As seen on TV!

As seen on TV!

It’s All About MySpace In the last Technobabble, I asked what you were doing while avoiding the Chico heat. One thing you were not doing, at least for 12 hours on one of those nights, was networking via MySpace.

The heat wave, which reached down to the Los Angeles area where the MySpace servers live, took them, as well as their backup generators, down. But that’s not the only news on MySpace these past couple of weeks. With its approximately 70 million users, it has become the most visited Web site on the Internet. So why was I surprised to learn that the U.S. Marine Corps is lurking on the site trying to lure teens into their “house”?

I could understand MTV having a profile, but my consumer-sensitive stomach turned when I heard Wal-Mart had a presence. And now the Marines? According to the Associated Press, the Marines have had a site now for about six months and have had more than 12,000 MySpacers sign on as “friends” and as many as 430 completed applications.

And then there were the 1 million-plus MySpace users who may have been infected with adware embedded in a advertisement banner. The ad infected surfers using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. FireFox or Opera, my friends. Please switch.

TV D.O.A.? MySpace, YouTube, video games and other forms of entertainment are killing television; not to mention its terrible programming. Mid-July saw the least-viewed week in the history of U.S. network television, according to the Associated Press. But all of this did not deter me from watching a high-speed car chase on CNN one afternoon. I am embarrassed to have spent close to an hour of my life glued to the Houston-area chase; but there were a few interesting developments.

First, it was commercial free. But something even more interesting happened after the man who had held up a dry cleaners crashed into a creek: the two CNN announcers and their “professional” guest stopped reporting exactly what was happening. The reason: the anchor people guessed that the driver could be listening to their report on digital radio! They couldn’t believe how good the man’s luck was in avoiding the police and finally guessed that maybe he was listening to their play-by-play of the incident.

Reminded me of when a Jet Blue plane was circling an airport unable to land due to faulty landing gear while the passengers were watching the coverage of the possibly fatal event on the individual television sets found on every seatback. The plane landed safely, but not before the flight attendants cut the TV signal.

Life in the digital age.