Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, September 24, 2021

creative crap-outs
It’s a bummer to run across some browser error message when trying to load up your favorite website. To make that cyber-rejection sting a little less, many sites take the opportunity to show off some customized humor during 404/503 time.

The especially notable examples: Slonky’s dorkatronic “oh snap!” message, Spore’s creature-feature, and MPLSSTPL’s Twin Cities special (which even more notably, includes a site self-referential link to an appropriate Juliette Lewis video about a collapsing Minnesota bridge… which, ironically, wouldn’t render either, if the 404 applied to the entire site).

I’m a bit ambivalent about these fancy-schmancy efforts. On the one hand, it’s a good branding method for keeping the visitor engaged with a site, even in the face of error and/or disaster. On the other hand, lavishing so much attention on a page that, ideally, shouldn’t pop up too often indicates that your site is crashing on a regular enough basis that the outages are becoming institutionalized — and therefore, means that site maintenance is slacking.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/24/2008 11:10:53 PM
Category: Creative, Internet
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I’ve got an itch to attend BAM Takeover this weekend at Brooklyn Academy of Art. Mainly because I like the idea of late-night arthouse shenanigans:

This is the second year of overnight programming billed as “The Takeover.” The legendary Fort Greene music house will be open from 9 p.m. Saturday until 4 a.m. Sunday, allowing the first 2,700 or so folks who show up to go to as many different performance spaces as they can squeeze themselves into.

They can dance to music selected by deejays King Britt and Vikter Duplaix and watch “The Kingdom,” Lars von Trier’s supernatural thriller set in the neurosurgical ward of Copenhagen’s main hospital.

Moviegoers favoring something a little less cerebral can choose among flicks set in Brooklyn, favorites made in 1985, or films celebrating beer. Those who choose the last category may view while sipping $3 brews.

People who visit the rec lounge will find Nintendo Wii game consoles, Guitar Hero software, table tennis and arcade games.

A little something for everyone! And I’ve been to BAM only once before, so this would be a good reason to revisit.

The other reason this appeals to me: It seems like an expanded version of an all-nighter event from many moons ago (about 10 years, in fact) at the Salvador Dali Museum. That long-ago event was limited to film — specifically, the movies of Andy Warhol. I had wanted to attend the whole thing, but got sidetracked; but I was motivated enough to wake up in the wee hours of a Saturday morning, after a night of hard partying, to drag myself to downtown St. Pete to catch a good portion of the marathon festival. Memorably enough, I got a chance to view Chelsea Girls, in the intended double-projector format.

I expect this latter-day Brooklyn version will trump the Florida happening. As far as the moving image goes, BAM’s offerings won’t be quite as avant-garde: A highlight will be The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew. Not that I’m complaining. Besides, if the movies get tiresome, I can always duck out to dance, or play some vintage vid-games.

All of which inclines me to hit this event alone. As much as I’d like some familiar company, I think I’d have more fun freelancing from space to space myself. I could even stay until the 4AM closing time that way.

Anyway, the full schedule looks like fun, as does the Twittering updates. Strong chance I’ll be artsy-fartsying in Brooklyn in a couple of days…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/24/2008 10:08:09 PM
Category: Creative, Florida Livin', New Yorkin'
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After years of firmware development under Google’s aegis, the first open-source Android-powered phone, T-Mobile’s G1, will be in stores on October 22nd.

And it is a phone, despite what Google’s co-head-honcho blurted out:

“This is as good a computer as you had a few years ago,” said Google’s co-founder Larry Page, who along with the company’s other co-founder, Sergey Brin, arrived on roller blades at the New York stage where the companies held a news conference.

Wrong. Wrong-wrong-wrong. If Google wants to torpedo this effort before it even gets started, a good way to do that is by referring to an Android device as “a computer”.

Simply put, when consumers buy a phone, they want a phone. It doesn’t matter how much the handsets they’re carrying around — even the most stripped-down ones — are really more computer hardware than telephony equipment. Perceptionally, the idea that the handset should do its primary job — make and receive voice phonecalls — is key. For all the other functions, even commonplace ones like texting, most people place the highest priority upon their phone performing best when carrying out its primary function. Otherwise it’s not useful enough to occupy pocket/purse space.

So if the concept of the G1 gets passed along as being, first and foremost, a computer instead of a phone, that will turn off the very mass market that (presumably) Google wants to snag. Again, the reality that every mobile phone is essentially a computer doesn’t matter — the perception does. Even Apple has acknowledged this, as illustrated by having practically every iPhone ad include a mention or demonstration of a phonecall taking place.

You’d think Page would be more circumspect. Maybe Google is setting up Android as a loss-leader? I’ve already speculated that the elements are in place for Android to fail; maybe Mountain View got the memo.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/24/2008 10:56:52 AM
Category: Tech
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