Sony in Bond marketing boo boo

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By  Published  November 10, 2006

IN A MOVE that really isn’t all that 007, electronics giant Sony has released a James Bond range of notebooks to coincide with the release of the secret agent’s latest movie Casino Royale.

Based on Sony’s VAIO TX, the limited edition notebooks comes equipped with a privacy screen and Cyber-shot digital camera, all packaged inside an aluminium attaché case. Backbyte is sure the irony of this is not lost on anyone, except perhaps executives in Sony’s marketing department.

The now infamous maker of batteries that can cause notebooks to explode in a ball of flames bringing out a range styled on a man synonymous with gadgets that also explode into flames, cunning.

What must have seemed like marketing genius only a few months ago has turned out to be a complete and utter howler.

You could just see Q issuing Bond with this notebook, packaged inside an aluminium attaché case, and explaining how it had been specially fitted with a battery that “under rare conditions” could overheat and pose a risk of fire. Then walking over to one of his trademark dummies, Q places the ‘weapon’ in its hand, stands back, and watches while the poor mannequin is blown to smithereens.

Net addiction

The Chinese government is looking into ways of preventing children from becoming addicted to… the internet. That’s right, internet addiction among the country’s youth has become a growing concern for the Chinese authorities.

They now want to develop technology to stop this dangerous vice from getting out of control.

The government will “encourage research and development of technologies to prevent minors from becoming internet addicts”, according to the country’s Xinhua News Agency. Psychologists have been brought in to look into the possibility that heavy internet users suffer from addiction, and a number of clinics have set up special wards to help patients conquer their compulsive web use.

Measures proposed so far include developing software that stops online gaming at a certain time and banning minors from internet cafés.


The UN’s Internet Governance Forum web site was suspended briefly this month and, bizarrely, replaced by the image of a cartoon dog.

The incident happened towards the end of the forum’s main speaking session on November 1 and anyone trying to access the site during its temporary hiatus was confronted by a confused-looking orange dog pulling wires out of a PC that had “out of order” written across its screen.

The site’s suspension was caused by a spike in demand on a collaborative web site set up for the online community to exchange views about the internet during the inaugural four-day meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Greece, at which government representatives, corporate executives, academics and IT experts gathered to discuss issues such as online access and security.

The large volume of users trying to access the chat site overwhelmed the server, bringing down the site and the forum’s main information site.

“Well, they do say you don’t know if it’s a dog online,” joked one of the meetings volunteers.

Touchy subject

Is Apple planning to launch an iPod with a touch screen? Well according to Apple it was, for about five minutes, and then it wasn’t again.

The vendor made the initial ‘announcement’ in a developer support document, but no sooner had people cottoned than Apple’s press office issued a denial, claiming the word “touch screen” had in fact meant to read “touch wheel”.

As far as typos go that is quite a large one. It’s not as though they just spelt one word wrong.

Geek of the week

IT HAS BEEN a long time coming, but the first bonafide nerd is finally heading into space. Charles Simonyi, the man who led the development of Microsoft’s Word and Excel applications, is paying to fly out to the International Space Station in March next year, becoming the 450th person in space and the fifth amateur astronaut to fly to the space station. Simonyi said he had three goals he wanted to achieve by going into space.

“One of them is to advance civilian spaceflight, the second to assist space station research, and the third to involve kids in space sciences,” Simonyi told the BBC.

“Learning about the systems is part of my engineering curiosity and makes the whole experience so much more interesting when I understand exactly what is going on and, for example, why the flight is safe,” he added.

It will take Simonyi two days to reach the space station, where he will spend another eight days.

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