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Google searches for BT war and Apple gets hacked off


By Andy Barr, Head Yeti

February 15, 2013 | 4 min read

Another week of fun, with the headlines dominated by horsemeat (again), spurious Valentine’s Day stories and, of course, a rather shooty Olympian.

The bane of Andy Barr's life: Fireman Sam

A quick nod to Waitrose as well. Just a short while after they went entirely over the top against Cotswold Life because of a tongue in cheek comment piece in the high-end magazine on supermarket foods, the retail giant found themselves having to remove products for fear of them not being as they should; tut tut.

Ciders all round in the Archant offices I imagine (procured from Wholefoods, of course).

As an aside from Heinz being bought for the Buffet table (see what I did there) the story with the most potential for getting a bit nasty is the Google v BT patent war that is heating up nicely.

Google is counter-suing BT over four patent infringements, although BT fired the first salvo by taking legal action against the search giant over patent concerns back in 2011.

The most pleasing part of this is that both parties appear to be playing it out in public, with Google accusing BT of being a patent troll and BT saying publicly that they are declining to comment, but obviously briefing behind the scenes.

I predict that Google will win the PR-war simply because of its resources, never say die attitude and its over-arching relationships with those in the media power seats. The final point is evidenced by the fact that the majority of the tech sites that wrote up the story this week appeared to favour Google.

Another tech brand having a PR mare is Apple. Having just about recovered from a hedge fund boss attack on the amount of cash it is keeping in reserves, it is now embroiled in an iPhone hack story.

Apparently those who worked hard in IT class at schools (you know, the kids with the monitor tans) have worked out a way to bypass the four digit security code that many of us put on our phones.

Now, my reason for having the security code is nothing to do with global terrorism or the fact that I may have highly sensitive numbers in there (my local chippy), but more to do with my kids trying to buy more bloody apps and games that they can play.

One of my 18-month-olds - I have twins, yey - has already worked out how to “hack” my pass code; he watches my finger movements and copies it. Before I know it, a new Fireman Sam game has appeared and I am 99p down.

The point I am making is that this is a bit of a non-story for me, yet it is greater evidence that a tide of negativity is growing against Apple and they need to reveal a worldy of a product or announcement to get people back onside.

Apple’s brand seems to be suffering “death from 1000 cuts”, loads of small stories are chipping away at their credibility.

Speaking of credibility, if you want to come along and dent mine, I am speaking at Think Visibility on 2 March in Leeds. My talk will unveil some ground-breaking (never knowingly under-hyped anything since 1976) research on journo loves and hates.

Come along and heckle/point out mistakes and we can grab a beer afterward so I can point out the error of your ways.


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