Category Archives: startups

Last week’s links: July 27th edition

Too many links this week  — so let’s split this barrage of wonder into two categories

Stuff that’s vaguely professional

Lexus Australia built a car that glows based on the driver’s heartbeat.

Android Auto looks pretty awesome. Ars Technica has a full review,  While they were reviewing V1, they discovered a lot of plumbing in the software that suggest a much broader and better feature set is already on the way. 

McKinsey thought piece: “how businesses transform based on Digital marketing operations”.  (via Erin O’Hara, Blue Hive Shanghai)

We have seen the future and it is Zero UI — what happens when users no longer need any sort of screen?  Are you ready? This is a key moment for auto companies: handsfree / voice activated technology in vehicles is the epitome of Zero UI and ALSO how a lot of the world will become comfortable with it.  

Funny Stuff

Food photos are nearly entirely what makes Instagram, right?  This site shows what kinds of food get snapped the most, and where!  (via Dan Ambler, Blue Hive Melbourne). 

Speaking of Food photos, this instagram is plating junk food like Haute Cuisine.  Make sure to click through for the captions… They are hilarious, bordering on actually crazy.

A brief history of time icons

And finally, let’s examine one of the most divisive issues on the internet: Soft G or hard G for “gif”?  

5 things I love on the internet, week of July 14th

Everything we thought we knew about PLUTO is wrong.  The New Horizons satellite is the first human-made device to capture detailed images of the distant orb and it’s moon.  Early analysis suggests that it isn’t a dead astroid; Pluto appears to be very much an Active Planet (with water, methane and more), which means that most existing theories in planetary thermodynamics are probably wrong.

Did you look at Pluto?  Good.  Onward.

Everything we know about particle physics is probably still right, but Boeing just patented an engine powered by lasers and small thermonuclear explosions.  LASERS!!!

Everything we thought we knew about how much consumers’ love/hate relationship with their Webcams is evolving .   This VW site (went live on Tuesday) challenges users to make engine noises to power a car & driver through a course.  Pretty cool stunt!

Everything we thought we knew about Economics is now outdated: meet the WTF economy

Everything we thought we knew about Ad Targeting Is too naïve.  This article examines how companies can / do use ad targeting to discriminate against consumers.  How deep does this problem go?  What can users do about it?  

more than 5 things I love on the internet this week of July 6th

Apple music is a lesson in how NOT to onboard new users.   Apple is usually good at this, right?

Google is testing a Ride-sharing app based on Waze.  It’s beta-launch is in Tel Aviv, Waze’s home base.

It’s 2015 — shouldn’t we have figured out web metrics by now?

One of the great un-solved challenges of Virtual Reality is your Inner Ear (those two things that help you stay upright and hear things).  A VR system is pounding your visual cortex with information telling your body that you’re, say, riding a bike or hurdling through space or falling off a cliff.  But that doesn’t bring your inner ear along for the ride.  The mismatch created causes dizziness.  Sometimes gross levels of dizziness.  That’s a super long winded way of introducing you to a hilarious video in which  the intrepid reports from Ars Technica try out all the VR rigs from E3 this year. 

Boeing just patented an engine powered by lasers and small thermonuclear explosions.  Isn’t the future awesome?

Earbuds that customize the ambient noise around you.  Novel, interesting, and now rocking $17m of funding.

Mobile advertising is about to be fundamentally disrupted.  The next gen of AdTech is surely waiting in the wings.

Finally, hats off for this amazing anti-nazi campaign in Germany.  Clever, thoughtful and for the best possible cause.

How to fail at content marketing, starring Klout

Content Marketing is tough.  I know.  We all have some blogposts out there that we wish we could take back, but the internet never forgets.  More often than not, we find ourselves on an arbitrary deadline, trying to feed the monkey, cranking out something that we know isn’t great, but maybe will end up simply as the least popular content that week.

Sometimes, a jerk like me notices when a company screws up.  So here’s how to fail at Content Marketing, starring Klout.

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kuaidi and didi merger — a new moment in Chinese infrastructure

On saturday Kuaidi dache announced that they had agreed to merge with their biggest / bigger rival, Didi dache. Techinasia has a good write up about it, but I took issue with the suggestion that the merger has something to do with Uber.  I went on a twitter rampage about the deal, and Jon Russell told me to write it up (he already has a piece on techcrunch about the merger that has all the details).  I often confuse more words with a better argument, so I’ll just try to channel the twitter brevity but expand my point.  Here goes:

Continue reading kuaidi and didi merger — a new moment in Chinese infrastructure