Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, July 29, 2021

For years, I didn’t know the name of the horror movie I happened upon on television one afternoon, back in the fabled 1970s.

But I couldn’t forget it. Because the memory of those creepy-malevolent voodoo dolls, scurrying evil-quick in chasing some screamy woman around her apartment, never left me. Even now, I vividly remember the chills my 8-year-old self felt when watching the woman dash into her bathroom, slam the door behind her, and then look down to see a knife carving its way in-and-out under the door. I don’t think I ever had nightmares from this psychotic imagery, but it definitely scared the bejesus out of me.

It wasn’t until much later that I found out the movie was Trilogy of Terror, a made-for-TV schlockfest starring Karen Black. I guess there were two other vignettes that made up the film, but who cares: The action began and ended with the killer voodoo creatures, known as Zuni dolls.

And it wasn’t until even later — yesterday, in fact — that I found out that I wasn’t the only Seventies kid to have this acid-trip of a flick burned into the consciousness.

Which means a generation of tykes were scarred by this crazed afternoon-TV spectacle. If only the V-chip were around back then…

I also found out that the Zuni Fetish Warrior Figure is available for purchase. Doesn’t quite look the same as I remember seeing it, on a tiny black-and-white screen. Just the same, don’t anybody put it on my birthday-gift list.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/29/2006 08:50:46 PM
Category: Movies
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one-trick pony?
Google’s domination of Internet search certainly has done wonders to advance the company. That perch enabled it to become the Web’s preeminent advertising syndicate.

But take away those two growth engines, and it’s been rough sledding. Google can’t seem to make a go at blogging, online video distribution, and social networking — Web frontiers for future sustainability beyond search.

“The problem with Google is everyone associates them with being a search engine, but nothing beyond that,” says Richard Fetyko of Merriman Curhan Ford & Co., an independent equity research firm.

Google’s motivation is to both diversify, and to protect its brand cachet by extending its Internet search engine into the red-hot new Web services of the future.

To be sure, whatever revenue that the small new players are generating is — for now — small potatoes for a mammoth like Google, which garners more than $1 billion in sales every quarter as the Internet search market continues to sizzle.

What’s troubling for Google, analysts say, is how far behind it has fallen in markets considered key to its future. The impact won’t be felt now, but years from now when Google can no longer rely on its search engine for the bulk of its revenues.

“Google hasn’t succeeded in most things it has tried outside of search,” said Nate Elliott, an analyst with Jupiter Research. “They just don’t seem to have done a lot of other things right.”

Unusually harsh words from the analyst arena, which in the past has been gushingly pro-Google. I guess they’ve woken up to the single-source nature of the search giant’s fortunes — 95 percent of which come from the sole ad revenue channel.

The one qualifier when looking at the challenges to Technorati, YouTube, and MySpace: All of Google’s versions are still in beta, and haven’t been widely promoted publicly. Google Blogsearch, for instance, is still practically trapped in the Google Labs incubator. Presumably, once Mountain View has the formal coming-out party for its apps, it’ll be more of a fair comparison.

Still, that doesn’t obscure the fact that, indeed, Google’s mindshare among most Web users begins and ends with search. In fact, the company’s been emphasizing for so long how it’s the uncluttered alternative to Yahoo! and other search engines that it’s hard to reverse course now; it had done too good of a branding job during its rise.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/29/2006 07:41:38 PM
Category: Business, Internet
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