Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, April 04, 2021

Captivate Network is a video news service that’s served up in commercial-building elevators, via a smallish monitor installed just above eye level.

Captivate? Shouldn’t it more properly be called “Captive Network”, given the nature of the audience?

Actually, that’s an intentional semantic connection. Don’t believe me? It’s right on the copy posted on the Gannett subsidiary’s homepage:

Every day, from 7am to 7pm, we have an exceptional audience of desirable, hard-to-reach business professionals all to ourselves. Throughout the business day, we deliver quality digital advertising and programming to a captive audience of more than 2 million educated, affluent consumers in the elevators of premier office towers across North America.
(emphasis added by me)

Sometimes it’s prudent to blunt the motive.

As you’d guess, Captivate’s screens are all over New York’s office buildings. I can’t say they enhance the elevator-riding experience. But then, I’m usually boarding and disembarking on the fourth floor — hardly enough time for more than a quick glance.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 04/04/2021 11:30:56 PM
Category: Media, New Yorkin', Tech
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There’s a scene in current release Inside Man involving a Sikh character. After having been roughed up extra hard by the cops during a hostage situation, the character goes off about how he’s constantly targeted because of his ethnicity and religious garb. In particular, he notes that every single time he’s in an airport, he’s pulled out of the line to undergo random pat-downs — “random, my ass”, as he puts it.

That sounds pretty familiar to me. And yet, Spike Lee didn’t cut me in with a co-writing credit…

Joking, of course. I know I’m far from the only one who’s a post-9/11 suspect target. I hope somebody’s mind is being put at ease.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 04/04/2021 11:07:06 PM
Category: Movies, Politics, Society
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OK, I’m putting a call out to any WordPress experts out there. I need help with a sudden bug, and I can’t find jack on WP.org’s mess of a support site.

For no reason that I can see, this blog’s trackback function has suddenly stopped including the customary post excerpt when sending its ping. Instead, the trackback goes out with just the post title and the three-dot ellipses, without any other text.

This is a major pain. Sending out an essentially blank trackback is, in my mind, useless. True, the hyperlink to my post still goes out, and the post title conveys something about what’s being written. But without the excerpt text, it looks rather spammish.

I can fix trackbacks I send to my own blog (a common practice for me) by editing the completed trackbacks after the fact. But this is a pain. And I can’t do anything about trackbacks sent to other sites.

I’m guessing I’d have to edit the wp-trackback.php file, but I’m not sure just how. I can’t see anyplace in the administrative settings interface (under WordPress to control how trackbacks get rendered. And again, since this glitch cropped up out of nowhere, I’m wary of tinkering.

Any ideas? If anyone has any insight and can share, the drinks are on me…

UPDATE, 4/8/2006: Well, I found the culprit, and found myself to be a fibber. Turns out that I had re-implemented Scriptygoddess’ hide/unhide fixer plugin; I had installed it a year and a half ago, when I was still running WordPress 1.2, and forgot to restore it when I moved to 1.5. Obviously, I didn’t miss it, as I never use the hide thing (I find it annoying when other blogs use it, so why should I subject my readers to something I’d rather avoid?).

I’m not sure why that plugin would mess with the excerpt and trackback, but it definitely was it, confirmed through testing. So I’ve deactivated it. I’d look for an alternative, but again, since I’ve been living without it, I’ll continue to live without it. Small damage from that, in the form of a couple of odd-looking archived posts.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 04/04/2021 09:10:10 AM
Category: Bloggin'
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