∞ In an oligopoly consumer trust is no requirement

Check the aggressive and invasive data sharing growth tatics orchestrated by the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Spotify, Netflix:

Facebook doesn’t want to tell us how its systems work. Amazon doesn’t want to tell us how its systems work. These companies are data mining us, sometimes in concert, to make uncomfortably accurate connections but also erroneous assumptions. They don’t want to tell us how they do it, suggesting they know it’s become too invasive to reveal. Thank god for leakers and lawsuits.

An oligopoly is a market form wherein a market or industry is dominated by a small number of large sellers.

Link: https://gizmodo.com/amazon-and-facebook-reportedly-had-a-secret-data-sharin-1831192148 (via daring fireball)

∞ Content service deal enables hardware sell

Apple the privacy company pushes you by all means to the privacy problem child Amazon Echo to promote their streaming service Apple Music via app store, website and push notification – all to get back their hardware on the Amazon shelves.

It seems that Apple can’t afford not to be on the biggest marketplace in the western hemisphere. In this move the vertical powerhouse sacrifices their own hardware – the HomePod – in favor of their now horizontal service Apple Music and also in favor of a hardware ecosystem that is in many ways contrary to the Apple privacy paradigm.

The strategy shift to content service growth comes without any leverage for the premium hardware maker that appears troubled – or why would they stop reporting unit sales for iPhone, iPad and Mac beginning 2019?

Link: https://www.macstories.net/news/apple-heavily-promotes-the-amazon-echos-apple-music-integration/

∞ The advantage of distraction free reading

Instapaper is back from the GDPR dead phase for EU users, that means my blogging workflow is reinstated and so is my reading habit.

AppleInsider published an insightful article on the advantages of distraction free reading and how easy it is to put Instapaper or Pocket to good use in this regard.

This has happened to you. While you’re very busy at work or on a project, you somehow come across an interesting article on the web and you just cannot read it yet. Certainly that’s at least partly because you’re conscientious and you know you’re busy, but there’s more. If you read it now, you would hurry and this is something you want to actually enjoy. So read it later instead. Find this piece on your Mac at work and then read it later on your iPad. You could bookmark things but get Pocket or Instapaper instead.

link: https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/08/20/how-to-curate-your-own-reading-list-with-the-instapaper-and-pocket-apps

∞ Alibaba digitally transformed one million retail shops

Owner tells revenue is up 30% in his spruced-up shop, equipped with artificial intelligence-backed apps and even a heat sensor to track foot traffic. (…) Among the central ideas is that in the future, shoppers will not view e-commerce and brick-and-mortar as distinct things, but as a single merged organism — as simply “commerce.” What Alibaba and rivals like Tencent and JD.com are doing is corralling businesses into branded, self-contained, AI-infused universes in which only their affiliates capture the profit.

In this phase of transformation Alibaba AI profits from getting a massive insight in shopping behavior. Shop owners profit from an expanding Alibaba digital ecosystem and are able to offer customers a convenient and superior shopping experience through recommendation and payment. These are the early benefits of becoming part of the Borg.

What if the next phase is about optimisation and consolidation? Will the shop owner still be part of the AI-ecosystem and what are the requirements?

Link: https://www.axios.com/china-alibaba-tencent-jd-com-artificial-intelligence-corner-store-df90517e-befb-40ca-82d5-f37caa738d54.html

∞ Why the adtech bubble will pop due to GDPR

Without adtech, the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) would never have happened. Now that the GDPR enters into force on 25th of May 2018 it will harm an industry that existed because they tracked people without their knowledge, approval or consent.

In a hearty article by Doc Searl he outlined the differences between advertising and adtech, what will be left of adtech after the GDPR Sunrise Day, how Google wants to pass the buck and he comes up with three pro tips on what to place your publishing, technology and advertising bets in the future.

What it comes down to is the need for better signaling between customers and companies than can ever be possible in today’s doomed tracking-fed guesswork system. (…) When customers can operate both privately and independently, we’ll get far better markets than today’s ethically bankrupt advertising and marketing system could ever give us.

Link: http://blogs.harvard.edu/doc/2018/05/12/gdpr/

∞ Nick Heer: The Joys of Data Hygiene

The upcoming european General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from an american perspective:

There has never been a more consumer- and person-friendly data privacy law than GDPR. We can all hope for a ripple effect where adhering to GDPR’s rules becomes the easiest solution for companies worldwide; unfortunately, that’s not likely for giants like Facebook and Google. But it is a huge step forward for Europeans, and a model of what a good personal data protection law looks like.

Link: https://pxlnv.com/linklog/joys-of-data-hygiene/

∞ Transcription app offers editing audio via text interface

descript

Have you ever transcripted audio recordings into text manually? Without proper software or in combination with hardware, transcripting audio files is quite a time consuming and difficult task.

Descript is a new type of audio editor that lets you edit audio by editing text instead of waveforms. That means it does transcription (both automated and human-powered), but more interestingly, it lets you move the audio around by simply editing the transcript.

If you’re a podcaster or an editor at the radio, Descript looks like something you should give a try to make your work a lot easier. Currently only for MacOS and English as a language, the maker Andrew Mason promises a solution for Windows coming this year (register for a notification on this) and more languages possibly later. It’s worth checking out the Descript blog with more interesting use cases and tips.

∞ Virality is dead – cultural impact is more important than money

Bob Lefsetz had an eureka moment: we’re at The End Of Virality. To do something the hard way to get it right means a commitment for the long run. You can’t fake cultural impact.

In music, what appears like virality, is oftentimes an after the fact clean-up victory lap. What this means is your ascension will be slower than ever before. Instant success is nearly impossible. And if it happens too fast, for whatever reason, you’ll fall back to earth almost quite as fast.

So there was a monoculture. That was what MTV in the last part of this century was all about. You get on the service and everybody knows your name.

Then the internet killed that and the key was to get everybody on the internet talking about something. And that worked for a while.

But now, just like we no longer send jokes to each other in e-mail, we don’t forward cute videos or any of that crap, and if we do post them on our Facebook page most people ignore them, because they’re being dunned to pay attention all day long and they just ain’t got that much time.

You’ve got to do the hard work and appeal to a core which sustains you. The rest is nearly unachievable and is gravy at best.

Appreciate the new day and act accordingly.

Link: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2018/03/16/the-end-of-virality/

∞ Lefsetz on the Quincy Jones Interview

Furthermore, actors are vessels. Musicians are truth. That’s why hip-hop triumphs, eviscerates other forms, there’s more truth and honesty there. Whether it be the actual words spoken or the emotion behind it, which is oftentimes I’ve been screwed my whole life and now I’ve got the mic and I’m not gonna let it go!

Do yourself a favour and subscribe to Bob Lefsetz’ blog or newsletter.

Link: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2018/02/08/the-quincy-jones-interview/

∞ Voice recognition is changing the music industry

We’re seeing search terms for music change beyond anything we saw five years ago – context is now a big part of music interaction. We have music to work to, eat to, dance to, relax to, fuck to and, of course, let’s not forget the ever-popular music to sleep to; who would have thought our industry could make so much money from sleep playlists?!

Speaking of context, this is the perfect example of how the major music industry is effectively widening the gap between music making and music consumption: the devaluation of music as a merely fitting commodity means the complete cultural decontextualization from where it originates.

Link: https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/lets-talk-voice-command-smart-speakers-changing-music-industry-know/

∞ Quincy Jones on the Secret Michael Jackson and the Problem With Modern Pop

We’re the worst we’ve ever been, but that’s why we’re seeing people try and fix it. Feminism: Women are saying they’re not going to take it anymore. Racism: People are fighting it. God is pushing the bad in our face to make people fight back.

Nobody talked about this paragraph in the Quincy Jones interview.

Link: http://www.vulture.com/2018/02/quincy-jones-in-conversation.html

∞ Microsoft and Progressive Web Apps

In the next release of Windows 10, we intend to begin listing PWAs in the Microsoft Store. Progressive Web Apps installed via the Microsoft Store will be packaged as an appx in Windows 10 – running in their own sandboxed container, without the visual or resource overhead of the browser.

Microsoft seems a few steps ahead than Apple in this regard. The PWA train is unstoppable but Apple is not steering it, merely catching up on it. How will the iOS App store will be affected by this development? How many publishing apps will leave the walled garden when the service worker functionality is fully integrated into Webkit?

Link: https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2018/02/06/welcoming-progressive-web-apps-edge-windows-10/

∞ How Facebook Is Killing Comedy

There’s a reason that Mad magazine looks different from Vanity Fair. They need to convey a different aesthetic and a different tone for their content to really pop. Facebook is the great de-contextualizer. There’s no more feeling of jumping into a whole new world on the internet anymore — everything looks exactly the same.

Facebook is the great de-contextualizer and so is Spotify, Apple Music etc. The effects of stripping away context of creation or music making for that matter and the culture around it and mushing the same term “context” into the realm of “user perspective” is a bit perv. See also Voice Recognition changes Music Business.

Link: http://splitsider.com/2018/02/how-facebook-is-killing-comedy/

∞ We need to talk about turntables in clubs

The clubbing industry at large has lopsided priorities. There is a natural pecking order with everything it requires to keep a club solvent and successful, but those holding the purse strings too often get blindsided by solely looking out for the bottom line. No legitimate club forgets to take the right amount of money on the door, or forgets to make sure their alcohol license is still up to date, but many fall desperately short on the side that is the load-bearing pillar of a good night out: the sound.

The only experience a club can offer that is superior than anything else: knee-weakening frequencies with the right amount of punch. Let’s be fair and make it equally an experience for vinyl and digital djs.

Link: https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/3109