Thursday, 30 April 2009

New Panda Cloud Antivirus

I've always liked Panda Antivirus and have used it at work for a good few year with great results.

So it was nice to see Panda Launch a new product. I think its time to give it a go. The have a blog detailing how the scanning works:

With Panda Cloud Antivirus we introduce a new protection model based on a thin-client agent & server architecture which services malware protection as opposed to locally installed products. By combining local detection technologies with cloud-scanning capabilities and applying non-intrusive interception techniques on the client architecture, Panda Cloud Antivirus provides some of the best protection with a lightweight antivirus thin-client agent that barely consumes any PC resources.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is the first antivirus based on this innovative protection model which is based on two fundamental principles:

1. Automatic malware detection and remediation from the cloud in real-time.
2. The use of an ultra-lightweight thin-client agent.


you can try it out free by clicking below

or Visit http://www.cloudantivirus.com/


Monday, 27 April 2009

Back from Vegas Baby!!!

Well it was that time of year for me to take ContentAgent to the NAB trade show to Las Vegas. A great show was had by all and great to see some old and new customers alike. We introduced Blu-ray authoring for ContentAgent which was received well by customers and we also launch two new products ContentCentral which provides management and automation for distributed media file transcoding and JobAgent which provides file based render services to offload high volume encoding tasks. Click on the image below to see some of the photos from the event.




ContentAgent @ NAB 209


Or if you wonder what to do while waiting for the boxes for your trade show equipment to arrive, Nick shows what testing can be done to amuse yourself.


video

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Met check

Glastonbury looks like it's going to be warm

Monday, 13 April 2009

Cesar



Some time ago Mr Dog changed its name to Cesar and you can click on the video above to listen to Eddie Izzard explain the change.

Recently they have produced a new Cesar advert with a young lady and the small scottie dog hangging around in the rain looking like they are only friends, its been playing on most of the channels and I've got to say its one of the most annoying and patronizing adverts on TV. With its twee sound track and moody overtones. It makes you want to pop the dog in the canal and wrap the dog lead around neck. Not that I'm advocating killing of scottie dog owners much more the killing of the advertising executive that came up with the ad.

If this wasn't the ONION then I'd be worried I bet this is an advertising exec wet dream...Advertising Firm Unveils New Mute-Resistant Commercials

Saturday, 11 April 2009

flying on a budget airline

This morning I was reading 'Downturn 'hits regional airports' which had in it a piece regard regional airports charging for fast track security and I wondered how the budget airlines were trying to get away with charing people to go through security and then read it was the airport operators charging for this service. What with Ryanair thinking about charging for the toliets I thought this is nothing new

Airports have insisted that a shortfall in income has forced them to introduce extra charges for services such as fast-track security or car drop-offs for passengers. Luton, Leeds Bradford and Liverpool all charge a £3 fee to fast-track passengers through security, while Bristol airport charges £5. Blackpool and Norwich charge a mandatory airport development fee per passenger.

After reading a bit further Budget airlines have complained that the charges are driving more passengers away and they may stop operating out of airports that charge excessively. Easyjet spokesman Andrew McConnell said the additional fees were "unfair". "Warsaw is an example. They've put the charges up - we've withdrawn our services from the summer. "This really is a warning to UK airports that these charges are unfair."

So Easyjet were trying to flex their muscle and scare the airports into not making these charges which EasyJet thinks are unfair. I think we have to get the violins out for Andrew McConnel of Easyjet as is this the same Easyjet that charging £4.95 minimum or up to 1.95 per cent of the total price just to pay with credit card or £1 per person for payment with a debit card. We think we know what unfair Andrew.

Easyjet's rugby scrum policy of not having allocated seat which puts everyone at a disadvantage because even if your paid extra for priority boarding, you might not get it as I've seen as your all buses to the plane together. This is eloquently explained http://scatts.wordpress.com/2008/01/04/not-so-easyjet/ . I check on the site and speedy boarding from a flight to london to Vienna was going to be £14:00 with no caveat "If you’re bussed to the aircraft we can’t always guarantee you’re off the bus first." So basically a pointless charge.

Your first hold bag is free up to 20kg but after that your charged at £16.00 per bag £8 per leg of the trip and heaven forbid you have any extra weight above the 20kg as its charged at £7 per kg per leg. Who exactly at the time of booking are you meant to know how much your luggage is going to weight? Do they thing we are all psychic? If per chance you are going skiing or snowboard expect an additonal £37 for your board to be popped in the hold.

So what looked like a cheap flight at £133.98 has now balloned to £314.98. Wow

So I check the same flight on Kayak and the same flight was £137.20 complete on Swiss Airlines and the seat was in business class (whatever that means on a short trip) they even said that Fuel Surcharge (from GBP 11.75 to GBP 25.05) and Airport Taxes (from GBP 34.14 to GBP 42.09) are already included in ticket price. Thats one big price difference to what is meant to be a budget airline. So for Easyjet to think any charges are unfair I think they should stop pointing fingers and look closer to home.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shake 'em

"Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shake 'em. " Penny from Dirty Dancing.

Its funny when people write about your work and with ContentAgent she has been my baby now for 3 and a half years. I have taken the product from being a simple embedded software encoder to a fully featured software product that is used all over the world in Film and Telvision production every day. I'm proud that someone thing so much of our product to write a review. It makes my fatherly heart swell. I know some of the great and the good read my blog. So come and see us if our coming to NAB and I might buy you a beer and if I haven't lost my voice by then tell you about the best things come in threes.

NAB 2009

Join us on stand SL12805 or online via our live Webinars for three exciting announcements!
Find out more


ContentAgent Review: http://michaelkammes.com/column/?p=34

Killing the Brand

Above is a Page 48 from the Young & Rubicam analysis of the global recession by Simon Silvester. http://pubs.yr.com/aaagh.pdf and it seems quiet apt that the picture and quote they have chosen is Innocent (the smoothie manufactures) and the quote he has used is "Brands that articulate clear, compelling propositions have the edge in a recession."

Earlier this week "Coca-Cola has bought a £30m stake in Innocent, the British fruit drink and "smoothie" maker renowned for its ethical ethos."

You can read Innocent statement about their new partner Coca-Cola http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/a-letter-from-the-founders/ or the more comedy version at INNOCENT SUCKS COKE http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/business/-innocent-sucks-coke-200904071687/

Well I have a little problem with a company of allegedly such ethics making a pact with the devil Robert Johnson style just to sell more smoothies in Europe. So I wrote to the CEO at hello@innocentdrinks.co.uk and explain why I think they are doing a bad thing teaming up with Coca-Cola and Coke's pass record on human rights with regards trade unions especially in Colombia below is his reply I received:


Hi Kev

Thanks for your email. I respect your opinion, and I suspect there isn't much I will be able to say that will change your point of view, but I appreciate you taking the time to write in.

As a business, Coke are definitely not perfect (although it is worth stating that independent judicial enquiries at the time found that the Columbia allegations to be unfounded), but they do show a relatively good track record in learning and making good on the things they get things wrong. And the people we've met have been decent, ordinary folk.

Anway, I won't clog up your inbox and annoy you further. But thanks for your custom in the past. For what it is worth, every promise we have made to our drinkers about making natural healthy products, pushing for 'lighter footprint' ingredients, packaging and production techniques, and supporting charities in the countries where the fruit comes from, remains in place. In fact, with this investment will be doing more of the above.

Thanks

Rich


The Young and Rubicam article pictured above mentions two points:

  1. The destructive power of the internet
  2. Watch word of mouth
They say that "Bad word of mouth can kill a new film, software or music release within weeks" this can equally be applied to a brand. I have seen on a number of sites commenting on this take over and from single people to whole families saying that they will not touch the Innocent brand now they have gotten into bed with Coca-Cola. Have Innocent killed their brand and become just another manufacture is this Dasani mkII.

Mark Thomas wrote the book "Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola" this is his reply to Richard regarding Innocent and Coca-Cola. Mark has invesitaged Coca Cola ethical practices around the work and responsed not just to mine but to many of the standard template responses that Innocent email out.
Hi Richard,

I just wanted to drop you a note regarding your new found partnership with Coca Cola. An acquaintance mailed you earlier today and passed your response on to me. There are some fundamental factual
inaccuracies and ignorance in your reply. You wrote:

"As a business, Coke are definitely not perfect (although it is worth
saying that independent judicial enquiries at the time found that the Columbia (sic) allegations to be unfounded, the same with India water although I am nervous about saying these things as it makes it sound
like I am here to represent Coke, which I am not). But they do show a relatively good track record in learning and making good on the things they get things wrong. And the people we've met have been decent, ordinary folk."

The allegations against Coca Cola in Colombia are simple: trade unionists working for the company have been intimidated and murdered, in one case Isidro Segundo Gil was killed inside the plant, virtually
under the Coca Cola logo, to this day Coca Cola have not had any independent investigation into the allegation that managers of the bottling plants in Colombia colluded with or directed the para
military death squads. The murders happened over 12 years ago.

Your response states that "independent judicial enquiries at the time found that the Colombia allegations to be unfounded," What independent judicial enquiries are you referring to ? The Colombian judicial
system has managed to investigate, prosecute and convict about 1% of the trade unionist murders, out of thousands. So any investigation conducted in Columbia is hardly independent and barely qualify as
enquiries.

Or do you refer to the USA court case ? Here the Alien Tort Claims Act is being used to try and get the Colombian bottlers and the parent company in the dock. But it can't be that one as initially the case
was found to be inadmissible (though it is being appealed), so this is obviously not the 'independent judicial enquiries' that you refer to, is it?

So what 'independent judicial enquiries" are you referring to?

You do not mention the fact that the Coca Cola Company tried to silence the Colombian trade unionists who brought the case against them in the USA. Coke offered to settle out of court to the tune of about $13 million on condition that they give up their jobs working in the Coke bottling plants and that the trade unionists never ever criticise Coke nor any other company that work with Coke in the future. Had the trade unionists signed and taken the $13 million they would break the terms of the settlement and be liable to court action
if they criticised you Richard.

Neither do you mention the trade union busting of the companies bottlers. The cases of Coke plant managers falsifying evidence against trade unionists, accusing them of terrorism. resulting in innocent men
wrongly imprisoned for 6 months before the charges against them being dismissed.

You do mention the fact that over some 15 years the companies bottlers has gone from about 80% of the work force being in permanent employment with 20% casual labour to the situation we now find, where
20% of the work force is permanent and 80% casualised with no rights to even join a trade union.

Richard, I have spent some time in Colombia interviewing and taking testimony from people who witnessed Isidro Segundo Gil's murder to the delivery men who are not allowed to join a union. I am happy for you
to have all of these interviews and for you to review them and see for yourself. I can even put you in touch with the people themselves , so if you wish you can visit Colombia and talk to them face to face, I think you would find them decent ordinary folk.

And so onto India, there are many stories here but let us stay with the stories about the Company opening plants (in a water intensive industry) in water sensitive areas with with little or not regard for the communities who find their water compromised and depleted. Once again you say independent judicial enquiries have found claims unfounded. Once again I ask what independent judicial enquiries.

Firstly there are four plants where the companies operations have put the local community water in danger, in Kerala, near Jaipur and two in Uttra Pradesh. Two of these four plants have been shut down after
protests and legal challenges. Coke were forced to close these plants.

The two remaining plants are near Jaipur and near Varanasi , neither plants have had judicial enquiries that found any claims of water depletion unfounded. So I am at a loss as to what judicial enquiries you refer to.

Happily for you Richard I have spent time in India too, and am happy for you to have access to all the interviews I have conducted with local people from all four of the plants, so you can hear for yourself
what the allegations are.

Richard, you fail to mention the allegations that are raised against the company in Turkey regarding union busting or in El Salvador regarding Coke's sugar being produced with the help of child labour.

Neither do you refer to the allegations of union busting in Ireland or
the curt findings against the company in Mexico, where they were found to be in breech of anti monopoly law and intimidated some of the poorest shop owners.

So I am happy to send you a copy of my book which details some of these things BUT more importantly I offer to make my research and interviews on all of these issues available for you to come and peruse , so you might be able to make a more balanced comment on your partnership with the company. I do not understand how you can make comments that Coke have a "relatively good track record in learning and making good on the things they get things wrong" without considering these points.

Yours, Mark Thomas


With these facts in mind I think Innocent have tarnished their brand and can no longer be considered an ethical company and like the Y&R report says they should "watch out for the destructive power of the internet" and "Watch word of mouth" . People like myself who are working in a recession have been pulling in the purse strings and this gives be another reason to move brand and at a time when sales are hard that is never a good thing and building back from from the coke image could be a step too far for Innocent.

Cathode ray YouTube

Guy Clapperton has written a great article in the Guardian about the convergence of Internet and Television. This has been what I've been believing for some time and when friend Neil King from Global Insight pointed me towards Young and Rubicam analysis of current global situation which can read as a PDF http://pubs.yr.com/aaagh.pdfThe quote I pick up on "Expect the internet to look more and more like TV as this recession progresses."

With manufactrers like one I work for Root6 Technology and encoding products like ContentAgent are more and more focusing on the new age of Digital TV. We announced last September that we would be supporting Dobly Digital Plus.

“The incorporation of Dolby Digital Plus will be a significant addition to our post production deliverables,” said ContentAgent Product Manager Kevin King. “We are already fulfilling client demand for multi channel audio as part of an automated workflow and it’s clear that further advances such as Dolby Digital Plus will play an increasingly important role in the HD content experience.”

“Dolby Digital Plus is the next-generation audio technology for all high-definition programming and media. It combines the efficiency to meet future broadcast demands with the power and flexibility to realize the full audio potential of the upcoming high-definition experience. Built on Dolby Digital, the multichannel audio standard for DVD and HD broadcasts worldwide, Dolby Digital Plus was designed for the delivery formats of the future, but remains fully compatible with all current A/V receivers. "

Compatibility is a major factor in what i the future otherwise we will end up with the 2 tier society where we have the techno haves and the techno poor. Its a fine line we will tread and with a recession in tow we have to make sure we don't fragment society even more.

I friend commented on twitter about being home with his family and that after lunch they were all talking to each other on facebook all in the same room but only communicating via the web and social applications and not talking face to face. Therefore is he wondered if society had fell so low? Facebook and Twitter are technologies of the here and now are they going to be around in 5 or 10 years who knows but what we do know i that technology has shaped our society from the stream train to the airline. But are we using them as a society to the determent of other more human social interactions and does that make use worse for it?

On a personal note I closed by Facebook account as it seemed to be asking more and more of me to the determent of my life

Technology has changed our lives and just as television nearly wiped out cinema before its rebirth in the 1980's. Television advertising has been wiped out by the internet, especially as Personal Video Recorders and PC media centres having the ability to strip out adverts from the programmes that they have recorded. Companies like ITV, C4 and Five need fine a new away to advertise in the modern age, how would people react to adverts in the middle of a internet delivered program? We will see the face of television changing before our eyes and in our lifetime as the pipes grow bigger expect more to come down the wire and over the air. Mobile Television is a key to this growth, be it on your phone or other device the television is in your pocket.

futher reports from Y&R can be found at http://emea.yr.com/

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Pissed pocket

Never trust a pub pool table!
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