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Monday, April 13, 2021

I’m really not liking the sound of this Fortune article:

To start, we have to stop thinking about cell phones and Blackberrys as devices for making calls and sending e-mail. Mobile devices are our personal keys to access the Web all around us. The Web is everywhere, but we tend to access it two ways - from a fixed, wired location or on a cellular network from wherever we happen to be (laptops and more so, netbooks, occupy a middle ground). The benefits of one context are quite often the limitations of the other, and these attributes often complement the different needs we have of them.

For example, in a wired setting we enjoy sites with full features, content and graphics, thanks to a big screen, high processing power and large bandwidth. We don’t have these benefits with our mobile devices, but we usually don’t need them. Instead, mobile Web sites should offer us the basic information we are most likely seeking - the same functionality and information many of the apps currently offer.

In the case of a bank, this could be the ability to review accounts, transfer funds and pay bills. An airline site might enable users to check flight status or do a quick fare search. A restaurant should prominently display its phone number, with the option to click to call, and its address, linked to a map showing that location in relation to the user’s. The sites are dumbed-down in a way that takes advantage of the smart capabilities of the device.

Industry backed consortiums like dotMobi are helping facilitate the growth of the mobile Web by spearheading standardization and creating tools that translate Web site content into a user-friendly mobile site. DotMobi is also making it easier to find mobile Web sites, with naming protocols like its “.mobi” domain.

Nothing wrong with optimizing Web design and content for a better mobile user interface. But this proposal for a two-tiered Web sounds suspiciously like a return to Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), the stripped-down content-scrape that dominated cellular Web browsing before the iPhone came along.

Do we really want to go back to that — fairly pointless duplication of effort in online media? The whole point of the iPhone was to usher in mobile Internet accessibility that mirrors the “regular” Web as closely as possible. Obviously there’s a sacrifice in sheer scale and some processing power, but essentially, the idea is that you see the same websites on your mobile device that you would on your full-sized desktop/notebook. It makes life easier for everyone: Less work for the designers and architects, and less confusion for the user.

Frankly, this is going to be a non-issue for the same reason it’s become a non-issue in the mainstream Web world: Just as broadband became the standard for the online experience, so too will faster throughput on mobile networks make optimization limits on phones passe.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/13/2009 11:03:57 PM
Category: Internet, Tech
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Nothing says “I haven’t progressed beyond high school” quite like replaying a 1993 football game nearly 15 years later.

That’s what alums from Easton (Pennsylvania) Area High and Phillipsburg (New Jersey) High are doing, come this Thanksgiving. Not surprisingly, and further underlining the point, the bulk of those former players aren’t traveling too far to get back to their alma mater’s football field — most are still local. Like I said, little to no progression.

Apparently, this whole thing is being engineered by Gatorade as a marketing stunt. The best part is the celebrity stand-ins:

Overtime didn’t exist back then, but both schools are serious about settling the score. NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Eli Manning will even be on hand as honorary coaches.

It would be more appropriate to have Robin Williams and Kurt Russell provide the star power, because this whole concept mirrors a mildly funny football movie they made together: 1986’s The Best of Times. Same premise, basically: Two small-town teammates (Williams’ Jack Dundee and Russell’s Reno Hightower) try to regain former glory after having peaked on the high school gridiron, by getting the gang back together for a do-over between Taft and Bakersfield. That flick is actually one of my favorites, only because it recreates the small-town atmosphere with humorous pathos. Not sure I actually want to see that play out in real life, though.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/13/2009 01:18:11 PM
Category: Football, Movies
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Ever since Tara practically dared me via a name-dropping tweet, I’ve mulled putting my version of a Tony Danza impression on video and up on the Web, for all to see.

Since I’ve now joined the 21st Century and gotten a webcam, I decided to go for it. So here, via YouTube, is my impersonation of everyone’s favorite TV Tony:

Admittedly crude, without any titling or other fancy video editing. In the interests of just getting it done, I’m submitting it raw. It makes me laugh at myself, which is no mean feat, so I must have done something right.

I won’t claim authorship of this little routine. I saw some comedian do it years ago, probably on Comedy Central; good luck finding the original. Anyway, everyone in comedy steals from one another, and since I’m not even a comedian, that gives me even further license to swipe.

The larger irony is that I’m not a fan of “Who’s the Boss?”. I just like the sound of that mock-emoting progression of “Mona, Angela, Samantha”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/13/2009 11:41:42 AM
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, TV
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