The 404 426: Where we whisper sweet nothings
This episode of The 404 podcast is all about Snuggies, Fashion Week, Google Fast Flip, Blockbuster, and much more!
Nothing can compare to someone whispering sweet nothings in your ear...unless that person is Wilson Tang...in which case you should probably pick up the phone and quickly dial 911. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is coming to a close in New York, but there's one more runway show that we don't think got the attention it deserved: the Snuggie! The blanket with sleeves somehow rose to ridiculous popularity and became an actual phenomenon, and the company is trying to continue its revenue stream by introducing a new "urban jungle" line of robes featuring zebra and leopard prints. I managed to get my hands on a a Snuggie of my own and we each take turns trying it on before brainstorming our own ideas for Snuggie customization.
We also lament the passing of, all sentenced to die by the end of 2010. The company obviously suffered at the hands of free, legit streaming-video sites like Hulu and even network homepages, but CNET's own Don Reisinger reports that over 18 percent of Blockbuster's stores aren't turning a profit, so the company is practically forced to cut back on locations. We can't say that we're surprised, especially since none of us has actually stepped foot in a Blockbuster in awhile, but there's still hope for the company in the form of small rental kiosks to be placed in stores throughout the country.
The final big news item today is the debut of Google's newest RSS reader ripoff, also known as. As Rafe Needleman reports, the service is essentially a digital version of the old microfilm readers in that the service presents screenshots of news articles in a horizontal landscape layout. Readers can preview the first page of news stories categorized by popularity, recent views, topics, etc... but the odd part is that none of the hyperlinks actually work. Instead, clicking anywhere on the page takes you to the original article landing page. Our initial reaction is wondering about this new relationship between Google Fast Flip and the actual Web publishers. We like the ability to read a quick snippet of news and quickly scroll through several news sites at once, but the horizontal scrolling is too limiting. Listen to the show to hear more complaints without solutions.
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