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N. W. Ayer and Son
N. W. Ayer & Son was a Philadelphia advertising agency founded in 1869. It called itself the oldest advertising agency in the United States. Named after Francis Ayer's father N. W. Ayer, it ventured into advertising in 1884. It created a number of memorable slogans for firms such as De Beers, AT&T and the U.S. Army. The company started to decline in the 1960s and, after a series of mergers, was closed in 2002 with its assets sold to the Publicis Groupe.
- "N. W. Ayer and Son" | 2015-10-11 | 14 Upvotes 1 Comments
Toyetic is a term referring to the suitability of a media property, such as a cartoon or movie, for merchandising tie-in lines of licensed toys, games and novelties. The term is attributed to Bernard Loomis, a toy development executive for Kenner Toys, in discussing the opportunities for marketing the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, telling its producer Steven Spielberg that the movie wasn't "toyetic" enough, leading Loomis towards acquiring the lucrative license for the upcoming Star Wars properties.
- "Toyetic" | 2017-12-19 | 74 Upvotes 5 Comments
Whataboutism, also known as whataboutery, is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument. It is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda. When criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the Soviet response would often be "What about..." followed by an event in the Western world. As Garry Kasparov noted, it is a word that was coined to describe the frequent use of a rhetorical diversion by Soviet apologists and dictators, who would counter charges of their oppression, "massacres, gulags, and forced deportations" by invoking American slavery, racism, lynchings, etc. It has been adopted by other politicians and countries.
Firehose of Falsehood
The firehose of falsehood, or firehosing, is a propaganda technique in which a large number of messages are broadcast rapidly, repetitively, and continuously over multiple channels (such as news and social media) without regard for truth or consistency. Since 2014, when it was successfully used by Russia during its annexation of Crimea, this model has been adopted by other governments and political movements around the world.
- "Firehose of Falsehood" | 2022-01-02 | 68 Upvotes 18 Comments
- "Firehose of Falsehood" | 2021-05-28 | 14 Upvotes 2 Comments
TV-B-Gone is a universal remote control device for turning off a large majority—about 85%—of the available brands of television sets in 2015. It was created to allow people in a public place to turn off nearby television sets. Its inventor has referred to it as "an environmental management device". The device is part of a key-chain, and, like other remote devices, is battery-powered. Although it can require up to 72 seconds for the device to find the proper code for a particular television receiver, the most popular televisions turn off in the first few seconds.
- "TV-B-Gone" | 2021-10-11 | 35 Upvotes 10 Comments
The Covox Speech Thing
The Covox Speech Thing is an external audio device attached to the computer to output digital sound. It was composed of a primitive 8-bit DAC using a resistor ladder and an analogue signal output, and plugged into the printer port of the PC.
The Speech Thing was introduced on December 18, 1987 by Covox, Inc of Eugene, Oregon, for about US$70 (US$79.95 as of 1989), but as its parts were much cheaper than the complete plug, and as its design was fairly simple, people soon started to build their own variants. The plug was used long into the 1990s, as sound cards were still very expensive at that time. The plug was also quite popular in the demoscene.
An inherent problem of the design is that it requires very precise resistors. If normal parts are used, the values get shuffled, especially for quiet sounds, resulting in distortion. Nevertheless, the sound quality of the Covox plug is far superior compared to the PC speaker; even today, a self-built Covox plug is still an inexpensive way to give old computers sound capabilities.
- "The Covox Speech Thing" | 2022-04-18 | 13 Upvotes 1 Comments
Parasocial interaction (PSI) refers to a kind of psychological relationship experienced by an audience in their mediated encounters with performers in the mass media, particularly on television and on online platforms. Viewers or listeners come to consider media personalities as friends, despite having no or limited interactions with them. PSI is described as an illusionary experience, such that media audiences interact with personas (e.g., talk show hosts, celebrities, fictional characters, social media influencers) as if they are engaged in a reciprocal relationship with them. The term was coined by Donald Horton and Richard Wohl in 1956.
A parasocial interaction, an exposure that garners interest in a persona, becomes a parasocial relationship after repeated exposure to the media persona causes the media user to develop illusions of intimacy, friendship, and identification. Positive information learned about the media persona results in increased attraction, and the relationship progresses. Parasocial relationships are enhanced due to trust and self-disclosure provided by the media persona. Media users are loyal and feel directly connected to the persona, much as they are connected to their close friends, by observing and interpreting their appearance, gestures, voice, conversation, and conduct. Media personas have a significant amount of influence over media users, positive or negative, informing the way that they perceive certain topics or even their purchasing habits. Studies involving longitudinal effects of parasocial interactions on children are still relatively new, according to developmental psychologist Sandra L. Calvert.
Social media introduces additional opportunities for parasocial relationships to intensify because it provides more opportunities for intimate, reciprocal, and frequent interactions between the user and persona. These virtual interactions may involve commenting, following, liking, or direct messaging. The consistency in which the persona appears could also lead to a more intimate perception in the eyes of the user.
- "Parasocial Interaction" | 2022-11-16 | 12 Upvotes 1 Comments
Barbie Liberation Organization
The Barbie Liberation Organization or BLO, sponsored by RTMark, were a group of artists and activists involved in culture jamming. They gained notoriety in 1993 after switching voice boxes in talking G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls. The BLO performed "surgery" on a reported 300–500 dolls from retail and returned them to shelves, an action they refer to as shopgiving. Thus, Teen Talk Barbie dolls would say phrases such as "Vengeance is mine", while G.I. Joe dolls would say phrases such as "The beach is the place for summer!"
- "Barbie Liberation Organization" | 2022-12-17 | 17 Upvotes 1 Comments