🪦Dead Brands, Car Hacking, and NFT's IRL
another one bit the dust
Hey friends! August is HERE.
So is the Asus Zenphone 9 - which looks like the coolest Android phone I’ve seen in years. It’s very small, has fantastic specs, and isn’t too expensive either. It’s quite literally what I wanted when I discussed those “tiny Android Phone Dreams” a while ago.
We’re moving into our new house this week - and we’re really excited! I’ve got to tame a pretty wild yard this week, which will be fun.
Nah - I don’t mean that in a sarcastic sense. It’s kinda fun taming an overgrown yard.
I’m taking a few days off work for all the moving and setting up. Now that I actually have to “adult” and own a house - I want to ensure everything is shipshape.
Pretty crazy week with all that Instagram drama, eh?
Look at the Kardashians backing us all up on how we feel about Instagram.
Sadly - as Adam Mosseri intimated - it’s only a matter of time until Instagram is an overcluttered clone of TikTok - but with pictures too.
At the rate all the platforms are becoming TikTokish - Twitter may be the sole survivor when it comes to being an actual platform.
If you’re looking for a new show to watch - we’ve really been enjoying The Bear. It’s a drama set in Chicago about a restaurant. It’s sooooo good!
I won’t lie - we marathoned the show in two nights, and it’s been a long time since we’ve done that.
There’s a ton of hilarious dialogue, strong characters, - and a really intriguing plot.
I also watched the Vrchat documentary How We Met in Virtual Reality. It was really interesting - and I believe it’s probably the strongest offering in the Metaverse so far - the Myspace of VR.
I’m rooting for you Toaster and Dustbunny!
Let’s hop in, shall we?
When I mentioned Ugly Drinks last week - it got me thinking.
What would it be like to collect the remnants of dead brands? Could they have some kind of value as a collector’s item?
Currently, there are people researching and collecting ancient NFT’s and cryptos - why not cool brands that randomly died?
I did a bit of research - and I can’t seem to find anyone who’s dedicated to collecting old dead brands. Put in any combination of keywords like “dead brands,” “dead brands for sale,” “merch from dead brands.” There’s nothing.
The BEST you can get is “memorabilia from old brands” and then there’s antique sites like this.
MSCHF did their little Dead Startup Toys drop - but that was more of a ironic meme than anything.
Yeah - you can find vintage Sears t-shirts on Ebay, or Enron merch - but there’s no out there who has “niched down” to collect dead brands to sell on a centralized site.
There’s no StockX of dead brands, so to speak.
Here are a few brands to look at.
As I mentioned last week, this brand literally just DIED sometime this Spring (April it seems). They stopped posting - and never made an official announcement.
To the point where there’s a few articles that literally say “huh looks like they shut down.”
Currently - Ugly is still available for sale. I don’t know WHY or HOW but I’d guess it has something to do with backstock left over in warehouses across different services. It’s a bizarre middle ground - where you can still buy product from a dead brand because it hasn’t expired yet (and probably won’t until sometime next year).
Ugly used to sell merch. Who knows how many people bought it -but it’d be pretty cool to have a t-shirt. You gotta be a superfan to buy food brand merch - so there’s probably not too many of these out there.Limited edition Ugly x H.Y.T. Studio T-Shirts available on our web-shop 👉 uglydrinks.com 😝 Get your hands on some Ugly swag 🤙
This was the KING of techno darkwear cyberpunk rave brands.
If you wanted something flashy to wear to a EDM concert, this was your first choice. The branding was veryyy edgy.
All seeing eyes, heavy patches, symbols -that kind of thing.
The brand died in 2019 - and they announced it too! The cofounder Nate Khouli, created his own brand - Neo4ic. It’s cool - but it doesn’t have quite the same vibe as the OG Damascus Apparel.
The heart and soul of the brand were the edgy hoodies. People love them.
Neo4ic has a group - and people sell Damascus merch on occasion - and you can get serious CASH MONEY for the hoodies.
I bought a hoodie mantle back in 2018, wore it, and sold it at a premium earlier this year.
After all - who’s going to fight over a price for a brand that isn’t even made anymore?
That’s the key right there. It’s a Seller’s market. I have one more hoodie, a hat, and some sleeves - and I could probably sell them for premium prices.
I think there’s a market ripe for collecting and holding merch from old brands that people have nostalgia for. In the case of Ugly - it’s a time-related issue. You can buy a few online - drink them - and realize you’re drinking the last dregs of that which no longer exists. It would take a bit of effort - but you could buy up a lot of remaining stocks and resell them at a higher price point to superfans. You want your last Ugly before you’ll never taste it again? With Damascus Apparel, every hoodie is an asset, even if it’s in acceptable condition. Depending on the niche - I think dead brands have a great deal of sentimental value - which people will pay for.
There could be some great long term holds out there!
We’re finally reached it fam - the day in which the mechanic must also be a hacker. Car manufacturers have tasted the wonders of subscription software, and now there’s noooooo going back.
They’ve got the taste of blood - and they’re never giving it up.
The year is 2035. As you get ready for your 6 hour road trip - you remember that you need to subscribe to assisted driving mode for the next two weeks.
Tesla has been doing this kind of stuff for years now . . . but they’ve been doing it for so many years - many people have heard about their shenanigans.
Well, BMW is pulling the same kind of trick in Europe, and it’s probably only a matter of time until it comes to the USA too.
BMW's ConnectedDrive Store started to deliver Functions on Demand including otherwise-locked features like adaptive M suspension, simulated exhaust sounds, and of course, heated seats . . . The German manufacturer defended its software service subscription saying the system was put in place to give financial flexibility to those not willing to pay up-front for the extra features. The heated seat subscription can range from $18 per month up to $300 for three years. (source)
Hardware features are now software features.
Well, there’s now a new market of grey hat mods popping up to turn on those features without forking over all those subscription fees.
So, instead of going to a BMW dealership, some drivers have given life to their heated seats with gray-market services. These services can unlock paywalled features for a one-time fee. This is where Litchfield Motors comes in. Litchfield Motors is an auto performance center in the U.K. that tunes and upgrades vehicles. Its owner, Iain Litchfield, told Wired how it was possible to enable locked features like Apple CarPlay and voice recognition for as little as £40 ($48) . . . Litchfield himself specializes in cracking engine management systems that have been limited by manufacturers in order to unlock more power. (source)
It’s not surprising - since the ancient days of BitTorrent and Napster, Project FreeTV and Grooveshark - people have been looking at ways to crack tech to pay less.
As long as shops are willing to figure out how to crack BMWs and other auto manufacturers’ tech - this market is likely to grow and grow.
Read more about it at the link!
So - you’re at a party and you see someone with a t-shirt from an NFT company.
You go over - and chat with him or her about the brand - and they tell you - Oh btw if you scan my shirt, you can get a free derivative of my NFT.
That’s the kind of tech that Cupcake Protocol is bringing to the table - adding physicality to NFT’s.
Cupcake is creating physical NFC tags that can be used for NFT minting experiences at events - or weaved into clothing.
Cupcake is closing the gap between the digital and physical worlds. Prove ownership, attendance, and loyalty with Sprinkles . . . Weave Cupcakes tags into clothes and accessories. Cupcake tags can be seamlessly integrated into physical goods. Build custom experiences for diehard fans, and incentivise customers to become one. (source)
I went onto Cupcake to log in and check this out.
When you log in - you create a Solana wallet based on your phone number (some 2FA verification too) and you can add funds / transfer NFTs just like any other wallet. You can create NFTs too!
It’s a very basic UI UX design - but if you want to make a Solana NFT and sell it - the process is easy as pie. Remember Solana gas fees are laughable compared to the madness that is Ethereum.
At the moment, it doesn’t look like you can buy any physical tags for purchasing NFTs, but I imagine that those will be coming soon at some point.
They hit claimable NFT’s around last week Lullapalooza fest - which is really cool.
The Cupcake team is calling the NFC tags “Sprinkles” and they look incredibly easy to use. Check out this demo!
I’m looking forward to making my very own Sprinkles for the Land of Random soon!
Cupcake is taking NFTs to the masses - and making it easy for anyone to buy, sell, or MAKE their very own NFT. My hope is that the programmable Sprinkles make it easy enough that even non techy people can have fun too.
Go check out the website at the link!
🐙The Land of Random
so, you want random links from the internet?
Compuserve is still alive!
Who the heck is still visiting this website in 2022?
You could do this on the PSP too
Such a fun little glitch
Leaden Sky Demo
I don’t know how they did it - but somehow they stuck the terrifying horror FPS vibes of Metro 2033 into a retro style side scroller. I’ll be playing the demo of this soon.
Nokia Brick Phone + Android
This is both an abomination and a beautiful thing to behold
One of the more bizarre website that I’ve stumbled across in recent memory - Looks like it was last updated in 2017.
Retroactive Media Editing
An interesting article about the Duffer brothers discussion of editing old Strangers Things episodes. It brings to mind this tweet by Noah Blum. There may come a time when piracy archivers have a secondary objective - saving original media.
The end of Hackerlab
The OG Makerspace is shutting down, and will soon be no more. RIP you beautiful makerspace.
TikToks You Can’t Miss
Yeah - that’s an expensive mansion to keep up
The Metaverse is definitely here to stay
I’ve never seen the history of anime like this
Now that’s what I call a good flip
I never get on Amazon in time for these.
The Land of Web3
Feline Fiendz is a really fun project with retro vibes - I missed the chance to get em cheap back after they minted. Rip. I’d like to pick up one of these at some point - they have a pretty strong community (a great first NFT IMHO but DYOR/NFA if you’re looking for one), and the art is awesome. The floor isn’t too bad right now either!
So you want an NFT with utility? Wood Elf Wine is a wine bottle subscription complete with a mystery to solve too!
P2P chat + calls, with native crypto integration.
The Solana store in NYC is now open!
That’s all for this week! See you next time. :)