Links of the day | 在网上找到

Facebook’s autoplay videos will now play with the sound on – Recode – expect audio branding to make a resurgence

Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and a “modern” Nokia 3310 will be unveiled at MWC 2017 – Gizchina.com – the modern Nokia 3310 probably the most anticipated phone launch since the iPhone

ICSR Report – Media Jihad: The Islamic State’s Doctrine for Information Warfare / ICSR – how ISIS is looking to move from a real to a virtual organisation as it suffers real world defeats
General Motors Is in Talks to Sell Opel – WSJ – General Motors Co. has entered talks to sell its European business Opel to Peugeot as the U.S. auto giant seeks to shed money-losing operations abroad – I imagine that China and the US will be its main focus. Surprised Ford hasn’t taken a similar move

Banks Eyeing Dublin After Brexit Face Trader Shortage – Bloomberg – all this will change of course as things kick off

Watson’s peer isn’t an AI, it’s just like Tony the Tiger

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IBM have done some iconic advertising since the late 1990s. Sun became the dot behind dot com; but was out-marketed by IBM’s ownership of e-business.
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For some early clients like Boxman – there were accusations that IBM was learning about the internet whilst it did the work. And for many many of the products it was little more than putting HTML lipstick on a mature technology pig.

In 2008, that seems to have changed to smarter planet as IBM looked to get involved in infrastructure from building management to traffic control.

In 2011, IBM’s Research division saw the culmination of a seven year project that had one of their supercomputers perform on TV game show Jeopardy!  Marketing really started to change in 2014 in a dramatically different direction. IBM started describing a mix of machine learning and big data analysis technologies as Watson – they have their own Watson business unit. The implication being that the company had a corporate mascot. Think Tony the Tiger meets The Terminator.
What I Got When I Mailed Tony The Tiger An Autograph Request
The Watson you might have been sold may use similar technology principles but there isn’t a single sentient AI doing your tax returns in one milli-second and pharmaceutical research the next. Yet having talked to friends who work in a number of sectors and that’s precisely how they perceived Watson.

 

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Facebook agrees to independent metrics audit following pressure – AdNews – guess the pressure from FMCG businesses demanding proper data and trying to stamp out ad fraud is working

Are luxury brands taking their eye off Gen X? | Luxury Daily – lets be honest about it, its a market that marketers haven’t bothered addressing due to the size compared to the book end generations

Into the gray zone – George Washington University – interesting white paper on hacking back. Not the smartest thing to do but interesting (PDF)

The Mighty Middle Market – Edelman – the US’ mittelstadt

Below Deck — The California Sunday Magazine – this kind of work was the prototype for the Ubers of this world

POSIX has become outdated by Atlidakis, Andrus, Geambasu, Mitropoulos & Nieh (Columbia University) – this seems arcane but will impact every part of information technology from mainframes and web infrastructure to Macs and smartphones (both iPhone and Android)

Online ethics in a time of unreasonable behaviour

Much of my social channels are filled with outrage and discussion about what is perceived as unreasonable behaviour.

Tea Party Express at the Minnesota capitol

On one hand we had filter bubbles that allowed audiences to stay isolated, apparently only seeing the content which broadly fitted their world view. For the metropolitan elite, its a steady diet of virtue signalling. For the right it is the Illuminati / New World Order view of an aloof elite.

On the other hand we have voices that break through and are generally viewed as abhorrent by those in my social sphere.  The archetype of the breakthrough voice would be Milo Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos is a complex character who has gone from post modern poet who borrowed from pop music and television without attribution, to technology journalist and a libertarian who has become a figurehead of the alt-right. Along the way his wardrobe has changed from a preppy sloan look to a supporting character from the original version of Miami Vice.

Yiannopoulos is very adept at provoking a response from his opponents that rallies his supporters since they think it is evidence of the backlash from an omnipotent elite.

Those on the right would point to figures like Kerry-Anne Mendoza, the editor in chief of The Canary – who has been accused of sensationalist or irresponsible journalism.

The underlying element is that everyone cannot agree on what the problem actually is. Silicon Valley is lining up to filter out the worst excesses of the right; partly because engineer political views and advertiser views are largely aligned.

Generally engineers are degree educated so tend to be libertarian and socially liberal. They will support diversity and often work in multi-national teams. They are acutely aware of the power that their technology has which is why privacy tends to be most politicised amongst the tech-literate. Whilst large corporates would like to do what made the most commercial sense, there is a tension in Silicon Valley between this desire and the ability to hold on to engineers to do the work.

At the other end of the spectrum right wingers are trying to crowd fund a lawsuit against Twitter for for discrimination against conservatives and violations of antitrust regulation. WeSearchr – the crowd-fund platform equate Twitter making a call is equated to discrimination in the American South during the 1960s.

Ken White, attorney at Brown White & Osborn LLP and blogger on First Amendment issues, disagrees.

“WeSearchr’s claims of censorship and discrimination are frivolous,” he told me in an email. “Twitter may be ‘censoring’ in a colloquial way, but it’s a private platform and not governed by the First Amendment. It’s free to kick people off for speech it doesn’t like unless doing so runs afoul of a particular federal or state statute, and WeSearchr hasn’t cited a plausible relevant one.”

“Antitrust law is very complicated and it’s pointless to speculate about what WeSearchr thinks it means by citing it,” he said. “But antitrust law doesn’t say ‘it’s illegal to be a big company that dominates a field.’ Generally it restricts anti-competitive practices, and WeSearchr has never credibly identified any.”

Secondly there is research done by Demos to suggest that those of use with more liberal values have a looser social bubble and are likely to be more aware of inflammatory commentary by those with more populist views.

People with more polarized political affiliations tend to be more inward-facing than people with more moderate political affiliations. In short, the echo chamber effect is more pronounced the further a group is from the centre.

Conversely, those who hold more extreme views will feel emboldened as part of an enclosed community of like mined people.

What should be done?

Demos suggests that the mainstream news as a point at which the different opinions are most likely to meet. However, the very subjective viewpoint of different mainstream news outlets imply that this isn’t likely to happen.

The technology companies have made it clear that they will try and curb the worst excesses of the populist faction online. My sense is that it will fuel their sense of persecution  and provide a point to rally around.

Should anything be done?

More information
Canary in the pit | Private Eye
The Alt-Right Is Trying to Crowdfund Twitter’s Destruction | Motherboard
Talking to ourselves | Demos

Links of the day | 在网上找到

WSJ City – Sinking Feeling: Shipping Is Latest European Banking Worry – Hanjin shipping slowly unwinding banking sector as shipping loans become sub prime in a tight market

Massive LED screen for Sogo Department Store – Inside Retail – this looks epic

Brexit vote has ‘chilling’ effect on start-up investment – BBC News – actually this might be the fintech bubble deflating and it isn’t likely to lose politicians any votes. Given the love Teresa May had for David Cameron the death of Silicon Roundabout wouldn’t get any complaints from the current government – it might even be a winner as elites suffer

Finnish airline Finnair adds Alipay for inflight shopping | SCMP – really interesting move as Alipay moves beyond the luxury concessions of department stores to other parts of western retail catering to Chinese consumers. I would be very surprised if the Chinese revenue officials aren’t analysing this data very carefully.

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

This week has mostly been work, followed by sleep, followed by more work. The things that made my day this week include

Filipino restaurant chain Brick Burger who came up with buns that look like an edible homage to Lego

Korean longboarder Hyojoo Ko skated and danced around Oscar Niemeyer’s International Cultural Centre in Asturias, Spain for Vogue Japan – enjoy 2 1/2 minutes of awesome.

The Enigma of Hong Kong in the 1950s: Werner Bischof’s Photos at the F11 Photographic Museum – Zolima City Magazine

Nanidato | Free Listening on SoundCloud – this week I have mostly been listening to Japanese pop with a disco feel

Fullstopnewparagraph — Freelance copywriter | London – really nicely designed site

Links of the day | 在网上找到

The End of Employees – WSJ – temp agencies, zero-hour contracts, outsourcing, asset-light businesses, focusing on core competences etc etc all driven by revenue per employee metrics. You can thank McKinsey & Company for the ‘thought leadership’ that brought on this sorry state

Is This the World’s Most Expensive Strawberry? | Time.com – interesting how the largely ex-pat Hong Kong Mums group kicked this story off. Gift giving is very important in Asia, is this any more offensive than Cadbury Christmas selection boxes, foil laminate packaging like Capri Sun or brittle plastic blister packs

Tucows – AVC – interesting how they morphing into an alternative telco infrastructure company

60% of content created by brands is just clutter | Marketing Week – Havas meaningful brands study

People are quitting gig jobs in the sharing economy — Quartz – not terribly surprising, this is likely to accelerate interest in automation

‘Planet Earth II’ Snapchat Show Will Promote BBC TV Series | Variety – bit size lean back media for millennials

hiroshi fujiwara’s park-ing ginza X SONY collection | Design Boom – great tribute to Sony – now can they just get their mojo back

Harajuku style bible FRUiTS stops publishing after 20 years | Dazed – Noooooo!

Apple tells Australian Commission that their Bank’s acting as a Cartel has a Chilling Effect on the Benefits of Competition | Patently Apple

Bot Traffic Report 2016 | Incapsula Blog – interesting drill down into bot traffic for web properties

Shell begins huge task of decommissioning Brent oil rigs | The Guardian – reduced tax revenue just as the UK goes post-EU with Brexit….

Thousands of College Kids Are Powering a Clickbait Empire | Backchannel – content marketing using university students

Apple iPhone loses Chinese market share for first time as Oppo, Huawei, Vivo gain ground | South China Morning Post – and the iPhone 7 didn’t impress

Emerging Theme Radar – Goldman Sachs – rising importance of lithium and blockchain (PDF)

This Tech Entrepreneur Shares Her Strategy For Managing Remote Workers Globally  – great interview with Tamara Middleton

Great interview with Adam Curtis

I’ve been watching a lot of Curtis’ work recently. HyperNormalisation, The Mayfair Set, The Trap, The Century of the Self, Bitter Lake and Pandora’s Box.

More information
Just Adam Curtis channel on YouTube – has curated many of his documentaries.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

This Terrifying Camera-head is Supposed to Make Adult VR Content More Intimate | Road To VR

New Life for a Modern Landmark: The Murray Building – Zolima City Magazine – form follows function

PR in Trump’s America

Interesting hour long video discussion on public relations in the US in the midst of media change with the Trump administration. It has a really interesting polling post mortem on Hillary’s loss.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Welcome to the most pro-Brexit town in Britain | FT – One thickset Lithuanian man asked why English people did not seem to like foreign workers. “They complain about us,” he said. “But why they not do the work?”

Why Donald Trump is declaring war on all fronts | Hong Kong Economic Journal Insights – Trump’s approach has quite a lot in common with Mao Zedong’s class-struggle philosophy. Nice analysis

Fullstopnewparagraph — Freelance copywriter | London – really nicely designed site via our Matt

Nine Fears about The Future of Data & Technology – Edelman – interesting research with the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre

Europe after Brexit | Control Risks – basically the EU is better off without the UK

No ‘new London’ in EU after Brexit – RTE – more likely to be geographically fragmented around specialisms such as insurance, fund management etc

The once-mocked iPhone Plus has proven to be Apple’s best bet in years | Quartz – interesting that the article is viewing it from a very western-centric viewpoint. Big phones were in APAC for years before iPhone

Apple’s record quarter by the numbers – Six Colors – the iPad’s bright spots are in China and India – its basically a media playback device

Important Announcement Regarding Club Penguin on Desktop and Mobile Devices | Club Penguin – wow, it had been a stalwart of virtual purchases and child friendly social networks for a good number of years. I wonder what the new platform will look like

Communities Dominate Brands: Deloitte Counted 120 Million Used Smartphones Were Sold in 2016 (growth of 50% vs 2015) – Understanding the second-hand handset market

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

I was in Madrid for the early part of the week and caught up on my reading

Lifting the lid on Japan’s underground Chicano culture | Dazed

I was mostly listening to this six hour mix of 1960s tracks by Greg Wilson

John McTiernan of Die Hard fame makes a live action trailer for a video game, great short film ensues

Combine your love of anime with your desire to get fit

Via Mr Mad Taiwan this is apparently an Apple ad showcasing the night photography capability of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Oprah Time: reading over Chinese New Year

I have managed to catch up on a lot of reading over the Lunar New Year festival.

Joe Studwell’s How Asia Works is fascinating reading. It talks about how Korea, Japan and China have grown while their counterparts haven’t. Studwell highlights a number of factors that contribute to economic growth:

  • With an agrian economy, a market garden approach to agriculture rather than farming at scale delivers the best results. But only if rent seeking interests are removed through effective agricultural reform
  • Industry requires total mastery of technology – which is the reason why low grade heavy industry is the starting point
  • Exports planned into industrial development from the beginning and a continued relentless focus on exports is required
  • Governments are best at keeping businesses focused on total technology mastery, raising cheap finance and weeding out failures that might be a resource suck

Studwell critiques how different countries throughout Asia have managed to process in this manner including both the strengths and the weaknesses of their respective approaches.

It was fascinating to read how Taiwan managed to succeed in spite of nationalised industries and the challenges in China’s agricultural model.  How General Park ‘motivated’ Korean chaebols and the tragedy of development in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

China’s Crony Capitalism by Minxin Pei explained the mechanism of how corrupt officials, state enterprise employees and businesspeople managed to bilk the Chinese government and people of vast amounts of money. Much of the challenge is structural. China has a federalised government with power lying at provincial, city and county level. Pei is hawkish on the country’s prospects.

For an outside observer Pei’s research into the mechanisms, one can appreciate the challenge that the central government faces in combatting corruption and bad behaviour. President Xi’s ‘tigers and flies’ campaign to root out the worst corruption in the party and business is part of the solution; but according to Pei there is also careful structural reform required. This will only be possible through a massive aggregation of power towards the centre.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Bosch, Cisco, Gemalto and More: Tech Giants Team Up For Blockchain-IoT – CoinDesk – Buzzword compliance, but what’s wrong with strong crypto without cloud intermediation?

Seven years after its launch, it’s still not entirely clear what an iPad is for | Quartz – I know that feeling well

3D TV is officially dead as Sony and LG stop making sets | FierceCable – “Purchase process research showed it’s not a top buying consideration, and anecdotal information indicated that actual usage was not high. We decided to drop 3D support for 2017 in order to focus our efforts on new capabilities such as HDR, which has much more universal appeal.”

Vanishing point: the rise of the invisible computer | The Guardian – there is also the question of usability as well