Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, October 16, 2021

cab for cutie
I’m not about to start a shrine, but I have to admit: I’m smitten with the spokeswoman in the current Mercury Mariner and Montego commercials. At least, as smitten as one can get from a TV commercial.

I think it’s the heels she’s wearing; the tight top doesn’t hurt either.

It didn’t take much online searching to find out who she is: Jill Wagner, best known before this from her stint on “Punk’d” and her photo spread in Stuff Magazine.

If you can believe such things, Jill apparently has a personal profile set up on IMDb, which she’s used to reply to a few threads inquiring about her.

I would say that Jill’s vivaciousness — and her sure delivery of the ad slogan “put Mercury on your list” — makes me want to run out and buy a Mercury… but let’s not get crazy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/16/2005 10:58:12 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Women
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One reason I’m generally skeptical about all the content and functions being pushed on cellphones and other mobile devices is that ignore one fundamental obstacle: Battery life. With juice being so limited on these devices, users aren’t going to waste it on much beyond the primary function (talktime for phones, playback on media players, etc.).

So when periodic reports about the electronics industry’s efforts at improving battery technology cite baby steps toward 3-4 hours of active charge, I pretty much write off the prospects of broad adoption for all those fancy extras. Until they come up with standard batteries that last 8 hours, minimum, the customer isn’t going to bite.

Here’s an idea that might spur the development of a better battery: A partnership between manufacturers and media/software providers to tackle the problem. It’s a mutual-interest solution for mutual benefit: The Disneys, Microsofts and Electronic Arts of the digital world have a vested interest in seeing the hardware evolve to a point where it’s able to accomodate all their widgets, and have plenty of power left to do other things — without having to run to an electrical outlet every couple of hours.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/16/2005 10:16:45 PM
Category: Tech
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exciting and new
If you’re unsettled from reading about the Minnesota Vikings’ recent bye-week sex-scandal cruise, perhaps it’ll help to look at the incident as though it were a “Love Boat” episode.

I have to say, I’m severely disappointed in Bernie “Doc” Kopell’s behavior:

“No one’s bitching about Isaac and he was serving stiff drinks all night,” Doc hic-cupped. “But I serve a few stiffy pills, and people act like it’s malpractice!”

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/16/2005 09:45:18 PM
Category: Football, TV
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The unveiling of video capability with the next batch of iPods, critically accompanied with content partnerships with ABC television, along with trending shifts in the way people consume media, means that the TV industry is finally comfortable enough to port its original programming to a range of formats.

As with anything, you follow the eyeballs. If a critical mass of the desirable demographics prefer watching their shows on tiny screens, in compressed time units, and time-shifted for convenience, the networks can fight the tide for so long. The key is getting the right combination of platform and delivery system (and the delivery system has to be commerce-based to make the whole enterprise viable).

The cautious approach is understandable, because of the spotty track record of repurposed content delivery to this point:

But more than a few experts in the field point out that those kinds of projections may just be as shaky as the predictions of great and quick success for TiVo and other digital recording systems, which have yet to reach more than 5 percent of American households. Or for that matter, the limited success so far of the pay segment of video-on-demand.

Bruce Leichtman, chief analyst with the Leichtman Research Group, noted recently in MediaWeek that video-on-demand “has grown through delivering free programming. Consumers have not necessarily shown a willingness to pay for programs.”

And when asked about the new video iPod on Wednesday, several avid TV viewers who are what marketing experts like to describe as “early adapters” to new technology expressed some hesitation about immediately jumping on the Apple bandwagon.

“It’s cool, without question,” said Paul Consolli, a 30-year-old marketing manager, in an e-mail interview. “But I’ve already got TiVo and I’ve got a VCR I can use. I just don’t know if I need another system where I have to pay for an hour of ‘Lost.’”

I think these are the perils you run into when applying emerging technologies to a ubiquitous mass medium like TV. As quickly as you’d like to see new methods adopted by the audience, it takes an enourmous amount of time. Consider how long it took, and is taking, for these television innovations:

  • Cable: Some twenty years for the majority of households to adopt it, then another decade after that for the programming to lose its “not ready for primetime” stigma.
  • Pay-per-view: Only pulls in money on big-ticket sports events, and even less so over the past five years.
  • Video-on-demand: Indistinguishable from PPV in many cases, so faces the same resistance.
  • High-def and digital: Broadcasters hav been resisting the switchover by the end of this decade, because they expect most of their audience won’t go for the conversion.

Tracking what the early adopters do is always sexy, but nothing moves until the majority is ready.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/16/2005 01:01:55 PM
Category: Business, TV, Tech, iPod
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The existence of Godcasting suggests a good population of religiously-focused bloggers out there. Sure enough, there are enough of them to have taken part in GodBlogCon 2005 this past weekend at Biola University. Some 135 Christian bloggers convened to discuss how best to permalink the word of the Lord (or at least their personal take on it).

As is seemingly de rigueur with all things bloggy, assumptions of revolutionary-like impact abounded. I particularly liked this one:

Joe Carter, author of The Evangelical Outpost, compared blogging to the 95 Theses posted by Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago that launched the Protestant Reformation.

“It’s like putting 95 blogs out there,” said Carter, who previously said God bloggers offer an “uncensored and unadulterated” view of contemporary Christian thought on politics and organized religion.

Many bloggers are now writing about religious oppression, poverty and world hunger, instead of hot-button issues such as abortion, homosexuality and assisted suicide, said the Rev. Andrew Jackson, a seminary professor and pastor at the Word of Grace Church in Mesa, Arizona.

“With blogging you tend to break out of those circles and you see other points of view,” Carter said. “There’s a bigger world out there than gay marriage and abortion.”

Will these bloggers spark the rise of a new World Wide Church of the Web? With tithing via PayPal, or Amazon-purchased gifts?

It’s always a good idea to broaden the scope. There’s only so many times you can harp upon the same things, with largely the same takes. If the interest is in cultivating and expanding an audience, this is the way to do it.

I do note that this Godblog gathering is conspicuously all-Christian. No Jewish or Muslim bloggers need apply?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/16/2005 11:52:40 AM
Category: Bloggin', Society
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