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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Google acquires Pointy, a startup to help brick-and-mortar retailers list products online, for $163M | TechCrunchbuilt hardware and software technology to help physical retailers — specifically those that might not already have an extensive e-commerce storefront detailing in-store inventory — get their products discoverable online without any extra work – reminds me of the kind of thing you’d expect Tencent or Alibaba to do as China has led in O2O e-tailing

San Francisco’s Robot Restaurants Are Going out of Business – thin margins don’t support high capital costs of automation

11152015_Cathay Pacific Cargo_B-LJA_B748F_PANC_NAEDIT

Cathay Pacific: Aircraft Changes & Flight Cuts to North America – SamChui.com – interesting cuts on previously big earning routes

Mediatel: Newsline: How the UK is quietly importing a sinister political phenomenon“I have read so many predictions and trends about journalism in the past few weeks. The most significant trend, mostly unacknowledged, is that of politicians realizing they do not need to provide access or engagement with journalists, or even tell the truth, to be electable.” – where is this going?

Make your China marketing pop with these pop culture tips – POP MART: the designer toy market in China is booming. Not that surprising given historic popularity in Hong Kong and Japan – in many respects culturally China is a laggard

Silicon Valley and National Security – United States Department of State – basically you’re all a bunch of Quislings

Fundamentals simply do not matter in China’s stock markets | Financial Times – Muddy Waters Research has demonstrated that for years, its also the reason why you should be wary of Chinese companies with foreign listings

Framed — Pixel Envythree paragraphs in and it is already setting up the idea that personal privacy and public safety are two opposing ends of a gradient. That’s simply not true. A society that has less personal privacy does not inherently have better public safety; Russia and Saudi Arabia are countries with respectable HDI scores, brutal censorship and surveillance, and higher murder rates than Australia, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom

Sugar Bear’s Don’t Scandalize Mine was a go to record for me, but I’ve never seen a music video of it until now

What Does Taiwan’s Public Think About Election Interference From China? – The Diplomathyper-polarization in views between DPP and KMT supporters highlights the difficulty in addressing cybersecurity and China more broadly. To reach a consensus requires first acknowledging and disrupting the echo chambers in which disinformation campaigns thrive, then the government must implement election transparency policies to more easily expose disinformation efforts. However, with increasing animosity between parties, this consensus may be hard to reach. Citizens may also be concerned that any steps the government takes are limiting their freedom of speech or other rights (paywall)

China: no longer the place to be for young Singaporeans? | South China Morning Post – China no longer a place to do business

Try as It Might, Germany Isn’t Warming to Huawei – The DiplomatHighest on their list of concerns has been the risk of exposing the future German 5G network to large-scale espionage and data theft on behalf of corporate and political actors in China. In recent years, Germany’s intelligence agencies have reported a steady increase in Chinese government-directed espionage and hacking activities against German targets, primarily with the aim of acquiring corporate secrets. China is now considered the source of the majority of cyberattacks against Germany. In 2019, some of the largest German companies confirmed that they had been targeted by a new wave of cyberattacks that likely originated with the Chinese government. During a parliamentary hearing on the issue of Huawei in October, Thomas Halden­wang, the president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (Bundesverfassungsschutz), claimed that Chinese espionage and cyberattacks have been expanding into more and more sectors of the economy and the state. According to Haldenwang, while Chinese cyberattacks in Germany were previously focused primarily on private corporations and technology

China Manufacturing:”Elvis Has Left the Building” | China Law Blog – “China’s rising costs, tricky regulations and increasingly unstable geopolitical situation are forcing more manufacturers to move production elsewhere” and we should expect this exodus to gain speed in 2020, “despite the prospect of a minor US-China trade truce.”

Marketing research: Chinese celebrity brand endorsers – Daxue Consulting – Market Research China – interesting turnover in celebrities and increased focus on where there influence lies. China no longer has the Jackie Chan type celebrity endorsement. Which was all things to all people. Chan was legendary for the amount of products that he promoted which became a joke

Bose and HERE Fuel AR Experience Innovation By Combining Location and Audio Technologies – Semiconductor DigestHERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location platform services, today announced a collaboration with Bose Corporation to jointly enable their respective developer communities to deploy augmented reality (AR) location applications and services. This collaboration gives HERE developers access to the Bose AR platform and spatial-audio capabilities, and extends the HERE platform, positioning and mobile SDK location technologies to developers building audio AR applications and experiences. – ok so turn by turn direction or tourist style apps probably. The most interesting thing for me was that Bose AR isn’t just the audio enabled frames but recent noise cancelling headsets as well

SPH print newspaper ad sales dive 20% on year | Media | Campaign AsiaSingapore Press Holdings, the parent company of The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, and other news publications, saw overall revenue drop 3.8% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 – interesting acceleration. Part of which is down to media agencies making more money from digital and some due to changing consumer habits. I’ve started taking a print newspaper subscription again as I value the juxtaposition good print design can bring

NYT: Russian hackers successfully targeted Ukrainian gas company Burisma – AxiosPublic awareness of the Burisma hack cuts both ways politically. For former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, it means document dumps could happen at any time, with accompanying media frenzy and potentially damaging revelations. For the Trump campaign, it means that any such revelations will come pre-tainted with a Russian label

Hair Love,’ Sponsored by Dove, Earns an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Short | Muse by Clio – poses interesting questions about the role of brands in media

John Lewis marketing boss Paula Nickolds departs before starting | The DrumAnusha Couttigane, principal fashion analyst at Kantar, said that whoever takes the lead will need to rethink its long-running, and arguably tired, festive advertising strategy which has relied on blockbuster, tear-jerker creative to encourage shoppers into stores. “John Lewis needs to continue evolving its digital marketing efforts. While the company’s Christmas mascot, the accident-prone dragon Excitable Edgar, was warmly received, the debut of the brand’s Christmas advert is simply not the event it once was,” – quite a burn right there.

Sonos hits Google with lawsuit over wireless speaker patents“Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology” for years. Sonos and Google collaborated in 2013 to add the Play Music service to Sonos speakers, and more recently, the two worked to bring Google’s digital assistant to Sonos speakers, alongside Amazon’s counterpart, Alexa. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years,” Spence told the Times, “Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate,”

With nothing to lose, loners build future in China’s hollowed-out north – Reuters“Social classes are fixed,” Li said. “The poor can never achieve anything. When you encounter problems, if you can solve it, great. There’s not much you can do otherwise.” – interesting consumer comments that explain the slow down in China’s economic growth

Dark Patterns after the GDPR: Scraping Consent Pop-ups and Demonstrating their Influence by Nouns, Liccardi, Veal, Karger and KagalThe results of our empirical survey of CMPs today illustrates the extent to which illegal practices prevail, with vendors of CMPs turning a blind eye to — or worse, incentivising —- clearly illegal configurations of their systems. Enforcement in this area is sorely lacking. Data protection authorities should make use of automated tools like the one we have designed to expedite discovery and enforcement. Designers might help here to design tools for regulators, rather than just for users or for websites. Reg- ulators should also work further upstream and consider placing requirements on the vendors of CMPs to only allow compliant designs to be placed on the market. (PDF)

Unmasking the secret landlords buying up America | Reveal – some 25 percent of US residential property is now owned by anonymous shell companies

Daring Fireball: Apple’s One Remaining Use of the Word ‘Macintosh’ – probably not the smartest move given the amount of IP and goodwill in the brand and rapacious competitors who make early Microsoft look like the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation

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中国 | china | 중국 初 | hygiene | 기본 台湾 | taiwan | 대만 工艺学 | technology | 기술 经济 | economics | 경제학

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Spycraft Revolution – Foreign Policy – really interesting to read from a privacy perspective, spycraft affected as much as general public. Intelligence agencies are apparently just like the rest of us

Algocurios – this is what happens when you plug Matt Muir into a machine learning algorithm. I’m just thankful SkyNet didn’t evolve. It doesn’t capture the desperation, profane language and ennui prevalent in Matt’s real posts

Vodafone Found Hidden Backdoors in Huawei Equipment – Bloomberg – lots of reasons why this might be mostly dilute to poor software engineering practices but it doesn’t help Huawei reputation

Opinion | Is China the World’s Loan Shark? – The New York Times – academics who have studied China’s practices in detail have found scant evidence of a pattern indicating that Chinese banks, acting at the government’s behest, are deliberately over-lending or funding loss-making projects to secure strategic advantages for China.

A Conversation With Christopher Wray | Council on Foreign Relations – China poses multi-level threat to US (and the rest of the world if we’re honest about it)

KaiOS takes on the Apple-Android mobile duopoly – Wizard of OS – given Google’s investment in KaiOS it could still be considered a duopoly of wireless OS’ – also shows what Nokia left on the table

Brit spy chief: We need trust or we won’t have a ‘licence to operate in cyberspace’ • The Register – “must have the legal, ethical and regulatory regimes to foster public trust, without which we just don’t have a licence to operate in cyberspace”.

Ralph Lauren Unveils The Super Woke Polo Shirt | Luxury Insidera debut line of polo shirts made from recycled plastic bottles and dyed using a waterless production process. Besides being environmentally woke, the initiative has the noble aim of eradicating 170 million plastic bottles from landfills and oceans by 2025

How the Kleiner Perkins Empire Fell | Fortune – just wow

INTERVIEW: China seeking win with information warfare: professor – Taipei Times – interesting if depressing interview

UK High Court confirms the way GSM gateways were banned was illegal • The Register – interesting reading

Spotify Premium Adds 3 Million US Members | Consumer Intelligence Research Partners – keeping churn stable and improving conversion from free to paid (PDF)

Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah closes London office: Report – probably a mix of 1MDB and Brexit

A Specter Is Haunting Xi’s China: ‘Mr. Democracy’ | The New York Review of Books – interesting if very optimistic reading for the papers quoted

Baidu is reportedly incubating a music app to defend itself against ByteDance – KrASIA – Tencent already has a number of music apps in China

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Reading Time: 3 minutesSiri vs Siri: What Apple’s AI can and can’t do on every Apple device | Macworld – it implies context based on device, but they need to raise the game in particular on the Mac

How Russia’s ‘red tourism’ is luring wealthy Chinese visitors bored with Paris and Milan | South China Morning Post – Russian department stores TSUM and GUM become important for foreign Chinese luxury sales

May braced for Unilever decision on headquarters | FT  – Unilever: ‘stichting’ up a move to the Netherlands, which would make sense. 100VE is a leased building, its overcrowded and a number of the people there were contractors like me. The team that I worked in had already upped sticks to the Netherlands with the roles moving but not many of the people were redeployed, let go or didn’t have their contracts renewed

Millennial insecurity is reshaping the UK economy – interesting impact – not moving out of region to take a job like I did when I had a degree affecting productivity and entrepreneurship. One could see how Brexit will exasperate things further. It doesn’t imply that there will be a corresponding youthquake to overturn it at a later date

The Case Against Google – The New York Times – the problem with Found’em and the way the story was started is that it came off a bit cray cray a decade ago when it first popped up. They weren’t cut from the same cloth as Silicon Valley wunderkinder. That and they looked like Microsoft finger puppets. You had the SCO vs. Novell court case over the future of Linux at the time and there was evidence of Microsoft’s finger prints all over it (via Wikipedia): “On March 4, 2004, a leaked SCO internal e-mail detailed how Microsoft had raised up to $106 million via the BayStar referral and other means. Blake Stowell of SCO confirmed the memo was real. BayStar claimed the deal was suggested by Microsoft, but that no money for it came directly from them. In addition to the Baystar involvement, Microsoft paid SCO $6M (USD) in May 2003 for a license to “Unix and Unix-related patents”, despite the lack of Unix-related patents owned by SCO. This deal was widely seen in the press as a boost to SCO’s finances which would help SCO with its lawsuit against IBM” – And at the time if it had the taint of Microsoft involvement that overwrote any Google wrong. People seem to have forgotten the Judge Jackson trial and what an evil sack of shite Microsoft was shown to be. It would have been really hard sell to the media

NASA Is Bringing Back Cold War-Era Atomic Rockets to Get to Mars – Bloomberg

Amazon is merging Prime Now and AmazonFresh – Business Insider – it should add clarity from a brand point of view as well. Now they just need to get the Prime Now app to work properly

Apple in Talks to Buy Cobalt Directly From Miners – Bloomberg – sounds like a smart use of their capital pile given the rising cost of cobalt due to electric vehicle batteries

Dr. Penelope Boston: “Seeking the Tricorder: The Hunt for Extraterrestrial Life” | Talks at Google – YouTube – interesting challenges in terms of identification, methodology and analysis

APAC Millennials Lead for Sharing Branded Social Content – GlobalWebIndex Blog

George Soros may invest more in fighting Big Tech – Axios – the noose is slowly tightening around big technology

You can call me Al (but you really shouldn’t) – The overclaims of Artificial Intelligence « Comms Planning « Planning Above and Beyond – many technologies take a number of runs to get it right; machine language translation or VoIP being the classic case study. AI takes much more to get it right; this is a timely reminder that we are in an ‘AI summer’ at the moment and may hit an AI winter

“Just an Ass-Backward Tech Company”: How Twitter Lost the Internet War | Vanity Fair – to be fair this is probably a similar situation with Facebook as well

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Jargon watch: lights out production lines

Reading Time: < 1 minuteIf you are of a certain age, ‘hand made by robots’ brings to mind the Fiat Strada / Ritmo a thirtysomething year old hatchback design that was built in a factory with a high degree of automation for the time.

Fiat subsidiary Comau created Robogate, a highly automated system that speeds up body assembly. Robogate was eventually replaced in 2000. The reality is that ‘hand made by robots’ had a liberal amount of creative licence. Also it didn’t enable Fiat to shake off its rust bucket image. Beneath the skin, the car was essentially a Fiat 127. Car factories still aren’t fully automated.

Foxconn is looking to automate its own production lines and create products that truly are ‘hand-built by robots’. Like Fiat it has its own robots firm which is manufacturing 10,000 robots per year.

Foxconn has so far focused on production lines for larger product final assembly (like televisions) and workflow on automated machine lines: many consumer products use CNC (computer numeric control) machines. That’s how Apple iPhone and Macs chassis’ are made. These totally automated lines are called ‘lights out production lines’ by Foxconn.

Foxconn is looking to automate production because China is undergoing a labour shortfall as the population getting older. Foxconn uses a lot of manual workers for final assembly of devices Apple’s iPhone because the components are tightly packed together. It will be a while before Foxconn manages to automate this as robotic motor control isn’t fine enough to achieve this yet.

More information
Foxconn boosting automated production in China | DigiTimes – (paywall)

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The QRcode post

Reading Time: < 1 minuteA few years ago, I was involved in a project that used QRcodes on OOH (out of home) activity for a retail launch. QRcode scanners varied in performance. In addition you had to think about:

  • Contrast – did the QRcode stand out?
  • Relative aspect – would it be too big or too small for the audience to scan?

In the UK, QRcodes are seen by marketers as old hat (but then they didn’t ‘get’ them in the same way that Asia did). Other people don’t really understand how to use them.
QRcode 101
Above is the picture of the local cafe around the corner from my office. The QRcode contrast is just ok, but the glyph is too disjointed. The image is blurred for devices to read. I asked a member of staff about it and he told me that he thought it was some type of logo…

More on QRcodes here.