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

Things that made my day this week:

In Japan, 24/7 convenience stores play a similar role to what supermarkets have in the west. They do groceries, allow utility and mobile payments and provide other services like faxing or photocopying. They offer free wi-fi and air conditioning in hot weather. There are an essential part of of Japanese life and there is a ‘combini-culture’ around them. Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Fragment Design has taken a good deal of influence from combini culture for ‘The Conveni’ retail concept. It includes processed food, bandanas in sandwich packs, towels packaged like onigiri rice balls and sweat shirts in snack packets.


If you can’t get to Tokyo, you can still look at their e-store.

Michael Gove famously said that with regards to Brexit people were tired of experts. Obviously discussions between men in a pub is the antithesis of expert discussions. So here is a podcast with a couple of knowledgeable people in a pub

Lippincott were working on a Toys R Us rebrand that the company couldn’t implement. I don’t know if design could have saved Toys R Us, but the work is really nice.

Aphex Twin launched a new EP; there were posters around the world and a fantastic video by Weirdcore. Warning the video will affect people with epilepsy

Egyptian Lover picks his favourite Roland TR-808 songs – amazing listening. Some of this brought me back to my early teenage years.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Samsung pledges to invest $22B in AI, 5G and other emerging technologies – SiliconANGLEplan to invest $22 billion in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence over the next three years. The effort will be driven primarily by the conglomerate’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd arm, which makes its popular mobile devices. Last quarter, the handset maker saw profits decline for the first time in nearly two years due to stagnating smartphone sales. Investing more in emerging technologies could help Samsung generate new growth on the long term

Save Sarah Jeong! And Kevin Williamson, Quinn Norton, and Joy Reid Too | WIRED – my comment: I agree that Ms Jeong has a right to an opinion. She has a right to a bad day. However when she weighed into the Naomi Wu / Vice Media dispute; her contribution damaged some of the feminist and progressive viewpoints that she herself supports. As an international Wired subscriber I find it difficult to support her particularly aggressive form of American privilege. Ms Jeong used her skill in rhetoric to hide her lack of expertise in the legal and online social environment of China.

‘Hipster kryptonite’: will CDs ever have a resurgence? | Music | The Guardian – interesting read. I have listened to CDs and have them, but preferred to DJ with vinyl for tactile reasons. The article fails to ask whats next. We’ve got a generation coming through with Spotify with a more passive, casual relationship to music that we haven’t seen before. There has always been people who liked music but bought few if any recordings. We haven’t seen it on the scale that we see with the Spotify generation. Music becomes a utility like water, electricity or mobile data. Since music tends to be about playlists now the artist’s brand becomes less important. Festivals provide the buzz of live music for generation Spotify but they can dip in and out moving from one tent to another. They won’t support live acts in local concert halls, go to local clubs to support local DJs or have eclectic musical libraries

The UK Top 40 will never be the same | British GQ – For a stream to qualify as a sale, it has to play for at least 30 seconds. Most listeners will abandon anything too jarringly different before then, so there’s an incentive for artists to draw on a small pool of bankable writers, producers and styles. “I call it the shit-click factor,” says Masterton. “If a record is too challenging, then people will say, ‘What’s this? It’s shit,’ and click onto the next one. There used to be room on the charts for something dynamic and exciting such as the Arctic Monkeys. I can’t see the circumstances right now where that could happen.”

Rock is the new jazz and vinyl’s misleading revival: 5 things I’ve learned as Guardian music editor | The Guardian  – Technology has vastly increased what record companies know about listeners and their listening habits, just as it has increased what newspapers know about their readers and their reading habits. And the results of this – on both parts – can be pernicious. At our end, it’s the reason why we get complaints about endless stories about Adele and Beyoncé and Kanye West. Why do we run them? Because people read them. Whereas very few people read stories about the latest underground band we want to rave about. And in music, that knowledge has resulted in commercial music, more than ever before, being made to a formula

Tymbals – #edge @growth – interesting online tool

ITV joins Hollywood giants to back video streaming service for mobiles | The Guardian – ok what am I missing here, streaming services are already on mobile and also offer side loading to deal with network quality issues

Say Hello to the New Editor | The new Gutenberg editing experience – interesting changes that will make themes less rigid

The Internet of Stupid Things

A more charitable phrase for what many consumers call the Internet of Shit. Yes lots of products can be internet enabled, but should they be? There is a mix of challenges:

  • Products that are internet enabled but shouldn’t be – the Happy Fork or the Griffin Smart Toaster being classic examples. I found the Griffin Smart Toaster particularly disappointing as the company’s products such as the PowerMate are generally really good
  • Products that would be benefit from tech, but shouldn’t rely on the the cloud. I’d argue that Nest would fit in this category where cloud outages could have serious impacts on the consumer

It is interesting to see that Li & Fung (who are famous for global supply chain management provided to western brands and retailers) are involved in this. The qualitative design research they did on skiing wearables for a client – which begs the question of what value Li & Fung’s client brings to the table.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

South Korea’s spy cam porn epidemic – BBC News – not just a Korean problem. Technology raises its own social problems and riffs on existing issues in society

Times Stands By Editorial Board Member After Outcry Over Old Tweets – The New York Times – Jeong is an expert in internet issues including abuse and bullying behaviour. The tweet is a small issue compared to this: Shenzhen Tech Girl Naomi Wu: My experience with Sarah Jeong, Jason Koebler, and Vice Magazine

Apple Mac sales slip 13% in Q2 2018 – INSIDER – How much of this is down to the bullshit ‘size zero’ industrial design that screws the thermal handling of the devices – the iPad / iPhone narrative is deceptive

Axios – US start up running fab in Minnesota – part of wider DARPA driven movement. More here: DARPA has an ambitious $1.5 billion plan to reinvent electronics – MIT Technology Review

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

Things that made my day this week

How the ideogram structure and smartphones are affecting Chinese literacy

Trendwatching on the future of retail

Saul Bass on Why Man Creates via Jed Hallam’s newsletter

Check out these beautiful infographics by Jane Pong. She previously worked at the South China Morning Post.

Ogilvy Consulting on buyer behaviour