The Tata Nano is billed as the world’s cheapest car. But not, apparently, when you consider the cost per mile to operate it. In the photo at left, a Nano finds a spectacular way to say “Ta-ta” to its owner: bursting into flames on the way home from the dealership where it had just been purchased.
As seen in this article from OneIndia.in, the Indian press is taking it seriously – this being at least the third reported incident of the Tata’s external combustion engine.
Back in the USA, there’s a lot to learn from the issue. For instance, here’s how it could appear in standardized testing:
Tata is to Toyota as:
the Cleveland Browns are to the Cleveland Indians;
Jesse James is to Tiger Woods;
Tiger Woods is to David Letterman;
“Hey look, a blimp” is to “What did you do with my investments, Mr. Madoff?”
Content generators – we used to call them writers and reporters – are having a tough couple years. But they can rest easy on this evidence that, of the many indignities they may suffer, offshoring their jobs isn’t likely to be one of them anytime soon:
Sender: email@example.com Subject: We transform one dollar into one thousand! Date: November 28, 2009 3:10:53 PM EST
Do you dream to have a rest with family this summer, but there is no money for this purpose? We shall prompt you the decision of this problem. Everything, that is required from you, it to register at the site of our online-casino, fill up the balance for ANY sum, which is suitable for you, and to start enjoying the gambling. You needn’t to be the master of board games to win huge money here. It is checked up by time!
There’s a new movie out today that seems to be of special interest to girls between the ages of 11 and 16. I’m not sure if you’ve heard about it, but it’s called New Moon. If it doesn’t ring a bell, here’s a short clip that’s been running on TV. (I just can’t see this too many times.)
There haven’t been so many young girls screaming so loud and so long at the same time since the historic day Justin Timberlake went solo.
Am I just grumpy, or has their screaming gotten shriller since the days of The Beatles? I’m anticipating that by the time the third movie of the Twilight series comes out, their youthful larynxes will combine with my aging eardrums to reach the effective pitch of a dog whistle.
And what’s there to say about the 50-year-old women who stand in with them and scream in solidarity for the bare-chested hunky young actors? They have more in common with John Leguizamo in To Wong Foo With Love Julie Newmar than Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie. Other than that, and the fact that I’m glad they aren’t hanging out near my son’s school, I’m pretty much speechless.
The cast has about 9,000 young, attractive people in it. So as the pre-opening hype machine was working, you could tune into any talk show – morning, afternoon, evening or late-night – and be assured of seeing a different cast member with his own, personal shrieking harem. (In fact, if Turkish sultans had elicited this kind of audible reaction from young women, the word ‘harem’ would have a very different meaning today.) With every last cast member apparently booked onto every one of these shows, there hasn’t been a minute of spare airtime in the last two months for other important stuff like John and Kate’s divorce, Afghanistan war policy, or Lindsay Lohan’s VD.
At least the movie has started its run now, bringing the inevitable decline to the 9-and-a-half weeks of hysteria (until the Blu-Ray comes out – I’m guessing just in time for Valentine’s Day).
Finally, something really important that you may not have realized about this unheralded movie: Its release coincided exactly (give or take 36 hours) with the actual new moon in the lunar cycle.
Coincidence? Or proof that President Obama is a disciple of Satan?
This article, on the effort by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar to start a local news service in Honolulu, validates my postion that journalism and the news business are not dead or dying. They are being taken up by a new generation of media outsiders – people who value news and aren’t so burdened by years of “training” in the industry, that they can see new possibilities that may exist. It also helps that they aren’t burdened by an infrastructure built over decades to support old business models.
The article doesn’t say much about Omidyar’s business model – but he intends the service to be for-profit and to generate new contet.
A couple things about this jump out at me – in addition to the obvious fact that it’s at least one more person who’s not willing to give up on the news.
New news businesses tend to be local – where there is less competition to provide information, and where the advertising crisis has had the least impact.
The goals of new news businesses are modest; the ones I’m hearing about tend to seek primacy in a small area, to have a good impact on a relatively small number of people, and make a little money in the process.
Which strikes me as a pretty good way to rebuild an industry that is in historic transition.
Years from now, there will be big players again, who have figured out how to consolidate the many small for-profit news operations that are popping up. Some of those big players will be the same names that are familiar in media circles today. Others will be new.
And the news business will look very different from the way it does right now.
The largest wing ever built was installed this morning on the next U.S. America’s Cup competitor – a 90′x90′ carbon-fiber trimaran built and raced by BMW Oracle Racing.
Photo by Gille Martin-Raget for BMW Oracle Racing. Copyright.
Replacing traditional fabric sails, the wing is the largest ever built. It’s 190 feet tall and 80 percent larger than the wing of a Boeing 747, according to the BMW Oracle Racing website.
BMW Oracle as it looked before the wing; Photo by Gille Martin-Raget
Gentle trials (really on gentle) will begin immediately, culminating in a race against the Swiss defender Alinghi in February. The race is scheduled to be held in Dubai – though that, like so much else in this event, is being contested first in a court of law.
This is only the second time the America’s Cup races will be held using multihulls – though it will be the first where the racing is likely to be more interesting than the court contest.
The first was 1988, when New Zealander Michael Fay challenged the rightful defender, Dennis Connor of the U.S., to a match using a 120-foot sloop-rigged monohull. Connor responded by coming to the race on a 60-foot catamaran (which also had a solid-wing sail). It was an embarrassingly lopsided and unthrilling shellacking. The U.S. won and Connor delivered all the evidence that thousands of insufferable multihull sailors have ever needed to proudly declare their version of the sport to be superior to that played in slower but more maneuverable monohulls.
In any case, the upcoming contest promises to be a race; both teams have at least agreed to sail in boats that should finish within the same time zone of each other.
… and the sun came up this morning. (But you couldn’t see it in Cleveland.)
Iran is on, no off, no on again, and off again in negotiations over uranium enrichment. Jon Stewart made me laugh again, and Rush Limbaugh is about to pop an artery over something or another. My son left the lid up; my daughter stepped right over a pile of her clean laundry in the hall for the fourth straight day.
Another bank either raised my credit card interest rate, lowered my credit limit, or both. The bagger at the grocery store would have put the Coke 2-liter on top of the Wonder Bread if I hadn’t stopped him.
Someone from Nigeria just sent me a personal note, addressing me as “Dear Kind Sir” and offering to give me several million dollars if I will help to launder it by providing my bank account number.
The bottom of my feet hurt a little bit when I got out of bed this morning, but I slept like a baby.
For these things, nobody is going to throw a parade on Broadway. So why should they when the most reliable dynasty in sports does the probable?
God how I hate the Yankees. How nice it would be if I could love them instead.
After 232 years of the USA you’d think we’d be pretty advanced at managing elections by now. But I’ve got this sick feeling we’re getting worse at it.
Back when I was a kid, my parents voted in mini-van-sized booths with curtains, dozens of little levers and one big, red master lever. When you pulled that, you got an audible whrrrr and a click to tell you your vote had been cast; you could see all of the little levers reset, to verify that your vote would be counted for each issue or candidate.
By the time I started to vote, we were punching holes in cards and sticking them into a metal lock box. The only verification that a vote would be counted was the “I voted today” sticker you got at the door – obviously more symbolic than utilitarian.
When I voted today, I filled out little circles with a pen – like the standardized tests I took back in grade school. Then I stuck the ballot into a scanner that was attached to the top of a plastic bin that looked disturbingly like a medium-sized Rubbermaid garbage can. Given all the hanging-chad problems with the previous method, I welcomed the electronic scan – figuring it would verify that all my circles had been filled completely and my ballot was not only cast, but also complete.
It didn’t. It just gave a little “bong” and swallowed my ballot. The elections worker said, “Thank you,” and they failed to offer me a sticker.
I’m thinking by the time my children start voting, they’ll probably do it by dropping a marble in a box, or sticking their finger on an ink pad. Hope they get a sticker.
Subject: Your NAMES was used, Call Me:1-814-796-7443.
Your full names/data’s was used to execute a huge Contract in Dubai
without your consent and you have refused to give a correspondence reply
to My messages, why?
Presently I am on Official assignment in US due to My Bank push towards
acquiring a Bank here in US and an be reached via: “SARGENT’S COURT
REPORTUAL INC. 174 E College Ave Bellefonte PA, in USA: 1-814-796-7443″.
This email message poised because One Mr. Ferguson did came to My Office
to explain that he used your name and data’s to execute a huge Contract in
Dubai without your consent that he used it due to the exigent situation he
Found himself as at the time the Contract was awarded to him and he
fervently pleaded for your understanding especially now that the Project
has been genuinely/legally actualized and the total Project Sum has been
paid to him completely.
Mr. Ferguson then asked that the Sum of Five Hundred Thousand United State
Dollars that he kept in One of his Secret coded deposit Vault Funds in My
Bank be cleared and paid to you as a Compensation for using your name and
data’s to execute his Contract in Dubai without your consent.
There is the needed the for My the “$500,000 Secret coded Vault deposit in
My Bank” be made decoded by Legal clearance and Transferred to you Legally
in accordance with the British Monetary Law. First get back to me via my
secured email Address, to enable me directly reach you Officially or call
you and have a direct voice talk conversation with you now that I am in
As attested therein in these advertorial sites I would be leaving the Bank
soon, so act fast:
[4 links deleted by blogger on assumption that they're phishing links]
Chief Executive Officer.
Prudential Bank Plc London.
Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R OHH.
First get back to me via my secured email Address, to enable me directly
reach you Officially or call you and have a direct voice talk conversation
with you now that I am in USA.
Well, yes. If you have bad content then it doesn’t matter how many people come to see it. Consider this visual from Mark Smiciklas.
Wait, it’s worse than that. If you have bad content, then the more people who see it, the worse off you are. Because now you’re simply broadcasting the fact that you suck.
I would argue you’re better off with great content that only a few people see — because at least those few people will have good things to say about you.
About 10 years ago, I was involved in a magazine that was all about business-to-business commerce. Our readers were intently trying to build e-commerce platforms that would increase the velocity of their business; our advertisers were trying to sell them 7-figure solutions to do so. But the discipline was in its frontier days, and much of what they were doing was first-generation inadequate.
The problem wasn’t that the e-commerce systems failed. It’s that everything else was built for a slower world. Warehouses weren’t organized well enough to handle the high-speed demands of e-commerce. Inventory wasn’t well-enough planned to keep fast-moving items in stock. Shipping contracts didn’t include the kind of pick-up and delivery guarantees that e-commerce requires.
Companies could take the orders with lightning speed, but then the old, slow processes took over.
Which resulted in what became known (at least in my own head) as Rosenbaum’s Law: Enabling e-commerce at a company with bad processes merely makes those bad processes apparent at a much higher speed to a much larger number of people.
The point: Make sure you have something intelligent and/or compelling to say.
Then communicate it.
Then — and only then — promote the heck out of it.