As of late I have been seeing a new type of TV commercial that I don’t remember seeing before. In it a “clever” character wins an invented 30-second situation. Or, as I see it, a dishonest character betrays someone’s trust and gets rewarded for it.
In one commercial a wife pretends to have cooked the canned soup she bought. In another a friend uses her friends to earn credit card points. But the most appalling is the KFC Go Cup commercial (embedded below) where a police officer makes his partner respond to a 10-31 (crime in progress) dispatch call so he can steal his partner’s KFC snack. Appalling? Apparently not to the advertisers and their customers.
Why are there so many of these commercials? Why are they so popular? They must work, or else they wouldn’t be airing. But why do they work? Is it because they are “funny”? Or is it because they appeal to the cheater rooted deeply in the majority of the advertiser’s target demographic? Do these commercials and their apparent success reveal something deeper about the American psyche?
First off, this is not a paid post. I must say this because it will probably read like a Wunderlist advertisement, which it is not.
I have been looking for the right to-do-list application since 1994. As technology changed, so did my solutions. But instead of getting better, they gradually got worse and worse. In the last couple of years I have used Google Tasks (a joke) and Trello (overkill). Neither felt right.
I have been using Wunderlist for a few days, and I love it. It fits my needs perfectly. It lets me create lists and tasks within lists. It lets me sort tasks by due date (which Trello does not — the main reason I dropped it). Wunderlist is cloud-based, so I can use it to sync tasks between my desktop and my phone. Its interface is elegant. It is a pleasure to use. It is free.*
Wunderlist is made in Berlin, Germany, and has over five million users.
* Wunderlist has a paid version, which I haven’t tried. The free version meets all my needs.
This is the annual update of the authoritative A.T. Rank of Social Media Networks. A notable change from last year’s list is the addition of Instagram, which I started using three months ago and instantly fell in love with.
A.T. ACCT STATUS
WHAT’S GOING ON
Retains last year’s top spot. Still the most valuable network, by far.
I don’t link to The New York Times any more because chances are that by following the link my readers will see this screen, with its giant “Subscribe” button. And they won’t see the actual story. Because they don’t subscribe. Good thing the same story is available elsewhere for free. Cough.
Notice the /mobile/wall/smart/ in the URL path in the screenshot? How ironic. There is nothing smart about this. Talk about being penny wise and pound foolish (looking at you, NYT!). Or eating the seed corn. Or hoping to get bought by Steve Ballmer. Ugh!
I give you two ways to respond to graffiti, both found on the twitters. You can either hire someone to remove the graffiti (left), or you can ironically embrace them and ironically turn them into an ironical piece of art. Ironically, of course. Or maybe sarcastically (right).
Here is a full transcript of the bathroom graffiti label:
Lincoln, NE. 1996
I Lack Creativity, 2011
sharpie on drywall: 35 x 48 cm
In an attempt to abandon aesthetics, I Lack Creativity by Anonymous showcases an antiquated hieroglyph that has remained unchanged since the late 70s. Here, Anon makes a fascinating plea to retard human evolution and remind us what it may have been like to use a public restroom in 1983.
This is not unprecedented. Sarah Palin’s glasses also sold well while she was campaigning for Vice President on John McCain’s ticket in 2008. And Paula Deen’s book (not due until October) is already ranked #1 on Amazon. [UPDATE June 29, 2013: Deen's publisher has dropped the book, and she has reportedly lost as much as $12.5 million in earnings over the N-word controversy.]
Which proves yet again that all publicity is good publicity. [UPDATE June 29, 2013: Does not, apparently.]
You can order the Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 16 Running Shoe from the Amazon link below (I will make a small commission). While there, read the funny product reviews.
I have been a daily visitor to NJ.com for years. I have never had any serious problems, other than the occasional pop-up, which somehow (I wonder how) manages to sneak past my web browser’s pop-up blocker.
However, since I started using Yandex Browser last week, about half of the pages on NJ.com are being flagged as containing malware, and display a message similar to this one. Other browsers, such as the latest versions of Google Chrome and Firefox, generate no warnings and display the requested NJ.com pages. So what is going on? Is Yandex Browser throwing false positives, or are other browsers failing to block potentially harmful malware?
Yandex Browser is built by the Russian internet search giant Yandex. The browser is based on the open-source Chromium code, and uses security data from Sophos — a respected antivirus and IT security company headquartered in the UK.
This photo got 17,088 Flickr views in eight hours. There’s a strong message in this. I wonder whether the US is listening. [UPDATE July 25, 2013] The original Flickr photo was removed. Below is a facsimile: