The OLPC, an organization devoted to bringing open source laptops to children in Third World countries for less than $200 a pop, have discovered an awkward residual outcome in their well-meaning scheme.
The News Agency of Nigeria has reported some kids at an Abuja primary school "have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials."
Oops. The OLPC has since reported they'll be including porn filters in the newer models of the otherwise-durable computers.
It may not be as cute as the iPhone, but the Nokia N95 - and its ad campaigns - might just be cleverer.
The premise behind jealouscomputers.com is that the N95, which boasts music, GPS, camera, and video cam all in one (okay, really ugly) phone, may spark the jealousy of lesser-seeming technologies - like your laptop, for example. And along with footage of tech gone awry are flight attendant-type videos about protecting yourself from dangerous hardware, as well as camouflage tactics for the N95.
You might want to try the latter, even if you don't have a laptop raring to bite you. (Seriously. Look at it.)
Need more cynicism in your life? Try some Bill Maher. This season the HBO Store gets big pharma on our asses with a storefront of bottles, creams and tonics of all sizes - branded with celebrity.
Seeking snickers? Swoop some up, right next to the P. Diddy bottles.
What uncannily logical placement. Whenever we need a snicker, it generally helps to find Diddy on TV. He's always doing zany things, like running New York, screaming at divas or standing on top of floats. His antics add froth to our otherwise dull celebrity-consuming lives.
Usually we think it's really cool when an ad appropriates some every day object to deliver its message, but in the case of coffee and steaming manholes, the collaboration is less than savory.
The text on this one-year-old Folger's ad reads, "Hey, City That Never Sleeps. Wake up. Folgers."
Dude, can you imagine walking over that manhole and going, "WTF is that damp dirty mist that's just accosted me? Oh wow, it is a giant cup of Folger's coffee." The very thought drives us straight into the arms of Starbucks.
Well, no, not even. Maybe Jamba Juice. The thought of coffee a la manhole just puts us off the whole idea.
[Ed: Pardon this story. Our co-Editor just woke up from a year long nap and forgot to restart her RSS reader. She was roundly chastised in our daily coffee klatch this morning and she promises not to nap so long ever again.]
We're kind of crazy about this parody site for (sic) culture's iDea, which contests the iPhone with a table napkin and an awkward pear-shaped logo sporting a bite on the "wrong" side.
Like the iPhone, it's got simplicity going for it - and like the iPhone, it can accommodate your biggest ideas, then act as a vehicle to communicate it to the rest of the world. Add-on accessories include masking tape.
As an act of goodwill, the small print divulges that the parody site was created on a Mac. That aside, we think it's less a jab to the miracle technology and more a nod to the simple things we take for granted.
This really takes egocasting to the next level. For those who find even virtual networking a problem, Brando gives you USB Virtual Friends, which enable you to invest a little plastic buddy with all the qualities you really need in a desktop partner. Including a photo.
Far from a mere memory-logger, these dolls give you a virtual world where you are master. Give them personalities and your choice of over 100 preprogrammed dialogues for communication.
Available in Virtual Boyfriend, Virtual Girlfriend ($17, respectively) or sets ($30).
For ever-struggling K-Mart, Rhinofx created the hopelessly lovable Mr. Blue Light, whose earnest eyes only promise to draw pity and a start of anxiety, the way you feel when in the presence of an imaginary friend whose death is just around the corner. (We have been the crying-shoulder for many broken dreams.)
Our earnest friend will appear in ad spots and stores - and then, we're sure, disappear into the unregulated chaos of K-Mart just as quickly. He just looks too weak to save the monster that is K-Mart's suckiness, man.
Observe his lame attempts at smooth jokes at a KMart runway show.
We hardly recognize the McDonalds we've come to know so well in this stop motion ad by DDB, Chicago and production company Vitamin.
Stop motion is, like, the new sex (Lux best demonstrates: 1, 2). Gotta say, the method that helps make soap sexy can also do wonders with McD's.
The only question is, can the crisp and health-savvy ad get rid of the perpetual moisture that seems to plague the restaurant's floor? Or the square-shaped eggs in the breakfast sandwiches that betray utter non-freshness? Or the unhappy-looking, sickly-colored cheese? Or the flat and unimpressive non-meat-tasting patties?
Like hook-ups on MySpace, McDs runs the risk of traumatizing the ad-charmed with its actual appearance.
We're not completely sure how we feel about this Mr. Potato Head Optimash Prime (an undoubtedly subtle plug for the upcoming Transformers movie), but it's somewhere between "OMG OMG!!!1111111" and "Dude, I think I actually need one of those."
Nice one, Hasbro. Nice.
For Weta Workshops, which makes action figures and other collectible props for movies and stuff, New Zealand's Touch/Case Next gives us SteamPunk ray guns.
And best of all, the ray guns are real (if not really deadly, at least really for sale). Models like the ManMelter 3600ZX and the FMOM INDUSTRIES Wave Disrupter are "constructed from metal with some glass parts," and only 500 of each is being manufactured.
Tell us that doesn't bring your lawn dart-loving '80s baby out to play, and we will glower at you in disdain.
For our own purposes, the Goliathon 83 dissolves seven-ninths of an elephant in 10 earth seconds. We could really use that kind of power whilst standing in line at the post office.