Tag Archives: Monty Python

2013 Nissan Altima Commercial: Dancing with the Cars [The Ad Section]

By Don Klein

The Ad Section

The number one unwritten rule in advertising is Get Noticed, so score one for ad agency TBWAChiatDay for creating an automotive commercial that’s definitely different. But, unfortunately, that one is all it scored. This bizarre spot opens on a highly stylized couple in their driveway, facing the garage. They don’t need a car, because he’s the car. She climbs aboard his back like an awkward toddler and holds her arms in the nine-and-three steering position, but as soon as they start to back up, he bucks her off. Wait—is he a car or a horse? I’m already confused.

More befuddling is that, moments later, he’s a football player, assuming a defensive guard’s position to protect a kid on a skateboard from getting smooshed. For those of us who haven’t earned a black belt in charades, the announcer provides a clue: “Moving object detection.” The only detecting I detected was the guy looking over his shoulder, the same technology Karl Benz used on his 1886 Patent-Motorwagen. But if we’re pretending the guy is a car, I guess that means whatever the spot is selling has motion sensors, like dozens of other cars on the market.

Incident avoided, she’s now off his back as they move down a neighborhood road, side by side, in what looks to me like a tribute to Monty Python’s “The Ministry of Silly Walks.” They keep this up until getting to the freeway, where a motorcycle bears down on them. (Didn’t this guy get the tweet? There are crazy people on the 405! Stay away!) Since they’re all alone out there I would think they could easily hear a rapidly approaching, fully wound café racer, but maybe they have their invisible windows rolled up. No worries, though, as the biker passes safely because the still-unnamed car/horse/lineman/comedian has blind-spot detection. Phew. Moments later we learn the man-car also has lane-departure warning, as evidenced by its stealthy evasion of a huge semi. As the 18-wheeler barrels past them, the vehi-dude demonstrates an additional, if unnamed feature: automatic truck mooning. Haul this, you big bully!

Whatever it is that’s being advertised, the announcer says it has safety down to an art form, so I’m thinking maybe it’s a Volvo. But no, the waning seconds of the spot reveal that we’re being pitched the Nissan Altima. That’s right, folks—the same car that touted its tire-inflation warning system by showing a guy squirting cologne down his trousers has now taken the high road with this artsy allegorical ditty that’s sure to capture the desirable modern-dance enthusiast segment that all the mid-size sedans are battling for. I never saw it coming.

Award-winning ad man-cum-auto journalist Don Klein knows a good (or bad) car commercial when he sees one; the Ad Section is his space to tell you what he thinks …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Duncan McGreggor: Autoscale and Orchestration: the Heat of OpenStack

Several months before I joined Rackspace last year, there were efforts under way to provide an Autoscaling solution for Rackspace customers. Features that we needed in OpenStack and Heat hadn’t been released yet, and there were no OpenStack experts on the Autoscaling team. As such, the engineers began developing a product that met Rackspace customer needs, integrated with the
existing monitoring and load-balancing infrastructure, and made calls to OpenStack Nova APIs as part of the scaling up and down process.

At PyCon this year, Monty Taylor, Robert Collins, Clint Byrum, Devananda van der Veen, and I caught up and chatted about what their views were of the current status of autoscaling support in OpenStack Heat. It seems that the two pieces we need the most — LBaas and support for external monitoring systems (perhaps via webhooks) — are nascent and not ready for prime-time yet. Regardless, Monty and his team encouraged us to dive into Heat, contribute patches, and in general, release our work for consumption by other Stackers.

Deeply encouraged by these interactions, we took this information to Rackspace management and, to quote Monty Python, there was much rejoicing. Obviously OpenStack is huge for Rackspace. Even more, there is a lot of excitement about Heat, the existing autoscaling features in OpenStack, and getting our engineers involved and contributing to these efforts.

In the course of these conversations, we discovered that Heat was getting lots of attention internally. It turns out that another internal Rackspace project had been doing something pretty cool: they were experimenting with the development of a portable syntax for application description and deployment orchestration. Their work had started to converge on some of the functionality provided by Heat, and they had a similar experience as the Autoscaling team. The timing was right to contribute what they have learned and align all of their continued efforts with adding value to Heat.

Along these lines, we are building two new teams that will focus on Heat development: one

contributing to features related to autoscaling (not necessarily limited to Heat) and the other contributing to the ongoing conversations regarding the separation of concerns between orchestration and configuration management. Everyone — from engineers to management — is very excited about this new direction in which our teams are moving. Not only will it bring new developers to OpenStack, but it is aligning our teams with Rackspace’s OpenStack roots and the company’s vision for supporting the growing cloud community.

Simply put: we’re pretty damned pumped and looking forward to more good times with OpenStack 🙂

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Planet Ubuntu

Autoblog drives to the Arctic Circle

By Chris Paukert

Autoblog Arctic Circle Drive

Filed under: , , , , ,

In Which Mercedes’ Sprinter Becomes A Long-Distance Sherpa

In the wintery wilds of northern Alaska, even the cute little critters want to kill you.

As I am about to nod off on my long leg flight from Minneapolis to Anchorage ahead of driving to the Arctic Circle, the friendly twenty-something Alaskan knitting furiously in the seat next to me pauses and says, “When you’re driving up there, don’t open your windows.” In the dead of winter? I hadn’t planned on cruising alfresco, but her warning to keep the glazing snugged against the weatherstripping is one I would take to heart. She continues: “If you leave ’em open, a fox is liable to jump right in. There are lots of rabid foxes up there, and they leap into your car and just Go. To. Town.” And here I was, thinking that a curious bear or maybe an ill-placed moose in the road was going to be my biggest potential four-legged threat. In the wintery wilds of northern Alaska, even the cute little critters want to kill you.

Bedraggled after two flights and a long layover, I reach my hotel room nursing a toothache and a suddenly metastasizing cold. I manage to down half a reindeer burger from room service and a sleeping pill, and with a cute red fox taking the place of the killer rabbit in that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail stuck on mental replay, I hit the pillow, wondering what in the hell I’ve gotten myself into.

The next morning starts early, and I meet my fellow adventurers-to-be at the morning briefing. We’re assembled at the Anchorage Sheraton at the behest of Mercedes-Benz Canada, and our plan is to drive from Anchorage to the former mining camp of Coldfoot, which lies north of the Arctic Circle. In Sprinter commercial vans. At 1,264 miles, it’s the last leg of a longer endurance run that started out in Edmonton. We’ll stop for the night in Fairbanks, then run alongside the 800-mile-long Trans-Alaskan Pipeline before saying hello to the Arctic Circle. From there, we’ll venture up to Coldfoot Camp, where we’ll hopefully stand directly underneath the Northern Lights. Then we’ll do the whole thing in reverse, ending up in this very hotel five days from now.

Continue reading Autoblog drives to the Arctic Circle

Autoblog drives to the Arctic Circle originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Mar 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

New Monty Python Movie Announced…With Robin Williams

By Carol Pinchefsky, Contributor

The comedy team of Monty Python–which gave the world five years of BBC television as well as five movies–is reuniting for a new film. Their newest creation will be a science fiction film. The Pythons will be playing aliens who grant wishes to humans, just to see what happens. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest