27 February 2007

Letter in response to "Commercial Break" -- Wired

Below is a letter I wrote in response to the article at bottom (which was never published). Might be interesting in relation to magazine advertising. Viz:
I read with great interest the article about the innovative way that
Chevrolet decided to advertise its Tahoe SUV -- by trying to stimulate
lots of user generated content, some of it not so favorable. Taken to
the extreme, the logical extension of this strategy would be that
advertising should aim not so much to create a positive message as to
create buzz for its own sake. Thus, a successful advertising campaign
would simply result in an article such as the one I just read --
describing a new phenomenon, loosely associated with a product,
irrespective of its merits or demerits.

Issue 14.12 - December 2006
Commercial Break
In a risky experiment, Chevrolet asked Web users to make their own video spots
for the Tahoe. A case study in customer generated advertising.
By Frank Rose
Commercial Break
The thinking went something like this: Chevrolet is all about being
revolutionary, right? (That's debatable, but since Chevy's tagline is "An
American Revolution!" this is where all discussion starts at its ad agency.) And
if Chevrolet is revolutionary, then its advertising ought to be, too. Ergo, the
Chevy message needed to escape the tightly controlled, painstakingly monitored,
woefully predictable confines of the 30-second TV spot and roam the online
jungle. But everybody's doing that now. So, Chevy marketers thought, let's take
this thing a notch further – let's have an online contest to see who can create
the best TV ad for the new Tahoe. The wikification of the 30-second spot – what
could be more revolutionary than that?

20 February 2007

New Weapon in Web War Over Piracy -- NY Times

Doesn't mention that directly image collections (e.g. flickr or artstor) but this is potentially quite relevant to that.

New Weapon in Web War Over Piracy
Published: February 19, 2007
Content-recognition software could address a major entertainment industry concern— songs and videos being posted on the Web without permission.

16 February 2007

Freedom for Prisoners of Voice Mail -- NY Times

Looks interesting... wonder if it's worth a try

State of the Art
Freedom for Prisoners of Voice Mail
Published: February 15, 2007
If you're tired of spending time and cellphone minutes listening to the voice-mail lady, try new tools that convert voice messages to text and deliver them by e-mail.


Perhaps nice to interface with LinkHub, pubnet... .

12 February 2007


Liked the very interesting Whitman images, which make up one from many. These are similar in some respects to the cover of Nature for the sequencing of the genome (also, linked below).


10 February 2007

The Invisible Enemy -- Wired

Interesting pop science article that highlighted the new problem Acinetobacter baumannii has become from the war in Iraq.

The Invisible Enemy
Issue 15.02 - February 2007
The Pentagon created the perfect machine for saving the lives of soldiers wounded in Iraq. But then GIs started getting sick. The culprit: a drug-resistant supergerm infecting the military's evacuation chain.
By Steve Silberman
A homemade bomb exploded under a Humvee in Anbar province, Iraq, on August 21, 2004. The blast flipped the vehicle into the air, killing two US marines and wounding another - a soft-spoken 20-year-old named Jonathan Gadsden who was near the end of his second tour of duty. In previous wars, he would have died within hours. His skull and ribs were fractured, his neck was broken, his back was badly burned, and his stomach had been perforated by shrapnel and debris....
But he still had mysterious symptoms that he couldn't shake, like headaches, rashes, and intermittent fevers. His doctors gave him CT scans, laxatives, methadone, beta-blockers, Xanax, more surgery, and more antibiotics. An accurate evaluation of his case was difficult, however, because portions of his medical records never arrived from Bethesda. If they had, they would have shown a positive test for a kind of bacteria called Acinetobacter baumannii. In the taxonomy of bad bugs, acinetobacter is classified as an opportunistic pathogen. Healthy people can carry the bacteria on their skin with no ill effects - a process known as colonization. But in newborns, the elderly, burn victims, patients with depressed immune systems, and those on ventilators, acinetobacter infections can kill. The removal of Gadsden's spleen and the traumatic nature of his wounds made him a prime target....

08 February 2007


Might be nice to correlate with insulation and other durables over time.


07 February 2007

06 February 2007


Interesting re-evaluation, coupled with three exhibitions that might be nice to see.

Rethinking the legacy of Robert Moses.
Issue of 2007-02-05
Posted 2007-01-29
For a generation, the standard view of Robert Moses has been that he transformed New York but didn't really make it better. This view was shaped by Robert Caro's epic biography "The Power Broker"—published in 1974 and in print ever since. (Parts of it initially ran in this magazine.) Caro portrays Moses as a brilliant political operative who perpetuated his power by means of grand public works....
Moses is clearly due for a reƫvaluation, and this week sees the opening of "Robert Moses and the Modern City," a huge exhibition that surveys his impact on New York. Organized by Hilary Ballon, an architectural historian at Columbia, the exhibition extends over three institutions. The broadest installation, at the Museum of the City of New York, is called "Remaking the Metropolis," and presents Moses's highway system and the big institutions, like Lincoln Center and the United Nations, that he helped build. "The Road to Recreation," at the Queens Museum of Art, documents Moses's new parks, playgrounds, and swimming pools; and "Slum Clearance and the Superblock Solution," at Columbia's Wallach Art Gallery, shows his inventive mastery of the federal government's Title I slum-clearance programs, and the results, both good and bad.