Bites & Bytes: Super Bowl Edition
Yet another reason video games are bad for your kid. Police in Ohio this week arrested a 19-year-old Michigan man accused of repeatedly raping a 12-year-old boy he met on Xbox Live. Police said Codey R. Hawks, 19, met the victim through Xbox online live a year ago, then traveled from Michigan to Ohio and was staying with the victim. Leaving open the question of why the 12-year-old's parents invited a complete stranger their kid met on Xbox Live to live in their home. Perhaps they should arrest a couple more accomplices.
The killer app: a recall button. A Ketchum PR VP, on landing in Memphis to see major client FedEx, fired off a Twitter that said, "True confession but I'm in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say 'I would die if I had to live here!'" Unfortunately, he copied both the FedEx agency and client management. The FedExers, who have to live in what many say is a shithole of a city, got indignant that someone they pay to manage their image called it like it is. How many times do people need to be told that even the best PR can't hide the truth (for long)?
A ValueClick manager sent an email to ShoeMoney, trying to solicit business. Unfortunately, the executive didn't read the email closely before sending, because pasted on it was the same message sent to MoneyExtra. The biggest surprise of this story is that anything from ValueClick got past spam mail.
The bright side of Wall Street's distress. A recent Gallup Poll on Americans' use of the Internet found an apparent reversal of trend. "Those aged 30-49 and those making $75K or more per year were slightly less likely than a year ago to report using the Internet more than one hour each day." Well, yeah, no more brokers sending racist/sexist jokes to each other.
Time wounds all heels. After a stalker forced him to spend $2,000 a day on security last summer and a man spit on him at a conference, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington says that he might quit the biz altogether. He tells the WSJ that "reporting from Dow Jones' AllThingsD and Gawker Media's semi-shuttered Silicon Valley gossip blog, Valleywag, made him a target for crazy people." Given Arrington's dismissive treatment of people in the tech industry, I can only think of 3 or 4,000 suspects.
The Time Warner school of mercy killing. In a staff memo announcing that he will ax 700 more AOL jobs and forgo merit pay increases in 2009, CEO Randy Falco comforts the troops with 166 words worth of acquisitions, achievements and accomplishments that "...continues to put AOL in a strong position to capitalize on our new business model when the recession ends." Words certain to make fired employees proud.
Finally, something really about the Super Bowl (kinda). In a transparent attempt to latch on to pregame hype about Super Bowl ads, PETA submitted an ad to NBC, which promptly rejected it, saying, "the PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards." The ad portrays one actor "screwing herself with broccoli" and another with "asparagus on her lap appearing as if it is ready to be inserted into [her] vagina." Adrant's Steve Hall writes of the affair: "Like PETA was ever going to actually pay $3 million to run a commercial during the Super Bowl. The whole strategy, of course, is to contend NBC allows ads for unhealthy junk food from the likes of KFC but won't allow ads encouraging, in PETA's opinion, a healthier lifestyle. Well, PETA, how about an ad that just said that instead of an ad which depicts women having sex with vegetable?" Not that Steve historically has had a problem with women having sex with vegetables.
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