Posts from December 2002

Attention spans: Thanks to the

Attention spans
: Thanks to the University of Virginia [via Die Zeit], here is a full day of radio programming for a Washington station on Sept. 21, 1939. Note:

: Most shows were 15 minutes long. Since when — and why — did 30 and 60 minutes become the standard? And why are we latter-day Americans accused of developing short attention spans? Radio back then was short and sweet — and it was onto something. All you have to do is watch one episode of Dateline NBC that stretches a six-minute story into 60 minutes and you’ll agree that TV could stand a haircut.

: The quality of the programming is not what it is cracked up to be. I have long said that the supposed Golden Age of TV was just shlocky vaudeville; this is the real Golden Age. I have been similarly suspicious of the wonders of radio. This bears out my suspicion. It has its moments (for example, the news writing on old radio is so much more vivid, since it does not rely on either pictures or sound) but all in all, what we have today beats the hell out of what they had then.

: Listening to radio is frankly boring (unless you’re stuck in your car). TV is better. That is why I now push vlogs. Many of us had experimented with audio blogging but that just didn’t work for me; it was boring (and a bit embarrassing) just sitting there listening to my PC. We expect more today and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Yahoo-oo: So Yahoo buys Inktomi.

Yahoo-oo
: So Yahoo buys Inktomi. Says George Mannes at The Street:

Yahoo!, conceivably, could use Inktomi to replace all or part of the search results it receives from Google. On the other hand, Microsoft, whose MSN portal competes with Yahoo!, may not be interested in using Inktomi’s technology once it’s acquired by Yahoo!, giving Google an opportunity to take Inktomi’s place on MSN. Inktomi, which was a pioneer in automated Web search technology, has seen its prominence overshadowed by that of Google and its own formulas for finding relevant search results for Internet users.

On the one hand, Yahoo gets a search engine cheap. On the other hand, it gets the also-ran search engine that is clearly behind Google in quality and acceptance.

Woof: Norwegian mother takes orphaned

Woof
: Norwegian mother takes orphaned puppies to her own breast.

Vlog revolt I am watching

Vlog revolt
I am watching Andy Rooney waste dots on a screen once again, blathering and fumbling about packaging, about a camera packed inside foam inside a box and how that is supposed to reveal something absurd about life.

YOU OLD FOOL, YOU HAVE DONE THAT EXACT SAME SHTICK A HUNDRED TIMES AND IT HAS BEEN JUST AS STUPID AND JUST AS MEANINGLESS EVERY SINGLE TIME AND YET YOU KEEP DOING IT!

Tell me that any of you could not create a vlog with far better, more meaningful, more compelling, more informative, more entertaining commentary than Andy Rooney.

Sports is just sweat: Glenn

Sports is just sweat
: Glenn Reynolds suggests that the World Trade Center site should be given over to a baseball stadium.

Ah, drugs, betting, and greed.

Now there is a real symbol of American corruption.

: Continuing our sports report, Tony Blair is ready to give up Britain’s bid for the 2012 Olympics.

He has that right.

New York is already getting gaga over the prospect of having the Olympics.

I’m not.

They are wildly expensive.

They bring security risks to a city that does not need them.

They will overcrowd an already overcrowded town.

The games are forever tainted by drugs, gambling, greed, and politics; they are not the symbol that they once were (or that we thought they were).

Go, Tony!

: Meanwhile in Texas, they want to just go full circle and turn the Astrodome into a casino.