Using the power of Osmosis ...
Osmosis has found itself within these pages fairly regularly over the past few weeks and, as part of our research, it is standard practice to have a shufty at such a company's Website. As we're sure you'll agree, the lack of standardisation over domain name allocation often means a process of elimination method is used to find the Website of a company for the first time, and it's usually a .com or .co.uk suffix. It was shortly after we typed in www.osmosis.com that we realised that either a) Osmosis managing director John Fenton had a broader portfolio of interests than we'd thought, or b) this was the wrong domain name for the distributor.
For osmosis.com is an online purveyor of 'enzyme bath and massage' products, and offers, among other things, a 'warm fragrant cedar enzyme which is the only one of its kind in the US'. For your pleasure and entertainment, PC Squealer has included a picture of Dr Sol Londe, age 94, and his wife Jeanne enjoying the enzyme bath, just in case you were wondering what one looked like. Michael Stusser, founder of the Californian company, says: 'Almost everyone who takes the bath leaves here with a radiant glow on their skin and a big smile on their face, and they come back because they want to feel that way again.' Sounds like something the management at Osmosis UK could do with.
The Ilion dollar pizza
PC Squealer was heartbroken to learn that the numbers reading the channel's number one gossip column have taken a dip recently. Well, to be strictly accurate, the numbers reading the channel's favourite magazine altogether have taken a slight dent. Why? Because the management at Ilion's UK office in Chessington banned copies of PC Dealer being distributed to staff, in the same week it carried an article on the distributor. Anyway, seeing as you can assume that no one at Ilion will be reading this, PC Squealer may as well tell you that it has also heard that ex-chief executive Wayne Channon's magnificent desk, installed at the height of his power and at great expense, has been ruined. Apparently, a pile of empty pizza boxes was left atop the splendid leather-bound work surface for a whole weekend and, consequently, the collected greasy remains of the dough-based feast leaked through the flimsy cardboard receptacles and soaked into the luxurious hide counter. Pizza all-nighters eh?
Life must be a non-stop adventure for the employees at Chessington.
It shouldn't happen to a pet
Reporting tools vendors are on a constant quest to make user interfaces easier to understand, but if this screenshot forwarded to us by BlackCat Education Software is anything to go by, that mission is now reaching farcical proportions. According to the attached press release, the package is 'designed to make data handling easy and fun'. PC Squealer can appreciate that any bean counter IT-savvy enough to own a reporting package probably needs a huge injection of fun in their life, but we're not sure that graphs featuring cute, domestic pets are necessarily the right way to go. A nice change from Excel they may be, but highly impractical for executive briefings and annual reports we fear. But then again, it is designed for primary-aged children.
From IT to A&E
It's often said that to survive in the industry, companies need to get big, get niche or get out. Well, PC Squealer couldn't help noticing the unique value-added product announced by barcode and labelling vendor Image Computer Systems recently. While popular TV doctors specialising in sex, acne and PMT are ten-a-penny, Image has done society a huge favour by opening an online surgery for Dr Barcode, the company's 'bearded, brainy barcode specialist', to answer questions and offer advice on automatic data capture. It remains to be seen whether one can claim Dr Barcode's services on the NHS, but nevertheless, Image should be applauded for identifying this serious issue and seeking to rectify it. For those of you who are experiencing barcode traumas, Dr Barcode will be attending a number of industry exhibitions throughout the year. However, if you don't feel comfortable consulting the imposing 5ft-high cardboard cutout in person, he can also be contacted at www.docbarcode.com. Also, when the picture was sent, it was pointed out that Paul Wade, sales and marketing co-ordinator at Image, is the one on the left. So at least Image doesn't let transparent, two-dimensional puppets promote the company.
Nothing but the half-truth
Just as it is common knowledge that Dan Quayle is 'good' at spelling and Al Gore 'invented' the internet, it has now emerged that Lotus boss Jeff Papows was a 'crack marine pilot who burst an eardrum training for the Gulf War and saved himself and a chum from certain death by hurling a live grenade from a trench'. Jeff has learnt the hard way that what goes around, comes around when the Wall Street Journal decided to do some detective work after hearing that colleagues hold him in almost an demi-God like regard. So what's the problem, you might ask, with adding a little spice to your war stories? Well, if Papows exaggerated his role and rank in the US Marines, it makes you wonder what other elaborations has he performed - and the short answer is quite a few. He wasn't, as he claimed, a captain in the US Marines, but a first lieutenant. He wasn't a military aviator, but an air traffic controller. He didn't get his PhD from prestigious Pepperdine University, but from an unaccredited correspondence course and he doesn't hold a black belt in tae kwon do. Oh yes, and he wasn't orphaned either. Responding to why colleagues recall Papows telling them these tall tales if they didn't hear it from him, he claims that people have misunderstood him. However, Papows did admit to the Wall Street Journal that he might be 'in some senses guilty of exaggerating and embellishing for a purpose from a business standpoint'. Now, PC Squealer doesn't want to encroach too much on Private Eye's territory (it couldn't afford the legal fees, for one), but isn't that the reason why the story made the headlines in the first place?
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