NeoBytes :) is an occasional feature that takes a step back from the big headlines, to take a look at what else is happening in the vast, scary expanse of the tech world - often with a cynical eye, always with a dose of humour.
Stock photos are used all over the web, offering publishers and other companies the convenience of illustrating their articles and product information pages with images that might otherwise be prohibitively expensive or time-consuming to capture for themselves. You may even have seen stock images used right here on Neowin, from time to time.
Not all stock photos are equal. Some are simply terrible, and there are some rather disturbing ones out there too, many examples of which can be found on the @darkstockphotos Twitter account. But there are also a few which turn out to be unintentionally hilarious.
One such image appeared yesterday on Bing.com, where a new photo is chosen every day to illustrate the homepage for Microsoft's search engine:
If you can't quite see what the problem is, you might want to look a bit closer:
Yes, that's right: Microsoft (inadvertently, we assume) put a penis on its Bing homepage. Along with several other eagle-eyed folks, including Andrew Lyle, we spotted it yesterday morning, shortly before The Verge, Motherboard and others propelled the sandy schlong to worldwide fame. As The Verge later reported, Microsoft later Photoshopped it out of the image, and that appeared to be the end of the story.
The British Airways press office acknowledged the phallus faux pas, but made no further statement about it. At time of writing, the image remained on the BA homepage.
The incidents are a sobering reminder that when someone else has taken a photo, it's best to check it carefully before using it to represent your products. The penis pic is a stock image of Croatia's beautiful Zlatni Rat beach, which UK holiday firm Thomson says is particularly good for watersports.