Risto Siilasmaa, founder of F-Secure Oyj. on a management board

Risto Siilasmaa is a Finnish technology elder statesman. At 45, he sits on the board of a number of companies having founded anti-virus company F-Secure back in 1988. The speech is some remarks that he prepared to thank the organisers of an event who presented with an award for Nordic chairman of the year.

His thoughts on running a board sound similar to modern team management theory but are a world away from any boards that I have ever met. (The video is on YouTube, so may not be available to all readers).

Kleenex Feel Good campaign | 薄纸感觉良好的运动

An Israeli digital agency Smoz, used Facebook to create some buzz around the Kleenex tissue brand. It would have been interesting to see if/how they took reach / influence of the sick people into consideration? But its a beautifully made 90-second video case study.  Big shout to my colleague Hannah for flagging this one up.

The IFTTT post | 回顾 ifttt.com

This has been a while in the making. I was reluctant to use IFTTT mainly because I had heard it described as the new Yahoo! Pipes. Yahoo! Pipes was something that I had used a number of times for client work and had found to be unreliable. But for the kind of client budgets that I was dealing with at that time; Pipes was the right price – free.

Pipes allowed you to do a number of things that as a non-technical user would have been otherwise out of your power.

Here is a simple example of one I built for a semiconductor industry client a number of years ago.
Yahoo! pipe
The idea was very simple. Use a battery of search engines to pull together news alerts. Filter those news alerts by keyboards and then provide a ‘good news’ link feed that was going to be used on a website to address a limited number of influencers. You could do so much more with it, pulling in different sources like Flickr or uploading a CSV document as a data source.

This was a simple use of pipes, it would recognise KML for location-based information where available and you could build these strings of operators as long as you like. I’ve used the machine translation option a lot to get a Heath Robinson-esque international monitoring programme in place that could be mailed out or output to an RSS feed.

But the reason why I went away from it in the end was that it was unreliable. If it was a car it would have been a late 1970s/early 1980s vintage Alfa Romeo or Lancia – it was that bad. Now yes it was a free service and five years after its launch it still bears a ‘beta’ label and most importantly; it relies on lots of other peoples APIs and RSS feeds to work properly all the time.

Enter IFTTT.

IFTTT realised the people want to connect different things together to make them useful and it’s managed to do this reliably. A key part in its success has been by lowering ambition in terms of what its trying to achieve as implied the the acronym of a name (If Then That – one of the simplest logic commands imaginable).

It defines from a basket of services what APIs you can use and doesn’t allow operators in the same way that Pipes does. This makes IFTTT a completely different beast. So far I’ve been using it to syndicate contents between accounts: publishing to Delicious when I post on Pinboard.in in case by some miracle it transforms from its current ugly duckling into a social search swan (I can live in hope); or publishing updates to my blog on Twitter, LinkedIn and its facebook page (through separate rules).

Looking at the recipes provided by people seem to be RSS to email conversions of sorts to notify them of special offers  and weather news.

I like IFTTT. It does lack ambition, but it works very reliably. It won’t change the world, but it will help you automate some of the more tedious parts of your online social life.

More information
Yahoo! Pipes blog

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Polaroids back in the picture | Toowoomba Chronicle – heard about film being back in with gen-y from my friend Ian who has a couple of kids interested in 35mm photography

Joi Ito: Open-source hardware is a no brainer — Tech News and Analysis

Cars: The Next Victims of Cyberattacks – IEEE Spectrum – if this doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of you, it should

Bckchn.nl – a simpler elegant alternative to Twitterfall

Global Risks 2012 Seventh Edition – outlook from the World Economic Forum

This Is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier Of Business | Fast Company – great to see danah boyd getting some kudos for her work

Documents show US concern over Irish bailout | RTÉ News – were worried that their banks were going to get burned

HK urged to partner in logistics hub | SCMP.com

Chip fab spending to decline 11% in 2012, SEMI says

Five things you need to know about marketing luxury brands in the digital space – Campaign Asia-Pacific

How German Fashion House Escada Clawed Its Way Back From Bankruptcy – Worldcrunch – interesting post on turning around a moribund fashion brand

Does This Ultrabook Make Me Look Fat? CES 2012 And The Tyranny Of Thin | Fast Company – you heard it here first

To Motivate Students, Make Them Give Away Their Rewards | Fast Company

The New York Times’s Nick Kristof On Journalism In A Digital World And The Age Of Activism | Fast Company

China’s New Foreign Investment Catalog. The Scope Of FDI. : China Law Blog

Lettered Department Store Logos | The Ministry of Type – really sweet lettering

Communities Dominate Brands: Who are the 25 Biggest Companies by Mobile Revenues (Ahonen Index) updated for 2011 – China Mobile takes top honors

Forrester: As Growth Slows, Apple to Be More Influential than Cloud in 2012 – ReadWriteCloud

Use the Ten Second Rule to Cut Impulse Purchases

How the role of equities may shrink – McKinsey Quarterly – more focus on debt as equity becomes too expensive for companies

Europeans keen on medicines info – but not via Facebook or Twitter | InPharm

On the sofa: Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

I realise that this is a belated take on the film, but I was laid up ill over Christmas so only got see it recently. I am not a Tom Cruise fan and didn’t have high hopes for the film so I wasn’t disappointed. It has the same kind of action set-pieces that one has grown to expect from the franchise. I have a little more time for it than most of its ilk as John Woo directed the second film in the franchise – not the greatest of his works, but if he can see something in the franchise, I’ll sit through the films. The film opens with a prison break with a fight sequence that was like a poor imitation of the Bourne movies.

The film had a great ensemble of actors including Michael Nyqvist (who would be familiar to those who have seen The Girl trilogy of Swedish films) as the villain of the piece in a role that was only slightly understated compared to Alan Rickman in the original Die Hard.

The action does have peaks and troughs so it doesn’t feel quite as unrelenting as say a Transformers film. The shots based in Dubai make good use of the city state’s sky line, though in reality the cast would have been killed on the country’s notoriously dangerous roads if they had attempted a tenth of what they did in the film.

Product placement

As with previous Mission Impossible films, product placement featured quite heavily in the film. BMW supplied its Vision Efficientdynamics Concept car; a plug in hybrid that looks like the love child of a BMW M1 and a Tron light bike. It was interesting that extensive use was also made of a Land Rover defender, a BMW 1 series and what looked like a 6-series convertible.

it was interesting to see that an effort was made to tone down Apple’s product placement: whilst there were a number of iPhones, iPads and a MacBook Air on view; the MacBook Air came with a cover to subdue the illuminated logo on the back of the case. This is in sharp contrast to competitors like Nokia on Tron or The Dark Knight which amped up the on screen brand imagery of their products as well as the form factor.

Visual lanaguage

Interesting to note that in general anything that had a blue aura around it, was supposed to be high technology from server rooms to gizmos that got the cast in and out of sticky situations. Technology gets pimped (as in Pimp My Ride) with blue LEDs and cold tubes hidden around the case.