"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 5 December 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LXIII



How many times can the Apocalypse

herald itself? Where we once

awaited the arrival of the

Fourth Horseman, we've now come

to realize how outmoded the

concept was from the start. With

a distributed network, no horses

are required, and the message of

doom is no further away than

your Eudora inbox. This week's

"bulletin from the end of the

world" came in the form of a

press release from CyberSlice, a

sausage-headed start-up which

hopes to be the BigBook of

pizzerias. We nearly choked on

our stuffed-crust pizzas when we

parsed the following



Two years ago, Tim Glass,        
president and co-founder of      
CyberSlice, was inspired by the  
movie, "The Net." In the film,   
actress Sandra Bullock orders a  
pizza online without getting up  
from her computer. It struck Mr. 
Glass as the "perfect 'real      
life' consumer application for   
the Internet.                    


No matter that Pizza Hut had

already tried and failed with

this gambit (the part where

users had to hang up their

modems to accept the

verification follow-up call was

only one stumbling block). If

all goes according to the

blueprint for the Endtimes, the

next few months should see

Iomega citing Johnny Mnemonic

for new storage hardware

inspiration, Qualcomm releasing

a streaming video plug-in as

seen in Ransom, and Suck

announcing that it has lifted

its copy-flow policy from

Suddenly Susan. Repent now.



Following a trend that attempts

to sprinkle some Tinseltown

glitter onto the putty-gray

offerings of tech reporting, The

Red Herring eschews the likes of

ILM president Jim Morris to

place a barefoot Danny DeVito on

the cover of its Digital

Hollywood issue, above the

caption "Is this the face of new

media?" Although we're hardly in

a position to poo-poo someone

trying to get a little press by

complaining about his AOL

browser crashing, we are a

little miffed that the Herring

didn't see fit to answer the

question it so provocatively

posed. Though on-demand repeats

of Taxi might give Nick at Nite

a run for its money, the answer,

for those holding their breath,

is no.


[Feed MTV]

The web may be a new medium, but

old habits die hard, and when

faced with the barren desert of

Way New Profiteering, nothing

feels quite as comfortable as

the old revenue stream. Last

week, Viacom threatened to kick

off a wave of tit-for-tat access

blackmail when it proposed

transplanting the "cable TV"

revenue model to the web: Unless

AT&T, for example, kicks in a

couple of mil up front, all its

users will be blocked from

accessing MTV Online. While the

threat rings especially hollow

to those of us more familiar

than Sumner Redstone with the

five-million-channel boob tube,

one has to admire the mind of

the executive that thought up

this little scheme. It probably

looks great in that jar on his




Ah, can you recall the light and

jaunty days when a manned

airship was something to be

counted on? There was Goodyear

and there was Fuji and every now and

again you'd be introduced to the

airship's flight crew during the

third quarter of a sluggish

Broncos game, and exactly that

much was right in the world.

Today, it seems like just about

any company with product to hawk

has got their own dirigible, and

you can't cross the street

without a menacingly large and

alarmingly slow-moving phallus

of bloated vinyl blotting out

the sky. Coke has one, Virgin has one,

Blockbuster has one (came with

the stadium), Mastercard, Met

Life, Mazda and Pink Floyd too.

Even so, it seems miraculous

that it's taken this long for

the Message-Resembles-The-Medium

concept of blimp advertising to

catch on with websites.

AltaVista was the first to

figure it out, and a

low-altitude AV logo is

currently making the rounds in

the blue skies above San

Francisco. But will others

follow? Doubtlessly so. Rumors

have been circulating that

Rossetto and crew are feverishly

working up plans for a HotBot

airship that is not constrained

by the "nonmaterial, so-called

forces" of air and/or gravity.

courtesy of the Sucksters