Links of the day | 在网上找到

How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil – NYTimes.com - A few years ago, the company was telling brands to increase the number of people following their pages. Now it says fans are largely irrelevant. Until late last year, it was promoting the power of ads in which people’s likes and comments about a brand were turned into endorsements sent to their friends. After legions of user complaints — and a class-action lawsuit — Facebook switched gears again. Now it boasts about its ability to pinpoint potential customers on their cellphones and Facebook.com based on its data about them. (Paywall)

Jimmy Lai describes Occupy Central organisers as ‘having no strategy’ in leaked email | SCMP – no one is asking who is leaking this stuff and why

Rakuten: Viber has 608 million registered accounts, is the future of our company – I really like Rakuten as a business, but I think that they are putting too much faith in Viber. I have an account on Viber but seldom use it

TfL Propose Scrapping Text Payment For C-Charge | Londonist – interesting move reflecting decline of SMS and feature phones

China boots Kaspersky and Symantec off security contractor list | The Register – Symantec I can understand, but Kaspersky was an interesting move

Every company is becoming a data company – Quartz – its a bit like saying every company became an electronics company 20 years ago. People still think of them in their categories, except where the category has been marginalised – a car will still be a car even if it now features an onboard data centre and cloud connectivity

Diane Von Furstenberg To Launch Fashion Jewelry Line : News : Fashion Times – interesting move particularly in light of global jewellery sales dropping overall

Exclusive: Hackers Infiltrate Chinese TV Station | Foreign Policy – it was a foolish prank at best. But it is interesting that digital television is vulnerable to hacking like this, classic digital interruptive move

P&G to shelve majority of its brands | Marketing Interactive – interesting move, one that Unilever did a number of years ago. It follows on from them apparently getting rid of marketers

A new creative tool to help your Facebook ads | Marketing Interactive – optimise ad visuals

Color-changing ‘Stained Glass’ Made With Energy-storing DSSCs | Nikkei TechOn! – interesting materials for experiential stuff

With the launch of its CDN, it’s clear Apple is just as webscale as Facebook or Google — Tech News and Analysis – the interesting thing about this is that Apple still is working on the assumption of a ‘dumb cloud, smart device’ philosophy because it recognises that even when it’s at the last mile networks are imperfect. This is in stark contrast to Google

This Box Can Hold an Entire Netflix | Gizmodo – storage and power density on this is huge

There’s Good News About Ford’s Hardcore New Truck | TIME – interesting that Ford has gone with an aluminium monocoque

How one judge single-handedly killed trust in the US technology industry | ZDNet – interesting American op ed. The problem is that American exceptionalism is now affecting American digital commerce

Now that it’s conquered recruiters, LinkedIn is going after salespeople | Quartz – I thought that they had doubled down on sales people a good while ago?

New Confectionery Data – What is it Telling Us? | Euromonitor International – interesting dynamics including cost of cocoa

Bits Blog: Judge Rules That Microsoft Must Turn Over Data Stored in Ireland | New York Times – I thought that this was the case anyway with the Patriot Act? (paywall)

New indoor positioning system lets you do Batman-like echolocation on your phone | ExtremeTech – this could be invaluable for app augmented retailing

Get on Up James Brown – Discover Who Sampled Mr. Dynamite: – like this timeline Universal Music did in conjunction with whosampled.com

Five for Friday (I actually mean Sunday) | 五日(星期五)

A rather late edition of things that have made my day this week, in a break from the norm I thought that I would focus on just one thing, mainly because I can’t shake it from my head.

The Chopstick Brothers are a comedy duo with a film out in Chinese cinemas called 老男孩之猛龙过江 (Old Boy The Way of The Dragon).

In order to promote the film they released a single called 小苹果 (Little Apple).

Little Apple is an annoyingly catchy melody with simple chords and its own dance designed to appeal to plaza dancing ‘aunties’ (middle-aged women).

Here is a video of Little Apple plaza dancers, see the age range of the participants and how seriously this is taken

As the Australian news video  alludes to, these groups dance to music played on a booming system built into a porters trolley that seems to be accentuated by the hard concrete and glass surfaces surrounding ‘private public’ spaces where they perform.

Little Apple has an almost EDM quality so that it reproduces well on the these systems. Because of these characteristics Little Apple is similar to one of the annoyingly catchy summer pop records that tend to break in the west: Shanks and Bigfoot – Sweet Like Chocolate, Los Del Rio – Macarena, Henry Hadaway’s version of Chicken Dance credited as The Tweets – The Birdie Song etc.

And like Psy’s Gangnam Style before it, it has morphed into a number of parodies and became a meme in its own right – with brands getting on board. At the moment the People’s Liberation Army are encouraging different provinces to create their own recruitment video based on the song.

My favourite version was shot in Liverpool by Shaun Gibson who uses the video to tell a tale from Journey To The West (the video is on Chinese site 56.cn so you need to be patient in allowing it to load).

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s impact on the economy, internet freedom and cybersecurity | New America’s Open Technology Institute – US think tank’s analysis on the NSA revelations (PDF)

Samsung Earnings: What to Watch | WSJ – unsold stock in China and Europe?

What Our Culture of Overwork Is Doing to Mothers | TIMEOne reason for the stall in gender equity during the 1990s was a change in typical work weeks and remuneration patterns,” wrote Youngjoo Cha, assistant professor of Sociology at IUB in a companion presented at the CCF symposium. “This period saw a significant rise in ‘overwork,’ the practice of consistently working 50 hours or more a week, along with a dramatic increase in the financial incentives for working long hours.

Content personalization roundup | eMarketer – white paper from eMarketer with handy slideware charts on loyalty, data analytics, retail, real-time marketing and email

Meet Intel’s SoFIA, the super-cheap smartphone chip created in Singapore – CNET – will Intel be able to do it though?

China’s rich are less likely to keep business in the family – unlike Hong Kong’s wealthy | South China Morning Post – similar approach taken by Mr Ren at Huawei

Jing Daily: Yves Saint Laurent invitation to kiss campaign – interesting make-up marketing campaign

A reminder of how ultra-cheap Androids are taking over in emerging markets — fast | GigaOM – it will be interesting to see if Microsoft can hit the price points needed

Qualcomm top exec Peggy Johnson said to be on her way to Microsoft | GigaOM – potential loss for Qualcomm on top of the current China problems

North American Robotics Market Posts its Best Quarter Ever | PR NewswireThis performance shattered the previous record for a single quarter, exceeding the fourth quarter of 2012 by 31% in units and 17% in revenue – so margins on robots are declining?

Smells Like Millennial Spirit: The three key cultural factors molding Millennial consumers – the more I read this stuff the more they sound like gem-x. Turmoil, smurmoil – try living through the cold war with Reagan’s hand on the nuclear trigger, rampant inflation and globalisation burning your job prospects into the ground

Tea-flavored toothpaste is helping Chinese brands edge out the competition : Shanghaiist – interesting given the 70% lock Colgate had on the market

OkCupid experimented on users and proved everyone just looks at the pictures | Quartz – people trust machine advice and buy with their eyes, what are the implications in this research for e-railers and advertisers?

There’s no longer any doubt that Microsoft is in China’s crosshairs | Quartz – no real surprise here, there have been warning moves for a few years. They didn’t listen, they get the slap. It will be interesting to see if Frank X. Shaw tries to spin this (I suspect he’ll keep very very quiet indeed)

Jargon watch: Makimoto’s wave

Dr Tsugio Makimoto is a technologist who has worked at Sony and Hitachi. He co-authored Digital Nomad with David Manners which was published in 1997 and seems to have been influential to executives in the semiconductor industry. The wave named after Dr Makimoto is a twenty-year cycle between custom design components and general components.

Like Moore’s Law it is used as a heuristic to try and understand what is happening within the industry. Dr Makimoto discusses it in this video below.  At the moment we are in the custom part of the cycle with the kind of silicon being created for smartphones like Apple’s and Samsung’s respective chips and we are due to see a swing to general purpose components from 2017 or so.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

China’s Hony ready to make more overseas deals after Pizza Express buy | SCMP – huge gulf in casual dining, China tends to have fast food or high-end dining

PC sales estimates: How the sausage gets made | Fortune – why don’t they have a look at slaughtered goats intestines whilst they are at it?

Chinese Search Giant Baidu Buys Pre-fab Modular Data Center from Schneider – interesting that they went to a western supplier

Online payments and prostitution: How the internet is transforming the oldest profession – crypto-currency does away with the creepiness of cash, the big problem with credit cards and PayPal in the US is the payment providers closing accounts and traceability

Amazon rewards Prime Members who choose slower shipping | Marketing Pilgrim – I wonder what Amazon will do with the data beyond using differentiated delivery, would this be baked in for future offerings?

CHART OF THE DAY: Most Of Amazon’s Income Goes Back Into The Company (AMZN) – the financial results almost reminded me of Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ planning and process change

Stream that bootlegged movie, go to jail | Silicon Beat – US government thinks that the new war on drugs is piracy basically

The traditional shopping experience can no longer survive in China | WantChinaTimes – department stores taking a kicking from e-tailing

Tencent reportedly downsizing microblogging platform | WantChinaTimes – interesting if Tencent Weibo is put in maintenance mode

Taiwan eager to tap into industrial robots market | WantChinaTimes – it would be interesting to see what Taiwan could do in industrial robotics

HTC’s brand awareness in China drops: report – HTC is an uncomfortable sandwich, it has Apple in the luxury brand position above it and Samsung et al as peers. The most danger comes from below with Lenovo, Oppo and Xiaomi turning out products that look increasingly impressive

How Ravers Became the New Flower Children | New Republic – how reimported house and techno brought about a rave like culture in the US

Throwback gadget: Apple iPod hi-fi

Now and again Apple makes some odd diversions in direction and focus. One of these was the Apple iPod Hi-Fi. The best way to describe it is imagine of Dieter Rams had made over one of Panasonic’s old RX DT75 with the motorised ‘cobra’ top.
iPod Hi-Fi
Hi-Fi as in high-fidelity is a bit of a misnomer, but it does a very good job on the electronica that I tend to listen to at home. As with most Apple products there were design details all over the box. It sits on a rubber pad that covers most of the box length with iPod written in the middle, despite the fact very few people will ever see it.

Many people decried its lack of features, but it was designed as an appendage to the iPod rather than a device in its own right. I use the line in on it to act as an occasional sound bar to the television which it does an adequate job of. Apple discontinued it just over a year after it was launched and now they can found occasionally on eBay.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Facebook Downplays Billion-Dollar App Ad Business | Re/code – the number of apps on there is quite scary

Is Moore’s Law Less Important to the Tech Industry? – NYTimes.com - the problem is that it’s hard to focus on performance per watt and define the difference. Way before this, the speed bumps were having less and less impact, partly due to poorly written software, you actually saw the lengthening of the product upgrade cycle on PCs years ago when people wouldn’t upgrade from XP and internet-enabled machines where perfectly adequate even when they were six years old (paywall)

Google has run away with the web search market and almost no one is chasing | Quartz – not terribly surprising, search is hard and it is difficult to move a customer away unless you have something radically better

The US’s western states are guzzling water so fast they don’t realize they’re running out | Quartz – Bectel et al would probably be a great stock buy around about now

Top Retail Websites’ Load Times Still Slowing | Marketing Charts – this beggars belief

China Manufacturing Gauge Rises to 18-Month High on Stimulus  – Bloomberg – interesting since this data is focused on private sector SMEs, rather than SOEs (state-owned enterprises) that have benefited from government stimulus

Monetising user information without the privacy outrage – canvas fingerprinting

Yves Béhar sells his design agency to Chinese PR firm BlueFocus | VentureBeat – BlueFocus is looking more and more like the kind of fully rounded business Martin Sorrell should be worried about

How the Hammer Falls as China Nails Corruption – Caixin – interesting that the investigating body site is seen as a source and the audience goes there directly disintermediating news outlets

China regulator determines Qualcomm has monopoly: state-run newspaper | Reuters – from Bill Bishop’s Sinocism newsletter – how do Qualcomm’s planned China royalty rates compare with those it charges in Japan and Korea? And is the possible fine assessed against China revenue or global revenue? I have heard it might be the latter, which could be significantly larger than what shareholders expect

Waggener Edstrom launches WE Infinity analytics platform | PR Week – how does this match against Vocus etc

Apple’s iPad Problem | Slate – and those that do have a third device don’t need to replace it that often, especially since the iPad seems robust and perfectly adequate doing what it does, so the replacement cycles will be slower

Daring Fireball: More Amazing Xiaomi/Apple Design Coincidences – John Gruber’s Jobs-esque dis ‘Xiaomi copies with some degree of taste; Samsung has no taste‘.

What Type of Sharer Are You? Improve Your Social Media With Our Quiz – the study is link bait but they do have some good links to interesting academic research

Razer Integrates WeChat into its Nabu Wearable, Says Should Hit U.S. for Under $100 | Re/code – really like the messenger link and cross platform nature, now if they could make it more reliable than Nike’s Fuelband (on my second one in four months)

Qualcomm delivers blowout Q3, but cuts outlook over China woes | ZDNet – The Chinese government regulatory issues were well known if not well understood, however it was interesting that some Chinese clients feel that they don’t need to pay Qualcomm….

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Here are five things that have made my day over the past week.

An IBM video from 2000 did a pretty good use case and flaws of Google Glass. Good work (I presume by Ogilvy & Mather, but I maybe wrong). Looking on the bright side of things for Google, this probably protects them from IP court cases, given the ad could be cited as prior art

Five years ago I would have wanted to watch this because Oakley was some kind of engineering wonderland, now I watch it curious to know who Kevin Spacey’s voice over would clash with the conservative designs currently coming out of Oakley post-Luxxotica takeover. Funnily enough the voiceover would have worked almost as well with his appearance in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

My colleague Phee went for a Gorkana briefing with the Wall Street Journal, as a Storify embed.

Apple made a really nice 30-second spot to promote the MacBook Air range. The ad plays on how consumers personalise their computers as an analog for love

There is something WestWorld-esque about the faceless robots in this film about K-league baseball team Hanwha Eagles and their devoted supporters. The film also makes an interesting point about how fandom and participation have changed with online.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

U.K. Cabinet Office Adopts ODF as Exclusive Standard for Sharable Documents – ConsortiumInfo.org – Microsoft would have been pissed a few years ago, now with the new management in place, who knows

Chinese Social Media Shrinks by 7% During Internet Crackdown – China Digital Times (CDT) – As Chinese authorities stage a crackdown on “rumor mongering” — the number of people visiting social websites dropped by 20.4 million, or 7.4 percent, to 257 million. How much of these were real accounts and how much were bots?

China Voice: More Internet companies should go abroad – Xinhua – these firms face limited (but growing) regulatory barriers in their overseas expansion while foreign firms effectively blocked from the Chinese Internet, especially as it becomes clear that some really are viewed as national champions. I wonder if results outside China will be harmonised as well?

BBC News – Five ways Aldi cracked the supermarket business – some of these things like store layout and bursts of unusual items are similar to Morrisons and Kwik Save

WILLIAM SHATNER — Facebook Mentions Versus Facebook Pages Apps – surprisingly good review

Indonesia 101 | PixelBits – great rundown on Indonesia from a start-up perspective

Forensic scientist identifies suspicious ‘back doors’ running on every iOS device | ZDNet – you can probably bet that this is also true in other devices

WhatsApp, The Anti-Marketing Growth Phenomenon – GrowthHackers – its more like the product being the marketing rather than ‘anti-marketing’ per se

Jargon watch: poor door

In New York with planning requirements forcing developers to build some affordable housing alongside their luxury developments, a separate entrance has been added which keeps lower income tenants away from the amenities that the full fee-paying tenants enjoy. This divide has spurred debate in the US. When I lived on a development in Hong Kong, I didn’t pay for access to the swimming pool and didn’t expect it, so I can’t understand the issue; but it has been tied to wider concerns about income inequality.

More information
New York City Approves ‘Poor Door’ for Luxury Apartment Building | Newsweek
Fancy Upper West Side Building Will Have a Separate Door for Poor People | Daily Intelligencer

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Air Force research: How to use social media to control people like drones | Ars Technica – you’re all sheep

Single Mom Used OKCupid To Make Friends | Social Networking Watch – interesting move and interesting trust dynamics

Huawei Announces 2014 H1 Operating Performance – Huawei Press Center – interesting that smart devices were given such a prominent placement. Smart devices could also cover mobile broadband and there is no indication of contribution to profit of smartphones

Messaging, Notifications, and Mobile – AVC – mobile OS have real power through control of notification

Why Do We Treat PR Like a Pink Ghetto? – The Cut – interesting US perspective on things. Interesting that diversity doesn’t make it into the article at all

The smartphone value system

Benedict Evans in his post Unbundling innovation: Samsung, PCs and China compared the smartphone industry to the PC industry where value began to be hollowed out and the market became commoditised.

Evans claims that this is already happening to Samsung. Part of the challenge is that so much of the design of the hardware layer in phones comes from reference designs by component manufacturers like Qualcomm and reference design work done by manufacturers like Foxconn. Globalisation outsourced hardware design innovation, a plus side of this is that there is a whole eco-system in southern China that can support anyone who wants to make a branded handset building on experience gained working with major technology brands.

As he quite rightly points out some businesses are looking to take control of their business by building beyond hardware and into the service stack.

A number of manufacturers put their own UI over Android like HTC’s Sense UI and Huawei’s Emotion UI. Whilst these contributed to a handset personality, they didn’t provide differentiation. Facebook even tried to get in on the act with Facebook Home, but the user experience left something to be desired according to reviewers.

Manufacturers tried to add applications in their phones, which competed with Google’s own application stack. At the present time, no Android manufacturer has come up with a killer application for their brand of phone, mainly because they replicated Google’s efforts and with the exception of Samsung, the application wouldn’t be sufficiently ubiquitous – particularly if it was some sort of communications platform like say Whatsapp.

Meanwhile, Google hasn’t been sitting quietly on the sidelines but has been using its power within the community to exasperate commoditisation by combatting manufacturers efforts at software customisation. This process has been rolled further into the Android efforts with strict guidance on Android Wear devices. All of this may feel quite similar to Microsoft Windows around about the time of their dispute with Netscape.
The ultimate budget phone shootout: Xiaomi Redmi vs Huawei Honor 3C vs Motorola G.
Deeper innovation requires a fork in the Android OS and a break with some if not all of the services. This break has been forced on Chinese manufacturers anyway as consumers wouldn’t be able to access Google’s maps, email or search. Which is the reason why Xiaomi’s MIUI, Jolla’s Sailfish OS and CyanogenMod have an opportunity to work with phone manufacturers.
Charles' Jolla phone
However, the ironic aspect of this is that any of these platforms became too successful they would wield as much power as Google does at the moment.

A sweet spot for hardware manufacturers would be a hetreogenuous OS environment, all of which will run Android-compliant applications. In order for this to work, you would need an equivalent of POSIX compliance for Unix-type operating systems for these mobile OS’ and a way of ensuring that platform innovation didn’t ossify either the OS or the internet services supporting it.

Where does Apple fit into all this?
DSCF6958
Could the HTC One have been built without manufacturers having invested in milling machines after the introduction of the iPhone 5 aluminium monocoque chassis? Apple’s process innovations / popularisation of production techniques opens up opportunities for the wider Android community. This is because of Apple’s focus on materials innovation as well full integration of the services and software stack.

This lends weight to a viewpoint that Apple has in some respects has become a ‘fashion brand’ as one of my colleagues put it, think a watchmaker rather than say a fashion house like Louis Vuitton and the analogy has a certain amount of merit. This also implies that when thinking about the iPhone the value decision lifts itself out of the economic rational actor. However there are also shifting costs. You don’t buy a DSLR camera, you buy into a system since the camera needs lens in order to work. Applications (particularly paid for applications) play a similar role, as do services.  There is an inherent switching cost away from iPhone, this is lower when switching platform from Andrioid to iPhone and practically none existent for many users upgrading their Android handsets.

So in many respects Apple sits apart from this in the same way that the Mac sat within, yet apart from the PC industry.

More information
Unbundling innovation: Samsung, PCs and China
Android and differentiation | renaissance chambara
Messaging’s middleware moment | renaissance chambara
The folly of technology co-marketing budgets | renaissance chambara
HTC One – gsmarena

Links of the day | 在网上找到

HTC ‘selfie phone’ to be launched in Q4: report – only a good 18 months after the Huawei Ascend P6 and probably several other handsets that I can’t remember

Qualcomm to face strong competition in China’s 4G chip market | WantChinaTimes – which explains why Qualcomm is trying to play nice with the government

GE has no business being in retail finance so it’s making a steady exit | Quartz – it makes sense to offload consumer debt

WeChat first: a new frontier in China beyond Android and iOS – interesting how WeChat’s app constellation is fostering new start-ups, the question is will WeChat kill them the way Facebook turned the screw on its own ecosystem

MediaTek No. 3 global supplier of smartphone chips in Q1|WantChinaTimes.com - 1. Qualcomm 2. Apple 3. MediaTek 4. Samsung 5. Spreadtrum

Edelman confirms Rui Chenggang held shares in Pegasus while at CCTV – ahh, this could get messy. Bill Bishop in his Sinocism newsletter pointed out that Rui flamed Starbucks Forbidden City branch on CCTV while Starbucks was an Edelman client. Edelman then bought Pegasus where Rui was a shareholder. The question is will China make this coincidence into an issue making 2=2=5? Will the backwash from all this hit Starbucks or other Edelman clients as well?

Internal memo: Microsoft to cut off all ‘external staff’ after 18 months, imposing mandatory 6-month break – GeekWire – this is an interesting move. I wonder how might it affect PR and marketing agencies?

Future Drama – IBM anticipates Google Glass(holes), from 2000 – interesting thought experiment by IBM which nails some of the issues with Google Glass

Baidu launches search engine for Brazil | PCWorld – interesting expansion by Baidu

Mini-Microsoft: 18,000 Microsoft Jobs Gone… Eventually? – a perspective from inside Microsoft

Rethinking Cold War America: An Interview with Fred Turner | Henry Jenkins - well worth a read

How I stay informed… — Product Club — Medium – Tom Coates on how he stays informed

IBM and Apple just not that big a deal – I, Cringely – probably the most level-headed analysis of the IBM Apple deal that I have seen so far

Microsoft Will Climb Past Yahoo In Digital Ad Share | WSJ – blame Carol Bartz and Carl Icahn, they fucked it up when they didn’t give Jerry Yang a chance to do it right and didn’t manage to sell the business outright

IBM and Apple: Catharsis | Asymco – Horace on the long view

Apple and IBM team up to conquer the enterprise market, and crush Microsoft, Blackberry, and Android – I am less convinced given Global Services trouble in meeting SLAs would I want them providing AppleCare?

Yahoo’s Mayer: ‘We are not satisfied with our Q2 results’ – Media news – Media Week display advertising business fell 8% last quarter, to $436 million (£436 million), compared with the same quarter a year ago, as it continues to lose ground to the market leaders Google and Facebook.

Overall, Yahoo’s revenue fell 4% last quarter, year on year, to $1.08 billion, operating income dropped 72% to $38 million (£22 million), largely attributed to one-off restructuring costs, and net earnings for the second quarter were down 19%, to $270 million (£158 million) – I have a lot of love for the Big Purple, but in the internet world lightning doesn’t strike twice

Two Rail Operators Selling Rights to Advertise on Bullet Trains – Caixin – great ambient advertising opportunity

Is a PR Crisis Brewing For Edelman in China? – Advertising Age – so they may not be compliant at the moment. What does this mean for other large agencies in China and will this delve into some of the more interesting media buying strategies out there?

Welcome to the Everything Boom, or Maybe the Everything Bubble – NYTimes.com – so potentially we have a bubble in all countries in all classes of assets, what happens when it goes pop? Or is this a devaluation of currency across the global and if so why isn’t this seen as inflation?

New MediaTek Chip Aimed at High-End Phones | Re/code – LTE, 2K video, 64-bit

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Later than usual, here are the things that made my day this week.

Geometry Global Kuala Lumpur and the Lost Animals Souls Shelter animal charity on opening up their fan base to all be admins.

Digital Jungle updated their Chinese and western social media grid for 2014, great slide fodder

Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker – Harvard Business Review reminded me how great a lot of Drucker’s writing is

Japanese school girls with ninja skills brought to us by CC Lemon and Suntory. It has had over 2 million views already

Vintage footage of Kanye West before he was famous rapping over beats at Fat Beats record store on 6th Avenue in New York, is it just me or was his flow better back then?