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Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Reading Time: 2 minutes

German think-tank MERICS China Forecast 2020 is interesting watching if you can spare the time. It’s long, but some of the smartest content that I’ve seen recently, from a European perspective. The Americans seem to have done a better job on Sinology; for instance the likes of Bill Bishop or Kuo and Goldstein at Sinica. MERICS China Forecast 2020 was a collaboration between Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) and Handelsblatt. More China-focused content here.

Global Web Index have done an interesting analysis of Subway’s new product set aimed at tapping into the move towards plant-based diets. Subway – ‘Beyond Meatball Sub’ – GlobalWebIndex – was pitched at flexitarians rather than true vegans.

Meatless meatball marinara launch feels a bit ‘reality TV’ in tone.

Iris put together this work Every name’s a story for Starbucks UK. It won the Channel 4 Diversity Award 2019. It taps into the challenge of gender and identity. But also the primeval power of a name. I thought of Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea which explored the power of names as it was seen by different cultures. Just five or ten years ago this ad would have brought out sufficient protests for the likes of Starbucks to shy away from. It illustrates the complexity of values in modern Britain: conservative nationalism and cosmopolitanism.

ARTE have got a great interview with Edward Snowden – Meeting Snowden.

Edward Snowden Wired Magazine
Iconic Wired cover featuring Edward Snowden.

Kraft is running a promotional contest for its new Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Big Bowls that targets parents of young children on Valentine’s Day. It’s interesting how Kraft are interpreting their product as what Scott Galloway calls a ‘time machine’. A product or service that allows people to get time from an activity where it otherwise would have been wasted. For instance, the telemedicine aspects of the Babylon Health app.

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中国 | china | 중국 创造力 | innovation | 독창성 初 | hygiene | 기본 商业 | business | 상업 小工具 | gadget | 가제트 思想 | ideas | 생각 消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Eric ‘Vietnam’ Sadler interview – Folio Weekly – rare interview with Eric ‘Vietnam’ Sadler of the Bomb Squad production team

Public Enemy Papercraft
Public Enemy (without Eric ‘Vietnam’ Sadlerpaper craft figures via csalinas86

Venture capital investors should harpoon more whales | Financial Times – hard versus soft innovation – soft innovation is winning the money. More on innovation here.

Gen Z brand advisors – JWT Intelligence – because they are over millennials

和 Virgil 一同「压轴登场」的 Arc’Teryx,是怎样的户外品牌? – Chinese fashion show people trying to work out why Virgil Aboha wore Arc’Teryx goretex shell. Interesting that they don’t go to the obvious answer – technical outdoor wear is streetwear

Wristwatches (手表) | Mao Era in Objects – interesting read and gives a lot of food for thought on brand and perceived luxury products in the Chinese market

reut.rs | Trump executive order to clampdown on counterfeit and pirate goods sold at e-commerce – interesting as Amazon and eBay sure to suffer

FM音源伝説 | FM音源を愛するすべての人へ – cool game chip based synthesizers

Study: Men who own luxury cars are often jerkswhat types of people own these cars. Sure enough, he found that less cooperative, less kind, and less considerate men often drive high-status cars. “The same traits also explain why such people break traffic regulations more frequently than others,” says Lönnqvist. He found no connection between female self-centeredness and luxury cars. Before you start flashing the bird at passing luxury vehicles, know that not all classy car owners suck. In fact, some are quite dependable: The study also found that conscientious men and women—people who are organized, ambitious, respectable, and often high-performing—are also frequent owners of high-status cars, which Lönnqvist says likely reflects an appreciation for quality and an urge to present a self-image of classy reliability. – a bit more nuance to this than the title suggests

The rapid rise of ‘Buy now, pay later’ – BBC News – this isn’t new, its the Littlewoods catalogue model all over again wearing digital clothes

Bank of England drops productivity optimism and lowers expectations | Financial Times – not terribly surprising

ハタプロ – way too cute robot Google Home type device hybrid

Markera kraftigare mot Kinas försök att påverka pressfriheten | :UtgivarnaUtgivarna urges to mark more strongly against China‘s attempts to influence the freedom of the press. Swedish media pushes back against Chinese government and including the local ambassador and United Front cadre

Apple Hires Key Netflix Engineer in Bid to Boost Subscription Services – WSJRuslan Meshenberg, who helped build out Netflix’s platform and was involved in key initiatives to create a speedier, more consistent service for viewers, joined Apple’s internet-services organization this week

A new year marks a new phase of Hong Kong protests | Financial Timessome are calling on taxpayers to pay more. The aim of the so-called “$1 more” campaign is to cripple the tax authorities’ operations by forcing them to handle possibly millions of rebate payments, tying them up in bureaucracy and bringing the system to a grinding halt

‘Get Ready for Brexit’ was a £46m flop – so get ready for ‘Ready to Trade’ | MAA – this must be embarrassing for Engine Group

Apple TV+ ‘Immaterial’ to Services Revenue Amid One-Year Free Deal – Variety – loss leader

Apple FQ1 20 – Big battery. – Radio Free Mobile – back to basics with battery life being the key USP

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初 | hygiene | 기본 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 小组会议 | event | 그룹 회의 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 无孔不入技术 | web of no web | 보급 기술 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인 豪华 | luxury | 사치

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Adapt! did a great guerrilla wrap for Metro newspapers during the December general election. In their own words:

We designed an alternative newspaper cover wrap for the Metro. On it, we imagined a different approach to the December 2019 election – where climate change was the main focus. From front page to the sports section, we turned every tiny detail of the newspaper into a lighthearted commentary on climate change and the urgent need for a Green New Deal. Once printed the paper cover was applied to Metro newspapers and distributed across London by a large team of volunteers.

I liked this Adapt! project as it reminded me of people like Adbusters and the ethos behind much of the stuff on the Wooster Collective

Metro Guerilla wrap
Courtesy of Adapt!
Metro Guerilla wrap
Courtesy of Adapt
Metro Guerilla wrap
Courtesy of Adapt

Scotty Allen of Strange Parts went to a wholesale market in Shenzhen, China that sells everything you need for a high tech factory. This eco-system is why industrialisation isn’t going to return to the UK any time soon.

Watch out for the vibrating pans in after 8:25 that tilt components up the right way. Such a simple design solution, each one is custom made for the part that they need to work with. Seeing it in action is almost like black magic.

It’s interesting to look back through concept videos at what people thought the future might hold. This one was done in 2001 and captures the ennui of modern life. It was originally made for a Teletext conference… More on the web-of-no-web here.

Brilliant bit of work on Cheetos based on the product flaw / design feature of flavouring that gets all over your fingers. Ride on 90s nostalgia with MC Hammer and you have a Super Bowl memorable experience.

It is right up there with the Steven Siegel ad from 2004 by BBDO New York that had Mountain Dew as the hero product also featured other PepsiCo brands including Cheetos.

LinkedIn Live - the mind boggles
Screen shot from the Louis Vuitton LinkedIn live stream

LinkedIn – Louis Vuitton menswear fall/winter 2020 lifestream – its odd to see a YouTube style lifestream on LinkedIn. Engagement seems to be relatively low given Louis Vuitton’s million-plus followers. And the user experience is really out of context on a business platform.

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中国 | china | 중국 传播媒体 | media | 미디어 信息安全 |security | 정보 보안 初 | hygiene | 기본 商业 | business | 상업 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 工艺学 | technology | 기술 无孔不入技术 | web of no web | 보급 기술 经济 | economics | 경제학 豪华 | luxury | 사치

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Interesting interpretation of the current approach to online harmonisation by the Chinese government. There is an opinion that China’s censorship mechanisms are somehow overwhelmed. I don’t think that this is the case at all. Instead I believe its part of their wider approach to online harmonisation – As Virus Spreads, Anger Floods Chinese Social Media – The New York Times – this isn’t a government apparatus operating from weakness but smart: just enough venting to stop it boiling over into angry action but not enough for a Velvet Revolution. The clue is in the Chinese government’s own name for this process online harmonisation – to give a harmonious Chinese society

Shenzhen Art Museum government-sponsored exhibition
SARS medical personnel captured in Chinese government-sponsored art capturing their effort and sacrifice made for glory of the motherland and the communist party

Philips plans to hive off unit as it sets focus on healthcare sector | Financial Times – this has been a long time coming, not terribly surprised. Ten years from now I wouldn’t be surprised if Philips is leaving the medical technology industry and licencing their brand to a Shenzhen based MRI machine manufacturer….

Daring Fireball: The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10 – I think its the UX as well as multitasking. Its a consumption machine with limited creative capabilities

Nightmares on wax: the environmental impact of the vinyl revival | Music | The Guardiandigital media is physical media, too. Although digital audio files seem virtual, they rely on infrastructures of data storage, processing and transmission that have potentially higher greenhouse gas emissions than the petrochemical plastics used in the production of more obviously physical formats such as LPs – to stream music is to burn coal, uranium and gas – vegan vintage wearing gen-z will look back on streaming not only as a cultural disaster, but a planetary one. Streaming is the music industry analogue to restaurant’s plastic straws and styrofoam cups

Swiss Watch Export Growth Slows to Weakest Pace in Three Years – Bloomberg – lower end of the market has dried up, which isn’t that surprising. The Apple Watch and G-Shock are aimed at squarely at quartz manufacturers like Tissot and fashion label licencees

Witcher’s Andrzej Sapkowski’s Honest Thoughts on Netflix Show – legendary responses, you can imagine the publicity department at the publishers suffering from severe anxiety

This will probably do a lot of long term damage to China’s aspirations in Europe building up a deep level of distrust – China spy suspect casts chill over EU’s vulnerabilities | Financial Times 

Probably some of the smartest European focused thinking on China at the moment

Country life: the young female farmer who is now a top influencer in China | Life and style | The Guardian“That despair of not being able to find oneself in the ‘Chinese dream’. I don’t think she’s propaganda because one of her major successes is that she’s making that failure highly aesthetic …

Measure to limit self-checkout gets nod from Oregon Supreme Court | gazettetimes.com – not available in EU due to GDPR regulations but you get the idea from the headline

I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter by Isabel Fall : Clarkesworld Magazine – Science Fiction & Fantasy – interesting story that steps on the live wire issue of gender and identity channeled through William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. I am reminded a bit of the ‘Rat Things’ – cybernetic enhanced dogs that enjoy endless dreams during their downtime are are networked via the metaverse – in Stephenson’s Snow Crash

23andMe lays off 100 people, CEO Anne Wojcicki explains why | CNBC – surprised to see market turn… – I was surprised to see this late 20th century version of a faddish product from the Sharper Image catalogue do so well for so long given the privacy implications of it

Is Singapore’s ‘perfect’ economy coming apart? | Financial TimesMid-level jobs in manufacturing and multinational companies are disappearing and being replaced by technology and financial services roles, which are easier to fill with younger, more affordable migrants. Singaporeans like Aziz struggle to get back into the workforce. Only half of retrenched over-50s are re-employed full time within six months. Nearly three-quarters of people laid off in Singapore in the third quarter of last year, the most recently available data, were what the country classifies as professionals, managers, executives and technicians, or PMETs – I’ve been re-reading John Naisbitt’s Megatrends at the moment and its interesting how these classic knowledge worker roles have been disappearing – whereas just 30 years ago they were the future. It does make me a bit skeptical of the ‘every kid should learn how to code predictions’. The increasing consumer debt is another interesting aspect of this

The Offense-Defense Balance of Scientific Knowledge: Does Publishing AI Research Reduce Misuse? by Shevlane and Dafoe – interesting paper on identification and ethics surrounding machine learning applications

Categories
传播媒体 | media | 미디어 信息安全 |security | 정보 보안 初 | hygiene | 기본 商业 | business | 상업 小工具 | gadget | 가제트 工艺学 | technology | 기술 无孔不入技术 | web of no web | 보급 기술 消费品 | fmcg | 소비재

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

IoT Trouble: The Sonos Example — And More – Monday Note – the recent Sonos issue is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, the basic IoT issue that older equipment on a network can block security updates to newer Sonos gear. The second aspect of this relates to consumer attitudes. Early Sonos sales positioned the equipment against traditional consumer electronics brown goods like Sony, Denon, Yamaha etc. As we can see from recent products, Sonos has moved away from hi-fi to convenience. This is probably why Sonos legal action against Alphabet’s Google Chromecast and Google Home became more important.

Sonos
Early model Sonos hub and amplifier

Angelo Baque, Zainab Jama and Acyde on counterculture – The Face – interesting thoughts on immediate access and value versus gradual access and appreciation

Here are some terms to mute on Twitter to clean your timeline up a bit. · GitHub – really handy to clean up your Twitter feed

Jobs, Cook, Ive—Blevins? The Rise of Apple’s Cost Cutter – WSJ – sounds like a sociopathic knob who’d be better off working at Huawei

Facebook Says Bezos Hack May Highlight Phone Vulnerabilities – Bloomberg – Nicola Mendelsohn over at Facebook is like one of them monkeys that throws its own faeces at bystanders walking past their cage

Nutella/Ferrero: nut fluster | Financial TimesIn 2012 Ferrero agreed to set aside $3m to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by a California mother. She had been surprised and upset to learn Nutella was not a “healthy, nutritious” food. She was widely mocked – you could not make this up (paywall). More on FMCG as a topic here

MBS Taunted Jeff Bezos Over Secret Affair Before National Enquirer Expose | Daily Beast – surprised that Bezos didn’t have multiple numbers and and handsets – private and business. Also that the handsets weren’t scrubbed regularly. Some of the infosec experts commenting on the report itself are very interesting and raise more questions than answers

Mediatel: Newsline: Tess Alps: We can’t confront climate change without advertising – despite the headline this is about advertising requiring an emotional pay off

Sonos will stop issuing software updates for ‘legacy’ speakers and devices in May | TechHive – another reason why hi-fi makes more sense

LOEWE Runway Men’s Fall Winter 2020 | Fashion Show – feels curiously low res