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SURFACE STUDIO, NINTENDO SWITCH, AND NICHE STRATEGIES

There are few things that can bring geeks (like me) to the edge of hyperbolic hysteria like compelling new hardware videos, and this last week had not one but two!

There’s no question both products are exciting in their own right; what makes them compelling, though, is not simply the technology demonstrated, but the fact both, unlike their forbearers, are clearly designed with the smartphone in mind.

THE WII U MISTAKE

The Nintendo Wii U and the Surface RT were both launched at the end of 2012; both were miserable disasters, and both for largely the same reasons: they targeted markets that no longer existed.

Back in 2006 the Wii came out of nowhere to win the seventh-generation of consoles, outselling the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 despite the fact Nintendo’s hardware was significantly under powered relative to its competition. The key was the Wii’s motion control, best manifested by the seemingly simplistic Wii Sports; it turned out that simplicity was a virtue, attracting casual gamers who had long since abandoned consoles or never considered one in the first place, and Wii Sports went on to become the best-selling video game of all time.

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What is Strategy?

The problem is that over the years, strategy has become something of a buzz word. Whenever we want to sound smart and demonstrate our business acumen we just make sure the word strategy shows up in our ideas. The result is that we now refer to many mundane and uninteresting aspect of the business as strategic, when they are really only small pieces of the overall business strategy.

So then what is a strategy?

The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends

Based on years of research by the McKinsey Global Institute, No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Forces Breaking All the Trends is a road map to reset our intuition in the face of powerful forces transforming the global economy: the rise of emerging markets, the increasing impact of technology, an aging world population, and accelerating flows of trade, capital, people, and data.

Spoek Mathambo’s ‘Future Sound Of Mzansi’ Documentary

If you haven’t already noticed, South Africa’s cultural sphere is enjoying an exciting golden period of new and diverse forms of artistic expression — most notably within the realms of electronic music. The infinitely talented Spoek Mathambo is often seen as one of the chief ambassadors of this new “Mzansi renaissance,” and his new documentary Future Sound of Mzansi is a powerful exploration and interrogation of South Africa’s fertile creative scene.

What do you think?

Directed by Mathambo himself and Lebogang Rasethaba of Egg Films, Future Sound of Mzansi explores the past, present and future of South Africa’s electronic music scene and the multitude of sub-genres that lie within it. The film also features an exciting cast of the country’s leading artists and includes interviews with Okmalumkoolkat, Nozinja, Jumping Back Slash, Black Coffee, Christian Tiger SchoolBIG FKN GUN, DJ Spoko, and Sibot.

What do you think?

Part one of the three-part series, now available through Vice’s THUMP, introduces the fresh new sounds originating from townships and urban areas in cities like Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. The idea of regionalism in the development of South African electronic music’s seemingly endless amount of genres becomes the central theme of this first installment. Artists such as Nozinja and Black Coffee offer interesting tid-bits and passionate insight from their own experiences of how representation and ownership of identity play important roles in the unique music they create. Watch part one of Spoek Mathambo’s Future Sound Mzansi below and revisit his Future Sound of Mzansi curated mixtape series.

The Rise and Fall of Globosome

In the vastness of space, there’s a a small speck of rock inhabited by the most peculiar lifeforms: Dark little “Globosomes” that start to replicate fast and begin to show signs of intelligence. The film tells the story of the rise and fall of these little creatures.

This film is inspired by the special times we’re living in on our own planet. We’re ourselves at the crossroads: Rise to our true calling and explore the universe or perish from the face of a dirty planet. Surely we have culture, science and art but what does remains of these achievements, if you look at our world from a global perspective.

Shaping the Future of Business in The Second Machine Age

Hardware is getting faster. Software is getting smarter. And the network effects of billions of people connected around the world are multiplying. Welcome to the Second Machine Age. Exponentially improving technology, the digitization of everything, and the combinatorial possibilities of different innovations mixed together in creative new ways, provide incredible opportunities for businesses who embrace these forces ‹ and present existential risks to those who underestimate them.

Dove Stunt Asks Women to Classify Themselves as ‘Beautiful’ or ‘Average’

In Dove’s latest stunt to shed light on how women perceive themselves, the brand labeled double doorways of buildings in five major cities — San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, London and Delhi — with the words “Beautiful” and “Average” and filmed what women would do when they encountered the different signposts. As it goes with most Dove revelations, the result was eye-opening: the majority of them chose to walk through the “average” entryways, with some only making the “beautiful” exception when they were striding through with a friend or loved one — someone they deemed worthy of the description.

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Watch A Professor Control Another Professor’s Mind From Across Campus – A First In The Field of Telepathy

Technological and scientific advancement have reached a point where they can grant humans with the gift of telepathy. Researchers at the University of Washington have created the first non-invasive brain interface between two humans, allowing one human subject the power to give mental instructions to another.

So, what are the implications of telepathy?

Researchers at the University of Washington say they’ve created the first non-invasive brain interface between two humans – i.e. they’ve basically achieved telepathy.

Previous work has allowed basic communication between two brains, but this is the first time it’s been shown in two humans. In February, a Duke University team managed to link the brains of two rats, one in North Carolina and one in Brazil, to solve basic puzzles together. Then, earlier this summer, Harvard University researchers demonstrated a brain-to-brain interface between a human and a rat, allowing a man to control the rat’s tail with his mind.

Here, Rajesh Rao, a UW computer science and engineering professor, used his thoughts to control the actions of Andrea Stucco, a research assistant professor in the school’s psychology department. Rao wore an EEG cap that read his brain’s electrical activity, while Stucco had a transcranial magnetic stimulation coil, which can stimulate brain activity, placed over his left motor cortex, the region of the brain that controls hand movement. A code translated brain signals from the EEG into commands for the brain.

Rao imagined moving his right hand (without actually moving it) to click the “fire” button that would shoot a cannon in a video game. Across campus, Stucco, who wasn’t looking at the computer screen in his lab where the video game was unfolding, involuntarily moved his right hand and pushed the space bar on his keyboard to fire the cannon, as if experiencing a nervous tic.

Click here for more on this breakthrough advancement in science.

Exceptional people of the world

The GE Focus Forward films highlight exceptional people and world-changing ideas that have impacted the course of human development, now and then, or with great potential to significantly affect how we live in the next generation.

Meet some of the world’s exceptional people.

In these 3 minute films you will see how engineers, educators, inventors, surgeons, philosophers, social workers and others are utilising their skills and vision to help sow the seeds of a better future.

The films cover everything from medical advances to economically viable “green”-powered homes, to the development of wireless technologies in 3rd World countries, as well as innovations in transportation and healthcare, gene therapy and waste management, or any other sphere of art and knowledge that inspires them.

Click here for more videos like ‘Mushroom Man’ above.