09 Feb 2016
I was shocked to discover recently that YouTube superstars the Fine Brothers had backtracked on their attempt to trademark, among other things, the word ‘react’.
Of course, I have long been a huge admirer of the Fine Brothers’ pioneering work (I loved Weather With You, fellas) but for the benefit of any readers less down with the kids than I am, let me bring you up to speed with a précis of the duo’s career to date that I totally didn’t have to look up on Wikipedia.
Famed for their “reaction videos” (including the hilarious Kids React, the seminal YouTubers React, and the groundbreaking ), fraternal funsters Benny and Rafi Fine have amassed a whopping 14 million followers on YouTube.
But they recently attracted their fans’ ire by unveiling plans to establish a React World hub, in which people could borrow elements of the siblings’ signature format (filming people reacting to stuff) and the Fines would kindly share the money made by other people’s work. The duo also attempted to trademark certain elements of their take on the reaction video genre, as well as certain uses of the not-uncommon English word ‘react’.
The gambit was met with incredulity and disgust and the pair swiftly withdrew the plans and issued an apology. If only they’d filmed people’s reactions – something tells me it would have been entertaining viewing.
No bombing, no horseplay
Speaking of spurious copyright claims, holiday hawker Thomson recent ran a Made Me Smile competition in which UK citizens were invited to send in cutesy or otherwise heartwarming snaps in the name of winning a £2,000 holiday.
The contest was won by three-year-old Jacob Bellis, who snapped a rather sweet selfie while walking with his dad David down a public footpath through fields in their home town of Prestatyn. But the picture’s undoubted star was the photobombing horse just behind them performing a kind of manic grin.
The nag’s owner Nicola Mitchell said she was “really annoyed” that the shot had been used without her – or presumably the horse’s – permission, and asserted that the Bellises should share the prize. David pointed out that this would mean everyone concerned going on holiday together – which might be a bit awks – while legal eagles have claimed that Mitchell’s case “doesn’t really hold up in law”. Sorry, Nicola – sounds like a “neigh” to me.
Swimming in data
Ringo Starr once famously espoused the virtues of residing under the sea. And now anyone storing their copy of Abbey Road in the cloud may give the drumming Beatle the chance to finally fulfil his wish. It might not quite be the idyllic octopus’s garden perhaps born of hippie idealism and powerful hallucinogens, but Microsoft is working on establishing a datacentre beneath the ocean waves.
The vendor giant recently undertook a trial run, in which a computing facility was kept about 1km off the Californian coast between August and December last year. The datacentre has now been fished out and taken back to Microsoft’s Seattle HQ for examination, and presumably to de-barnacle the hull. The Windows maker is hoping that being able to store data sub-aquatically will reduce latency and energy consumption, with data stored closer to users and the sea acting as a natural coolant.
“We would shout and swim about the coral that lies beneath the waves,” said Microsoft, probably. “Oh, what joy for every girl and boy – knowing they’re happy and they’re safe.”
Anyone who finds Apple to be an unbearably smug bunch will have revelled in the news that the Mac peddler is no longer the world’s most valuable company. That honour was taken last week by Google parent company Alphabet, which saw its shares soar by almost a tenth after publishing healthy-looking Q4 numbers. As I write, the search titan’s market capitalisation is about $550bn.
Apple, meanwhile, is worth a puny $531bn. Alphabet’s ascension ends Apple’s reign of more than three years at the top, having surpassed former leader Exxon Mobil in 2012. Some people might feel sympathy at the fruity vendor’s fall from grace, but iLaughed.
27 Jan 2016
One of the challenges facing The Artist Formerly Known as HP following its split is that the vendor now has to build not just one, but two new brands.
You can bet that both monikers – HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise – were focus-shopped to within an inch of their life. So it’s understandable the companies in question might get protective of such carefully chosen names.
My friends in the press tell me that exec bods at the newly uncoupled infrastructure business are quite insistent that the fourth estate refers to the company as either Hewlett Packard Enterprise or HPE – but never, ever HP Enterprise.
For some reason. Such sobriquet sensitivity has seemingly translated to the partner community, with one channel fella telling me that his company’s account manager had – after his repeated use of the banned HP Enterprise – urged him to set up a swear jar. The chap now parts with a shiny pound every time he thoughtlessly utters the prohibited epithet – with his co-workers instructed to be on the lookout for any slip-ups. This may seem a bit draconian on HPE’s part but, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t put a price on brand integrity.
So I’m sure you’ll understand, dear reader, that I’ve had a recent image overhaul, and I now have to ask you all to give me 50p every time you refer to me as anything other than David the Magnificent.
Unsafe solvent bearers
Stone the crows! According to not-in-the-least-bit-spurious “research” from vendor ESET, some 22,266 USB sticks were left in the pockets of clothes taken by Joe Public to be dry-cleaned last year.
This is somehow based on the fact that among the 500 dry cleaners that totally exist and were genuinely interviewed for the “study”, each one found an average of four USB sticks per year. #MATHZ According to further hot data from the unvestedly interested mobile security firm, 45 per cent of owners never see their tech again.
ESET-employed opinion voicer Mark James said: “It is a huge concern that so many devices are being forgotten about by their owners.” Maybe so, MJ, but most right-thinking people would be more worried by the fact that either 45 per cent of people never collect their dry-cleaning or 45 per cent of all dry-cleaning professionals are brazen thieves.
Looking a bit peaky
I was one of many jaded spouses to delight in the recent news that we may have reached a state of “peak home furnishings”. That is according to no less an authority than Ikea’s head of sustainability Steve Howard, who recently told the Guardian that the Swedish retailer’s business will, in future, be more geared to a “circular” model encompassing the refurbishment, reuse and recycling of furniture.
It may seem odd to hear a man hired to promote furniture telling the world that it doesn’t need any more furniture, but Howard added that we’ve also probably reached “peak red meat, peak sugar” and, indeed, “peak stuff” generally.
Just so long as we haven’t reached “peak IT software, solutions, and ongoing service provision including a full holistic support wrap and follow-the-sun helpdesk and remote maintenance”, then I’m happy.
If December is, for many of us, a pretty much non-stop cocktail party, January is inevitably the month-long hangover that follows.
But, according to reports, aficionados of tying one on in the socialist paradise of North Korea need no longer worry about alcohol-induced headaches, nausea, and the gnawing sense of life slipping away moment by moment. Booze wonks in the country have reportedly come up with a spirituous beverage that “causes no hangover”.
According to an article in The Pyongyang Times, ginseng-based drink Koryo Liquor has been perfected over a number of years, with sugar replaced by scorched rice to create a “suave” drink with maximum taste – and minimum green-about-the-gillsness the next morning. This sounds amazing.
My only question is whether this drink is included in yer standard North Korean all-inclusive holiday package? If so, then Her Indoors and I might be swapping Gran Canaria for Chongjin this summer.
11 Jan 2016
Ours may not be known as the most romantic of industries, and the path from the dating world to the channel is not a particularly well-trodden one. But it is one that has now been travelled by Castle Street Investments (CSI).
The new investor in reseller Selection Services previously ran online dating company Cupid plc, which operated sites such as the flagship Cupid.com, the slightly more risqué BeNaughty.com, the self-explanatory GirlsDateForFree.com, and UniformDating.com – which specialises in those with a predilection for the likes of firefighters, policemen, nurses, and KFC employees.
But with the dawn of quick-and-easy apps such as Grimer and TinPot, the internet romance goalposts have shifted in recent years, and in 2013 Cupid plc took the decision to divest its so-called casual dating operations.
The more traditional dating business followed in 2014, leaving it with a £38m cash pot with which to invest in a new industry. Now rebranded as CSI, the senior management have decided to plough their moolah into the channel, acquiring a 25 per cent stake of the aforementioned Bromley VAR.
And, if they do fancy taking another run at the web dating malarkey, might we suggest that ‘Selection Services’ would also double up as a great name for an executive matchmaking specialist?
After last year’s multitude of high-profile data breaches, by the time news broke just before Christmas of an attack on Hello Kitty fans many of you may have missed it due to an acute case of hack fatigue.
But, with details of an estimated 3.3 million users leaked online, the alleged breach of the SanrioTown.com online community was not small. Unlike most of the site’s users, who are clearly children and, as such, don’t really have any money, influence, or access to credit.
As such, it’s hard to see what ill-gotten gains the hackers thought they might be in line for, and it’s also difficult to imagine the attack as having any kind of ideological basis. Perhaps it was a tactical assault by the people behind the Tamagotchi?
Inspect a gadget
As I write, everyone who’s everyone in the tech world (present company excepted, natch) is congregating to gawp and gabble over the latest gadgets and gewgaws at the annual CES show.
The gathering in Las Vegas – which attracts an attendance equating to the whole of the city of Ipswich – was just getting into full swing as CRN went to press, but products to wow the audience during early preview sessions included a battery-powered car resembling the batmobile, an alarm clock that wakes users up with smells, and a bendable television screen.
But regular reader(s) of my scribblings will be thoroughly unsurprised to hear that my personal favourite technology is the so-called “robot bartender”. Sadly, the first thing to note about the Somabar device is that it doesn’t resemble a large metal rendering of Woody or Coach from Cheers, but rather just looks like a water-filtering machine, or maybe a coffee maker.
But the clever device does come loaded with 300 recipes and the option to add your own ones, as well as plenty of space for your spirits and mixers, and a wide range of bitters. All sounds very impressive. But can it pull a decent pint of cask ale?
I was pretty indifferent to learn this week that “research” has found that more tech workers are like Mark Zuckerberg than are like The Apprentice’s Alan Sugar. Hugely unimpeachable data from recruitment firm Randstad finds that the “Mark Zuckerberg personality type [is] most prevalent in the tech industry as a whole”.
Some 37 per cent of IT workers share key traits with the Facebook head honcho. At the other end of the spectrum the Marissa Mayer and Alan Sugar personality types are the least common, being shared by just five per cent of tech workers apiece. Unfortunately – having not met any of the leaders in question – I clearly lack Randstad’s deep personal insight, and the jobs firm doesn’t really explain what each personality type is.
So I can only assume that more than a third of IT pros wear hoodies constantly, while one in 20 is a grumpy, wizened barrowboy.
14 Dec 2015
“Who cares?,” you find yourself thinking. “If you chose to look for an affair online or use a communications provider with a silly name, you’ve made your bed.” But when the organisation being hacked is a pub, it hits a little too close to home. So it was that I felt deeply traumatised by news of the recent Wetherspoons attack. There but for the grace of going to an actual boozer with some sense of identity and character go I. The newspapers reported that more than 650,000 customers’ details were affected, but the pub chain stated that hackers only got away with “extremely limited” payment details for about 100 people who purchased Wetherspoons vouchers online before August 2014. If I were one of those 100, I’d be bricking it right now. Not in fear of having my bank account compromised, but of being outed as the kind of person who thinks a Wetherspoons voucher is any kind of acceptable present.
You’ve gotta be kitten
I was thrilled and bemused to learn this week that toymaker Hasbro has launched a robot cat and is hoping the creature will be one of the year’s hottest festive gifts.
The Joy For All Companion Pet (snappy name) has been designed to be as lifelike as possible. Just like a real feline, it reportedly purrs and meows and is fond of curling up on your lap for a snooze, as well as having its belly tickled.
And, if it’s anything like my moggy, it does a massive vom in a hidden corner of the lounge at least once a week. But this furry must-have gadget is not targeted at children, rather at those at the other end of life’s journey.
Hasbro claims that the Free For All Communion Cat could be an effective way of combatting the loneliness and isolation that besets all too many elderly people these days. What a nice idea. Why not get one for the older relative in your life? It’s probably an awful lot easier than having to visit and spend time with them.
If you’re the kind of person who finds Apple to be unbearably twee and smug and self-congratulatory, then you will no doubt be delighted to hear that the fruity device maker and its high-priced lawyers recently lost a court case to a persevering pensioner from central London.
Deric White, 68, of Pimlico recently received a text message telling him there was a problem with his iPhone 5, which he duly took into the Apple Store on Regent Street. Workers from the shop’s in this case hugely inaptly named Genius Bar facility reportedly gave him back his phone before only then deigning to ask whether or not he had backed up its contents.
White then discovered that all his photos and videos were no longer on the device, which had contained numerous pictures of holidays with his wife, including the couple’s honeymoon. The Central London County Court ruled earlier this month that Apple must pay the Londoner ￡1,200 in damages and ￡773 in court costs. Leaving the vendor’s bank balance at a perilously low infinity millions pounds less ￡1,973.
Festive not festive
In time-honoured tradition – with “tradition” in this case being used in the usual IT industry sense of something I just started doing a few years ago and decided to inaccurately characterise as being traditional – it is with great pleasure and mild nausea that I bring you Dave’s Official Christmas Message 2015.
Wherever, however, and with whomever you’re spending it this year, I wish you a very good one. Unless you’re the kind of person who thinks an e-card is a remotely adequate way of conveying your best festive wishes to your loved ones, in which case I hope you spend the entire holiday season thinking long and hard about your life choices and priorities.
Other than that, I have nothing but peace and goodwill for my fellow humans, at this most sacred and expensive time of year. Eat, drink, and be merry and I’ll see you back in this crazy industry next year. Happy Christmas, one and all!
16 Nov 2015
You may have noticed that the dawn of the internet age has revolutionised the world of gambling. In the good old days, if you wanted to have a flutter, you needed to brave the clouds of cigarette smoke and quiet desperation that hung heavy over yer average bookmakers.
But now – if the adverts are to be believed – you can sit on your unfeasibly expensive sofa with your suspiciously overdressed friends, watching your ridiculously oversized TV and gamble merrily with just a swipe of your smartphone. Sadly for one Australian punter, modern technology also seemingly makes it far easier for said pals to pilfer your winnings.
Chantelle recently attended the Melbourne Cup horse race and won about ￡400 after betting on the winner. As is the custom these days, her initial response was to take a selfie – in which she posed with the winning ticket – and upload it to Facebook. Unfortunately, the photo also contained a clear image of a barcode that could be used to claim her loot from an automated machine. Which is exactly what one of her “friends” did, much to her incredulity. To be fair, the ads do tell you to gamble responsibly.
In yet another entry for the file marked This Country is Going to Hell in a Handcart – Examples Thereof, I read recently that police in Peterborough are looking to talk to more victims of crime via Skype, rather than face to face.
Anyone in the city calling the non-emergency 101 number to report a criminal offence will now be offered the chance to make their own way to the station to talk to an officer, or otherwise make an appointment to do so over the phone or via the aforementioned video-calling service.
The aim is to free up police resources by reducing the number of home visits – which will be made only “where necessary”. Rumours that the fuzz are looking to further cut costs by demanding all crimes are now reported via the medium of emoji remained completely made up as we went to press.
Into the breach
I was thoroughly indifferent to learn this week that some people are sort of a bit worried about maybe losing their bank details or something. This is according to what (VESTED INTEREST ALERT!) security vendor Vormetric has ambitiously referred to as “research”. The company quizzed a bunch of UK citizens about the kinds of personal information they might be worried about losing – get ready with the topical klaxon! – in a data breach of some kind.
The survey covers a wide range of more than two types of data and finds that people are most concerned about their bank details being compromised, with 66 per cent of respondents worried about this eventuality. (And, what, one third is completely relaxed about the prospect?) This is ahead of the theft of credit card details (of concern to 63 per cent) and National Insurance number (40 per cent).
“It’s hardly surprising that financial information is top of mind for British consumers in the aftermath of a data breach,” hollered Vormetric EMEA veep Louise Bulman.
Sing it, sister.
If only there were a way to solve this problem – a data-encryption solution, if you will. But perhaps I’m just a dreamer… Maxed out In a blow for pointless it-were-better-in-my-day nostalgia, Sony announced last week that it will stop selling Betamax tapes in March next year.
In related news, Sony announced last week that it is still selling Betamax tapes. The vendor launched the video format in 1975, sparking a hotly contested battle with the VHS offering from rival JVC. The latter won the day to become the de facto standard for home recording devices, although Sony’s tech retained something of a following among the sort of deliberately contrarian enthusiasts who hold Polaroid nights in rooms above Dalston pubs.
The BBC, for one, still has some Betamax tapes in its archives, and the broadcaster’s video editor Pete Doherty (presumably not that one) reminisced meaninglessly about the format. “I remember watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller on Betamax,” he sobbed.
I remember watching it too, mate. On YouTube, five minutes ago. What of it?
08 Oct 2015
It might be the beanbags and ping-pong tables, it might the fixie bikes in the car park – it might even be the exciting world of network-attached storage solutions – but jobseekers just can’t get enough of tech start-ups.
That is the conclusion of data from jobs search engine Adzuna, which finds that advertised posts from hot tech upstarts that I’ve totally heard of such as Songkick, King.com, and YPlan were the most-viewed roles in the month of August.
And the good news for ambitious young technophiles is that “vacancies continue to increase” in the sector. Happy days. Less cheery is the revelation that the mean advertised salary across all industries in the UK in August dropped 3.3 per cent year on year to £33,318. There was worse news still for those seeking new employment in Sunderland, with the city on the Wear picked as the country’s “hardest place to find a job”.
Adzuna notes that there are “four jobseekers going after every position” in Sunderland – which may not sound like a lot to you and me, but according to the jobs site’s experts this makes it “50 times harder to secure employment than [it is] in Cambridge”.
Where, presumably, only 0.08 people go for each post.
Spy and all tap
Talking of the chocolate-fountains-and-arcade-machines world of sexy young tech firms, I was intrigued to read an interview with Google this week, in which the web giant lifted the lid on what the future may hold for the in-development Now on Tap service.
As was ever the case with Google, the technology – which represents its next big bet for its core search business – sounds really cool at first and increasingly creepy as you read on. But that didn’t stop search head Amrit Singhal talking up the offering to BBC News.
Now on Tap, which will feature on upcoming iterations of the Android operating system, reportedly allows users to employ a single-button press to locate further information about whatever data is found on their phone’s screen.
Singhal cited the ever so slightly blood-chilling example of a text conversation with his wife about a restaurant. In this scenario Now on Tap would allow him to simply tap (oh, I see what they did there) the name of the eatery and Google would provide all the pertinent info, such as driving directions and opening hours.
The feature is designed to work with any app, and saying “OK Google” into your phone will bring up “a contextual voice” which suggests further lines of enquiry. The example the BBC cites is using Spotify, for which the voice might assume you wanted to know the identity of the lead singer of the band currently playing. Lord knows what the voice might suggest when you’re using Tinder, Chat Roulette, or the Hot Leyton Orient Connections app.
“It’s search designed for the mobile world,” explained the Google search chief. “You don’t have to switch windows to type information into one window and then go to another. “In fact, you don’t have to do a thing – just plug your phone directly into your brain stem and you need never think again. All the pain will go away, I promise – join us, join us, join us...,” he added, probably.
I was thoroughly underwhelmed to learn this week that “cybersecurity [is] a key issue in [the] upcoming presidential election”, according to deeply disingenuous and wildly inaccurate marketing gubbins from Tripwire.
The (VESTED INTEREST ALERT!!!) security vendor quizzed 210 IT security professionals, some 54 per cent of whom feel that cybersecurity policy and regulation will “be a key issue”. Just 14 per cent stated that it will not be so, with the remaining 32 per cent presumably unable to get their head around a question that I imagine was so leading as to be four furlongs ahead of all other questions in the running.
The firm also discovered that 68 per cent of respondents “would prefer to vote for a presidential candidate who has a strong cybersecurity policy”.
What’s more, some 244 per cent of respondents would rather not vote for a candidate who taunts kittens and the elderly, according to further research from the Department of Stating the Bleeding Obvious.
06 Jul 2015
I’ve been in this game long enough to leverage my share of synergies, I’m not averse to taking things offline to touch base, and I’m up to speed vis-à-vis what happens when I open the kimono.
But even a bleeding-edge business linguist such as me occasionally comes across a new etymological solution that totally knocks it out the park. The marketing department at one of my vendor partners recently rang to invite me to a high-end roundtable at which I and other channel thought-leaders could meet the manufacturer in question’s top-level execs and get a holistic overview of the industry.
“It’s going to be a great event,” pledged the vendor bod. “You’ll really get a 365-degree view of the market.” I’m not sure entirely what this would entail, but it sounds like it’ll be a whole new angle.
Sauce of the problem
The collective face of condiment maker Heinz was left as red as its flagship sauce recently when it accidentally directed its customers towards an online smut repository. In 2012 the company began a promotion giving consumers the chance to avail themselves of a personalised bottle of its ketchup.
To take advantage of the offer, shoppers were asked to scan a QR code, which directed them to a web page containing more information. Unfortunately for Heinz, once the competition was over, the URL was purchased by a German-based outfit offering internet users something decidedly more adult. And I don’t mean piccalilli.
Daniel Korell (who evidently consumes ketchup at a far more pedestrian rate than me) recently scanned the code on his aging bottle and found himself looking at images considerably saucier than his sausage sandwiches evidently are. As a gesture of goodwill Heinz pledged to provide him a free personalised bottle of ketchup. Which, from the sound of it, might qualify as a lifetime supply.
Taking the Mickey
If you’re anything like me, every time you see a selfie stick you will be overcome with the urge to banish every single one of the blasted devices within a five-mile radius.
Clearly the good folk at Disney feel similarly enraged by the photographic aids, announcing last week that they are to be banned from every one of its theme parks.
Selfie sticks were already prohibited from all rides, but they will now be completely barred throughout the various Lands of Disney across the US, Paris, and Hong Kong.
Children, wearied parents, and other aficionados of creepy giant mice will have to deposit the sticks in lockers at the park entrances and collect them once they’re finished having an infantilised approximation of “fun”.
A spokeswoman told the BBC: “Handheld extension poles have become a growing safety concern for both our guests and cast.” Got it – I’ll leave the handheld extension pole at home next time I visit. But what about my selfie stick?
All at sea
Despite the fact that it is approaching its 14th birthday, many users just can’t shake Windows XP. Over the past 18 months Microsoft has warned frequently and insistently about the potential security implications of staying on the operating system now support for it has ended.
If you’re not particularly tech-dependent, and only fire up your dusty desktop once a fortnight for a hand of hearts and a quick squiz at the sidebar of shame, it’s likely you’d think it’s not a major risk.
But if you’re the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, one might have assumed you’d take the warnings a touch more seriously. Military bods on the other side of the pond recently announced that they had agreed a $9.1m contract extension with Microsoft to continue to provide customer support for XP, as well as the almost equally senescent Office 2003 and Exchange 2003.
The Navy estimates that 100,000 computers across its fleet are running one or more of the aging applications. To be fair, it’s understandable that they might want to cut a few corners in the IT security area. So long as they haven’t skimped on the nuclear warheads.
20 May 2015
Dressing down was a theme at Cisco’s annual partner shindig in Montreal as the vendor tried desperately to be “a bit more software”. But it seems some in attendance took that message a little too literally.
The search is on for a blue-underpant-wearing Cisco partner who passed out on a hotel floor after stripping down to his smalls at the event. The half-nude reveller, who had clearly imbibed one too many maple shandies, was spotted and photographed by Jon Pickering, the managing director of UK Cisco Gold partner Block Solutions, who was also staying at the resort.
“We need to find this man… Which Cisco partner was it? Retweet,” Pickering tweeted, alongside a shot of the unconscious merrymaker spread-eagled on a hotel carpet. Collaboration emerged as a big buzzphrase at the event, which lured 2,000 partners globally (including me and Shirl from Dodgi).
But it’s probably safe to say our semi-clad friend – whose identity is, thankfully for him, yet to be exposed as I write this – is hoping his peers had collaborated a little bit less on social media.
Waste of time
It was an unusually crowded field, but this week’s prize for the most tenuous and underwhelming piece of IT “research” goes to recruitment firm Ranstad Technologies.
According to Ranstad’s latest half-baked thesis, commuting “costs” IT professionals an average of £8,398 a year in lost time.
In a move that defies all logic, Ranstad arrived at this figure by randomly taking the average commute time of an IT worker – 42 minutes – and then charging that time out by the average salary in the sector.
This conveniently ignores the fact that people tend to commute further for better-paid jobs. It also assumes time spent on a train or snarled in a traffic jam is dead time, when in fact – as anyone who has seen me rocking out to Creedence Clearwater Revival on the A12 knows – that is anything but the case.
If anything, I would pay £8,398 just to have that 84 minutes on the open road each day when I don’t have to hear Her Indoors wittering on about which curtains will go best with the new dog or Gordon boring me with his latest business development brainwave.
To kiss or not to kiss
We often hear how men have it easier in the workplace, but one area I definitely agree with that is in relation to business greetings. When two guys meet, they have a firm handshake (in some cases bone-crushingly painful) and get on with business.
But bring a lady into the mix and it gets complicated. To kiss or not to kiss? Is a handshake too formal? How can you tell who prefers what?
One of our ladies recently came back to the office extremely red-faced and said she is never doing another business meeting again. She had met a vendor exec and it had all gone swimmingly.
But when the meeting was over she had gone in for the informal peck on the cheek. After all, they had met several times and were on friendly terms.
Unfortunately the male exec wasn’t on the same page and she ended up kissing his ear. I only hope the vendor boss in question didn’t think it was deliberate and is now offering up his lughole to female business contacts by way of greeting.
I was always warned as a nipper that if I played my music too loud, I would suffer in later life. Luckily for me I got away with it, and only pretend to be hard of hearing when Shirl is giving me grief (often on a daily basis).
But some bigwigs of the music world – Chris Martin and Plan B (yes they are still going) – have teamed up with UK charity Action on Hearing Loss to warn youngsters about the dangers of losing your hearing, with Martin sharing his tinnitus woes.
Luckily for everyone involved (marketing opportunity alert), tech vendor Geermarc also got in on the act, by bunging some special headphones on the charity’s website to help protect delicate yoof ears.
I can’t help wishing that Martin had gone deaf – and therefore lost the ability to write music – in about 2004, after Rush of Blood to the Head, but before X&Y.
Global channels and marketing manager Freek Hemminga, discusses the company's plans for the future and what direction the industry is headed in this sponsored video
SPONSORED BY SMART TECHNOLOGIES SMART Technologies and its partners discuss the changes in the interactive displays market and how the channel can cash in