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Things that caught my eye this week

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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

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Mondelēz International, Inc. – Announcing Humaning: A New Approach to MarketingHumaning is a unique, consumer-centric approach to marketing that creates real, human connections with purpose, moving Mondelēz International beyond cautious, data-driven tactics, and uncovering what unites us all. We are no longer marketing to consumers, but creating connections with humans – no I am not wiser than when I started reading this as to what humaning actually is. More marketing related posts here.

The Three Eras of 32-/64-Bit Embedded CPUs – EE Times EuropeArm’s responses to the RISC-V phenomenon could have come straight out of the dominant player’s playbook, under the chapter heading “When you’re spooked.” First, it released marketing collateral attempting to generate fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about RISC-V, which merely served to help inform the industry of the existence of RISC-V (IBM’s FUD campaign about minicomputer vendors achieved much the same effect). Second, Arm waited to see if the RISC-V startups ran out of money. To Arm’s surprise, the emerging RISC-V vendors were beginning to win customers with low-end processor IP cores, as customers finally saw an alternative to Arm, at least at the low end. More venture capital (and corporate VC) investment flowed toward RISC-V. Companies like Western Digital heavily backed it. To make matters worse for Arm, Softbank seemed to demand that Arm raise prices for its low-end M-class processors. That apparent misstep drove further business away from Arm and toward RISC-V. Now, more Arm customers are reviewing the value their long-term supplier offers for the money.

Once a household name, Chinese maker of copycat Nintendo consoles driven to bankruptcy – bye bye Sabor

Introducing a total online advertising restriction for products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) – GOV.UK 

SoftBank in talks to sell Boston Dynamics to Korea’s Hyundai | Techinasia – SoftBank’s second major sale in just two months, following its divestment of UK-based chip designer Arm Holdings to computer hardware giant Nvidia in a US$40 billion deal. SoftBank had acquired Arm in 2016 for about US$31.4 billion in cash

Project MUSE – The Authoritarian Assault on Knowledge – Journal of Democracy – interesting stuff here on China’s influence on university campuses around the world

Beijing’s Erosion of Hong Kong’s Freedoms Has Been in the Works for Years – Pro Market 

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Internet of Bodies

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Internet of bodies or IoB is a term that I first heard as The Internet of Bodies – a RAND Corporation report into internet connected devices that

…monitor the human body and transmit the data collected via the internet. This development, which some have called the Internet of Bodies (IoB), includes an expanding array of devices that combine software, hardware, and communication capabilities to track personal health data, provide vital medical treatment, or enhance bodily comfort, function, health, or well-being.

RAND Corporation
The Internet of Bodies

RAND Corporation were interested in the internet of bodies because of the complexity of the area. There are benefits which are well documented by others. However there are also ethical considerations around:

  • Data use by commercial organisations (advertising, health insurance, pharmaceutical industry)
  • Misleading product claims around product efficacy
  • Privacy risks
  • Data security risks
  • Underdeveloped and complex regulatory environment

What the Internet of Bodies covers includes:

  • Fitness trackers
  • Fitness software running on smartwatches or smartphones and device sensors
  • Connected health devices: insulin pumps, pacemakers
  • Patient adherence apps on smartphones
  • Patient diaries about their condition

The report came to a number of conclusions including:

  • As 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and satellite internet standards are rolled out, the US government conduct research projects to better understand any potential issues that might emerge
    There is a challenge that needs to be addressed to replace earlier generation devices and services with poor information security practices. The issue of cybersecurity needs to have more attention paid to it, right from the beginning of IoB product development
  • Device makers should test products and services for vulnerabilities often, and devise methods for users to patch software.
  • Data transparency and protection regulations need to be revisited to take account of materials received from the IoB
  • As with any new sector, a tighter regulation is required to prevent false or misleading product claims

More jargon related posts here.