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Links of the day | 在网上找到

Reading Time: 2 minutes

AP Exclusive: Chinese banks a haven for web counterfeits – not terribly surprising given that these are also China’s most widespread banks

Robot makers from China look to expand into global market|WantChinaTimes.com – interesting clean room focus – semiconductors?

Utility: Verizon To Exit Wireline Business Within 10 Years | DSLReports – which has to make one ask what is the long term value of wired/wireless or triple play models in Europe and APAC?

LG launches a ‘try before you buy’ program for the G4 | BGR – reflects confidence in the product

How A Computer Can Anticipate Users’ Needs (Without Driving Them Crazy) | Fast Company – interesting essay on the web-of-no-web and user intent

Keeping Your Car Safe From Electronic Thieves – NYTimes.com – fridge as a Faraday Cage

Accel and DJI Will Introduce a Fund to Invest in the Drone Ecosystem | Re/code – interesting move positioning DJI at the head of a drone movement and at the centre of an ecosystem a la Android or GoPro. I met them a couple of years ago and they felt marginally more squared away than your typical Chinese start-up

Shazam’s struggle to become a profitable verb (Wired UK) – classic web-of-no-web model, it’s time maybe now as native apps struggle for attention, but I could see this tech eventually being in LINE or WeChat

Russia and China Pledge Not to Hack Each Other – WSJ – the technology exchange is much more concerning given that the U.S. considers Russia the more dangerous cyber threat

Grindr Said to Explore Sale of Gay Men’s Dating App | Bloomberg Business – this could be an interesting social barometer if they manage to go public or what value they sell for, in comparison to the challenges AdultFriendFinder faced a number of years ago due to its niche product offerings

Banjo Announces $100 Million in Additional Funding | Banjo – not too sure about the valuation, but it seems to think that social media war rooms and real time marketing will continue to be a thing

A Chinese company is replacing 90 percent of its workers with robots | Fusion – robotic factory a la Fiat, for product assembly they aren’t likely to have fine enough movement, at the moment

Competition becomes tougher in the Chinese slowdown economy – Kantar Worldpanel – international retailers taking a kicking from local retailers

US phablet market soars – Kantar Worldpanel – driven by iPhone 6 Plus

Android Switchers Drive iOS Growth in Europe’s Big Five – Kantar Worldpanel – some interesting stats

Google Shuts Down PageSpeed Service For Accelerating Websites | TechCrunch – interesting piece on PageSpeed, it is part of Google’s retreat including getting rid of 20% projects and making Adplanner less useful

The Short Life and Speedy Death of Russia’s Silicon Valley | Foreign Policy – (paywall)

Amazon doubles free delivery minimum spend in UK – BBC News – you can see the strain delivery costs take on Amazon’s finances

Apple pushing music labels to kill free Spotify streaming ahead of Beats relaunch | The Verge – do record labels really need to be pushed on this, when one thinks about how they have moved away from licensing content for magazine cover mount CDs, which seemed to peak in the late 1990s

Luke Johnson – Animal Spirits: Silicon Valley robber barons tuck into Mad Men’s lunch – on an emotional level it struck a chord, but then I am sure the luddites would have said similar things if they were part of the Islington chattering set

Deep Learning Machine Solves the Cocktail Party Problem | MIT Technology Review – does that mean in five years from now we won’t need stems for remixes?

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初 | hygiene | 기본

Things that have made my day this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Here is a selection of things that I came across which made my day this week:

Pepsi has got in on drones in advertising before it all goes a bit lame and tired. Some really interesting projection mapping type effects as well

Audi advert: Kevin Smith, Jason Meyes. Enough said (oh and some cameos from actors who’ve appeared in Marvel comic film adaptations including pioneer Stan Lee)

Enterprise storage outfit Box.net have a great interview with Stewart Butterfield of Slack (and Flickr fame). Some interesting comments on how a GUI isn’t always the right interface for people who use keyboards.

Scottish National Party member of parliament Mhairi Black gave an interview back in March. I found it interesting as it shows that kind of impact social media will have on future political careers, particularly when it it will provide greater clarity the 2009 debate around David Cameron’s raving history. Imagine if you were presented at the age of 50 with selected fringe thoughts you had at 19 years old?

As Black notes:

My uncle summed it up when he said that, when he was a teenager, he just used to shout at the telly. My generation tweets and there is a record of it.

What adult doesn’t look back to things they said when they were 16 or 17 and go, ‘Oh my God?’

The difference is my comments are being dragged out for the whole world to see.

No trite social media analysis or fantastic technical wizardry just a great idea, client belief and a budget made 3M Korea’s Unforgettable Post-It Proposal

Finally Helios is a new Hong Kong film gaining traction in the Chinese box office. In the face of a lack of new Hong Kong actors coming through, it was interesting that the new blood came in the form of Korean boy band member Choi Siwon who also performs some of Super Junior’s mandarin repertoire

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创造力 | innovation | 독창성 工艺学 | technology | 기술 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인

Throwback gadget: Nokia N900

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Before Nokia decided to go with Windows Mobile as its smartphone operating system it had started to develop Maemo as a successor operating system to Symbian Series 60. It was a Linux kernel based mobile operating system which owed its heritage to the Debian Linux distribution.

The N900 was the first phone which showed Nokia’s ideas in developing an alternative to the Android and iPhone eco-systems. Symbian was a powerful operating system, with true multitasking but there were issues that just tidying up the UI and introducing capacitive touch wouldn’t address.  For a mature operating system, I had to reboot my Nokia phones surprisingly often, basic apps like the address book didn’t work if you had over a thousand contacts – so most sales people out there.

The predecessor the N900 was the Nokia 770 internet tablet which was launched back at the end of 2005, which was the iPad before the iPad.
Nokia N900
Trying to trial this device is a bit hard as it relied on web services such as an app store that no longer exists. Secondly it offers an experience comparable to an Android or iPhone powered by a processor that is several generations older, so you have to make allowances for the fact that the N900 can feel slow at times.
Nokia N900
Let’s start with the industrial design. The phone is relatively thick, partly due to its keyboard and replaceable battery design feels good to hold.

The Danger Sidekick-esque slide-out keyboard which would be handy for the world of OTT messaging services like WhatsApp, WeChat and LINE. It isn’t a full keyboard like the Nokia E90 Communicator that I used to own but it is more usable than say a Blackberry Bold. The keyboard feels solid and stable.
Nokia N900
The camera surround on the back has a stand that pops out for when you want to use the phone to watch content or as a glorified desk clock.

The dialler on the phone is easier to use than the iPhone and did what it came on the tin – its slight gradient feels like Apple pre-iOS7. Nokia’s HERE mapping service was responsive, it seems to be the one thing on the phone still supported.
Nokia N900
Nokia’s Mozilla-based browser still works and provided an experience similar to modern smartphones, but slower (this is partly due to the processor inside the phone).

Now the Nokia n900 stands a testament to lost potential, the following Nokia N9 and N950, looked like polished products. Stephen Elop saw things differently and despite the Nokia N9 selling well in the few markets that he allowed it to sell, put the company on its fateful relationship with Microsoft. Presumably Elop and his team felt that they couldn’t sustain the innovation of Maemo, which would have required a move to Qualcomm processors away from Intel. Nokia had backed WiMax rather than LTE with Intel, so the company was on the wrong foot. The decline is now a matter of well recorded history with Microsoft having eventually taken over a much diminished phone business. Some of the N9 team went on to build Jolla – a small phone company that built a smartphone and tablet to showcase their SailfishOS operating system. It remains to be seen if other phone manufacturers will launch products using it. But it does offer consumers outside North America a more secure option to an Android handset.