Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, December 27, 2020

When the Santy worm spread through the Web last week, I took notice. I don’t have any forums to protect, but the fact that the worm was targting PHP-powered pages made me worry. This site, along with all WordPress-powered blogs, runs on PHP. So, depending on how clean the coding here is, I might be in the sights of this new variant of the Santy worm, which is going after any PHP site.

I’m not much on the technical end here; most of it was set up for me by the Blog Moxie crew. So I’m crossing my fingers that all the digital i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, and I won’t have to worry about this scourge.

If this site abruptly disappears in the near future, you’ll know why. Hopefully, it’ll be temporary and fixable. If it’s something that’s severe, I’ve always got a backup plan (although I’d prefer to not use it).

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/27/2004 10:44:08 PM
Category: Internet
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The new numbers from Nielsen/NetRatings show that, at long last, broadband Internet use in American homes has surpassed dialup, 53 percent to 47 percent.

The break-even point doesn’t mean much: In order to launch true mass-market-targeted multimedia content, providers will have to up that level to at least 75 percent. That’s likely on the way, as competitive pricing is helping to spread broadband. The other consideration is whether or not consumers will bother to keep their computers up-to-speed enough to handle all those Flash animations and the like.

But in the meantime, Pew Internet & American Life studies show how going to broadband changes the fundamental way people use the Web:

Surveys from the Pew Internet and American Life Project find that 69 percent of broadband users go online on a typical day, compared with 51 percent for dial-up. Broadband users who went online averaged 107 minutes surfing the Web, checking e-mail and otherwise engaged, 21 minutes longer than dial-up users.

Taking advantage of their always-on connection, they practice “infosnacking.”

“People are more able and willing to just walk up to the Internet to get a quick snippet of what they need, send a quick e-mail, read a quick news article, check a sports score,” said Jim Bankoff, executive vice president for programming at America Online Inc.

Not having to wait several minutes to log on to a dial-up account, broadband user Jeannie Tatum will quickly check prices before heading out to a store. The Spring, Texas, Web designer will visit Blockbuster’s site to see if a new release is out yet, noting that with dial-up, “it would take less time to pick up the phone and call.”

Telephone books? Gathering dust on the shelf.

Atlases? What are they?

Communal behavior also is tempered by the broadband effect.

Family members arguing a point over dinner are more apt, if they have broadband, to “look it up online rather than continue to yell at each other,” said Lee Rainie, Pew’s director.

Or, in the absence of verbal interaction, families can have heated discussions in Internet chat rooms - individual members each sitting in separate rooms in front of computer screens.

Infosnacking is the key. I don’t keep my machine on 24/7, but I do turn it on as soon as I get home at night, and leave it on until I’m ready for bed. On weekends, it’s on from the time I get up until bedtime, even if I know I’ll be out of the house for long stretches. The convenience of being able to access online info fairly quickly makes “loggin on” a completely different experience than it was even five years ago.

This is the kind of scenario that was pitched to me five years ago, when residential broadband was just starting to gain traction. Five years is a pretty slow pace. It shouldn’t take that long to conquer the rest of online users: Critical mass has been reached, and other technologies like wi-fi will help things along quicker. And there’s always the ahead-of-the-curve users overseas.

Still, while content creators don’t like to hear this, dial-up is sticking around for a while yet:

In the meantime, Internet usability expert Jakob Nielsen has a word of caution for the broadband crowd:

Respect the dial-up population. It remains large. Think twice before sending friends large photo files as attachments. Those photos could sour their Internet experience.

On the other hand, come to think of it, those photos could encourage them to finally spring for broadband.

Coincidentally, one of the contributing factors to my switching to broadband DSL last year was the increasing receipt of mega-large photo files from friends. Ironically, I haven’t been getting nearly as many of those emails of late.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/27/2004 10:32:31 PM
Category: Internet
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buy me
Someone’s smitten with the blonde girlie in those Old Navy holiday carollers commercials, enough so to launch a BlogSpot blog on her.

Just remember: There is a fine line between admiration and weirdo fixation.

Of course, there may be a less creepy, and more cynical, motivation behind this blogwork. When Adrants gave it a plug, it raised the possibility that Old Navy’s PR people might be behind it. I wouldn’t put it past them, although for some reason, my gut tells me it really is just a lone fan.

Incidentally, the blog author has somehow tracked down a name for the object of his affection: Lauren Hastings. If it’s the same “Lauren Hastings” listed at IMDb (based strictly on the dates and occupations of the other listings there, I’ve narrowed it down to this one), her acting resume is quite thin, so every little bit of exposure would help her.

Personally, if I were to obsess over one of the girls in those ads, I’d go for the Asian girl in the back row. Or, even better, the super-cute bowling-alley girl:
What can I say, I dig the brunettes.

By the way, I may have mentioned it here before, but I suspect I’m the only white man in America who doesn’t like Old Navy.

(Via Micro Persuasion)

UPDATE: I’m sure there are plenty of other sources for this, but Adweek featured one of the Old Navy carollers spots as one of their “Best Ads”, and the names of all the actors are in the writeup, Lauren Hastings included. So apparently, that’s her name.

The same Adweek source lists a “Camille Chen” as one of the carollers. I’ll assume that’s the name of the aforementioned Asian girl in the back row. I’m tempted to start posting up pics of her on the Web, but I’ll refrain.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/27/2004 09:48:16 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Bloggin'
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One currency, one trade market — and now, the EU gets a single set of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, part of a streamlining of how Europe’s big companies do business.

Predictably, there was some griping:

Some European companies had lobbied to block the requirement that they deduct stock options from earnings, saying that it would put them at a disadvantage compared with competitors in the United States. However, the U.S. accounting rulemaker, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, this month announced a final rule on stock-option expensing that is expected to go into effect next year. The EU requirement is expected to take effect later in January.

This news comes in the wake of the luring of some emerging-market companies to London’s City stock market instead of U.S. exchange boards, ostensibly to avoid Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. I’m wondering if EU’s harmonized GAAP rules will make it less attractive for companies from China and the like to go to London instead of New York. Complying with the new rules isn’t supposed to cost companies any more. But, just as American firms have concocted all sorts of excuses as to why Sarbanes-Oxley is such a hardship, I’m sure Euro businesses will invent a litany of grievances over this development.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/27/2004 06:04:40 PM
Category: Business
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