Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, February 21, 2021

the secret pong world
While setting up last week’s Valentine edition of Media Monday, I mentioned that I had a fun little Flash file all set to run.

It didn’t run last week, so here it is this week. You may think you know all about Pong, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Pong: Not Just a Game - .swf, 153KB - Time’s up! Check the Media Monday archive for the latest edition.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/21/2005 09:42:11 PM
Category: Media Mondays | Permalink | Feedback

As blogging gets wider exposure, it’s inevitable that other media will sprout up to capitalize upon it. Magazines are a natural avenue for such ventures.

I’m sure a polished title will make an appearance either this year or next. But it’s sure not going to be Blogging! Magazine, which has all the looks of being a half-assed amateur production.

blogging! magazine is an all digital online magazine avaliable in Adobe Acrobat PDF format each month. Featuring a plethora of content including blog and blogosphere news, reviews, commentary, reviews, tips, tricks and much more. This magazine is jam-packed with the content you want.

Translation: There’s no money behind this at all, thus no way to produce a print product that can be distributed. So the PDF option, which no one is going to pay money to acquire (especially not a blogging audience, who generally will resort to free resources first). The stilted copy on display here tells me the actual product is going to be a jumbled mess as well.

Probably the most laughable thing about this venture is that they’re actually trying to sell ads. From what I can tell, there’s no subscriber roll to sell. So who exactly is going to buy ads for a publication that, effectively, doesn’t exist?

I’m not as skeptical as Rex is about the viability of a publication about blogging. If they share no other universal trait, bloggers tend to be big consumers of media, and a magazine focusing on their pursuit would attract a big audience. (It’d be interesting to see whether a hobbyist angle or a professional approach would work better…) But this isn’t where it starts.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/21/2005 09:05:28 PM
Category: Bloggin', Publishing | Permalink | Feedback (4)

For when you need to divine the astral plane while on the go: A miniature Ouija board that doubles as a key organizer. Note the hidden drawer for the all-important oracle game piece.

This could really come in handy for consulting the spirits as to the whereabouts of my perpetually-misplaced keys. Oh, wait…

Personally, I prefer video Ouija.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/21/2005 08:22:19 PM
Category: Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

too hot to bot
I can’t find any news on it — not even on Search Engine Watch — but it appears that the venerable HotBot search engine is down for the count. Sometime this past Saturday, the option to use HotBot to generate results disappeared, leaving only Google and Ask Jeeves interfaces. (And if that’s the case, there’s no reason to visit at all to visit the HotBot site — you might as well go straight to Google.)

HotBot, part of the Lycos network, was using Inktomi to power its searches. Since Inktomi is now Yahoo!-owned, I’m assuming that plug’s been pulled. HotBot might come back using another underlying engine; but I’m figuring it would have made arrangements for that by now.

I’m sure most of this Googlized world circa 2005 won’t shed tears over this departure; as far as I can tell, only one other person noticed and cared enough to comment. But I’ve been hanging onto HotBot as my search site of choice, for a couple of reasons:

  • It seemed to handle specific-phrase searches better than Google, believe it or not.
  • It had a lot more file-specific search qualifiers available.
  • You could customize the home page to include a lot of optional fields.
  • It numbered its search results (a little thing, but nice to have).
  • I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and resort to Google as my everyday search-monkey, despite my low level of faith in its “relevance” rankings. I’d like to find a search utility that combines a few different engines, and isn’t overloaded with crap sponsored listings (e.g., Dogpile and AllTheWeb).

    - Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/21/2005 07:58:08 PM
    Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback (2)