by Andy Gaukrodger

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The naval-gazing of apps like Instagram and one man’s Swan Song for the Blog

Hossein Derakhshan was one of the pre-eminent Middle-Eastern bloggers of the mid-nineties. After spending six years in an Iranian prison for the words he published on his blog he has now been released and his view of the new digital world should make us all consider our actions.

Full Article: https://medium.com/matter/the-web-we-have-to-save-2eb1fe15a426

Killer cars

Killer cars: The month that hacking got real for the general public

The following is an excerpt from a piece featured in Wired at the end of July:

As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That’s when they cut the transmission.Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.

At that point, the interstate began to slope upward, so the Jeep lost more momentum and barely crept forward. Cars lined up behind my bumper before passing me, honking. I could see an 18-wheeler approaching in my rearview mirror. I hoped its driver saw me, too, and could tell I was paralyzed on the highway.

Full Wired Article

No hyperbole would overstate the importance of this report. Think about it like this: hacking movies are either boring or inaccurate. Why? Because hacking movies are about hacking; until this article was released hacking has been one static computer secretly getting into another static computer. Yes some information might end up in the wrong hands, some electronic money might go to a suspicious bank account or an adulterer might “get his comeuppance”.

The worst that the general public have ever hear about hacking is that one government attacked another government and shut down some nuclear facility. It’s all very abstract and distant.

Now that’s all changed. Due to the pioneering work of Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek the problem just got extremely personal. The problem just got real, real fucking quickly.

When you start to think about this, you think about fears of personal safety and the safety of your family, “now I could be driving on the motorway and suddenly my car cuts out and we all crash to our deaths”. The fear becomes even more intimidating because we can’t turn it off. There’s no airplane mode or Wi-Fi off button for the car.

Finally there’s the existential fear – our cars are computerised, connected and capable of attack – the public are so far out of the knowledge loop; we’ve been blindsided. If our cars are already computerised maybe it’s time to give over full control and usher in the era of the self-driving car, maybe we’ll be safer letting the computer takeover. So, maybe that final fear isn’t universal like personal and familial safety, but there’s something deep inside me that connects the car, the open road and freedom; if we give up that symbol of freedom to the computer, it might be more than the symbol that’s left in the dust.

Andrew Belle “Sister” Official Music Video – YouTube

 

Great use of metaphor to show the younger girl going down. It could be interpreted that the older girl joins the surreal story as the man gets stabbed by the group. The girl needs to survive and forgive in order to allow the younger to be saved…

Andrew Belle (The Director):

 

 

 

andrew belle

I started in photography. I wanted to be a photo journalist and ended up loosing the passion for it. From there I moved into film. Music videos and commercial work thus far. The goal is to get enough films under my belt to confidently take on a feature that I’ve written. This film submitted is a great example of the kinds of films I want to make. A bit surreal and passionate with strong characters.

let us compare mythologies

The Past is Perfect: Leonard Cohen’s Philosophy on Time by Natalia Vesselova

The study suggests that although Cohen’s attitude to the past has not changed radically from Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) to Book of Longing (2006), his views have changed from bitterness prompted by time’s destructive force to acceptance of its work and the assertion of the power of poetry/art to withstand it; there is neither discontent with the present nor prediction of a catastrophic future.

Source: https://www.ruor.uottawa.ca/bitstream/10393/31065/1/Vesselova_Natalia_2014_thesis.pdf

Self-driving cars, Source: FastCoDesign

By 2040 it will be illegal to drive your car on the motorway.

The future of the autonomous car is like Southern Trains – everybody knows they’re coming, they just don’t know when. Many of the greatest inventors and technological minds have weighed in on the subject. Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google and the man behind such predictions as the ability to upload your brain to the cloud and buy more synthetic neo-cortex directly from inside your brain as well as Geoffrey Hinton.

A new opinion on the subject caught my attention earlier this week. It’s an article from Wired talking about the associated space and design benefits of autonomous cars. Below is an extract from the article:

Beyond 2040

But it’s in Phase 3, after 2040, that the fun begins. This is the point where autonomous cars become our primary means of transport, and all the rules are up for debate. Just as car design will fundamentally change once things like forward-facing seats, mirrors, and pedals are no longer necessary, the way we structure physical space could evolve: McKinsey predicts that by 2050, we might need just 75 percent of the space we now reserve for parking our cars. Because this is America, that means we get back 5.7billion square meters of space—enough to hold the Grand Canyon and then some. That’s because autonomous cars can pack themselves together tightly (no need to allow space for human to exit).

More than that though, our entire idea of car ownership could change. Currently, cars sit unused about 95 percent of the time. That leaves a lot of room for improvement in terms of how we allocate resources.

We won’t stop buying cars altogether—people will still want the option to “independently drive and use the vehicle, and have fun doing so,” says Kaas— but we will buy fewer cars. Without the need for a human at the helm, one autonomous vehicle could take the place of two conventional vehicles: If Joan is going golfing and Joe needs to go shopping, a single car could drop Joan off at the club, swing back to the house to take Joe to the supermarket and back, then return to the club and get Joan. Kaas also predicts you could see the rise of private commuting services, shuttling customers around for a fee.

Wired article here: http://www.wired.com/2015/03/the-economic-impact-of-autonomous-vehicles/

5 videos that have expanded my mind

No not a post about hallucinogenic drugs, but just as mind-expanding. These videos have inspired me and made me think about my marketing problems in a different way.

 

So I’m sharing them with you :)

1. What makes a good brief?

This is four talks in one. APG has a great program of speakers and I particularly like Craig Mawdsley’s talk on how a brief can save an agency money (about 8 minutes in):

2. Here’s to the dreamers

Academy Shorts is a great YouTube channel about film making. The Academy are the Oscars people. Love this video because I get so inspired by passionate people talking about what inspires them. This video makes be want to be the best version of me:

3. A 15 year old just cured cancer

This video is both inspiring and sickening (when I was 15 I certainly wasn’t curing cancer, I was probably curing a hangover). Watch this video when you’ve got 10 minutes and need a bit of soul food.

4. Another TED talk, nothing like any other TED talk

Sarah Silverman: funny, provocative and will literally make you ask questions of your morality:

5. Ninian Doff, the next Spike Jonze

Beautiful video using colour screens as a narrative device. Love it and this is just one of many music videos he’s done that are really different.

This week in Content (TWIC) 18/7/14

The wonderful world of content marketers came together through the Kelvin Newman event, The Content Marketing Show. The FREE (yes FREE) event had some great speakers and I’d personally like to thank the organisers for the drinks afterwards.

You’ll be able to find the presentations on Twitter and I do recommend you try to seek them out. But what else has happened this week in content?

Here goes:

Bear Naked team up with Devinsupertramp:

For some really nice brand content fun-in-the-sun!

Devinsupertramp is a big name in the world of YouTube creators. One of the craziest videos I’m seem from him was Boyfriend pushes Girlfriend off cliff. Good event and nice video piece will just under 800k views in 3 days.


 Guevara launch to fanfare:

Wired Money startup competition winner launches with a great new website and hugely positive press coverage

Guevara


 Natwest launch ‘Cost of a child calculator’ with blogger challenge:

Natwest calculator

 

Bloggers were given supermarket vouchers and challenged to see whether they could feed their family on £30 – £50 a week. Some of the coverage:


Bosch UK launch ‘Let Karl Explain':

These hilarious videos are so Meta that even the presenter might not realise how funny they are. They do speak to the benefits of the products as well. So win, win!


 Why ever brand should be thinking about their Twitter bot strategy:

Tom Dinsdale‘s article is both eye opening and a little bit depressing when you see the examples of brand bots having a fully fledged conversation with each other (and you know what, it doesn’t actually look out of place on Twitter. Read the article on the Gray Tumblr account.