ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

100 spies will monitor all SMS and email that goes in and out of Norway | Nettavisen – original in Norwegian

Smart Speaker Market Takes Off in Holiday Quarter | Consumer Intelligence Research Partners – interesting that you’re starting to see multi-speaker households (1/3rd of US households who own a smart speaker device own more than one). I am still leery of them. (PDF)

Chinese Rap Queen Vava Fronts New Alexander Wang Campaign – China’s best female rapper. Most of her tracks sound like Korean R&B influenced pop music. Her ‘My New Swag’ takes things in a different direction and is her best track to date

Loop – Launching 2019 – is it just me or is recycling a trojan horse to try and break Amazon’s rampage into FMCG?

A Trip Behind The Spectacle At Davos | Palladium MagazineIf I could ask Schwab a single question, it would be this: if you knew in 1971 that the WEF would eventually be occupied by hordes of low-rent blockchain grifters, would you just fold up the whole thing? The blockchain community, though it contains a few interesting projects, is dominated by obvious scams, and so received an appropriate amount of contempt from traditional finance at Davos, whose scams are much more subtle and institutionalized.

Bits: The Week in Tech: Bracing for the Year of the Pig in China | NYTimes.com – In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the billionaire investor George Soros labeled President Xi the world’s “most dangerous opponent of open societies,” warning of the “mortal danger” in China’s use of artificial intelligence to repress its people. (Paywall)

$50 for a Rimowa Look-a-Like: Innovation or Infringement? | BoF – interesting that the Made In China aspect of luxury brand products is now being used against them by Chinese companies. Also increasing pride in Made In China

Operating system loyalty hits all time high | Consumer Intelligence Research Partners – mobile OS seems to be cemented into solid markets now(PDF)

How Sneaker Bots Ruined Buying Shoes | Complex – this feels like peak streetwear

People. Places. Things. — Your community in your pocket. – I first heard about this and thought about he locative art in William Gibson’s later books. Then I looked at the site and was reminded of the overload of ads in Altered Carbon but with less art and aplomb. This looks hellish, I am sure the concept, if not the start-up, will be very successful eventually

Hulu announces a new ad unit that appears when you pause | TechCrunch – playing an ad just as you decide to got to the bathroom, answer the door for the pizza delivery guy or go and make a cup of tea – I do wonder about the efficiency and effectiveness of this ad unit. Is a view still a view if it plays whilst you walk away from it?

WSJ: Apple Should Make The Chinese Version of iPhone – probably makes sense if it were an international device. I know that there is already a grey market for people interested in the dual SIM iPhone, the problem is verifying that the device isn’t shanzhai

Champion athletic wear is getting its inevitable nostalgic streetwear moment | Quartz – Quartz is a bit behind on this and may just be marking the peak of the Champion wave rather than the start of it

Worldwide threat assessment of the US intelligence community by Daniel R Coates, director of national intelligence – interesting reading, particularly when you notice the cognitive dissonance between US foreign policy and this clear eyed assessment. Secondly the section on China is really good (PDF)

What marketing trends will shape China in 2019? | The Drum – interesting how programmatic shops think that 5G will instantly boost their businesses. I am not convinced

Ultraviolet Shuts Down: Cloud Locker Closes This Summer – Variety – which is a good example why cloud services and media aren’t a great idea

`The Internet Is The Great Equalizer’ – Bloomberg – 20 years later we now know that it isn’t

Engage With Apple to Engage With Patients | Forrester Research – probably an overly optimistic piece by Forrester but interesting reading

Alibaba Group Announces December Quarter 2018 Results | Business Wire – slowing growth overall, but fast growth in cloud services and a more bearish view Deep Throat: Alibaba Q3 Earnings Call

Everything you need to know about Apple’s Q2 19 results | Computerworld“We’ve said several times that the upgrades for the quarter were less than we anticipated due to the reasons we mentioned. Where it goes in the future, I don’t know. I’m convinced making a great product that’s high quality is best for the consumer.”

WSJ City | Apple bug enables eavesdropping on FaceTime users – surprised that this didn’t come out in testing

My Aramco Childhood | Slate – great tale of a third culture kid

Zendesk Alternative – enterprise software company Zendesk punked competitor SEO tactics by forming an inhouse band. Brilliant idea

Nike Replaces Under Armour as MLB’s Uniform Provider | HYPEBEAST – Starting in 2020, Nike will be the official uniform provider for the MLB, NBA and NFL. Total lock out in competition with adidas, Reebok and Under Armour

We analyzed 16,625 papers to figure out where AI is headed next – MIT Technology Review – deep learning seems to have hit a peak

Oprah time: To kill the truth by Sam Bourne

To kill the truth is very much a book of our time. It explores the power of historical records, the alt-right and technology. The plot opens with a very current battle between ‘woke’ academia meets the polo-shirted, tiki torch-bearing far right. A former academic has gone to court in order to dispute our understanding of the slave trade and create a revisionist history.

Historical records and accounts were picked apart to cast sufficient doubt on them. By using this legal standard record-by-record the mass of evidence is ignored. The truth becomes lies, rather like social political discussions over Brexit and Trump’s election.


Then key establishments of historical record start to burn down around the world. Online repositories from websites to Google are brought to their knees by hackers. Into this mess steps a smart wonkish protagonist Maggie Costello. Maggie is tired of the political machine and gets pulled back in. Soon she suffers from online identity theft.

Taking one side Costello’s gender for a moment. Costello feels familiar. This is partly because she is so similar to Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Smart bookish heros who could see what the establishment couldn’t.

The second parallel to Clancy’s work is that characters are secondary to the big ideas and technical wonders. And here lies the book’s achilles heel. Costello has obviously beeen developed as a smart vulnerable ‘woke’ hero. But she feels like a cardboard cut-out rather than a believable character. The androgynous nom-de-plume Sam Bourne hides the identity of Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland. His wonkish credentials created a great high concept, but he hasn’t managed to create a character that we can root for.

Enjoy the exploration of big contemporary issues, just keep our expectations low on the character development.

Happy Chinese New Year | 新年快乐 | 새해 복 많이 받으세요

Happy Chinese new year of the pig! I have been struggling to finish a project so haven’t managed to update here as much as I like. Hence a special post now:

P&G Pampers China CNY 2019 from MARKETING INTERACTIVE on Vimeo.

Proctor and Gamble’s Pampers brand focused on the stress that parents go through in order to get home for new year.

Singapore’s POSB – a local bank took a more multi-cultural approach that reflects Singapore’s celebrations of Chinese new year.

Malaysian telco Maxis came up with this take on the Chinese new year.

China’s national television network CCTV held its annual new year’s gala. This was the most spectacular part of the three hour show.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Paying for Keeps | CC Insight – 3-year phone contracts will suppress smartphone market even further, that includes 5G handsets (the why 5G in a handset is a whole other question)

MOFT – World’s First Invisible Laptop Stand – of course early laptops had more opportunity to do ergonomic design which isn’t available when you fallow Apple’s ‘size zero’ design ethos. My first laptop an Apple PowerBook 165 had small rotatable legs. I am surprised that class action suits aren’t a thing due to RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome on modern laptops. The ergonomic information required to make the case for MOFT has been available for decades

Uncover Harassers – rage as a plug-in. Surprised that there isn’t a UK version for gammons and remoaners respectively. Download this plug-in to optimise you’re being triggered. I get where they coming from but can see the downside of it as well

The Facts About Facebook – WSJ – Zuckerberg’s op-ed falls flat with WSJ subscribers. A lot of people have written out how this back end binding of the services is as much about fending off coming regulation as anything else. Think Internet Explorer and Windows when Microsoft were taken to task. Read also Opinion | Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Be Your Ghost Writer – The New York Times – funny but true, love the VCR analogy (paywall)

I Bought a Fake Canada Goose Jacket on Amazon – The Atlantic – Amazon is full of fake stuff

Global mobile ad spend set to tip TV in 2019 thanks to programmatic boom, and 5G boost – a 5G boost really?

Huawei/Edelman Relationship Ends Before It Starts | Holmes Report – very interesting reading and the optics are pretty bad for Huawei.

Xiaomi Mijia laser 4K projection TV goes on sale for 14999 Yuan ($2210) – Gizchina.com – who has clear space for a 100 inch screen to be thrown up on a wall?

China has a special passport for its elites—like Huawei’s detained executive — Quartz – the smoking gun that connects Huawei to the government in the way that the company has always denied. I was really surprised that more hasn’t been made of this story. A P series or ‘Public Affairs’ passport is a non-diplomatic, but otherwise VIP passport for party officials and others who are very tightly involved with the Chinese government. It is the smoking gun that links Huawei and the Chinese government in a way that hasn’t been previously done and shreds a lot of Huawei’s counter arguments

Tencent, NetEase Shut Out Again in New Batch of Games OK’d by China – Variety“Given the current speed of new game approval, the backlog of games waiting for licensing, and the government’s stricter control over game content, we estimate it could take two to three years before the Chinese games industry stabilizes,”

‘They need the scale’: DTC brands like Peloton and Chewy are buying more TV ads | Digiday – because TV advertising still works

WSJ City | Russia accuses Facebook Twitter of failing to comply with data laws – surprised more countries aren’t Balkanising personal data storage

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

Things that made my day this week.

Scott Galloway presented at DLD, Munich this week

funicular freak – amazing Tumblr account, words that I don’t often have in the same sentence any more

7 of the Cutest (and Smartest) ‘Year of the Pig’ WeChat campaigns | Jing Daily  and here is how you can get it wrong

Heineken did a Chinese New Year advert for the Singapore market.

Starbucks opens interactive coffee sanctuary in Bali as tribute to Indonesia’s Arabica coffee | The Drum