The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 11 January 2018

Technology

Image: Getty Images

Screen grab

Big names have been thinking outside the box at the world’s largest consumer technology show.

Televisions have always been a staple of CES and the standout model this year was Panasonic’s latest OLED, with its dazzling screen quality. There were also decidedly quirky launches from more established names, including a screen from LG that rolls up so you can store it out of sight and The Wall from Samsung, a 146-inch TV using a new technology called micro-LEDs. The same company also showed an LCD screen disguised to look like a flip chart. Oh, and Aibo, the adorable robot dog from Sony is back, both raising smiles and breaking hearts with his plaintive yelping. CES usually balances mainstream products with off-the-wall items but the fact that many of the latter have this year come from the biggest brands is a new development.

Books

Image: Getty Images

Read ’em and weep

This year promises a plethora of prose about the US president, whichever side of the fence you’re on.

The past week has seen a media blast from US journalist Michael Wolff – the author of the warts-and-all book on the Trump White House – as he tours the morning TV shows. But while Fire and Fury may be the hottest political book of the year so far (well, it is only January), the rest of 2018 promises a deluge of works on the current president. In July we can expect a memoir from former press secretary Sean Spicer called The Briefing. But far from lambasting the president, his promises to be much more loyal, countering what he sees as a biased media. Perhaps we should look to former FBI director James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, scheduled for May, for something spicier.

Animation

Image: Shutterstock

Don’t stop me now

Despite retiring in 2013, celebrated director Hayao Miyazaki has made a new film – and there’s another on its way.

Tears were shed when Japan’s greatest animator, Hayao Miyazaki, announced his retirement in 2013, as fans around the world feared they’d never see the likes of classics such as Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro again. It seems the histrionics might have been premature as the 77-year-old has just announced that he has made a new short film – Boro the Caterpillar – that will be screened exclusively at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo from 21 March. The 15-minute animation is Miyazaki’s 10th short film and tells the adventures of a newly hatched caterpillar making his way in the world. There’s more good news: Miyazaki has a full-length animated film – his last, apparently – in the pipeline. Tickets for Boro the Caterpillar go on sale from 10 February.

Transport

Image: Shutterstock

Emergency stop

A shocking number of people die on India’s roads. The prime minister has a plan to combat it but is he heading in the right direction?

In an attempt to get to grips with India’s traffic-related deaths – around 400 people are killed every day – prime minister Narendra Modi has put forward a bill that’s set to pass through the upper house of parliament soon. If passed, it will require car manufacturers to add safety features to their vehicles, such as airbags or anti-lock braking systems, from July. That could spell trouble for the domestic manufacturers trying to keep production costs down as they make low-priced cars with minimum features. More importantly, the new rules might not make much of a difference: between India’s poorly enforced traffic laws and millions of older model vehicles navigating the country’s congested roads every day, it’s hard to believe that a few more airbags will go the distance.

From Monocle 24

Growing business

The Tech 10

Freddie Blackett and Ed Barrow’s technology-savvy horticultural firm is blossoming in London. Patch is an online garden centre that identifies the best indoor and outdoor plants for each customer using a unique algorithm.

From Monocle Films

Soft Power Survey 2017/18

Who's in and who's out in 2017? We survey the top 25 nations who got it right (and wrong) in this most delicate of diplomatic skills.

Loading...

/

15

15

Live

00:00 01:00