Podcast Ep. #7: What’s New in March 2015

What's New in the 'DuFor our first podcast back after Spring Festival, we talk about notable bits of news, soccer in Chengdu, a Reddit post about Chinese soft power efforts, and a couple of interesting posts on the Chengdu Living forums.

Topics discussed:

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10 thoughts on “Podcast Ep. #7: What’s New in March 2015”

  1. It’s amazing how after phones and tablets eliminated the need for having a watch to tell time and to wake us up, we now find ourselves being made to go back to wearing one. Not me personally. I have never owned nor possessed an Apple product, and I don’t plan to. I don’t think the Apple Watch will be a great success. Unless they keep coming out with new versions. Whatever happened to the iPod? Sucked into the iPhone?

    • This is something I have read and thought about a lot. I read an interview the other day about user interface which discussed a theory that we are at “peak screen”, which means that we spend more time than ever looking at screens, mostly mobile phones.

      We should be moving toward spending less time looking at screens, and that is what the Apple Watch is about. It’s about glances of 2-3 seconds spread throughout the day to provide vital information rather than always pulling your phone out of your pocket, getting distracted, and spending more time on your phone.

      Before the iPod, iPhone, and iPad were released they were commonly panned as unnecessary devices. It wasn’t until they were released that we learned how different and meaningful they really were. I think the Apple Watch might be similar in this way.

      Also, although you haven’t owned an Apple product, I’m willing to bet that you use decedents of Apple products everyday. Every smart phone is a descendent of the iPhone, every tablet is a descendent of the iPad, etc. The iPod was subsumed by the iPhone, yes, the iPod Touch and iPhone are virtually identical except for the ability of the phone to make and receive calls.

      • Yes, I do own an Android device. I’m just not into following trends 😀

        Staring at screens for large amounts of time is reducing our ability to verbally communicate with one another.


        Wait, that’s my next lesson topic haha!

  2. Iron Man 3 definitely panders to China. Disney released two versions of the film abroad: the international version, and the PRC version. What makes the PRC version unique is a 3 minute scene starring mainland actors Fan Bingbing and Wang Xueqi as surgeons getting all scrubbed up before they operate on Iron Man. You can watch the scene on youtube. The whole things seems out of place and silly, but it does demonstrate the lengths an American studio will go to to reach Chinese viewers and their wallets.

    • I agree, Devin. It really seems like pandering to us, but I also realize that we (non-Chinese) aren’t the targets of that initiative. I would be curious to hear how Chinese movie fans feel about this, or if they think that a clearly bolted-on scene of Iron Man being operated on by Chinese celebrities is contrived.

      • Charlie, I’m curious about that too. I was reading an article on Kotaku that featured several Chinese people’s opinions about the scenes. One Beijing based writer described the scene as offensive and says that it “undermines Chinese people’s intelligence and movie savvy.” A talk show host on Liaoning TV says, “It’d be better if they added more to the movie. A good way to get Chinese on board is just make a good movie.” I think that guy is right. Of course, I’ve never actually asked someone in person, haha!

        This is the Kotaku article:

        • Nice, I hadn’t read this article before. I think I would personally find it patronizing. It’s basically just a gesture to give China face which does not improve the film in any way.


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