Archives for April 21, 2018

Shadow-boxing tough guy should protect home-alone Japanese women

TOKYO (Reuters) – Behind the apartment’s curtain, a tough guy is boxing, throwing left and right hooks and jabs, and lunging forward, enough to make any passing criminal think twice before breaking in.

Leopalace 21 Corp employee, Mai Shibata, poses with her mobile phone during a demonstartion of the company’s security system ‘Man on the Curtain’ in her room in Tokyo, Japan, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kwiyeon Ha

The image is nothing more than a projected shadow but one that a Japanese apartment management company hopes will help protect and reassure women living by themselves.

Still in the prototype stage, “Man on the Curtain” uses a smartphone connected to a projector to throw a moving shadow of a man doing various energetic activities onto a curtain.

Leopalace 21 Corp employee, Mai Shibata, poses in front of a window, on which the company’s security system ‘Man on the Curtain’ projects a man’s shadow, in Tokyo, Japan, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kwiyeon Ha

Customers can choose from a dozen different scenarios that show their man boxing, doing karate and even swinging a baseball bat.

A man’s shadow is projected on the window by ‘Man on the Curtain’ security system developed by Leopalace 21 Corp, in Tokyo, Japan, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kwiyeon Ha

To mix things up a bit, the man can calm down and do more mundane things like get dressed, chill out with a guitar or even do some vacuuming around the flat.

The system was developed for security at buildings run by Leopalace21 Corp,, said Keiichi Nakamura, manager of the firm’s advertising department.

Queries from the public prompted the company to think bigger and consider offering it for sale. But some people have had doubts about how effective it might be, said Nakamura.

In particular, criminals might sooner or later work out that a “man behind the curtain” who spends his whole time shadow boxing, actually means a woman is alone inside.

“If projecting a shadow makes a woman an easy target by showing criminals there’s nobody home, that would put the cart before the horse,” he said.

“So we’d like to commercialize it once we add variety, such as releasing a new video every day.”

Reporting by Kwiyeon Ha; Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Robert Birsel

The Ridiculously Revealing, Toxic Phrases That Facebook and Other Tech Companies Use to Entice Recruits

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Tech companies are no longer the next big thing.

They’re now focused on being the only big thing.

Which means they need more bodies to augment their bigness.

So they turn to enticing job candidates with mellifluous words. 

And what words.

A study performed by Textio, a company that claims “the art of writing is also science” — Lordy, I hope not — looked at the words that predominated in the job ads of various celebrated tech companies.

Reported by the Daily Mail, the study, which examined 25,000 job listings over the last year, offered some delicious results. 

At Google for example, the top three phrases in job listings were first-rate, prove that and tackle.

And there you were assuming it would be feelingless, robotic and always right.

Apple offered something of a contrast.

Its top 3 were comfortably, maintaining control and empathetic.

Which seems quite magical, given that the company comfortably maintains control over its ecosystem while sprinkling empathy upon it to make you feel good.

At Salesforce, on the other hand, the three top phrases were work hard play hard, hungry for and building alliances.

Which makes it sound like a place where people don’t eat enough, have drunken parties and play politics all day.

Wait, is that true?

Amazon also seemed to reveal something of its inner soul.

It’s three leading phrases were wickedly, fast-paced environment and maniacal.

Wicked maniacs going at breakneck speed? That’s what the New York Times once suggested. And somewhere, Donald Trump mulls immediate action against these lunatics.

I confess that my greatest chuckle, though, came when I read Facebook’s three leading phrases.

I was imagining world domination, total control and the only place you can learn everything about everybody would win handsomely.

Instead, the results were our family, ruthlessly and storytelling.

Yes, darling. Our family went up to Congress a couple of weeks ago to ruthlessly do some storytelling. I think we got away with it.

Of course, it’s hard to write job ads.

Companies know they’re trying to sound interesting. Candidates know that these companies are trying to sound interesting, but the job on offer might not be. 

In the end, it’s meeting the people that matters. 

But if the interviewer starts telling you that he’s going to ruthlessly tell you a story about his family, listen politely. 

Then get up and walk out.