Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, August 23, 2021

corner to corner
Behold! On either side of Broadway and 57th, as odd a sight as you’ll ever see: Not one, but two Duane Reade outlets, directly across the street from each other. Both fully-stocked stores, neither slated for closure (I actually checked with each store manager).

It’s like encountering the nexus of the universe, in street retail form.

Like these drugstores aren’t ubiquitous enough in New York. Goes to show you how much mad business this chain does if two of them can go head-to-head like this. Very much of a Starbucks effect. In fact, at this rate every single street corner of Manhattan will wind up housing either a Duane Reade, a Starbucks, or some bank branch.

Click here, or on the photo above, for a bigger and bolder view of these twins. It actually took me several days to line up this shot — I had difficulty locating the right vantage point. Actually, I’m still not sure I got the ideal one. But short of standing in the middle of 57th Street, it’s the best I could do. Of course, I used the Nikon D80 camera loaned to me by MWW Group.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/23/2007 11:17 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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With current release The King of Kong creating a minor stir around town (it’s playing in two theaters — not that I’m going to go see some documentary on Donkey Kong freaks), and the impending release of ping-pong farce comedy Balls of Fury, I’ve conjured up this silly little fake title:

The Ping of Pong.

It probably would be a more fitting title for the latter flick. Or, it could be a companion piece to the former, this time chronicling the quest for an all-time high score in the venerable granddaddy of videogames, Pong (I’m sure someone out there is burning his retinas out on a 35-year-old machine).

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/23/2007 04:28 PM
Category: Movies, Videogames, Wordsmithing
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Seeking to underline just how much Sun Microsystems is hitching its future to the Java programming language, the company is changing its Nasdaq ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA.

After this change goes into effect on Monday, I’m waiting to read the first howls of dismay from clueless shoot-from-the-hip investors, who’ll see the new four-letter mark, snap up shares, then realize they weren’t buying into some sort of hi-tech coffee company…

This may seem to be a trivial move, confined to the financial pages. But Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz attests to the deeper significance:

SUNW certainly has some nostalgic value - it stands for “Stanford University Network Workstation,” and heralds back to Sun’s cherished roots (in academia). Granted, lots of folks on Wall Street know SUNW, given its status as among the most highly traded stocks in the world (the SUNW symbol shows up daily in the listings of most highly traded securities).

But SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that we’ve decided to look ahead.

JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that’s inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). And so next week, we’re going to embrace that reality by changing our trading symbol, from SUNW to JAVA. This is a big change for us, capitalizing on the extraordinary affinity our teams have invested to build, introducing Sun to new investors, developers and consumers. Most know Java, few know Sun - we can bring the two one step closer.

Schwartz says the rebranding will be limited to the Nasdaq scroll, but from the way he’s talking, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole company someday change its name to “Java Inc.” or similar.

Incidentally, Sun’s far from the first company to use its stock exchange symbol as a promotional tool. As I said before:

If anything, these cutesy letter combinations are useful strictly at the time when a company goes public: Because that’s a prime marketing opportunity, the symbol should fall in line with all the other promotional hype to mark the event. But after that blows over, who cares? It’s purely a shorthand marking for use on the big board. They might as well use numbers.

That said, Sun’s move to JAVA is a reflection of a doubling-down on a proprietary technology that will make or break the company moving forward. So in that sense, this works effectively as a marketing ploy, because it generates a buzz.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/23/2007 03:50 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Tech
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