BS and advertising

Blog | Oct. 28, 2010

I have been thinking about Cracked’s article describing 5 Reasons The Future Will Be Ruled By B.S., particularly this:

We’re celebrating that we don’t need to pay greedy corporations because technology means we can get more and more of what we want for free, but at the same time, we’re moving toward an era when corporations won’t need to pay us.

A pretty bleak future where the wheels of industry grind to a halt, until you realize this argument is based not around industry and hardware, but on movies, music, books and games — entertainment. Jeff Koons has made a name for himself on the unbelievably inflated price of his art, but maybe that cuts to the core of the issue, that the monetary value of entertainment, even artistic expression, is ultimately arbitrary. When does a 12-foot aluminum balloon dog become more valuable than the man-hours and cost of materials it took to make it?

But say you work in an entertainment industry, a business predicated on making money off things like movies, music, books, and games. As Gizmodo points out, they aren’t going to accept a pay cut to live within the means that 99¢ rentals and $2 ad impressions allow. And since raising prices on content when it’s free to find a myriad of other ways, the way to make up the difference is by raising ad rates. This passes the cost onto the company doing the advertising, who passes the cost onto you. TV will cost 99¢ an episode, but the products in the 30-second, unskippable ad before it will become more expensive. Recall Koons’ art: an arm and a leg for trinkets and knick-knacks. We’ve achieved cheap entertainment at the cost of real-world goods, and learned that while there may be free TV, there’s still no such thing as a free lunch.

The maddening inconsistency of Mobile Safari’s URL autocomplete

Blog | Oct. 14, 2010

If there’s one thing people want from a computer, it’s capriciousness. Let’s say I have a favorite site I visit every day that starts with a T. And so I begin typing its address into the URL field of mobile Safari. Tee…

What is this? T brings up a site that starts with W? Only the third word even has a T in it. And after that, ‘The’? ‘The’ ranks higher than a website that has two T’s in the name over a website that doesn’t even have a T in the URL? Keep in mind this is in a form field where URLs are entered. And the only website on this list that starts with a T is the fourth one down. Try that in landscape mode and you wouldn’t even know it’s there.

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The Hub, you got my hopes up

Blog | Oct. 5, 2010

The Hub is a new network airing a few favorite cartoons from the 80s and 90s, so I was excited when I saw this guy in one of their ad spots:

Blue fur, yellow eyes, razor-sharp teeth, a pointed nose and a bad attitude? Look familiar?

Joke’s on you, animation fans! It isn’t our beloved Sharkdog of Eek! the Cat fame, but Von Ripper from some new “Twisted Whiskers” show. Or so says its bio:

Ever seen a dog who looks like a shark on legs? Meet Von Ripper. This scary guard dog has sharp teeth, gray fur, and a really bad attitude. Stay out of his way – or else!

Ever seen dog who looks like a shark on legs? Why yes, as a matter of fact, I have.