Skip to main content

Vacancy @ The Office

Ooops... Silicon.com reports that Microsoft is investigating how two internal training videos created by UK comedy duo Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have surfaced on the internet.

The humorous videos are titled 'The Office Values' and were made three years ago for Microsoft for training purposes. The pair agreed to write and appear in them, on the condition they were never made public. Although Microsoft did confirm their existence in 2004, it refused at the time to release any details.

But earlier this month, the two videos turned up on the internet. Although some sites appear to have removed them after encountering pressure from Microsoft or Gervais' representatives, they can now be seen on Google Video and YouTube as well as some blogs.

He also warns computer "boffins" of the dangers of hard work, as "too much thinking makes Jack a mental case".

In the videos, Gervais plays the role of David Brent, the anti-hero star of The Office, the critically acclaimed television show written by Gervais and Merchant. Brent visits Microsoft UK's offices as a management consultant, to advise and educate its staff.

During the videos, Brent suggests he would make an excellent managing director for Microsoft UK, as long as he could be awarded a salary and company car commensurate with the importance of the role - namely £40,000 per year and a new Mondeo.

He also warns computer "boffins" of the dangers of hard work, as "too much thinking makes Jack a mental case".

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Civilisational Data Mining

It’s a new expression I haven’t heard before. ‘Civilisational data mining.’

Let me start by putting it in some context. Every character, you or I have typed into the Google search engine or Facebook over the last decade, means something, to someone or perhaps ‘something,’ if it’s an algorithm.


In May 2014, journalists revealed that the United States National Security Agency, the NSA, was recording and archiving every single cell-phone conversation that took place in the Bahamas. In the process they managed to transform a significant proportion of a society’s day to day interactions into unstructured data; valuable information which can of course be analysed, correlated and transformed for whatever purpose the intelligence agency deems fit.

And today, I read that a GOP-hired data company in the United States has ‘leaked’ personal information, preferences and voting intentions on… wait for it… 198 million US citizens.

Within another decade or so, the cost of sequencing the human genome …

The Nature of Nurture?

Recently, I found myself in a fascinating four-way Twitter exchange, with Professor Adam Rutherford and two other science-minded friends The subject, frequently regarded as a delicate one, genetics and whether there could exist an unknown but contributory genetic factor(s) or influences in determining what we broadly understand or misunderstand as human intelligence.

I won’t discuss this subject in any great detail here, being completely unqualified to do so, but I’ll point you at the document we were discussing, and Rutherford’s excellent new book, ‘A Brief History of Everyone.”

What had sparked my own interest was the story of my own grandfather, Edmond Greville; unless you are an expert on the history of French cinema, you are unlikely to have ever hear of him but he still enjoys an almost cult-like following for his work, half a century after his death.

I've been enjoying the series "Genius" on National Geographic about the life of Albert Einstein. The four of us ha…
The Mandate of Heaven

eGov Monitor Version

“Parliament”, said my distinguished friend “has always leaked like a sieve”.

I’m researching the thorny issue of ‘Confidence in Public Sector Computing’ and we were discussing the dangers presented by the Internet. In his opinion, information security is an oxymoron, which has no place being discussed in a Parliament built upon the uninterrupted flow of information of every kind, from the politically sensitive to the most salacious and mundane.

With the threat of war hanging over us, I asked if MPs should be more aware of the risks that surround this new communications medium? More importantly, shouldn’t the same policies and precautions that any business might use to protect itself and its staff, be available to MPs?

What concerns me is that my well-respected friend mostly considers security in terms of guns, gates and guards. He now uses the Internet almost as much as he uses the telephone and the Fax machine and yet the growing collective t…