26 Mar 2013
Sneak has never really understood much about the world of marketing. The sharp-suited, with a penchant for powdering their noses, have always left Sneak feeling soiled by their presence. But the one thing Sneak was confident about when it came to marketing was that brand recognition is a good thing.
Sadly it seems this is not the case, at least not if you happen to be search engine maven Google.
It has petitioned the Swedish Language Council to edit its annual list of new words, to avoid damage to its oh-so-precious brand.
The Language Council had suggested including the Swedish equivalent of “ungoogleable” to its list of new words – the term apparently having become common parlance in the country, describing a term that cannot be found by searching the web.
According to Swedish news site, Sveriges Radio, the council have removed the term from their list, after Google's pleas. It seems the search giant was worried it could set a precedent for its name to become a generic term, as happening with the hoover, thereby destroying brand value.
The Swedish Language Council have never been asked to remove a word before, but lacked the resources to get into a fight with Google, Ann Cederberg, the Language Council director told Sveriges Radio.
Of course, until this case, Sneak would have never known the Swedish had a term for “ungoogleable”. So, obviously, the only way to actually discover that it was in fact “ogooglebar” was, of course, for Sneak to Google it.
There's a joke in there somewhere but it hurts Sneak's brain to think about it too much.
And lo it came to pass that on the 12/12/12 Pope Benedict XVI would tweet and the people would rejoice for they looked and saw that his tweets were good. Well, grammatically accurate at least.
What words of great wisdom and insight did God's representative on earth have for the mortal masses who hold the scriptures dear? Like most people on Twitter it's all very self-involved stuff.
"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart," he wrote first, before asking: "How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?"
The punch line to this zinger, is wait for it... "By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need."
Ha, that old chestnut! Oh, Pope Ben, you're so witty.
So far the Pope has only followed seven people, though, all called Ben too, bizarrely, but Sneak is hoping he may get a follow soon after he retweeted what the Pope wrote to his 74 followers.
For years now, Sneak has spent his spare time coming up with the perfect viral video, and remains pretty confident that once the RSPA banning order is rescinded, the world will watch in awe at the jaw-dropping site of chinchilla juggling.
It's with some trepidation then, that Sneak discovered just how many YouTube hits he's gonna need to claim the viral video crown.
It seems that while Sneak has be struggling with the animal rights laws, some cheeky Korean chappy has managed to get 825 million viewers to watch his odd horse-riding-dance on the ubiquitous pop song Gangnam Style.
Apparently, pop sensation Psy has now surpassed the record for most views of a YouTube upload previously set by Justin Bieber. If that wasn't enough to annoy the pint-sized pop star, the first person to alert Twitter users in the US to Psy's crazy dance moves was none other than Bieber's own manager.
Sneak has to confess to a certain degree of ignorance when it comes to Master Bieber's oeuvre, but reckons to be on pretty safe ground in suggesting that the young man let himself down by not having more animal references in his video.
Animals, as we all know, are what the viral video craze is built on.
14 Sep 2012
Want to make sure someone knows what you're saying is a joke on an email? Put a little ;-). Want to convey sadness, add a little :-( or if you're ecstatically happy, you just need a big old :-D.
Yes, these funny little symbols have become the de facto way millions of us communicate our thoughts to people around the world, as we increasingly lose the will to try and articulate complex emotions with the limited vocabulary we possess. Well, that's Sneak take on it anyway.
Regardless, these faces have risen in popularity, and today they celebrate thirty years of use, all thanks to one man who invented their use, Professor Scott Fahlman, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, as The Independent notes.
"Their birth can be traced to the precise minute: 11:44am on 19 September 1982," it reports.
"At that moment Fahlman sent an email on an online electronic bulletin board that included the first use of the sideways smiley face: "I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: :-) Read it sideways."
However, despite having the chance to take credit for this amazing invention, Falhma now hates the now ubiquitous cartoon versions.
"I think they are ugly, and they ruin the challenge of trying to come up with a clever way to express emotions using standard keyboard characters. But perhaps that's just because I invented the other kind."
07 Sep 2012
For the majority of web users this will have been met with confusion and irritation as usually these sorts of attention-grabbing methods are nothing more than adverts or, worse, spam-filled linkbait.
However, the cookie law is meant to be noble, to protect web users from evil privacy-related concerns. Oh, the horror, the horror.
Despite this, though, it's proved such an annoyance to one web firm that it's issued a challenge to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) over its lack of compliance.
On a specially designed nocookielaw.com site, Oliver Emberton, the founder of the firm, Silktide, laid down the challenge after revealing he'd removed all relevant cookie-related warnings from the site.
"We've taken all our cookies solutions off all our websites. The evil cookies are back, and the pointless slidey warning messages are no more," he wrote.
"Presumably we now fly in the face of the law you are sworn to uphold. Please, please do your worst. Send in a team of balaclava-clad ninjas in black hawk helicopters to tickle us to death with feather dusters. Just do something."
Sneak loves the idea of Christopher Graham and David Smith donning ninja suits and breaking into Emberton's house in the dead of night, slowly reconfiguring his software so the cookie warnings do display, but somehow Sneak doesn't think it's going to happen.
Sneak has always liked it when his heroes show they have a something of a wicked streak – after all, we're in no position to really empathise with angels. So, hats off to Sir Tim Berners-Lee – someone Sneak didn't think it would be possible to revere more.
Speaking at the launch of the Web Index, Berners-Lee joked he had installed filters in to the core of the worldwide web, allowing him to control everything that is said online.
"I have put on filters which allow me just to investigate just every single word that any of you have said to each other. You won't know what is happening but as you talk to each other it will be quietly modified to appear to be whatever I want you to be saying,” he said.
“I will take a deep control of the world. Apart from that, everything will remain as usual."
He also claimed to be one of the handful of people that could turn off the net. "I am afraid that now that you know I will have to shoot you,” he was quoted by the Press Association as saying.
Sneak can't help but think that we Berners-Lee to actually have taken deep control of the world, it would be in a better state than we currently find it.
Microsoft's Windows 8 platform was released to manufacturing (RTM) at the start of August and made available for TechNet and MSDN subscribers to download a couple of weeks ago. It ships with a shiny new version of the Internet Explorer (IE) browser, IE 10.
But what about IE 10 as a standalone download? When Microsoft first announced IE 10 at its MIX developer conference last year, it promised that the browser would run on Windows 7 PCs as well as Windows 8 (Windows Vista being something Microsoft would like to forget about).
However, no update on IE 10 for Windows 7 has been forthcoming, despite the browser being ready to roll on Windows 8.
Puzzled over the non-appearance of IE 10 and the lack of any information surrounding it, we put the question to Microsoft and received only this response;
"There are no further updates from Microsoft on this at this time. As soon as we have more information to share, we'll get in touch."
Compared to the rapturous hype-laden adverts Microsoft is using to promote IE9, the silence over IE10 is deafening.
Could it be that Microsoft is having problems back-porting IE 10 onto Windows 7, or is it just that the firm doesn't want to dampen the popularity of IE9 by pushing out the new version too soon?
Perhaps if someone on the IE developer team is reading this, you could get in touch and let everyone know what the story is with IE 10?
The trouble with being immensely wealthy is that you have to worry about all kinds of threats from unscrupulous people wanting to access that immense wealth, as Sneak knows well.
This is why many of the rich and famous in the Silicon Valley bubble live surrounded by security personnel, with pin-code gates and blacked-out windows, to keep themselves very much to themselves.
Unless, of course, they happen to have teenagers who want to share their lives on Twitter and Facebook, which can cause complications for security staff, as those protecting billionaire Michael Dell discovered to their chagrin.
It turns out Dell's daughter has been posting all kinds of information on the sites that could prove dangerous to the family, such as future locations, events and holiday destinations, which undoes all the security team's efforts to keep such information as hard to gather as possible.
Her Twitter account has now mysteriously disappeared and it's likely the security bods at Dell are having a few stern words with her about it all, and you can imagine Michael will have something to say too.
See, even if you're stupidly wealthy you still end up with teenage offspring doing stupid things that need reprimanding, whether that's drinking cider down the local park (sorry Mum), or undermining a £3m security effort.