Wednesday, 6 June 2007

TV ads

So the 2012 Olympic brand has scored two own goals.

1) That it looks like a a ball smashing through a window (what a bad omen).
2) That the video has triggered illness to some people. I for one throw up every time I look at this poor excuse for an brand identity.

As a loose segue to my favourite brand, here is Apple doing a mighty fine job of tv adverts. No flashing garish colours.

And here are the Japanese Mac ads. Can't understand a word but still get the message.


Edge said...

Some great parody's of the mac ads too...

Anonymous said...

Marketing has always been Apple's biggest strength... closely followed by design... with affordability trailing somewhere at the back.

Hugh said...

Anonymous - you obviously have not seen the iMac Mini (£349 and connects to your existing PC keyboard, mouse and monitor).

An analogy. Affordable PC's could be compared with car makes like Kia, Perodua and Hyundai. Apple make computers that could be likened to car makes like Bentley, Maserati and Aston Martin. Which would you rather have?

Windows - 140,000 viruses, trojans and worms. Apple OS X (built on the FreeBSD Unix platform) - NOT ONE proven working virus.

Nigel said...

Anonymous was me - I forgot to type my name - and let's not get carried away.
The mini does not give as much 'bang for the buck' as any similarly price PC; it just looks cooler,has a much nicer OS, and some good basic apps included.
I actually have a 20" rev a imac at home and am typing this on an 17" rev c imac at work. My brother has a mac mini [they are being discontinued, by the way], as well as several PCs.
I DO KNOW about macs, and have used them for 10 years. I have also owned and used PCs during this time.
The single worst thing about macs is the smugness of mac users.It borders on fanaticism at times.
I also stand by my earlier statement, even as a Mac fan and user, and I think you would have to be some kind of blinkered zealot not to see the truth in it.
Perhaps you mistook me for a mac basher in your haste.

Yes, macs are great, but lets not blind ourselves to their weak points, and pricing is the biggest, as most people are aware.

What's more, if OSX is so invulnerable, why am I auto-updating security fixes on a regular basis ? :p

Nigel said...

By the way, the MAC MINI [as it is called] is actually £399, not £349, and features 512Mb RAM and a 60Gb hard drive. Wooohooo!

The truth is, I don't want the number of mac users to increase! As soon as they are a reasonable percentage of the computers out there [not the approx 3% at present], the hackers and virus writers will target them, and I'll have to start worrying about all that anti-virus anti-trojans cr*p again!

Hugh said...

Hi Nigel,

My mistake – the £349 entry level iMac Mini was discontinued some months ago; laziness on my part for not checking. I completely agree about Mac zealots – and no OS is invulnerable to attack, it is all a matter of degree of vulnerability. Most of the recent patches to OS X have been related to remote privilege escalation and certainly not minor. That is part of the trouble of writing any OS in unmanaged code such as C++. I run an old G4 iMac, a Laptop running Fedora Core 6 Linux and have recently disposed of a Sun Ultra 60 Solaris 10 Unix workstation.

I take some (minor) issue in relation to Mac affordability. OK, so like for like, Macs cost more than an equivalently specced PC, but OS X has a smaller hardware requirement than XP, and much less than Vista. How much do you value your time? Windoze users (at least, those in the know who look after their machines) have to spend several hours a week updating virus and spyware definitions, defragging hard drives and generally baby sitting their computers. Mac users (many smug – I do concede) have to do little in comparison. If you were at work and being paid for doing this level of housekeeping, how much extra cash would you have earned?

OS X in common with all *Nix variants does have one weakness over Windows – it has a weakness in the TCP/IP stack implementation. Basically if an attacker wishes to initiate a denial of service attack on a *Nix box, he can Smurf attack it – there are a number of downloadable applications for any script kiddie to use. You send a malformed TCP SYN packet to the host machine – it then waits three minutes for the missing elements before replying with the ACK segment. The attacker then sends another SYN packet – and hey presto the box stops responding. You need to implement a stateless packet filter with a specific rule set to prevent this.

Your point about if the number of Mac users increasing, so will the number of attackers does not actually follow the metrics. As an example, the Apache web server has (depending on whose stats you believe) somewhere between 65 and 77 percent of the world wide web server market, yet it has around 11 percent of the exploits compared with IIS, which has around 13 – 16 percent market share (again, your mileage may vary).

Windows Vista has a far more robust security model compared with XP, and I think time will tell to see how this stands up to concerted attack. Don't forget that OS X has its' roots in FreeBSD (which I also regularly use as a desktop OS) and whilst not perfect, the level of exploits is relatively low. Like all *Nix variants, any malformed code still requires the user to enter their admin (root) password before it can be executed. XP requires Admin level rights for pretty much everything – though again I concede Vista has much better policies in this regard. Trouble is, many users switch this off as being intrusive and “too much trouble”.

When port scanning over a network, I have yet to discover a Mac (or indeed a properly set up Linux or *BSD box) advertising itself – though out of the box Solaris still ships with DHCP enabled and a load of ports and services running – so mad Uncle Bill is not the only bad boy in town.

And yes, I do this for a living. Sad but true.

Hugh said...

How to crack all versions of Vista:

It had to happen.

Pangloss said...

Holy crap Hugh. You are definitely the man. I'd be telling porkies if I said I know what you mean. I haven't got a clue what you're talking about, but it sounds great.

I'm a Mac fan, and probably smug about it.

Yes, the price point is a bone of contention, but over the years, I've learnt that it's best to buy the best you can afford and it'll last. Buying cheaply is just a false economy.

I made the terrible mistake of owning a PC once and it literally sizzled and sparked one morning. Health & safety would've had a field day. I'm using a PC at work at the moment. It has a DVD drive. I insert a DVD and it wouldn't play. I discover the thing hasn't got the software. It doesn't take too much joined up thinking to supply a PC with the relevant software.

I'm not a smug Mac user because they look good, but because I don't have to be a techy to operate it.

The ReV! said...

Travelling back from 2020 (where Big Brother is STILL on E4) it is I your friendly neighbourhood Reverend!
Comments like Nigel posted; "The single worst thing about Macs is the smugness of Mac users" sadly proved to be 100% correct when Mac users declared themselves of a Higher Plane and waged a holy war, a "Mac-iwa” if you will against the heathen M$ users. Even part converts like Linux users could not escape. Huge tr-i-Pods trashed city after city until it was discovered that Mac User’s were vulnerable to having their broadband disconnected which meant streams of pasty-faced Mac users roaming the streets who then became vulnerable to the common cold.
On the other hand, was it Code?
Hmmm…not sure!

I would point out that Hugh’s comment of “..Windoze users (at least, those in the know who look after their machines) have to spend several hours a week updating virus and spyware definitions, defragging hard drives and generally baby sitting their computers…”, TISH-&-PISH! I have auto update on most things and only need to defrag once every 4-6 weeks and to my knowledge haven’t got any viruses or spyware (use 3 different Checkers, alternate one a month, or in fact whenever I get 5 min’s or am bored). Happy to be proved wrong but my only problem is Windoze is clunky and prone to freezing...and teh fact it's Windoze. In fact the version I’m using is HUGH’S old boxed copy he ditched when he became a convert, I mean a Mac user.

Nigel said...

Blimey I'll take your word for it Hugh! "Wooosh" is the sound of your explanation flying over my head! I find this stuff fascinating but i'm self taught and so don't always follow the complexities....

My comment about Macs not being worth attention as they are too small a part of the market related to the stuff we keep hearing about 'zombie networks'. As I understood it [probably wrongly?] viruses/trojans permitted people's pcs to be controlled remotely in their thousands to launch 'denial of service' attacks on servers.
And of course the spyware that is everywhere on PCs is all about delivering maximum numbers of 'potential consumers' to the advertisers. So in both cases, malicious code writers are going to target the most common OS in the market, and not waste efforts on additional code for a small minority of the potential targets.

Mind you, mac spyware would certainly deliver a higher calibre of consumer, with much more ABC1s.....oh no, stop me I'm getting smug!

Anyway, All Hail the New Breed of Non-Smug Mac Users - that's you and me Hugh, but definitely not naughty Mr Pangloss :p.

Hugh said...

Hi Nigel,

The oft repeated mantra that the most commonly used software (whether it be operating system or application) is always the most exploited by hackers as it hits the most users sounds like it ought to be true, but it is not always. Windows is used by a majority of computer users - it is also pathetically easy to attack - given physical access to a PC running Windows NT 4 / 2000 / XP but with the logon screen requiring user name and password, I can crack this within 30 seconds to one minute. Win 95 / 98 / ME - five seconds (hint - the logon screen on the older DOS based Windows versions is a process - just force it to terminate). This is not due to its' popularity - it would be exploited by black hats even if it was a minority operating system choice. It was written as a single user system and all the multi user and networking stuff has been bolted on as an afterthought - one of the main weaknesses. OS X and Linux (both designed from the outset as multi user, multi threading and multi tasking OS's) are used by fewer people, and don't appear to offer such a tasty target to the cyber crooks; the difference is that being less in the spotlight and technically superior, they offer far greater kudos and bragging rights. this is a real attraction for the bad guys.

If you really want to run a bomb proof and virtually invulnerable operating system, download the open source and free OpenBSD flavour of Unix. It is good enough for the CIA, NSA and many banks. Only two remote exploits in ten years (against Windows 30 - 40 a WEEK!) It runs on everything from old PC hardware to other more unusual commercial hardware platforms like Sun SPARC kit, VAX, Alpha, Amiga, PPC Mac, HP PA-RISC and tons of others.

OpenBSD website here:

Nigel said...

Thanks for the info - very interesting!