"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 14 December 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XIII


[Old Media]

At first, we thought absurdly

unwarranted Suck publicity would

be great for laughs and kind to

our hit counts - but it's slowly

dawning on us that, in the words

of that other moonlighter, David

Addison, you can lead a horse to

water, but that doesn't make him

a duck. When the gala debut

issue of WebSight deemed us

worthy of a full-page blurb, it

hardly came as a surprise to

find they'd omitted the only

genuinely important piece of

information they might have

offered - our URL. And when our

brethren across the hall at

[name of magazine deleted -

rhymes with "ired"] did the same

(editing out our URL from

a pre-copyedited version we

saw) we could only slap our

foreheads in exasperation and

curse the sorry legacy of bad

genes everywhere. Listen up,

children: those funny-colored

underlined blobs on Web pages?

They're called hypertext links.

We use 'em to create paths to

and from all those pretty

pictures and blocks of squiggly

shapes - thus, the "Web". No,

you can't link directly from

your pulpy little tipsheets to

our page (just trust us here -

you can't). But even if you get

our name wrong, misrepresent us,

call us cretins, or paraphrase

the garbage from our press

releases and package it as a

review - just do us and your

readers a favor and get the

fucking URL right. Your check

will come via email in 5-7

working days, we promise...


[Tyler's Browser Survey]

Maybe the people hawking counters

had the right idea. Nestled deep

in the category of "Engineers?

This is a website, not a

choo-choo train!" comes Tyler's

Browser Survey on the Spot. Now,

the HotWired marketing corps

assures us (and their pals at

AdAge) that "research (should

be) the soul of your Web

strategy," but considering how

suspicious most of us tend to be

of surveys, we'd think an

enterprising site manager might

want to consider asking a

question or two before soliciting

users for info that's probably

already being logged. Browser

type? Operating platform? We're

at a loss as to why they didn't

just go ahead and ask, "How many

times have you visited the

Spot?" It's a paranoid fantasy

of ours that the marketing

geniuses at Fattal & Collins are

really gathering statistics on

what percentage of their

readers, when faced with a

survey, will cheerfully lie -

but then, we've been known to

fantasize at the Spot. Here's a

tip: go ahead and apply

semi-permanent tattoos to

Michelle's cleavage - the

anti-corporate contrarian

contingent may have a thirst for

Zima, after all.



We're still not exactly sure what

game the characters at

secret.org hope to be playing,

but two things are certain:

their rhetoric has us in

stitches ("We plan to achieve our

goals by infecting the media and

by using the new medium of the

Internet to become the media.")

and they send us the best URLs.

We're especially enchanted by

WEBHITZ(tm), which came to us

with the now-familiar "these

guys are on crack" subject line.

"There is a tremendous amount of

non-constructive Web browsing

('surfing the net') going on

today," explains Infostar,

Inc.'s Peter Greene - and to us,

what's most hilarious about

Infostar's cerebrum-imploding

solution is the fact that,

design and implementation aside,

this is the same wacky approach

currently being touted by eWorld

and MSN as ground-breaking. Yup -

a big list of "useful" URLS

for you to assign as your very own

special homepage. "Use Yahoo

when you can't find it on

WEBHITZ(tm) and use your web

browser to "bookmark" the web

site as a good place to return

to." C'mon, guys - "bookmark" a



[Net Censorship Now!]

If you're in the mood for

righteous indignation, our

suggestion is to forego the

pantywaist RealAudio, CuSeeME,

and MBONE broadcasts of today's

SF 1st Amendment rally in favor

of old-fashioned f2f attendance.

The net, with its ultra-niche,


association-fee landscape,

hasn't exactly proven the most

fertile ground for grass-roots

organization, but what with the

House Conference Committee on

Telecommunications Reform

flaunting their ignorance like

streakers in a mortuary, some

sort of response seems

appropriate. If the net can

encourage flash crowds, what's

to say (except the money in the

wallets of those protesting)

that a flash mob is out of the

question? And if shouting "No

Blood For Oil!" to no one in

particular in the rain soured

you to the concept of the

political rally - and if burning

that flag on the 4th of July

when it was "illegal" doesn't

sound like such a good idea, in

retrospect - we can only invite

you to this "protest" to renew

your faith in the political

process. Admission is free, and

you probably won't get the crap

beat out of you this time.

courtesy of the Duke of URL