Monday, October 17, 2016

This is not a real shark attack photo; It's more lying clickbait

The use of lying clickbait photos by content marketing services seems to have slowed, but the deceptive practice is still occurring. Top offenders include Revcontent and Taboola.
I’ve seen several examples of these services using photos from fictional TV shows and movies to promote supposed non-fiction articles.
One example is Taboola using a photo from “Jaws the Revenge” to promote an article on the “worst shark attacks ever recorded.”
The photo is pretty shocking, but is a complete work of fiction.

Another example uses a photo of the in-air breakup of Oceanic flight 815 from the TV show “Lost” for an article on air disasters. Taboola is the culprit once again.

I’m still seeing instances of lying clickbait articles that use photos of live celebrities to promote pieces on dead celebrities.
The latest have used photos of the very-much-alive actor Frankie Muniz and model Christie Brinkley.

Other celebrity articles use incorrect photos for articles about marriages and family.
One Taboola article titled “Celebrity kids who look exactly like their parents” featured side-by-side photos of actor Erik Estrada and singer Bruno Mars. The two are not father and son.

A sponsored article by titled “What’s Christopher’s secret to a long marriage?” featured two photos of Christopher Walken with women. The older photo shows Walken with actress Natalie Wood from the 1983 movie “Brainstorm.”
Wood, who died during production of “Brainstorm,” was not married to Walken.

Finally, an article by Revcontent titled “21 stars who’ve grown into being horrible looking creatures” transposes a photo of lovely actress Lisa Bonet with an older woman who is not Bonet. It’s a photo of a New York City drug addict named Cynthia from a series called “Faces of Addiction” by Chris Arnade.

Previous articles in the series:

The rise of lying click-bait photos with promoted articles (May 16, 2016)

More lying click-bait articles (June 5, 2016)

Lying click-bait articles: transgender celebrities and what actors look like today (June 22, 2016)

Lying click-bait articles: Dead celebrities edition (Aug. 10, 2016)

Lying click-bait articles with inaccurate photos (Aug. 13, 2016)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The best Donald Trump magazine covers of the 2016 election

Early next year I’ll be posting my picks for the best and most controversial magazine covers of 2016. I’ve done this for the past few years.
One of the most frequent cover subjects this year has been the improbable rise and fall of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. There have been so many interesting magazine covers featuring Trump that I’ve decided to get a head start on my magazine cover reviews with this post.
Magazine covers early in the year, before the GOP convention, considered the idea of Trump winning the election. Later covers increasingly portrayed Trump as crazy and dangerous. Foreign magazines especially depicted Trump as a fascist, with some comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

Trump magazine covers before the Republican convention

Trump magazine covers post-GOP convention

Foreign magazine covers on Trump

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wall Street cliche alert: supercycle

Wall Street analysts lately have been chirping a lot about “supercycles,” or extended periods of growth for companies or industry sectors. It’s become a cliche.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty on Friday said Apple will be riding a supercycle next year thanks to its highly anticipated iPhone 8 handset. Analysts with Canaccord Genuity, Cowen, and Credit Suisse also have referenced an iPhone 8 supercycle.
This fall, other analysts have been talking about supercycles in fiber optic networking and cybersecurity software.
I’ve seen other articles refer to supercycles in commodities and financing.
I know that economists coined the term supercycle long ago, but we really shouldn’t use the term now unless we’re discussing some awesome new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

T-shirts show continued interest in Donald Trump presidency

Last weekend, I was in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and took time to check out what the beach gift shops were selling tourists and vacationers.
Based on the political apparel I saw, Donald Trump continues to fascinate and amuse folks who like to wear attitude T-shirts. Those people include everyone from uneducated hicks to ironic hipsters.
It takes a courageous sort of person to wear such statement T-shirts. You have to be comfortable in your beliefs and willing to defend your choices when people comment on what your T-shirt says.
I saw more pro-Trump T-shirts than pro-Hillary Clinton T-shirts on display. One of the Trump shirts had a misogynistic message that reinforces his image as a sexist jerk.
What follows are some of the T-shirts I saw for sale last Saturday.
First a few from the 2016 presidential race.

And a couple more representative T-shirts from Delmarva beach communities.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Why is TV Guide magazine still around?

Every year I purchase TV Guide magazine’s Fall Preview issue. And every year, it gets harder and harder to find at retail.
This year, I looked for the annual issue at Barnes & Noble, CVS and Wal-Mart and struck out. I ended up buying it from someone through In previous years, I’ve had to buy the issue on eBay.
I have every TV Guide Fall Preview issue going back to 1976. That’s 40 years’ worth of TV history. But one year, maybe next, there won’t be a print edition of TV Guide any more. It really doesn't make sense to print TV Guide in the internet age.
This year’s edition, dated Sept. 19-25, feels pretty slight compared with Entertainment Weekly’s Fall TV Preview edition, dated Sept. 16-23. The TV Guide edition is 96 pages vs. 136 for EW.
One of my biggest disappointments with the TV Guide Fall Preview is that the magazine no longer sticks its neck out and labels its favorite shows for the new season.
It’s fun to look back at issues from past years and see which hit shows TV Guide completely missed and which shows it loved that lasted less than one season.
As of June 30, TV Guide reported 1.51 million paid subscriptions. That compares with 1.66 million a year earlier and 1.78 million in mid-2014.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Websites with an expiration date

Creativity is rampant on the internet. People are always coming up with new ideas for funny memes or collections of photos and other things.
But these websites usually have an expiration date. The joke runs its course or the curator loses interest in the subject.
What happens then is the website either disappears (if someone has to pay web hosting fees) or it becomes a zombie blog that is no longer updated (if it’s on a free blogging platform like Blogger and Tumblr).
Of the 275 websites I’ve highlighted as favorites on Tech-media-tainment, 34 are dead, with the content no longer accessible, and at least 64 are zombie blogs.
That works out to 23% of the blogs I’ve spotlighted are no longer being updated but the content is still available. In many cases, the content hasn’t been refreshed or added to in years. But at least the content is still available (for now) as a time capsule of what was once of interest.
I’ve started and abandoned a couple of online works, so I can relate. (See: One Stop Video and TSA Rants.)
Among the blogs that I previously spotlighted that are now zombie blogs are: The Brokers with Hands on Their Faces Blog, Con Artist Hall of Infamy, Evolution of Soft Drink Cans, Hot Olympic Girls, My Kid Is Gifted, Rappers Doing Normal Shit, What Ridiculous Food Day Is Your Birthday? and, of course, Zombie Dead Blog.
Another example is a website I meant to spotlight, but it only lasted a couple of days.
In July, Jason Shevrin, a media relations person at George Washington University, created a Tumblr blog called Empty Pressers. It featured photos journalists posted on Twitter of empty podiums ahead of press conferences by government officials.
The blog was active for just two days and posted just seven entries.

Photo: Socks the cat from Empty Pressers. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Disappearing websites: No permanence on the web

Since August 2009, I’ve been writing about websites that I find interesting and worthwhile on Tech-media-tainment.
A lot of those websites are no longer accessible or their content has been taken down.
Of the 275 websites I’ve spotlighted in blog posts about my favorite websites, 34 are now gone. That’s 12% of websites I’ve listed as favorites that are now no more.
Their amusing and informative content has vanished into the digital ether.
That’s truly a shame. And it points out one of the greatest failed promises of digital content: there’s permanence on the internet. Something here today can be gone tomorrow.
I don’t know why these 34 websites disappeared. In some cases, bloggers likely didn’t want to pay the web hosting fees anymore for their low-traffic sites.
I suspect Tumblr’s onerous copyright enforcement played a part in some of those blog disappearances. That’s because a lot of the blogs that disappeared were on Tumblr and they used photos for fair use applications.
I know from personal experience that Tumblr doesn’t give a crap about fair use, so they hit the delete button.

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