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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

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Amazing deep fake video of Richard Nixon based on the script written for a failed Apollo 11 moon landing. It’s the end of history as we know it.

Brezhnev and Nixon

The Coming Political Restrictions on Chinese Outbound Travel – The Diplomat – lots of foreign destinations will be breathing a collective sigh of relief

How to shop for men: Why so many guys are uncomfortable with the whole idea of receiving gifts.So why do you think it’s so hard for men to articulate things that they want? I think it’s in part because they’re not conditioned to talk about what they need and what makes them happy. I do think that’s a big part of it. And so as a result, it expands from everything. From health care, and not talking about that, all the way through down to the somewhat mundane or trivial things in life—like a gift. – insightful stuff on gifting and obligations

Tycoon Li Ka-shing says he is getting used to ‘punches’ HKEJ Insight – interesting especially given the district council elections Beijing is going to need the tycoons to deliver interest group votes.

“Which?” have been in the news this week (reaching the BBC news homepage even), criticising Black Friday Deals, yet here they are promoting | Twitter via ThreadReaderApp – Dan Barker on the ethically dubious tactics of Which magazine over Black Friday deals

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New MacBook Pro – some thoughts

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My old MacBook Pro, which had seen me through a lot of work had been starting to show its age, so I changed it out for a new model. The process has been challenging at times so I thought that I would write about the good, the bad and the weird parts of this experience.

My new machine has taken a size bump to 15.4 inches. The largest MacBook I’ve had in the best part of ten years. The reason for the size bump was to try and retain a working days worth of battery life. From a size perspective the 13 inch machine suits me better but battery performance seems to be in retreat.

Preparing the machine

I had the opportunity to make a controlled move to the new machine, so I cleaned a lot of the data from the old computer. Trying to deal with as many duplicate files as possible.

Once this process was done I used Apple’s migration tool. This moves across data effortlessly. I’ve done this a number of times since running MacOS X back in 2002. This had to be done over wi-fi as connecting the two machines via an ethernet cable would be problematic.

Preparing the hardware

I am a big fan of Incase’s hard shell that clips on to your laptop. It protects it from coffee smeared tables and the odd light prang. This is then covered in stickers like it has been bombed by a crack team of Japanese school children.

Untitled

So why do I have a sticker covered laptop? A good while ago I had a client at a major telecoms sector company try and swipe my laptop in front of my eyes.

“Oh, I thought it was mine” they said whilst ignoring the Lenovo peeking out of their laptop bag.

Opening the shell up I fit a TechPrivacy web cam privacy cover. They look very thin and are fragile during the fitting process, but once on your laptop work perfectly and don’t impede closing the laptop up fully.

I use a torch to work out where the camera is and run FaceTime to check that I am not impeding the camera or the camera power light.

These new Macs are known for their keyboards. They feel unresponsive to a touch typist like me and seem to be prone to the ingress of any foreign matter. Keyboards are horrible grotty things swimming in dead skin, hair folicles and food crumbs. I can’t do much to make the keyboard feel better, but I have fitted a MOSISO Keyboard Cover to provide a bit of protection.

Finally, I topped this off with an Amazon Basics neoprene laptop sleeve. MacBook Pros are a hassle to repair, even with AppleCare+, the sleeve is a small investment.

Powering up

I have series of chargers including an in-car charger and airplane seat charger designed to work with American market airplanes that I have accumulated since my first Intel MacBook Pro back in 2006. Some of the cables have a silicon holder and MagSafe 2 connector attached.

I have breathed a sigh of relief many times when my power cable has been snagged and not taken the laptop tumbling on to the floor with it. All of which are now useless given Apple’s move to USB-C. Unfortunately USB-C is not snag proof like the earlier MagSafe power connectors. Thankfully, I can still use the extension cables that I have. Apple doesn’t include them in the box with the laptop any more.

Some third party designers have trialled products that mix the best of USB C with a MagSafe like connection. Apple’s current solution feels like a petty and backwards step.

Making a connection

I mentioned early on that I couldn’t do an ethernet-to-ethernet connection for the data migration to my new laptop. The problem is that the new MacBook Pro only has five connection points. Four of which are USB C and the fifth is a 3.5mm headphone socket.

You need dongles for everything:

SD Card reader – you need a dongle for that. Apple has one that it will sell you.

USB connection, for when you want to connect your iPhone to your MacBook Pro…

HDMI connector – Choetech’s product seems to be well made

VGA connector – Amazon Basics have connector that’s relatively good value and seems to be as well made as it’s Apple cousin

Thunderbolt 2 to USB C. Connecting to Thunderbolt 2 devices is a whole new world of pain. Apple’s own adaptor works inconsistently. Given that my home set up runs on two hubs connected to two Apple cinema displays all over Thunderbolt 2, this was critical for me to have work. In the end I found that StarTech’s adaptors whilst ugly, work a treat.

This means that as a mobile worker going in and out of agency spaces like I’ve been doing, you need a few hundred pounds worth of add-on dongles and power cords to get anything done. My laptop starts to look like a white legged arthritic spider rather than the slick working machine I previously enjoyed.

For mobile working, I’ve just started trying out a Pioneer Multiport adaptor that does VGA, ethernet, a single ethernet port and HDMI. It’s not particularly elegant but is also pretty cheap.

A migration that hits the pocket and your time

Migrating to the new MacBook Pro machine has been a major investment in peripheral hardware and a time suck in order to tune the set up to work properly. There has been much to say about good design.

Good design (with a huge debt to Dieter Rams):

  • Is innovative (but doesn’t idolise innovation)
  • Makes a product useful (out of the box)
  • Is aesthetic (balance, good tastes and proportions)
  • Makes a product understandable (it just works)
  • Is unobtrusive (doesn’t call attention to itself in operation)
  • Is honest
  • Is long-lasting (consumption is an experience of layers with new and old products in a user journey)
  • Is thorough down to the last detail (and delights the user with that level of thought)
  • Is environmentally friendly (not wasteful, designed for the long haul, user serviceable)
  • Involves as little design as possible (Economy of experience, for instance not having a laptop’s ports hidden behind doors. it just is. This is as much about the metaphysics of quality intrinsic in the product as anything else)
  • Is knowing when to say no (or yes) – not having an FM radio on the iPhone or iPod. But having ports people would actually use on the new MacBook Pro
  • Is function first, form second (a build on making a product useful first, then aesthetically pleasing)

The MacBook Pro fails on many of these attributes.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Faster Robots Demoralize Co-Workers | Careers | Communications of the ACMA Cornell-led team has found that when robots are beating humans in contests for cash prizes, people consider themselves less competent and expend slightly less effort—and they tend to dislike the robots – to be fair I’d expect to see something similar if the same person kept winning employee of the week

Flickr Cofounder Questions Tech’s Impact on Humans – WIRED – it’s easier to ask the big questions when you’ve made it and can reflect in the tech industry

Marbridge Consulting – China’s February 2019 Domestic Handset Shipments Down 20% YoY14.51 mln mobile handsets were shipped in China in February 2019, down 19.9% YoY and 57.4% MoM, according to new figures released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a department of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The significant month-on-month drop can be explained in part by the week-long Chinese Lunar New Year holiday towards the beginning of February. Of total shipments in February, 13.98 mln were 4G handsets, down 20.2% YoY, 37,000 were 3G handsets, and 0.49 mln were 2G handsets

A Witch-Hunt on Instagram | Quilette – western PC culture seems to have more and more cases of it eating their own

Aging Millennials Soothe Themselves With Childlike Fashions – WWD – to try and hang on to youth

SXSW 2019: Virtual Cinema – JWT Intelligence – culture is still trying to adapt AR and VR. Whilst it has the energy of an early SIGGRAPH demo reel, I still think the storytelling aspect of things is struggling to find its legs

Patrick Pruniaux: “There Truly is an E-commerce Potential for Horology” | Luxury Society – Kering haven’t been particularly good at using Ulysse Nardin as a brand in China, but they are rectifying it now. Kering are looking to tap into ‘new’ watch consumers who can’t spend Rolex money on a watch, this position now looks more tenable since Apple has stopped going for the luxury sector with the Apple Watch

How to Create an Authentic Luxury Experience for Millennials | Jing Dailyif a luxury brand wants to entice today’s consumers, whether it’s in China or beyond, it needs to underscore its authenticity and relevancy. Powerful words, to be sure, but what does it mean to be authentic and relevant? For the moment, let’s start with the opposite. During many of my brand strategy sessions, I often hear the expression “they feel staged” when people describe brands that they would never buy. Needless to say, when brand feels staged, it is neither authentic nor relevant. The synonyms unnatural, deceived, cheated, and faked come to mind. In other words, a staged brand is bullshitt*ng their consumers.

Louis Vuitton Has a Michael Jackson Problem | Intelligence | BoFLouis Vuitton parent LVMH hired Abloh, and has poured millions of dollars into promoting his collections in order to build its biggest brand into a menswear powerhouse. But whether or not Abloh’s Jackson-inspired collection ends up being a dud (because products like the penny loafers T-shirt or the military-style jackets are more visibly Jackson-derived and are thus preemptively pulled from sale, or simply because they don’t resonate with shoppers) isn’t likely to be the primary financial concern for Louis Vuitton, as men’s ready-to-wear accounts for only a fraction of total revenue. What’s really at stake is the brand’s reputation — relatively untarnished for the time being, unlike luxury peers like Prada and Gucci which have fallen afoul of social media — at a time when consumers are quick to criticise perceived missteps

How What Goes Around Comes Around Is Attracting Millennials To Buy Vintage – US chain channels aesthetic of Japanese vintage shops

You May Have Forgotten Foursquare, but It Didn’t Forget You | WIRED – interesting how Foursquare went from being useful (I use it as spatial bookmarking, so that I can return to new places that I like) to where 2.0 middleware with a bit of ad tech creepiness thrown in for good measure (paywall)

Pinterest Files for an IPO: What Investors Need to Know | The Motley Fool – interesting for intent driven visual search if they can monetise it effectively on a global scale

Great video of a Black Hat conference presentation on biometric identifiers.