Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Microsoft's Mega Fail in Project Naming

A long time ago, Rio had a MP3 player called the Chiba. Then Google had a payment system they called GBuy before renaming it to Google Checkout. Now, Microsoft calls their latest software project Ciba which they describe it as "a generic static analyzer based on abstract interpretation for the modular analysis and verification of Java classes".

Unbeknownst to them, the term actually sounds very similar to the hokkien for a female private part, and is often used as a profanity. This website has an explanation of the term and of course, popular Singaporean mrbrown also had something to say about this as well. :) The Twittersphere is now awash with people mocking the name with #cibai becoming the top trending topic for a short while.

Lesson learnt : It sure makes sense (and is worth the trouble) to make sure that you check your product naming in all possible languages to see if it has any negative connotations before using. :)

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Singapore Tourism Board Singapore Grand Prix Photo Contest Submission

These are the entries I submitted for Singapore Grand Prix Photo Contest by the Singapore Tourism Board. I got shortlisted in the Top 50 but unfortunately did not make it to the finals. You can see the results here. Apparently the same contestant can win more than one prize each. Here's what they have to say about this:

The photos where short-listed based on 3 criteria : relevancy to requested competition theme, Photography Technique and Innovation & Creativity. Photos where chosen completely on merit independent of who submitted it. Therefore, one participant who submitted multiple photos which satisfied our criteria could potentially win more than once. As such, Alphonsus Chern and Vivencio S.Rojas, JR won two prizes
And there's still a missing second prize winner, which they did not answer when I asked them.

Here are the contest submissions. Unfortunately I can no longer remember the captions I submitted, since STB never had a confirmation email when I submitted these.

On hindsight, looking at the winners, maybe this photo below could have won me something :p

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