra told me later. But there is now a “millennial mindset” that has nothing to do with age, she said. In other words, millennials may have been the first generation to have grown up in a digital world but the rest of us are catching on fast. People of all ages are now so used to shopping with a click or talking to a chatbot that retailers need to think about the needs and desires of all their customers, not just those born between 1981 and 1996 – or an artificial construct in terms of their digital uniqueness

 

Instagram: we need to talk about fakes

I’ve noticed these kind of accounts popping up on Instagram over the past few months.

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Interesting shots probably re-grammed from the brands marketing materials or a magazine shoot. Going through to the site….

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Great site design. Only the URL and the prices give it away as fake goods. For those who aren’t as sophisticated Facebook now has its classifieds section. Think Gumtree but inside Facebook.

Here’s a second example, this time replicas of BAPE’s iconic shark head hooded top.

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This time they are selling the products through Amazon merchants accounts

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Instagram has a lot of heat from brands, but this could turn very quickly when they realise that Instagram can be a facilitator of fake products sales. Look at how Alibaba and eBay have been vilified in the past.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Benedict Evans on ten-year future predictions (well as good as anyone can)

YouGov | Who is on top in the Nike vs. Adidas battle? – UK only data

The bitcoin drugs trade is highly centralised | FT Alphaville – looks that the cryptocurrency bubble could burst pronto

How an unknown Chinese phone maker became No 3 in India by solving the oily fingers problem | South China Morning Post – “Big companies which sell smartphones in more than 100 countries are too global to care for one single market,” Chowdhury said in an interview in Shenzhen. “The core strategy for us is to become the favourite mobile phone brand in emerging markets.”

HSBC’s Amy and other soon-to-be released AI chatbots are about to change the way we bank | South China Morning Post

Why Uber Can Find You but 911 Can’t – WSJ – one can understand the reluctance of technology companies to get involved

The Pet Shop Boys are the face (and sound) of Christian Dior’s men’s collection this summer.

Luxury group Kering to spin off Puma to shareholders | RTE – not terribly surprising it fits awkwardly with the other brands

Google Plans to Vet YouTube Premium Video Content – Bloomberg – guessing the News International media campaign and Logan Paul debacle is starting to have an impact

How China’s market economy has fuelled a prostitution boom | South China Morning PostMy grandma was always grateful to Mao, mainly because she was upgraded from a concubine to a wife under the Communists “one wife” rule. – There is also the shredding of culture and community during the cultural revolution probably ruined community / support mechanisms

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Facebook Is Shutting Down Its API That Marketers Lean on for Research – Adweek – big for proprietary agency tools, social media tools and ad platforms

Spicing up Hong Kong’s Café scene | Marketing Interactive – great write-up of Café de Coral

China’s central bank believes bitcoin will die | Quartz – I am more on the bearish side along with the Bank of China. A key function of bitcoin for China was aiding capital flight out of the country

Unilever moves global comms planning to Mindshare from PHD | Media | Campaign Asia – huge win for Mindshare and a move away at the global level between planning guidance and media buying. It would be analogous to investment managers to go back to taking advice from sell-side analysts. I guess part of the problem is trying to get global guidance to be implemented at a country level

Flotogram v1.1 Preview on Vimeo – interesting app that blurs the boundaries between AR and photography

Google’s AI Built its own AI That Outperforms Any Made by Humans – one thing humans jump to is the implications of a more general purpose rather than narrow focus machine learning tool

China’s Tariff Cuts Won’t Hurt Daigou Business For Now | Jing Daily  – China plans to reduce tariffs on 187 consumer goods, including cosmetics, apparel, health supplements, food, and pharmaceuticals. The new policy will go into effect on December 1. The average tax rate will drop to 7.7 percent from 17.3 percent.

China’s Toutiao Tried to Buy Reddit — The InformationOne reason was general skittishness among Reddit’s investors about selling to a Chinese internet company whose user and revenue numbers were tough to assess – and there is the burn

Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Eyes 2018 Stock Market Listing — The Information – interesting move given Xiaomi’s challenges with other Chinese smartphone companies

Futuristic Warfare Arena Ghost in the Shell: Arise Stealth Hounds – VR ZONE SHINJUKU – I’d love to have a go at this

Are we witnessing the end of the jumbo jet? | Quartz – interesting mix of game theory and economics involved

Apple: Chinese Buying Huawei et. al. but Sticking with iPhone, Says Morgan Stanley – Barron’s – The Jigaung data also highlights that in the 4 weeks ending October 22nd, more “switchers” left their Chinese branded smartphone for an iPhone than iPhone users left for a Chinese branded smartphone, across all local vendors. In fact, Apple’s net switching rate, or the net amount of switchers gained/lost as a percentage of all brand switchers increased to 7.6% in the latest 4 week period, up from 6.7% in the prior 4 week period ending October 8th. Comparatively, Vivo was the only Chinese smartphone vendor to gain “net switchers”, albeit at a significantly lower rate. We expect this trend to only accelerate as future data sets will include the period after the iPhone X first began shipping.

Amazon (AMZN) is so good at keeping prices low, it’s changed how economists think about inflation — Quartz