You can find it here
I’m here in Kuala Lumpur helping with our coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which crashed Thursday in the east Ukraine region of Donetsk — just a few months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing.
I wrote a recent WSJ Digits story about how e-commerce in Southeast Asia is set to boom, according to a UBS report:
Message for Southeast Asia’s brick-and-mortar retailers: E-commerce companies could soon be eating your lunch.
That’s according to a recent study by UBS , which showed the region’s consumers are already flocking to e-commerce sites at the expense of traditional retailers’ platforms.
Internet penetration in the populous region is higher than many assume, and will soon skyrocket thanks to the increasing use of low-cost smartphones and the availability of mobile Web connections, according UBS’s head of research and strategy in Thailand, Raymond Maguire, who authored the report.
What’s Microsoft’s role in a world that is less and less PC-based and increasingly mobile-focused?
Chief Excutive Satya Nadella last week sent a long email to his charges that provided some hints:
We live in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. Computing is ubiquitous and experiences span devices and exhibit ambient intelligence. Billions of sensors, screens and devices – in conference rooms, living rooms, cities, cars, phones, PCs – are forming a vast network and streams of data that simply disappear into the background of our lives. This computing power will digitize nearly everything around us and will derive insights from all of the data being generated by interactions among people and between people and machines. We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless, and where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.
From my colleague Shira Ovide’s story:
Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Satya Nadella, after five months on the job, signaled Thursday he won’t quickly reshape what Microsoft does, but is likely to cut the number of people doing it.
In a more than 3,000-word email to employees, Mr. Nadella said Microsoft needed to “rediscover our soul,” and he pointedly defined Microsoft’s mission not as delivering long-standing software products such as Windows or Office, but broadly as developing technology to help people live better lives and businesses run more efficiently.
The missive from Mr. Nadella, the third CEO in Microsoft’s 39-year history following Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, didn’t shed much light on how his Microsoft would look and act differently than the company of his predecessors. Mr. Nadella’s statements suggest he wants to inject urgency and speed without taking Microsoft in a new direction.
If you’re not following them already — and if, as I’m assuming, you love everything about the World Cup and the U.S. team — be sure to follow Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, a.k.a. Men in Blazers.
The two pundits, Brits who are long-time U.S. residents, combine in depth knowledge of the sport with an immigrant’s love for U.S. soccer.
They are especially well informed about the transformation in style and attitude that U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brought to the American side. (For more on that topic, see this WSJ interactive from earlier this month.)
Also, they are delightfully silly.
While I also follow The Guardian‘s World Cup Football Daily podcast and occasionally BBC 5 Live’s World Cup Daily, Rog and Davo, as they’re known, are so enjoyable because they’re lighthearted: They frequently weave in cultural references and inside jokes, and do not at all take themselves seriously.
Here are some of their recent podcasts.
You can also find their ongoing videos and other contributions on ESPN FC here.
They’re on Twitter at: @meninblazers.
Suarez biting excuse best Magic Realism to emerge from South America since death of Gabriel García Márquez
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) June 28, 2014
The reason I have this special folder on my iPhone: I’ve been researching a story on messaging app makers battling for users here in Southeast Asia.
It ran in the WSJ Asia in print and online Friday.
When Listri Samudra, an equity sales representative in the Indonesian city of Bandung, opens her smartphone to connect with her clients, she has three messaging apps to choose from.
She usually prefers BlackBerry Messenger, which remains highly popular in Indonesia, but also often uses WhatsApp—the company Facebook Inc. recently agreed to buy for $19 billion—or Line, a Japanese app that is rapidly gaining ground in the region.
The crowd of free messaging apps on Ms. Samudra’s phone illustrates why Southeast Asia is shaping up as an important battleground for messaging app makers. The region, in which no clear messaging leader has emerged, is critical, in part, because many of its roughly 600 million people have yet to upgrade from basic cellphones to smartphones.
Click through for a map of the region with estimates of which apps are most popular in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia.
- Goat Parkour Is the Best Evidence Yet That Goats Are the New Cats — Slate
- The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong — Jill Lepore at The New Yorker
- Clayton Christensen Responds to New Yorker Takedown of ‘Disruptive Innovation’ — BloombergBusinessweek
- An Island-Hopping Southern Seafood Crawl — WSJ
- The Case for Reparations — Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic
- What’s wrong with Soccernomics? — Daniel Altman
- The internet’s biggest companies are breaking themselves into small pieces — Quartz
- Print still matters, even if some would like to believe it shouldn’t — Ken Doctor at Nieman Journalism Lab
- Amazon’s Whale Strategy — Stratechery
- Video embedded above and on Vine here: “That ball!” — Robin van Persie’s goal for the Netherlands against Spain, via a pass from Daley Blind.
(Previous link round-ups are available via the links tag.)
Soccer has long been a bastion of a peculiarly 19th-century conception of Englishness the nation seems reluctant to relinquish. The game was born during the era of empire when the country’s elite public schools adapted earlier forms of violent folk football for the purpose of education.
Typical rustic folk games involved hundreds of drunken men from rival villages rampaging through streets and fields, trying to drive, say, a casket of beer (the proto-ball) into the crypt of a church (the proto-goal). The schools distilled such testosterone-fuelled rituals into new formats involving smaller teams, sober boys and sodden leather balls. Codified by the Football Association and later disseminated to the world, this style of soccer was never the so-called beautiful game; the original purpose of educators was to instill manly and martial virtues into future imperial soldiers and administrators.
Just as adapting to their diminished, post-imperial status in international affairs has been a struggle, so the English are taking a long time to abandon the fantasy that, having invented the game, they should still expect to win the World Cup.
The truth — as everyone elsewhere noticed long ago — is that the nation has only once gone further than the quarterfinals of a major tournament played abroad (it reached the semifinals in Italy in 1990).
English soccer confusion, delusion and cloying nostalgia have become tedious. The time for the national team to adopt a bit of modesty and modernity — and to move to embrace change — is long overdue.
Read the whole thing.
(Via Amy Lawrence.)
As I mentioned in my previous post, I traveled to Bangkok to help out with our coverage following the May 22 military coup.
Here are links to a few of the stories I worked on:
- Turmoil Costing Thailand Conference Business
- Thailand Sees Widespread Facebook Outage
- Social-Media Companies Skip Meeting With Thai Junta
- Thai Junta Says Facebook, Google Meetings Called Off
And, perhaps most memorably:
Anti-coup protesters in Thailand are adopting a symbol of resistance from a science fiction movie in which citizens struggle against a tyrannical government in a dark, dystopian future.
A few dozen demonstrators on Sunday gathered in a flash-mob style protest at a Bangkok shopping mall, where many held anti-army signs and raised their hands in a three fingered salute aimed at nearby troops.
The gestures were similar to those used by heroine Katniss Everdeen and other characters in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” a globally popular movie based on one of Suzanne Collins’s hit trilogy of books. Western films and other popular culture are widely consumed in Thailand.
To hear me discussing the three-fingered “Hunger Games” salute, see the WSJ Live video embedded above and online here.
And finally, for more on the Facebook issue, see this story I wrote just a few days ago:
I’m here in Bangkok helping out with our coverage following Thursday’s military coup. Here’s our main story as of Sunday early evening local time:
Pop-up protests are spreading around Thailand’s capital in a growing show of dissent against the latest in a long line of military juntas here.
The rallies, lasting an hour or two at a time, aren’t what the generals had in mind when they staged the 12th successful coup d’état in Thailand’s modern history Thursday. Troops seized one pro-democracy leader at a protest site in western Bangkok that day, firing shots in the air to disperse the crowds. Elsewhere in the city, soldiers detained four leaders of populist Red Shirts movement as the coup unfolded and later held two former prime ministers.
Separately, I penned a story yesterday about how social media is flourishing here despite warnings from the army:
In the early days of Thailand’s first coup in the smartphone age, social-media outlets appear to be ignoring warnings not to allow criticism of the military—and users aren’t holding back.
In addition, I’ve been Tweeting text and images, as ever, at @Newley.