The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 8 October 2016

Image: Raul Arboleda/Getty Images

Something we can all agree on

Colombians may have rejected their country’s proposed peace deal with the Farc in last Sunday’s referendum but president Juan Manuel Santos winning the Nobel Peace Prize is still good news for the process. From his seat on the other side of the negotiation table, Farc leader Rodrigo Londono, better known as Timochenko, has not won an award – unlike many previous winners of the prize who have been involved in two-way negotiations – yet it should still be useful for both sides. It was probably one of the worst-timed decisions in the prize’s history but rather than being seen as a mishap, this may well be what the process needed: a reminder of the fact that peace is achievable and worth fighting for.

Image: Andy Dunn

Write a wrong

Google and international font company Monotype have unveiled a collaboration that has been five years in the making: Noto. The new typeface is the result of Google’s drive to create a font that can be used by anyone in the world, in any language. The font covers more than 800 languages and 100 written scripts, eliminating the appearance of a white box on the screen when a character is not recognised. The hope is that the typeface will not only help people communicate across the world but also preserve information among dying and at-risk languages. Numbers, emoji, symbols and musical notations haven’t been neglected either.

Have you met Miss Jones?

Drop the needle on Jones’s debut album New Skin and go back to the future: soul with soul and R’n’B that knows what those two letters used to stand for, finished with a controlled, contemporary electronic sheen. Jones is a fine songwriter in the classic mould who lets her hooky tales of love won and lost breathe. It’s not simple stuff but great pop always sounds as if it is. In this high-wattage, Adele-centric world where big choruses are wrung out for every last drop of power, it’s a sweet sound indeed to hear the confidence in keeping something back. You might catch Sade in the smoothness and the XX in the pared-down production. But mainly? Just Jones. Tune in to the latest episode of The Sessions at Midori House to hear her perform in the studio.

Image: Alamy

Pushing buttons

Despite its very public struggle with flailing sales, Canadian company BlackBerry might make a final stand with a new keyboard-based mobile phone within the next six months. While CEO John Chen announced last week that the Waterloo-based firm will stop manufacturing smartphone hardware – relying on third parties instead – to focus on software, senior vice-president for global device sales Alex Thurber clarified in an interview with the BBC that customers can expect a new model next year. In a marketplace saturated with touchscreen phones, the clickety-clack of a keyboard might bring comfort to some.

From Monocle 24

Image: Frieze

Live from Frieze

This week Monocle 24 took to the road (well, just around the corner) to broadcast two special editions of Midori House from Frieze London and Frieze Masters art fairs in the heart of Regent’s Park. Robert Bound was joined by some top characters from the art world, including “the Mick Jagger of the art auction” Simon de Pury, artist Samson Young and art adviser Lisa Schiff. Listen back to all the fun of the fair at monocle.com/radio.

From Monocle Films

Art in Berlin

Berlin’s vibrant arts scene is getting serious and growing up. Monocle Films meets the creatives who are making real investments in the city to transform its unusual spaces.

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