Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, November 25, 2021

wrong number
Without fail, whenever I whip out my iPod Touch in public, those interested enough to comment invariably compliment me on owning… An iPhone.

Which is a reasonable mistake. Even on close inspection, the visual differences between the Touch and the iPhone are few: The iPhone is slightly thicker and taller thanks to its integrated earpiece and camera, both of which are absent on the latest-generation iPod. That, plus a few other minor design details (and a more icon-heavy default start screen, although that’s adjustable via hacks), is the only way to get a quick read on which Apple gadget one is packing. If you’re not overly familiar with one or the other, you’re not going to be able to tell right off the bat.

Beyond that, it seems the iPhone got loads more hype leading up to its release; by now, the popular consciousness is familiar enough with the iconic visual of an ultra-slim handheld that most can safely assume the item in question is the iPhone. By contrast, despite a standout television commercial, the iPod Touch hasn’t received nearly as much exposure. In fact, I think the Touch has been pretty much lost amid the lingering buzz over the iPhone.

I actually take advantage of this fuzziness by using the common shorthand for describing the Touch: It’s an iPhone without the phone part. Essentially true, but it undermines the device by defining it in terms of another, too-similar device (albeit not a competing one).

Anyway, I’m not scoring too many points off being a faux-iPhoner (iFaux?). Once I clear up the matter, it usually leads to a nice, if brief, chat on how cool our modern-day tech toys are.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/25/2007 08:58:14 PM
Category: iPod
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In case the hype surrounding Black Friday hasn’t stressed the broader impact of this year’s holiday shopping madness, Fortune Magazine frames the make-or-break stakes in terms of a final straw for a teetering U.S. economy:

With consumer spending accounting for about three-quarters of U.S. economic activity, some economists say it is inevitable that the economy will stop growing at some point in the coming year, for the first time since the mild recession of 2001. “Right now, the question is how bad it’s going to get,” said David Rosenberg, chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “The question is one of magnitude.”

And that’s the bright-side view, although the ultra-pessimistic take has a Cassandra-like quality to it:

Others are more direct. Nouriel Roubini, an economics professor at New York University who has been predicting the collapse of the housing bubble for years, wrote recently that not only is a recession inevitable, he also sees “the risk of a severe and worsening liquidity and credit crunch leading to a generalized meltdown of the financial system of a severity and magnitude like we have never observed before.”

Note that “predicting the collapse of the housing bubble for years” part. In other words, Roubini has been issuing doom-and-gloom housing forecasts every six months, and has dumb-lucked into being right after a string of wrong calls — the “even a broken clock is right twice a day” approach to economic analysis. So I’m thinking he’s not the most accurate barometer.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/25/2007 07:52:21 PM
Category: Business, Society
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9 time
Not since Tomas Sandstrom led the roster in scoring has a New York Rangers game been broadcast on local NYC television. But that streaked ended today, as WWOR-Channel 9 aired today’s Dallas Stars at Rangers tilt, the first National Hockey League game on the venerable New York channel since 1989.

What took so long?

The reason for no local-broadcast partner is clear: MSG Network is owned by Cablevision, and the cable operator wants to use the games as a chip to get as many people as possible to subscribe to its system. Also, Cablevision wants to extract high subscriber fees from the other cable and satellite providers operating in and around New York that carry MSG.

Nonetheless, MSG’s Lydia Murphy-Stephans said the deal is “on strategy for increasing the exposure of our content and making our games available to a broader audience.”

For WWOR, the move could serve as a promotional platform for its MyNetworkTV prime-time fare. That network is bleeding money, and has yet to find even a minor hit two years in.

What’s not mentioned: Cablevision also owns the Rangers (and the New York Knicks, who are in the same boat), and uses that leverage to populate MSG Network. So that “our content” comment is true is every sense.

As for WWOR/My9, the lack of impact is truly glaring. They rolled out a bunch of nighttime-soap schlockfests last year to kick off the MyNetworkTV format, and it completely bombed. At this point, the once-quirky independent institution out of Secaucus is nothing but an overflow outlet for its sister FOX affiliate, WNYW-Channel 5.

Of course I watched the Stars take down the Blueshirts 3-2 this afternoon, even up against NFL action. I’ll take an afternoon NHL contest over the putrid G-Men. I also expect to watch the other WWOR Rangers game this season, three Sundays from now on December 16 versus the Phoenix Coyotes at 5PM.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/25/2007 04:36:02 PM
Category: Hockey, New Yorkin', TV
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