I have long held the position that no one ever should use a “555″ phone number in any movie. Look, if you’re going to spend over $1,000 on the production, let alone millions and millions, then spending $50 to get some random phone number so that the viewer isn’t totally reminded they’re watching a movie has got to be worth it.
But now with the advent of free phone numbers from Google Voice, there’s really no excuse. Might as well get the actor to record a voicemail greeting. And if some weirdo leaves a message, how hilarious would it be to then be able to blog the audio on your movie’s website?
I was just reading the millionth story about Apple’s cash on hand, which is right now about $100B and was trying to think of something better for them to do with it than buy Facebook.
They could afford to offer every high school student in the US their choice of one free Apple product. There would be the obvious public relations benefit, but I think it would also boost their bottom line eventually just by adding all those customers. Plus it would be in sync with their education initiative, and it should finally put any doubts about their PC market share to bed.
Additionally, it would be nice if eligible students could refuse the offer and $1,000 would be donated to an education-related charity instead.
Does anyone how many high school students are currently enrolled in the US? The census says there are 55.5 million students pre-k through 12, so I’m going to guess 20M (assuming there could be an uptick in enrollment if such an initiative were announced).
Then you multiply that by an estimated wholesale and shipping cost of $1,500 (which is pretty generous, since most of the kids are going to ask for iPads) and you get $30B. Assume another $500M in administrative costs.
So, less than a third of their growing cash reserves. They could afford to keep it going for several years.
Update 3/19: You can find out in just under an hour from now what they’re planning to do with it. I will bet that they’re not going with my plan, nor are they buying Facebook. Listen in live at 9am Eastern.
Update 3/19: I’m disappointed.
More rifts today in the NYT as they cover the plight of Egypt’s rich.
“The protesters are against us,” [a rich person] added. “We hope President Mubarak stays because at least we have national security. I wish we could be like the United States with a democracy, but we cannot. We have to have a ruler with an iron hand.”
Whereas they were ‘fissures’ in Peshawar, it’s a ‘widening chasm’ in Egypt.
I’m watching an interesting documentary about remix culture that has interviews with Greg Gillis of Girl Talk (pictured), Cory Doctorow, Negativland and Lawrence Lessig. It’s on Hulu, which I think is progressive of them, but I’m sure you can get it other places as well.
Wikileaks has obtained sickening video of a US Apache helicopter killing a bunch of unarmed men and then wounding children in a van in Baghdad in the summer of 2007. The children were denied care at US military hospitals and taken instead to an Iraqi hospital.
Some quotes from the men on the radio:
Look at those dead bastards. Nice.
And, when Saeed, the Reuters journalist, is wounded, struggling to get up off the curb
All you gotta do is pick up a weapon
Or, apparently be rescued, because when a van shows up with children to take him to the hospital, they flatten it.
Well that’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.
Update 4/7: Here’s an excellent analysis by the Medium Lobster at Fafblog
Update 7/8: Bradley Manning, the whistleblower, now faces up to 52 years in military prison.
At the top of the “Most Emailed” list on the NYT is a fairly standard report about how the Texas State Board of Education is changing its curricula to deemphasize Darwin and the ‘separation of church and state’ etc etc (so hard to get upset about this stuff anymore!) but this one part toward the end caught my eye:
In economics … they also replaced the word “capitalism” throughout their texts with the “free-enterprise system.”
“Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation,” said one conservative member, Terri Leo. “You know, ‘capitalist pig!’”
Yes! Yes I do. Wise move. In Austin NBC affiliate KXAN’s report, you can see another one of the legislators using that language.
In related news, the Insight Center released a report showing, among other things, that the median net worth of all our single black female free-enterprisers ages 36-49 is just: five dollars. And that was before the recession.
So, it’s been almost a year since I signed up for Google advertising on the right side of this humble blog. Year One earnings statement below:
No one told me you have to actually click on the ads to make money! I’m going to take that as a sign of the intelligence of my readership.
Ads to be removed shortly.
I noticed in this somewhat creepy NYT piece about recent branding changes that the company formerly known as Blackwater USA is now (since February) known as: Xe Services LLC. How forgettable a name is that?
Spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said there was no meaning in the new name, which the company spent over a year to arrive at in an internal search. [WaPo]
Anyway, marketing WIN. The word (Xe) is like memory kryptonite. I can’t even remember it and I’m still writing the post about it. I guess sometimes losing mindshare is the goal. Also see: Altria.
Minnesotans today can breathe a sigh of relief, now that 6th District Republican congresswoman “Michele Bachmann” has revealed herself to be an elaborate performance-art hoax.
No stranger to outlandish and “guerilla-style” art projects, the openly-gay [Trinity] Ohm said she created the Bachmann character as part of her ongoing mission to use experimental performance art to “confront issues of gender, patriarchy, and the mainstreaming of authoritarian politics in America.” Previously, Ohm was best known for her video art project “Tyrannosaurus Sex,” a five-hour video, which featured a nude Ohm, with a latex phallus attached to her forehead, making, then destroying balloon animals…
Read the full story at Dear Leader.