David Hayter Reprises His Role as Solid Snake… In a Ford Advert

Ever since it was announced that Kiefer Sutherland would be taking over as Snake for Metal Gear Solid V, fans have been hoping that David Hayter would be allowed to return to the role. Now fans wishes have been granted, but perhaps not in the way the hoped or expected.

Hayter certainly seems to be getting back into playing the role of Solid Snake since MGS V, with just days ago, the fan project The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid, revealing that Hayter would be recording original voice lines as Snake for the VR experience. In this new advert released by Ford, we see Solid Snake and Colonel Campbell discussing the merits of the Ford Focus SE, with the Colonel telling Snake that it is “the perfect vehicle to drive around Shadow Moses Island.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPnTa1UJPEI

A second advert in the set sees a rehash of the Psycho Mantis conversation from Metal Gear Solid where instead of the player’s memory card, Mantis reads Snakes thoughts about his desire for a Ford Fusion Titanium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4LUasFly0c

How fans will react to these returns of Snake is unknown, as while some may appreciate the nostalgia brought on by the MGS-style codec calls, it is likely that many see it as a shameful misuse of their beloved franchise by Konami. As for Hayter, he has been promoting the adverts himself on Twitter, declaring that “Snake is back.” Kojima has yet to release any kind of comment regarding the videos, though considering his departure from Konami and MGS being his franchise, it is easy to assume he wouldn’t be happy.

How To Disable Windows 10 Lock Screen Adverts

Windows 10 has caused a debate amongst users, both those who have adopted the new operating system and those who have decided to stay with the older operating systems. One of the most contested things about Windows 10 was its adverts, including those found in its start menu. They even added adverts to solitaire (shown above). People aren’t too keen on the adverts and if you don’t like the ones that appear on your lock screen you can disable them by following the guide below.

It should be noted that the adverts that have appeared on users lock screens only appeared earlier this year, advertising Windows or Xbox games from the Windows Store. People dislike the ads for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that they appear as if they are just normal apps you have on your PC, they don’t even look like advertisements most of the time. The adverts are provided as part of Spotlight, a feature designed to customise your lock screen. If you prefer you didn’t get adverts, you can follow the guide below to remove them.

First things first, you need to go to the settings page and find the option titled Personalization (should have a monitor icon next to it). Once you get to the options you need to select Lock Screen on the left-hand side, something will open that looks innocent and gives you the option to change your lock screen image. Selecting Picture is all you need to do to disable the adverts.

Seems simple right? The catch is that when Microsoft have another ad for you in a weeks time, by default when it’s pushed to your computer Spotlight will re-enable (see why people are getting annoyed yet?).

To disable the recurring Spotlight you need to disable the “Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen” option that can be found at the bottom once you’ve changed your selection from windows spotlight.

Thanks to Digital trends for pointing out these tips to everyone, and even going so far as to point out that if you check out the start tab of the Personalization screen, you can even disable the Start menu ad’s by disabling the “occasionally show suggestions” option.

Microsoft isn’t making many friends with their decisions to include ad’s (intrusive ones included) in their operating system and isn’t helping it by hiding the choice to disable them behind obscure names and enabling features whenever they want.

Senate Holds Online Ad Company ‘Backpage’ in Contempt of Congress

The internet can be a wonderful thing and lets you view everything from your favourite show several days early to downloading the latest games on their day of release. The problem being though is that not all content on the internet should be there, with several groups using it to advertise less than legal practices. In a recent vote, the Senate has held an Ad company in contempt of congress for failing to provide details when asked for them.

The vote (96-0) finds Backpage, a classified ads company, in contempt of congress. Previously Homelands Security Permanent Subcommittee requested documentation on how it screens the ads the company was being asked to provide. The company in return shared general documentation, avoiding the specifics that the subcommittee wanted.

The company is currently being investigated after allegations that it allows ads advertising illegal practices through, even going to far as to edit the ads and using keywords that would help avoid the ad being flagged up for its content.

Backpage has apparently been waiting for the issue to go to congress, saying that their adverts are posted under the first amendment that protects free speech and that the law itself protects companies that post third-party content (that is content provided by someone else). It should also be noted that this is the first time the Senate has issued a contempt of congress charge since 1995, so it’s not an everyday action by any standard.

BBC Among Sites That Ran Malicious Adverts

When you go to a website, you are often met by an onslaught of advertisements. For everything from custom-built PC’s to the latest diet trend, advertisements are everywhere. Sadly they may not be the only thing appearing on your computer with the use of malicious adverts appearing more and more often. In the recent onslaught though even the BBC was caught running malicious adverts on their site.

Major websites were hit by the “malvertising” attack which sees malicious adverts uploaded to third party advertising companies which then give these adverts out to other sites. The harmful “malverts” included your everyday malware and even file-encrypting ransomware, a type of software that is making and appearance more and more these days.

Trend Micro first reported on the malverts on Monday, only to have a similar post held off till Tuesday from MalwareBytes Labs while they contacted several advertising networks in the hope of getting the malicious adverts removed.

With large groups like the BBC, Newsweek, MSN and the New York Times all being exposed to the malicious adverts it may be a good time to check that your anti-virus software is up t o date and do a thorough scan of your system.

For One Day Ads Will Be Replaced By Anti-Censorship Messages

We all enjoy browsing the internet, viewing all your favourite sites and then suddenly you find a pop up appear advertising a new product that you “must buy” or a new game that you even get a “special offer” when you decide to close the window. The solution people use is an Ad blocker, making sure that only the sites we trust can show us adverts, but in a new move Amnesty International is teaming up with AdBlock to show support in the form of anti-censorship messages.

March 12th is World Day Against Cyber Censorship and to mark this day Amnesty International, one of the most well-known human rights organisations, is teaming up with AdBlock to replace ad’s with something a more thought-provoking.

Instead of Ad’s for the day you will receive messages from artist Ai Weiwei, Pussy Riot and Edward Snowden. With everyone the messages coming from being large, public and actively against government censorship.

AdBlock’s CEO Gabriel Cabbage says the concept is to provoke thoughts about online privacy and will only last a single day. In his statement, Cubbage encouraged people to “take a moment to consider that in an increasingly information-driven world, when your right to digital privacy is threatened, so is your right to free expression.”.

What if McDonald’s Advertised like Apple?

 

Imagine if a McDonald’s advertisement looked as captivating as one produced by Apple. Picture a Big Mac and fries marketed with minimalist type, a white background, and CEO rattling off terms like “refined,” “complexity,” and “extraordinary.”

Well, Buzzfeed have done it. Their team has made and released a Mcdonalds advert in the style of an Apple advert. The advert features several standard features of an Apple advert. White backgrounds, a high-level member describing the new product whilst using lots of buzz words.

“what happens when machinery meats meat”.

Chicken is never mentioned as an ingredient in the ad, however, it explains:

“To change the way we experience chicken is to change chicken itself.”

In the video, the fake advert tells us about three new products. Fri, Nugget and Mac. All of which are being described as now “refined” and much better than the last version. The advert is very clever and well made by the team at BuzzFeed. It’s very impressive how by using a white background and some clever words, they make me crave a McDonalds now. Maybe I’ll be able to utilise their “Smart Grease” to help me find that chip from the other night, it’s here somewhere…

GCHQ Could Be Fined For Latest Series Of Job Adverts

GCHQ are known for their presence within the UK as the cyber spies, the first and last defence against digital threats within the UK. In recent years though they have not had the best image, with incidents like being given permission to spy on politicians, recommending users store their passwords in software and do away with remembering them and breaching human rights with their internet surveillance. Their latest issue may be something a little more low-tech, with their latest job adverts possibly resulting in them being fined.

Hackney council has stated that they will fine and ask that GCHQ clean up their advertisements as they didn’t have permission to create the advert in Shoreditch.

https://twitter.com/JamesLiamCook/status/664064611642163200/photo/1

Featuring a pun on their name, combined with a web address, the adverts were created by using a technique called reverse graffiti. This means that instead of applying paint or another material atop the surface, you use a stencil and a power washer to remove and clean off the top layer of dirt, resulting in a white depiction of your stencil.

The adverts have also been spotted in Manchester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Leeds.  GCHQ claim that they were led to believe that Hackney Borough Council had an issue with clean graffiti on street furniture, not pavements.

If only they had a copy of the email that people sent with this information…

Yahoo Mail Restricting Access If You Use An Ad-Blocker

So remember those days when you waited five minutes to load a video or had to browse through those five tabs to find the one which was playing a video you had no idea even existed? A lot of people still suffer this fate, having their internet traffic and experience trampled on by the online plague of intrusive adverts. To combat this a series of software, often plug-ins to web browsers, was released under the title of ad-blockers. These pieces of software blocked unwanted ad’s and allowed you to whitelist any adverts you did like or even whole sites which you knew you could trust. Companies dislike this approach because they have no control over what adverts are played and therefore, end up losing money, a big name to join the crowd to punish ad-blocker users are Yahoo mail.

As shown in the screenshot above, provided by Portnoyd on the Adblock plus forums, shows the welcome message they got when they tried to access their email and found that Yahoo ‘recommended’ disabling Ad Blocker to continue using the email system, even going so far as to say “Uh oh … We are unable to display Yahoo Mail”. This would be believable, Ad Blocker may accidentally block something if it’s designed in a certain way, the sad part is though the URL states ADBLK _TRAP, clearly showing that the redirect is built to prevent Ad blocker’s users from accessing the site, rather than the error it pretends to be.

Are you a Yahoo Mail user? Have you found this problem? Should companies just accept that we wouldn’t use Ad Blockers if their adverts didn’t disrupt us on a regular basis?

Microsoft Responds to Advert Claims in Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows Insider members recently noticed an unusual suggestions bar embedded into the Start Menu. This appeared in the latest testing build and offered information about third-party applications. Some critics and users quickly reported these suggestions as adverts which is open to interpretation. According to Microsoft, the suggestions are simply designed to customize your user-experience:

“We will continue to offer Windows Ads in Apps on Windows 10. Beyond that, we do not currently have plans for advertising in Windows 10.

“Lock and Start content is programmed by Microsoft to help customers learn and discover new features and apps to enhance their Windows 10 experience; app publishers are not paying to be featured.”

While the suggestions tab isn’t overly intrusive, some might feel its a hidden way to embed adverts into the Start Menu. Additionally, Microsoft shouldn’t integrate loads of visual tabs or the user-interface will become a complete mess. Currently, the suggestions tab is incredibly small, and doesn’t detract from the core experience. In theory, Microsoft could insert adverts into the operating system as the majority of upgrades have been via the free promotion. However, this would be extremely foolish and I’m sure their strategic team is aware of this.

Do you think the promotions tab constitutes an advert?

Image courtesy of BetaNews.

Thank you The Inquirer for providing us with this information. 

Chinese Devices Mount Massive DDoS Web Attack

Cyber attacks are an increasing and dangerous threat which is perpetrated by groups and countries alike, these attacks are a substantial threat to free speech, livelihoods of website operators and also the whole infrastructure of the Internet. It’s no surprise to learn that a huge DDoS attack against a target website resulted in 650,000 devices being unwittingly enrolled into a giant cyber attack which overwhelmed its target.

And where did this attack originate from? That’s right, our friends over at the democracy-suppressing Truman Show style country that is China. The attack transmitted a staggering 4.5 billion separate requests for data in one day to the target destination. Below is an image which analyses the log timeframe of HTTP requests per hour, as you can see, requests for data ramped up dramatically within only a relatively small period of time before dissipating.

Since the attack had been levelled at a client of US Company CloudFlare, they were able to “write a dedicated script and were able to further analyze 17M log lines, about 0.4% of the total requests” They found that 99.8% of the flood was originating from China while 0.2% was labelled as “Other” They were also able to determine that 80% of the requests came from mobile devices .

So, how is it possible to booby trap an amazingly high number of devices? CloudFlare security analyst Marek Majkowski speculated that an ad network might have been the root cause which was compromised and used as a distribution vector for the attack. “It seems probable that users were served advertisements containing malicious JavaScript. These ads were likely shown in iframes within mobile apps, or mobile browsers to people while they were casually browsing the internet”

Think of this speculated but plausible scenario like this, while a user was browsing the Internet or through an app, he or she was served an iframe which contained an advertisement. This ad had been requested from an ad network who then forwarded the request to a third-party that won the ad auction. This meant that either the third-party was the “attack page” or it forwarded the user to an attack page, by doing this the user was served a page containing malicious Java Script which then launched a flood of XHR requests against CloudFlare servers.

CloudFlare have declined to name the company which had their server attacked but are warning against future cyber attacks with the same level of intensity. It’s a worrying trend which has many outlets including the Darth Vader weapon of choice “The Great Cannon.” This is also not serving the long-established technique of serving ads to consumers via the Internet, if advertisements are increasingly being injected with malicious code, consumers are going to use extensions to block them.

The Internet connects the world and is seen as a necessity and therefore a human right by powerful individuals, what countries want you to see on the net, well, that’s a whole different ball game.

Thank you blog.cloudflare for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of cloudpro

World of Tanks Japanese Advert is Quite Ballsy

Video game advertisements can be cringeworthy, emotionally-charging and in the case of World of Tanks, downright bizarre. To be fair, it’s better than many gaming adverts in the UK and uniqueness is always a good quality. Up to this point, the video has amassed over 3 million views and continues to do rather well. Japan’s culture might seem strange to some westerners, but it’s a beautiful country. I’m not entirely convinced this type of marketing would do well with World of Tank’s western core demographic though.

The rating system and comments have been disabled and that’s probably for the best. I can only imagine the type of discussions on the video trailer. I wonder how many players in Japan will feel compelled to try the game after the advert and how provocative it is to Japanese gamers.

This unique trailer revolves around a Japanese lady painting. The final piece shownis certainly suggestive, but don’t worry, it’s just about safe for work, but you may get some strange looks if seen watching it… enjoy!

We would love to hear your thoughts on this advert and gaming adverts in general. What is the worst and best gaming trailer you’ve ever seen?

Want to see more crazy gaming adverts? Check out our Classic Gaming Commercials Were Awesome! feature.

Extensive Malvertising Campaign Targets Yahoo!

This Malvertising Campaign is no longer active having been reported to Yahoo by Anti Malware blocker Malwarebytes, it’s still newsworthy to note the stats and techniques which targeted yahoo Ad Network for now and future reference.

According to the following statistics, yahoo and its combined websites has an estimated 6.9 Billion visits per month, which makes this attack one of the biggest targeted attacks seen recently.

  • www.yahoo.com | 6.9B monthly visits
  • news.yahoo.com308.50M monthly visits
  • finance.yahoo.com | 135M monthly visits
  • sports.yahoo.com | 112.50M monthly visits
  • celebrity.yahoo.com | 66.60M monthly visits
  • games.yahoo.com | 43.40M monthly visits

The attack leverages Microsoft Azure websites with the following domains being used,

      trv0-67sc.azurewebsites.net/?=trv0-s4-67sc

  • ch2-34-ia.azurewebsites.net/?ekrug=sewr487giviv93=12dvr4g4

This chain of events leads to the infamous Angler Exploit kit which attempts to exploit known software vulnerabilities within a person’s computer. Think of it like this, your browsing the web for cat pictures, you arrive at a site which contains a malicious link or ad, without clicking on the advert, the tool attempts to find and exploit for example a Flash or another program bug, if it’s successful it will then attempt to compromise said computer. Angler is also known for spreading the rise of Crypto Ransomware which is extremely dangerous. To allow myself a plug, and this is my first one, here’s a link to an article which I have written concerning the Windows 10 Crypto Malware.

Malware within adverts is hugely popular because it does not need the user to click on the ad for the Malware to spread. The nature of the Internet pushes these attacks at a phenomenal rate which exploits the globe. Always update your plug-ins, software, Anti Virus and Windows patches on a regular basis, we all know Flash is about as breakable as a glass hammer. Unless Adobe adapts, it will be remembered in nostalgia circles rather than a current product.

It may be wise to either uninstall or change Adobe Flash’s settings to “Ask to Activate”

Thank You Malwarebytes for providing us with this information.

Ad for ‘Thinnest Smartphone’ Banned in UK for Sexualising Women

An ad for “the world’s thinnest smartphone” has been banned in the UK. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), said that the ad was “likely to cause serious offence” due to its “sexually suggestive” nature.

The ad in particular, for the Kazam Tornado 348, was banned by the ASA after they said that “much of the ad focused entirely on the actor in her underwear, including scenes that featured several close-up shots that lingered over her breasts, buttocks and lips.” The commercial seemingly focused on the woman a little too much, with not many references to the actual product itself. The ASA added that “the focus on the woman bore no relevance to the advertised product.”

The manufactuer of the phone, Kazam, said that the ad was only making reference to someone getting ready to go out and struggling to find their phone because it is too thin.

What do you think? Watch the ad below.

Source: The Verge

Watch: Ad Campaign Completely Shot With iPhone 6 Plus

Luxury skincare brand Erno Laszlo had their entire Christmas ad campaign filmed with the iPhone 6 Plus. Ad agency Truth NYC produced the ad exclusively with Apple’s biggest handset.

“iPhone 6 Plus was instrumental in helping us achieve our creative vision for this project—and do it in a brilliantly fast and effective way,” said Kenan Aktulun, founder of Truth NYC. “It opened up possibilities by allowing us to explore the life and energy of the holiday season in New York, in a truly mobile way.”

The ads were all shot with the phone’s slo-mo feature, utilising its optical image stabilisation and all-round brilliant camera. The camera on the device is actually capable of shooting 4k video, something that can be enabled with a few apps (disabled by default because of the enormous size of 4k video).

Source: Truth NYC Via: The Loop 

Apple Releases Annual Christmas Ad

Apple has released its annual Christmas ad – and you guessed it, it’s a pull on your heartstrings, soppy, seasonal, family-fest.

Apple seems to have made a habit of releasing big Christmas ads in the last few years, starting with its Siri Santa ad in 2011. This new ad, ‘The Song’, focuses on a young girl that just so happens to come across a recording from her grandmother when she was younger. The record was presumably for her husband who couldn’t make it for Christmas.

The girl then goes and edits her own version of the recording, mixing in her grandmother’s voice with her own, along with an instrumental accompaniment. All of this is obviously produced on her MacBook Air and is left as a surprise to her grandmother on an iPad.

It’s a warm and fuzzy ad that should make even the most cynical of Christmas scrooges feel somewhat more seasonal.

Source: The Verge

Volkswagon Eyes on The Road Ad Campaign Sends A Chilling Lesson to Cinema Goers

We all know of the short period in a cinema before a film starts where a number of adverts are displayed, but none of them has sent that much of a chilling message to its watchers compared to a new Volkswagen ad titled ‘Eyes On The Road’. Shown in the MCL Cinema in Hong Kong, the ad runs with a car driving down a quiet road, which doesn’t seem all that interesting; that is, however, until someone working behind the scenes sends a message to the phones of every person in the cinema, causing every single one of them to get their phones out and read the message. What happens next is where the realisation and the chilling message is given as the car crashes into a tree on the side of the road.

This simple ad clearly demonstrates what happens when you take your eyes off the road and look at your phone – you don’t know what is happening ahead. The video [as seen below] shows the silence as the message sinks in to every person in the cinema.

I don’t need to repeat myself when I say that this message says it all – looking at your phone whilst driving IS DANGEROUS and it CAN kill you and others around you. If it is an urgent call or message, pull over to the side of the road and then respond to it. Don’t put other people’s lives in danger for the sake of reading a message.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/JHixeIr_6BM[/youtube]

I hope for that sake of everyone that this advert is shown in more cinemas around the world – the way in which it demonstrates the dangers couldn’t be easier – the chilling feeling that you get from it should get the point across.

Source: Youtube

PC Specialist’s Latest TV Ad Campaign Launches Today

When it comes to getting your name and brand out in there in the wide world, we typically see system integrators and computer hardware vendors advertising their presence through online ad campaigns on websites such as ourselves and through printed press such as tech magazines. There is, however another method of advertising that can reach a far greater audience in a fraction of the time that it takes a printed advert to get noticed – this is of course TV advertising.

Following their formation in 2003, PC Specialist are one of the few specialist vendors and system integrators out there to have used this method to reach out to the most people in the UK for entertainment purposes at any one time. With PC Specialist now topping the charts as the UK’s biggest and most successful system integrator, they are today launching their third TV advertising campaign to once again push their brand out to the UK market and will be seen on a number of channels including Channel 4. To assist in the production of the advert, PC Specialist has teamed up with Asus and Intel on the hardware side along with Ubisoft and EA on the gaming side to produce a thirty-second clip that coincides with the launch of two of the biggest games for 2014 – Titanfall and Watch_Dogs.

If that is not all, we are working closely with PC Specialist this year to bring to you reviews on some of the best gaming systems that they have to offer, be it a budget gaming system or a no reservation top end rig and this started off last week when I had a look at their mid range Vanquish 230XT. Whilst we are eager to see the advert appear on the TV ourselves, PC Specialist have been kind enough to upload the advert to Youtube for the world to see and share their support for this award-winning team.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_t7UEbHEOA[/youtube]