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.
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