The Mother of All Websites

Mother the marketing agency are known for the their creativity, including Munkey: the one good thing to come out of ITV Digital as well as their crap hard-nosed business man and strange teaching child campaign for Orange. Anyway, smart though they are they forgot to register the dot co dot uk version of their web address. So Ben Wheatley has put up some creative ideas that he thinks they should be using instead. Ben’s work can be found here, Mother’s holding page can be found here.

Kudos to B3TA for the links

In The Sandpit

Great article in the Guardian Online on the dangers of selling internationally, but not thinking the same way from a geographer employed at Microsoft. Lessons that all international marketers should learn from. Selected highlights include:

– Showing the disputed Kashmir region as not belonging in India on a map used for setting timezones on a computer, which stopped sales of Windows 95 in the country

– Including sections of the Koran as background chants in a Mortal Combat-type game called Kakuto Chojin, it had to get pulled off the shelves soon after it went on sale (and you wonder why the X-Box doesn’t have all that many good games apart from Halo and.. and there’s erm.. erm Halo2, and.. and… erm let’s move on shall we)

– Describing April, 30th as the Queen’s birthday in the republic of Uruguay (so which queen is that then?)

Respected Members of Congress on no-fly list

Democrat Party congressman John Lewis who was a close associate of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, is on the terrorist watch list, what’s going on here. Someone find an old J Edgar Hoover memo which warned about black people in southern states getting uppity and wanting the white peoples seat on the bus? I know George Bush is conservative, but even he has two black people that I know of in his cabinet.

Lewis has distinguished company in Ted Kennedy (yes, related to Bobby and former president John F.). The bit that gets interesting is that they “can’t” take congressman Lewis off the list. The Republic Party Rally to gee up the troops for the next election starts in Nuremberg oops Freudian slip sorry New York, I wonder how many delegates will be on the no-fly list?

Maximum kudos to the Interesting People email list for this

Why ID sucks almost as much as David Blunkett

The text below is from a website belonging to John Gilmore, one of your average west coast geeks who has done very nicely thank you. John is currently taking the US attorney general to court. Whats wrong with showing ID?

What does an ID, any ID, do for security? The honest answer is ‘not much’. If anything, relying on ID for security purposes actually makes things worse.

Shwing ID only affects honest people. If you’re dishonset you can obtain false documents or steal the identity of an honest person.

If a 19 year old college student can get a fake ID to drink, why couldn’t a bad person get one, too? And no matter how sophisticated the security embedded into the ID, wouldn’t a well-financed terroriste be able to falsify that too? The answer to both questions is obviously yes.

Honest people, on the other hand go to pro-life rallies. Honest people attend gun shows. Honest people protest the President of the United States. Honest people fly to political conventions. What if those with the power to put people on a ‘no fly’ list decided they didn’t like the reason for which you wanted to travel? The honest peoople whouldn’t be going anywhere.

Bad people , besides using fake IDs and stolen identities, can also make the system of checking IDs work in their favour. The Carnival Booth effect, as described by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, means that terrorists can probe an ID security system by send a number of peoople on innocent trips through the system and noting who is flagged for extra searches and who isn’t. They then send only those who the system doesn’t flag up on terrorist missions.

Music Industry Calls Halt to Giveaway CDs

In the UK, music is licenced to help marketing campaigns by giving away music with product. This tactic has been used the UK newspaper industry to great effect. Now according to Music Week, there are those within the industry that want to stop the practice, as they feel it undermines their fight against privacy and the UK’s 50-year copyright law.

They’re wrong:

– The music has been paid for in some way, shape or form from a marketing budget

– With the alleged demise of record sales to piracy, you’d think that the industry would want to explore alternative revenue streams

– CD samplers have been used by the music industry to drum up interest and sales in artists, so these free CDs should be a benefit rather than a hinderance

– The 50-year copyright law is not about the record companies getting what is rightfully theirs, but further encroaching on consumers fair use. Should the original publisher of William Shakespeare’s works still be claiming copyright or are they a world treasure? Where do you stop? The 50-year issue has always existed the music industry was negligent in not allowing for it. Its as incompetent as someone who lives in a rented property, yet refuses to pay and then wonders why they get kicked out on to the street. Record companies have had access to the best lawyers money can buy, they have no excuse

– The 50-year copyright issue highlights a bigger problem in the music industry. That it has failed to invest in and build long-term acts on an ongoing basis and is relying on a legacy that it will be no longer entitled too. Like other industries such as the UK motorcycle and car industry, it should be allowed to pay the price for its lack of investment in talent