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back to article DEAD STEVE JOBS chap becomes ENGINEER ... at Lenovo

Lenovo has joined the likes of BlackBerry, Intel and Polaroid in hiring a celebrity to have creative input on its new products, bagging Steve Jobs-affiliated Ashton Kutcher for the position of "product engineer". First official pic of Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs Ashton Kutcher pretending to be Steve Jobs Whether Kutcher, who …

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Anonymous Coward

Gag-inducing

It's a 'celebrity' endorsement, let's be open about that and not dress it up as something which is, in my opinion, an insult to *actual* product engineers and industrial designers.

And no, I'm not one.

It's the worst kind of sycophantic fawning to prescribe titles that imply vast skillsets to those that haven't earnt them. The worse thing is that the receivers of these titles are sometimes deluded enough to consider themselves worthy of the moniker.

Next - Jason Statham to join Findus as Primary Crispy Pancake Nutritional Research and Satisfaction Tsar.

'I like mine really hot', said Jason in a statement earlier today. 'So hot that you think it's going to sting you but the cheese cools in time and it doesn't happen. It really makes me feel alive and I look forward to working with Findus on re-formulating the cheese emulsion base to take it to entirely new levels'.

Arbitrary.

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Boffin

Re: Gag-inducing

It most certainly is insulting to actual engineers. The term engineer gets tossed around a lot and handed out as part of a job title and it is ridiculous.

Actual formal engineering is only about 33.33% applied technical knowledge, the rest deals with broader scale scientific principals and humanities. It is those last two parts that mark the difference between a technician and an engineer. A good technician can made out of anyone with general aptitude. Engineers are born and continuously refined, some things you just can't teach.

If you aren't well versed in, and applying, history, science, psychology and Human social interactions you're engineering wrong. Mr. Kutcher may be extremely adapt at product design (who knows) but it's demeaning to actual engineers everywhere to give him that title. I don't care what he studied in school. For fucks sake, Hitler studied art but he isn't called an artist.

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Re:"It most certainly is insulting to actual engineers. "

Ahh, but as an engineer you'd know this. Anyway, engineers tend not to really care about the thoughts of others if there is something interesting to do - unless you have to do some smooching for dosh/living wage/etc.

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Megaphone

Many professions can complain...

You say, «It most certainly is insulting to actual engineers». Well, engineering is a word often appropriated by other fields, as others have already answered. And we also take titles from other fields — My wife is an architect. She laughs at my peers who are "information architects", "software architects", "infrastructure architects". And very probably, you can find similar nonsense applied to several other fields!

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Re: Many professions can complain...

I realize it is appropriated by other fields, but it is ridiculous that some fields, with no more knowledge or training than an engineer, are illegal to misappropriate: MD for example. An MD receives no more training than I did, (and I definitely am directly responsible for keeping more people from not dying than any MD) but if my shingle said Don Jefe MD the fallout would swift and merciless.

I've found that the lack of legal definition of engineer is most prevalent in the same countries where marketing takes precedence over all else. Very few engineering disciplines have legal definitions in the US and those vary from state to state and in most of Europe from country to country. I maintain licenses in a few countries and they're very serious about using the term engineer appropriately. Mexico, Canada, Uruguay, Argentina and Belize all have pretty good controls on the term. The US and UK do not have good controls on the term and if any are present those controls generally apply only to the Engineer of Record (the guy with civil and criminal liabilities), but everybody else on the team can be an 'engineer' because it came with the job title.

The term needs legal definition as part of the same international treaties and standards that define everything else.

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Anonymous Coward

33.33%

that's usually my queue to stop reading anything. Quick scan to see if last sentence mentions Hitler.....

Bingo...

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Re: Many professions can complain...

Back when I was a teenager, I referred to myself as a "Petroleum Transfer Engineer" when I worked as a pump jockey at a full serve station...

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Re: Many professions can complain...

"Back when I was a teenager, I referred to myself as a "Petroleum Transfer Engineer" when I worked as a pump jockey at a full serve station..."

I used to be a bovine effluent relocation engineer.

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Re: Many professions can complain...

I was a porcine effluent relocation engineer. Once, while in a foul mood, I even threw a shovelful of the stuff at the barn exhaust fan just so I'd know what happens when the shit hits the fan.

It went through quite nicely, BTW...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gag-inducing

A bit (no, a lot) like honorary degrees really.

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Re: engineering is a word often appropriated by other fields...

True, but only in the now everyone-can-play IT world is the rush to rename things and jobs so they sound better and more clixby than they were 10 years ago so concentrated and headlong.

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Re: Many professions can complain...

And very probably, you can find similar nonsense applied to several other fields!

What, like your neighborhood sawbones going by "Doctor", despite producing no scholarship whatsoever?

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Facepalm

"Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership"

Puh-lease! You've got the job, spokesboy, so you can drop the pick-up line.

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Re: "Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership"

But the line is the job...

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Re: "Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership"

Take it down a notch, would y'all!?

Apparently, Mr. Kutcher has a fairly well respected track record as a tech investor (though how much of that is him and how much is his partners, I wouldn't begin to say). I wouldn't presume to say how much better or worse qualified he is than any of the millions of others in tech who have had the title of engineer misappropriated for them (I've had the title once or twice, but I've never asked for it).

Don't assume he's unqualified simply because he's an actor. Remember, one of the foundations for modern wireless communications was invented by Hedy Lamarr. He certainly couldn't do much worse than those Yoga tablets Lenovo just released yesterday.

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Re: "Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership"

I believe we've found our Two and a Half Men fan. Every crowd has a couple.

But seriously, the fact he's an actor, or a faux engineer, isn't the real reason he's being picked on. He's being picked on because he's a celebrity and it is fun and easy to make fun of them. Barring the over the top crap like death threats, most celebrities do enough dumb shit to completely justify giving them a hard time.

Besides, nobody gets hurt, and I'm pretty sure that he isn't crying himself to sleep on his $275,000 per week base salary. He'll live on OK I reckon.

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Re: "Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership"

Don't assume he's unqualified simply because he's an actor.

Heavens, no. I assume he's unqualified because he lacks a relevant degree or work experience.

If Kutcher publishes something, or co-authors a patent (as Lamarr did), or does something else to demonstrate some sort of technical expertise, then I'll be happy to re-evaluate.

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He played a nerd in 2 and a half men

So nuff said, hes used to making himself look stupid in public for money.

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Godwin'd in two.

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Coat

Is Jobs still dead.

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No. Because people keep digging him up.

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Is Jobs Still Dead?

No. Because people keep digging him up.

He has gone from head of Apple, to fictionalized character, and is heading toward mascothood.

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"Is Jobs still dead."(sic)

"No. Because people keep digging him up."

Well, he is still dead then, but people keep using virtual bits of him as talismans and relics, hoping the Mojo'll rub off on them.

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Re: Is Jobs still dead.

Too bad we didn't wrap him in a coil of electrical wires. There would have been enough electricity created to power an Apple data center with all the spinning he is doing.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Gag-inducing

AC, hats off to you. Coffee-monitor interaction. +1, and I'm considering blagging another account purely to upvote you again.

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Well, if he goes in and says "stop doing what you are doing and start doing what IBM was doing when you bought the thinkpad line from them" I'll vote him as a better engineer then most.

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WTF?

I'm confused

"Dead Steve Jobs actor becomes PRODUCT ENGINEER at Lenovo"

I didn't know that Ashton Kutcher was dead. So why are they employing him and how did he give an interview a soundbite if he is dead?

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Re: I'm confused

I challenge your assumption Ashton Kutcher was ever 'alive' in a medical sense. If he was at the hospital they could legally pull the plug on him due to lack of brain activity.

Based on the acting I've seen him do, and the few times I've seen him on TV at the airport, he is either a stupendously good actor who really lives the roles he plays, or he is completely lacking the spark that most other living creatures recognize as the mark of sentient life.

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Back in the day at my school, biochemical engineering was abbreviated BICH, and pronounced like the word with the 't' in the middle. Somehow it fits...

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Happy

Fun fact: BIC, famous for their affordable writing implements and disposable cigarette lighters, used to be Bich, after their founder, but their expansion into the US market saw them change to BIC because people took their name wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

This abuse of field characterizations began with 1980's Narcissism

Terms depicting fields such as engineering and technicians were severely abused initially, I believe, during the self esteem pandering 1980's.

Janitors and garbage men (aka mon-backs), were then newly referred to as sanitation engineers.

Help Wanted signs no longer asked for 'gas pump jockeys', they offered position as 'fuel transfer technicians'.

Today, seems to be the new practice of taking any celebrity navel-ponderer and bestowing titles on them that they never earned as subterfuge for an otherwise open act of secure an endorsement of their products. Pretty cynical.

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Yet another brand to avoid...

... Why not give him a proper title like "celebrity image" or "slightly smarter than cardboard cutout"?

Why do these firms give these idiots titles? Who are they trying to fool?

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WTF?

Be....

...zarre. Just bizarre.

What was I saying about big companies being the place where good ideas go to die?

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Anonymous Coward

Dead Steve Jobs...

Yeah... Steve's dead. A lot of people still haven't realized that everyone at Apple lost their Jobs....

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Headmaster

Now be fair. After all........

"I can’t wait to dig in and help Lenovo develop future mobile computing products, starting with the Yoga Tablet. Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership. Entrepreneurship is part of their DNA*, and I couldn’t ask for a better fit."

.......... He's got the managerati bollox-speak off pat already. Oh, by the way, "he dropped out of college" means he failed.

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Re: Now be fair. After all........

To be fair, dropping out of college isn't a failure in and of itself. For many people it's a smart career move. There's nothing for many people to gain by continuing to go to college if it's 'just for a degree', as is evidenced by the overabundance of unemployable degree holders. Those people are better off getting to actual work and gaining experience which will be applicable in their lives.

College for the masses is a stupid fucking idea anyway. College is supposed to be a place where you can go to increase and refine your knowledge. That's it. If you can segue that knowledge into a better place financially then good on you. If you can't/don't turn it into a pile of money it is no reflection on your intelligence as the investment you make in learning is never a waste. The knowledge is what you're paying for and if you're going to college for any other reason you're doing it wrong. Granted, some career fields really, really require advanced learning, but most people aren't going into fields like that and if they did we'd all be up shit creek anyway.

Sorry for the rant, it's intern application season again and so many kids going to college these days are only going because they think they'll get better jobs/make more money. They drive me nuts and it's the quickest way to end the intern interview. People like that have no sense of priorities and will spend their lives running around like mad trying to make a few dollars instead of actually increasing their knowledge and making a lot of dollars. They've got no sense of even the medium term horizons.

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Happy

@Don Jefe Re: "Sorry for the rant...."

Not at all - I in fact largely agree with your post. I was just feeling somewhat jaded and sour at him getting "credit" for an engineer status he did not earn. I do not in reality scorn him for dropping out but I am not impressed with him making use of it in this way.

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Re: @Don Jefe "Sorry for the rant...."

Yes, not getting to take credit for classes you did take is a side effect of dropping out, or changing majors. College level educations are a package deal.

Otherwise I would be an astrodoctorgineeroligist, instead of just an engineer :)

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Ashton Kutcher advising anyone on anything

Bwahahahahahahahaha!

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Thumb Up

A great fit!

I once bought a piece of Lenovo kit and it was a piece of crap!

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the market is 15 year old girls... why are you surprised...

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Anonymous Coward

SOS, DD

Clueless celeb being over paid for poor acting.

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