Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, May 07, 2021

The AP had a nice interview with Craigslist honcho Craig Newmark, discussing his ambitions for creating a blogger-driven news organization and future directions for his flagship network of sites.

My jury’s still out on any “community journalism” efforts (in fact, I’m more inclined to think that blogs will never free themselves from old-media reliance). But I found the brief comments on junk postings on Craigslist sites to be interesting:

Newmark still spends about half his 40-hour work week at the Craigslist headquarters, a Victorian storefront in San Francisco, filtering through e-mailed complaints of fraud and investigating potential scams. The vast majority are “bait and switch” scams and other frauds perpetrated by landlords and apartment brokers in New York, the site’s largest source of rental listings after San Francisco.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster says fraudulent postings — from Nigerian money laundering scams to solicitations for multilevel marketing pyramids — represent less than one-tenth of one percent of listings. But the New York section is now so rife with con artists that they may begin charging landlords to discourage illegitimate listings.

I guess it’s all in how you define “scams”, as they relate to postings on the Craigslist sites. The malicious stuff is bad enough, but I’m finding more and more comment-spam like listings in my local edition, to the point where I’m seriously discouraged from visiting the site more than once or twice a month.

It comes with the free, and free-for-all, territory. Newmark says charging for the majority of the listings goes against the core philosophy of the site. But that means that determined spammers will go all out to put up their lousy links on the sites, just to juice their Google rank. To me, it’s just a matter of time before Craigslist becomes overrun with this junk, making it unusable.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/07/2021 07:49:15 PM
Category: Internet
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What is Reggaeton? Since I don’t speak Espanol, I’ll have to make like an old fart and let the St. Pete Times fill me in, including some good historical information:

In the early 1980s, as hip-hop freestyle battles (in which a crowd of lyricists takes turns rapping off the top of their heads) peppered street corners from Brooklyn to the Tampa Bay area, the same thing was happening in Panama.

The difference was the lyrics were in Spanish and the beats were reggae-inspired, sparking a sound coined “ragga.”

Then in the mid 1980s, Vico C, a well-known Puerto Rican rapper, began making headway in the rap genre, even getting some of his songs played on Miami radio stations, according to www.reggaetononline.net

It was only natural that the two sounds, separated by 750 miles of Caribbean waters, would mesh.

The same portraits of poverty that Panamanian ragga stars painted with their lyrics existed in Puerto Rican raps. On the lighter side, both worlds shared a common love and pride for island culture…

There are constants that connect the sound.

At its core is usually a steady drum machine beat, often a hollow steel sound or repetitive congolike bap, giving the sound an undeniable reggae dance hall sway. Snares and horns sprinkled throughout give it that salsa kick. And gritty lyrics coupled with catchy choruses flesh out the hip-hop sound.

“It’s basically underground Spanish hip-hop coming up,” said Club Fuel DJ Speedy Jr., one of Florida’s best-known reggaeton DJs. “For so long, young Spanish kids have been wanting their music to be heard, and now it is.”

I’ll have to give it a listen before passing my judgement. Here are a couple of sample clips from “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee, Lil’ John and Noreaga.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/07/2021 07:33:18 PM
Category: Pop Culture
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They said they were going to do it, and it looks like they will: Dunedin is ready to roll out a municipally-operated broadband wi-fi ISP, competitively priced at $25 a month. St. Petersburg-based Citi Wifi Networks is providing the hookup.

My friends Tom and Amber live in Dunedin, so they would take advantage of this. I hope they do, just to get some feedback on how it performs.

Even though it’s not a free wi-fi offering, I imagine that established telcos won’t be too happy about this template for utility-like competition.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/07/2021 07:17:27 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Wi-Fi
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I was quite proud of myself for coming up with yesterday’s “Soaps on the Ropes” headline. I thought it was a perfect, punny topper to the modern-day plight of the soap opera genre.

Alas, I wasn’t the first to conjure it up. Mediaweek’s John Consoli penned an article on much the same subject a year ago, and had the same hed. Unfortunately, the piece seems to be off the Web now, but I’m sure it was a humdinger.

Oh well. Great minds think alike, right?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/07/2021 06:46:46 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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Observe the punchline from today’s “Get Fuzzy”, wherein the cat is formulating the title of his autobiography (which he calls a “car biography”).

Butt humor. Doesn’t get any better than that on a Saturday afternoon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/07/2021 06:39:33 PM
Category: Comedy
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