The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'viral marketing'


Facebook is in the news again, with (so far) the first known instance of a Facebook application being used to install adware on users' PCs. If your friends invite you to install the "Secret Crush" application, you accept, and you are using Windows, then the application will install the Zango adware program on your PC, not to mention arm-twist you into spamming your friends with requests to add it.

If Secret Crush actually needs you to click buttons to invite your friends to add it, the criminal scumbags who designed it have missed a trick; some other applications, such as RockYou's Super Wall and related applications, are able to send messages to randomly selected individuals from a user's friend list, purporting to be that user and asking to be installed to see a message from them, without the user's intervention. (I once found in my notifications the notice that I had messaged three randomly-chosen people, whose relationships to me have nothing in common, inviting them to install Super Wall. Soon after that, Super Wall was no longer installed on my page.)

adware crime facebook fraud security social engineering spam viral marketing 1


Via Substitute, another piece about high-definition TV (HDTV), and in particular, about how the resolution is so good that it brings out every wrinkle, blemish and imperfection on celebrities' faces. I've also heard it claimed that the spread of HDTV will drive the development and adoption of new make-up technologies (ultra-fine nanomaterial cosmetics sprayed on with high-precision airbrushes or what have you), to allow those celebrities to keep looking perfect under the HDTV camera's harsh scrutiny.

Though, when one thinks about it, this sounds suspicious. Is HDTV really more detailed than the 35mm film that is shown in multiplexes? This is unlikely; when film is digitised for processing, each frame measures something like 3,000 pixels across; if HDTV exceeds this, a consumer HDTV set would have a higher resolution than the best computer monitor on the market (and this includes those used by graphic professionals). Not to mention that HDTV production would depend on digital video cameras at the very bleeding edge of the technology.

I suspect that the various stories about HDTV being so good that it shows you every pore on a celebrity's previously perfect-looking face is a sneaky piece of viral marketing, designed by some agency to spread buzz about this expensive new technology. It's a well-crafted piece, tapping into fascination with celebrities and the desire to see them brought down to earth and stripped of their seemingly superhuman perfection. And HDTV is going to need a lot of help in getting off the ground (and recouping investment); with passive TV viewership declining as more people seek out more interactive technologies, the number of people ready to invest in HDTV (which is, essentially, the same deal as regular TV, only with better image quality) off the bat isn't great.

celebrity hdtv marketing memes tech viral marketing 3

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