Evil geniuses and world domination are 2 of our goals... we also like Dr Who

EXTREME weather.

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It’s snowing here.  It’s actually snowin quite a bit here – here is a photo taken from one of the surface entrances to the bunker taken on 18/12/2010 at approx 1pm.

Snowing outside the surface entrace to the Titanium Bunker

ooohh... look.... snow

Here’s another photo showing the Titanium Bunker recreation yard – you can see how much snow we’re getting here by looking at the top of the patio table.

lots of snow in the recreation yard

Hmm.. I think the barbequeue is off.

OU finished…

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I submitted my coursework last week for the T155 Introduction to Linux course.

Overall the course was good – but the final coursework was possibly a little simplistic – being mainly a challenge in time management rather than any technical management or ability.

Hopefully I’ll be able to concentrate on the next certifications.  Next up I’m looking at some more Microsoft certifications…

Merry Christmas everybody!

Why the spenglers suck

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Hate is such a strong word and I am not really into hate, But I definately have issues with the Spenglers

Who are the Spenglers I hear you ask? they are the current mascots that sell the sky+ services from Sky created by the design agency WCRS.  If you’re interested, Mike will be putting a nuclear boot into their website at the bottom of this article.

Heres why I have issues with them:

  1. They are all the same
    The spenglers are pretty much identical, thers a small difference for Brian and the daughter who seems to have stolen one of chers wigs. the talk in a very boring, monotonus voice and their faces barely seem to move. Despite a differnt haircut there is very little to differentiate them. the simpsons all have different heights and sillouettes but the spenglers are basically big lumps of blue fur, making them the bastard love children of Oscar the Grouch and Sully from Monsters INC with a little soupson of ‘where the wild things are’ thrown in for good measure        

  3. The animatorinics suck
    The turtles in Teenage Mutan Ninja Turtles had way better Animatronics than the Spenglers, The Spenglers mouths just flap up and down. No eyebrow movement, no other lip movement and they all have the thousand yard stare of some one who has presumably seen too much Sky HD.  Not so much TMNT, more  ‘TMNT:Comming out of their shells’.         

  5. The voice acting is phoned in
    Two of the spenglers are farily well known, John Goodman and Holly Hunter.  To be fair, they could have got anyone to speak the parts, heck even the people wearing the suits would have done a better job then them the lines are monotonous and have no life to them, When Brian Talks to Father Christmas, Thats pretty good, but the rest of the dialog suffers from being written by a bunch of marketing guys, who are not nececarily script writers.

  7. Brian spengler rates Tv over his own childrens development.
    In one radio Advert, Brian complains about having to go to parents night at his children’s school arguing that by watching house ( of course in glorious HD) that the family will improve their medical knowledge and get to watch some first class drama – Is he high?  You would seriously prioritize an episode of House over your children’s intelectual development? And improve medical knowledge? Seriously? OK, say it with me: “maybe it its lupus?” there, done.        

  9. They seem to think that any problem can be solved by $**&^% sky!
    They think that high quality films in HD will entice father christmas to give them presents, and then show him ‘Avatar ‘and ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: the squeakel’ which basically undermines their own argument and shows their ignorance of the spirit of christmas.        

  11. They seem to think that recording a tv show is amazing.
    There have been VCR and PVRs availiable for donkeys years.  Sky plus is in reality not that ground breaking

Wait there WCRS – we’re not done with you yet either.  WCRS are the ‘creatives’ responsible for the Spenglers video and a visit to their website induced much rage and angst within our web developer. Tag Mike, You’re in…

  1. Horrible Flash intro.
    This site features an introductionary video.  A flash video.  This video features  two – lets say lovers for the sake of this argument – running towards each other in that wonderful film cliche.  Each of these ‘avatars’ have an added little arrow pointing to them indicating that the man represents WCRS, and the woman in this represents another agency called Altogether.  At one point the man starts to veer towards the ocean,and the woman starts veering away from the ocean.  Cut to the last scene where 2 completely different actors run to each other and hug.Considering the especially low cost of this video I am left wondering why they would do such a spectaculary poor job in matching the actors – Her hair changes colour, as does her swimming costume, and the mans costume suddenly grows down to his knees.  At a guess Baywatch, Baywatch,Baywatch,Baywatch, Baywatch,Baywatch, Southend.  Why not just shoot the whole thing in Southend ? At least the actors would be consistent.Try skiping the video just as it starts.  The music keeps on playing. so they got that 50% right then.
     I think a better approach might have been to have both actors run into each other – like they weren’t looking where they were going?, or perhaps have then both running towards an icecream van.  What I’ve don there is take a cliche and subvert it.  If our 2 ‘lovers’ end up sprawled on the beach or queing up for icrecream – there’s the pay off – there’s the punch line. 

  3. Flash site
    Flash sites are, as far as we are concerned, terrible for search engine capability.  One hopes that the acquisiton of altogether might allow them to create a site that would atleast be scrapable via google.  Searching for WCRS does show the site at the top – so kudos there – but there’s nothing else – just the website name. Other sites give a brief synopsis of the site, but that won’t be possible if the site is a flash based site.  If you search for titanium bunker we are also top of the list – in fact we’re the top 6 links, including our twitter feed.  but our links also contain a brief synopsis.

  5. Content. 
    Here is the site broken down into it’s various parts :
  6. Home If you click on the WCRS logo from any page it will bring you back here. 
    This page contains nothing apart from the navigation, which is existant on all pages anyway…So the question is, why have an empty page that you can navigate to.
    Bugs : Creative Experts @ engine – graphic does nothing.   How about linking that to theEngine.com ? 
    About A wishy washy mission statement. We think it’s very important to be clear about what we’re all trying to do for our clients at WCRS.  We summarise this as Bold ideas that Breed Success, and this is built on 3 beliefs

    1. That in cluttered and competative markets it’s a crime not to be noticed and remembered
    2. It’s about big ideas for brands, not just flashy one-off commercials
    3. That there’s no point in doing anything if it doesn’t pay back in pounds and pence
    So what do we mean by Bold ideas that Breed Success
    Ideas that are noticed and remembered
    Ideas that are spreadable and enter popular culture
    Ideas that last Ideas that work across channels
    Ideas that have demonstrable payback

    So this company sells ideas?  I thought they sold effective advertising.  I also think it’s back to front –

    I would personally writte the detail first, then explain how they summarise that as Bold ideas that Breed Success. 

    It allows you to put the tag line once with the emphasis that it provides.

    People A breakdown of the people behind this. 
    It seems that the site uses a global variable to store the page number.
    This probably wouldn’t be a massive problem if the site reset the variable when you
    clicked on a person.  To reproduce this, click on “Penny Herriman”, scroll down
    (so you’re looking at the second page).  Now look at Johnathan Moore.  The  Chief Strategy
    officer has nothing to say.  Any of the staff members with a bio that fits onto 1 page will show
    as empty.  If they are lucky enough to have more than one page it will jump to the same
    page – click on Debbie Klein and it confusingly starts “1997 and was promoted to Head of
    planning in 1999”
    Integration  A breakdown of the agency group behind the company – theenginegroup.com.  Seems
    that WCRS is the advertising expert in theenginegroup.com.
    Clients  A picture of some of companies logo.  The logos don’t link to anything.  Might be an idea to link
    the logos to the creative section, allowing (where applicable) the adverts to be seen directly. 
    The idea that there’s no point in doing anything if it doesn’t pay back in pounds and pence would
    be great to add some case studies – perhaps explaining how successful the campaign has been.
    Creative  A collection of videos and produced content for clients.  
    Bug: Playing a video from the creative section.  Now try pausing it.  Can’t do it right? How
    about adding some narative about why this artistic decision was taken.The % loaded doesn’t
    update.  The %loaded is actually used when loading the Print or digital media types.
    News Not updated since December 2009.  Really?  Nothing happened?  No new launches?
    Contact Some email addresses and a phone number.  Seems fine.


  7. That Flash video.
    Everytime you refresh the page you get the atrocity that is that horrible flash intro video.  No option to set a cookie to prevent me from suffering it every time?  Is your merger so important to me?  Why would I, as a customer want to know that your company is about to take on another company, and the inevitable suffering that will ensure because of it?  Surely a discreet announcement somewhere that doesn’t distract from the viewing experience of the site would be called for here.