"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 16 January 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run LXVII



No news is good news, but

non-news just leaves us feeling

empty inside. When Slate

announced last week that they

would suspend (again) plans to

charge for subscriptions, the

tidbit seemed like such a waste

of the time and effort it took

to even read it that we didn't

know whether to celebrate or ask

for a refund. Which gives us an

idea: Slate's editors may be

right in asserting that only

sites dealing in either the skin

trade or e.trade can get away

with charging for access, but

most online content is so bad,

they should be paying you.

Consistently worth the effort,

if not worth more, at $00.00,

Slate's price seems just about



[Sitcom 200]

That the NYU hypefuls behind

Sitcom 2000 - billed as the

first entertainment program to

debut on the web and TV - don't

seem to know about Don Johnson's

similar attempt at cathode

synergy may show exactly what

the demand is for that kind of

thing. Of course, the Nash

Bridges instantiation of the

concept is a relatively modest

one: All it offers is the pull

of a major star and nine

laboriously detailed, mostly

text-and-image "webisodes" that

serve as prequels to the TV

series. In contrast, the

double-visionaries behind Sitcom

2000 are promising quite a bit

more: sound bites, video clips,

and... well, actually, that's it -

at least according to the

prelaunch PR. Exactly how such

standard multimediocrity

qualifies as the "future of

entertainment" escapes us;

nonetheless, we're still looking

forward to "the wacky world of

Sitcom 2000, where anything can

happen - and usually does." With

so many why-concept content

creators going belly-up in the

Web's inhospitably shallow

revenue streams, we were

beginning to wonder if we might

soon run out of fish.



If language shapes politics as

much as Orwell thought, the

digital revolution might be

headed for a fall. Apparently

dead-set on choosing among

pundit-coined phrases of dubious

descriptive power, the American

Dialect Society voted "soccer

mom" word of the year over the

far more movement-friendly

"alpha geek," which refers to

the person best at fixing

computer problems in any given

office. Luckily for its members,

the counterrevolutionary cabal

narrowly avoided a reeducation

from the little red Wired Style

book by naming "dot" (as in

"dot-com") the year's most

useful word. Funny, we thought

it was "correction."


[Geek Girl]

It's always seemed safe to assume

the online world's gender

imbalance was merely an artifact

of the web's tool-happy Home

Improvement syndrome. But recent

evidence suggests the paucity of

geek girls may be less a social

issue than a legal one, as

testified to by the uproarious,

bile-choked would-be litigious

streak of the One True

GeekGirlTM, Rosie X (of

geekgirl.com.au). Thankfully,

the thunder from down under has

a reach beyond the inboxes of

GeekGirl pretenders Greyrose (of

geekgirl.org) and Suzanne

Goodwin (of geekgirl.com); it's

been documented on the web. I

suppose while we enjoy the

brawl, we should all just be

thankful that all parties

spelled "girl" right.

courtesy of the Sucksters


The Sucksters