Tag: baby cow

Email Encryption a Go-Go

Now that the unmuzzled Conservative Party have been voted in for a largely uninspiring 2015, they have pushed a plan to combat encryption techniques like Whatsapp, that bad bad thing that allows people to hold secrets.

Secrets that may get you into trouble.

But the recently unveiled and totally revised proposal is to have all passwords to have the password as “Password123” (case sensitive). This process will allow shady spy busters to help stifle the rise in private messaging between whatever wacky names bad guys are in the press this week and a simpler solution to breaking into people’s accounts illegally. This process is also cheaper than using super computers.

The timing couldn’t be better as the general lack of interest in the Edward Snowdon revelations means they can bring electronic communication into an Open Source environment, in fact you probably didn’t even know this was happening.

During a recent parliamentarian speech ahead of the official unveiling, David Cameron was questioned on whether ministers’ email addresses would fall in line with the general public but the reply was a unanimous no, stating clearly that any form of government communication is held in the highest of national security. This legislation, which is being pushed through with no public consultation, will help stem the tide of extremism apparently. Jeremy Hunt waded into the non-furore saying that this would increase the amount of time people talked to each other which was good for social integration but denied that he himself actually talked to people.

The key players in electronic communication, Google and Microsoft, were approached for a comment but declined to do so with a representative stating that this was a great idea and that their data centres would be open to anyone with a key. As this was done by the British team, an element of sarcasm may have been in play as it was signed off with a winky ironic face.

Obviously the only newspaper to carry this as a leader was The Guardian but the outrage was rather muted and the only activism was the 5000 comments left under the article. It’s not that much of an issue as 80% of the population use some variation of passwords set as Password123. The Conservatives are merely bringing consistency across the board. Upon being asked about foreign hackers accessing these intercepts the Conservatives did admit that this idea wasn’t fully thought through but combatting extremists was high priority. If you need to hide anything on an email then you probably shouldn’t be doing it anyway.

Nowadays nobody takes password encryption seriously, right?

BAME Moneyball

I was watching Moneyball the other day and one thing struck me, what if the same principles were applied to British Media?

The baseball concept was to find undervalued players to make up for budget shortfalls and showed that the system was working off a flawed concept.

To use one genre as an example, current television comedy is using a similar now flawed concept that is ripe for reinvention. From my experience, the talent scouts currently employed at the major production companies seem to follow the same tradition of discovering stars that translate well to television. By translate I mean the usual footlights type. This has worked previously in creating iconic programmes but for the last few years that way of bold thinking has fallen to the wayside. The output is all the same and the format is becoming stale because if it. Turn on the TV and innovation has all but stopped.

No matter where you look, these same faces appear on television talking the same comedic language.

Instead of trying to replicate the same televisual template, the Indies should be hiring people who think out of the box and stop searching for what would fit into the current lineup. Everyone is playing it safe for the sake of ratings but bold choices are for the brave and the rewards can be more enduring.

Two examples are The Real McCoy and Goodness Gracious Me that literally created an audience nobody thought existed. The Office also made the sheer boredom of office life gripping viewing and Chris Morris’s output is pure anarchy.

Obviously it’s not just down to the Indies as the commissioners need to be open to these unique ideas and be involved in the risk.  Historically there have always been “quiet slots” to try out ideas so the gamble is minimised.

I have personally met some of the most respected, innovative and talented comics on the circuit who you will never know because their attitude doesn’t fit into the current mold. The right spotter can pick this talent and nurture them into creating something truly different. I think it’s high time to shake things up and hell, if it fails what do you lose from the small outlay?

The Harry Hill Movie Poster

Currently I am seeing the largely unexciting print campaign for The Harry Hill Movie. I first saw the poster on the side of the bus and all it had was Hill on a mobility scooter and a comedy cat face. That’s it. Oh and a few names of stars to the side. Oh, the background was yellow. This is a British made movie and should be fully expectant to have the best/ innovative marketing pushes but alas it has less originality than the promotion of his famous ITV series.

Compare this to Kidulthood and Four Lions (which won a best marketing award!) as an example. They had a great marketing angle that sold the movie in its respective genre. Sorry but Harry Hill has a funny ha!ha! face but really the public need a bit more of a sales pitch if they want to actually fork out cinema money. I mean the poster explains nothing of what the film is about apart from the fact that it’s possibly a comedy with some celebrities.

I am a huge fan of Harry Hill but the initial ad roll-out really isn’t selling the genius that he is and the genius that his script undoubtedly will be and soon to be that film that people will say “well, I checked it out on DVD and it’s pretty damn funny” actually.

The marketing department has to sell every film in the same way as Miramax did, make it an event that people want to make the effort to see. That’s why the Weinsteins are legendary in selling difficult films and as this is a low budget British film going up against the heavyweight well marketed US fare, you better be creative to get the audience that want this kind of light quirky entertainment.