22 Aug

Job for vegetables

It’s amazing what you can find in the newspaper when you read it carefully. In Munich’s newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung there was a job ad in which Burger King was looking for a potatoe on August 11/12, 2007. I am not kidding. You can view the ad down below in the German part of this entry.

Here is a rough translation of the ad so that you can decide for yourself whether it’s a joke (yes, we are in the middle of summer with lots of people on vacation and nothing to write about in the papers) or whom the company is looking for. The comments in [ ] are mine and not part of the original ad.

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You want to climb the career ladder with us? Then get off the field.
Burger King is one of the major Quick Service companies [I just love this euphemism] worldwide. We set new standards in our over 11,200 restaurants for quality and taste daily . Come and join our team and grow with the challenges.

We are looking for a potatoe (m / f) to start as soon as possible.

Your profile:
You are a young potatoe (m / f) of excellent heritage. You belong to the top tier of your age-group, you want to make your career in a globally acting company, and you want to profit from our trainee program “Top of the Crop Scholarship” [that’s also the name in the German ad, so no need for a translation]. You are inquisitive and strong in presentations. You do not think in categories such as soft cooking [I don’t know the correct term and couldn’t find it either] and waxy. You also enjoy working together with dynamic as well as friendly colleagues. You count yourself as one of the high potentials in our country.

What you can expect from us:
You aim for a high position with all chances for a top position. You will already be promoted to KING Pommes after a short and practical trainee time (approx. 5 minutes) and will carry the title test winner (according to “Stiftung Warentest” [Germany’s biggest consumer product testing agency]).

MS Office as well as English language skills are not necessary. A driver’s license is advantageous, but not necessary. The usage of the company car for private affairs is negotiable.

If you want to join our team as soon as possible and have the necessary prerequisites then apply for this job including a picture (please no leisure time clothes, not older than at the time of harvest) [it is very common in Germany to have a photo in the job application pack which is much thicker than for an Anglo-American application]:
Burger King
VR (Veg. Resources)

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So. Who are they looking for? Any ideas?

03 Aug

Back to the roots forward

It’s high time that I post something on my blog. Interesting and startling things pop up almost every day and it’s difficult to keep abreast with everything. In order not to get behind too much, I better post today. 😉

Today I have read a couple of news items, e.g. via the BBC, on Google’s plans to venture into the mobile world. Although the company neither denies nor confirms the development of a phone like Apple, it’s still about to touch new ground. Why is it that big companies spread their wings into areas that have not been their domain? It’s like they want to become omnipresent. Specialization is out, generalism and “sell it all” is hot.

Google is a great example of that. They Stanford guys Sergey Brin and Larry Page who founded Google started with a search engine whose homepage was extremely uncluttered. Now the company owns a large number of non-search engine services such as email, blog, video storage, photo storage, CAD software etc. Philipp Lenssen has drawn a Map of Googleland which gives an interesting visualization of Google (excluding the very recent acquisitions of the company). Lenssen’s blog is a superb place to look for all Google-related stories. The uncluttered homepage of Google can be customized to one’s gusto. Mine looks like this at the moment (August 3, 2007, at 10:14 p.m.). The top is customized with one of the available themes. Although I am not a fan of pink, I cannot get around that color because my Google page knows my time and assumes that it’s time for a sunset. However, it’s already pitch dark outside.

iGoogle

And the latest coup seems to be the venture into the mobile phone market. Of course, one can already browse web sites via a phone or handheld, but that does not seem to be enough. Apparently, Google has shown its Gphone to manufacturers already (via Washington Post, Mobile Entertainment), but still does not comment on the story.

Google’s phone whether produced by an outside company or in-house might be a serious rival for Apple’s iPhone and a lot cheaper because reports state that Google plans to fianance it via customized ads. Will the company then listen in to one’s conversation to place the appropriate ads?

Internet service and computer companies joining the phone market might seem to be a step backwards, but actually, it’s a step into the future extending the availability of the internet and one’s personal files. Soon we might carry our entire hard drive around in a mobile device – mind you: not for working on these tiny screens constantly but to have them available and to be able to access them anytime the need might arise.

It’s good that I have not yet bought a mobile phone. I’m waiting for the big coup 😉 In the meantime, you can reach me via the following channels:

  1. email
  2. instant messenger: Skype, AIM, Yaoo, ICQ (although rarely used these days), Jabber (used it only once so far)
  3. landline and answering machine at home (mind the time zone)
  4. phone and voice mail at work (please only in emergencies)
  5. snailmail (if you jotted down my current address)
  6. relatives and friends (if they know more than you do)
  7. comments in this blog (still greatly underused)

I can’t think of a number 8. Thus, the list finishes with lucky seven channels. That should suffice for the time being.

04 Jul

Interactive ads / Interaktive Werbung

There has been a Japanese flash film where Japanese guys carry a cursor. It won a web award and has probably gotten very popular and has been imitated (you need to move your mouse over the white circle in the middle of the page; you can also click in the space and something happens). It seems that others have caught onto the trend of animating their ads so that mouse movements are followed. I just saw an ad for Intel where security guys destroy a virus and then follow the cursor with their head and catch it as well. A similar ad exists with wolves. However, the Japanese film is still the best.

***

Es gibt eine japanische Flashanimation, in der Japaner einen Cursor tragen. Diese Animation hat einen Web-Preis gewonnen und ist dadurch wahrscheinlich sehr bekannt geworden, sodass jetzt andere dieser Animation nacheifern (man muss seine Maus über den Kreis in der Mitte ziehen; selbst bei einem Mausklick passiert etwas). Es scheint, dass andere Leute auch den Trend erkannt haben, ein Bild aufzupeppen, indem Charaktere darin dem Cursor folgen. Ich habe eine Werbung von Intel gesehen, in der Sicherheitsleute einen Virus zerstören und dann dem Cursor mit ihren Köpfen folgen und auch ihn einfangen. Eine ähnliche Werbung gibt es auch mit Wölfen, für die ich aber die URL noch nicht herausfinden konnte. Aber die Animation mit den Japanern ist lustiger.

21 Jun

Summer: Hello and Goodbye / Sommer: Hallo und Tschüs

Today is the first day of summer and it was a very pleasant day because I was reminded of less rain in the coming weeks, some more evenings with long daylight, nice temperatures, blue sky, and lots of sunshine. That’s why I was not prepared for the blow from a major furniture store. The advertisement I received in the mail said that its end-of-summer sale would start next week! Just one week after the beginning of summer. What is that supposed to be? A mini summer with longer fall and winter? Do they know more about the upcoming weather conditions than the rest of us? I do hope to enjoy more than just one week of summer and thus won’t be bothered by this sale’s title.

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Heute ist Sommeranfang und es war ein ganz angenehmer Tag, da ich mich auf weniger Regen in den nächsten Wochen, noch ein paar Abend mit viel Tageslicht, angenehme Temperaturen, blauen Himmel und jede Menge Sonnenschein freuen kann. Deshalb war ich überhaupt nicht auf den Seitenhieb eines Möbelhauses eingestellt. Der Werbebrief, der heute in der Post war kündigte nämlich den Sommerschlussverkauf an, der schon nächste Woche starten würde! Nur eine Woche nach Sommeranfang. Was soll das bedeuten? Ein Minisommer und dafür ein längerer Herbst und Winter? Wissen die Möbelschrauber mehr über die bevorstehenden Wetterlagen als der Rest von uns? Ich hoffe doch sehr, mehr als nur eine Woche Sommer zu haben und lasse mich deshalb nicht von dem Verkaufstitel irritieren.