Wires Crossed #130 – September 2

We look at what some are calling one of the worst ads in the tech space; why Yahoo is on the up and up; why three HTC execs could be in trouble; and why Google and Microsoft have joined forces to take on the US government.


By Mike Wheeler


Is This The Worst Ad Ever?
Some in the media are calling this Samsung advertisement fpr solid state drives one of the worst the company has made. And while we do agree it’s not the most compelling spruiking of the company’s wares, if you do a little digging you’ll find there’s more to. Sure the actors seem wooden, unbelievable and out of their depth, but it transpires that the ad was made for the Asian market where dramatic license has always been a little bit more, well, dramatic and over the top, which this ad certainly is. One of the actors in the piece admits it isn’t one of his best pieces of work, and he says that the director made the actors be more animated than they would usually be for a shoot aimed at an American or European-based audience. Whatever the reason, it is a little cringey to watch.


Wishful Thinking By Yahoo As It Takes On Google
Yahoo has been making some noise on a couple of fronts recently. For the first time in two years it beat Google in the number of unique visitors to its US website. ComScore says just over 196.6 million people visited Yahoo, while 192.3 million hit Google in July. It still has a way to go in the revenue stakes, but it didn’t seem that long ago they appeared to be in global free fall as the website of choice when searching online. Yahoo has also taken the lead in freeing up users names that have been dormant for some time, and allowing those who covet the names to use them. People send in a of a name they would like, and if that name becomes available then Yahoo will notify the first people who has put in for that name. Great idea.


HTC Execs In Hot Water
Three HTC executives at the company’s head office in Taiwan are under investigation for allegedly trying to set up a new company that designs smartphones. All three executives work in the research department and have been accused of “breaking the company’s trust, fraud and leaking commercial secrets”. They even went as far as decorating their offices for the new companies they were setting up. However that has been put on hold as investigators figure out just what the three people were up to, and if they did anything illegal. We’re thinking we wouldn’t want to be caught up in the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Taiwanese justice system.


Tech Giants Caught In Stand-Off With US Govt
Google and Microsoft are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more. Well, sort of. Both companies want to publically disclose what sort of personal data requests they have been getting from government departments under the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and have sued the Federal Government so that they can do so. Both companies are now going ahead with their suits after giving the government six extensions to respond to the initial lawsuits. They’ve had enough and now it’s time to take the next step. It appears the government is prepared to give out certain information, but it’s not enough for the technology titans who want to get onside with Joe Public over the controversial issue.

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