8 minutes estimated reading time
Google acquires Pointy, a startup to help brick-and-mortar retailers list products online, for $163M | TechCrunch – built hardware and software technology to help physical retailers — specifically those that might not already have an extensive e-commerce storefront detailing in-store inventory — get their products discoverable online without any extra work – reminds me of the kind of thing you’d expect Tencent or Alibaba to do as China has led in O2O e-tailing. Pointy also fits into Google’s mission to organising all the worlds information. Over time, I can only see Pointy as being bad for retail margins.
The problem with the idea of Pointy is that it treats all stock as equal, in reality the cost of an item isn’t only its price. A point that Pointy misses. There are also transport costs, time and convenience costs involved. For a real world story indexed by Pointy, the consideration of being able to drive to a nearby story and get something immediately isn’t a factor. How does Pointy know about the hassle of that same trip if one has to walk there and back instead? Does Pointy consider how heavy or bulky a product might be?
San Francisco’s Robot Restaurants Are Going out of Business – thin margins don’t support high capital costs of automation
Cathay Pacific: Aircraft Changes & Flight Cuts to North America – SamChui.com – interesting cuts on previously big earning routes
Mediatel: Newsline: How the UK is quietly importing a sinister political phenomenon – “I have read so many predictions and trends about journalism in the past few weeks. The most significant trend, mostly unacknowledged, is that of politicians realizing they do not need to provide access or engagement with journalists, or even tell the truth, to be electable.” – where is this going?
Make your China marketing pop with these pop culture tips – POP MART: the designer toy market in China is booming. Not that surprising given historic popularity in Hong Kong and Japan – in many respects culturally China is a laggard
Silicon Valley and National Security – United States Department of State – basically you’re all a bunch of Quislings
Fundamentals simply do not matter in China’s stock markets | Financial Times – Muddy Waters Research has demonstrated that for years, its also the reason why you should be wary of Chinese companies with foreign listings
Framed — Pixel Envy – three paragraphs in and it is already setting up the idea that personal privacy and public safety are two opposing ends of a gradient. That’s simply not true. A society that has less personal privacy does not inherently have better public safety; Russia and Saudi Arabia are countries with respectable HDI scores, brutal censorship and surveillance, and higher murder rates than Australia, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom
Sugar Bear’s Don’t Scandalize Mine was a go to record for me, but I’ve never seen a music video of it until now
What Does Taiwan’s Public Think About Election Interference From China? – The Diplomat – hyper-polarization in views between DPP and KMT supporters highlights the difficulty in addressing cybersecurity and China more broadly. To reach a consensus requires first acknowledging and disrupting the echo chambers in which disinformation campaigns thrive, then the government must implement election transparency policies to more easily expose disinformation efforts. However, with increasing animosity between parties, this consensus may be hard to reach. Citizens may also be concerned that any steps the government takes are limiting their freedom of speech or other rights (paywall)
China: no longer the place to be for young Singaporeans? | South China Morning Post – China no longer a place to do business
Try as It Might, Germany Isn’t Warming to Huawei – The Diplomat – Highest on their list of concerns has been the risk of exposing the future German 5G network to large-scale espionage and data theft on behalf of corporate and political actors in China. In recent years, Germany’s intelligence agencies have reported a steady increase in Chinese government-directed espionage and hacking activities against German targets, primarily with the aim of acquiring corporate secrets. China is now considered the source of the majority of cyberattacks against Germany. In 2019, some of the largest German companies confirmed that they had been targeted by a new wave of cyberattacks that likely originated with the Chinese government. During a parliamentary hearing on the issue of Huawei in October, Thomas Haldenwang, the president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (Bundesverfassungsschutz), claimed that Chinese espionage and cyberattacks have been expanding into more and more sectors of the economy and the state. According to Haldenwang, while Chinese cyberattacks in Germany were previously focused primarily on private corporations and technology
China Manufacturing:”Elvis Has Left the Building” | China Law Blog – “China’s rising costs, tricky regulations and increasingly unstable geopolitical situation are forcing more manufacturers to move production elsewhere” and we should expect this exodus to gain speed in 2020, “despite the prospect of a minor US-China trade truce.”
Marketing research: Chinese celebrity brand endorsers – Daxue Consulting – Market Research China – interesting turnover in celebrities and increased focus on where there influence lies. China no longer has the Jackie Chan type celebrity endorsement. Which was all things to all people. Chan was legendary for the amount of products that he promoted which became a joke
Bose and HERE Fuel AR Experience Innovation By Combining Location and Audio Technologies – Semiconductor Digest – HERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location platform services, today announced a collaboration with Bose Corporation to jointly enable their respective developer communities to deploy augmented reality (AR) location applications and services. This collaboration gives HERE developers access to the Bose AR platform and spatial-audio capabilities, and extends the HERE platform, positioning and mobile SDK location technologies to developers building audio AR applications and experiences. – ok so turn by turn direction or tourist style apps probably. The most interesting thing for me was that Bose AR isn’t just the audio enabled frames but recent noise cancelling headsets as well
SPH print newspaper ad sales dive 20% on year | Media | Campaign Asia – Singapore Press Holdings, the parent company of The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, and other news publications, saw overall revenue drop 3.8% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 – interesting acceleration. Part of which is down to media agencies making more money from digital and some due to changing consumer habits. I’ve started taking a print newspaper subscription again as I value the juxtaposition good print design can bring
NYT: Russian hackers successfully targeted Ukrainian gas company Burisma – Axios – Public awareness of the Burisma hack cuts both ways politically. For former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, it means document dumps could happen at any time, with accompanying media frenzy and potentially damaging revelations. For the Trump campaign, it means that any such revelations will come pre-tainted with a Russian label
Hair Love,’ Sponsored by Dove, Earns an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Short | Muse by Clio – poses interesting questions about the role of brands in media
John Lewis marketing boss Paula Nickolds departs before starting | The Drum – Anusha Couttigane, principal fashion analyst at Kantar, said that whoever takes the lead will need to rethink its long-running, and arguably tired, festive advertising strategy which has relied on blockbuster, tear-jerker creative to encourage shoppers into stores. “John Lewis needs to continue evolving its digital marketing efforts. While the company’s Christmas mascot, the accident-prone dragon Excitable Edgar, was warmly received, the debut of the brand’s Christmas advert is simply not the event it once was,” – quite a burn right there.
Sonos hits Google with lawsuit over wireless speaker patents – “Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology” for years. Sonos and Google collaborated in 2013 to add the Play Music service to Sonos speakers, and more recently, the two worked to bring Google’s digital assistant to Sonos speakers, alongside Amazon’s counterpart, Alexa. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years,” Spence told the Times, “Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate,”
With nothing to lose, loners build future in China’s hollowed-out north – Reuters – “Social classes are fixed,” Li said. “The poor can never achieve anything. When you encounter problems, if you can solve it, great. There’s not much you can do otherwise.” – interesting consumer comments that explain the slow down in China’s economic growth
Dark Patterns after the GDPR: Scraping Consent Pop-ups and Demonstrating their Influence by Nouns, Liccardi, Veal, Karger and Kagal – The results of our empirical survey of CMPs today illustrates the extent to which illegal practices prevail, with vendors of CMPs turning a blind eye to — or worse, incentivising —- clearly illegal configurations of their systems. Enforcement in this area is sorely lacking. Data protection authorities should make use of automated tools like the one we have designed to expedite discovery and enforcement. Designers might help here to design tools for regulators, rather than just for users or for websites. Reg- ulators should also work further upstream and consider placing requirements on the vendors of CMPs to only allow compliant designs to be placed on the market. (PDF)
Unmasking the secret landlords buying up America | Reveal – some 25 percent of US residential property is now owned by anonymous shell companies
Daring Fireball: Apple’s One Remaining Use of the Word ‘Macintosh’ – probably not the smartest move given the amount of IP and goodwill in the brand and rapacious competitors who make early Microsoft look like the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation