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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

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Things that caught my eye this week

Reading Time: 2 minutes

House music producer Roy Davis Jr put together an amazing mix for Phonica Records and I have been vibing off it for most of the week.

Roy Davis Jr for Phonica Records

An old, but good music video put together by my long time colleague Haruka. It’s a mix of found footage and painting done on 16mm film.

Gates to the city by Haruka Ikezawa

I’m not so sure if it was the best portable stereo; but the JVC / Victor RC-M90 was an archetypal boombox of the 1980s beloved by hip hop fans and gadget lovers. Techmoan does a good tour of the device. What’s interesting is how quality seems to have reached a peak in the late 1970s, early 1980s in hi-fi equipment. Quality seems to have declined as more overseas manufacturing was undertaken by the Japanese brands.

If you are buying a major Japanese brand like Sony etc; try to buy a ‘Made in Japan’ product is still a great rule of thumb. More gadget related posts here.

Leo Burnett did a great advert for McDonalds. It tells the story of story of a single mum trying to get her son into the Christmas spirit. However, she faces an unresponsive child; until his inner child wins out. The Drum did a walk through of the ad with the creative team who worked on it at Leo Burnett here.

Leo Burnett for McDonalds UK

Finally, the IPA did a three hour webinar A New Way to Track Consumer Demand, that is now available online.

Finally Sony launched the PlayStation 5 in the UK this week. As I write this, there is a strong secondary market at three times the original retail price of the consoles. They’re the hot item for Christmas.

This was supported by buzz marketing with a takeover of London Underground signs at Oxford Circus station. The square logo (all the shapes are from the PlayStation controller) contrasts with the closed Microsoft store behind it.

Social media spread images of the signs and it was all very nice. I think part of its success was the counterintuitive aspect of a stunt in a high footfall area in central London – during the COVID19 lockdown, when other brand marketers are spending their budgets online…

playstation5 taken by Ian Wood
London Underground sign photo by Ian Wood

Bonus content: Clifford Stott is an expert in policing. He walked away from a Hong Kong government review into the 2019 protests. He goes into failings of the review and everything that went on in this report: Patterns of ‘Disorder’ During the 2019 Protests in Hong Kong: Policing, Social Identity, Intergroup Dynamics, and Radicalization by Clifford Stott, Lawrence Ho, Matt Radburn, Ying Tung Chan, Arabella Kyprianides, Patricio Saavedra Morales.

He talks about his findings with the Hong Kong Free Press.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Apple’s M1 ARM Pivot: A Step Into the Reality Distortion Field | Chips | TechNewsWorld – pretty much many of the points that I was thinking about. More here on the M1 Apple M1 Processor, Passing on the Chiplets | EE Times 

BMW Unveils Anime-Like Electric Scooter Concept – Core77 – nice but I would still want Kenada’s bike

The Biden team’s tug of war over Facebook – POLITICO – Facebook is the new Goldman Sachs….

5G has been heralded as a tech game changer but consumers in China are underwhelmed by spotty coverage and hard sell | South China Morning Post 

How to appeal to Gen Z in Asia | Vogue Business“Chinese luxury consumers’ offline and online lives are becoming increasingly intertwined,” says Mark Morris, Burberry’s senior vice president of digital commerce. “They are demanding a more seamless blend of content and capabilities across their two worlds.”  Working with local experts like Mr Bags and relatively lower-tier influencers (Ching has 6.6 million fans on Weibo, which is mid-range for a Chinese KOL) helped reach this level of engagement. “Gen Z wants to be approached in a narrow and deep, insightful way instead of using a mass approach with a big talent [and] hashtag ads,” says Rie Tanaka, senior business strategist and senior researcher at Japanese PR firm Dentsu

Europe is ready for Biden to start, says E.U. foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell – The Washington PostWestern governments may have been “a bit naive” about Beijing’s manipulation of global trade rules – strategic reset inbound

Five-Year Plan, 15-Year Vision by Geoff Yu, Bank of New York Mellonat the outset a new long-term objective for 2035 was established: China is expected to “largely realize socialist modernization” by that year. Specifically, this means achieving GDP per capita of a “moderately (or mid-level, depending on the translation) developed country”. Again, we underscore that the FYP itself does not contain a corresponding numerical target, but during his remarks at the plan’s launch, President Xi Jinping remarked that “it is fully possible for China to realize a doubling of the size of the national economy by 2035”. Assuming the doubling happens in real terms, this comes to around 4.7%y/y p.a. real GDP growth over the next 15 years (PDF)

Micron Leapfrogs to 176-Layer 3D NAND Flash Memory | EE Times – everyone else is on 128 layers

Japan gov’t may turn to YouTubers to promote ‘My Number’ ID cards – The MainichiTo publicize the system, the government has inserted advertisements in newspapers and used digital signage to stream commercials at stations and in the streets, among other methods. However, it has not received as many applications as anticipated, and now places a big hope on the YouTubers’ power to transmit information. The choice is also apparently because labor costs are not as high as appointing nationally popular actors, celebrities and other public figures. Moreover, the Japanese government, by eradicating its image of stubborn bureaucracy and having people watch videos on YouTube without reserve, aspires to remove anxiety and concerns about possible personal information leaks that accompany the My Number system – surprised that Japanese influencers would be that cheap relative to their reach. More on marketing here

Resharing this as many people still don’t know about this old paper from Ogilvy on Facebook organic reach