End of an icon | 图标结束

The Yahoo! sign on the freeway heading eastward on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco is as much a part of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley internet industry as the Hollywood sign is the move industry. It originally went up in 1999 and the less charitable describe it as a relic of dot com hubris.
Thanksgiving 2009
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Clear Channel took the sign down. Some have said that this was symbolic of Yahoo!’s decline.

It will certainly have a psychological impact. The board design featured on a wide range of Yahoo! merchandise in the corporate store from vinyl stickers to t-shirts and fridge magnets that decorated employee cubicles. It’s position and mid-century modern design echoed Yahoo!’s brand personality attributes:

  • Human
  • Fun
  • Irreverent
  • Simple
  • Modern
  • Approachable
  • Trustworthy
  • Striving

I hope that the sign isn’t symbolic of a Yahoo! in terminal decline, but I do think that it’s the sign of a corporation that needs all the help it can get.

I like: IWC 59210 caliber manual watch movement

Why does someone who spends his working day thinking about the future and all things digital care about a mechanical watch movement? A modern quartz movement watch can be more accurate. An analogue watch has some advantages over a digital display in terms of legibility and the ability to see how much time one has until an appointment, but that can have quartz movement behind it.

I like a mechanical watch movement because:

  • The movement of a good mechanical watch is an object of beauty in itself. The great watch companies take as much pride in making the insides look as beautiful as the watch exterior. It is rare to see that detail in the design of modern products outside those designed by Apple
  • You have a lifelong relationship with a mechanical watch. Companies like Rolex will service your watch for you every few years or so and will even refurbish it if necessary. Patek Philippe have used the same strapline in their advertisements for years: You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation. Good quality design is products that you will want to own until you wear them out, or they wear you out. It is also a good way towards creating more environmentally friendly products and I haven’t even got on to challenge of battery disposal…
  • Finally, I like to be able to know the time all the time. I wear my watch in bed, in the shower, in fact it only comes off if I find it getting in the way typing. Part of this comes from having done scuba diving when I was younger; your watch became part of you. I had a quartz watch and moisture got in stopping the watch dead. A friend had an automatic watch movement in a Seiko which had a little damp in but kept on going. Both of use eventually invested in good quality Swiss watches

IWC’s 59210 is a marvel of the watchmakers art. It holds up to eight days power when fully wound up and runs at 28,800 beats per hour which is a marvel for a mechanical device that small.
IWC calibre 59210
The movement goes into the Portofino watches which have a case that is not as technical as the style of watches that I like, but make a nice dress watch if you like that kind of thing.


Links of the day | 在网上找到

Dell Unveils First Ever Smartphone Running Baidu’s Android-Based OS | Tech in Asia – which makes sense given Google’s diminished take up in China for email, search etc

Is China’s credit bubble going to set off a global financial meltdown?: Shanghaiist – is it like the Japanese bubble of the late 1980s?

Big Developers Dabble in Apartment Market – WSJ.com – decline in home ownership

China bans more stuff in movies, cracks down on box office tampering: Shanghaiist – regulations around in-cinema advertising and better ticket accountablity are interesting

I, Cringely » For Mobile OS’s, Three’s a Crowd – its all about the revenue rather than marketshare

SegmentFault: China’s Coder-centric Q&A Service | TechNode

THE TRUTH ABOUT ZYNGA: The Only Reason The IPO ‘Flopped’ Is Because Idiot Investors Paid Too Much

Microsoft Let Google Win The Firefox Deal — Maybe It’s Finally Ready To Stop Throwing Money At Bing

Dell Is Going To Undercut Cisco On Its Home Turf, Says Employee Who Defected – the big challenge will be the cadre of Cisco-certified engineers

Social Networking Watch: Social Networking Continues Gender Stereotypes – no real surprises

Children’s dance lessons see surge in popularity | The Japan Times Online – apparently it is going on the national curriculum as PE

Why developers need a Mac « Tim Anderson’s ITWriting – Waggener Edstrom’s Pam Edstrom would be going nuclear at this post

Mozilla and Google Sign New Agreement for Default Search in Firefox | The Mozilla Blog – good news, I still dislike the Chrome UX, not useful if you don’t live an all Google online life

Half a billion dollars: why Apple’s acquisition of Anobit mattersSingle-level cell designs last up to several years, but the multi-level cell designs that have increased in popularity for mobile devices due to increased storage density actually decrease the useable life space of flash chips

George Hobica: Confessions of An Airline Baggage ‘Thrower’: Why You Should Buy A Four-Wheeler Suitcase – I tend to pack light and use North Face basecamp bags, which seem to last forever

DOCOMO Reports Malfunction of sp-mode Service | Press Center | NTT DOCOMO Global – interesting malfunction of mobile network infrastructure where people received and sent emails from a different email address by accident

Oracle’s Earnings Miss Expectations – NYTimes.com – not terribly surprised

Weifaxian: Chinese Discovery Engine Helps You Get Only What You Like | TechNode – reminds me a bit of some of smarts that Hunch demonstrated

the science of social timing | blankanvas – handy for thinking about global campaigns

techno+culture — Starbucks China Now Automatically Checks You In… – through a new mobile campaign

RIAA Scolds Google, Wants Search Algorithm Changed To Fight Online Piracy – RIAA should man up and pony up for the tech itself, start digitising and signing content that isn’t at the head of the long tail and stop pissing away their money on useless PR

Shunning Facebook, and Living to Tell About It – CNBC – raising the question of too much sharing: electro-magnetic interference, bandwidth limitations of the wireless spectrum

Forget Ethernet, researchers want data centers to go wireless — Cloud Computing News – is this just me or does this sound like a retarded idea?

Tech industry accused of HMRC ‘cosy relationship’ tax dodging | TechEye – likely to affect reputations

What should we be calling the drug industry? | pharmaphorum

Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices | Electronic Frontier Foundation

RIM reportedly rejected takeover talks with Amazon this summer – interesting if true

This Overrunning Boeing 737 Got Stopped Safely By Concrete

Apple Wins Patent for iPhone GUI Supporting Application Switching during a Call and More – Patently Apple

The Law of Online Sharing – Technology Review

Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond – NYTimes.com… first class represents less than 5 percent of all seats flown on long-haul routes, and business class accounts for 15 percent, those seats combined to generate 40 to 50 percent of airlines’ revenue, according to Peter Morris, the chief economist at Ascend, an aviation consulting firm

Copycat city built on debt | SCMP.com – Chinese local government using bond debt to fuel development

The 21 most horrific social media facepalms of 2011 | Econsultancy

Children of The Damned – marketing edition

I somehow had managed to miss this video from PHD Worldwide until I saw Econsultancy’s summary of The 21 most horrific social media facepalms of 2011. The video messages are valid, they convey points that marketers should be paying attention to. I can understand where the concept for the video was coming from; wisdom from the mouths of children. But the creative execution left a lot to be desired in its tonality, as I was almost immediately reminded of John Wyndham’s novel The Midwich Cuckoos which I had read in school.

The Midwich Cuckoos was adapted into film as the Village of The Damned, the trailer below shows the effect I meant.

All of the videos are on the YouTube service so may not be available to all readers.

Seiko Ito & Tinnie Punx – Tokyo Bronx – or why I learned to love Japan

When I was in school I loved electro and hip-hop. It was contrast to the dreariness of Merseyside and County Galway during the 1980s. Most of the stuff I used to listen to back then came out of the US, but I started to hear about productions that came out of Tokyo, Japan. At the time, the only one I came across was Melon with their Deep Cut album which was critically acclaimed but a bit hackneyed.

I eventually managed to get a hold of a couple of Major Force 12″s on shopping trips to London but these were gold dust. All of them had people that continued to be major players: style maker Hiroshi Fujiwara, Gota Yashiki (who unfairly is best known in the west as a session musician for Simply Red) and DJ KUDO.

The internet makes it so much easier to discover these kind of things now, it has also stolen some of the joys of discovery. It was these hidden musical secrets that piqued my interest in Japan. Japanese rap lacks something lyrically, but the production stands up favourably against the US tracks of the time.

Seiko Ito was a collaborator of Hiroshi Fujiwara. Tokyo Bronx echoes the sound of productions like the Soul Sonic Force.

Seiko Ito – Gyokai Konna Mon Da Rap features Gota Yashiki on programming and Hiroshi Fujiwara (or Hiroshi the Ripper as he was credited) alongside DJ KUDO on turntable duties. (All of these videos are on YouTube, so may not be available to all readers).