“The Golden Eagle has Landed” The Raven Marketing, Media & Tech Round-up — 29th July — Moon Landing Special
The Raven delivers 10 talking points across #media, #tech #marketing and the #Environment… Apart from reaching the moon, what else has sparkled in the roost this Raven this Earth #Overshoot day?
Veggie burgers for vampires, pizzas for bees, miniature satellites, the start of applied telepathy, Britbox whelms, Alan Turing wins round The Times, chefs versus food bloggers, chips versus fish, the Faceapp explosion, Elon Musk brings Stranger Things to your Tesla while he hacks your brain, Tokyo has rewarding electronics, Peering into Amazon, and tears in the rain…
As it’s a Moon landing special, this week’s intro song reaches back to the happenstance and shrewdness served up in the summer of 1969. David Bowie’s Space Oddity, the 2019 anniversary mix as premiered in Washington on the golden anniversary of Apollo 11’s lunar touchdown.
Remember: Find every intro song on the Raven Playlist.
Birdseye: Green Cuisine.
Escaping lunar orbit for a fun spot from Birdseye. It’s difficult to stand out from the crowd in the fast-growing marketplace of meat alternatives. Many brands, inextricably linked to meat for so many years, are facing an existential crisis. The majority are approaching the challenge as they should — with gusto and eyes on a huge market. We’ve seen recent examples and, let’s be fair, a fair few stunts, from food retailers on the frontline, but this pointy-toothed slot may stand as a classic of a transient phase. When the emphasis is on comparing the product to meat. Reassurance, huh? What better concept than some starving vampires? Even in this searing heat, they seldom put a fang wrong.
Can I resist the urge to follow that up with something as ridiculous as pizzas for bees?
Saved by the coolest icon of ad-land. One from the archives to mark the passing of Rutger Hauer earlier this month, announced last week. A phenomenal and arresting screen presence, not least for his captivating, cold and empathetic turn as Roy Batty in 1982’s Blade Runner — who’s fictional death incidentally came in the same year as Hauer’s. For years he was synonymous with Gunness for their Pure Genius campaign and beyond. Here’s an inexplicable classic.
1. Media. Moon Landing at 50.
Last week marked 50 years since humanity first set foot on anywhere other than Earth. Not just an epic achievement but mankind’s greatest. The anniversary also provided a timely set of necessary warnings: how demonstrably faster technology moved in the 20th century, stalling on a lack of planning and international cooperation; also, how prevalent scepticism about man’s great achievements remains, if it’s not growing. Doubting our achievements can only delay action to confront our great and matching mistakes if it’s not already too late. Fuelled by social innovations, moon landing-deniers are depressingly numerous and active in the early 21st century, drawing on Chinese whispers from half a decade ago. It’s phenomenal how few inhabitants of this planet realise that there have been six crewed landings on Earth’s satellite.
We may or may not have just missed out on the UK’s hottest day in recorded history. It’s still a timely point to remember the photography that sprang from the Apollo missions, giving humanity a whole new view of our tiny, and increasingly boiling planet. The full “Blue Marble” shot of Earth would arrive home with Apollo 17 in December 1972 and couldn’t be a more apposite image for today, 29th July, otherwise known as Earth #OvershootDay, the date at which humanity’s demand exceeds the resources the planet can replenish within the year. In 2019 that means we’re using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.
Official Trailer | Chasing the Moon | PBS | Season 31 | American Experience
The mission that changed everything. Chasing the Moon premieres July 8, 2019 on PBS.
But enough of on the dark ages, more on the Age of Wonder. Watching the PBS’s Chasing the Moon on the day of the anniversary, a documentary season that added a personal and political slant to the technical achievement of the Mercury and Apollo missions, two things stuck out. The sage words of contemporary players whose appeals for the Apollo program to form part of a 50- or 100-year strategy fell on deaf ears in the glow of a space race won. Then there are the wry words of Michael Collins, the crucial crew member who stayed in orbit while Aldrin and Armstrong headed to the surface, and for a considerable time was the loneliest human in history. During the gruelling world tour that following the astronauts’ mission and extended quarantine, the three were continually quizzed on the philosophical and religious dimensions of what they’d achieved. As Collins pointed out, had they been philosophers they’d never have been sent to the moon in the first place, let alone made it. That is very much the human condition, even as society rapidly shifts . We can’t have our cake and eat it. It’s what keeps everything interesting and startling and should keep us all alert.
2. Tech. Facebook pays the price.
In any other week, this would headline — the epic $5bn fine US regulators have agreed to levy against Facebook in the United States for its data misuse and the tech giant has conceded. A gigantic sum, even pitched against the $22bn that Facebook took last year. Mark Zuckerberg, who has started implementing several well-publicised structural and policy changes to tackle data use, at the cost of some high profile department heads, has escaped personal responsibility for previous missteps. But the story isn’t over — with their current sprawling sector-reach, the repercussions will hang around the neck of Facebook and other tech giants for decades to come.
Facebook to pay $5bn to settle privacy concerns
Facebook will pay a record $5bn fine to settle privacy concerns, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said. The…
3. Media. Here it is… Britbox.
The big Britbox announcement — what we’ve all been waiting for! Bear in mind this brand has been out in the wild, away from British shores, for many years and is dogged by the cruel shadow of project Kangaroo — the bold and ambitious digital platform proposed by UK broadcasters a decade ago and daftly kiboshed by the regulator — and you’ll be, well, you’ll be whelmed. There has to be something sharper emerging from this partnership.
4. Tech. The Faceapp explosion.
It’s been the tech-social story of the last two weeks, but warnings and naysayers haven’t put off millions from running their phiz through tech that, at best, is funny until it comes true (although, it’s mostly being quite genial). This is a good article from the BBC that drags in other platform T&Cs we’re more likely to overlook when their reach is comfortably pandemic rather than abruptly viral. Inevitable, it closes by addressing whether everyone’s data is heading straight to Russia…
Can you trust FaceApp with your face?
Everyone is talking about FaceApp — the app that can edit photos of people’s faces to show younger or older versions of…
5. Media. Chefs join the digital battleground.
I know a fair few food bloggers, I know a fair few chefs. They’re not happy restaurant-fellows. The world of entitlement surrounding wannabe influencers, with its misunderstood thrall of promotion, is exacerbated in eateries. Perhaps it’s all the more acute because of the crushing collision of the traditional and the modern. It’s chef’s finding the middle-ground to go on the offensive…
Mind you, could this be the beginning of the end for the influencer?
Here’s Why Instagram Getting Rid of Likes Could Be a Big Deal For Our Mental Health
Instagram is running a social media experiment in Australia and elsewhere to see what happens when it hides the number…
6. Green: A new definition of circuits at Tokyo 2020
A year until the Olympics hit Japan and they’ve revealed their rather inspired medals. Discarded electronics — not something you may have expected to fit so well with the greatest sporting event on Earth. they look superb.
7. Tech. In-game purchasing under scrutiny again.
The emphasis rightly falls on developers and publishers when gameplay details suggest something a little insidious. The dependence on in-game purchasing, whether it’s a poor attempt at forcing community or as cynical as it often appears, it has caused considerable embarrassment and dented reputations in recent years — especially when it’s affectionately called ‘loot’, aw. Still, railing from online forums and rattled fandom can easily conceal wider societal issues and repercussions.
‘My son spent £3,160 in one game’
Last week we told the story of the family whose children emptied their parents’ bank account buying players in the…
8. Tech. The future of space exploration is… Smaller.
When was the last time you thought about miniaturisation in space? It’s not something stirred by 50-year-old footage of moon landings or box office-dominating science fiction, but we’re entering a fascinating universe of tiny satellites.
The Beanie Baby-sized satellites changing how we see the world
There is a beloved story about the dimensions of the space shuttle. Apparently the booster rockets had to fit through…
9. Green Entrepreneurs. Media. Should we all stop eating Fish and Chips? Prime Day fall-out.
It was a profound story, particularly as a volte-face linked to entrepreneurship, highstreet success, and a dish the British hold very close to their hearts. Emerging companies and start-ups tend to fall into two camps, those that embrace environmental responsibilities and those who trade against it. After the owner of The Fish and The Chip closed its doors after a fishing trip highlighted its environmental impact, one of the most divisive headlines you’ll ever see.
Should we stop eating fish and chips?
Fish and chips is a national institution that has endured for generations — enjoyed by families, end-of-week workers…
While I’m on entrepreneurs, this year’s Amazon Prime Day (now virtually a week) followed Jeff Bezos’ social-stealing appearance at the Men’s Singles Final at Wimbledon. But, am I right that it’s fizzled a little more than last year? Just when I was thinking this needed a new Bezos zone to rival his great rival (see 10)… But it wasn’t fizzling everywhere.
We Talked to People Who Are Boycotting Amazon Prime Day
Image: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images Prime Day-Amazon’s extravagant celebration of discounts across its…
A timely moment for this new podcast from the Guardian, charting the success and controversies of the retail giant: Jeff Bezos and the United States of Amazon.
10. Tech. Muskzone — an alternate universe.
A fascinating couple of weeks in this Zone, not least because of Grimes’ horrifying training regime. Brace yourself. Meanwhile, the man she has described as a “super-interesting goddamn person” unveiled his thoughts on interfacing the human brain with technology.
Elon Musk reveals brain-hacking plans
NeuraLink, a company set up by Elon Musk to explore ways to connect the human brain to a computer interface, has…
But this is a moon landing special, and the owner of SpaceX sat down with the Times Editor-at-Large to discuss putting mankind back there and more… Some fantastic insight.
Elon Musk Told Us Why He Thinks We Can Land on the Moon in ‘Less Than 2 Years’
In an interview with TIME, Elon Musk gives his predictions for the near-future of human space travel.
One last thing…
Alan Turing didn’t just earn a spot on the £50 note this summer, but a new obituary from the Times, that cruelly and curtly reduced him to five barbed paragraphs six decades ago.