Jargon watch: zhuāng bì (装B)

Newspaper collage featuring Mao Zetong

China has developed a deep and constantly evolving language online. It is fascinating to study how Chinese netizens use emoticons in a distinctly different way to westerners and the language constantly morphs in a way that leaves Chinese expatriates baffled even after a short time outside the country.  zhuāng bì (pronounce the zh as a short j) is a case in point.  It means poser.

Christine Xu gives an in-depth explanation of how 装B came about, given that western characters aren’t generally used by Chinese.

Charlie Stross at the Chaos Computer Club conference

Interesting lens on history, predictions and futurology by science fiction writer Charlie Stross. Culture has a role (and attendant responsibility) in shaping the direction of technology. Stross’ talk is an essay on unintended consequences, design, regulation and economics.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Upgrade to 5G Costs $200 Billion a Year, May Not Be Worth It | Advertising Age – this will be interesting. 3G mobile networks were in a similar position at launch. Three didn’t manage to build a business selling football clips…

Why Is There No Freighter Equivalent of the Airbus A380? – this is explains why Airbus made non-cargo optimised design decisions (like a cockpit on the lower flight deck so you can’t fit a cargo door in the nose)

Jaron Lanier interview on Silicon Valley culture, #MeToo backlash, AI, and the future – Business Insider

Hiroshi Fujiwara Explains Why Fragment Sneakers Are So Hard to Get | GQ  – There’s many shoes out there. I want everyone to have it who wants to have it. But it’s hard because so many people buy them just to make money. And I don’t like that. And sometimes it’s good to work hard to get a sneaker, because otherwise you won’t buy it – Fujiwara-san on point as ever

China unveils satellite network plan for round-the-clock lock on South China Sea | South China Morning Post

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day:

Ford’s video spot for the Mustang is emblematic of the craft in ad planning. Ford realised that a loud noise, that emblem of sporting automobiles can be beneficial or damaging in the wrong social context – like waking your neighbours up early on a Sunday morning. What was interesting is how this became a central part of their campaign.

Contrast this with the approach that Toyota took in marketing the Lexus LFA to Americans back in 2010

Back in the late 1980s through through the 1990s Alex Cox or Jonathan Ross would have screened a series of these films on BBC2 or Channel 4 late one night. Mubi tries to do this curation, but fails miserably – it feels like an intern cobbled together the posts by raiding the BFI book shop. Video intros are definitely needed, both Cox and Ross have genuine passion. There is a space for Netflix or Amazon Prime to pick this format up and run with it (but for the fact Amazon makes some godawful film picks).

Instead we get this documentary from Vice that just scratches the surface and hints at the gold beneath

Whilst we are talking about films, I can recommend Alex Cox‘s book 10,000 Ways To Die which is one of the best works I know on the Spaghetti Western genre. It is free to download from his old website.

Tim O’Reilly on his vision of the future

This week I have been listening to:

This new David Morales track

An amazing mix of funk influenced Thai music

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

China’s Guangzhou Tengshi secures further funding to expand automated convenience stores | South China Morning Post – interesting store concept that turns the retail space into a giant vending machine

Germany accuses China of using LinkedIn to recruit informants-Sino-US – not terribly surprising

brandchannel: Unboxing Boxed: 5 Questions With CMO Jackson Jeyanayagam  – good to see this write-up with fellow WE veteran Jackson

How brands secretly buy their way into Forbes, Fast Company, and HuffPost stories | The Outline – this looks far more corrosive for the PR industry than Bell Pottinger

CryptoCurrency Screener – Yahoo Finance – it gives you an idea how mainstream cryptocurrency speculation has become

Qualcomm’s Anti-Competitive Conduct Could Be Exacerbated By Mergers | Disruptive Competition Project – interesting analysis

Twitter Users Like Long Tweets More Than Short Ones | Buzzfeed – impressive if true

California fires: Navigation apps like Waze sent commuters into flames, drivers say | USA Today – this will damage Waze in California.

3D printed Wi-Fi – still getting my head around this (PDF) via our Matt

Bill Brewster Recalls His NYC Stint Living (and Record Collecting) in the ’90s – via our Jed

Cathay Pacific reuses uniforms to create sustainable red envelopes for Chinese New Year | The Drum – I really like this idea, although it might jar with job and pay cuts at Cathay Pacific