"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 14 March 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XXV



Whatever happened to the Firefly

promise? It seems only yesterday

that we were marvelling at the

brilliance of their plot to

corral the record industry into

buying skads of ads, creating a

promo pool vast enough to allow

them to custom-splash banners in

front of likely consumers.

Apparently, they've run into a

brick wall - namely, the record

companies, drunk on $40 ads in

Maximum Rock 'n' Roll, didn't

bite. Firefly, ever resourceful,

partnered with Newbury Comics

Interactive, transforming

themselves into a populist Whole

Earth Reviewesque supermarket of

music. Then they came up with an

even more fertile ad concept,

throwing their voting system at

the ad banners themselves - as

if clicking on the banner wasn't

vote enough. What with their new

expansion of their database to

include movies, we see a

partnership with Blockbuster by

'98. The Firefly promise?

Whether you're looking for

Legends of the Fall, the new

EP by The Fall, or an IPO by Fall,

things look promising, indeed.


[Music Recommendation Chart]

That is, unless you're one of the

net diehards who see such

immaculately capitalistic

schemes as simply more evidence

of Satan's takeover of the

digisphere. In which case we're

happy to offer an alternative.


[Miscellaneous Icons for HTML]

Imagine our horror at discovering

two of our most moving and

provocative icons copied and

made available as (gasp) clip

art. How do we explain to the

high-priced artiste commissioned

to create the classic yet

distinctive barrel, fish, and

smoking gun that his

transcendent designs now reside

between shaking hands and smiley

faces, soon to be appropriated

by hordes of cheap business

consultants and human resources

"specialists" for their slide

shows and handout materials -

not to mention their websites?

True, all Great Art is sullied

by the smudgy hands of the

masses eventually. Might as well

throw in the towel and trade in

our icons for some new ones -

"the bag, the elephant, and the

weenies" has a nice ring.


[Suck for Dummies]

(While we're on our favorite

topic...) Though it might be a

tad disingenuous to call Suck

"of the people, for the people,"

an extension of that principle

might help make sense of the

creation of "Suck For Dummies."

We like to think our design is

as simple as our style is

simpleton, but we suspect Jason

Kottke created Sock less as a

public service than as a sure-

fire way to get us to waste time

on his home page. Now, if he'd

only brew up some dummies for



[Spinning Star]

We hate to state the obvious,

but, in the browser wars between

Netscape and Microsoft,

Microsoft just doesn't know how

to compete. With server push,

low and hi source, Java and

JavaScript, plug-ins, and the

recent implementation of the

six-year-old animation spec in

the GIF89a graphics standard,

Netscape has the flying logo

market cornered. Meanwhile, the

kids in Redmond have given us

the marquee tag, a piss-poor

substitute for the much cooler,

potentially epileptic

seizure-inducing blink. It

doesn't fly and no one dies -

you wanna review that plan for

world domination again, Bill?.


[Joan L. Brewer]

Tired: Bill-bashing. Wired:

Bill-stalking. Someone finally

addresses the Joan Brewer site

as something more than a case of

HTTP Tourettes.


[Black Star Double-Hopped Premium Lager]

Beer-goggles: "And yet, Minott's

Black Star Double-Hopped Premium

Lager...somehow manages to be as

up-to-date as Netscape 2.0."

(From the 10 March San Francisco


courtesy of the Sucksters