The Future of Shopping Is Music To Our Ears

New cool thing alert! Haven’t brands been disrupted enough in 2020 already?

Introducing DroppTV:

“Utilizing AI & machine-learning algorithms capable of identifying apparel featured within video content, droppTV enables instant, click-to-buy purchasing, letting viewers shop directly inside the video and also browse artists’ virtual pop-up stores to seamlessly purchase merchandise like limited-edition streetwear.

Currently piloting with music videos, the platform aims to fuse entertainment with retail to create immersive and connected experiences directly linking brands and creators with their audiences. PSFK identified droppTV for research on innovative retail strategies for the disrupted 2020 holiday season—check out more inspiration here.”

Why it’s hot?

Monetizing identifying AI is a long time coming, being able to seamlessly integrate that technology into consumer behavior is a big step in a new direction.

Source: PSFK

QVC is back on top? Facebook and Amazon bring us Live Shopping with Influencers

You could already get hot deals on Amazon through Amazon Live. Facebook is now following suit.

Enter FB/IG live shopping. Where social sellers can sell items live in real time. It harkens back to a simpler time, but now instead of calling and paying in increments you click and afterpay?

Why it’s hot?

Utilizing user behavior that’s so native with new digital tools is exciting. The team is interested in seeing if this helps brands improve their ecommerce objectives.

The DNC’s Role Call Goes Viral

Rhode Island’s Calamari is having a moment!

https://twitter.com/business/status/1295926733921820678

The DNC goes digital in our Coronavirus/zoom marathon era. Instead of what is usually groups of delegates gathered in an arena with their respective state name, we got a demonstration of the diversity of humanity and geography that is the USA. This was a breath of fresh air to those who have been feeling fed up with politics.

Why it’s hot?

What could have been very technically tricky was considered a huge success. A typically very skeptical Twitter agees. It made a really stagnant tradition into an uplifting moment.

 

 

 

The BA Test Kitchen Loses Their Viral Video Talent over Pay Equality

Bon Appétit has not released a video on its beloved Test Kitchen channel since June 5, amid a reckoning of how the food brand treats and compensates its employees of color.

And once the video brand returns, it will look much different than what its six million YouTube subscribers were accustomed to.

Six members of Bon Appétit’s 13 on-camera talent have announced that they will no longer appear in videos with the food magazine’s Test Kitchen brand: Rick Martinez, Sohla El-Waylly, Priya Krishna, Gaby Melian, Molly Baz, and Carla Lalli Music.

Martinez, El-Waylly, Krishna, and Melian said in statements that Condé Nast’s lack of commitment to diversity and inclusion led to their departure. Baz and Music said they will leave out of solidarity with their peers.”

https://twitter.com/lallimusic/status/1293566520476471296

Which bears the question: Why not just make pay equity happen? And fast?

Gizmodo theorizes that Conde Nast higher ups don’t understand the work and detail that go into videos, as well as the heart. They were data driven in these decisions but video is mostly art.

Why It’s Hot?

Inflexible corporations need to not only put their money where their mouth is, but to do it fast. There is a price to pay for not flexing with culture, and minority groups are going to be more vocal about workplace inequity. There is a lot of humanity in the BA test kitchen, and sadly the data driven decision-making has soured BA’s audience on their content network.

 

 

Science Twitter Goes Bananas

Following Science Twitter in the time of the pandemic has been a personal treat (anyone else following Andy Slavitt?) This is the best way to get new COVID info fast.

https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/1291146820320714752

Recently there has been MAJOR drama within the science Twitter world. My friend (a research scientist) summarized it well for me “Science Twitter has been insane recently. This is a professor named BethAnn who started a movement called MeTooSTEM to try to bring to light sexual harassment in academia, especially among a protected class of tenured professors. She was briefly [at the center of this discussion] as she did not get tenure after fighting against a prof at her university accused of sexual harassment. But, BethAnn has been accused for a long time of being anti-POC… Lots of people dropped out of the movement.”

Per the NYTimes, an “anonymous [Twitter] account, @Sciencing_Bi, was an active participant in the corner of Science Twitter that frequently discusses issues of sexual misconduct in the sciences. It claimed on at least one occasion to have grown up in Alabama, to have “fled the south because of their oppression of queer folk,” and to have attended Catholic school. The account began to pointedly make reference to being Native American and, earlier this year, began to identify as Hopi.

Since 2016, it has posted often about issues around social justice in the sciences, with a focus on activism and research about sexual harassment.”

“Then BethAnn McLaughlin, another Twitter connection, announced on July 31 that the anonymous professor had died from complications of the virus.”

“The same day, Gerardo Gonzalez, a spokesman for Arizona State University, where the anonymous Twitter user was supposedly a professor, described the anonymous account as a “hoax.”

The account had posted inaccurate information about the school, he said. “We also have had no one, such as a family member or friend, report a death to anyone at the university,” he added.”

As it turns out, this account was actually created (and killed off) by BethAnn herself.

BethAnn McLaughlin in late 2018.BethAnn McLaghlin

@Sciencing_Bi seemed to make BethAnn impenetrable to criticism. Now it’s clear that this person was a figment of her imagination, not a fully realized human, and a tool to shield BethAnn herself.

Why it’s hot?

Catfishing is real. This person was believed across the scientific universe. Her university had to disavow the person before it was realized. What does that mean when we are all getting our information from “experts online” in the pandemic?

Oura Rings Are The Wearables that Could Detect COVID Before You Do

The NBA is back starting July 30th and are using wearables to ensure that they are COVID free.

The wearable is “a $300 ring made by the Finnish company Oura that measures temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and other physiological data that could theoretically be helpful for detecting whether someone has COVID-19, even before they start exhibiting symptoms. By plugging these variables into an algorithm, the ring will provide the players with an “illness probability score” that tells them whether they should seek a medical examination. A smartphone app linked to the ring will present the score and other information the device has collected. The inner surface of the ring has three sensors: an infrared photoplethysmography sensor for respiration and heart rate, a negative temperature coefficient for body temperature, and a 3D accelerometer for movement.”

How does it work? “While the Oura Ring was originally designed to track sleep patterns, the company is now funding studies at West Virginia University’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute and the University of California San Francisco to determine whether the device could be useful for early COVID-19 detection. A Gizmodo investigation found that the pandemic has prompted a number of similar studies on other wearable technologies – including Fitbits, the Apple Watch, and the Whoop fitness tracker—which have thus far seemed promising, but far from conclusive. Early findings suggest that a higher resting heart rate, respiratory rate, and skin temperature could possibly signal the onset of an infection before the symptoms become noticeable. This is partly due to the fact that body’s immune system produces a substance called C-reactive protein during an infection, which is correlated with higher heart rates and other physiological signs. The Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute recently announced preliminary results from a study observing 600 healthcare professionals and first responders, indicating that the Oura Ring may be able to detect illness up three days before symptoms with 90 percent accuracy.”

Why It’s Hot? 

This could be huge for the US coronavirus fight. These digital markers (maybe with blue tooth to do digital “contact tracing” could help us follow COVID around the US map.

Source: https://slate.com/technology/2020/06/nba-coronavirus-oura-ring-orlando.html

KPop Stans Use Their Online Powers to Support BLM

Kpop stans are using their vast powers for good. Kpop fans (known on the internet as “stans”) are known for some typically bothersome behavior. Adding “fancast” videos to already trending threads (videos that focus on a favorite band member even in group numbers). These videos seem out of context on threads and are put in to jack up the view counts on the videos and introduce the star to new audiences.

Now, they’re flooding the feeds of white supremacists with videos of Kpop stars.

They’re also matching donations of their favorite bands BTS!

Why its hot?

Kpop fans KNOW the internet, they know how to manipulate algorithms. They’re being “summoned” for good. Who else might use these tactics as time goes on?

 

 

Theme Parks and Zoos Social Distance Hilarously

Some states are reopening, which poses a problem for businesses that have a big in person element. It’s hard to be confrontational, to ask people to stay apart. But some businesses are looking for ways to make something that might seem tactless, become hilarious.

Enter Gatorland’s “Skunk Ape”:

“People love Skunk Ape!” said Gatorland’s CEO. “People were doing selfies. From a safe distance, of course. He wouldn’t touch anyone.”

“A less crowded park might mean shorter lines for rides, especially if parks move toward “virtual queueing,” where visitors check in at a ride and receive a time to return later in the day. (Disney superfans noticed when the Disneyland app added a virtual queueing tab earlier this month.) But if your favorite park doesn’t employ this technology, your wait might be long—and very different. Queue areas will incorporate 6-foot social distancing through decals and signs applied directly to the pavement. The traditional “snake” line, weaving back and forth to pack a lot of people into a little space, will be replaced by longer straight lines stretching far from the ride.”

A roller coaster with only a few people on it with an arrow indicating the distance between the people.

In Japan, one Zoo is putting stuffed capybaras at seats to break up crowds

Why it’s hot?

This is a way to keep branding alive while still enforcing new social boundaries. There are new ways to enforce that are both digital and social/funny.  A combination will be needed to keep COVID spread down.

The Office. On Slack.

The office adapts to the way we work now! Welcome to The Office Slack, a slack reinterpretation of every episode of the office.

“The account comes from a creative collective known as MSCHF, “a group of 10 offbeat creatives based in a small office in Brooklyn.” They post on the Office Slack during traditional office hours, naturally (weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), in real-time, meaning some episodes take days or even weeks to fully play out.”

https://theofficeslack.com/#

Why it’s hot?

This is such an out of the box way to absorb content, can be used within your work tools while you’re working. You can check in or out at any time. True Office fans can pick up at any time…

Just Copy Paste from Real Life

Designer Cyril Diagne (AI/UX “artist” in residence at Google) has built a beta AR app that takes IRL objects and adds them to your photoshop work. It’s real world copy paste.

Here’s how it works: you point your phone at a book sitting on your desk, the software produces an image of just the book on your phone screen, you point the phone at your computer, and the book image gets pasted into the Photoshop document. It looks like straight-up magic (or at least like a scene from Minority Report or something):”

Check out Cyrils thread about how the sausage gets made:

Why it’s hot? Why it’s hot you ask?!

Well. The computers are taking our jobs. Just kidding. Their making our jobs easier. This is the kind of seamless transition that we wish our phones and work computers could have with each other. Our new digital first age (put on overdrive due to the coronavirus) is taking us to places we’ve only dreamed of — now we get to see our dreams as reality!

Trendspotting: Making “Live Events” Work In the Pandemic (part 2)

Last week I posted about how live shows were moving online but what about typically “live” in person events that become fully digitized. Tonight the world gets excited for Travis Scott’s fortnight concert.

This viral tweet last week had the internet in a tizzy.

And tonight is the night:

https://twitter.com/FortniteGame/status/1253398297047425025

But he’s not the first to try it. DJ, Marshmello gives us a taste of what fortnight concerts will look like.

The ways that artists are going to be manipulating technologies to fit their needs is fascinating. Young people’s digital behavior is changing. Tik Tok is more viral than ever. Houseparty is taking off. Animal Crossing is making the world super conscious about radishes….

https://twitter.com/directedbyrian/status/1253365992849276934

(this one was just fun)

Why It’s Hot?

This is a great opportunity for MRM to help our clients navigate the brave new digital world. It’s really exciting and positive and allows us new ways to interact and share with each other. The pandemic has sped up the way that humans (so nimble!) make their social lives work and shift use cases of different tech to keep their connections alive.

 

Live Entertainment Adapts To The New Normal

Live entertainment is going digital. This weeks SNL took home cut video from cast members and made a #StayAtHome version. Check out the intro:

NYC theaters are also putting new content online. This week Playwrights Horizons launched a new podcast, Soundstage, putting new playwrights plays straight into your ear. This one is from one of my favorite playwrights, Robert O’Hara (Tufts Alumni for the strategy Jumbos).

And The National Theatre in London through their NT Live program (usually shown in movie theaters) is now releasing a live play on video every week. Actually their newest feature is making its world premiere RIGHT NOW. DURING HOT SAUCE.

Why it’s hot?

Art has a way of surviving. Even live art. There has been some twitter criticism that stage work is not translating well to the digital form, but this is opening a brand new way of staging live art and it’s still in its nascent stage. Looking forward to lots of new brilliant work in these new times.

Dyson Invents New Ventilator in 10 Days

When called upon to help with the Coronavirus pandemic by the UK government, James Dyson put his teams to work and came up with a new Dyson ventilator in 10 days that goes into production immediately.
“A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world,” Dyson wrote.
And noted: “This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume,” Dyson added, that the ventilator has been designed to “address the specific needs” of COVID patients.

Why it’s hot:

By running to the pandemic tasks, brands can use their ensure good will post pandemic. Dyson is a well oiled machine and its impressive which brands can pivot on a dime.

Furloughed Sports Commentator Makes the Mundane Competitive

Nick Heath, a rugby announcer from London has recently been put out of a job. Yes, the novel coronavirus has put a temporary end to sports and an end to the career of an announcer. But an announcers job is never done..

Nick’s twitter has obtained viral fame as he narrates the doldrums of London.

Here’s Nick’s origin story.

https://twitter.com/nickheathsport/status/1240629937117298688

Why It’s Hot?

People are looking for a moment of levity and everyone wants to feel useful! Which ways are laid off jobs a perfect fit for a current cultural need.

 

Social Platforms are Banning Covid Misinformation

Social platforms are taking a stand against Covid misinformation. Both individually and as a group of brands. Twitter statements below:

Some of misinformation that Twitter has removed:

  • “Coronavirus is not heat-resistant—walking outside is enough to disinfect you.”
  • “Use aromatherapy and essential oils to prevent COVID-19.”
  • “Drinking bleach and ingesting colloidal silver will cure COVID-19.”
  • “COVID-19 does not infect children because we haven’t seen any cases of children being sick.”
  • “Coronavirus is a fraud and not real—go out and patronize your local bar!!”
  • “The news about washing your hands is propaganda for soap companies, stop washing your hands.”
  • “Ignore news about COVID-19, it’s just an attempt to destroy capitalism by crashing the stock market.”
  • “The National Guard just announced that no more shipments of food will be arriving for 2 months—run to the grocery store ASAP and buy everything!”
  • “If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you do not have coronavirus.”
  • “If you have a wet cough, it’s not coronavirus—but a dry cough is.”
  • “You’ll feel like you’re drowning in snot if you have coronavirus—it’s not a normal runny nose.”
  • “People with dark skin are immune to COVID-19 due to melanin production.”
  • “Reading the Quran will make an individual immune to COVID-19.”
  • “Avoid businesses owned by Chinese people as they are more likely to have COVID-19.”

Here is a joint statement from the social platforms jointly:

Why it’s hot?

We’re living in an era of misinformation at the time where being able to rely on is mission critical. Facebook’s past mistakes with leaving up misinformation (as well as during the current election season) has reduced their credibility. Personal hypothesis: More are flocking to Twitter and Reddit to get information, giving these other platforms a boost right when everyone is spending a lot more time online.

Coronavirus Researchers Are Using Technology to Predict the Viral Path

As Coronavirus fears spread and hand sanitizer and face masks fly off the shelves, the question is, how to we prevent and mitigate.

Researchers are looking to AI for the solution. “John Brownstein, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School, built a tool called Healthmap after SARS killed 774 people around the world in the mid-2000s, his team built a tool called Healthmap, which scrapes information about new outbreaks from online news reports, chatrooms and more. Healthmap then organizes that previously disparate data, generating visualizations that show how and where communicable diseases like the coronavirus are spreading. Healthmap’s output supplements more traditional data-gathering techniques used by organizations like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The project’s data is being used by clinicians, researchers and governments.”

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

https://healthmap.org/en/

Why it’s hot?

Data is magic! We need to use all the resources at our disposal to mitigate the effects of the epidemic.

r/NoSleep Opens Up a Much Needed Conversation about Content Ownership

This Monday r/NoSleep (one of Reddits top 15 subreddits) shuttered its doors – albeit temporarily – due to content theft.

Try it for yourself: https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/ (closed at time of posting)

This blackout is taking a cue from writer T-Jay Lea who’s internet story went viral in 2012. His story The Expressionless, has been taken, adapted hundreds of times without his permission. His reaction was to start The Writers Blackout, a movement to prevent theft of internet writing by YouTubers.

Reddit’s R/NoSleep explains: “The Writer’s Blackout is a movement designed to help authors receive fair compensation from YouTube narrators via direct mediation and/or advice from experienced writers. In addition, this movement strives to provide writers with personal advice on individual negotiations, working out fee options such as revenue percentages, view to dollar ratios or royalty rights. In short, we must stress that the core imperative of the movement is to strictly enforce that writers receive fair pay for their work.”

“Within 24 hours it had exploded,” Lea told Mashable. “I mean *exploded* to the point that Twitter was freaking out over it, Snopes had to run a debunking article on it and YouTube influencers left, right and centre were jumping on it to react.”

“Ultimately, we want to achieve a standard baseline of pay for all writers when negotiating with any content creator that makes substantial profit on various platforms, build bridges with smaller or non-profit channels that can foster good relations as they grow, educate writers on what constitutes fair rates for their work (online adaptations pay differently to a publication, for example), educate narrators on copyright laws, and ensure everyone benefits,” Lea told Mashable.

“Craig Thompson, a YouTuber known as Mini Ladd, issued a public apology after his channel was threatened with deletion due to the copyright strikes it received from NoSleep writers.”

“After a particularly rough week involving our authors having their content stolen, I had the idea of shutting down the subreddit so that the content thieves couldn’t see it to take it,” Druga told Mashable. “Just kind of an angry, irrational thought that grew into an actual idea.”

“So many people think that, because the stories are free to read, they’re also free to use,” lead r/NoSleep moderator, Christine Druga, said. “This is not the case at all. The stories are protected by copyright law the moment they are posted. We’re hoping that closing the subreddit will not only make those who take the content without permission, credit, and/or compensation see that they’ve been doing it wrong and change their ways, but that fans of both r/NoSleep (and anywhere that r/NoSleep content has been shared) will learn about the issue as well so that they can properly support the authors.”

Source: https://mashable.com/article/nosleep-subreddit-private-protest-copyright-theft/

Why It’s Hot?

So much of our jobs is based off of intellectual property. After the years of Barstool Sports, F*ck Jerry and The Fat Jewish stealing intellectual property, we thought these days are behind us. But on the internet, we can’t have nice things. Some of the internet’s most interesting stories come from Reddit, but without recognition, and compensation, we might lose out on some of the great things Reddit (and the internet community at large) has to offer.

This is a great way to bring attention to the content theft, people might not even be  Readers have to understand that “just because it’s free to read, it’s not free to use.”

Write Your Memoir without Putting Pen to Paper

A new “service called Forevernote, which takes on the task of turning your memories into a memoir on your behalf.” Any life can be a memoir now. “Essentially, Forevernote gives you your own biographer. Sign up yourself or a loved one for the service and whether you’re looking to share a few short snippets of advice or a full detailed account of someone’s life, a trained biographer will help you shape your narrative and get you ready for a one-on-one interview.”

The one on one interview is transcribed and written by you or professional editors at Forevernote.

https://mashable.com/shopping/feb-18-forevernote-personalized-life-story-memoir/

Why it’s hot?

This addresses a niche gap in the market. They could incorporate innovation if they are using AI at all to transcribe interviews or even right.

Clearing out Your Facebook “Outside of app” Activity

Facebook is recording your off app activity and using it to market it to you. FUN. “As of Tuesday, you can now turn off the collection and sharing of data that sites and apps send to Facebook.”

“Websites and apps use Facebook’s Pixel and software development kit (SDK) to collect information about your device and your activity, and send that to Facebook. Facebook uses that information to then show you targeted ads.”

Some cell phones companies are notifying users when phones are collecting GPS and other data when they’re not using the app. ” Also, turning off this type of data sharing does mean that you won’t be able to use Facebook to log in to other apps or sites.”

Why it’s hot?

Facebook is responding to the negative feedback they’ve had about user privacy. With Cambridge Analytica and other data losses, its good to see them respond.

Amazon’s Ring Sees a Slew of Horrifying Hacks

The videos are blood curdling. We are now seeing negative stories break about Ring video hackings. They are of predatory, pranking or threatening (mostly) men speaking to women through rings speaker feature. 

This is a horrible PR incident for Ring, though their response seems like a perfectly logical answer to how this might have happened (double use of username/passwords) and that they are we’re still investigating this issue & taking appropriate steps to protect our devices based on our investigation, we’re able to confirm this is in no way related to a breach of Ring’s security.” If the problem is user error but the consequences can cripple your business… How do you insure that it doesn’t happen again? Forced 2FA?

Why it’s hot?

This is especially important for our security category clients. This can be an opportunity but it’s also a risk for current clients. This also can lead to generalized fear of technology and this kind of security progress. It hurts the category generally. If people can’t trust that they’re not being watched, digital security is rendered moot.

The Rise of Skywalker Takes Over Facebook Messenger

Disney took their media takeover full throttle last week and launched a new sticker and reaction line on Facebook messenger dedicated to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The changes include “a new Star Wars theme for its Messenger app, which gives it a starry background, a new set of SW-related stickers and special effects that will let you jump into hyperspace or turn you into a rebel fighter, among others.”

The only catch is it’s only available for some not all!

https://www.facebook.com/facebookapp/videos/831254103992198/

Why It’s Hot?

This is a bigger takeover than we’ve seen on Facbeook. Which makes sense for the seminal Star Wars finale movie. Will Facebook be open to more customization soon? For the right price?

 

This Dog Can Talk!

Meet Stella, the talking dog. Stella’s mom Christina Hunger is a speech language pathologist. Per Bustle, Christina “uses her skills to teach Stella how to communicate. According to Hunger, Stella already knows 29 words and can even form five-word phrases or sentences.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4AcoDPnNkO/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4QAxF1ht3K/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4VfYtFhJLV/

This seems pretty legit. We’ve seen science in non-verbal communication advance a lot over the years

Why it’s hot?

Here at MRM we’re OBSESSED with linguistics. And rightfully so! There is so much amazing data about how we communicate and what guides language. Think about what else we don’t know.

 

Look at this Meme!

When meme’s collide! In order to understand today’s politics — it’s time to KNOW YOUR MEME. In order to understand why a Nickelback song from 2008 is trending on Twitter today.

This story starts at the global turn against the band. There is debate about when the tide turned. It’s either:

  1. A general outgrowing and distaste for grunge that sounds like a copy of a copy
  2. Chad Kroeger’s voice that some might say sounds like “a creepy maroon 5”
  3. A very embarassing UK furniture advertisement:

About the meme: according to Know Your Meme, “On April 27th, 2015, YouTuber Euphemism for Magic uploaded a video titled “Nickelstats,” in which Kroeger is shown holding a framed bar graph while singing “Look at this graph” (shown below). The same day, the video was submitted to the /r/youtubehaiku subreddit, where it received upwards of 4,500 votes (95% upvoted) and 120 comments in the first two weeks.”

It’s since been a long parodied meme and had huge success on Vine.

Apparently Trump tried to use the meme this morning to further his story against Hunter Biden.

However as you can see, Nickelback reported the video for copyright infringement…

Maybe Nickleback is due for a comeback?

Photograph by Nickelback also happens to be Shantie’s favorite song….

Why It’s Hot?

I personally love the depth of understanding that’s required for internet memes. But it’s a language that so many are fluent in, maybe without even understanding all the parts…

More on The Claw: How it’s Production Is Key to It’s Success (and Regulation Avoidance)

The Hot Sauce fascination with the success of White Claw can’t be ignored! To debate more of whether the claw is a fad or a new staple, we need to take a look into how its “brewed” (which it is!, brewed, that is) and how it’s formulation allows it to be subject to less regulation.

Rather than a spiked/vodka soda, a Claw does not originate as a spirit, and is instead brewed, like a beer (it also has a similar alcohol content to beer) which allows it to be sold with less regulation, especially in NY and other states with tougher spirit regulations and strong alcohol lobbying groups (MA, I’m looking at you!) But since it is not brewed with grain – the Claw uses sugar, which gets fermented fully into alcohol – the taste is milder and the output less caloric.

Why It’s Hot? 

Think of this as innovation, not a fad. Per our regulatory system, we can’t add small amounts of spirits to soda and sell it like beer, even if its alcohol content is 5% or less. This work around allows a preferred bar drink, especially to those who count calories, to be served up at our corner bodegas and local CVS’. The Claw’s the law and it’s here to stay.

Facebook’s New Facial Recognition Update + Facial Recognition Blocking Tech

Facebook’s is updating how users can opt in and out of facial recognition. This has been a hot topic online for a few years and Facebook facing a multi million dollar lawsuit about its facial recognition practices is the reason for the change.

Mashable notes “The lawsuit dates back to 2015, but has been slowly progressing — and so far not in Facebook’s favor. The company recently lost an appeal in which it attempted to have the suit dismissed.”

Consumers were allowed to opt in and out of “tagging suggestions” in 2017 but were not told that that came with facial recognition. Facial recognition is being used to target protesters in Hong Kong (and protesters have been attacking facial recognition cameras).

So what do you do in a world where facial recognition is no longer opt-in?

THESE SUPER COOL SHADES

The “phantom” shades reflect light back from infrared cameras but not normal visible light. Fom Mashable: “The frames are specifically designed to defeat 3D dot matrix face-mapping systems, which is basically what makes Apple’s Face ID work. They bounce infrared light back at its source, with the goal of preventing IR video cameras from getting a good image of your face — or potentially even registering your face as a face at all.”

Why It’s Hot?

We are living in a facial recognition world and you are automatically opted into being a facial recognition girl… We’re seeing how facial recognition can be used maliciously in other countries and we are, as a matter of course of being online and on the streets, opted into a system that we did not agree to. The glasses tech is cool but does not speak to the greater issue of what is going on around us and how AI technology might affect us in the coming years.

Update: YouTube Adds Features to Make it Less Terrifying for Children

As a follow up to an often mentioned topic on Hot Sauce, YouTube is trying desperately to court brands that are finding the networks AI to be unsafe and promoting fringe ideas or are dangerous to children. 

YouTube’s original answer to it’s child algorithm problem was an app whitelisting sources so that parents could put children in front of YouTube without fear of what they might find (not a great parenting technique but that’s neither here nor there… ). Originally YouTube incentivized views at all costs, and content makers turned to AI to auto-generate films that were hurting children’s cognition.

They’ve hired a whole team to support this initiative, and they finally have actual humans watching the video. YouTube was losing a lot of revenue because of brand safety.

Why it’s hot?

AI can be dangerous. Keeping humans involved and not letting AI run wild is key to success even if it means slower revenue. If you don’t make brand safety and human safety a concern you might lose out on LOTS of revenue down the line. Is money the only way to keep big tech and AI accountable?

Chicken Sandwiches Are Having Their Viral Moment, But Are We Over Brands Fake Fighting on Twitter

Popeyes has a new chicken sandwich (which I’ve head is delicious). And it seems that Chick-fil-a is getting defensive with the new Tweet they’ve posted.

Popeyes responded as a matter of course…

And TYPICAL WENDYS, clapped back with this tweet.

At the end of the day this started a branded chicken sandwich themed posting frenzy.

But the real question is, how do consumers feel about this.

Why it’s hot?

Do these brand rivalries entertain customers or piss them off. A few customers have responded with takes about larger issues.

But we can’t expect Wendy’s to act like anything but Wendys. Guess brand consistency is key…

 

But Why Isn’t It Called the TacHotel?

Tacobell and Netflix are the two fastest growing brands in the US between 2018 and 19. And it show’s by the lengths Taco Bell has gone to establish their new brand presence. In their most recent update… the Taco Bell Hotel (we think TacHotel would be a superior name).

The Taco Bell Hotel courted micro influencers. Including Taco Bell Sommelier who matches wine pairings to your order…

https://www.instagram.com/tacobellsommelier/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0OBgWRFEqy/

and Yo Quiero Taco Ballads (seen with a shaven Taco Bell logo above) who will compose a song to match your taco bell receipt.

https://www.instagram.com/yoquierotacoballads/

Why it’s hot?
Well this hot sauce is just plain HOT. Spicy tacos’ in Palm beach hot. BUT rewarding micro influencers with one of a kind experiences is why this post is hot. These content creators are building their own fan bases without the expectation of being rewarded, but the rewards will ensure they continue being brand fans to their 500-1500 followers.

Source: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/we-spent-a-night-at-the-taco-bell-hotel-where-everything-is-supremely-on-brand/

 

Doing it for the Gram: Darwin Awards Edition

We all do it for the gram. But how far is too far. Instragram influencers have been falling ill after swimming in a lake that looks beautiful… but is actually toxic sludge.

View this post on Instagram

Toxic ⚠️

A post shared by Laura ☯️ (@lauramr_13) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwIH0SYgkRp/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuylwPLB4oM/

View this post on Instagram

#01

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“Spanish news outlet Publico reported multiple Instagram influencers were recently hospitalized due to rashes and digestive issues after entering the water.

One Instagram influencer told Publico they began vomiting and developed a rash that lasted for two weeks after entering the water for a photo.

Another influencer said they had to be hospitalized for “damage to the skin and digestive system.”

However, another tourist said that despite getting a nasty rash, “the picture was worth it.”

See the geo-tag… there are children there! 

Oh and the viral news of the lake’s toxicity… has made the spot even more popular.

WHY ITS HOT? 

We’ve heard stories about people falling off cliffs or dying in freak selfie accidents. This shows the way the world will bend to create the social media illusion of a curated life…. even if that pristine selfie is full of WW2 mining chemicals.

Source: https://news.yahoo.com/instagram-influencers-getting-sick-swimming-145600523.html

Is FaceApp an Giant Russian Conspiracy… or Just an App with a Really Severe Privacy Policy

FaceApp has had it’s time in the sun over the past two years. Don’t you remember famous hits like “what you look like as a woman/man” or the very un PC “what you look like as another race”?

This week our entire feeds are filled with FaceApp photos of our friends if they were old. As well as warnings about how the tech is Russian. In our friends defense, the tech is VERY eerie.

https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1151311662592532480

Yes, the FaceApp tech has a very scary privacy/end user agreement:

But the best hot take of all comes from VICE… 

It’s not that the App is Russian is bad, it’s us allowing apps to have this much data about us at all…

“Extracting data from unsuspecting users, selling and sharing that data god-knows-where, and justifying it by providing users unreadable privacy policies is a near-universal practice. It transcends Cold War phobias. It’s not Russian. It’s not American. It’s a fundamentally capitalist practice. Companies can only provide free apps and profit if they scrape and share data from the people that use it.”

WHY ITS HOT?

We allow apps like Facebook, Instagram and snapchat to access much deeper levels of our data than they need, but it takes a true Russian scare to call us to action about this issue.