10 May 2013
Imagine my all-round amazedness to read this week that a reseller and a vendor are going to delight and inspire UK children by giving them genuine pieces of London 2012 equipment.
When I saw that Olympic sponsor Acer and VAR partner Probrand intend to “pass on the legacy of the Games” in classrooms up and down the land, I wondered what kind of awe-inspiring memorabilia they might be delivering. Perhaps a javelin thrown by Jessia Ennis? Maybe a pair of gloves used by Nicola Adams, Luke Campbell or Anthony Joshua? Could it even be Bradley Wiggins’ aerodynamic sideburns or a mouldering pair of Tom Daley’s Speedos?
Even better than that: discount second-hand computers. Which apparently qualifies as “a small slice of Olympic magic” (emphasis on the small, if you ask me), and “very rare Olympic legacy equipment”.
OK, it’s easy (very easy) to cock a snook at this, but just remember that all this magical Olympic legacy equipment could set a starry-eyed child on the road to one day achieving greatness in the field of promptly replying to ticketing queries, co-ordinating cross-departmental marketing activities, or even driving audience engagement and brand awareness with regular social media updates.
Pulling a FAST one
In an unusually thinly veiled attempt to get on their soapbox about how the scourge of underlicensing will bring about the collapse of civilised society, I saw the chaps from the Federation Against Software Theft put out some research about office thievery this week.
In not-particularly-scandalising revelations, FAST data revealed that 82 per cent of employees “steal” pens from work, while 65 per cent are not above getting light-fingered with the Post-It notes. A third of employees reportedly help themselves to blank CDs, while about one in five lifts the odd notebook.
Alas, putting the word SOFTWARE in CAPITAL LETTERS didn’t disguise the fact that software was low down the list on 16 per cent.
All of which didn’t stop FAST chief executive Alex Hilton from thundering: “Corporate UK needs to ask itself one serious question: what on earth are they putting on the corporate network and are they managing their software estates effectively?”
Of course, Alex. That’s the one serious question facing corporate UK. Not ‘will the European economy collapse?’ or ‘will I have to make long-standing employees redundant?’ or ‘how do I get off the FAST mailing list?’.
Imagine my amazement to learn this week that yer average divorce case is now being decided on evidence gleaned from social media.
According to media guff put out by “internet reputation company” (no, I don’t know either) GotJuice.co.uk, more than 80 per cent* of divorce lawyers scour social networking sites on behalf of their client. (*figure estimated to within nearest 80 per cent.)
Website representative Mark Hall offers strong, bewildering words for users who pay scant regard to their privacy settings.
“Cached data means that what is posted on the internet could be forever,” he warns.
Good point, Mark. I, for one, don’t want to look like I’ve got anything to hide, so I’ll be making sure from now on that I never pay a visit to any ‘internet reputation companies’.
Clouding the issue
As a dyed-in-the-wool reseller of high-margin, low-service bits of tin, few things make me as happy as a bit of completely unsubstantiated scaremongering about my cloud-toting rivals.
So I was concerned this week to receive some promotional gubbins from Claranet seeking to dispel some of the more common myths about cloud security. Simon Bearne counselled firms thinking about going cloud that “it’s easy to bamboozle customers with claims over security and data protection”.
Before adding: “The knowledge that an organ-isation has taken time to ensure its technology is up to scratch and put itself through rigorous auditing and certification processes – such as those for ISO:27000 or PCI DSS – will build resellers’ trust, giving them confidence that they are looking at a mature market that takes their security concerns seriously.”
I was gonna make a joke here but I’m afraid I’ve run out of wordcount.
25 Apr 2013
Imagine my horror to learn this week that some British workers use company printers to print non-work stuff (gasp!), go on Facebook during work hours (surely not?!), and put work files on USB sticks or send them to their webmail accounts (NOOOOOOOOO!!!).
According to data sent to me by security vendor Safetica, a scarcely believable 32 per cent of UK employees have printed personal papers at the office, with the same amount going on social media during worktime. Almost a quarter have had the brass neck to scout other jobs online, while 12 per cent have taken work files home via portable storage, printouts or attachments emailed to personal accounts.
The marketing bumpf claims the amount of workers taking files home is "frighteningly high". (Because any smart burglar these days knows the real money is in quarterly sales projections and company outing cost spreadsheets, not jewellery and high-end stereo equipment).
"For monitoring, reporting and preventing employees from partaking in unauthorised activities, a comprehensive software solution should be considered," writes the Safetica bod who sent me the story. "I know of one that does all that, but I really shouldn't be making a sales pitch here," he adds.
What are you talking about?! That's exactly what you should be doing! For the love of God, man - why won't you tell us the name of this incredible solution? Looks like you've just talked yourself out of a sale, my friend.
Speaking of high-level "research", I was unimaginably underwhelmed this week to receive news that a worryingly high number of babies are allowed to play with their parents' tablets and smartphones.
The long-awaited data on early-years device usage behaviour comes from the imaginatively named Babies.co.uk. Much like a mewling infant regurgitating milk over my new houndstooth jacket (thanks, Dave Jr), the website has spewed out some marketing bumpf claiming that more than half of parents allow their sprog to fiddle with their mobile or tablet.
One in seven Mas and Pas permit the fruit of their loins to spend upwards of four hours a day on their gadget, adds the website, thoroughly inaccurately.
Babies managing director James Macfarlane said: "The real problem with babies playing with smart devices is what it leads to in the future. At what age will we teach them to simply cope with being bored in everyday situations without producing our smartphone for them?"
I don't know, Jimmy. Reacting to every single five-second lull in stimulation by mindlessly pawing at your iPhone? That sounds like ideal preparation for adult life to me.
Caught in the web
I'm going for the hat-trick this week, dear reader, with yet more revelations from the world of deeply pointless research.
According to stats from the good folk at Infosec, the average cockney would be "far more stressed out by not having internet access than [they would be] if their heating was turned off, their tellies didn't work or they didn't have water". (NB - this is not true.)
Bods from the security shindig surveyed 1,000 London commuters (I'm guessing from the results they may have focused on those catching the last train on Friday, known to market researchers as the "Highly Refreshed Demographic") and found that 38 per cent said they would be most stressed by losing internet access at home, followed by 32 per cent for lack of water, 18 per cent for a loss of heating, eight per cent for no TV and just four per cent for a washing machine fail.
Infosec figures also reveal that a mind-boggling 27 per cent of my fellow Londinians do not think they could survive without the interwebs, up from a marginally less preposterous 17 per cent last year.
Event director Claire Sellick said: "Considering that so much information now passes over the internet... now more than ever it's important to consider how you access it."
This is where we differ, Claire. If people genuinely believe they need Facebook more than they need water, now more than ever is the time to despair at what reality-detached idiot holes you have to share a city with.
17 Apr 2013
As a cockney IT reseller, I was more than a little intrigued to see the government issue a mega-tender recently looking for suppliers to provide IT goods and services to every single one of London’s 32 boroughs (plus the City).
There are many reasons why this offends me. As a Londoner, the idea that the complex technology needs of the people of Brent, Bexley and Barnet are the same is insultingly facile. As an SMB, the launch of yet another überdeal that will surely be solely the domain of the big multinational SIs is highly detrimental to my business.
But as an East Ender, the typical west London bias of this shoddy tender chilled me to my bones. For a start, the process is led by Westminster, backed by Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham, with the trio of hoity-toity W-postcoders getting to decide who will supply the entirety of our fair capital with its IT gear.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, the bid outline couldn’t even spell correctly the fine boroughs of “Harringey” and “Waltham Forrest”. The latter, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, is the home of the East End’s oldest and least unlikeable football club: Leyton Orient.
And, much like Wet Sham’s bid to move into the Olympic Stadium, if those Bertie Big Spuds resellers from across London think they can move in on my manor without a fight, they’ve got another think coming.
Virgin on the ridiculous
Mancunian hosting outfit UKFast can usually be relied upon to put out some pretty entertaining marketing bumpf.
But they really outdid themselves with the revelation that the head honcho picks up bizness tips while out jogging with Richard Branson on the Virgin chief’s private island paradise. The firm takes a pleasingly relaxed attitude to the preciseness of statistics (staff? Somewhere between 100 and 200. Revenue? Somewhere between £20m and £100m and £infinitym) but is thankfully less laissez-faire about the serious business of growing the company.
And who better to advise on expansion than the leader of the £13bn Virgin empire and long-time ally of UKFast chief exec Lawrence Jones?
“It was from one of our conversations while having a jog around Necker Island, when we talked about the challenges of managing growth, that Richard suggested following the original Virgin style by splitting UKFast into separate divisions,” revealed Jones.
Fair play to the lad, but I can’t help but think that if I was on an exclusive sun-kissed utopia, I might take the opportunity to forget about managing the growth of my IT reseller for a few days.
And if I did end up having a chinwag with Branson, I’d be more likely to ask him whether he regrets all that balloon nonsense and what Usain Bolt’s like in real life.
Regular reader(s) may remember that I reported a while back on Facebook charging users up to $100 for the privilege of sending a message to founder Mark Zuckerberg.
This week brought news that paid-for messages are being introduced in this sceptred isle. According to complex calculations (such as how many followers a person has) and what the BBC describes as “a secret ‘fame’ algorithm”, the social networking site has worked out how much various celebs are worth in private message terms.
Seemingly top of the pile is cherubic Olympic diving dude Tom Daley, who will set you back a whopping £10.68. At the bottom of the heap, a number of lesser lights inhabit the basic the 71p tier, including Robert Peston and the improbably named Cressida Bonas, who is Prince Harry’s girlfriend. Apparently.
Now, I’m as cerebral as the next man (in fact, probably at least twice as cerebral), but I was somewhat nonplussed to see that revered book bloke Salman Rushdie comes in at a hefty £10.08 while ubiquitous joke lady and huge TV star Miranda Hart is at the 71p level.
“You can’t infer someone’s level of celebrity from the numbers,” explained Facebook mouthpiece Iain Mackenzie, helpfully.
Having successfully kept it real for 40-plus years and counting, I’d just like to reassure my fan(s) that I’ve asked Facebook to ensure my messages are kept free of charge.
08 Apr 2013
Given that the wonderful industry we call tech has brought us such mind-boggling innovations as virtual reality, 3D printing and electronic Easter greetings cards (thanks, Dad), it can sometimes be hard to separate science fact from science fiction.
Which makes April Fools’ Day the ideal opportunity for technology firms to make mischief. One of this year’s top pranks came from Google, which revealed that it is topping the invention of Google Glass with the introduction of Google Nose. Gullible olfaction enthusiasts were encouraged to lean in close to their monitors and experience the full sensory experience of search results including “unattended litter box”.
Also getting in on the fooling act was Google-owned YouTube, which claimed that it was shutting down at the end of the first day of April. The video site explained that its eight-year existence has just been an elongated talent search, and that judges would spend the next 10 years picking a winner from the billions of cute pets, racist public transport users and dancing Korean popstrels.
Meanwhile “Twttr” said it was “annncng” a new, streamlined version permitting only the use of consonants. Although users were advised they could pay $5 a month for the deluxe version, with vowels and everything.
I was particularly pleased with the stunt that the Dodgi HR department pulled, telling all our employees who worked over the Bank Holiday that they would be paid time and a half and given a free Easter egg. I wasn’t laughing quite so hard when I realised it wasn’t a joke.
Revenge is Swede
Speaking of Google, I was disheartened to see that the search giant has come to blows with that other great ubiquitous source of information, amusing cats and the poorly punctuated ravings of wild-eyed conspiracists – the Language Council of Sweden.
Every year Swedish language bods unveil a list of 10 new words which are set to be become part of the official lexicon, having become prevalent in popular usage. Making the cut this year was “ogooglebar”, which I’m sure I don’t have to tell you roughly translates as “ungoogleable”, a word used to characterise something that cannot be found via the medium of search engine.
But shortly after the dectet of new terms was published, some humourless brand-protection types got in touch with the council to request that the meaning of the word be changed to relate solely to Google and not other search providers. They also reportedly requested a disclaimer be added to the definition, stressing that Google is a trademark.
To their credit, the Swedish word-watchers said they wouldn’t be influenced by the whims of a corporation and regretfully took the word off the list to avoid a costly legal battle.
A council statement said: “Who decides language? We do, language users. We decide together which words should be and how they are defined, used and spelled.”
Too right. In any case, I don’t know what Google’s getting so upset about. Do they really think all those web-searching Swedes are talking about Altavista or Ask Jeeves?
The end of the Roadrunner
As a long-time admirer of supercomputing (because it’s about as macho as IT gets), I was upset to learn this week that the world’s first petaflop computer has been shut down for good.
Launched in 2008, the IBM Roadrunner was used by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and was the first machine to be able to handle 1,000 trillion calculations per second. Having been permanently turned off at the end of last month, it will be taken apart in the coming weeks after testing bods have run some experiments on its operating system.
“Even in death, we are trying to learn from Roadrunner,” said a clearly unhinged and emotionally unstable Gary Grider from the lab.
During its heyday it was used for such noble purposes as creating models of far-flung corners of the universe and conducting research into nuclear weapons.
Unconfirmed reports suggest it finally conked out while installing Windows update 11 of 15, as the lab team impatiently waited to leave work in time for the last half hour of Wacky Wednesday at the local Hooters.
28 Mar 2013
As someone whose formative years took place in the golden dawn of computer gaming, I'm rarely happier than when the console's fired up, the beer and salty snacks are close at hand and Her Indoors is passed out on the sofa next to an empty carton of sauv blanc.
There are hundreds of opportunities - business meetings, dinner parties, school plays, court appearances - that I'd happily pass up for the chance to snatch a couple of hours of Pro Evo or Call of Duty time. But even I can't help but feel that a Mr Eric Zuber of Pennsylvania might have taken his gaming love a bit far.
After reportedly playing Xbox with his pals for two days straight, his other half, Heather Hayes, allegedly gave him an ultimatum: drop the pad - and your pants - now, or face the consequences. According to local coppers, the Xboxer declined the offer of a bit of the other, infuriating the frustrated female.
At this point, according to Zuber, she began to hit, bite and grab him, including in some rather tender areas. When he decided to run to the local shop to alert the authorities, she reportedly chased him down the street, all the while in a state of lower-half undress (her keks having been pre-emptively removed in anticipation of some slap and tickle). Responding officers found her "standing by the trash container, nude from the waist down".
I reckon Her Indoors would sympathise with our Eric. She's long been of the opinion that, when it comes to the bedroom, she's far happier with a bit of technology.
Imagine my incredulity to read "research" claiming that the modern breed of SMB entrepreneur is more interested in attaining a good work/life balance than in growing their business and owning fancy status symbols.
According to unimaginably reliable stats from TalkTalk Business, some 81 per cent of small business chiefs would rather "work in an industry that they are passionate about and are happy to forgo big bucks and a jet-set lifestyle". (NB - no, they wouldn't.)
Also, when asked what they needed to catch up with bigger competitors (NB - more sales of more stuff), about a quarter said "access to technology and telecoms", according to the figures from the technology and telecoms firm. Which must mean that a massive three quarters could not give a monkey's about technology and telecoms.
A visibly distressed (probably) Charles Bligh, grand fromage of ChatChat Bizness, implored Johnny Small-Businessman to think again.
"By providing great value for money solutions we are better able to ensure the latest telecoms technology is available to as many businesses as possible," he wailed.
Perhaps you should appeal to their more idealistic side, Charlie. Nothing says "healthy work/life balance" like a refresh of your telecoms estate.
I'm sure it didn't escape your notice, dear reader, that last week was Anywhere Working Week. But in case you've been in a cave on Mars with a blindfold on and earphones in, let me clue you in: Anywhere Working Week is a not-in-any-way-pointless designated five-day period for Joe Public to appreciate "how remote working can increase your productivity and wellbeing, save the environment, and most importantly, affect your bottom line in terms of your time and your money".
Incongruously, the Anywhere Working Consortium promoted the use of mobility technologies by going on a nationwide tour, taking in Norwich, Chelmsford, Bristol, London and the "Tavistock Enterprise Hub" (which I believe is a Wimpy restaurant).
The blurb sez: "It's a great opportunity to try out flexible working if you've not made the jump yet." (The jump to Chelmsford, I presume).
Regular reader(s) will be aware of my antipathy towards the array of Something Days and Something Else Weeks that have proliferated in recent years. But, for me, this one takes the biscuit if for no other reason than the terrible syntax of "Anywhere Working Week".
Until you can put three words in a cogent order, you won't be working anywhere at all if I have anything to do with it.
18 Mar 2013
I'm all for the use of bleeding-edge turnkey solutions to provide holistic business efficiencies and drive a better work/life balance going forward on an ongoing basis. But even I felt a little bilious to read that firms are reportedly conducting more job interviews via the medium of videoconferencing.
According to thoroughly unimpeachable data from recruitment company OfficeTeam, 41 per cent of HR leaders are using video technology in the hiring process more than they were three years ago. Conveniently skirting around the fact that utilising something more could entail going from using it "not at all" to "once in a blue moon", OfficeTeam claims these figures betoken "a radical shift in the hiring process". Right you are.
The recruitment outfit's UK boss Phil Sheridan claimed videoconferencing "is particularly useful for those who have a long journey to navigate".
Long journey, is it? Diddums. If my potential hires can't even be bothered to make it into the office for their job interview, I'm afraid they're not Dodgi material. In fact, I ask all candidates to go on a scavenger hunt around the east London area before (hopefully) locating me and my inquisition team at a top-secret location. Which I'd like to stress is rarely, if ever, the saloon bar at the Dog and Duck.
Troll with the punches
In more innocent times trolls were mythical bridge-dwelling Norse creatures and/or exuberantly haired toys. In modern parlance trolls are far less lovable, as one fearsome internet abuser recently found to his cost.
Hurling vitriolic and vituperative vernacular at total strangers is clearly one of the best things about the internet. But you have to be careful whose tree you shake, and I'd suggest a man who punches people's faces for a living should be low down anyone's list of targets.
Still, that didn't stop one twitterer from giving light-welterweight boxer Curtis Woodhouse weeks of foul-mouthed insults. The pugilist eventually tired of the jibes and offered £1,000 to anyone who could provide the name and address of his abuser.
He then set off on the hour-long drive to the chap's house with the intention of "coming over for a brew", pausing at regular intervals to provide tweet updates, finally posting a picture of the street sign at the top of his nemesis' road.
At which point Terry Troll tweeted the boxer to apologise and stress that it was all meant as "a bit of harmless fun" (I've always found carefree enjoyment in being called an "ugly, vile cretin", which was probably the most printable insult).
Many have labelled Woodhouse a folk hero, while others have condemned his threats of violence towards someone who is more than likely a confused and acne-ridden teenager.
I'm not taking sides. But I'd like to stress, for any internet insulters or complaining customers who might be reading this, that I once placed joint fourth in the Barking and Dagenham area under-16s karate tournament. You never lose it.
Regular reader(s) may have previously seen my thrilling write-ups of "research" from the good folk at IllicitEncounters.com. The site specialises in helping attached types find a bit of how's-your-father outside the marital home, so they recently asked members about the most popular lies they tell to excuse otherwise unexplained absences.
In a shocking turn of events, plausible and hard-to-falsify excuses - such as going to the gym, seeing friends or working late - proved more popular than needlessly absurd ones. Surprisingly, given that the vast majority of the UK population never goes fishing, gets arrested or visits their elderly relatives, the least popular porkies were telling your spouse you'd gone fishing, got arrested or visited elderly relatives. Website spokesgoon Mike Taylor inaccurately described fishing's low placing as "interesting".
"It offers privacy, can go on late into the night and often in places with no mobile phone coverage," he said, with a slightly creepy amount of certainty.
Still, I am in need of a new fib to tell Her Indoors for those times when I need a pint of mild and a go on the quiz machine. She's got increasingly suspicious about the frequency with which I get a professional moustache waxing.
13 Mar 2013
The rise of the celebrity music technologist has been well documented in recent years. Dr Dre (massively successfully) and Ludacris (marginally less successfully) have flown the flag for headphone-hawking rappers. Neptune-based überproducer Pharrell Williams appeared in one of those execrable Microsoft ‘I'm a PC' ads (god, he must really need the money. No? Oh, OK) while Alicia Keys was recently appointed to single-handedly reverse the fortunes of RIM.
Perhaps most famous of the tuneful technophiles is will.i.am, who not only has a totally not-made-up position as director of creative innovation at Intel, but has also launched a bonzer new high-end iPhone accessory. Mr i.am believes the future lies in "wearable technology", (what, like hearing aids?) and is charging up £300 for his blingtastic device.
One channel firm I spoke to was no big fan of the tech, but admitted they'd take it on for marketing purposes, while another opted against the idea, describing the kit as "clompy".
Dre, Luda, Pharrell and Alicia may have made some bona fide sound-system bangers in their time and all have leant their good name to some pretty impressive tech innovation too. And I can vouch for the fact that the Black Eyed Peas mainman has also come up a bit of kit every bit as worthwhile as his music.
I now pronounce you
A feature of a recent tech show I went to was an "elevator pitch" (oh, god, really?) section where vendors were given a minute or two to convince a room full of business owners that their tech could hold the key to the future of our businesses.
Obviously, we were all looking for bleeding-edge innovation, astronomical margins and enormous untapped market opportunities. But more than that, it seems, we were looking for an exec who pronounced his company name in a slightly funny way.
One French presenter - who spoke better English than most of the UK contingent present - had a curiously wired way of enunciating his firm's moniker. So much so that the terribly mature audience burst into fits of giggles every time he said it.
All of which resulted in the vendor scoring top marks across the board. I for one have signed up to sell ten grand's worth of the devices. Now, if only I'd been paying attention to what they actually were...
In excellent news for just about everyone, I read some thoroughly irreproachable research this week claiming that looking at pictures of cute animals can actually enhance your productivity.
Stats from bods at Hiroshima University suggest that looking at adorable snaps of baby otters and cats in slippers can improve focus. Test subjects who spent time looking at heart-warming images prior to undertaking concentration tasks found that their performance was 44 per cent better than those who did not.
Actually I was going to take part in this study myself. But just as I was about to start the test Gordon sent me a GIF of a baby mongoose getting stuck in a cardboard box. Megalolz! :-)
Caught in the net
Imagine my complete underwhelmedness this week to receive research from sock subscription service (don't ask) socked.co.uk that claims technology is killing our relationships and friendships.
Staff at the pointless website asked probably at least four people about their tech habits at home. Evidently socked staff have never been married as they seemed surprised that some 80 per cent of respondents play with their phone during dinner, while 76 per cent sit in silence with spouse in the evening while they browse the web.
A perfectly reasonable 84 per cent get annoyed if they are interrupted while using their phone of tablet while a not-particularly-surprising 98 per cent said they'd never held a dinner party.
Mark Hall, gentlemen creation officer (oh, come on) at socked claims he wants "to get gentlemen acting like gentlemen again".
"When somebody says 'LOL' in real life, you know we need to change," he wailed, snobbishly.
Fair enough, pal. Why don't we settle this like gentlemen, then - what do you say to pistols at dawn?
05 Mar 2013
Dagenham may be known as Vice Village, but I’ve traded up this week, dear reader, and am writing from the full-blown Sin City that is Las Vegas, having taken a trip to the HP partner beanfeast.
But I’m finding it increasingly hard to keep up with the esoteric jargon that gets flung around willy nilly at these things. One US-based partner leader told me and my reseller brethren that we need to become “garananimalistic”.
I clearly have no idea what this means, but I can see that it’ll come in handy when I’m trying to flog a few servers. And I’ve got quite used to being told that Dodgi needs to be the archetypal trusted adviser to our clients.
But my head was left marginally spinning at the order from one channel exec that I ought to become “a trusted implementation broker”. Whatever that is. “The tide is evolving,” explained the HP man in not-at-all-meaningless and thoroughly unmixed metaphor.
Meanwhile, I was bewildered to hear Meg Whitman proudly talking about her career history in “the world’s oldest profession”.
I was relieved to realise she was talking about retail. But I don’t want to be the one to tell her there’s another industry that usually lays claim to being the planet’s oldest.
Perhaps even more confusing than keeping track of the latest vogue buzzwords is navigating your way around your average Las Vegas überhotel.
On the first morning someone informed me that I could find my way to the HP channelfest by “walking towards the giant dragon then taking a left behind the waterfall”.
It was a full 20 minutes before I realised she was, in fact, a helpful employee of this lavish establishment and not a raving derelict offering a brief and terrifying glimpse into another acid flashback.
Having managed to navigate my way successfully through the dragon-waterfall matrix, I found myself in the convention centre looking for my meeting amid a sea of HP-branded rooms and corridors.
Feeling not unlike Agent Dale Cooper in the Black Lodge, I wondered if I was in the market for a breakout room, a collaboration zone, or a wikiroundtable. So dazed was I that I inadvertently walked right past the HP caravan and soon realised that I was in the middle of the next-door conference.
Which just happened to be the Male Swimwear and Lingerie Expo. My account manager may have been none too pleased that I missed my meeting. But I dare say Her Indoors will be quite happy that I did.
A cock and bull story
Sticking with HP, in a story that was seemingly created in a lab for the express purpose of me writing about it in this column, I read this week that Chubby Checker is suing HP for half a billion dollars over an app that purports to be able to calculate the size of a man’s John Thomas.
The app – named “The Chubby Checker”, in case you hadn’t guessed – encourages users to enter a man’s shoe size and let it do the rest.
“Any of you ladies out there just start seeing someone new and wondering what the size of there member is,” screams the grammatically cavalier app. “Now with The Chubby Checker there is no need for disappointment or surprise...”
Lawyers for Mr Checker (real name Ernest Evans) claim that the app has caused “irreparable damage and harm” to the twisting singer. It seems he trademarked his name in the late 1990s and is worried that the application will “blur and tarnish” his brand by fostering associations with “obscene sexual connotation and images”.
Chubby’s legal eagles are asking that “all profits” from the sale of the app – amounting to some $500m – are paid to their client. Though one tech news site noted, not unreasonably, that more than two years on from its release, the $0.99 app had been downloaded just 84 times.
On top of which, it is clearly an independently produced application that just happens to have been made for the PalmOS ecosystem. I can’t help but think that its link to HP is tangenital at best. Sorry, tangential.
The head honcho of Dagenham's top reseller (give or take a few) gives his insights on the quirkier and murkier side of the industry. Dave also keeps a keen eye on the world of robots, pointless research and social networking.
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