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Advertising Graphics The Internet Technology

Companies Want To Insert Ads Into Unicode (thenextweb.com) 262

AmiMoJo writes: Food company Nestle has started a petition to get a KitKat emoji into the Unicode standard. They aren't alone, Taco Bell wants a taco emoji added, and Durex suggested adding a condom. While the latter two are at least generic, KitKat is a trademark of Nestle and the "break" image a key part of their marketing. Next year Unicode will include a faceplam emoji (U+1F926) for occasions such as this.
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Companies Want To Insert Ads Into Unicode

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  • Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:32AM (#51026637)

    Just assign the images, trademarks and logos over to the public domain and we are done.

    • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.TEAcom minus caffeine> on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:44AM (#51026745) Homepage Journal

      That's why U+1F36B [emojipedia.org] is a generic chocolate bar rather than a HERSHEY'S® bar.

      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        This.

        Unless the kitkat shape is a generic, non-patented, non-trademarked, non-copyrighted design, it should not be included.

        • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:56AM (#51026857) Homepage

          I spoke too soon.
          The proposed misappropriation of the word "break" is plain and pure evil.

          If "apple" were to be included in UTF-8, it should be a generic apple-shaped fruit symbol, not the computer brand trademark.

          Similarly, any "break" symbol, if adopted in UTF-8 in the proposed context of "a small time-out in between work", should be a generic symbol indicating such, not one indicating a specific brands' marketing campaign.

          Douglas Adams' described marketeers best: "A bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes".

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            If "apple" were to be included in UTF-8, it should be a generic apple-shaped fruit symbol, not the computer brand trademark.

            Exactly: see U+1F34E Red Apple [emojipedia.org] and U+1F34F Green Apple [emojipedia.org] even in Apple's emoji font. They're encoded next to other foods. And instead of Twitter's logo, we get a generic U+1F426 Bird [emojipedia.org] even in the Twemoji font.

          • by Megane ( 129182 )
            You won't see that because Apple already squatted on U+F8FF at the end of the Private Use Area. [harvard.edu] But that's what happens when you sell your own computers with your own operating system. Let's see KitKat fork BSD with their own UI on top and then we can talk.
            • by Sun ( 104778 )

              A friend who worked for a company that was sold to Apple told me about an email their HR sent out. It went something like this:
              Many people use the Apple logo in their email. Please note that people not using an Apple email program are unable to see it properly. For everyone else, this works fine.

              Shachar

          • "First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII â" and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we've realized it's a brochure." - Douglas Adams
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Monday November 30, 2015 @12:01PM (#51026905) Homepage

          We should allow it as long as the Unicode Consortium makes a royalty-free penis emoji an acceptable alternate rendering. That way when you send someone one, you never know if you are sending them a KitKat or a dick pic.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        That's why U+1F36B [emojipedia.org] is a generic chocolate bar rather than a HERSHEY'S® bar.

        Given that Hershey's is a disgusting concoction that barely resembles real chocolate I am happy that the emoji for a chocolate bar is generic.

      • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @12:06PM (#51026951) Homepage Journal

        Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"
        Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

    • Useless new emojis are for :cow: [emojipedia.org] Moo, :cow2: [emojipedia.org], moo.

  • So? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:33AM (#51026655)
    I don't see a problem with having yet another useless character that few people will ever use. However, the use of a grassroots petitioning service like change.org to advance a corporate agenda is much more troubling and a very cynical move by (well-known evildoers) Nestle.
  • U+1F926
  • If they do, then assign them at code points starting: U+110000. That will teach them to keep marketing out of international standards.

  • slowpoke.jpg? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:39AM (#51026697)

    There already is a taco emoji. It's in Unicode 8.0.

    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      There already is a taco emoji. It's in Unicode 8.0.

      The Taco Bell petition was from 2014 before it was added. Whoever submitted the summary wasn't paying attention I guess.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:41AM (#51026715)

    This is pure rubbish. We dont need more crap gunking things up. Make advertising illegal.

  • by Parker Lewis ( 999165 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:42AM (#51026725)
    Can someone explain me why emojis are in Unicode at all?
    • by Joseph Rissler ( 4154243 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:44AM (#51026741)
      Japan
    • by gnupun ( 752725 )

      Why does software have icons in the toolbar? Why do smartphone apps need icons, instead of just text? The reason is icons are just quicker to comprehend, once you're familiar with them.

      • I'm not arguing against emojis. Why insert emojis, or software icons, or smartphone app icons in Unicode at all and not in a separate table?
        • Why have a separate table, when we've already learnt that having multiple glyph lookup tables is a terrible idea, and leads to no one being able to figure out which lookup table to use for a particular file. Unicode has plenty of room for all forms of written communication (hyroglyphics/emojis included), so use the one single table that we have pretty much standardised, and move on.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        Iconography for a rote function (ie, saving a document or dialing a telephone call) is not the same as attempting to use iconography to convey a complex thought. Look at Egyptian writing; either the concepts are very simple or else a LOT of icons are needed to express a complex thought.

        We teach young children through simple picture concepts because they're too young to understand the nuances of complex concepts. It'd be a shame if we don't continue to evolve concepts past the point of images as people
        • by gnupun ( 752725 )

          ie, saving a document

          This is a good idea. We need emojis for file open, save, cut, copy, paste etc. (if not already present).

          is not the same as attempting to use iconography to convey a complex thought.

          There's nothing complex about a KitKat or McDonald's emoji logo. It's just a blatant ad right inside your content and therefore should be banned. Everything in the world is regulated to some extent, except ads. Are politicians getting paid to ignore the loud, annoying, irritating content they call ads that i

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They are a common form of written communication in the modern world, and Unicode aims to encode all forms of written communication.

      Emoji are quite useful. Text doesn't convey tone very well, so adding an emoji to clarify often helps. Unicode also encodes many useful symbols. A bar and triangle seems to be pretty universally understood to mean "play/pause", for example.

      • A bar and triangle seems to be pretty universally understood to mean "play/pause", for example.

        Not among certain members of my family. One keeps asking me "Why doesn't it just say 'Play'?" when she can't figure out which button to push. When I try to explain the reason behind internationalized pictographs by asking "It's made in China. Would you prefer that it said 'Play' in Chinese?", it still doesn't help.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Because Unicode aims to be a superset of all national character sets. Some emojis, such as the card suits and the smiley face, date back to code page 437 [wikipedia.org] on the IBM PC from the early 1980s, where they were encoded at 01h-06h. The Miscellaneous Symbols [wikipedia.org] largely derive from Wingdings.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:55AM (#51026849)

      Can someone explain me why emojis are in Unicode at all?

      What emojis? People keep sending me texts that my RAZR flip phone* renders as solid white boxes.

      Now get off my lawn

      * I actually do use an original RAZR flip phone that is going on 7 years old now. It makes phone calls.

      • by Falos ( 2905315 )
        1 - This is a sobering reminder that whatever device you're using ("current rendering environment"?), any device, will have an easier time handling a goddamn image than dicking around with unicode.

        2 - I miss my flip. The gentle wrist snap in particular.
      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        original RAZR flip phone

        Has icons to indicate secure/unsecure calls and data connections. Like when the local cops fire up their Stingray to listen in on calls.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      To unify things like Japanese emoji, Wingdings, Webdings, ... that previously used proprietary codepages and saw enough use to be included into Unicode.
      For the Japanese, not including emoji would have been a deal breaker for using standard Unicode in text messages.

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @12:30PM (#51027185)

      Can someone explain me why emojis are in Unicode at all?

      So that people can exchange written communication in a standard way, interoperable among vendors and software systems.

    • I realise you were speaking with disdain (which I agree with), but to give a serious answer to the question, there's a Computerphile video that explains it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • ASCII is 7-bit so only supports 128 different characters. Unicode was made to encompass all character sets of all languages, so is 16-bit, supporting 65535 characters. It has since been expanded with 16 "planes" (4 extra bits), giving a total of over 1 million characters. That's considerably more than all the character sets of all the languages on Earth (even including Chinese), so there is a lot of extra room to do silly things with. Computer data storage has become so cheap that it doesn't cost you mu
  • This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2015 @11:42AM (#51026727)

    This is why I hate Emojis.

    Seriously, they were a bad idea to begin with. Then the politically correct nazis started getting upset about them. And now this.

    None of this should be in Unicode. If you want stupid little graphics in your text, then use stupid little graphics.

    • More of an argument for going back in time to plain ascii for most of us.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You must be kidding. ASCII isn't even sufficient to write English, let alone the many other languages which genuinely benefit from being typeable.

        • You must be kidding. ASCII isn't even sufficient to write English, let alone the many other languages which genuinely benefit from being typeable.

          Strange, I never had a problem with it, and the abc's taught in English classes are a subset of it. Also, you didn't seem to have a problem expressing your thoughts in English, without unicode :-)

          Code pages were a much simpler solution that worked.

    • Any non-alphabetic language is basically emoji. Think of unicode emojis as a kind of universal Chinese if it makes you feel any better.

  • I do wonder if they can get a Picard specific facepalm one...

    Obligatory https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • Picard didn't really do any kind of facepalm in that scene. A facepalm is more of a rapid movement with some self-slapping. He merely grabbed his head with both hands, which is a different form of anxiety expression from facepalming.
  • This Is Such A Good Idea!! I Really Mean It!! Maybe I Shouldn't Have Had 5 Pints Of Espresso!!

    In fact, why don't we petition for the mandatory includion of marketing oriented microcode on all CPUs? This is what we all need!!

  • by lkcl ( 517947 ) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Monday November 30, 2015 @12:09PM (#51026989) Homepage

    i have a nokia 3310, i don't mind what goes into unicode, because every SMS where people send me unicode smileys ends up as little rectangles.

  • Standard SMTP headers!

          From: fred@fredco.com
          To: employee@fredco.com
          Enjoy-A-Coke-While-Discussing: Fred's meeting memo

    HTTP status codes!

          404 Not Found - Have a Snickers instead!

    Errno descriptions!

          Program terminated (errno 31 Wonderful Flavors at Baskin Robbins!)
         

  • by c ( 8461 )

    I think if Nestle is willing to make KitKat a public domain/generic word rather than their own trademarked brand, then I think it could be considered.

    Otherwise... no.

  • So if KitKat and Durex get their own emojis, then I can use those emojis any way I choose and without licensing or trademark considerations?

    Because that's what happens when you put it into the standard code pages.

    So I can put (KitKat)(Condoms)(Donkey)(TacoBell)(IceCream)(PartyHat)(Cigarette) ... and KitKat and Taco Bell have NO legal right to say anything about how I use that image, right?

    That will be awesome, and I'm sure the marketing clowns will love what happens when they make their trademark part of a

    • I am sure they will just have the "emoji" clause written into some law which allows "fair use" of the image in the context of communications between devices or some such thing.

      • If they make it part of Unicode, they should lose all ability to tell me what I can do with that character.

        If they wish to have "an emoji clause", then they should be getting told to piss off and go away now.

        As I said ... either it's just a character, and they have no right to ever say anything about how that character is used ... or it's a trademark they wish to restrict, and it has no business being in unicode.

        But letting corporations stake out parts of the unicode standard AND continue to tell us how we

  • "Corporations still attempting to literally destroy everything."
  • They will then be able to sue people and companies who use "their" emoji to describe products other than the trademarked one.
  • Nestle's just laying the foundation to claiming ownership of the water emoji, because they own all the water!

    .
  • Just wait until pharma company disclaimers and car rental contracts are given single Unicode characters of their own.

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