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Links of the day | 在网上找到

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tag Heuer’s adventure seeking leads to a Red Bull TV sponsorship | Luxury Daily – interesting wrinkle on brand content where other brands come in and sponsor the brand content

Huawei has formed a strategic partnership to develop AI – Business Insider – but could you trust it? Interesting that this hasn’t caused upset in the US body politic

Daring Fireball: Walt Mossberg: ‘Why Does Siri Seem So Dumb?’ – John Gruber’s take is really good. I won’t even get into the fact that Siri just doesn’t understand my BBC northern English accent and so I just don’t bother using it

Baidu Launches A Medical Chatbot That Acts As A Physician’s Assistant | IPG Media Lab – interesting application, IBM Watson has aspired to go in this direction. Maximises the 8 minutes a patient has in a doctors surgery

Most Drivers Who Own Cars With Built-in GPS Systems Use Phones For Directions – Mostly Out of Frustration – explains why TomTom and Garmin are still going

Bronte Capital: Measuring how bad Twitter is – needs to fire two thirds of its staff

Some Thoughts on Reuters, NY Times, and Yahoo – Lawfare  – Benjamin Wittes flags that much of the Yahoo story is unclear, including legal arguments and the objective of the search, and further reporting from Motherboard and the Intercept

iPhone 7 vs Leica M9-P: A Side-by-Side Photo Comparison | PetaPixel – to me these show the limits of the smartphone rather than how great it is

More millennials switch off social media | FT – qualitative rather than quantitative data

Building a Smart Home With Apple’s HomeKit | Wirecutter – shows how immature the smart house still is. That is if you’re not concerned about your IoS (internet of shit) devices being compromised and turned into a bot net for hire

Google Canceled the Launch of a Robotic Arm After it Failed the ‘Toothbrush Test’ – Bloomberg – executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc. nixed the plan because it failed Chief Executive Officer Larry Page’s “toothbrush test,” a requirement that the company only ship products used daily by billions of people, according to people familiar with the situation. – Surely this would nix Google’s enterprise products as well?

Europe to Push New Security Rules Amid IoT Mess — Krebs on Security – it is the right thing to do, but will be hard to police and won’t stop shoddy security on products coming out of the Shenzhen, Dongguan, Goungzhou silicon triangle in the Pearl River delta

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Links of the day | 在网上找到

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The return of Mao: a new threat to China’s politics — – interesting how it has merged with folk religion

Snapchat’s Mysterious ‘Snap to Unlock’ Ads Start to Pop Up | Digital – AdAge – copied from LINE and WeChat with a hint of Microsoft Tag

New Yorkers Can Now Get Unlimited Uber For $100 | Forbes – $200 for the full month. All rides must begin and end in Manhattan below 125th street. Interesting the way they are trying to move to a subscription model

Yahoo hackers weren’t state-sponsored, a security firm says | PCWorld – this is important because it says a lot about the way that data will be used and makes Yahoo! look more culpable if true

The web is past peak innovation: It’s all negative returns from here | The Register – so it probably won’t lift the world out of its economic funk

The Luxury Dark Web Trade of Disneyland Tickets and Dinners for Two | Motherboard – makes a change from assassinations, drugs, firearms and child porn

Government forced to release ‘secret arguments’ for triggering Article 50 ahead of legal challenge against Brexit | The Independent – individuals can have fundamental rights conferred by acts of parliament stripped away if and when the executive withdraws from the treaties on which they are based – and if this doesn’t get Labour concerned about Brexit nothing will

WSJ City – Brexit Torpedoes UK’s RBS Plans – Brexit left 10 billion pound hole in valuation which was still less than the government pumped into the bank in the first place

Five thoughts inspired by three days in Liverpool | CityMetric – all good points that explain that whilst I like Liverpool, I haven’t gone back to live there

This is the first Adidas shoe made almost entirely by robots – Recode  – More than 70 percent of Adidas’ sales comes from products less than one year old. Although this is only the beginning of the company’s robot shoemaking factories, the ability to make products on demand and as needed, as opposed to creating large stockpiles of inventory, could upend and decentralize current manufacturing processes

Fakes, Pirates, and Shanzhai Culture | ChinaFile – great podcast on shanzhai

Auction houses lose Hong Kong watch department heads as sales collapse — – corruption crackdowns and move to vintage pieces

HK Magazine to close, SCMP blames ‘dire’ English language print market conditions – Mumbrella Asia – “In the past few years, HK Magazine has been subjected to very challenging market conditions, which were especially dire for English-language lifestyle print media. Furthermore, the volatile advertising landscape, diminishing profitability from display advertising and event business further thwarted the magazine’s sustainability in the foreseeable future.” – the contrarian editorial line probably hasn’t helped either. Good magazine sorry to see it go

Mark Ritson: Facebook’s erroneous video metrics show no one has a clue about digital | Marketing Week – the shadowy box of turds and spiders that is programmatic to the increasingly complex and deluded world of digital views, the idea that digital marketing is more analytical and attributable than other media is clearly horseshit

Messages on iOS 10: Better features, worse usability | Six Colors – pretty much my sentiment on it

BBC to demand logins for iPlayer in early 2017 | The Register – pulling together data that would be handy for advertising?

LVMH’s Digital Drive Takes Time Despite Apple Hire | Business of Fashion – these things take time and Ian is smart enough to do it

Only Select Developers Can Publish Google Daydream Apps Until 2017 | Road to VR – how many Daydream handsets are there out there?

Project Springfield | Microsoft – cloud based testing for bugs, presumably with some sort of AI / machine learning behind it; for competitors would it be wise giving this Microsoft service sight of your code?

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Links of the day | 在网上找到

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Snapchat’s 10 second video glasses are real and cost $130 – TechCrunch – Feels like something they picked in the Brando catalog but not quite as douchey as Google Glass, more sad hipster

iOS 10: Security Weakness Discovered, Backup Passwords Much Easier to Break « Advanced Password Cracking – Insight – I wonder if this was added as a US legal requirement, a la the San Bernardino case?

Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric For Two Years – WSJ – Ad buying agency Publicis Media was told by Facebook that the earlier counting method likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by between 60% and 80%, according to a late August letter Publicis Media sent to clients that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal

Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency to get 40 percent more spies: BBC says | Reuters – probably for Brexit trade negotiations as well as terrorism

Everyone in Europe is getting free roaming—except Brits | Quartz – Europeans will be able to make calls, use data, and send texts without any additional roaming charges anywhere in the European Union once new rules come into force next June

Apple in talks with luxury carmaker McLaren – – could be interesting from a wider manufacturing and systems point-of-view. Less convinced about complete cars, hence the McLaren denial

The Fantastic World of Professor Tolkien | New Republic – great review of Tolkien and his works

Burberry goes digital | The Economist – good read despite being four years old

Bot wars – Marginal REVOLUTION – fascinating, maybe there won’t be the production uplift that one would have thought of

Anime girls will keep you company as you eat your instant ramen with new AR promotion | RocketNews24 – interesting augmented reality technology,  creepy execution but shows the way for bots and virtual friends

macOS 10.12 Sierra: The Ars Technica review | Ars Technica – great review and detailed write up

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Links of the day | 在网上找到

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Chinese Billionaire Linked to Giant Aluminum Stockpile in Mexican Desert – WSJ

Mettle Studio | Proximity – interesting project for dementia patients

Apple Plug – neatly skewers the iPhone 7

Instagram lawyers tell owner of anti-litter app to change its name | The Guardian – interesting move, will this open the door for them to go after the likes of Telegram (messaging app) later on

WeChat and Brands | WeChat Blog: Chatterbox – Caesars Entertainment and interesting concierge bot trial

Cisco’s Network Bugs Are Front and Center in Bankruptcy Fight – Bloomberg – and there is the opportunity for other vendors to get in

Veggie Pret Is Here To Stay | Pret A Manger UK – interesting how the pop-up ended up being product development / business case

University of California Hires India-Based IT Outsourcer, Lays Off Tech Workers – Slashdot – interesting that it is extending into the public sector, expect other governments to take note

Montblanc launches connected pen and paper | Luxury Daily – interesting move

Burberry cuts Hong Kong prices by up to 20 per cent amid falling pound in Brexit aftermath | SCMP – which must hurt given the likely Made In China factor to the products?

Un-carrier Network List of Firsts | TelecomTV Tracker – summary of T-Mobile US rollouts

Extending the Power of OS X Photos – The New York Times – not thought of doing this

Facebook defeats BBM as Indonesia’s most popular platform | Techinasia – that’s the sunset of BlackBerry’s consumer business right there

Evolving App Store Business Models – David Smith – move to ads from payments or subscription pricing

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Thoughts on the 2016 Apple event

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In a now annual ritual its 2016 Apple event held on September 7 left me a lot to reflect on.


  • The presentation was telling a hard story to an audience that were likely to be underwhelmed. Phil Schiller rather than Tim Cook carried the most difficult parts of the keynote.
  • The piano finish device was an obvious attempt to provide a style angle to the new iPhone and mask the aerial sections. However it is a class action waiting to happen as it will dull over time with micro-scratches
  • The story that the audience was told didn’t feel right. Lets talk about the headphone jack. The double camera only appears in the Plus, so the requirement for room isn’t a credible argument on its own, other vendors have managed to waterproof handsets with headphone jacks. I suspect that Apple isn’t sure that its backing the right horse. Its the least aggressive change they’ve made in a while. The inclusion of an adaptor shows that their user aggression still isn’t as high compared to when they got rid of: SCSI, Apple Desktop Bus (ADB), iPod 30 pin port (still pissed about that one), AppleTalk, floppy disks or optical disk playback and storage – I suspect that they are fearfully waiting to see what the pre-order numbers will be like and they should be. A straw poll of AdAge readers (core Apple user demographic) showed overwhelming disappointment
    AdAge readers on new iPhone
  • There is a lot of really nice features in iOS 10 – I’ve been using it for a while, why didn’t they make more of this and macOS Sierra?


  • Innovation in the smartphone category has flattened out. The iPhone 7 provides reasons for laggard iPhone users to upgrade, but nothing for 6 and 6S series users. There are few if any innovations for the likes of Huawei to ape in their new models
  • Innovation in smartwatches has plateaued. Apple is coalescing around fitness and dedicated products are much more cost effective for consumers. In China Xiaomi’s fitness band sells for about £15, for many consumers it would be enough. Fitbit is doing well – Apple’s wrist computer (alongside Samsung Gear etc) looks like a sledgehammer to crack a nut
  • Apple have done nothing to address the latent demand for new laptops amongst consumers (I am still happy with my 13″ Retina MacBook Pro). There was no replacement for the Cinema display (again, I am happy with my current set-up, but where is the pro-user love)
  • Apple abandoned its flirtation with luxury by discontinuing the gold Watch. They are still holding out to be viewed as stylish by doubling down with Hermes and a white ceramic device – it would work on the opposite wrist to a Chanel J12
  • It was curious that Apple moved away from talking about security and privacy; the collaborative document working using iWork which could be seen as a potential attack vector on to the desktop. The Air Pods that sync seamlessly with a device without visible security precautions.  iPhone security was addressed in the James Corden car karaoke skit at the beginning of the show rather than woven through the materials.
  • The speech about the app store was to try and bolster developer support, I suspect that services will shore up the Apple financial numbers over the next 12 months
  • The Nike branded Apple Watch was part of a broader move reposition the Apple Watch 2 as a fitness device.