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Things that caught my eye this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

CNET took a look at the mechanics behind Motorola’s new folding phone. Other vendors have launched folding phones. Some of which have folded with the screen on the outside to not have too tight a kink on the screen. Motorola’s folding phones have their screen fold inwards, this is down the space provided by a cam mechanism and supporting metal plates that keep the screen in place and unstressed.

Its good old-fashioned mechanical engineering rather than software that is facilitating mobile phones and it is a joy to behold. More design related posts here.

watts towers
Watts Towers by Paul Narvaez

Before Ferguson, black lives matter or the Rodney King beating there was the Watts riots. Wattstax was a festival that addressed the underlying issues that kicked off the riots. It was put on by Stax Records. The accompanying documentary is amazing. Richard Pryor provides a narrative, beautiful photography and brilliant performances.

More from Open Culture here: Wattstax Documents the “Black Woodstock” Concert Held 7 Years After the Watts Riots (1973)

My computer monitor packed up. I couldn’t get it repaired through my usual suppliers so I got a refurbished monitor through Secondbyte Micro. I am getting rid of my dead monitor on eBay here.

Tim Hwang has written a book comparing online advertising to the 2007-08 financial crash. Subprime Attention Crisis and I’ve pre-ordered a copy. Hoang reckons that there will be a big crash when marketers at large work up to two things:

  • Micro-targeting doesn’t work
  • Online ads were taking credit for sales that would have happened anyway through the ‘selection effect’. Basically the reason why performance marketing has fallen out of balance with brand marketing

I am not convinced that there will be a big crash. I don’t think that anyone would be surprised that: tech companies don’t get marketing and don’t tell the truth. Previous generations would have sold shonky enterprise software and vapourware.

I think budgets will try to be adjusted by marketers more towards brands. But at the rate that boards seem to go through marketing leaders; you first have to convince the C-suite to think about marketing strategically. Which ain’t going to happen thanks to the pervasiveness of Jack Welch’s blinkered perception of shareholder value.

Finally, I think that this is the first time I have seen a manufacturer teardown its own product pre-launch for consumer audiences. I love that its done by one of Sony’s own engineers.

The user serviceable dust traps were a particularly interesting touch to the device.