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Burger King Goes Tasteless With New Ad

I love weekends, since it's the only window of opportunity I get to relax, re-energize, and take in some guiltless good food. But something I saw today just ruined my weekend before it even started.

Is it just me, but is Burger King's latest ad about their Super Seven-Incher Sandwich just plain tasteless? On it, it shows the profile of a woman about to take in Burger King's new submarine sandwich. The setup would've been okay, except for three things:

#1 - The woman in the poster has fake blond hair, black eyeliner, and a lipsticked mouth wide open. The woman has a wide-eyed, expressionless look -- and her open mouth doesn't show any teeth. You'd expect your ad to be tasteless when you make your model look like an inflatable love doll.

#2 - The submarine sandwich, lined up with her open mouth, completes the sexually suggestive look.

#3 - To top things off, the caption read: "It'll BLOW your mind away."

Granted, BK's new sandwich does look pretty good, and it would've been something I'd be willing to try -- but the ad ruined everything. Seriously. I mean, after people see this ad, will they ever think of a submarine sandwich the same way again?

If the geniuses who came up with this ad thought people would find it funny, sure -- I just doubt it'll be popular with their straight male audience. Or if they thought that most people wouldn't get it anyway, well it just shows most people are smarter than they are.

Seriously, dudes, you're in the wrong industry. Quit your jobs. Change your names. Don't have kids.

To the rest of you -- if you want to see what I'm talking about,  click here.



Update:  June 25, 2009, 11:38 PM +0800 GMT
The Ad is on the website of Bon-Food Pte Ltd.
Want to know who they are? Read on.

Found on the company's website (- Link -):
About Bon-Food
Bon-Food Pte Ltd has been the authorised franchisee of BURGER KING® in Singapore since 1982. Since that time, we have served our flagship sandwich, the flame-grilled WHOPPER®, to millions of customers. Currently, all our BURGER KING® outlets are strategically located around the island. Plans are also in place for a number of new outlets that will continue to make BURGER KING® not only synonymous with great tasting flame-grilled burgers, quality and value, but also accessibility.




Update:  June 27, 2009, 10:21 PM +0800 GMT
I'm adding this image here, just in case the link above is removed. I strongly believe this ad should be made available for all to see and ponder over.




New CEO Is Yahoo's Last Hope

Yahoo has been trailing Google in the search industry for several years now, and the last two CEO's have done little to assuage the situation. Yahoo used to be a leader in the industry (yep, back in the days when Tim Koogle was at the helm), but stock prices and investor confidence had taken dives since Google took charge of the market. That's why the new CEO, Carol Bartz, is probably Yahoo's last hope.

Carol Bartz, 60, is taking over the reins as CEO for Yahoo, and at a critical time as well -- Google is coming out with great new features (albeit perpetually in beta stage) that continually leave the competition in the dust. Investors hope her hard-line approach to handling things will turn things around for the beleaguered company.

Bartz's two predecessors didn't do too well at catching up with Google -- in fact, they didn't seem to be fit for the job at all. Former CEO, Terry Semel, was a great leader at Warner Brothers, but had no savvy in tech and computers. The next one, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is a software guru, but has some well-known management issues -- sometimes arriving at meetings almost an hour late.

Bartz provides a stark contrast to the two. She definitely knows what she's doing when she's on top -- she's credited with multiplying her former company Autodesk's annual revenue by FIVE during the 14 years she's worked there. Autodesk produces specialist drawing and modeling programs for architects and engineers.

But what Bartz is more well-known for is her tongue, which is as sharp as her focus on making a big company work at its best. She's been known to unload the occasional four-letter word at meetings and conferences, and isn't shy about it. Asked at a recent conference whether company boards should be more offensive or defensive during these economic times, she replied without missing a beat: "I'm an offensive kind of person. Stop laughing."

Bartz has seen what Yahoo has become under Yang's leadership, and while the company has the necessary technical expertise, its management resembles a "Dilbert cartoon." Yahoo employees should expect some sweeping changes in the way they do things now that Bartz is in charge. I don't know if they're excited about the idea, but I sure am.

Can Julie Larson-Green Save Microsoft?

I haven't written about Microsoft for a while, but that's a given -- the latest Microsoft-related blip on my radar came months ago, when the PC giant planned to open retail stores all over the world. I think that article was more about ridicule than praise, though -- the move reeked too much of the catch-up game Microsoft has been playing with its rival, Apple.

I've also written volumes about Microsoft's most dismal creation yet, Windows Vista. Microsoft is currently working on its upcoming OS, Windows 7, which they hope will be every bit as acceptable as Vista was miserable. And on the helm of things is the little-known head of Windows Experience, Julie Larson-Green.

Larson-Green was also part of the Vista project, but at a much smaller scale. Nonetheless, she was responsible for one of the few good things that came out of Vista -- Office 2007. If you've tried Word 2007, you may have noticed that the interface had changed quite a bit. Instead of clunky menus and toolbars, the word processing program now uses "ribbons" -- sets of related command icons that change depending on what the user is doing.

Apparently, after sweating through a tolerable learning curve, users found that the ribbons actually increased productivity and usability of the program several times over. They didn't have to go deep into menus and toolbars to use a certain command -- it was now much easier to quickly produce documents. Office 2007 became a sleeper hit among Windows users, and Larson-Green was rewarded by a much bigger role in the Windows 7 project.

Reviews for Windows 7 has been fairly positive so far -- beta testers loved the fact that they never had to deal with Vista's pesky security alerts and unnecessary eye candy. For most, it was like a safer, more usable version of Windows XP, which many consider to still be the best OS Microsoft has come up with -- despite, of course, the paper-thin security.

You may have never heard of Julie Larson-Green, but now that you do, you'll probably be joining the chorus of praises -- or ridicule -- for her work when Windows 7 rolls around. I myself am pretty confident about her work -- she seems to be the only top gun in Microsoft who learns from their company's past mistakes.

(Is now thinking about switching back to Windows.)

(OK. No. Not really.)

Mitchell Baker -- Open-Source Advocate and Trapeze Artist

Mozilla Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers out there. Everyone remembers the massive migration that occurred when it first came out, after Microsoft's own Internet Explorer got plagued both by security threats and its seeming disregard for the rising trend of open-source software. But not many people know the woman sitting on top of Mozilla.

Mitchell Baker is the Chairperson of Mozilla Foundation, Inc., which she helped form in 2003 after America Online stopped developing the Netscape browser. Her experience in the Open Source Applications Foundation has developed in her an advocacy for open-source software, which has been a defining characteristic of the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

During her time as Mozilla's CEO, she was very public and very vocal about her involvement with the Foundation's goals and vision. She has recently relinquished the CEO position to then-COO of Mozilla, John Lilly, and is now spends most of her time developing the message that Mozilla presents to the information tech/media industry.

Mitchell is a wife and mother of one, and she spends her free time as a skilled trapeze artist. That's right -- she apparently has a little fun "flying" at least a few times a week. The folks at Mozilla love her to bits, and while her official designation is "Chairperson," everyone fondly knows her as the company's "Chief Lizard Wrangler." I kid you not -- some may even tell you that the Mozilla Firefox logo was patterned after her unique hairstyle!

Right now Mozilla has to deal with the new kid on the block, Google Chrome. Google's own web browser has all the trappings of a great open-source application, and with the information tech industry's brightest minds working on it, it can pretty much give Firefox a run for its money.

But Mitchell remains optimistic over the whole thing, saying that open-source actually encourages this kind of competition. If anything, she has said, it's going to promote development and innovation in Mozilla. I guess that means Firefox users like me will be seeing lots of improvements in the near future.

Open-source truly is the future of technology, and any self-respecting hardware and software manufacturer should look into developing their products with open-source in mind if it wants to survive in a highly-dynamic, constantly-evolving market.

Is This Really A Man's Internet?

It's funny how 4 out of every 5 well-known personalities in the tech/media industry are male, especially when women Internet users now outnumber the men. Women in the industry seem to be getting relegated into second-rate experts, even when they can do the job every bit as well as men can. Why the "imbalance"?

There's no doubt that sexism is present in every industry in the world, so the tech/media industry is no exception. While the Internet itself doesn't lean towards the preference for male personalities, its users usually do -- it would seem that any statement, when made by a man, seems to be taken a little more seriously than if it were made by a woman.

This shouldn't be the case, as I know many women in the tech/media industry who really know their stuff and can do things most men can't even hope to. And if Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Ray can make it firmly on top of their own industries, then there's no reason women can't do the same in ours over here.

I think in order for Internet users to begin to take women more seriously, three things need to be done:

  • Women bloggers need to be more active, vocal and knowledgeable in their respective industries. The most well-known personalities on the 'Net are those who have shown themselves as authorities in their niches -- something women can easily do.
  • Women entrepreneurs need to reach beyond the Internet and market themselves more actively in the real world. Speaking at conferences, networking with their peers, and starting their own companies are some of the simpler things they can do.
  • Internet users, both male and female, simply need to realize that women can do things just as well -- if not better -- than men in the tech/media industry.


Starting this week I'm going to try to feature certain women who have made significant impact in the tech/media industry and maybe even some information about how they got to where they are now. I really do believe that the industry will grow in leaps and bounds when women begin to play on a more level playing field.

Here's Susan Boyle!

If you’re having a bad day... watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

How did I find this fast before most of the mainstream international press?

Simple.

This should be, and is, Susan Boyle's day... but I can't pass the opportunity to showcase how shallow, utterly insensitive and inconsiderate Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan are. :)

Perhaps at the back of their minds they think their tasteless behavior on the shows they’re on can be remedied with their charity work and schmoozing with television royalty or politicians, but as the saying goes, the camera doesn’t lie.

You gotta’ see these quack's (and some of the audience’s) expressions in the Britain’s Got Talent video above. Of course by the end of Susan’s amazing presentation Piers and Simon were clearly floored (you can clearly hear it in their voices).



UPDATE:

So just how good was the performance?

1 day on...

- Youtube user: macraeman
"TRUE BRIT. Self-depracating, accepts the jibes, then gets on with the job - brilliantly, in this case - and has the last laugh."

- Youtube user: macraeman
cont'd...
"Favorite moments: the performance, obviously, but also at 2:28, Piers Morgan swallowing back his emotion, at 4:01 Simon Cowell smiling and relaxing into a moment that looks like a kid at Christmas, and towards the end, Amanday Holden (who really needs to be my wife) shouting 'Oy as Ms. Boyle starts to leave the stage prematurely. This just shows that God/Life comes in many packages. Here is one Yank who sends Ms. Boyle his very, very best!"



4 days on...

- YouTube user: leafnut420
"jesus christ! over 12 mil views and 65k comments in 4 days. that's retarded"



6 days on...

- I don't know if this is genuine (I have not been able to verify this), but it's worth a listen:
Susan Boyle - Cry Me A River - 1999 Recording (From The Scottish Daily Record Newspaper)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI2DxkrgpgQ

Disney Out To Snag Male Audiences This Time

Image credit: Found on Disney.com


With Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, the “High School Musical” trilogy, and the Jonas Brothers firmly in line, Disney is effectively dominating the teen girl TV audience these days. But on the other hand, it realized that it doesn't have much to offer for the teen boy TV audience. Its chief rivals for that demographic, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, has failed to capture that audience as well. This time, Disney's out to change things a little bit.

All Eyes On Michelle Obama

The whole world is tuned in to watch the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, DC today. It's Barack Obama's long-awaited rise to power, and people in the US and the rest of the world are very much anticipating a benevolent administration that's infinitely more willing to listen to them than the last one. But what makes Obama's presidency all the more interesting is the roles that everyone expects the First Lady, Michelle Obama, to play starting tomorrow.

Michelle Obama is pretty much up there with what the free world envisions the ideal woman to be. She's a lawyer, a wife, and a mother all at the same time, and now she takes on the daunting task of being a main occupant of the East Wing. What's in store for her, and what impact will she have on the country?

The Obamas have very close-knit family ties, which is quite impressive for a family that's deeply rooted in America. It's no secret, but the rest of the world views America as perhaps the most liberal place to raise a family. Kids are expected to move out of the house and lead their own lives by the time they're eighteen, while it's not unusual for kids in Asia to still live with their parents up till their thirties. The Obamas have such a stable family thing going that it's enough to put even Asian families to shame, and you can bet Michelle Obama has a lot to do with that.

Many people expect Michelle Obama to reinstate the values of “family first” to America, something that the country hasn't seen in a while. Previous First Ladies may have been influential in environmental and humanitarian causes during their husbands' terms, and Michelle Obama will most likely champion such endeavors over the next four years – but her family-centered approach to things will probably gain her a lot of admiration and support from family persons all over the world.

Oh, and for the record, Chris Gomez is a family person... contrary to popular belief.

Barack Obama has the kind of grassroots appeal that allows him to connect with people of all races, creeds, and income levels. Who's willing to take a guess that he got that kind of appeal from his wife? Michelle Obama, in addition to being the family woman everyone loves, also has her popular fashion sense that makes her so popular with the upper class. Her fashion style is so impeccably balanced that many have given her the title, “First Fashionista.” Apt!

Of course, Michelle Obama will never come off as haughty and arrogant – she knows better than that. What she has shown during those numerous interviews and campaign appearances is enough to convince most people that she means very well. All eyes may be on her husband today, but you can bet there's a fair share of the world's audience that's watching every move she makes.

Obama Chooses Sonal Shah As One Of His Advisors



engine alpha - photo of Sonal Shah. Pic Credit: found on http://svmn.net

An undated picture of Sonal Shah
Pic Credit: found on http://svmn.net


Indian-American Sonal Shah was recently appointed by Barack Obama to his transition team. She is one of the tech executives that Obama chose to help him make as smooth a transition to power as possible. Sonal Shah, 40, is an eminent economist who currently serves as the head of Google's philantrophic arm, and she has held many prominent positions in both private and public organizations in the past. While her appointment has been praised as a wise move on Obama's part, it has received its share of criticism as well.