Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

sloppy journalism, clever marketing

1 October 2006

The BBC reports that Tesco is about to set sail on the software high seas with an office package “it had developed” with software firm Formjet. Tesco, the report continues, will make this top notch software available to its millions of customers for £20 a throw. Gosh, you might think, what a bargin, how clever of Tesco to develop such cheap applications, Bill will be quaking in his boots.

30 seconds of high quality Google-based research later it turns out that Formjet’s business is software licencing and that the good people of Britain can already buy the Ability Office suite (in development since 1985) for £49 or individual applications such as Ability Write for, yes you’ve guess it, £19.99. So, not only have Tesco managed to get someone at the BBC to simply copy its press release onto the world’s favourite news site without any apparent thought, it will also be charging its customers an additional 1p for something already available.

Will the punters care? Of course not. After all, every little helps… doh! now I’m at it!

UPDATE: the Guardian also has a go at this one and also misses the backstory.

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(no) goats

7 September 2006

Priceless.

Better Brother

10 July 2006

Forget Big Brother, NASA TV coverage of the current Shuttle/ISS mission is strangely compelling. It’s something about the huge team of people sitting in front of that big screen focussing all their attention on every action of Earth’s most vulnerable people. Combine that with the very intimate dialogue between the astronauts and ground crew, often quite tender (first thing the morning, last thing at night), but always couched in this strange space-speak, stripped of all ambiguity in a situation where you really don’t want any misunderstandings (“Oh THAT button…”).  But also mundane, like requests from the ground to “power cycle the colour printer” (that’s “switch it off and on again” for those of us unlucky enough to have an IT helpdesk at work) as it “keeps dropping off the network”.  They’re floating around in a tin can, doing office admin.

the truth about MySpace

23 June 2006

Valleywag reports on the modern MySpace condition.  As ever, a thoughtful comment on our times.

An Acquaintance remarked to me yesterday that the MySpace page perfectly reflects the modern mode for the creation of public front.  I think it might be a while before such a mirror of the mask that we all create is as sophisticated.  Personal taste in music and friends are certainly a start, but it's only a start.