Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, February 24, 2021

I got a happy surprise today when 10/10 Optics called and told me that my new glasses were ready for pickup, days earlier than I expected.

So I hustled over to get them. Maybe I was excited about gracing my face with this l.a. Eyeworks black-grey frame (inexplicably named “Shorty”). Or maybe I was anxious to start seeing a little more crystal-clearly than I had been through my years-old lenses.

Or, more likely, I was looking forward to getting myself another shot of Jack Daniels to seal the transaction, as is the unique habit at this particular optician.

I actually had to request my goodbye hit of liquor this time out, after the final fitting. But they complied cheerfully enough. Luckily it was another bone-chilling day out, which justified the tippling well enough.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/24/2009 10:39pm
Category: Fashion, New Yorkin'
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Consider this the shedding of toxic assets right down to the individual level: American Express is paying their deadbeat members to turn in their plastic and walk away.

Now, in an effort to get rid of more of their high risk customers, Amex is offering a $300 gift card to some cardholders as an incentive to pay off their revolving account balances by the end of April.

“They are trying to get ahead of the game and eliminate their losses,” says Steven Murphy of the Tower Group, an organization that tracks consumer credit card spending. Murphy says such incentives may just be the first step companies are taking to ward off the skyrocketing number of delinquencies before the bottom falls out on the credit card industry too.

Maybe this will mean a permanent reduction in the junk-mailing of all those annoying credit-card offers…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/24/2009 10:04pm
Category: Business, Society
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While giving an overview on the ups and downs of online video repository Hulu, Fortune’s Jessi Hempel makes the following observation about another television network-owned site:

Consider TV.com. It is now the property of CBS (CBS, Fortune 500), the media juggernaut that passed on its opportunity to join with the other big networks in Hulu’s original launch. But when Hulu first partnered with TV.com, it was owned by CNET, and basically served as a TV fan site that hosted mostly user-generated content. That changed when CBS paid $1.8 billion for CNET last year. (TV.com? The golden URL alone was surely a major asset to CBS in the acquisition.)

Yes, it surely was. And in fact, when that billion-dollar deal went down, I argued that that “golden URL” was a primary driver for CBS bothering with CNET at all:

Yes, I’m characterizing this deal as essentially another dollars-for-domains transaction. Unlike other instances, though, this one actually makes sense. There’s no other way to establish the kind of mindshare that two dead-simple dot-com addresses [TV.com and news.com] bring. Having these two roads lead to CBS online properties will count big, with overall brand-building and online revenue generation via ads and other channels.

I still feel that way. I’ve noticed that CBS is promoting TV.com with primetime and late-night commercials, so they’re well on the road toward pumping up that online home. I haven’t detected a similar effort for news.com, which came along with the CNET purchase, but I expect it to be transformed from a tech-news focus to a redirect for CBSNews.com eventually.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/24/2009 09:24pm
Category: Business, Internet, TV
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