Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, May 13, 2021

Canvas looks like a website design module that stakes out a middle ground between too-simple Blogger-like template selection and hardcore CSS codemonkeying. The “Drag. Drop. Create.” tagline says it all: Check off a few boxes, and start moving around layout elements with GUI-like ease.

It’s funny that customized blog/website design is still such a daunting task. I think so many people settle for cookie-cutter templates because they don’t want the headaches of page design and tweaking. So anything that makes the process more user-friendly is welcomed (as long as it doesn’t restrict things too much — a neat trick).

Designed for WordPress only, as sort of an uber-plugin.

(Via Weblog Tools Collection)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/13/2006 08:15:25 PM
Category: Bloggin' | Permalink | Feedback (6)

A while back, I judged the ringtone-worthiness of the songs in my music collection.

I won’t have to go through that exercise again, if current trends continue: Advancing capabilities in handsets and data networks have moved cellphones from an incidental music platform to the primary delivery medium for full-length songs.

Cellphone companies are keenly aware of their growing importance in the music business. A year or two ago, they were in a weaker bargaining position, asking for permission to use songs as ringtones; now they find labels and artists coming to them with new ideas. Some artists are even cutting recordings in the studio designed as ringtones.

“There’s much better coordination now than there has been in the past,” said David Garver, executive director of marketing for Cingular Wireless, which struck an exclusive deal with “American Idol” allowing fans to download performances as ringtones. Two years ago, when cellphone music was an insignificant market, the major music labels paid little attention to carriers like Cingular, which got access only to a limited library of tunes, he said. “Now they have digital divisions that work with the carriers,” and the companies work in tandem to develop products designed exclusively for the carriers, he said.

“I used to go down there to the record store, and there was a social aspect to it,” said Michael McGuire, an analyst with research firm Gartner Inc. “You could just hang around and get recommendations.”

A further development in the digitization of the music biz. Obviously, this breaks down the album format even further, as downloadable singles have more cache in this model. It also commoditizes music more, with exclusive song releases being used as lures to lock users into particular wireless services.

Personally, I’ve found music-buying to have become a more introverted pasttime, although not via my phone. iTunes has become my one-and-only avenue for buying music; brick-and-mortar outlets might as well not exist.

Still, even though I can now join in on the phone-based music phenomenon, I won’t. Still something about maintaining device orthodoxy: Cellphone for talking (and Web, in a pinch), iPod for music. Call me old-fashioned.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/13/2006 07:41:31 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech, Business | Permalink | Feedback

and it feels so good
I’ve often thought that nothing short of a miraculous re-formation of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players would compel me to ever watch “Saturday Night Live” again.

But I guess a “Seinfeld” cast reunion is close enough:

[Julia] Louis-Dreyfus, who is the guest host this Saturday, was asked during a New York radio interview if she had recently seen any of her former “Seinfeld” castmates, The New York Daily News reported Friday.

“We shot something for my ‘SNL’ appearance,” she replied, adding, “Oh, I probably shouldn’t have said that. It’s supposed to be a surprise.”

“SNL” Executive Producer Lorne Michaels confirmed the worst-kept secret of the week and said the group will appear in a video called the “Seinfeld Curse,” in which none of them find success after the end of the sitcom.

I see the potential for another “Lazy Sunday/The Chronic(What?)les of Narnia” video viral phenomenon. I take it back; see the Update below

Aside from that, I was considering tuning in anyway, solely due to Louis-Dreyfus‘ guest-hosting. Fact is, she was the reason why I first started watching “Seinfeld”, and that was because she was the only cast member I recognized, owing to her “SNL” days. Had she not been on the show, I might not have keyed in on “Seinfeld” until much later.

UPDATE, 5/14/2006: Damn! I was tricked. The “Seinfeld Curse” bit was fairly lightweight. Just a couple of minutes of Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander in a throwaway filmed bit, and Jerry Seinfeld making a brief, hammed-up cameo. And no Michael Richards?? Trust me, no one’s going to be clamoring for this download; the show will have to try another time to recapture the “Lazy Sunday” magic.

Thankfully, it came and went within the first few minutes of the broadcast, so I didn’t have to suffer through the rest of the sketch sludge that defines “SNL” these days. Seriously, I couldn’t make it through the following two skits, they were so banal. I did like the Al Gore opening bit (unlike David); like everything else about this show, it went on too long, but I especially liked the “killer glaciers” part.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/13/2006 06:12:23 PM
Category: TV | Permalink | Feedback