Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, October 17, 2021

The success of the iPod was keyed as much upon the device itself as on the development of iTunes as a complementary media delivery system. Like the similarly-structured computer and gaming console business, the model is to sell the hardware at a break-even or loss point, then more than make up the money by selling the stuff that plays on it. That’s why the prospects are so bright for the video-enabled line of iPods, and precisely why they were rolled out with a matching video library.

If this strategy works for digital media, can it be applied to print? David Carr thinks the long-anticipated digital paper/ink device platform will be just the ticket to save newspapers.

I have my doubts. The flexible digital paper format has been crawling toward formation for years now, but there’s no evidence that there’s either awareness or demand for it. With computing devices becoming more portable and ubiquitous all the time, I think that by the time the lightweight paper-like membranes are ready for primetime, they’ll be instantly superfluous: Fully-fledged computers, with all their just-in-case capabilities, will already be everywhere consumers want them to be.

Rather than abandoning formats like blogs and audio/video podcasting, news media should continue to cultivate them. I don’t see much sense in waiting on what’s effectively vaporware.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/17/2005 11:37:06 PM
Category: Publishing, Tech, iPod
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What’s a sorority shrew to do when the object of her wrath doesn’t possess sufficient faults? She devises a hypothetical weight problem, and lets it rip:

She is such a trashy little skank and she is like sooo ugly. I mean she’s not too bad since she’s thin, but could you imagine if she was like 30 pounds heavier? She’d be like ugly squared!

With that sort of grasping, I’m thinking this individual wouldn’t win too many rounds of “Your Momma’s So…”

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/17/2005 10:37:40 PM
Category: General
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If this melancholy session of remembrances and ruminations is par for the everyday course, I’d guess that Kurt Vonnegut is ready to pack it in.

There’s not the slightest reason to doubt the sincerity of his unhappiness. This is a man who not only has killed off the human race in his fiction — in “Cat’s Cradle,” by means of ice-nine, a scientific breakthrough designed to make life mud-free for the U.S. Marines — but who has tried for decades to kill himself by smoking unfiltered Pall Malls. Periodically, he threatens to sue the cigarettes’ makers because he is still breathing.

I haven’t cracked open even a tenth of Vonnegut’s output, but it’s been obvious to me, from the bits I’ve read, that the author’s got a distinct death wish. It’s a potent literary fuel — as long as it doesn’t consume you along with it.

But it can’t be all bad for Vonnegut. He does have his self-described “mini-epiphanies” and art. And he must have a healthy sense of humor; I’ve always wondered what the story was behind his improbable cameo in Back to School.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/17/2005 10:23:53 PM
Category: Creative, Publishing
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the sham-shooooooons...
Suddenly that running joke about never revealing Springfield’s host state makes sense: It turns out that the town is located somewhere in the Middle East, and its most famous family is “The Shamshoons”.

Omar Shamshoon,” as he is called on the show, looks like the same Homer Simpson, but he has given up beer and bacon, which are both against Islam, and he no longer hangs out at “seedy bars with bums and lowlifes.” In Arabia, Homer’s beer is soda, and his hot dogs are barbequed Egyptian beef sausages. And the donut-shaped snacks he gobbles are the traditional Arab cookies called kahk.

An Arabized “Simpsons” - called “Al Shamshoon” - made its debut in the Arab world earlier this month, in time for Ramadan, a time of high TV viewership. It uses the original “Simpsons” animation, but the voices are dubbed into Arabic and the scripts have been adapted to make the show more accessible, and acceptable, to Arab audiences.

Homer without his beloved Duff? DOH-HA! (My best guesstimate of a Semetic “d’oh”…)

I wonder if any other alterations have to be made, specifically with characters. If Homer — er, Omar — isn’t hitting the bar anymore, then Moe isn’t going to be seen much (especially in that first season, which is the only one being Arabized so far). And who knows how they’ll handle Krusty, aka Herschel Krustoffski, Springfield’s resident Jew? Once again, doh-ha.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/17/2005 09:54:35 PM
Category: TV
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Another reason to no longer use public payphones, I guess. (Not that mobile phones, which are essentially gussied-up radios, should inspire assumptions of privacy.)

This picture was shot earlier today, on the edge of Williams Park in St. Pete. The photonegative effect was added by me tonight at home, partly because it made the picture better-defined and partly because it gives the image something of an ominous, “1984″-like air.

The message on the label — which I assume is unsantioned by the phone company — included a lot of fine print about how Big Brother is listening. It also had the URL for CrimethInc., which describes itself as an “ex-workers’ collective”. Revolution starts at the phone kiosk! (Call collect, please.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/17/2005 09:15:37 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Political
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