Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Musings: Tech + Journalism

Continuing to trickle out some of the nuggets I've been storing up for a while on different topics, today's grouping is tech and journalism...

Premature Chazz Palminteri Love. I've deferred interviewing Chazz Palminteri, the Oscar nominee whose one-man show "A Bronx Tale" opens tonight for a limited run at the Venetian, until after I've actually sat through the show. I mean, I was the one who broke the news that it was en route back in March, but I like to see the work before I interview the star so I can develop intelligent questions and not simply stenograph his spiel. Strangely, though, the entire Las Vegas press corps are providing glowing preview coverage of the production without ever having seen it. The R-J's John L. Smith, for instance, wrote under the headline: "The Strip's long overdue for street-savvy, soulful show like 'A Bronx Tale.'" I wonder how John could know this is one.

2. AOL's Political Profile:
I've long noticed that the online poll results on AOL.Com skew right politically. It makes sense, too, seeing how AOL's remaining subscriber base demographic are probably white, older and more generally set in their ways since they're still using AOL. (I would be the exception to that, albeit I'm white.) But I never quite had a clear smoking gun until today when AOL led with a news story showing that 56 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of President Obama's job performance in the latest national polls.

How did AOL users respond to the same question? Take a look and click to enlarge if you must:

Yep, 69 percent disapprove of Obama's job performance and it only gets worse for The One when they ask about health care (74 percent), the economy (72 percent) and Afghanistan (74 percent). No, it's not a scientific poll. But 211,000+ and counting is a large sample of something.

And yes, I cropped that screenshot that way on purpose because I found it funny that the first line of text from the AP story that appears below those atrocious poll results reads: "People also feel better about his handling of the economy and his proposed health care overhaul." Not these people!

3. And speaking of AOL.Com:

When I saw this, I thought, "Whoa! Now the Wayner's a goner, too?" But, no. They just dug back to a really obscure reference to Bob Stupak as referenced by Jan Jones a decade or so ago. Odd, no?

4. Still Not Funny. It's been a while since John Przybys of the Review-Journal began a knockoff of Entertainment Weekly's usually clever feature of sarcastic zingers based on pop culture news. It's hard to imagine who over there thinks his Sunday "Water Cooler" bits are original or amusing -- except him, I suspect -- but this week it merits mention because it wasn't just unfunny but inaccurate. He wrote:

• "Saturday Night Live" newcomer Jenny Slate accidentally utters a very bad word during a sketch. On the upside, when was the last time anybody talked this much about an SNL season opener?

Hey! I know! How about last year when...

...when everyone was dying to see what Tina Fey would do with her Sarah Palin looks! D'oh!

5. Southwest's Wi-Fi Weirdness. On my way to New York from Vegas last month, I had a short hop from BWI to LGA. That plane had wireless Internet. When we were at an altitude to use it, I tried to log on on my iPhone. It said it cost $2. So I opened my laptop and I found this:

They wanted $5 on the laptop. Uh, why the difference? Anyone?


Anonymous said...

I would assume they charge more for laptops because you're likely to use more bandwidth, just by the nature of the device and it's greater set of capabilities.

Since those airplane connections are significantly bandwidth constrained, this would make sense.


mike_ch said...

There's just something goofy about AOL polls. Their online election started with a Reaganesque landslide for McCain before the last couple blue holdout states (DC and NY) fell to the vote-stuffing horde.