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Tuesday, October 20, 2021


Remember Microsoft Surface? Of course you don’t — no one else does either. The Big Redmond Machine’s mostly-vaporware attempt at replicating Apple’s iPhone touchscreen technology (right down to the Apple-like logo, above) has gone pretty much nowhere since being announced last year.

So no better way to revive interest in it than demonstrating it as a Dungeons & Dragons gameplaying platform, right? I’m sure the D&D crowd will be the ideal vanguard userbase to spread the Surface gospel.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/20/2009 11:20 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech, Videogames
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Underlining how irrelevant a 24-hour weather broadcast is nowadays, The Weather Channel is breaking its forecasting cycle by showing movies on Friday nights.

The films are either weather-themed or have plots in which weather plays a key role, [chief programmer Geoffrey] Darby said. Meteorologist Jennifer Carfagno will host movie night and offer commentary.

Other movies include the documentary “March of the Penguins,” the thriller “Deep Blue Sea” and “Misery,” for which Kathy Bates won an Academy Award.

The weather angle is pretty clear in “The Perfect Storm,” but “Misery”? Darby noted the nightmare endured by James Caan’s character begins with a blinding snowstorm.

For The Weather Channel, the risk lies in alienating its regular weather-obsessed viewers, who tune in for news of high pressure systems rather than high drama. The potential reward is that new fans will tune in, and they’ll stay on the station for a longer period, pleasing advertisers.

It’s nothing new: Whenever a single-purpose cable channel starts adding off-focus content like movies, reality shows, etc., it’s because it can’t talk to a certain segment of advertisers otherwise. Whatever devoted audience it had is essentially abandoned at that point, with the hoped-for tradeoff of higher viewer volume.

So since TWC has made the jump, should we anticipate “Rainy Day Movies” to debut soon — flicks that roll in sync with local atmospheric conditions? Might as well synergize the hell out of this whole deal.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/20/2009 10:49 PM
Category: Movies, TV, Weather
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