Researchers find ancient Roman beads in Japan – then find an East Asian man in Rome

Ancient Roman beads in Japan

Glass jewellery believed to have been made by Roman craftsmen has been found in an ancient tomb in Japan, researchers said Friday, in a sign the empire’s influence may have reached the edge of Asia.

Tests have revealed three glass beads discovered in the Fifth Century “Utsukushi” burial mound in Nagaoka, near Kyoto, were probably made some time between the first and the fourth century, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties said.

The beads, which have a hole through the middle, were made with a multilayering technique — a relatively sophisticated method in which craftsmen piled up layers of glass, often sandwiching gold leaf in between.

Via – Yahoo! News

 

 

East Asian man in ancient Rome

Some people of Italian ancestry, like me, might have a surprise in the family tree—a man of east Asian descent, who was living and working 2,000 years ago in the boondocks near the heel of the Italian boot. The discovery is the first good evidence of an Asian living in Italy during Roman times.

Researchers tested his mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through your maternal lineage. And this fellow had east Asian genes. The finding appears in the Journal of Roman Archaeology.

It’s impossible to say if the man trekked to Italy himself or one of his ancestors did. But it’s clear that this first known Roman Asian wasn’t some aristocratic diplomat. He was just a poor worker, buried with a single pot.

Via – Scientific American

Continue reading Researchers find ancient Roman beads in Japan – then find an East Asian man in Rome

The Atlantic survived by reimagining itself as a digital product

How did a 153-year-old magazine — one that first published the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and gave voice to the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements — reinvent itself for the 21st century?

By pretending it was a Silicon Valley start-up that needed to kill itself to survive.

The Atlantic is on track to turn a tidy profit of $1.8 million this year. That would be the first time in at least a decade that it had not lost money.

Getting there took a cultural transfusion, a dose of counterintuition and a lot of digital advertising revenue.

“We imagined ourselves as a venture-capital-backed start-up in Silicon Valley whose mission was to attack and disrupt The Atlantic,” said Justin B. Smith, president of the Atlantic Media Company.

What that meant more than anything else was forcing one of the nation’s oldest magazines to stop thinking of itself as a printed product.

via NY Times

 

The article is from December, 2010, but still worth reading if the topic interests you (death of newspapers, magazines).

It’s worth noting that The Atlantic is continuing its heroic transformation:

October, 2011:

For the 12th consecutive quarter, The Atlantic is reporting gains in print and online revenue. In third quarter 2011, overall advertising revenue is up 19 percent. – Folio

The Atlantic‘s online ad revenue exceeded its print ad revenue for the first time…even more interestingly, October’s 51% digital advertising share doesn’t come from a decline in print revenue. According to Lauf, The Atlantic sold more ads in the October issue of the magazine than it had since 1999. – The Next Web

 

 

Learn how the rest of the industry is faring – Newspapers are losing $25 billion in revenue in 2011The digital divide – newspapers are completely lost.

In the internet era of Super Bowl commercials, "things have changed"

Things have changed in Super Bowl advertising. It used to be about a one time hit for 30 seconds or 60 seconds in the middle of the show. And increasingly we’re trying to create a sort of two-week buzz.

The way in which people advertise in the Super Bowl was kind of developed before there was an Internet. One of the things that we did last year — and I don’t think we’re overstating it by saying we pioneered this — is we pre-released our ad.

This year, of course what’s happened is everyone will pre-release. I suspect there will not be an ad you’ll see on the Super Bowl that wasn’t available online. So our feeling was if you want to stay ahead of the curve — if no one is pre-releasing, let’s pre-release; if everyone is pre-releasing, let’s do a pre-pre-release.

– Mark Hunter, via Marketplace

 

The original pre-released ad that started it all

In the internet era of Super Bowl commercials, “things have changed”

Things have changed in Super Bowl advertising. It used to be about a one time hit for 30 seconds or 60 seconds in the middle of the show. And increasingly we’re trying to create a sort of two-week buzz.

The way in which people advertise in the Super Bowl was kind of developed before there was an Internet. One of the things that we did last year — and I don’t think we’re overstating it by saying we pioneered this — is we pre-released our ad.

This year, of course what’s happened is everyone will pre-release. I suspect there will not be an ad you’ll see on the Super Bowl that wasn’t available online. So our feeling was if you want to stay ahead of the curve — if no one is pre-releasing, let’s pre-release; if everyone is pre-releasing, let’s do a pre-pre-release.

– Mark Hunter, via Marketplace

 

The original pre-released ad that started it all

Is it true that Facebook sells my name and contact info to make money?

When I last logged into Facebook there was a big info box called “About Ads.” I clicked on it and found this:

Is it true that Facebook sells my name and contact info to make money?

No. Facebook does not sell your personal information.

Facebook makes its money from showing you ads.

In other words, Facebook uses your personal information to sell ads. Which is exactly what Google does and every other advertiser on the planet.

Which is fine because this website survives by selling ads, but the next section reveals how Facebook is taking things a step farther.

Your name or profile picture might appear alongside certain types of ads and sponsored stories:

1. Facebook Ads
A business creates an ad to promote its message. If you’ve liked that business’s page, the story about you liking the page (including your name or profile photo) may be paired with the ad your friends see.

The last sentence reveals a lot about the latest in Facebook advertising. They are going beyond the basic ad “you should buy this” by adding you as a part of the advertisement “Steve bought this and you should too.” Here is that sentence again:

If you’ve liked that business’s page, the story about you liking the page (including your name or profile photo) may be paired with the ad your friends see.

It’s an innovative new strategy for advertising and may be the future (i.e. personalized ads) but Facebook needs to be honest about this. It’s not clearly identified on the page, nor even prominent. In fact, it’s not even a subject on the page, rather it is part of explaining another topic (Sponsored Stories).

For such a bold move, placing my picture next to an advertisers brand, Facebook is hurting themselves by hiding this information. Yes, ads do keep Facebook free and that is important, but trust is more important and they need to alert users to this practice.

 

The origin of Steve Jobs turtlenecks

I was looking at this incredible collection of Apple Computer ads and noticed that the very first one in 1977 has this smart-looking fellow in a turtleneck. Scroll down to the second ad from 1977 and there it is, another turtleneck.

Lol, right, at least they’re not black. Maybe Steve Jobs was more colorful in those early days? After these two ads no turtleneck ever appeared in an Apple ad (as far as I can tell). I’m guessing some one took over the marketing from Steve…

if you really like these ads then take a look at this September 1977 issue of Scientific American. It has some awesome detail on the first ad, “Start by playing PONG. Then invent your own games using the input keyboard…”