26 Aug
Posted in: Design & Graphics
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Microsoft Ad Mistake, Microsoft Apologizes For Poor Judgment in Ad Design, Graphic Design Lesson

Microsoft, the largest software developer in the world made a big mistake today when posting a repeated ad campaign in another country, but with a slightly different twist.

The English version of the ad showed 3 people, an Asian man, a black man, and a white woman. The the same ad was repeated for Poland, but instead of having the black man in the the middle, they photoshopped his head out and replaced it with a white mans head. This was probably a poorly decided marketing strategy done due to the majority of the population being white in Poland. Now that is not a fact, but take a look at the numbers and tell me otherwise.

Click Images to view full size

Microsoft Ad Mistake_PolandMicrosoft Ad Mistake_USA

Being a designer, I know that this is a BIG MISTAKE! You never do something like this. And if you must, you make sure you are using one photograph that you own, and you only use it once. You cant make multiple manipulations to it. People will know that they have seen the image somewhere before and go back and try to compare what has changed.

Graphic designers and need to remember this also when purchasing stock photography. Since others can purchase and use the same image, it is likely someone will notice something is different if you manipulate the image and it is used publicly. Microsoft just help teach a valuable lesson to many graphic designers with their mistake in this ad campaign.

Race is a sensitive issue to mess around with in photographs and ads, be careful what you do to your images.

Below are the two ads that Microsoft had displayed for different countries –

Mistake Microsoft Ad

From CNN.com

SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) — Software giant Microsoft apologized Wednesday for the apparent bad judgment that led to the head of a black model being swapped for that of a white model in an online advertisement.
A black man in an online Microsoft ad was replaced with a white man, bottom, on the company’s Polish Web site.

The ad — which showed three business people, one Asian, one white and one black — was altered on Microsoft’s Web site for Poland to place the head of a white man on a black man’s body.

“We apologized, fixed the error and we are looking into how it happened,” said Lou Gellos, a Microsoft spokesman.

He said that because the company was still reviewing how the swap occurred he could not comment further.

On Microsoft’s official page on the social network site Twitter, a posting calls the swap “a marketing mistake” and offers “sincere apologies.”

The business Web site CNET.com, which first published reports of the swap, wrote that the change in models may have been made with the “racially homogeneous” Polish market in mind.

25 Aug
Posted in: Bonsai/Garden
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Step By Step How to Make a Bonsai Tree, Pictures of Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree

Here is a step by step illustration of how to Make a bonsai tree. I am making a Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla) plant into a Bonsai tree in this example.

How to Make a Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree –

At the end of the Article are a series of pictures that will help illustrate what the text is describing. (Pictures of transforming your bonsai tree are in order from Top to bottom, left to right)

Before beginning, make sure that you have chosen a tree that will survive in the climate where you live. Once you select a type of tree that you would like to Bonsai, start by taking it out of the pot and loosening up the root system.

Start pulling off about an inch of soil from the top of the plant to expose the root system. Do this gently, trying not to damage the roots. Using a chopstick works well to stick in and pull away soil from the roots without harming the plant. After doing the top, start working your way up from the bottom now. You will need to pull away close to all the soil from the bottom of the plant up, until the root ball and soil are are a little less than the thickness of the height of your bonsai pot. The roots may be very long, it is OK to cut most of them off so that you can fit your tree in the pot, just make sure that you have the mail center part of the root system, and a good amount of smaller routs surrounding it. (See Pictures Below for an example)

Next let the plant soak in some water for about 20 minutes. The plant will need a lot of water over the next few days due from all the stress caused.

When potting the bonsai tree, add some soil to the bottom of the pot and then place the tree into the pot. Getting a good bonsai soil mixture is a good idea because it helps with the drainage. But regular soil will do if you don’t have access to anything else. Then set our tree in the pot and position the bonsai tree where you would like to see it. As an artist, the rule of thirds applies pretty well here also. Never plant it dead in the center of the pot. Try to place it slightly off centered. In this case, I don’t have a good bonsai pot yet, so I just cut the pot that the Japanese Boxwood came in down to a couple inches tall for now, and will just be using the original soil again. If you had a good pot, you would want to wire the tree in place. Refer to this article on how to make a bonsai tree for a more detailed description.

Now that you have your tree in the pot, you can begin to prune and shape it to the desired size you like. It is important not to trim off all the leaves, but you will most likely be getting rid of a good amount of them, as you did to the root system. Think of it as balancing the tree out. Start snipping away at branches and leaves until you get it looking like you imagined. Try to expose some of the trunk and branch system to give the look that it is a miniature tree. Over time the leaves will start to shrink a bit, and fill out more, so it will look even more like a mini-tree.

The Pictures below show you how to make your Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree!

Click on any image to View Full Size

25 Aug
Posted in: Gaming
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Rapid Fire XBox 360 Controller, Halo 3 Rapid Fire Controller

Rapid Fire Controller XBOXI have been playing halo since the release of the first Halo for Xbox in 2001. Halo is by far the best game ever, but ever since the online combat came out on Halo 2 and Halo 3, people have been finding ways to cheat. From super Bouncing on top of levels, to Modding your Xbox allowing you to unload a whole clip on someone in a fraction of a second, and now Modding your Xbox controller to rapid fire.

The Rapid fire controller allows you to shoot your weapon at a much faster rate than normal, it has virtually no wind up time when using the turrets, and your bullets shoot perfectly straight everytime, with virtually now scattered bullets. Making xbox rapid fire controller is not hard to do either!

As cool and fun as this is, like any other cheat in the Halo series, it makes the game a lot less fun. There is nothing better than a competitive game of Halo with your buddies. But when you get some asshole in the game cheating, it just ruins the fun for everyone.

Click here to learn how to Make a Rapid Fire Controller for XBox 360!