A WordPress plug-in brings down world leaders

The news this week has been filled with the so called “Panama Papers” which have resulted in the resignation of at least one world leader, the Icelandic Prime Minister, and have caused controversy to surround others including Russian President Putin and British prime minister Cameron.

The data involved was taken from a Panamanian Law Firm called Mossack Fonseca (MF) by a hacker and reveals secret financial structures used by the powerful and wealthy to hide their assets around the world.

Giants & Titans | Panama Papers

Wordfence, our chosen security plug-in for WordPress web builds, performed an analysis of MF’s network and it seems that the breach may have been caused by an outdated version of the notorious Revolution Slider.

This plug-in has been linked to many hack attacks over the past 12 months so if you’re site is using this plug-in please do keep it up to date but moreover we’d suggest swapping it out for a different version.

It’s unclear who has really built the Rev Slider plug-in, maybe the purpose by it’s creation wasn’t so innocent after all, but was is clear is that keeping plug-ins and the WordPress core all up to date at all times is one of the best security steps you can take.

So, it turns out that not updating your WordPress plugins is not only just bad practice but it may also  result in the fall of world leaders and the largest data breach to journalists in history…

Beta testing a new Laser Tag arena for Teamworks Karting

When our long-standing client, Teamworks based in Digbeth Birmingham, created their new Laser Tag arena they wanted some people to test it out…for pure client service reasons we accepted!

Such a cool space and even those among us who were not Laser Tag fans soon got in to the games – some a little too much!

Amazon + Drone + Clarkson

Some say he is a fool, some say he is now richer than he was before and some say he is a legend.

All we know is that Amazon have got him to advertise their latest foray into drone delivery.

At some point we will be seeing drone delivery but it will naturally happen in places where the drones cannot interfere with civil aviation, urban areas and so forth. With a current 15 mile flight range delivering in places that desperately suffer from bad logistic networks, such as the Africa’s, is still a little way off. However, the aviation trickiness and built up area issues will be less of a worry.

But while we wait for out next home delivery to come crashing through our roof or smashing down on the car, here’s Jeremy Clarkson’s take on how useful it will be in that emergency situation where a child NEEDS something right now and just can’t wait because people will die otherwise.. First world problem huh.

Where next with Drones?

Giants and Titans | Birmingham Creative Agency | DJI Phantom X

We have a DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone at the agency and are always experimenting with ways in which we can use it.

This month we are taking it indoors to a client to capture some unique footage of what they do best. More on that story when we have the videos to share! It’s gonna be good…

But why have we got a drone you might say because after all it’s “just a flying camera” (as someone once said to me!)

It’s not about the camera or really the technology itself, although all the Fly-to-Home, Autopilot, Follow-Me, GPS and 1080p tech’ is pretty god damn funky! It’s about being creative with the technology so it’s what you do with it that makes it a superb creative tool.

So that’s why we bought it.

Imagine how pleased we were when we saw this video today from DJI who make our drone saying that it is meant to be a creative tool and something that is powering all sorts of sectors.

The video is about where drones are going next and some of it is just amazing. Watch the Painting The Sky function they have conjured up. If just half of this stuff comes to market who knows where the creative limit is with such a tool.

How a hyphen can bring down a rocket

Giants and Titans | Birmingham Creative Agency

 

We talk a lot about the accuracy of copy, spelling, grammar, etc when Beautifully Crafting our work but why such a serious focus?

Aside from being very important it’s what sets apart great comms from just great comms, sparks intrigue not just interest, makes systems run perfectly not just ok.

As an example, one of the most infamous typos in history was made by NASA and it’s not natural to think that NASA would be too obsessive over grammar. Well…

In 1962, NASA attempted to launch Mariner 1, with the intention of probing Venus. The craft exploded less than two minutes after takeoff as we know.

Multiple theories emerged surrounding the reasons behind the craft’s failure, but the most commonly cited explanation, directly from Mariner 1’s post-flight review board, is that a lone “dropped hyphen” in the computer code instructions incited the flight’s demise.

Richard Morrison, a NASA official, said:

“The hyphen in question gives a cue for the spacecraft to ignore the data the computer feeds it until radar contact is once again restored. When that hyphen is left out, false information is fed into the spacecraft control systems. In this case, the computer fed the rocket in hard left, nose down and the vehicle obeyed and crashed.”

The omission of the hyphen, which set NASA back $80m, was deemed by “2001: A Space Odyssey” author Arthur C. Clarke to be “the most expensive hyphen in history.”

So if a missing or erroneous hyphen can bring down a rocket, you can imagine now why we not only craft our creative so beautifully but also our copy, code, designs, data, and so on.

We don’t want the batteries dropping out of our mice due the incorrect use of the possessive apostrophe!

Giants and Titans | Birmingham Creative Agency | Mariner 1

The Mariner 1 launching prior to the disaster

Stunning interactive video by SPP

Here’s a really clever interactive video from Swedish Pension Firm SPP that shows two alternative visions of 2045.

SPP-interactive-video

The smart part of the video is the interactivity: by sliding the vertical divider bar left or right, we are shown SPP’s ‘sustainable saving’ version of 2045 contrasted with the rather darker, gloomier alternative.

Combining creativity and technology in this way makes the point in an amazingly effective way. Check it out at http://earth2045.com/

Augmented Reality for kids colouring

If you have children or you’re a big kid yourself like some of us are, then something conceived or designed by Disney will be in your house somewhere. DVDs, dresses, lunch bags, pencils, story books, pens, you name it they do it.

And now the humble colouring book has been Disney-ified with an Augmented Reality app…

Who knew that a little colouring book would now be powered by real-time texturing, outlier rejection algorithms, surface deformation recovery thus outputting a 2-D image into a 3-D one by completing occluded 3-D areas not evident on the 2-D model.

And there was most of us thinking it was just a simple case of tree > chop > pulp > dry > press > print and voila!

Nope, colouring is far more complicated than that as most under 10’s will tell us!