John Hodgman has the details and release dates for his "FINAL BOOK OF COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE", That Is All.
YOU WILL SOON start to see changes in both design and mood that will reflect the dark, apocalyptic vision of my book, which deals with the very last information you need to know before the coming global superpocalypse called RAGNAROK, plus some information on WINE and SPORTS.
THE THEME OF THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM is "JOCKS vs. NERDS," the culture war of our time, and a subject that you know I have been thinking about for some time now, and also talking about with the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
IN THIS CASE, the "NERD" shall be played by me, John Hodgman, and the "JOCK" shall be played by the New York Jet, NICK MANGOLD, as I confront all of my deepest fears (humiliation/being punched/Nick Mangold) and attempted to learn from him the virtues of jock culture and the rules of football.
And YOU are invited: September 28th in NYC. Tickets are free and they have an unlimited supply because they are filming it in some sort of massive rocket ship hanger. All you Little Hobos (that's what Hodgman calls all his fans) click through for details on how to get your tickets.
As a matter of fact, sometimes now, if I'm feeling tired or a little sad, I'll go put on my UPS-man outfit and hit the subway. I'll hope that maybe someone will recognize me. It's very embarrassing, isn't it? But most of the time, it doesn't happen. No matter how crowded it is, no one says anything. They are reading, talking, thinking about where the train is taking them next. They don't say anything to me at all. And that's when I sit back, and look at them all, and think to myself: Don't any of you have a television? What THE FUCK is wrong with you people? I'M SITTING RIGHT HERE!
After a couple of teasers starring Jerry Seinfeld, Microsoft is airingsome new ads that take Apple's "I'm a PC" out into the real world. So instead of John Hodgman's dorky PC character (who is parodied in one of the new ads), they've got all sorts of people -- basketball players, actresses, scientists, fashion designers, etc. -- proudly declaring "I'm a PC". As Michael Sippey mentions, the ads do communicate a "message of joy and abundance and widespread use of Personal Computing", but they're not "great".
I briefly worked for a design firm in the late 90s that did a lot of advertising work. One of the hard and fast rules in the office -- which was taken from a book written by a successful ad man whose name I cannot recall -- was that if a company was #1 in a certain space, their advertising should never ever mention the competition, not even in an oblique fashion. And even if a company was #2, they should do the same and act as if they were #1.
That's the problem with Microsoft's ads. They're still #1 and the bigger company, but by referencing Apple's successful ad campaign, they're acting like Apple is #1. (John Gruber made this same point the other day.) The ads fail because they serve to remind people that Apple comes up with good ideas that Microsoft then takes and shapes into something that so-called "normal people" can use or understand. Except that this isn't 1993. With the iPod, iPhone, iMac, OS X, the Apple Stores, and the iTunes Store, Apple has their finger firmly on the pulse of what normal people want and Microsoft's recent attempts (the Zune, Vista) to keep up by emulating Apple have failed. If MS had created the "I'm a PC" message on their own, the ads would be great, but these copy-and-paste ads lack soul and are merely "eh".
What's interesting is that with the I'm a Mac/I'm a PC ads, Apple mentions Microsoft explicitly, over and over, proving the old adage that rules are made to be broken. What works in Apple's favor is that they are the #2 company and were clever about how they attacked #1. Microsoft's hamfisted ads are almost saying to Apple, "nuh-uh, my mom thinks I'm cool" while the image of Hodgman's frumpy PC is hard to shake and makes Windows seem lame without being overly insulting about it.
In a quality product, the incremental comfort value of increasing thread count over 300 is very little. A 300 thread count can feel far superior to a 1000 thread count. Thread count has become a simple metric used by marketing people to capture interest and impress with high numbers. The problem with mass produced high thread count sheets is that to keep the price down, important elements of quality must be sacrificed, meaning in the end the customer gets a product with an impressive thread count but that probably feels no better (or even worse) than something with a lower thread count.
1. Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going "beep, beep". 2. No outside force can harm the Coyote -- only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. 3. The Coyote could stop anytime -- IF he was not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." -- George Santayana). 4. No dialogue ever, except "beep, beep". 5. Road Runner must stay on the road -- for no other reason than that he's a roadrunner. 6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters -- the southwest American desert. 7. All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation. 8. Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote's greatest enemy. 9. The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures. 10. The audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
Charles Miller argues that John Hodgman's PC character in the Mac vs. PC commercials is like Wile E. Coyote...likable but inept. (via df)