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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Worrying Incident

Google managed to lose some data.

Specifically 60 people's entire inboxes form GMail. This is probably a minor incident, and something that Google will be able to resolve very easily. However, they haven't said what exactly went wrong.

This is one of those stories that can either be blown out of all proportion or can disappear very fast indeed. I think this is something worth monitoring to see what happens!

I think Google are generally good at PR, so my money's on this little story disappearing.

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How honest is Google?

Try searching for 'blog' on Google.

The top link (which they call a 'tip') is now an advert for Blogger.

Some commentators think that this new practice is dishonest given Google's don't-be-evil stance, and specifically their rule that they won't accept payment to increase a link's position in the search ranking. (Paid search results are clearly identified).

It's also possibly an admission of defeat that Blogger doesn't come top of the search ranking on its own, without this artificial help.

I think it's probably worse that a search for 'Google' on Yahoo brings up a search box to try to keep the user on Yahoo. Despite their reputation I don't think MSN does this.

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2006 in review

Friday, December 29, 2006

Greenpeace Campaign against Apple

Now then. Apple's advertising and general image is one of smug superiority. Let's forget the actual experience people have of using their products (people like Apple because they're not as annoying as Microsoft), but at the arguments that Greenpeace use.

Worryingly, Greenpeace mention that: "Apple computers are full of chemicals."

I would like Greenpeace to point out a solid object that is not full of 'chemicals'. I suspect that they will have problems.

The central argument is that PVC is being used within Apple products. PVC sounds familiar, not just because of the suits some people wear on the weekend, but because it is one of the most used plastics in current use.

There are concerns due to a small number of papers linking PVC with higher rates of cancer. However, a closer look shows that this link is mainly from Monomers of PVC. In other words, if you work in a PVC making factory and don't wear breathing masks while 'stirring the PVC ingredients' you are likely to get cancer.

There has been a study that showed excessive chewing of PVC products can result in diseases. However this has not been conclusively proven. Also, I think Apple could argue that their products are not designed to be ingested.

The campaigning stance of this website really annoys me. No proof is provided. No references for any of their arguments are shown.

You just have to believe that

  • Chemicals are bad
  • Companies should obey what Greenpeace says is sensible
  • Science can only be trusted when Greenpeace says it's right

Maybe someone should ask them if they were correct in replacing leaded petrol with unleaded? They could also ask what studies might have found this link (animal testing)? They might also ask about whether the replacement plastics are actually better for the environment...


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New Version of Blogger

Blogger has been updated. If you are logging in to do a post, you will need to upgrade your account. You will need to get yourself a Google Account which will allow you to start editing.

The main addition is the facility for labelling posts (Google for some reason doesn't call them tags). This can be done in a little box just below the space you write your normal thoughts.

I think there are other changes, but I haven't noticed them yet!

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Insufferable Smugness

The world-famous advertising agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky has decided to write a book to tell everyone just how amazing they really are.

It must be tiring to read loads of gushing articles about how they've redefined the advert, shattered old stereotypes and all the rest of it. Although I have to say I think their work is some of the best in America, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's time to write a book about how great they are.

I bet they all go to work on Segways and eat hippy food.

To be fair to them, I really liked the Subservient Chicken, the Sith Sense and the Volkswagen adverts. As much as they are smug and arrogant, they do create extremely good work.

I was at a creative debate thingy a couple of months ago. After hearing the hippies moan about media agencies taking all the money, they started singing the praises of this Crispin Porter. Think about it - all the hippies secretly want to work for this company.

Would be nice to work in Miami, but I'd be a little bit worried about coming across as an arrogant bastard who worked for a company who write books about how amazing they all are. Although I don't think this is unusual in Miami.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Adwords Change

Google have changed things round so that you will now be able to see an indication of the 'quality score' for each keyword.
There was a large amount of controversy earlier this year when Google summarily created this factor in order to 'improve customer experience. This provoked howls of outrage from affiliates who were no longer able to bid (profitably) on certain keywords.
Now Google have finally decided to start fulfilling their vague promises of transparency and start telling people about the quality scores of their sites against the keywords they are bidding on.
I think it's going to generate a couple of arguments.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas from Team Pembo!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Consumer vs. Producer Price Index

Consumer vs. Producer Price Index

Come on then economists.

The consumer price index has been increasing at a relatively constant rate over the last ten years. However, the producer price index has not been increasing at the same rate.

The question Swivel asks is where the profit is going...?

Swivel is currently my favourite site. I guess that it is going to become Daniel's favourite site once he's spent a bit of time exploring it...


Sunday, December 17, 2006

TIME's Person of the Year 2006

After naming YouTube invention of the year in 2006, TIME has awarded 'You', i.e. You, Me and Everyone within the online community for collaborating on sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube and MySpace.

In 1966, the under-25 generation was honoured and in 1982, the computer was given that distinction. Hitler was awarded the acolade in 1938 and Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. However the online public faced some stiff competition this year; the magazine's managing editor, Richard Stengel admitted that if the magazine was forced to choose one person for 2006, it would have been Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has taunted the West with his country's nuclear capabilities and denied the Holocaust.

"It just felt a little off selecting him," noted Stengel.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cool new phone

This is cool.... Japanese/ Korean phone seem to be light years ahead.... Check out the best and worst of new technology on Business Week Online. This is an example of what is new on the scene:

"The success of Bravia flatscreen TV's has been one bright spot for Sony in an otherwise tough 2006. Now, Sony and mobile partner Ericsson are hoping for similar success with a Bravia handset. Built for KDDI's AU mobile unit, the W44S features a 3-in. Bravia screen connected to the handset by an innovative folding hinge. Twist it around to make the best use of the phone's digital TV receiver. Released on Dec. 8, the W44S also comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera and 115 megabytes of internal memory. It's also the first Japanese phone to include a digital radio tuner"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Mighty Boosh - Cheese Song

Best hippetty hiphop cheese song ever

Monday, December 11, 2006

Merger talks with Co-OP

The Grocer reports that the Co-operative Group and United Co-operatives are in talks to merge.

The UK’s two biggest societies issued a statement today saying: “The boards of the Co-operative Group and United Co-operatives have agreed to discuss the possibility of a merger between their two societies. "Talks have commenced and a further statement from the two boards will be issued when they conclude.”If the merger goes ahead the single society would have 2,300 food stores with a combined turnover of £10.5bn.

I'm sure that it is business as usual with the banking side, as all products within the Co-OP portfolio are seperate as entities.

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Ahhh... The Internet

Couple of oldies, repeated for your amusement

Found this quote by Senator Ted Stevens on the Internet... quite funny

" internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday [...] the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes."

Or President Bush explaining to the world how to use an iPod

"Lightweight, and crank it on, and you shuffle the shuffle."

You Tube, CBS Tube

Apparantly the comments on many of the videos posted by CBS have moved to a seperate page. The aim has been to remove "profane, unconstructive criticism".

This is just another way for corporations to wrestle control of user gen'd content.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

ASA ruling

8 complaints against this ad in the Guardian for an anti-ID card website. Not upheld.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A master class in remastering

Video showing a woman being digitally remastered into a covergirl. Impressive to see and perhaps slightly shocking in a way - even if it is a cynical marketing ploy (aren't they the best type?) by Ogilvy for Dove.

Or you could just watch a hamster whose world has been turned into a computer game.

BSkyB's Murdoch accuses BBC of megalomania - Yahoo! News UK

Pot & Kettle.

Being increasingly impressed with the young Murdoch. I don't know if he'll be able to be as important as his old man, but there's a good dynasty being built up here.

Rupert can't have too many years left in him. I reckon another year or two before James steps up into News Corp.