Monday, January 26, 2009

Call or click today

It's hardly breaking news but ...

Back in days of yore, when the GinsuTM Knife was king of the airwaves, no self-respecting late night TV pitch was complete without the tag line "Operators are standing by." These days (and even in those days, for that matter) there's no one actually operating the telephone equipment, so you talk to "service representatives" and such. That's assuming you even want to bother with the phone. Most of the time you can order your Chia PetTM online in a fraction of the time. Thus the new tag line: "Call or click today."

Pop culture is one of the strongest indicators of whether a technology has made it. Can you get it at your local big-box store? Does it turn up on the TV news as backdrop for some other story? Does your non-technical uncle ask you about it? By that standard, e-commerce is definitely here. Has been for some time. Like I said, hardly breaking news, but perhaps it's noteworthy how unnoteworthy it is.

Pop culture notes:

Ah, the Ginsu knife. Unfortunately the current Wikipedia article on it is somewhat garbled and I haven't the energy at the moment to help fix it. To make matters worse, there appear to be at least two prominent web sites hawking what appear to be Ginsu products, one of which appears, by cross-reference with Wikipedia, to be the genuine article from Douglas Quikut. The other, despite its genuine-looking logo, seems to use "Ginsu" some places and "Ginzu" in others and doesn't seem to mention Douglas Quikut at all. So I won't reference it and I'll leave it to the lawyers to sort out who's which.

Ah, Chia Pets. From the days of my youth my reaction to Chia has been a profoundly visceral "Huh?" Someone must like them, though. They're still going strong.

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