Editorial: The end of conformity?.
Travel: J Ward Ghost Tour.
Technology: Hubble Phone.
Stationery: Kunisawa.
Gadgets and Gear: Bond Tool Roll.
Books and Writing: Rubrik 100 Magazine.
Miscellaneous: Marketing 101.
PD: Store.

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EDITORIAL: The end of conformity?

Decades ago you had a choice of cell phone design. There were brick-shaped phones, slider phones and flip phones. Real innovation came in hardware design, such as the release of Motorola's Star Tac, which seemed to come out of a Star Trek episode.


In more recent times cell phones all started to look similar - all blocks. Sure they have slick software however each update seems to be just more megapixels or more memory. Some brave people have tried to innovate, most falling by the wayside. PD therefore was pleased with the announcement of the Hubble Phone. This phone, slated for production, brings back style to the cell phone. let us hope that this is the beginning of the return of design to bring a bit of visual interest back into the cell phone market.


More details in "Technology" below.

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TRAVEL: J Ward Ghost Tour

Ghosts and supernatural phenomena have always fascinated people, maybe because people are naturally curious. PD asked MOTS (his Man-On-The-Spot in the Asia-Pacific region) to recommend such a place for visitors to Australia. He recommended a night visit to Aradale in Ararat, some 3 hours' drive from Melbourne. This was a lunatic asylum that included J Ward, where the criminally insane were incarcerated.


Opened in 1867 (Australia is a young country), it housed "the worst lunatics in the British Empire". Around 13.000 inmates died there, so the level of paranormal activity is rated as "high". There is even a gallows there.


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TECHNOLOGY: Hubble Phone

Most people have heard of the Hubble telescope. Some would know who Alan Turing was (he broke the code of the German Enigma encryption machine during World War II). A few may have heard of the Turing cell phone, which had end-to-end encryption, produced by Turing Robotic Industries. The company has now transformed itself into Turing Space Industries and announced its stunning Hubble phone.


This phone is all screen - front, back and a third swing out one. It boasts multiple cameras, including a main one that has 60MP and 15X optical zoom. In fact all of the specs are in the upper range. The price reflects this.


You can pre-order the phone however you will have to wait until Q1 2020 for delivery.


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Japanese stationery is amongst the best in the world, using fine papers and boasting simple but classy designs. Kunisawa is a newcomer; it was launched in 2017 (it has a parent printing company that has been operating since 1971). Its simple designs ooze quality; PD especially loves the copper edging.


The stationery is made from exquisite fountain pen frinedly paper.


At present the on-line shop only caters to the Japanese domestic market, however the company is happy to take e-mail orders: "However, if you are interested in any items, please enquire by email at and include the details of the items (names, colors, quantities) and your address. A manager will contact you regarding shipping charges and payment methods". Now that is service. In addition, there are a few international outlets listed on the website.

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Bond Travel Gear makes small cases for your necessities. The founder, Chris Elfering, has extensive experience in the military and travelling, so he knows what works and what is needed for challenging situations.


The roll is made from super-tough 1000D ballistic nylon which has built-in tear and abrasion resistance. According to the website, "it’s resilient and throwable, with double-stitched YKK auto lock zippers and stress points".


You can get the roll in either black or coyote.

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BOOKS AND WRITING: Rubrik 100 Magazine

Eiyia, the artist group in the UK, was featured in Prowling Dog: Cool Things issue 167 (GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-167/). The group is back with a new project, Rubrik 100 Magazine.


"This new project is centered around one very important but uncertain question, What is it that we have in our unruly heads? What can we tell you about this magazine? Well, it will be a run of 100 magazines, each of its 48 pages includes a complete story that attempts to resolve enigmas or give an answers to the great battles we have inside our heads, all this accompanied, of course, by illustrations with a luxurious amount of detail. Rubrik Magazine is a return to the past, to those brochures and magazines that were sold in the old streets of England."

This issue has a limited run which includes 65 copies which are signed, numbered and have a commemorative stamp. There is also a card with the magazine cover, with a limitation of 30, as well as a bust limited to 5 pieces.


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MISCELLANEOUS: Marketing 101

Today it seems that just about everyone wants to open a business. No matter which business you get into, it is very competitive. There is a significant rate of failure for new businesses (the actual figures vary depending on which source you use). Trying to compete with everyone else can be a downwards spiral, especially if you compete on price. Cutting prices may work in the very short term but eventually you may end up a casualty. Likewise, having a sale will only work temporarily. You may see custom drop off between sales while people hold off until your next one. One suggestion is to differentiate yourself by going for the high-end of the market, where there is less competition. Your customer base will shrink but you can charge higher prices. Of course at the high end you must provide exceptional quality and service. If you are not prepared to do that, you will fail.

Important discliamer: The above are PD's personal thoughts on this subject from the point of view of a lay dog and therefore cannot be taken to be advice to follow. PD does not have any qualifications or specialist knowledge in marketing and cannot be held responsible for any consequences of what you choose to do. Always consult your marketing specialist, accountant and/or legal expert for marketing advice.

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PD: Store

X90 Planner

The X90 Planner has been thoroughly tested by PD and featured in PD: Cool Things 178: GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-178/


The planner is hard back but opens flat. It is clearly laid out and uses quality paper. It is undated, so you can start working on your goals immediately. There are 90 days in the planner, the ideal length of time to achieve goals.


From US $31.95 plus shipping. Local taxes may apply in your country.

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Important disclaimer: Remember that crowd funding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

Note: Photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

© 2018 Prowling Dog