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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Hyundai and Ineos team up to develop hydrogen future | CAR Magazine  BMW details fuel cell plans | EE News – I think that this move to hydrogen makes more sense than lithium ion batteries.

Panasonic finally looks at European battery gigafactory – but this is happening with hydrogen fuel cells being in a more effective decision. Elon Musk is down on hydrogen fuel cells, but ignores the issues with lithium ion batteries compared to hydrogen fuel cells. Lithium ion batteries have their own dangers. Hydrogen fuel cells don’t have the same recycling issues that spent lithium ion batteries have. Given the strategic hold over lithium mining by China; hydrogen fuel cells offer a better option to reduce dependence. The hydrogen lobby does a better job to combat the Tesla showmanship.

Top 3 reasons why Nokia N97 failed: The “iPhone killer” that actually killed Nokia – Gizchina.comNokia N97 has a slide-out design with a three-line QWERTY keyboard displayed below the display. That was an advantage at the time, but it was just another manifestation of Nokia’s outdated ideas. With the improvement of input methods, touch screen keyboards have become more accurate and soon eclipsed physical keyboards. – the keyboard was very poor compared to the Nokia E90 Communicator that I used to use. I also remember that the address book feature used to crash the phone if you loaded more than 999 contacts into it. Even their ‘E’ series business handsets like my E90 Communicator and the later E71 devices. I moved to the iPhone because I wanted an address book that worked. More gadget related content here.

EU braces for battle despite new faces in White House | Financial Times“ There will be a number of easy wins and enhanced co-operation on climate, the pandemic and remedying some of the offences of the past four years,” said Kristine Berzina, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “But there are real dangers that disagreements on issues like data privacy and digital taxation will make it more difficult to get agreements on other issues that are very important for both the US and Europe — particularly China

Germany frets over its corporate dependency on China | Financial TimesRobust Chinese demand has helped Germany’s auto manufacturers and their suppliers to offset weaker European and US markets still afflicted by the pandemic. But it has also revived concerns that German industry is too dependent on China. And it has raised questions about whether Berlin will be willing to respond to growing pressure in the EU for a stronger line towards Beijing and to embrace a new transatlantic partnership on China under a Biden administration. – you can see this in the split between Merkel and her party over China engagement – Daimler, which has two large Chinese shareholders, sells nearly 30 per cent of its Mercedes cars in China. It accounts for about 11 per cent of group revenues. For several companies in the Dax 30 index, China represents at least a fifth of sales including BMW, chipmaker Infineon and plastics manufacturer Covestro. Likewise, Volkswagen is estimated to generate a similar proportion of its sales in the country last year, selling nearly 40 per cent of its vehicles there. All of this leaves you vulnerable to the Australian situation: China sends a message with Australian crackdown | Financial TimesThe message is clear. If your media is overly critical, if your think-tanks produce negative reports, if your MPs persist in criticism, if you probe Communist party influence in your community and politics and if you don’t allow Chinese state and private companies into your market, and so on, you will be vulnerable to Beijing’s retribution as well

Red Convergence | China Media Project – media policy in China – with implications domestically and internationally. It outlines how the Chinese Communist Party intends to leverage transformations in global communication, both at home and abroad (though the latter is more implied), to sustain the regime and increase its influence internationally.

Lessons from China’s decision to halt Ant Group’s giant IPO | Financial Times – interesting points from WeBank about a sweet spot from Rmb 8,000 – 200,000 were debtors do not have an incentive to run away or speculate. SMEs are focused on having a good credit record

China tightens grip on booming livestreaming sector | Financial Times – this needs to be viewed in the wider aspect of reining in internet companies

Q&A: Gareth Richardson – Western Brands No Longer Have an Easy Ride in Asia | Branding in Asia MagazineIn China, there’s no access to Google and Facebook but consumers are immersed in WeChat. This is a playground where western brands have no inherent advantage. In fact, many Chinese consumers don’t know or much care about where the brand originated (save for a few specific categories such as Infant Milk Powder). In western culture individuals are heroes and this is reflected in the approach to brand storytelling. However, in Asia, the culture is more collectivist and storytelling celebrates multiple heroes. Asian brands should celebrate their cultural values. Examples include brands built on traditional values of Asian hospitality, such as Mandarin Oriental. There’s a paradox though. Asian culture is collectivist and yet Asian businesses are very hierarchical. There’s often a significant power gap between the C-suite and the frontline staff. This makes branding more challenging to implement even when its value is properly understood by the leadership – this also happens within agencies. True story: I was asked to go and present to the Chinese subsidiary of a US multinational. The global digital lead had gone in there previously with the global client ambassador and made a mess that couldn’t be cleared up. Firstly, they hadn’t recognised the great firewall. Twitter doesn’t matter in China. Secondly, they thought that democratic political campaigning experience was an example of great marketing. At the time, the person who was the global data lead had also worked on the first Obama presidential campaign. All of them had come from a political background and were clueless about brand marketing. Finally, they’d unintentionally priced a measurement solution ludicrously low. It was a shit show. We had lost the client already, but the client lead had held out hope that hanging on in there churning out a monthly report with no actionable insight would somehow provide a way back in. But at least I got to Guangzhou for the first time.

Good Collaborations Are Art, Great Ones Are Kitsch | Highsnobiety“You know it’s art when the check clears,” said Andy Warhol. With Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Indiana, Warhol made his way into museums by turning the mundane world into works of art by enriching it with pop references, connotations and associations. Warhol’s art is commercial and his commercials are art (a Warhol ad launched Absolut vodka in 1986)

Right-wing populism with Chinese characteristics? Identity, otherness and global imaginaries in debating world politics online – Chenchen Zhang, 2020The past few years have seen an emerging discourse on Chinese social media that combines the claims, vocabulary and style of right-wing populisms in Europe and North America with previous forms of nationalism and racism in Chinese cyberspace. In other words, it provokes a similar hostility towards immigrants, Muslims, feminism, the so-called ‘liberal elites’ and progressive values in general. This article examines how, in debating global political events such as the European refugee crisis and the American presidential election, well-educated and well-informed Chinese Internet users appropriate the rhetoric of ‘Western-style’ right-wing populism to paradoxically criticise Western hegemony and discursively construct China’s ethno-racial and political identities. Through qualitative analysis of 1038 postings retrieved from a popular social media website, this research shows that by criticising Western ‘liberal elites’, the discourse constructs China’s ethno-racial identity against the ‘inferior’ non-Western other, exemplified by non-white immigrants and Muslims, with racial nationalism on the one hand; and formulates China’s political identity against the ‘declining’ Western other with realist authoritarianism on the other. The popular narratives of global order protest against Western hegemony while reinforcing a state-centric and hierarchical imaginary of global racial and civilisational order. We conclude by suggesting that the discourse embodies the logics of anti-Western Eurocentrism and anti-hegemonic hegemonies. – This is interesting especially when the Communist Party of China is adopting a more Han nationalist stance (and in some respects reaching back into historic integration of Mongol and Manchu rulers). Secondly, Communist Party academics and legal academics from Beijing University have been drawing heavily on the work of Carl Schmitt. As have far right organisations and Russian nationalists. Schmitt was Nazi Germany’s leading legal theorist. He was known to be hostile to parliamentary democracy and supported the power of an authoritarian leader to decide the law. Schmitt’s rejection of attempts to take politics out of the operation of the law or economic policy implementation – have appeals to diverse audiences.

A little automation goes a long way in distracting drivers | INPUT – technology creating more problems than it solves in the car driving experience.

I have been watching more David Hoffman films recently, looking back to the past to try and understand the present. What becomes apparent was that there was a schism of values in the late 1960s America. What’s less apparent was how, or even if; that schism was eventually healed.

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Things that caught my eye this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This is spot for the Toyota Hilux was done by Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand. I was reminded of how growing up in Ireland, people would pull up in their cars, vans, trucks or tractors like this and chat in the middle of the local market town.

It touches on quirkiness, the diverse nature of use cases for the Toyota Hilux and social distancing.

Big Car did a really good history of the Toyota Hilux. It is impressive how little the Hilux has changed over the years. It’s simplicity has made the Toyota Hilux a very reliable vehicle

Film maker David Hoffman, put together a super cut of film that he’d shot for US carrier about General Magic’s Personal Communicator.

What becomes apparent is that mobile computing has got smaller, but conceptually hasn’t changed that much. Yes the literal ‘desk’ from General Magic seems a little strange. It was a software metaphor that Apple deployed on the Lisa workstation. It also feaArktronics Jane and Microsoft ‘Bob’ a year later in 1995.

You can see thinking not that far removed from it in the early skeuomorphic designs in the early versions of iOS. (The notepad app had spiral binding and ‘textured’ paper.)

General Magic’s icons are the predecessor of today’s emojis and stickers found in Messenger applications by the likes of Apple, LINE, WeChat, Kakao and Facebook.

Electronic personal assistants, later became ‘software agents’ that went out on the early web. It isn’t that far from Wildfire, Hello Google or Siri.

I am not a fan of John Major, but this speech has got a lot of good content in it, particularly on the subject of Brexit. More on his speech here.

And lastly, just for the hell of it; vintage Chris Harris. In the cockpit with Markku Alén piloting a Lancia Stratos.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bots Grade Your Kids’ Schoolwork—and They’re Often Wrong – WSJ – not surprising that Bots get grading wrong. A lot of ‘AI’ is math, it isn’t that far along from Business Intelligence systems of the 1990s. What would have been called fuzzy logic in the 1990s is now ‘AI’ bots; both of which rely on mathematics from the 1960s. ‘AI’ bots using Bayesian statistics rely on mathematics from the 18th century. ‘AI’ bots require a large amount of training. Bots don’t develop a ‘universal’ intelligence.

Battery life: the race to find a storage solution for a green energy future | Financial TimesMIT’s Prof Sadoway believes that technologies need to be based on more abundant materials than those used in lithium-ion and vanadium batteries such as aluminium, sulphur, calcium and antimony. In 2005 he helped develop a liquid metal battery that uses calcium and antimony and a molten salt electrolyte. The company that developed it, Ambri, was backed from the beginning by Mr Gates, who invested in it after watching Mr Sadoway’s chemistry lectures online

Xi’s aim to double China’s economy is a fantasy | Financial Times – challenged by demographics and politics

‘Humaning’ and the greatest marketing bullshit of all time – Marketing WeekMaslow built his model from qualitative research on the Native American inhabitants of the Blackfoot reservation who later pointed out that his whole theory was entirely incorrect when applied to their culture and identity. The hierarchy has subsequently been criticised on the basis of missing stages, putting stages in the wrong sequence and the fact stages change according to circumstance, culture and geography. So basically everything. But the dreaded hierarchy proved a hit with marketers who had no formal training but wanted something scientific-looking and faintly European-sounding to beef up their empty marketing plans. Its prevalence across every crap marketing plan (along with the equally redundant SWOT analysis) serves only one positive: to identify badly trained marketers and crappy marketers at 50 paces.

Stop playing politics or face a ban, Nintendo warns Animal Crossing gamers | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP – I suspect that this is less about Hong Kong and more about the political chasm in the US

Celebrity deepfake porn cases in Japan point to rise in sex-related cybercrime | South China Morning Post – the old law of the adult entertainment industry pioneering with technology a la film to VCRs and cable and online paywalls strikes again

Scaling back – Why commercial ties between Taiwan and China are beginning to fray | Business | The Economist“Little Taipei”, as Kunshan is known, illustrates a broader phenomenon. Exact estimates vary, but as many as 1.2m Taiwanese, or 5% of Taiwan’s population, are reckoned to live in China—many of them business folk. Taiwan Inc has not let fraught political relations with China, which views the island as part of its territory, get in the way of business. Taiwanese companies have invested $190bn in Chinese operations over the past three decades. Foxconn, a giant Taiwanese contract manufacturer of electronics for Apple and other gadget-makers, employs 1m workers in China, more than any other private enterprise in the country

Grocery Drives Walmart Online Orders – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLCAmong all US Walmart.com customers, CIRP estimates Walmart+ has 2.6 million-3.4 million members as of October 31, 2020, with 12%-15% of Walmart.com customers joining. US Walmart.com customers that shop for groceries at Walmart.com are two times more likely to report a Walmart+ membership. “Walmart launched the Walmart+ membership service in the quarter, and we estimate a range of membership that suggests about 3 million Walmart.com customers joined,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “At that level, it seems like a success, especially after only six weeks. Of course, grocery customers found it particularly attractive. Like Amazon Prime, Walmart+ is most valuable to regular Walmart.com shoppers, so it appealed to those grocery shoppers right away. And like Amazon’s experience with Prime, Walmart appears to want to build on that natural affinity to gain greater share of online shopping for those customers, and then to entice less frequent shoppers to grow their online shopping habits.” – groceries are over 30% of sales (food, household and pets 25%, clothing shoes & accessories 16%, same for pharma and electronics and office supplies were about 12%) (PDF)

Muddy Waters accuses YY and Bigo of faking their revenuesSingapore-based analyst Ke Yan of DZT Research, told Bloomberg that the strategies discussed in the Muddy Waters report are aimed at boosting YY’s popularity among users instead of inflating revenue. Chen Da, executive director of Anlan Capital, offered Bloomberg a similar view. “You can’t really apply the research methods used to collect fraudulent evidence against real-economy or manufacturing firms to internet firms.” He added that their “business model does pay off and there is real cash flow brought in after the fakes ‘get the ball rolling’.” – sketchy growth hacking rather than fraud

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps | Vice News – surprised if they didn’t. More related posts here.

6 Points to Consider Before Betting the Farm on ‘All Made in China’ | EE TimesSome “three-nos” companies with “no experience, no technology, and no talents” have joined the IC industry. Some companies have insufficient knowledge of the law of IC development and blindly start projects. The risks of horizontal duplication of construction are apparent, and even the construction of individual projects is stagnant, and the factory buildings are empty, causing waste of resources. In this regard, Wei said that we must respect the law of industrial development and overcome the rapid development shooting for quick success. Since 2007, China’s wafer manufacturing capacity has increased rapidly in the world, far higher than other countries and regions. In 2019, China has 199 integrated circuit wafer manufacturing production lines (above 4 inches), of which there are 28 12-inch production lines and 35 8-inch production lines (including 1 pilot line). The enthusiasm for investment and construction of factories in various places is high, but a number of manufacturing projects are facing unfinished shutdowns. The blind impulse that violates the development law of the semiconductor industry is worthy of vigilance