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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coke Greenlights Mello Yello Expansion With Retro Look

- Elaine Wong

Mello Yello, Coca-Cola’s longtime competitor to PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew, is channeling the spirit of 1979 in an attempt to break out of its perennial also-ran status.

The new Mello Yello cans, which began appearing on shelves over the last few weeks, hearken back to the brand’s introduction that year with a pair of green- and light-red L’s “strolling off the edge of the can,” as Coke describes it.

The somewhat retro look is part of Coca-Cola’s plan to expand the brand’s distribution beyond its current regional footprint. The new cans, for instance, will begin showing up in cities like Philadelphia as well as in the Northwest. The redesign, which replaces a look that was closer in style to the current Mountain Dew, is meant to appeal to teens and young adults—Mello Yello’s core target—but also older consumers who may remember the brand’s original packaging. Mello Yello’s repackaging is the first major marketing attention the brand has gotten in years. (Mello Yello had no appreciable spending last year, per the Nielsen Co., which doesn’t track online spending.)

Peter Clarke, CEO of Product Ventures, a brand strategy and design firm, said the relaunch is part of a trend in which consumers are gravitating to things that are comfortable and familiar. “People are retreating like Thoreau did to Walden Pond,” he said. Designs that tend to be simple, nostalgic or have a “retro flair” are comforting, whereas “things with an edge speak to fast pace, hectic and crazy. People are already overwhelmed quite a bit,” he added.

Coca-Cola is supporting the launch via out-of-home, radio and digital ads, the latter of which launch in August. One outdoor execution reads (with a nod to the British singer-songwriter Donovan): “They call me Mello Yello.” There’s also the accompanying tagline, “The original smooth,” which appears on the can.

The company tapped New York-based design agency Stag&Hare for the new look, and Mutt Industries in Portland, Ore., handled advertising duties. Sabrina Tandon, who goes by the title senior manager of smooth, is in charge of marketing Mello Yello.

Coke sold 27 million cases of Mello Yello last year versus 630 million for Mountain Dew, according to Beverage Digest. John Sicher, the publication’s editor, said that Mountain Dew has been marketed very well by PepsiCo and as a result completely dominates the citrus segment, though Coca-Cola’s Sprite is a big player in the clear lemon-lime category. “Mountain Dew is a very strong brand; it’s done very well,” he said. “Coke is smart to try to get [into] more of the citrus segment action.”

Gerry Khermouch, editor of Beverage Business Insights, an industry publication that covers the nonalcoholic beverages industry, said Mello Yello’s redesign is a good move. “We seem to be in a period where a new generation is discovering the 1960s/70s and flaunting peace symbols, psychedelic music styles, Afros and the like,” he wrote in an e-mail. Plus, flavored carbonated soft drinks have taken off in a downturn, and both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have focused their attention there. “The big checks they were willing to write to hang onto Crush is another indicator of that,” he said, referring to both companies’ decision to buy their main North American bottlers and continue distributing Dr Pepper Snapple Group brands, including the orange-flavored soda.

Popular Dogs and Their Genetic Problems (INFOGRAPHIC)


Amazed Boffins Probe Ozzy's Genetic Code

Elizabeth Scott,
Sky News Online

Scientists are to map Ozzy Osbourne's genetic code in a bid to find out how he is still alive after decades of drug and alcohol abuse.

Ozzy Osbourne

Hard-living Ozzy Osbourne has admitted abusing drink and drugs for 40 years

The former Black Sabbath frontman is only one of a few people in the world to have his full genome analysed.

It is hoped the results from the £27,000 test, which takes three months, will provide information on how drugs are absorbed in the body.

Ozzy, 61, has lived a life that would presumably kill any ordinary person.

Even the singer himself cannot understand how he has survived this long, recently describing himself as a "medical miracle" after going on a "bender" for "40 years".

He has admitted drinking four bottles of cognac a day at one point, "blacking out, coming to again and carrying on".

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne with wife Sharon, who he once tried to strangle

Ozzy famously bit the head off a rat while performing with Black Sabbath and in 2003 broke his neck in a quad bike accident.

He also has a genetic disorder similar to Parkinson's disease and on at least one occasion has been committed to a mental institution.

Despite all his excesses, he is still with wife Sharon, who he once tried to strangle, and the couple have three grown-up children.

Now he may get some answers from US company Knome, which will use a blood sample to map his genome.

Nathan Pearson, director of research at the firm, said: "Sequencing and analysing individuals with extreme medical histories provides the greatest potential scientific value."

The results will hopefully help scientists understand why the bodies of hard-living rockers such as Ozzy, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Iggy Pop are able to take more substance abuse than the average person.

Skydivers smash freefall record in Australia


A team of Australian skydivers have broken their national record for the most freefallers in a formation.

Casting a spectacular image several thousand feet up, the 112-strong team smashed their national record for the most number of freefallers in a formation in the skies above Perris Valley, California, on Sunday.

Using precision timing and a well-rehearsed routine, the divers formed a giant circle with spokes circling out from the middle.

Plummeting towards earth at 120mph, they had just 70 seconds to find their partner and get into position to claim the title.

Incredibly the team broke the record three times in one day, after jumping with 105, 109 and finally 112 people.

The largest freefall formation on record was set in February 2004 in Thailand and comprised of 357 jumpers from over 40 countries.

BBC May Filter Out Vuvuzelas from Broadcasts

Fans play their vuvuzelas prior to the World Cup group D soccer  match between Serbia and Ghana at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in  Pretoria, 13 June 2010
Photo: AP

Fans play their vuvuzelas prior to the World Cup group D soccer match between Serbia and Ghana at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, 13 June 2010

The BBC says it may start to filter out the sound of vuvuzelas from its World Cup broadcasts, following complaints about the incessant drone.

The BBC said Tuesday it had received 545 complaints from viewers, forcing officials to look into options to reduce the noise from the plastic trumpets.

One option would be to offer an electronic filter that reduces most of the ambient noise while maintaining the game commentary.

Football coaches, players and reporters have all complained about the constant din generated by thousands of vuvuzelas at the stadiums. However, FIFA officials say the horns are a South African tradition and will not be banned.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

Apple's Unibody Mac Mini


Apple's Unibody Mac Mini

There were rumors of a refresh and today Apple delivered more than we were expecting: The mini gets a new unibody aluminum casing, plus HDMI port and SD card slot, and the price starts at $699.

There are two options available, with the main differences being the Snow Leopard Server, a bumped-up processor and RAM, as well as storage capacity. The full release and details are below - [MacMini]

Hands-on pics via TechRadar:

Apple® today unveiled a completely redesigned Mac® mini, featuring up to twice the graphics performance, a new HDMI port and a new SD card slot, all in an amazingly compact aluminum enclosure. Mac mini is the world's most energy efficient desktop and starting at $699, is the most affordable way to enjoy Mac OS® X, iLife® or Mac OS X Snow Leopard® Server.



"The sleek, aluminum Mac mini packs great features, versatility and value into an elegant, amazingly compact design," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With twice the graphics performance, HDMI support and industry-leading energy efficiency, customers are going to love the new Mac mini."

Created with the unibody construction process pioneered by Apple, the new Mac mini features a compact aluminum enclosure just 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches thin. A new integrated power supply eliminates the need for an external power adapter, reducing overall system volume by 20 percent and keeping cable clutter to a minimum. A removable panel underneath provides quick access for memory expansion. Mac mini is incredibly versatile, effortlessly connecting to existing peripherals such as mice, keyboards and digital displays, while the new HDMI output connects Mac mini to an HDTV and the new SD card slot enables easy transfer of photos and videos from a digital camera.

Inside its sleek, compact enclosure, the new Mac mini includes the fastest integrated graphics processor on the market today. With 48 processing cores, the NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor delivers up to twice the graphics performance of its predecessor, making Mac mini ideal for graphics intensive applications or visually rich games. Mac mini comes standard with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 320GB hard and 2GB of RAM for $699.

With twice the graphics performance, the new Mac mini is still the world's most energy efficient desktop.* The new Mac mini reduces power consumption by an incredible 25 percent to less than 10W at idle, less than half the power required by competing systems. Mac mini meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status.** The new aluminum enclosure is highly recyclable and Mac mini uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Mac mini comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the world's most advanced operating system, and iLife, Apple's innovative suite of applications for managing photos, making movies and creating and learning to play music. Snow Leopard builds on a decade of OS X innovation and success with hundreds of refinements, new core technologies and out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange. iLife features iPhoto®, to easily organize and manage photos; iMovie® with powerful easy-to-use new features such as Precision Editor, video stabilization and advanced drag and drop; and GarageBand® which introduces a whole new way to help you learn to play piano and guitar.

Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server fulfills all the server needs of a workgroup or small business including email, calendar, file serving, Time Machine® backup, Wiki Server, Podcast Producer and more. Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server uses less than 11W of power at idle, a fraction of the power consumed in comparison to typical entry-level tower servers.*** Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server is faster than before with a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, two 500GB hard drives now running at 7200 rpm, 4GB of RAM and supports unlimited clients for $999.

Pricing & Availability

The new Mac mini is shipping today and will be available through the Apple Store® (, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $699 (US), includes:

2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache;
2GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB;
a slot-load 8X SuperDrive® (DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive;
320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
Gigabit Ethernet;
four USB 2.0 ports;
SD card slot;
one FireWire® 800 port;
one HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort;
HDMI to DVI video adapter;
combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack); and
combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB hard drive running at 5400 rpm, Apple Remote, Aperture™ 3, Final Cut® Express 4, Logic® Express, iWork® (pre-installed), Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Apple 24 inch LED Cinema Display and the AppleCare® Protection Plan.

The Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, for a suggested retail price of $999 (US), includes:

2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of shared L2 cache;
4GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, expandable up to 8GB;
two 500GB Serial ATA hard drives running at 7200 rpm;
NVIDIA GeForce 320M integrated graphics;
AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
Gigabit Ethernet;
four USB 2.0 ports;
SD card slot;
one FireWire 800 port;
one HDMI port and one Mini DisplayPort;
HDMI to DVI video adapter;
combined optical digital audio input/audio line in (minijack); and
combined optical digital audio output/headphone out (minijack).

Build-to-order options and accessories include up to 8GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM, External SuperDrive, Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Apple 24 inch LED Cinema Display and the AppleCare Protection Plan.

*Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA Energy Star 5.0 database as of June 2010.

**EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit

***Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA Energy Star Small Scale Server database as of June 2010.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution with the Apple II, then reinvented the personal computer with the Macintosh. Apple continues to lead the industry with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system, and iLife, iWork and professional applications. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

© 2010 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iLife, Snow Leopard, iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Time Machine, Apple Store, SuperDrive, AirPort Extreme, FireWire, Aperture, Final Cut, Logic, iWork and AppleCare are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

MasterCard trialling smart credit cards with display & keypads

By Chris Davies

MasterCard has announced that it will be rolling out new credit and debit cards with integrated display screens, in an attempt to further prevent bank fraud. The cards, developed by NagraID Security, resemble their regular counterparts, but – when an integrated button is pressed – display a one-time passcode that can be used to authorize online and phone transactions.

mastercard smart cards 540x349

In addition, more complex versions of the cards can include a 12-digit keypad, and be used for electronic signature and authentication modes, as well as to enhanced security features such as challenge-response applications and PIN code card protection. MasterCard even envisage being able to show customers their current balance on the card’s display.

Pilot schemes with the cards are kicking off in association with a Turkish bank, and if successful MasterCard are looking to spread the use of the technology to other countries. The real irony is, in the middle of writing this article, my own bank called to say my card had been cloned – I guess these new display cards can’t come soon enough!

Press Release:

MASTERCARD and NAGRAID Security Introduce new Display Cards with Extended Features for Secure Banking Applications

NagraID Security developed a new family of MasterCard financial cards with integrated display screen allowing:

Optimized security for online transactions thanks to strong owner authentication
Display of the card balance on the card’s screen

La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, 10th June 2010 – NagraID Security, a subsidiary of the Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD), is pleased to announce that its families of display cards passed MasterCard’s (CSI – Card Structure & Integrity) approval process, thus demonstrating the required levels of durability, safety and compliance to ISO standards required for the commercial launch of banking cards and the introduction into MasterCard’s brand standards and rules.

The innovative Debit and Credit MasterCard Display Card looks and feels like a normal credit or debit card but comes with an additional small display and a button that enables card holders to use the same card for standard banking payment functionality and to generate second-factor one-time passwords (OTPs), thereby providing strong authentication.

The cards are very reliable and extremely simple to use. They offer optimal security to achieve banking transactions outside payment terminals using one single device.

This password generation technology complies with the requirements of MasterCard’s 3D Secure Chip Authentication Program (CAP). Optionally, a touch-sensitive keypad with twelve keys permits access to advanced functionality such as electronic signature and authentication modes, as well as to enhanced security features such as challenge-response applications and PIN code card protection.

Historically, banking institutions who protected access to their services with a One-Time Password required the use of a separate cumbersome token.

“Cards were born from cardboard, they’ve been ‘mag striped’ and ‘chipped’ and now we enter their silicon age, with an LCD display and touchpad opening up a multitude of possibilities. With NagraID’s recent achievements to demonstrate compliance to industry standards, the stage has well and truly been set to deliver the next generation consumer’s card proposition” says Eric Tomlinson, MasterCard Europe.

“This display card is designed to provide a very high level of security and reliability as well as ease of use. Users simply press a button to generate an OTP for secure access to their online services,” commented Philippe Guillaud, Executive Vice President and CTO of NagraID Security. He also added “The programmable nature of this platform makes it future proof and one can expect to see even more exciting and fantastic functionality in the near future.”

MasterCard directed promotional initiatives and large scale roll-outs will ensure that market price expectations are achieved. “As the world evolves towards increasing online and cashless transactions, the timing of our partnership with MasterCard is ideal, as it enables the growing security expectations of a rapidly expanding base of digital technology users to be quickly addressed via a secure, reliable and unified solution in a familiar and convenient form-factor.” said Cyril Lalo, President and CEO of NagraID Security.

Full-length Gran Turismo 5 E3 2010 trailer in HD


Sony has released the E3 2010 trailer for Gran Turismo 5. Unfortunately, there is no release date at the end of the trailer, but it should be announced in a few days time at Sony's E3 Press Conference. The trailer features some brand new footage of the game's gorgeous cars and detailed, realistic tracks.

Check out the Gran Turismo 5 E3 2010 trailer in HD below:

Another trailer was released on Playstation's official blog which is the full-length trailer, also offering some retrospective of the previous titles in the series.

Undersea Yacht Submerges When Your Sunburn Starts Hurting

Undersea Yacht Submerges When Your Sunburn  Starts Hurting

It's like something from a James Bond film. You can just see Daniel Craig jumping effortlessly from the land-dock onto the deck of a yacht gliding away slowly, and as he hurries into the cabin the yacht submerges, bubbles rising.

While firmly in the concept stage, the undersea yacht (or U-010 to give it its pretend-real model number) was dreamed up by the type of people who probably think the DUKW is the perfect way to get around a city.

Should the U-010 actually be made, its designers would make it 66.5m long, and styled just like any normal yacht—except for its unique ability to run on diesel and then electric propulsion. I can't help but want one, after seeing the photos below. [Seatec via Born Rich]

Send an email to Kat Hannaford, the author of this post, at