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I was on live radio talking about Pokemon Go; here are my thoughts as a first time interviewee

On Sunday morning (12:20am, gasp!), I was asked to talk about Pokemon Go, local and global startups, and how to write Chinese on your smartphone, on Triple R, a Melbourne Independent Radio (102.7FM). 3RRR is Australia’s oldest independent broadcaster and is based in Melbourne. They saw my article about Melbourne’s largest Pokemon Go walk and wanted to chat to me more about the phenomenon itself and what the walk was like.

It was my first live radio gig so it was interesting to see how it worked from the back end. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. The host contacted me on Friday to see if I was available and interested

2. The host SMS’d me a few hours before the segment to check I was ready between 12am and 12:30am

3. They called me about 10 minutes before to make sure my phone and volume levels worked

4. They called me 60 seconds before I was due on to put me on hold

5. When they started introducing me, I was still muted until the intro was over

6. The audio in my ears was crystal clear — as if I was listening to digital radio — so it was just like having a normal conversation

7. There was a constant ‘beep’ sound on my side — to time every 10 seconds perhaps?

Overall, it was a positive experience. You can listen to it on 3RRR’s Radio on Demand here and skip to 20:45 to hear my part. The whole two hour segment was about technology though, so if you like that, listen to the whole thing!

Pokemon Go

I provided a comment to The Weekend Australian about the Pokemon Go phenomenon

This week, Pokemon Go made news all around the world again:

1. Pokémon Go passed 100 million installs last weekend

2. The game is raking in$10 million of micro-transactions daily ($160 million in total) and being played on average 26 minutes per day in the States — that’s more on-screen time than Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook!

3. Pokémon GO in Japan has fallen to second place on the free iOS app chart and is placed third on the grossing chart

4. 28-year-old Nick Johnson from New York, is officially the first person that has caught all 145 Pokemon without any hacks

5. Pokemon Go has today launched in Latin America and South East Asian countries like Singapore

Closer to home, The Weekend Australian wrote a piece in this weekend’s paper about the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go. Walkley-award winning journalist, Caroline Overington penned a piece summarising the past four week’s of action.

She interviewed a family that played together. She also interviewed me. I talked about why the game is so popular right now in addition to why it probably wouldn’t have succeeded five years ago.

You can read the full piece on The Weekend Australian website here; I’ve included the portion I was quoted in below. The piece was also on page 17 in the Inquirer section of the paper!

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The map

I joined Melbourne’s largest Pokemon Go walk, here’s what it was like

On Saturday, 30th July, I –along with 400 other Melbourne Pokemon Go players — joined Melbourne’s biggest Pokemon Go walk since the launch of the game three weeks ago.

I penned a piece for GIZMODO Australia. You can find it here (Kotaku Australia also cross-posted it) and below:

All images by Matthew Wu and Russell Chee

I’m typing this while standing on a tram that’s going down Swanston Street — one of Melbourne’s main streets. There are five people playing the game near me. The two nearest to me are chatting away about their highest CP Pokemon, when we hear a loud thud. Someone has dropped their phone — it falls face up. I see a Pokedex on the screen and smile. Make that six people playing the game near me.

On a crispy 12 degrees Celsius afternoon on Saturday, 400 strangers gathered around Melbourne’s Federation Square for only one reason: Pokemon Go.

Read more here

tesla

The last two months have been a huge period of tech acquisitions to a total of more than $100 billion

I just saw the breaking news about Tesla acquiring SolarCity for $2.6B and realised it’s been a huge two months of tech acquisitions.

I tabulated the big ones (let me know if I’ve missed any).

In total, eight deals totalled to a value of more than $100 billion!!

JUNE:

Microsoft acquires LinkedIn for $26.6B

Symantec acquires Blue Coat Systems for $4.65B

JULY:

SoftBank acquires ARM for $32B

Analogue Devices acquires Linear Technology for $14.8B

Oracle acquires NetSuite for $9.3B

Verizon acquires Yahoo for $4.83B

AUGUST

Didi Chuxing acquires Uber China for a 20% stake in Didi ($7B)

Tesla acquires SolarCity for $2.6B

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I provided a comment to The Australian about the latest car incidents induced by Pokemon Go

There seems to be an ongoing trend of motorists causing accidents on the roads due to the driver playing Pokemon Go and not watching the roads.

Why this is even a thing, I don’t know. If you’re driving, don’t bloody use your phone to text, Snapchat, or play Pokemon Go. It’s not difficult.

The Australian newspaper had a chat with an insurance company who said these incidents would void any claims made by the driver. It was good advice. But then the spokesperson started going all Pokemon Go in the story and recommended using public transport to track a Snorlax and Tyranitar (#248). Lol, Pokemon Go only has the original 150 Pokemon… and you can’t use public transport because the Snorlax might not be on the route.

That’s probably why I was asked to provide a comment — from the perspective of a Pokemon Go player.

Here’s the part about me (forever immortalised as a Level 26 Pokemon Go player):

Tech enthusiast and level 26 Pokemon Go player Matthew Wu told The Australian one of the gameplay mechanics of Pokemon Go is the requirement for players to move in order to hatch eggs and to find Pokemon more frequently.

“This is only one part of playing the game; catching a Pidgey or Charmander isn’t life or death, but paying attention to the roads and surroundings definitely is,” he said.

“If you look at the bigger picture, this situation isn’t unique to Pokemon Go players. Motorists today are still texting, tweeting, and Snapchating from their phones while driving and incidents are unfortunately happening.

“The main lesson here is if you’re driving on the roads, don’t use your phone; it’s not just illegal, it’s the fact that there is more than one life that’s impacted by road accidents.”

You can read the full article on The Australian here and remember, if you’re driving, get your hand off it.

BONUS: I saw a great print ad yesterday by Lebanese road safety organisation, YASA,  that conveyed the same message:

UPDATE: Seems like Starts at 60, an Aussie online news and commentary website for active over 60s, has used my comments for their piece too, titled: Why Pokemon Go could end up costing you money even if you don’t play.