Friday Reading #97

Summer time is starting to descend on Corinthian House this week, well paired with the smell of bacon wafting across the terrace to sooth sore heads this morning. It’s all in the name of charity, raising funds to help our good friends at The Alzheimer’s Society. Adding to the charitable good natured fun, some Goodstuffers have started a photo challenge to help raise awareness of our other favourite cause, SWAN UK. Simply post a picture of you as a child with the hashtag #SWANphotochallenge, asking five friends to do the same, and donate £3 to our Just Giving page. Seeing the cherubic baby faces of your friends can’t help but make you think about the 6,000 equally lovely kids who are born each year with sydromes so rare they are often impossible to diagnose.


I don’t know about you, but I was partial to a sneaky power
nap during double maths on a Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately for children in
the future, it’s going to get more difficult to have a cheeky siesta once
teachers start using facial
to find out whether students are actually listening while they
talk about long division. AI is currently being developed and tested in France
that can identify whether or not students are paying attention by using
software to examine eye movements and facial expressions. The software is
currently being used to build patterns which can then predict when students are
more likely to lose focus, and thus may be able to notify them. Facial
recognition is increasingly being put to use for security purposes so it’s
interesting to see it used in the field of education.


Imagine a world where your drunken 3am tweets, @’ing your
least favourite politician to demand a better healthcare system (and a greasy
kebab) could prevent you from going to the USA. Imagine a world where the
American Dream is just a distant memory because you once tweeted TFL
complaining about the ridiculous delay in the unbelievable heat
which made you late for your in-laws dinner-party. Well yes, it’s happening.

Donald Trump has requested that anyone seeking a visa to
travel to the USA must provide 5 years of social media handles, along with 15
years of biographical information as well as previous telephone numbers and
email addresses.

Whilst critics have argued that this will ‘lead to long
delays in [visa] processing’, supporters of the new requirement believe that
social media can supply important information about possible terrorist
networks, and help keep dangerous individuals out of the country.

What about a piece of technology which has the potential to make it less likely you’ll make it through the new US border laws? Snapchat spectacles, the lighthearted party cousin to the sci-fi Google Glass, is finally going on sale in the UK. For the bargain price of £129, you too can record 10 second clips of first person circular video through disco coloured sunglasses. The innovative circular video format is designed for mobile, so it can be viewed in both portrait and landscape orientations in full screen.

It’s on sale now through the boring old website, but also through Snapbot vending machines which are popping up all over the country in locations which change every day.  


Microsoft are
attempting to turn the internet upside-down, ‘paying’ users to use Bing rather
than other more generally favoured search engines. Thousands of searches are completed
every second, with a whopping 86% being made on Google. First launched in 2016 in
the US, the incentives scheme is a rewards program for using Microsoft’s
which launched on Wednesday in the UK. Collect points by searching on
Bing or purchasing an item from the Microsoft Store and exchange the points for
items… simple! And we thought reward schemes were limited to coffee shops.

No I don’t know what they were thinking either, look at that girl in the middle, she can definitely peek past the paper blinkers. But let’s not get too hung up on the reference image, the real story is an interesting new piece from former PHD planning director and remarkably square jawed media thinker David Wilding for Campaign. He points out the limitations of a media measurement world blinkered to coverage and frequency – a system which ignores the texture and quality of a plan, and sells creativity short. There’s no simple solution, but some smart points on how we can think more expansively about the way a plan is evaluated in four core areas: ideas, impact, mindset and context.

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