"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 18 April 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XXX


[Yack Live]

Flip channels in the late

afternoon and you're liable to

come across MTV's Yack Live.

Yack Live scrolls an America

Online chat session across the

bottom of the screen while a

video plays above it. It's

interactive-free interactivity,

for when offering up chat-room

banter of your own requires too

much thinking. The text meets

every expectation you have: that

a particular band "rulez" or

"sux," that RudeBoy69 is a very

lonely young man, that enough

people with enough keyboards

will eventually produce every

possible innuendo about Madonna.

One wonders what the filtering

software actually checks for.

"Fuck" and "shit" and all the

other biggies, we assume, but

perhaps not "This broadcast is

Copyright 1996 Suck. All rights




Mainstream media has seldom

failed to entertain as of late

with the unfolding saga of the

tobacco industry's woes in the

U.S. market. But while the

spectacle plays itself out

nationally and the cycle begins

anew in international markets, a

broader aspect is largely

ignored. The history of the

tobacco industry also happens to

be a textbook study of twisted

elegance in product development,

not refined media choreography.

The cigarette, like any

modern-day consumer marvel, is a

conceptually empty container,

begging to be filled with ideas

of "cool," "mature," or "sexy."

And the idea of cigarette is

vast enough to accommodate all of

these notions, since they only

need exist through the short

honeymoon phase of any potential

smoker's life. The next wave of

dime-store media theory might do

well to move beyond an analysis

of marketing that "resonates" in

favor of content, like nicotine,

that's habit-forming. Hey - it

worked with Friends.



For years, we've wondered why

sitcoms always seem to feature

either advertising industry

"creatives" or architects.

Finally, we find data to

substantiate our suspicions -

a list of every sitcom architect

from Mike Brady of The Brady

Bunch to Elyse Keaton of Family

Ties. Apparently an off-shoot to

a seminar at the University of

Florida's College of

Architecture, there's little

other immediate gratification to

be found beyond the sitcom

architect list. And, while

we find the site's remote

control/TV guide interface

soothingly familiar and easy to

use, the accompanying text only

makes us glad we left behind the

hallowed halls of education for

the instant satisfaction of the

boob tube.



We hear that Tim Leary is feeling

better these days, so until the

launch of deathwatch.com, the

morbidly inclined will have to

look elsewhere for their sick

kicks. One place to start - the

U.S. Geological Survey's

Earthquake Information site.

What it lacks in the gore

department (few are actually

killed in most quakes), it makes

up for in both speed and detail.

A partnership between the USGS

and the University of California

at Berkeley allows for

seismic info to be made

available a mere 30 seconds

after the event. Viewing the

site while sitting on a rather

famous fault (no, not anyone's

ass, though that counts too), we

look forward to the day when the

Big One hits and we see it

happen through Windows and not

the window. But will it crash

our browser?


courtesy of the Sucksters