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“National Bingo Night” fallout: UGH!

May 19, 2007

OK, I admit I was so very wrong on this back in March. My friends at the BuzzerBlog pegged this one.

What a horrible show ABC’s “National Bingo Night” was Friday night.

BINGO hopper hugeness (ABC)Now, I didn’t get to watch the show live and I didn’t play along (because I left my printed cards at work … dum dum!) But I watched about 10 minutes of the show on TiVo, and it just feels lousy for a number of reasons:

  1. Yeah, the show is too slow. The producers try to do the whole suspense-building thing and it comes off as very annoying to the home viewer. And what’s the deal with that referee guy in the audience? He’s ridiculously tacked onto the cast, and serves no purpose other than to confirm the BINGO wins.
  2. It was over-edited! Every other camera shot had a voice-over dub edited in, and the contestant was edited looking at the ball hopper when he should have been looking at the caller girl and so on. It’s like the show’s video editor didn’t even watch the show! I don’t blame him/her either.
  3. I hated the mini-games for the contestants. It’s too random, and contestants don’t really have a chance to improve their odds. I’d rather see the main contestant play actual BINGO against the audience instead of a contrived game. And put up $1 million for a first-four-number BINGO by the contestant.
  4. Give the contestant the prizes they pull out of the machine, whether or not they win the mini-game. It’s lame otherwise to include those prizes in the hopper.

Any other ideas to save this dreck? I can’t see this show lasting much longer. It also pains me to see that we go from game-show royalty in Bob Barker’s 40th anniversary celebration the night before to this horrible game show attempt.

And worse, ABC has already bought SIX episodes! Enjoy it until the sponsor money runs out, people!

[UPDATE Saturday: The ratings are in … 3.7 rating/7 share for the debut.  Buzzerblog Alex, thanks for the notice, and yes, cancellation seems likely.

Though. will it join the exclusive club of 17 shows canceled after JUST ONE airing?  I bet it goes one more week before the ball drops on this bad idea.]

Digg the code, dudes!

May 12, 2007

Great song by “The” Geoff Smith and mashed up by the gang at Geekbrief.TV.   I wonder if the HD-DVD people ever regret messing with Digg users yet?

Back in action! Woot!

May 7, 2007

Party Girls (Thomas Kelly)Hey everyone! Let’s get this party started once again.

It’s your friendly tech blogger, back in action from his new home in Connecticut.

So, what did I miss?

I’ll be writing about some things in the future days, including the big Digg debacle (which my banner art is a tribute too).

I am still working on a new CSS style layout and look for the blog, which should be coming down the road.

In the meantime, my first flurry of posts will come tomorrow night. My new job has me working a odd 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift tonight.

It’s good to be back, HDLers! Stay tuned.

Moving on to New England …

April 20, 2007

Time to pack up the moving van! Today is my last day at Lancaster Newspapers as the online journalist for the New Era.

Moving van timeI’ve found a new job up in Connecticut, and am rolling up north in less than a week. (Next Thursday, to be exact)

So, in the meantime, Hard Drive Life will be on hiatus for a two-week span until I get settled in at my new location, just a short train ride from Manhattan.

We’ll also be moving this site to a new WordPress-friendly server as well in that time, if I don’t mess up the transfer.

So who’s my new employer?

I can’t say. Sorry. I’m mysterious like that.

But, trust this … I’ve accepted a dream position with a company I’ve long admired and wanted to work for since I was a kid.

Hint … It’s an entertainment company that is a leader in sports multimedia production worldwide. I will be both writing and editing (and podcasting too, I hope) for sections of the company’s web site.

I’ll also be moonlighting in my own time as your friendly pop/tech blogger. And also will be trying to start the Hard Drive Life podcast as summer rolls around. Very excited about that!

So, wish me luck, and off I go up I-95 to the beautiful shores of the Long Island Sound.

Thank you all for reading my blather over the past seven months. It is greatly appreciated, and I hope you will continue to do so.

You can stay updated on my exploits on my Hard Drive Life Twitter feed. I’ll try to post pictures as soon as possible post-move.

NBC affiliate yanks Cho’s manifesto for good

April 20, 2007

Cho on NBC’s Today show (AP)

WSLS-TV Roanoke, an NBC affiliate, said yesterday it will no longer air any part of Virginia Tech murderer Cho Seung-Hui’s paranoid delusions videotaped rant that was sent to NBC headquarters in New York and subsequently branded with the NBC peacock logo and shown on air.

As I posted yesterday, I felt that the video should have never seen the light of day. Showing that video on air was tantamount to rewarding the killer with a worldwide TV audience to spout his nonsense from the grave.

And from seeing the media backlash that developed yesterday, I was not alone in thinking that.

Executive producer Jessica A. Ross of WSLS-TV issued a statement yesterday explaining their decision:

After a serious editorial discussion, the Newschannel 10 management team has decided to no longer air any audio from Cho Seung-Hui’s ranting death tape. We will also no longer show any images of him pointing weapons at the camera. We realize that would only further cause pain to the Virginia Tech community.

Initially, NBC and WSLS made the decision to air all of the images as a new development in the investigation. It was the first insight into his state of mind when he committed these unthinkable acts of violence. But again, we no longer feel it is newsworthy to air certain images or to broadcast his words.

We will strive to be sensitive about our coverage of this story and work to honor the memories of the victims. …

We want to point out that we have no control over what NBC network may continue to do with this material.

Bravo WSLS!

NBC News, the ball is now in your court.

[UPDATE: Both CNN talents Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace have said that they are not running the Cho clips anymore.  Beck said on his radio show today that CNN is making sure network shows have “special dispensation” from management before using the clips.

MSNBC has announced they will only using Cho’s video/images for 10 minutes or less per hour.   Per HOUR?!?!  Did I mention that NBC News stuck it’s LOGO on all these pictures and video?  Nothing like promoting your network next to Cho’s face of evil for ALL TIME online and on the Internet!!

I love how NBC News goes from hyper-responsible in the Don Imus-Rutgers controversy to “we have to rush to air this, despite the sensitivity issues” in this case.  Such hypocrisy! ]

Virginia Tech killer hated rich kids, but …

April 19, 2007

Hey, isn’t that a sport-utility vehicle Cho Seung-Hui is driving around between killings? Those aren’t very cheap last time I checked.

Cho in SUV between killings 2 (AP/NBC News)

Cho in SUV between killings (AP/NBC News)

His diatribe aired by NBC News yesterday bashed the wealthy as a cause for his killing:

You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people. …

You had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn’t enough, you brats. Your golden necklaces weren’t enough, you snobs. Your trust fund wasn’t enough. Your vodka and Cognac weren’t enough. All your debaucheries weren’t enough. Those weren’t enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.

Yet he has an SUV to tool around with between shootings?

Sounds like a hypocrite to me! And a sick one too!

Thanks to Stu of the Glenn Beck Program for pointing out that fact.

Victims all: NBC airs the “words of a murderer”

April 19, 2007

Does this make the American public “the 34th victim” of Cho Seung-Hui?

Cho (AP/NBC News)

Last night, I sat in stunned silence as NBC aired the self-videotaped, incoherent words and images of the killer of 33 people at Virginia Tech Monday morning.

Later, that stunned silence turned to pent up anger.

The killer, Cho Seung-Hui, rambles on in the tapes and recordings that he sent to NBC News Monday morning at 9:01 a.m., according to the envelope NBC showed on TV. That would put the shipment between the time Cho killed two people in a dorm room and the time he killed the masses in the school classrooms.

Cho rambled on in an aired videoclip:

“You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today,” Cho says on one of the videos. “But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.”

NBC makes sure to point out that Cho never identifies who “you” is. Cho also says he’s doing this for his “brothers and sisters.” He compares himself to Jesus Christ, saying he’s being crucified. He even mentions the “martyrs Eric and Dylan” (the Columbine killers, whose 8-year anniversary is this Friday), which shows how truly sick he was.

NBC anchor Brian Williams emphasized that his organization had been sifting through the materials all day, and notified the FBI immediately upon receipt (which was delayed, because Cho got the ZIP code on the package wrong). Williams also said that NBC was careful to edit the materials aired to be cautious about offending a sensitive and hurting community.

He added that NBC was aware that they were “airing the words of a murderer.” In an interview with the NY Times, Williams went further to call the airing of the tape “sick business”. But Williams gave no apologies for showing it, and just offered prior warning to those who might be offended.

This is the same network that, along with much of the news media, decided to stop showing pictures and video of the 9/11 planes crashing into the Twin Towers soon after the tragedy out of sensitivity concerns for the public.

What is the difference here, in this case? Where’s the sensitivity now?

More after the jump… Read more…

Internet succeeded where bureaucracy failed at Va. Tech

April 17, 2007

VT memorial (AP)

A repeating theme seen in all the stories about the Virginia Tech massacre Monday is the lack of warning from campus officials in Blacksburg that a shooter was on the loose after the first shooting at a dormitory.

So, the students turned to their reliable source of information … the Internet. Especially at a school where every student has a laptop, per school policy.

crying at VT (AP)We knock the Internet in the news media for being inaccurate, and we tout ourselves as the more authoritative source of news — just look at how Wikipedia gets run through the wringer by the traditional press.

But in times of tragedy, the Internet and its collective shared experiences can be the great informer. We see it here, while uncovering the facts about this horrible day in our history.

I remember the morning of September 11, when our newsroom sat in shock and silence as the Twin Towers fell (I had been on the roof of them just a week before) and we all worried about how many more airplanes there were in the skies and how many more people could die that morning.

News links and more after the break… Read more…

SNL short a lot less funny due to Virginia Tech shootings

April 16, 2007

vatechshooting (AP/CNN)

I’ve been watching the horrific news from Virginia Tech’s campus today, where a gunman (or perhaps more) took 22+ lives and injured scores of others with the ensuing chaos.

Monday is also the day I usually put together my Monday Morning Videos feature for this blog, which was to include this video from NBC’s Saturday Night Live, called “Dear Sister” — a SNL Digital Short by Andy Samberg and Bill Hader.

The clip is below (until it’s pulled by NBC…which it has been on every site out there so far…check here if it’s been deleted.).

This video got laughs from me this morning (mostly because of the goofy song by Imogen Heap in the background that resets after each shot), but now, in light of the tragedy in Blacksburg, it’s a lot less funny.

[UPDATE: This Youtube clip suggests that the whole film short was a spoof of the second season finale of “The O.C.” Other tributes to the sketch are showing up with montages from “South Park” and “The Departed” … even kids’ show “Lazytown” (WARNING: R-Rated/Graphic violence in each). And also Harry Truman from WWII? And in LEGOs too! So it looks like the efforts to erase this clip from the collective memory will go for naught. Good thing I TiVoed the episode.]

Senseless violence just didn’t push my funny buttons after about 9 a.m. today. NBC has either chosen to not post this video on their SNL site, or has deleted it in light of the news. It’s also removed from the episode highlight reel for purchase on Apple iTunes.

Good call on their part, either way. The humor of the sketch is/was a bit questionable due to the black comedy of the segment itself. The comedy just isn’t as obvious as a talking, gigantic turkey sub. YouTubers are posting their own opinions of the sketch here, here, and here.

Our prayers go out to the victims and their families at Virginia Tech. What’s wrong with this world anyway?

[UPDATE 2: Here’s a link to make a donation to a memorial fund for the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre.]

[UPDATE 3 4/25: NBC is saying that the “Dear Sister” sketch was not put online due to licensing issues over the Imogen Heap song.  They have not stated whether or not the sketch would have been pulled or not due to the tragedy.]

Kevin Rose must have a large insurance bill

April 16, 2007

The founder of Digg and co-host of DiggNation, Kevin Rose, is worth millions (due to his stock in Digg).  But his insurance agent must have heart attacks seeing this kind of footage on YouTube.

Especially when Kevin climbs the side of an apartment building to reach a third-floor balcony.

Time to hike his premiums, me thinks!