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August 14, 2009

29 percent drop in video game revenue

Videogame Industry Revenue Takes a Fall - WSJ.com
Total U.S. videogame industry revenue fell more than expected in July on a sharp drop in console sales, NPD Group Inc. reports. Analysts were bracing for overall U.S. videogame spending on games, consoles and accessories to fall around 15% in July. Rather, the U.S. market slowed at nearly twice that pace, dropping 29% from the previous year to $848 billion, NPD said. July was the fifth straight month of double-digit percentage declines in industrywide spending. The results are likely to further pressure on console makers to cut prices, which most major manufacturers haven't done in some time.

August 11, 2009

Ten winning tips for PR pros

The Bad Pitch Blog: PR People: Stop Being Bad at Stuff and Read This
1. Express Yourself The look of your press release is very important. The first rule of emailing is that EVERY SUBJECT LINE YOU SEND SHOULD USE ALL CAPS AND END WITH AT LEAST FIVE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!! THE MORE EXCLAMATION POINTS, THE BETTER!!!!!!! As for the content itself, black on white is played out. Jazz it up! Change your text and background colors to, say, pink on red, or teal on rainbow, yellow on orange. Anything attention-grabbing and bright will do. Also, use a fun font! Comic Sans looks very professional. For more ideas, visit any MySpace page belonging to a 14 year old. PR GOLD!!!!!!!! 2. Play Hard to Get Like Joyce's Ulysses or any David Lynch film, a well-crafted pitch should be nearly impenetrable to mere mortals. Here's a neat exercise: Take your "hook" or story idea and bury it under layers of lofty, abstract, dense prose. For good measure, spell things phonetically and use random, Faulknerian italics. Your target audience, after all, is comprised of reporters – and we all know they have lots of time to read heavy things. It's their job, not yours, to gauge the relevance of your information. And don't forget, jargon is your friend – it not only spotlights your sophisticated, in-the-know, vocabulary, but it also says to the reporter: I respect your intelligence. 3. Wear Them Down As soon as you've emailed your release to a reporter, wait 10-15 minutes, then send a follow-up email reminding him to read it. A few (2-3) minutes later, call the reporter and remind him to read both your email and the original release. If he doesn't pick up the phone, just go ahead and read him your entire press release, word for word, over a series of voicemails. With all the information journalists get, they’ll appreciate the transcription—it’s really cool! Repeat for five consecutive days. When you get a "No." or a "Please stop." or an "I'm a police reporter, I don't care about the 10 best ways to wear a romper, I don't even know what a romper is," then you're making an impression. Damn – give yourself a pat on the back!

August 06, 2009

"An Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force"

U.S. Patent #3,216,423, granted Nov. 9, 1965. (click the image...

Continue reading ""An Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force"" »

August 04, 2009

Is wikipedia stagnating?

After the boom, is Wikipedia heading for bust? - tech - 04 August 2009 - New Scientist
The balance of power within the people who contribute to Wikipedia also appears to have shifted – away from casual contributors who make infrequent changes, toward more active and established contributors. Chi says the trend could shut out new users. "Occasional" editors, those who make just a single edit a month, have 25 per cent of their changes erased, or reverted, by other editors, a proportion that in 2003 was 10 per cent. The revert rate for editors who make between two and nine changes a month grew from 5 to 15 per cent over the same period. "This is evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content," say the Palo Alto team. Chi told New Scientist that the changes could harm Wikipedia in the longer term by deterring new editors from taking part and so reducing the number of people available to spot and correct the vandalism that constantly threatens the encyclopaedia. "Over time the quality may degrade," he warns. Chi thinks that Wikipedia now includes so much information that some editors have turned from creating new articles to improving existing ones, resulting in more disputes about edits. Such disputes are not a level playing field because established editors sometimes draw on extensive knowledge of Wikipedia's guidelines to overwhelm opposition in a practice dubbed "wikilawyering".

How To: Make a Watermelon Keg

Tap a Watermelon! or How to Make a Watermelon Keg

August 03, 2009

Twit-A-Round -- an augmented reality interface for Twitter

I can't even imagine how this would look in the Mission on a Saturday. Or at any sort of tech conference. Or at SXSW. (via Bruce Sterling)

July 30, 2009

How to: Make a berry picker

BERRY PICKER