Editor's Picks: What We Like
BackBy Certmag Editor — December 2008
Point and Click
What if you could watch something over the Internet, such as a sitcom episode or a sporting event, and then click on an item that caught your eye to purchase it? That level of accessibility would give new meaning to phrases such as “impulse purchase” and “online convenience.”
Luckily for all you with shopping fetishes, this type of technology actually is available. Interactive video media company Veeple has created a platform for advertisers, Web publishers and others to add interactive and multidimensional content to their videos in real time.
Understandingly enough, Veeple mostly is concerned with providing clients with a way to increase their bottom lines and gain competitive advantage in their respective industries. But think of the bonus points for gamers or eBay addicts. Visions of large therapy sessions involving recovering shopaholics with bruised typing fingers and dopey grins come to mind.
Potential addictions aside, it’s still really cool that this technology exists — and not just because banner ads aren’t as effective as they once were. Veeple also offers contextual and behavioral analytics and video metrics to show relevancy. That means they’re tracking actual data to make sure users get what they want to buy, not what advertisers want them to buy.
Now, whatever your heart desires — the newest gadgets, designer duds, scrumptious holiday treats — is just a click away. Shopaholics anonymous, here we come!
Prime Time Goes Geek
Prime-time television, like many aspects of pop culture, has not been kind to geeks. Much of the programming during the evening hours is devoted either to crime dramas with hard-boiled detectives and earnest lawyers or wacky sitcoms featuring families with dunderheaded dads or quirky young urbanites. And that’s not even including the litany of reality TV shows.
But the studio execs at NBC appear to be changing all that, as they’ve given nerds unprecedented airtime in the past few years. “The Office,” “30 Rock” and “Chuck” all have “socially challenged” characters in leading roles: Dwight Schrute, Liz Lemon and Chuck Bartowski, respectively. And they’re among the most popular personalities on TV.
Plus, the shows aren’t pandering to geeks by making the characters unrealistically hip. For example, take Dwight from “The Office.” He’s a huge fan of “Battlestar Galactica” and Harry Potter and keeps nunchucks, ninja throwing stars and samurai swords in his desk at work. Yet, despite his flaws (or are they charms?), Dwight is a great character. His interplay with Jim Halpert, “The Office’s” sometime-protagonist with boyish good looks and a penchant for mischief, is arguably the funniest thing about the show. Things would be much less interesting in Dunder-Mifflin’s Scranton branch without Dwight.
So keep it up, NBC. If you keep airing programs with geeks, we’ll keep watching.
Controlling Teen Drivers
It’s not uncommon to watch cars whiz by, sometimes at break-neck speed, when you’re cruising along the highway. But how many times have you shaken your head in utter disgust when out of your peripheral vision you realize it’s a music-blaring teenager at the wheel?
Now you and the parents of teenagers can rest easy thanks to an innovative gadget by Ford.
MyKey, a car key equipped with a customizable microchip, allows parents to control teenagers while they’re driving — and they don’t even have to be in the car to do it.
Parents can program the key in a number of ways. For example, they can restrict the speed of a teen driver to 80 mph and limit the volume of the car stereo system.
In addition, they can program it so teen drivers will hear chimes at frequent intervals to alert them if they aren’t wearing seatbelts, when the car is close to running out of gas and when the car reaches speeds of 45 mph, 55 mph and 65 mph.