Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Internet's address book just grew from 4.3 billion addresses to 340 undecillion (that's 340 trillion trillion trillion) -

Internet's address book just grew from 4.3 billion addresses to 340 undecillion (that's 340 trillion trillion trillion) - 

One of the crucial mechanisms powering the Internet got a giant, years-in-the-making overhaul on Wednesday.
When we say "giant," we're not kidding. Silly-sounding huge number alert: The Internet's address book grew from "just" 4.3 billion unique addresses to 340 undecillion (that's 340 trillion trillion trillion). That's a growth factor of 79 octillion (billion billion billion).

If it all goes right, you won't notice a thing. And that's the point.
The Internet is running out of addresses, and if nothing were done, you certainly would notice. New devices simply wouldn't be able to connect.
To prevent that from happening, the Internet Society, a global standards-setting organization with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland; and Reston, Va., has been working for years to launch a new Internet Protocol (IP) standard called IPv6.
IP is a global communications standard used for linking connected devices together. Every networked device -- your PC, smartphone, laptop, tablet and other gizmos -- needs a unique IP address.
With IPv6, there are now enough IP combinations for everyone in the world to have a billion billion IP addresses for every second of their life.
That sounds unimaginably vast, but it's necessary, because the number of connected devices is exploding. 


Queen’s Diamond Jubilee security detail included unpaid people forced to sleep outdoors -

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee security detail included unpaid people forced to sleep outdoors - 

Some of the 80 unemployed people bused to London to work as security during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee had to sleep in the rain under London Bridge and never got paid, the charity which arranged the jobs has admitted.

That same charity, Tomorrow’s People, has a contract with that same security firm, Close Protection UK, to provide security during the Summer Olympics.

“We are urgently reviewing out involvement with Close Protection,” charity director of development services Abi Levitt said in a statement Wednesday.

“We are very concerned at Close Protection UK’s lack of care for our clients and lack of attention to their safety and well-being.”

The Guardian newspaper first reported Monday that the long-term unemployed men and women were brought to London from Plymouth, Bristol and Bath but left stranded without shelter or toilets before the Thames River pageant.

A spokeswoman for Close Protection admitted it had used 30 unpaid people and 50 apprentices, who were paid $4.48 an hour, as stewards during the Jubilee events.

The unpaid work, the spokeswoman, was a trial for the Olympics, for which Close Protection has a security contract.

“It was badly handled and for that we've extensively apologized. We're not in the business of exploiting free labour,” said Close Protection’s Molly Prince.

She promised “better logistics planning will be in place for the Olympics.”

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday: “This is a one-off. This is an isolated incident. The company has apologized.”


Ikea hires translator after bed's name matches sex act in Thailand -

Ikea hires translator after bed's name matches sex act in Thailand - 

Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant hires translator to vet merchandise as product names run afoul of Thailand’s conservative mores. Their story is just the latest example of the perils of names in a globalized economy.

Ikea has apparently hired translators in Thailand to make sure its product names don’t run afoul of the country’s conservative mores.

Redalen, a town in Norway after which a bed sold by the Swedish furniture chain is named, sounds similar to a sex act in Thailand, says a Wall Street Journal report.

As the retail giant continues to expand into new markets, it is discovering that the tongue-twisting Scandinavian names utilized for merchandise may have untoward meanings in other languages, the paper said.

The company, which launched its fifth-largest superstore in Bangkok last year, realized that terms like J├Ąttebra, for a plant pot, can echo a crude Thai term for sex.

So, Ikea hired locals to scrutinize product names to see how they sounded in Thai before transliterating them into Thailand’s cursive, Sanskrit-influenced alphabet; and in some cases, they changed a vowel sound or a consonant to prevent unfortunate misunderstandings, the paper said.

Ikea was unable to respond to questions by the Star Tuesday.

Such are the perils of globalization.

There have been several brand translation hiccups over the last few decades.

In Germany, for example, Vicks cough drops became Wicks, because the word “vicks” is slang for sex. And Buick LaCrosse drew snickers from Quebecois teenagers who use the term “lacrosse” when talking about masturbation.

Way back in 1928, Coca-Cola thoughtfully consulted translators for its advertisements when it ventured into the Chinese market. However, some eager shopkeepers made their own Coke signs with phonetic translations which read “Bite the wax tadpole.”

Earlier this year, Kraft Foods Inc raised eyebrows with the announcement its global snacks business will soon be called Mondelez. While critics discussed pronunciation and meaning of the invented word which was conceived in an employee contest, Russian speakers recognized its similarity to a sex-related term.

“So for the next 20 years, (Kraft) will be gun shy in Russia and they will always be explaining how the word was created in a process where 11,000 employees participated in a creative handholding exercise,” said naming specialist Naseem Javed, the head of the Brampton-based ABC Namebank, which came up with such monikers as Telus and Celestica.

“When you are dealing with 240 countries and over 100 languages, periodically you will run into these bad names and it is a nightmare for companies and then they have to go through complete defense mode and come up with strategies and solutions and try to correct them.”

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