Friday, February 29, 2008

Honda Malaysia ready for F1

It takes real guts to be up front and frank about your defeats.
Sparks x Dentsu Utama x Honda

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Facebook citizenship.

Here I was, happily browsing my Facebook. Wondering who to poke and what group takes my fancy today. While exploring some different networks and discovering strange and exciting local events, I thought, "Hey, maybe I should join Japan. Maybe I could even find some of my old friends". And then, guess what?

You're not allowed to on another country's network if you're on one already! Since when did we have to choose citizenship even online? What defines citizenship anyway? Although, for very practical economic and safety reasons we're not called 'Earthizens' but Malaysians, Japanese, Germans, Italians, Americans, but what constitutes online 'country boundaries'? Who's who anyway online and how would you know I'm truly a Malaysian?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Is Edison slut or stud?

First there was a huge public detestation and outcry. But after almost a month of floating photos around the internet, suddenly I'm feeling a change of wave in idolship. Edison Chen, overnight, pushed by the media has become some sort of a male hero. This is NOT my opinion, but I'm feeling public sentiments through opinions male acquaintances are forming and from various blogsites and forums.

In just the last couple of hours, Edison Chen has got news coverage on Bloomberg, Shanghai Daily, Reuters India, Radar Online New York, Boston Globe US, Electric News Paper Singapore, Washington Post US, Sydney Morning Herald Australia, and even CNET news which has nothing to do with entertainment news. Overnight, the media has pushed Edison Chen to become one of the most famous stars in all four corners of the world - are we shooting ourselves in the foot? While we are so concern about how this piece of news is affecting the young ones, yet it's propagated on all major newspapers in every major country possible? Are we also to be blamed if he is made a stud after all because we are in a way, responsible for creating headlines for him and his 'unfortunate' incident?

Something to think about. What role does media play when moral is no longer divided in black and white?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Edison Saga - Biggest web explosion.

We've always been blogging about the advent of Web 2.0 and the immense innovation that could come about, improving netizens' lives whether online or offline, for self improvement or for building better communications. As its importance and influence slowly snowball into the offline world, then the looming question of rights and regulations will surface itself, right up to the point where we cannot deny that we have no single idea how to define the legality of file sharing and opinion sharing.

For those who are well wired in the Chinese community and/or any communities at this point, I'm sure you are pretty well aware of the latest Edison Chen and a list of Hong Kong female startlets' sizzling bedroom drama. This blog entry is not to discuss about them. I think they have enough attention already and can do with a break. This blog is to discuss about what I'd consider one of the biggest, fatest growing and most intense phenomenon to have hit Hong Kong and China's shores. For those of you who have been living in Timbuktu, here's the gist:

1) Edison sent his laptop for repair. Technician 'discovered' (if he pried through encryption then he's liable for arrest) photos of the former with a list of female Hong Kong artists in highly compromisable positions.
2) The guy uploaded it online and somehow, it was like 6-degrees multiplication, the files spreaded like wild fire through online sharing and offline digital copying.
3) The police came out on fire to enforce legality as they consider this as pornographic material which is illegal for sharing via uploading onto the internet. However, funnily enough, they actually said it was ok for sharing via forwarded emails with 'friends'. (How on earth do you justify that? And online, how do you define 'friend' anyway?)
4) A mystery man who dubbed himself 'Kira' threatens to upload more photos as days go by, daring Hong Kong law enforcers to catch-him-if-they can. Kira as you know is one of the lead characters of a Japanese film shown not too long ago who kills off victims if their names were written on the Death Note. Similarly, this 'Kira' seems to be 'killing' off his victims if their faces appeared on Edison's private album. Some condemn him, others hail him as modern day Robin Hood for challenging the police - blatantly pointing out flaws in their capability and law enforcement. Those of you who have watched 'Death Note 2' (the sequel) may conclude that there may be more than one 'Kira'. Possibly.

This piece of news tookover the front page of every major publication (press and magazines) in Hong Kong for 19 days straight in a row, sparked hundreds of forums and communities generating viewership as much as 28 million in a couple of days, sparked 155,000 over comments in a single forum entry in a couple of hours. The last time there was such sensation, it was when people were dying from SARS and that did not even manage to come close in terms of local and regional web statistics. This news even manage to get into CNN and Wall Street Journal. I mean... Wall Street Journal. Why the phenomenon? Why the intensity?

On a macro level, it seems as though people were just curious about the 'photos' because they involve high profile artists. Anyone would expect that sort of public reaction especially in a country where entertainment is perhaps one of the biggest economic income. However, under more scrutiny, you'd realise that this is just an unfortunate incident which started double-boiling what seems to be underlying discontentment and frustration on web democracy and human rights online in Hong Kong. In this case, the rights to see what I want to see and say what I want to say. There were protests participated by even lawyers who claim that they are not protesting for pro-porn but protesting for rights on the internet, which means real police have no business policing the internet. But is that true?

I think it's really funny when law enforcers go online and try so hard to clamp down every single forum or community propagating this incident when the front pages of main media splash obscene poses albeit censored for close to three weeks in a row shamelessly. You don't think that's funny? There are millions of Hong Kong-ers and Chinese whom I believe are not even internet savvy. Yet due to the 'hype' caused by the main papers' sensational headlines and photos, they are all clambering online even 82-year old grandmothers. Now, pray tell me, who's the culprit? If we are all for protecting individuals, shouldn't main media also be careful on its reporting, exercising self-censorship? But then again, who are we to kid when half the media is owned by the government and the other half by entertainment owners who have heavy involvement in triad groups? Are we killing the messenger a bit too early?

I must admit that the internet is flawed because the possibility of abuse definitely runs at a superbly high risk. I'm sure the police is doing the best they can to continue protecting the 'innocence' of few (or lack of, in any case, they still deserve their basic rights as humans), but maybe it's time for us to really start cracking on the possibility of drafting an entire regulation specifically for the net instead of adapting old laws used to govern traditional media. Interesting, I've never thought of it that way before. Perhaps, the West is better at that? But if they are, then they would have solved the issue of child pornography. Perhaps, getting a few Web 2.0 geniuses with integrity to boost to come together would at least help us draft better preventive measures for all sorts of web atrocities and scenarios?

Personally, I think there will never be a 100% curb against evil that man can ever initiate. But at this point, what we as responsible netizens can do is, put yourself in the shoes of those whose photos you are commenting/circulating/sharing. If you're okay with other people doing that to you, hey, fine by me! You and I know that the police can not at this point stop this but there is someone who can. You. If the net is our world, then shouldn't it be us policing it? No?

Note: The public (whomever they are) managed to track one of the females involved in this saga from, guess where? Facebook. So do be careful with what you upload online and where, no matter how harmless it may seem to be.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Honda FCX Clarity

For those of us who remember the mind boggling 'cog' campaign done for Honda by Wieden + Kennedy, this is a follow-up for the recent FCX Clarity launch. I still prefer the 'cog' commercial but this one is quite nice as well. It's got a 'fun' tone in it which is so unlike Honda. At least in this part of the world. But I'm all for its strategic idea of 'when you like solving problems, every one of it is a playground'. Kinda neat. Watch the video:

Hang on. You must must must check out its website. I don't know what this kind of web structure is called (some net wizard, please enlighten me). But I definitely do see a trend of having this sort of 'skeletonless and free flowing' websites. It's like navigating through a canvass (feels more exploratory now) versus navigating through folders (like 90% of the websites now). Interesting.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Mixed feelings.

Usually I don't blog about political propaganda here but I came across this video while surfing and feel that I have to put it up here and talk about it. Because I have mixed feelings. Like serious mixed feelings.

First of all, I question the intention. It sounds like a great motherhood statement. 'We hear you. We are here for you.' but once in office, they're no where to be found. That's quite a generic proposition, no? I mean, how does that differ the current office from the opposition? Aren't all politicians required to do that? I mean, otherwise why on earth are they in office for?

My second question would be, couldn't they have found a better advertising agency? This really makes me wonder. With so many 'award-winning' advertising agencies around with kick-ass creative directors (and strat planners :), why on earth aren't they commissioning better work? At least better than ripping off Nike's swoosh and tagline? The funny thing is, isn't whomever in office, supposed to tell us not to plagiarize? Changing the swoosh to look more like a tick (that's a visual pun for you) and from 'Just do it' to 'Just change it', uh. C'mon! Open your eyes! Go to the Kancils! Flip through the award books! Take a look at Campaign Brief! Watch Petronas ads! If they're still not getting it, then I know what's the problem. They're right after all. They should listen more.

Plus + I spotted a typo ok. That is so not funny.