Five things on Friday #182

Things of note for the week ending Friday 24th June, 2016.

On with the things.

1. THE DIGITAL DRIVER’S LICENCE

Kicking off this week with a fantastic ‘Did you know?’

Ahem.

Did you know that

If this blog is The Young Ones then Terence Eden is Alexei Sayle – such is the regularity of his appearance here. But, just like the anarchic Liverpudlian against whom I am drawing such an odd comparison, his presence is welcomed and is often as amusing as it is informative.

As a demonstration of this fact, please fine below the opening section of one of Terence’s latest posts:

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Thing is, the man in the hire car office was wrong.

Terence knew (something that I did not know) that the DVLA has online portal that exists for just this kind of occasion. Far be it from me to steal Terence’s Thunder, mind.

Go read about it from the man himself.

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2. EVACUATING THE SOUTH POLE

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“Evacuation [of the South Pole] is exceedingly uncommon.The brutal cold and near-total darkness that blankets Antarctica during the austral winter make flights in and out of the station all but impossible. In 1999, a doctor who discovered a cancerous lump in her right breast treated herself — even performing her own biopsy and administering her own chemotherapy — for almost six months until the weather thawed enough for a rescue plane to arrive. A decade later, when a manager for the station suffered a stroke in August, the question of whether an airlift was possible led to a tense standoff. She was ultimately flown out in mid October.”

Earlier this week, the South Pole Station had such a situation. Two people fell so ill that the onsite facilities were not able to provide the medical support needed.

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The Washington Post has an incredible write up of exactly the kind of effort that goes into reaching the South Pole. Even more harrowing when you have a medical emergency.

The National Science Foundation’s Facebook page also has further details.

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3. NAOMI CAMPBELL

This week, in lol-worthy cock-ups (no, not that one – we’ll get to that) – this happened.

Picture 1:

naomi

Picture 2:

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Apart from the obvious formatting, can you spot the major difference?

Lolz.

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4. WHO WHAT WHERE

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This is interesting: Twitter has quietly launched ‘location feeds’, powered by Foursquare. Yes, that’s right – FOURSQUARE. And it looks a little something like this –

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Techcrunch has not only the scoop but also some good ideas on what and how the partnership could work (for both parties).

Go read.

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5. HOME

sub buzz

An old friend of mine, Cate Sevilla, left her position as Managing Editor at Buzzfeed UK this week and, as her final post, publishing this post entitled ‘7 things that happen when you live in a different country for 10 years‘ – it is an excellent read.

Poignant on a day like today, when perhaps many of you are reconsidering home as a concept.

This is the best long read in this entire rundown.

And my favourite piece of the week.

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Bonuses this week are many:

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And here we are.

Done.

Living in a post-EURef world.

Last week I said:

“The country is split in two on this referendum. Whichever way it goes, I sincerely hope that the same amount of passion and effort that went into the campaigning gets poured into how much work it’s going to take to patch us back together again afterwards.”

And I meant it.

I’m giving myself a day to grieve but then, over the weekend, I’m going to spend some time thinking about how to put some positives in the world.

As my friend Robbie said to me a little past 7am this morning (FAR TOO SOON IF YOU ASK ME):

“I’m really saddened to see so many disappointed people vocalising their dissatisfaction by seemingly turning their back on Britain (e.g. posts/tweets decrying the country has gone/dead/over). That makes me more sad than the result. 
As I said in the last couple of days, this vote was won on desperation. People are angry and disillusioned and can’t see a way out. The fact so many who’ve made the intellectual decision to remain are so surprised at the way this has played out IS the problem (the fact some of these people work in marketing is its own oddness). 
There is only space for a positive reaction. 
Anything else just strikes me as acceptance and resignation.
I hope it the tone will change over the weekend.”
It is sad. And I am sad.
But I’ll go over it. And, like Robbie, I too hope the tone will change. We have to deal with the cards that we’ve been dealt (by ourselves) and hold up those responsible thereafter.
As always: the real hard work starts on Monday.
In the mean time, go find a person and hug them.
Whatley out.

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Seven things on Sunday (FtoF #181)

Things of note for the week ending Sunday June 19th, 2016.

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Another week, another nudge from Friday to Sunday. Friday was an awful day. Awful. I didn’t want to do, or write, anything. Saturday I just needed to chill. And so here we are, on Sunday, and at last I’m writing to you.

You never know, this thing might become regular… Shh. Don’t give me ideas.

Shall we crack on?

hOwbl3Uv73yuBCm

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1. TOKEN GIRL

Princess of Power, bitches. Deal with it.

This excellent piece, via The Atlantic, highlights how the Princess of Power herself, She-Ra, was the first step on the long road towards eliminating the ‘token girl’ approach to [Saturday morning] kids’ shows.

“The 1980s were a golden era for TV cartoons. Animated shows including TheSmurfs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Real Ghostbusters featured vivid landscapes and a variety of strange heroes, from blue forest people to human-cat hybrids to sewer turtles. But they had one significant thing in common. As the writer Katha Pollitt noted in The New York Times in 1991, most cartoon series featured a legion of male characters but only a single female, a phenomenon that Pollitt called the “Smurfette Principle.” Because the animation industry and the children’s toy market were so closely linked at the time, the trope of a token girl amid a troupe of boys dominated not only television, but also the shelves of toy stores.”

Covering off everything from Thundercats to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and everything in-between) it’s clear that ‘Token Girl’ is still an issue when it comes to kids’ entertainment. But the efforts are out there (hello Powerpuff Girls!) – you just have to look for them.

Small point of note (that I picked up from reading this): I haven’t watched them for a while but it wouldn’t surprise me if 100% of all She-Ra episodes passed the Bechdel Test.

And that’s amazing.

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2. QUESTIONS

‘Who did you first fall in love with?’

‘What makes you laugh more than anything else in the world?’

‘What is something you’ve never told anyone else before?’

‘Where do you find peace?’

‘When have you felt most vulnerable?’

— all of these questions, and more, I found at this incredibly moving posts ‘Things to ask your parents before they die

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3. DEAR MOMMY BLOGGER

This isn’t new but, if you haven’t read it yet, then you should. It’s very good. Hell, even if you have read it, it’s worth a revisit.

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Josi Denise on why the ‘mommy blogger’ is over. It’s a brilliant piece of writing and so unbelievably on point I actually can’t find any one single paragraph that I’d want to pull out as a quote. Instead, I’d prefer you to go and read the whole thing in its entirety.

You will not be disappointed.

On a tangential note, back when I was working at 1000heads, we came up with a theory that ‘there was no such thing as a mommy blogger’ – instead it proposed the idea that in fact – heaven forbid – women (or moms) had passions that they enjoyed and instead talked about those passions through the lens of being a mom. It was fairly academic and didn’t really go anywhere. But still, interesting.

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4. DID YOU KNOW?

..
Earth has a new moon.

THAT'S NO MOON

It’s name? 2016 HO3.

And it’s kinda cool (there’s a video and everything).

Via NASA.

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5. THE MYTHICAL MILLENNIAL

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Excuse while I lol into my cornflakes.

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6. THIS WEEK, IN ‘PR PUFF PIECE’ CORNER

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OK, so this is from MASHABLE of all places.

But seriously. This is just utter drivel. Within the above named article you will find SEVEN HUNDRED WORDS on ‘a new social dawn of traditional marketing’ (their words, not mine) on how SONY is using online influencers to create content for launch of its next big movie launch.

Seven. Hundred. Words.

Online. Influencers.

A NEW SOCIAL DAWN OF TRADITIONAL MARKETING.

Honestly.

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7. WWDC & E3

If you’re interested in either of these events, my friend Stefan and I did a podcast specifically to cover both of them. You can download it from the website or subscribe via iTunes.

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Bonuses this week are:

And with that, FTOF/STOS comes to a close.

……

..

.

Well, kinda.

At this point I would normally publish a comedy gif and say something cool and catchy like ‘Whatley out’ – but this week, things are a bit different.

For what it’s worth, this Thursday I’ll be voting for the UK to REMAIN part of the EU. I’ve had many discussions with many people (huge thanks to Robbie for keeping my/his/our confirmation bias in check) and, if you’re reading this and you’re still unsure, here are the three best people I’ve seen/read on the subject:

  1. Professor of EU Law, Michael Dougan – this man knows the topic like no other and is a 25min watch and worth every second.
  2. Professor Nicholas Barr, of the London School of Economics and Political Science – probably the most in-depth and fact-based piece that I’ve read. This really nails each issue for me.
  3. Founder and Editor of Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, giving his brilliantly objective piece on the topic. If expert professors don’t work for you, then maybe this authoritative voice will.

The country is split in two on this referendum. Whichever way it goes, I sincerely hope that the same amount of passion and effort that went into the campaigning gets poured into how much work it’s going to take to patch us back together again afterwards.

We are, after all, stronger together.

Until next time.

JW.

x

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Seven things on Sunday (FtoF #180)

Things of note for the week ending… Sunday June 12th, 2016

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It’s Sunday. Not Friday. Friday I was busy. Saturday afternoon I threw a house party – AMAZING – SO MANY PEOPLE (and literally just finished clearing up). And so today, Sunday, I’m bringing you Seven Things on Sunday instead.

And then I’ll get breakfast.

But first, for you lovely people, here are ALL THE INTERESTING THINGS I SAW ON THE INTERNET THIS WEEK…

LET’S GO!

1. SLOW JAM NEWS

Jimmy Fallon on President Barack Obama slow jam the neeeews. You’ve probably seen this by now but whatever, it’s still awesome.

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— hit the image to play in YouTube, yo —

What’s not to love?

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2. SONY PS4 4K

PS4K

So this is interesting. It’s been long rumoured that Sony will be launched a mid-life-time upgrade of the world’s best selling console, the PlayStation 4.

This week, that rumour was confirmed.

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Original story (paywall – but you just need an account) or read more here.

The key points however are:

“Andrew House, president and global chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, told the Financial Times that the “high-end PS4” would be more expensive than the current $350 version.

“It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4,” he said. “We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle.”

The new console, which is codenamed “Neo”, will target hardcore gamers, he said, as well as consumers with a 4K television set looking for more high-resolution content.”

Why is this interesting?

As a PS4 owner and avid gamer, I’m interested in this for a number of reasons.

First, as the leaders in Blu-Ray technology, you can hazard a guess that the PS4 4K (or ‘PS4.5’) will ship with the latest UHD Blu-Ray player therein. Meaning, like the PS3 before it, it’ll be arguably become one of the best UHD Blu-Ray players on the market – and that’s before you even get to any of the gaming.

Second, 4K TV ownership is on the rise. As prices tumble and content choice increases, more and more are investing in the latest screen technology to enjoy Netflix, Amazon etc (maybe Sky TV too at some point, but I won’t be watching that). Having a PS4 that can output at 4K res would be frankly awesome.

Third and finally, the gaming! Word is this upgraded machine somehow impacts the VR capabilities of the machine. I’ve got my PSVR headset on pre-order (you can read my experiences with it to date over on Plaaayed) and every time I’ve played it, it’s been a) excellent and b) on an original PS4 machine. I’m super intrigued as to how this might improve that experience and, as much as it seems like another ton of cash to shell out, I’m quite interested to see how this plays out.

Fingers crossed we’ll find out soon.

Bonus: it’s E3 next week. Keep an eye out for some huge game announcements (if that’s your thing).

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3. SO SOPHIE

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“In less than a decade Sophie went from being a virtual unknown in the US to the go-to baby gift for the upper-middle class. Roughly 500,000 Sophies are sold in the US each year. Its price point is right in prime baby shower gift territory. The giraffe is the 10th most popular baby item on Amazon, alongside staples like changing pads and breast milk storage bags.”

 If you know anybody with a small child, you would’ve seen Sophie the Giraffe. You may not know anybody with a small child (really?) but you still may’ve spotted Sophie on a street wall, perhaps left there for someone to come and find having lost it a few days prior… Sophie is everywhere.
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4. THE PRINCE NOTES

PRINCE

I’m still ploughing through ALL THE AMAZING STUFF that has been written about Prince. Both from before and after his passing.

This post, by Anil Dash, covers off the notes that his long-time manager, Alan Leeds, wrote re: the above Greatest Hits album. They’re filled with little cute anecdotes and well worth ten minutes of your reading time.

Enjoy.

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5. WHAT DO UBER DRIVES AND STRIPPERS HAVE IN COMMON?

This is a fascinating read from Bloomberg. No comments, just go read.

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6. HAVE YOU SEEN THE TIME?

synaesthesia

The “normal” form of the condition called synesthesia is weird enough: For people with this condition, sensory information gets mixed in the brain causing them to see sounds, taste colors, or perceive numbers as having particular hues.

But psychologist David Brang is studying a bunch of people with an even odder form of synesthesia: These people can literally “see time.”

mindblow

THIS IS MIND-BLOWING AND AMAZING.

Read it.

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7. 360 PHOTOS FOR EVERYBODY!

Hey look! Facebook rolled out 360 photo uploads for y’all this week.

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Wanna give it a go? Follow the instructions above. Android users, if you have Google Cardboard Camera installed, they work too. Check out my [terrible] efforts from my Istanbul trip a couple of months back.

Really, really cool.

Expect to see a whole lot more of these in your newsfeed as of… NOW.

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Bonuses this week are all self-serving in some way or another.

  • Ogilvy Blaze Radio. On June 14th, Ogilvy is launching a three-day pop-up radio station ran by entirely by its staff. From DJ sets to interviews and features, there’ll be a ton of cool stuff happening. We’ll be broadcasting from 9am to 9pm, 14th-16th of June. I’m on it too. Full schedule goes live tomorrow – here.
  • How’s this for choice architecture?
  • The 2016 Brand Z Top 100, from Millward Brown and WPP, launched this week. And it’s a pretty heavy read. I tend to flick through the full report when it comes out each year, and there are always a few interesting nuggets to take away (eg: Coca-Cola no longer in the top ten, McDonald’s now the only non-tech brand in the top ten). It’s a great little browse. This year however I’m super proud to say that I’ve been named as one of the key contributors and have a few quotes (on tech, millennials, and Gen z) as well as a two page piece on how to create core brand distinction in the digital age. Really, really chuffed with it.You can download your copy via this PDF link right now, I’d love to know what you think.

And that’s that!

Thanks for reading, as ever and – until next time – have an amazing week.

smashed it

Whatley out, x.

 

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Five things on Friday #179

Things of note for the week ending Friday June 3rd, 2016.

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1. THE PIPE

So, this is awesome.

I met my friend Angus (pictured left, below – I don’t know who the man on the right is) on the Marketing Academy almost six years ago exactly.

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He’s a smart chap and, thanks to a fortuitous turn of events, now works as a Creative at Ogilvy. Hurrah!

Anyway, I had coffee with Angus a couple of days ago and it turns out he’s one of the brains behind a new Ogilvy Group UK effort to get different thinkers / creatives / creators / etc – an ‘in’ in the advertising world. The name of the scheme?

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What is The Pipe? Well…

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The thing that I really genuinely love about this project is its ambition. In short: the [advertising] industry has too many white middle class men. It does.

All trained at the same universities, all studied the same theory, all run through the same training.

David Ogilvy once said ‘Talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels.’ – and with ‘The Pipe’, the aim is to break the cycle above and bring in new and DIFFERENT talent.

Specifically creative talent.

If you can answer ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Are you creative?’ (or if you know someone that can) then it’d be really quite effing awesome if you would consider either applying or sharing it with someone who could.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve trained in advertising or not – Ogilvy wants to hear from you.

There are NO education requirements, NO age limits (not strictly true: you have to be over 18, but still), and crucially – NO previous experience is necessary.

What can you do?

FIRST: please consider sharing http://ogilvypipe.co.uk within (and beyond) your networks of friends, family, schoolmates, college/uni buddies, work colleagues… anywhere where we might reach outside of the normal circles.

SECOND: if this sounds like you – why not apply?

Applications close later this month – so you don’t have long!

You never know, you could help someone with the career change of a lifetime.

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2. THE BIG GAMBLE

bettinghsops

My dad taught me never to bet on anything you’re not certain you’re going to win. As a result, I reckon I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve stepped inside a betting shop.

Really not my thing.

At all.

This next thing has been floating around the internet this week – and rightly so. The latest Guardian Long Read is a doozy…

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This is the best long read I’ve had all week. This piece is well-researched, expertly-written, and above all demonstrates an incredible insight into the world of betting shops and the dangers that await therein.

It’s a fantastic read. Grim. But fantastic.

Read it.

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3. FULL DAY OF MUSIC, VOL 4

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Use Spotify?

Here’s a brand new EIGHT HOUR playlist specifically for your ears.

If you’re interested, volumes 1, 2, and 3 linked to near the end of available this post.

Enjoy!

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4. VR SHOULD BE BANNED

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Here’s a super provocative read from a military flight simulation expert (as discovered on Quora in answer to the question ‘How big an issue is nausea for VR products?’) that basically that states, with evidence, that the long-term effects of being in VR could prevent you from operating heavy machinery safely.

REALLY really interesting reading. Even more so for those of us that either a) have a VR unit already or b) have one on pre-order.

Definitely one to keep an eye on.

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5. OSCAR DANCES

File this one under ‘pretty much guaranteed to make you laugh no matter what’ – so a decent thing to end this week’s edition on, I’d say.

First though, have you seen Ex_Machina?

ex-machina

If you have you’re going to LOVE this.

If you haven’t – then please fix that asap. It was definitely one of the best films of 2015 and you’re 100% missing out by NOT seeing it.

OK, back to the cool kids. ‘Oscar Dances’ is AN ENTIRE TWITTER ACCOUNT dedicated to remixing that dance scene with different music…

Everything from Mmmbop to Heart of Glass.

GO AND WATCH THIS AND LAUGH AND LAUGH AND LAUGH – it’s too perfect.

Lol-tastic 🙂

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Bonus items this week are as follows:

And finally…

I’m currently listening to the podcast of Elon Musk’s interview at Recode (it’s less than 24hrs old and you can watch it right now on YouTube) and he just said the following:

‘Life can’t be just about solving problems like there have to be things that are inspiring and exciting that make you glad to be alive.’
And you know what? He’s right.


Thanks for reading and I hope you have a glorious weekend.
Whatley out.
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Five things on Friday #178

Things of note for the week ending Friday May 27th, 2016.

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It’s Friday. I’ve got things for you. And you’ve got eyes for me.

Well, my things.

You know what I mean.

Shall we?

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1. DONATE A LIFE AMERICA

This one is pretty heavy BUT it is without doubt one of the best Instagram cases I’ve seen this year, if not ever.

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Did you know that while nearly 90% of people support being an organ donor, only 52% of people have signed up? Donate a Life America set out to tap into the 300m ‘hearts’ that are given every day on Instagram and get people to sign up straight from the platform.

Please, watch this video, and see for yourself.

It’s pretty moving stuff – you have been warned.

I have to to tell you: this work came out of the Ogilvy Chicago office and my colleague Lauren threw it under my nose this week to ask me about something else… I was like ‘Woah, what?!’ – I had no idea we’d done it and immediately wanted to share it.

The campaign is still pretty fresh but the results (I think it was something like over 250% increase in registrations) have been phenomenal.

Make you proud to be part of something that can make a true difference to people’s lives.

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2. STAR WARS – IN ONE IMAGE

I would embed this but y’know, the page size would increase by about 12 parsecs.

But here’s a couple of grabs –

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And here’s the whole damn thing.

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3.WHO PAYS INFLUENCERS?

 

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This has been shard a bit already this week and I tend not to share stuff [here] that has done the rounds a few times. However, I like this one so much I just had to.

Anonymous bloggers name (and in some cases shame) brands and agencies what they did for what cash and when. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

Really really interesting reading.

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4. DOES SIRI BELIEVE IN GOD?

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As opening paragraphs go, this one’s a doozy:

“I asked Siri whether she believes in God. “I believe in the separation of spirit and silicon,” she demurred. I asked the chatbot ELIZA the same question — her thing is she’s a therapist, so she’d rather focus on what I believe. I asked her if she was religious; she asked if I’d prefer if she weren’t. “We aren’t really talking about me, are we,” she replied. When I asked Cortana about God, she tried to search for Him on Bing.”

Leigh Alexander here with her theological guide to chatbots and the world’s major religions. Covering off everything from ‘would Islam accept an AI’ to ‘whether bots could become Christian’ – this is a great read.

It kinda stays with you too.

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5. LUKE’S MUM

Twitter user ‘@BeardyNoise’ lost his Mum recently a while back and has been sharing stories about her on Twitter. His Mum’s name was Claire Gooding and, from what I’ve read about her this week, it seems like she was a total badass.

Three things I’m telling you to do right now:

  • First, go follow @BeardyNoise (tell him I said hi).
  • Second, click on this Tweet, and read the full anecdote from start to finish.
  • Third, give BeardyNoise a nudge next week because we all want to know the Black Mamba story and we’re already tired of waiting.

Much love.

Here’s to your awesome Mum, Luke.

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Bonuses this week are as follows:

  • Back in [the bonus section of FToF #172, I mentioned that Sky TV/Internet and X-MEN: APOCALYPSE had done quite an incredible tie-up/campaign. I mean, it’s cheesy as hell but still. Impressive. IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I hear that Manchester Utd did one too. One slight difference mind. Whereas Sky’s is creative and vaguely interesting/relevant. Man Utd’s, is not. In fact one might simply call it awful.
  • The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens vinyl has the most amazing 3D holograms built into the actual record you have to see it to believe it.
  • Monument Valley in numbers. Staggering.

Aaaaand – I’m outta here!

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PS. Liked this? Tell your friends.

PPS. THREE. DAY. WEEKEND.

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