Data Vs Humans

By Bob Hoffman’s
Ukraine should have lost its war with Russia by now. The data is very clear, and data doesn’t lie.

The data shows that Russia had overwhelming superiority to Ukraine in virtually every measurable area of military might.

At the beginning of the invasion Russia had about... -Five times the number of tanks that Ukraine had -Almost five times the number of active military personnel -More than ten times the number of fighter planes -Twelve Black Sea Combat vessels compared to Ukraine’s one -Over twice as many military reserves -Over ten times Ukraine’s military budget. But, as of now, Russia is getting pummeled. -They have lost almost five times as many tanks as Ukraine -Combining all types of heavy military equipment (tanks, transport vehicles, airplanes, helicopters, etc) Russia has lost about four times as many units -More than a third of all equipment lost by the Russians was either abandoned by their forces or captured by the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians are now using that equipment against the Russians -And, of course, the Russians are getting their asses kicked on the ground every day There is a point here for the data-obsessed marketing industry. I won’t insult you by spelling it out.No TikTok Account? No Problem. They’re Following You Anyway.

There are so many unknowns about online tracking that it is hard to single out one in particular. But if I had to choose one online mystery that I’d like an answer to it’s TikTok.Here’s what we know:

-TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company headquartered in Beijing.

-China has the most crushing and tyrannical surveillance system the world has ever known.

-TikTok has admitted that data collected in the US is accessible to some employees in China

-There have been credible press reports of close contact and sharing of data assets between US and Chinese teams within ByteDance

-No one in China says “no” to the government.

We have a delicate balancing act. We don’t want to be guilty of hysterical “yellow peril” nonsense, but we do want to know what the hell the Chinese government’s role is in collecting information about us. Is this just one more example of an adtech company abusing personal privacy? Or is it one of the greatest spying operations in history being conducted in broad daylight?

You don’t have to be a Google or Facebook user to have them following your every move. They use tracking pixels they place on other websites that infect you when you visit those websites. Google and Facebook follow you around and collect information about you whether you are a Facebook subscriber, Google user, or not.

BTW, TikTok recently paid a fine of $29 million in the UK for harvesting data from kids under 13. Lovely people these adtech creeps.

Worst Re-Brand in History?

This chart from The Wall Street Journal raises an interesting question. Has there ever been a more disastrous re-brand than Meta?

But the trick has not gone well. Zuckerberg now has two disreputable brands on his hands.

The month before Z-bag announced the re-brand, Facebook had reported year-over-year revenue growth over 40%. Since the announcement the company has lost about 60% of its value.

It’s pretty clear that the Facebook social media platform is in free fall, if not a death spiral. The question is, will betting the farm on the metaverse, whatever the hell that is, bail them out?

As the Journal says, “The former Facebook’s real world will long haunt its virtual one.”

Tim Cook Is Meta-Averse As you know, Apple and Facebook are mortal enemies. According to The Verge, last week Apple CEO Tim Cook aired his skepticism about Facebook’s metaverse obsession.

“I always think it’s important that people understand what something is... And I’m really not sure the average person can tell you what the metaverse is.”

But the real way you can tell how dicey the whole metaverse thing is is to watch the marketing lemmings dive head first into the deep end. There isn’t a marketing dimwit in the known universe who isn’t finishing every sentence with the word “metaverse.” It’s this year’s crypto-NFT shiny object..