Monthly Archives: March 2012

We Just Keep Picking Winners: Not Only Ferrari, but Also a Centurion!

As I’ve mentioned here before, tearing up the rulebook is an internal slogan of our marketing department. Sometimes the proverbial tearing up of the rules occurs in explosive fashion (for example when we recently arranged for a Japanese Awa Odori dance to be performed at the Barcelona Carnival); other times, the ripping up takes place at a calmer pace and over a longer term. Incidentally, there’s a completely separate format – that of our philanthropic initiatives; but we tend not to harp on about these too much.

Anyway, let me tell you about another rulebook-shredder of the calmer, longer-term kind…

For several years our “face” in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) was Jackie Chan. Everyone was pleased with this set-up, me included of course, and so we decided to continue in the same vein, but with a slightly different – Indian – slant, especially since KL’s prospects in this country are looking nothing less than spectacular. So in September 2011 we gladly announced that Sachin Tendulkar – the international cricketing legend – became our Brand Ambassador.

Brand Ambassador

More: So, what’s all the fuss about?

Cassandra Complex… Not for Much Longer.

Top o’ the day to ye!

It’s fair to say I’m a bit of an IT-paranoiac, and most of you will know by now I’m not one to hold my tongue about my fears of possible future Internet catastrophes, or the greed and degeneracy of cyber-wretches – plus the massive size of the threat they represent – and so on.

Because of this tendency for speaking openly and plainly I constantly get accused of purposefully frightening everyone (and in my own self-interest). But I don’t mind, even though it’s nonsense. So I’ll keep on calling a spade a spade – telling people what I think is right – regardless!

The evolution of cyber-Armageddon is moving in the predicted trajectory (proof it’s not just a matter of my frightening folk just for the sake of it); this is the bad news. The good news is that the big-wigs have at last begun to understand – to the extent that often in discussions on this topic are heard my horror stories of old practically word-for-word. Looks like the Cassandra metaphor I’ve been battling for more than a decade is losing its mojo – people are listening to the warnings, not dismissing and/or disbelieving them.

More: Five main problems for IT security …

Wham, Spam, Thank You Ma’am: The Quick Rise and Fall of Image Spam.

Here it is, the original Spam! Hmmm, yummy… but healthy? Is anything in a tin? Ok, will leave off the foodie lecturing just for today…

Spam

// It’ll be interesting to see if this post with the above pic in it will get through the anti-spam filters of those who subscribe to my mail-outs.

So here we are once again on a subject that it seems will never go away – spam, this time about a particular kind thereof – “image spam” – and the protective technologies that fight it.

I’ll start with a brief bit of historical background.

More: Detect in … 10 ms! …

“Think Different” as Much as You Like, but You Can’t Actually Be Different.

Howdy all,

Steve Jobs

Phew. Finally got through them all – more than 600 pages of the Steve Jobs biography.

Despite the abundance of waffle in this tome (about 80% of it could easily have been ditched without really losing much) the book’s still an interesting read, demonstrating well why Apple is as it is. I’d heartily recommend it to anyone interested in the history of, and prospects for, the IT industry; particularly to those who want to discover Steve Jobs’ take on the IT confrontations of both the past and the present – Apple against Google, Microsoft, HTC, Samsung and others; and also those who follow or engage in the eternal holy-war forums that debate which products are better, cooler, the prettiest, etc.

My thoughts on Apple and Jobs are mixed. I’m rapturous about some things, highly critical about others.

First, let’s look back at this ad from 1984:

More:

Emulation: A Headache to Develop – But Oh-So Worth It.

What’s an ideal antivirus? Something that would feature the following:

  • 100% protection from malware;
  • 0% false positives;
  • 0% load on system resources;
  • No questions asked of the user; and
  • Lasts forever and is for free!

Like anything ideal though, this is of course a fantasy – quite unattainable in real life. But it’s nevertheless still worthwhile contemplating since it provides a fixed reference point for security developers: every company can then try to get as close to the ideal as it can within the limits of its financial and professional resources.

More: An important but unheard instrument to combat unknown threats …

Ferrari FF – Flippin’ Fast!

Hi all!

A little about my Ferrari FF test drive…

Now, I fully understand that for the vast majority in this world to drive a Ferrari or in fact any super car is a mere dream, and so my tales about Ferraris and Formula-One races may all seem a bit… politically incorrect – Clarkson style. But when out of the blue the Ferrari plant in Italy invites me over there to have a go in one of their mean-machines – well, I’m hardly gonna turn that down now, am I? And so why not let others know about it too?

Let’s face it, should ever the dream come true for you and you also one day get the chance to get behind the wheel of a Ferrari – it’s not as if you’d keep the experience to yourself, right? You’d tell others – wouldn’t you? :)

Ferrari

More: now with a clear conscience, I’ll continue…

Mobile Barcelona.

Greetings all!

// Note! Warning! Achtung Baby! To all Apple fans – read no further! But if you do, please forget about this post and don’t comment on it!

The MWC (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona is one of the world’s key mobile events. It’s possible there to discuss the directions of development of mobile technologies, the pace of their expansion and improvement, and generally about industry goings-on.

Mobiel World Congress

What caught my eye this year most of all was what I saw to be the main change in the mobile landscape: the start of the end of the iPhone era. Indeed, it appears plain to me that the (mobile) party’s being rocked mostly by other brands now (a bit like Dubstep rocking formerly House clubs, but without being a flash in the pan:). I won’t go so far as naming those other brands here, but unless you’re a hermit – you’ll know which I’m talking about.

More: the iPhone era is now over …

Tearing Up the Rule Book.

“Tearing Up the Rule Book” is an informal motto we use in our high-level marketing. Looking back over our trip to the South Pole, sponsorship of the Ferrari Formula One Team, enrolling Japanese teen pop sensation AKB48, supporting the recent transantarctic expedition of Felicity Aston, and all sorts of other local events and promotions too, I think it’s fair to say that we pretty much totally tear up the rule book every time one is pushed our way.

And here’s a fresh example. But first a bit on the events leading up to it…

Last September, during one of my regular trips to Japan, my old acquaintance Okatani San invited all our party to a totally exotic restaurant.

The idea was to get all gluttonous on the tastiest of local cuisine – to the accompaniment of traditional Japanese Awa Odori dancing and singing, and then to join in the dancing and merriment ourselves.

Awa Odori

More: Tearing up the rule book at the Barcelona Carnival …