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Comment "Quality" of Advertising has deteriorated (Score 1) 152

I'm not sure one can even use the word "quality" with re to advertising. I guess what I'm trying to say is "the efficacy of advertising has deteriorated."

My impression of what has happened in the advertising industry is that it's reminiscent of the early WWW days when the "blink" tag was still available. Can anyone recall opening a web page and seeing 20 or 30 words blinking on the page? This is what today's advertising has become.

I think most ads today are very guilty of the "blink tag" mentality. I've been seeing more and more ads on TV where they show a different image every half second or every second. Most of the images probably have NO meaningful content with re to the intended product/service message. The ad is simply meant to pummel your visual cortex. It's like getting beat up by the school bully. You'll remember that moment for quite a while.

As far as I'm concerned, as soon as I see a lot of image changes, I change channels until the ad is over. I already mute the TV whenever an ad comes on so changing up or down one channel is no big deal. And I've gotten fairly good at timing it to return when the ad is over.

The other thing they're doing is "flashing" or "strobing" the screen. They're inserting a bright white flash when switching between the segments that make up the ad. And I mean these flashes are incredibly bright.

I was drawn into our sun room one night because I saw flashing in there. When I entered the sun room, I became aware of our neighbors to the north and slightly west. They live on the other side of our block. They're backyard is against the backyard of a neighbor who lives two houses north from us. Their TV screen is positioned so that it is visible through one of their windows. Now this is easily more than 200 feet away. The flashing I was seeing was from their TV while a commercial was on. It literally lit up the entire inside of our sun room with each burst of light.

I think the current generation of people who do all the special effects used in ads are suffering from the not unusual behavior of "gee, this effect is cool... I'm going to use it every chance I get."

This is one of the reasons I've been watching more PBS lately. I abhor commercial TV. It's like sticking one's head into a sewer hoping to retrieve a lost item.

If the advertising business is REALLY sincere about making quality ads, then go back to your lessons from advertising and marketing 101. The single most important feature in ANY advertising is "message" (aka, content). If you have a product/service you're trying to promote, then develop a message that speaks _clearly_ to the target audience. (eg, Our product is better because...) Oh yeah, and one more very important feature; ie, truth. If you have to manipulate or deceive people into becoming your customers, you don't have a product/service to sell. You belong in a midway at a county fair.

Comment Re:Once the rockets go up, who cares where they co (Score 1) 56

That's not my department, says Werner Von Braun!

Wow! An homage to Tom Lehrer's album "That Was the Year That Was." One of my all-time favorite albums even to today. Intelligent, accurate, and entertaining. Some of the most artfully done political and social satire EVER.

Thank you for making my day.

If only he were around now to do something about Trump.

Comment No. Not at all. (Score 2) 244

My experience is that the advertising industry has inserted itself into the relationship between the customer and the supplier. Coming from a rural community, this was what I saw. My parents and grandparents were farmers. They didn't buy anything until they *needed* it. I can't emphasize the word *needed* enough. We were not flush with cash so many times we just made do with what we had.

On the rare occasion one of us would actually intend to purchase something, we would go to the local feed store or grocery store and ask questions of the owners or the other customers. Back in those days, that's how it worked. There was such a thing as a community. People who lived and worked close together. They also had the tendency to look out for one another and help one another. So that's where you got your product info. Not from some "jacked up" "insanely enthusiastic" huckster. These neighbors and store owners were the early version of Consumers' Reports." If a product was good, you found out about it. And once you found out about it you... and this is KEY... looked for it because *you were interested* in it. You didn't buy it because some person on amphetamines was pitching it.

Okay, sorry for the rant, but the point is there has to be a desire for a product before the chance of a purchase exists. Just because a manufacturer decides to flood the freakin" society in every conceivable form and fashion with their exaggerated claims and "in your face" effects does not mean their product will sell any more.

So here's my advice to manufacturers. Make a good product and sell it at a reasonable price. You'll probably find that people will buy it and like it and you'll develop a reputation for having a good product at a reasonable price. Then tell the advertising hucksters to go pack sand. If you have a good marketing department you won't need much advertising. And if your product/service is good, you won't need to lie your ass off to sell it.

So AFAIC, you advertising people and just STFU. If and when I want your product and if I find out it's worthwhile, I'll come looking for it.

Comment Evidence (Score 2) 501

What is the basis for this claim; ie, the PC is dying? I get the impression someone is pushing an agenda.

It may be that people who were using their PC primarily for gaming are beginning to opt for consoles more (if I understand the term "console" correctly), but there are a lot of people who don't play video/online games.

And if the major software manufacturers decide to move to consoles, I think that will encourage more people to use FOSS.

I have a hard time imagining SAP or Oracle releasing their products on consoles. And wouldn't they end up all wanting their own console? Imagine having a console for each business application.

Comment Re:A note about piracy (Score 1) 87

Of course the best outcome is everyone goes indie and the RIAA dies quickly, but that's just a dream.

I hope that actually happens. However, my cynical side sees the RIAA having their lobbyists influence congress to outlaw indie music because, you know, "free market," capitalism, otherwise total economic collapse.

Comment Re:Dear Matthew (Score 3, Informative) 531

Yah. An AC. Go figure.

I'm sorry you miss the obvious problem that employees are forced to take cuts in salary and benefits while CEOs continue to get obscenely huge salaries, benefits, and separation packages which contribute directly to the cost of a product or service. And the only ones making decisions about a CEO's salary are other CEOs that sit on the company's board.

Note that the CEOs are not the free market. Neither the free market or the investors have any influence re CEO salaries and benefits. And also note that even when shareholders vote to reduce or limit a CEO's salary and benefits, the board (again, typically made up of other CEOs) can choose (and typically does) to ignore the shareholders' request. So no free market controls on CEO salaries and benefits, but there are on the employees'.

Yup. That seems fair.

Comment Re: basically doing the same as china? (Score 4, Informative) 415

At least AOL wasn't trying to pass Snopes and Polifact off as being unbiased.

In my experience, they are not biased.

I used Snopes primarily to defend Bush Jr during most of his two terms. And I've used it again to defend Obama during his.

IMO that makes them unbiased sources. Take some time to look at them. They both have archives so you can look back at both Republicans and Democrats. More recently you'll find they defend Trump on several claims. If someone is spreading something about him that is inaccurate, I want to know. I strive to be as objective in my assessment as possible and both of these sources have served me well.

The fact that you make the claim these sources are biased without making any reference to any examples puts your claim in doubt. Therefore, I have to assume that you are biased. I've come across others who have made the same claim and, for some reason, they are always Trump supporters. And in light of what I just pointed out above, that's puzzling. When Trump is being defended by each of those sources, why would a Trump supporter claim they are biased. If anything one might assume they are biased in favor of Trump.

Comment Re:Also, the pollution (Score 2) 219

The statement re "private" society mobilizing to create change is still valid.

The fact that a very few CEOs might actually respond to public concern does happen. McDonald's is one example. Another is Johnson's Wax. The then CEO Sam Johnson was aware of the damage to the ozone caused by chlorofluorocarbons. He instituted a complete change in all their aerosol products and thus was compliant before it ever became law. Sam and, more recently, his son also instituted alternative energy strategies that have resulted in one of their plants going almost entirely off-grid.

So, yes, "some" CEOs have a moral character. They actually understand the business value of being environmentally responsible. But they are the exception, not the rule. Typically the onus of being environmentally responsible falls to the public.

Comment Re:This is fair (Score 1) 166

And what most of the population doesn't understand is THIS ACTIVITY by business (ie, "paying to get the laws you want") is actually what "big government" is. Granted there are inefficiencies and some unnecessary regulations, but, I believe, the bulk of the "big government" complaint has to do with all the laws the big corporations are getting passed without the general population being aware. The cable companies, big ag, pharmaceuticals, etc have all been doing this.

The "big government" complaint is actually misdirection on the part of the corporate community and their lobbyists. They want us to think the government is wasteful and so we must remove safety net programs and cut educational funding. All these efforts do is create a general population of desperate people still trying to find opportunity in this country while large business gets to use the "invisible hand of the market" as an excuse to suppress wages and benefits while shipping what were good paying jobs to other countries.

Note that I've seen other people discussing this (ie, big business getting laws made to protect their interests) on the "start a petition" web sites.

I can't remember the last time I was allowed to have any input on a law passed by congress much less vote on it. Just as "regulatory capture" happens to regulatory agencies in the marketplace, our government has been captured. Now we have legislators for hire.

Consider how net neutrality is at risk. Those of us who understand why it's important have NO chance of preserving it. Especially now with the new admin about to take over. I can imagine the internet provider CEOs drooling and panting with anticipation about how they are going to extract even more profit from the general population once they kill net neutrality and take total control of the internet.

Comment Re: Fake News? (Score 5, Insightful) 624

I used Snopes to defend Bush Jr through part of his first and his entire second administration. People were sending me emails that were obviously inaccurate re him and his admin. I did this regardless of my political views. I just want the truth so we can make intelligent, informed decisions re our government.

I haven't met anyone on the right who has demonstrated that same level objectivity.

If Snopes were left-leaning, it would have been impossible for me to defend Bush all those years.

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