Embrace Life

Seldom I come across a TVC that evokes both strong emotion and reaction as the one I’m embedding here. This is a TVC for a campaign set up by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership to increase awareness of the safety of wearing seat belts while driving. We’ve seen many other similar ads that pushes this message, but mostly with horrifying visuals of car crashes and broken lives.

But this TVC, simple in execution but with a powerful message, serves as a good example of how one can take a simple message, bundled it with a strong concept and still execute with minimal budget. /suit-mode off

But yes, the bottom line of this is this – watch and remember to belt up. Wonder how we can get LTA to get rights and broadcast this here.

One big Mutabak of links from the past week

Think I’ve neglected to do much posting on the blog lately. The cobwebs started to collect at the corners. But as we all know, the InterWeb grinds on everyday and there is still quite a lot of interesting stuff to talk about.

The girl in the window

For example, just read today about this heart wrenching story of a seven year old girl, neglected by her single mom. So bad that she doesn’t know much about the basics of being human. So bad she’s been labelled a feral child even though there’s an adult and she lived in a city and not the jungle. In the story The girl in the window, her story started from the wretched conditions she was rescued from to the present where she is being taken care by a foster family. Its sad to read about the circumstances leading to her neglect, but also heart warming to see how her new parents do their utmost to give her back her humanity. You can also listen and see more photos about Danielle here.

Nokia N78

Serious stuff aside, I have been playing around with the Nokia N78 while waiting for the iPhone. As I’ve used previous N-series phones, the software and interface are pretty much the same, although the buttons are getting slimmer and smaller. Surprisingly I have less problems using them as compared to the dainty fingers of the GirlF who’s used to the SE phones.

The response of the UI is pretty decent, although the phone still sometimes resets itself after hitting some buttons. Their new NaviTM Wheel which uses the finger tip to scroll is a wee bit too sensitive and if you didn’t read the manual, you wouldn’t know that it scrolls and will be wondering why the hell the “cursor” keeps jumping to another app instead of the one you chose.

The GPS functions and the Nokia Map feature also almost work all the time, except if you are under a roof, you’re pretty much screwed. Also, the postal code database of the Singapore map seems to be flawed. Last weekend I was trying to find City Satay (328 Tanjung Katong Road S437105) to get some satay. Instead of keying in the full address, I just input the postal code 437105 into the search box, and I ended up somewhere along Dakota Crescent which was 5 minutes drive away. But if you key in the full address, you get the correct location. So do put in the full address just to be sure.

Anyway, there’s more insightful reviews of the phone elsewhere and I won’t go further, since I’m not paid to do so…but if you are a Mac user, you might want to grab the latest iSync plugin at the Nokia Europe site so that you can sync with your Mac.

Flickr tips and TWIP podcast

Too bad I can’t use Bluetooth to hook the phone’s GPS to my Mac or use it as a geo-tagger for my photos as it will make geo-tagging of my photos in Flickr much easier. Speaking of Flickr, you might want to read Thomas Hawk’s Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr which he updated for 2008. Some of them are very useful and can be used to raise your Flickr profile.

Another Flickr tip I heard over at This Week In Photography(TWIP) podcast was about recycling your old photos uploaded in Flickr just after you registered:

After joining Flickr, my contact list grew slowly. Now that I’ve got a fairly consistent and growing daily-page-view count. I’ve noticed that my older photos have very low View counts. It’s time to recycle those old photos by changing the upload date and bringing them to the front of your photostream. On the photo’s page, click (Edit) next to Taken on. Click the Date Posted tab, and edit the date and time to be newer than any other photo in your photostream. Now your old photos will get exposure that was not possible when you first joined Flickr

Pretty simple and easy to do. Oh yeah, if you want to listen to podcast on photography, do check out This Week In Photography (subscribe in iTunes) podcast. Its informative and they have interesting guests week in week out. Best of all, they are not boring. They as in Scott Bourne, Alex Lindsay, Aaron Mahler and their frequent guests, Fred Johnson, Steve Simon and Ron Brinkmann. Go listen and check them out yourself.

URL or Search Terms?

Do you use google to surf to sites? Not just those you don’t know. Like do you still type the URLs of the site you want to visit or just type the name or term of the site you want to go? Apparently Japanese advertisers are thinking that Japanese are doing that as pointed out by Cabel Sasser from Panic Inc.

It makes sense, right? All the good domain names are gone. Getting people to a specific page in a big site is difficult (who’s going to write down anything after the first slash?). And, most tellingly, I see increasingly more users already inadvertently put complete domain names like “gmail” and “netflix” into the Search box of their browsers out of habit — and it doesn’t even register that Google pops up and they have to click to get to their destination.

Pushing this trend is the reliance of search bars that appear on our browsers. In modern browsers, there is a search box that links to either Google or Yahoo by default. Some even added tools from these search engines that add their own search toolbars all over the browser space.

So is putting out search terms on ads instead of the URL the new BLACK?

Oh, one more thing before this long piece ends. IF you own a laptop that comes with a build-in webcam, be aware of what people can do to your system with your webcam if you hand the laptop over to someone you don’t know or trust for servicing. Unscrupulous people might just add a software or two to render your laptop as their high tech peeping tom tool! Just one of the many things to take note if your laptop is in other people’s hands.

That’s all for today…remember this Saturday is National Day and the day before the start of Beijing Olympics. After reading much reports about our players having prepared themselves for the game, I have high hopes that they will bring back something more than personal records from Beijing. Let’s wait and see! I should prepare my N78 for live streaming with my Starhub account!