Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 03, 2021

I really should come up with a more worthy hed here, since this post is devoted to Drew McQuade, assistant sports editor at the Philly Daily News and winner of this year’s American Copy Editors Society headline writing award for mid-sized (100,001-250,000 circulation) papers.

But since I almost always craft my post-toppers the wrong way — headlines first, story second — I just can’t help it. Hey, it’s not like I’m getting paid here.

I’ve expressed my appreciation for a good headline, particulary in sports, before. Since I used to work in sports, I give an extra tip of my cap to McQuade, since he undoubtedly comes up with his gems in the dead(line) of night, unlike those high-falutin’ daytime editors.

Here are McQuade’s winners:

RUTHLESS! — Red Sox oust Yankees, ghost, advance to World Series

BOOS ALWAYS ON TAP — Philly fans champions of holding grudges forever

FLUSH OUT THE JOHNS (A front page news head for a story about exposing guys who visit prostitutes)

JUST A MUDDER DAY AT THE OFFICE — Celebrated horse Smarty Jones returns to roots to win regular race on sloppy surface

SCRAMBINO — Red Sox sweep Cards, squash “Curse of the Bambino’ with World Series win

All quality material. They’re not quite up to the level of the immortal “SHAW-SHAQ REDEMPTION”, but enjoyable nonetheless.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/03/2021 09:13:53 PM
Category: Creative, Publishing
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Just spied: The 30-second opening sequence for tonight’s episode of “Gilmore Girls” featured hip mother and hip daughter on the phone with each other.

They weren’t talking initially. Instead, they were both running their identical Roombas in their respective domiciles, zoning out while watching the little robovacs do the dirt-patrol thing.

When they finally spoke, they said something like, “Is this more or less exciting than watching the same television show while on the phone?”

It was cute. It was also fairly blatant product placement for Roomba; it targets the young demo that clings to the adventures of Lorelai and Rory (yeah, I know the characters’ names — what of it??).

I admit to be slightly put off by what amounted to an introductory commercial message to kick off a show. But it actually wasn’t such a bad insertion. If the characters had actually named the product, it would have been too much. By not doing so, it clearly conveyed that the Roomba is such a familiar part of the modern household landscape that it doesn’t need direct introduction, thus bestowing another degree of coolness to it.

Let’s just hope the Girls don’t wind up whoring themselves out at the start of every single installment.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/03/2021 08:16:51 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., TV
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Predictably, telecoms and others aren’t too happy about local government efforts to set up free wi-fi hotspot zones. Instead of merely grumbling about it, they’re mobilizing lobbying forces to outlaw implementation, with 10 state legislatures already drafting bills to curb the movements.

“This isn’t a grass-roots backlash,” said Ron Sege, chief executive of wireless gear firm Tropos Networks, which supports municipal wireless plans. “This is an organized campaign of disinformation.”

I’ve questioned the wisdom behind city-run wireless networks. I like free and easy as much as the next guy, but local governments have to take their business constituents’ interests into consideration, too. It makes no sense to undercut a wireless provider’s market. I can see the justification for a municipally-run network in a suburban or rural area, where private providers can’t/won’t do anything. But in a big metro like Philadelphia, it’s only causing needless clashes.

So I can see the self-preservation motive for Verizon and others to squash this early. It’ll be fascinating to see the campaign take form; enlisting think tanks and other opinion-influencers is a classic early step.

There’s probably room for both the free and pay-for models, after the requisite tussling. I can see a system where a free service offers wide coverage, but is relatively low-bandwith, good mostly for spot-checking email and brief surfing for 5-minute increments. Private networks can step in to fill more intensive connectivity needs, for power users (mobile businesspeople, etc.) who need a super-reliable and -secure connection for big file transfers and other heavy, always-on usage.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/03/2021 09:18:25 AM
Category: Wi-Fi
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