Economics

Newspapers Get Buggywhipped

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buggywhip

Slate's Jack Shafer takes on the cause of all those poor, over-chronicled unemployed journalists trying to find someone to blame for their predicament and give them a little advice:

I keep waiting for one of these distressed, failing newspapers to realize that it has nothing to lose and get a little crazy and create something brand new and brilliant for readers and advertisers. I keep being disappointed.

(My personal favorite candidate for newspaper slayer—and chief national pimp—is Craig Newmark of craisglist. He denied both charges, of course, when I interviewed him for reason.)

Anyway, those bought-out journalists are in good company. In addition to the oft-cited buggywhip makers, Shafer whips together a nice list of lost or soon-to-be-lost pursuits:

• Bank tellers
• Typewriters
• Typesetting
• Carburetors
• Vacuum tubes
• Slide rules
• Disc jockeys
• Stockbrokers
• Telephone operators
• Yellow pages
• Repair guys
• Bookbinders
• Pimps (displaced by the cell phone and the Web)
• Cassette and reel-to-reel recorders
• VCRs
• Turntables
• Video stores
• Record stores
• Bookstores
• Recording industry
• Courier/messenger services
• Travel agencies
• Print and cinematic porn
• Porn actors
• Stenographers
• Wired telcos
• Drummers
• Toll collectors (slayed by the E-ZPass)
• Book publishing (especially reference works)
• Conventional-watch makers
• "Browse" shopping
• U.S. Postal Service
• Printing-press makers
• Film cameras
• Kodak (and other film-stock makers)

Add your own! It's fun for the whole family!

NEXT: Bailout: Still Not Popular

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  1. Damn!, I didn’t realize there were so many struggling industries out there… looks like we need a few more bailouts.

  2. Personally, I shall never forgive the free market for taking away strawberry fruit roll-ups and Hydrox cookies.

    Fuck you, market.

  3. Why is technology taking porn actors away? Not everyone is into seeing japanese schoolgirls doinking 27 tentacled robots.

  4. Skynet will obsolete almost all human endeavors.

  5. Why is technology taking porn actors away?

    Professional actors versus amatuers with digital camera.

  6. Alphabet dude, Hydrox is back. Just so you know.

  7. Yo, fuck Hydrox.

  8. Professional pornwhores will always be better than amateurs. Only money can make a girl do gokkun, after all.

  9. Check it.

    Epi, Oreos, like, totally sold out. All the really cool kids are dunkin’ ‘drox now.

  10. There’s no way vacuum tubes are going away soon. Way too many lemming guitarists claim that only tube amps sound great and will pay extraordinary amounts of money for “good” tubes.

  11. Elevator operators and Bathroom attendants (although their professions were doomed by the high cost of labor more so than technology).

  12. Professional pornwhores will always be better than amateurs.

    I image a few buggy whips are still manufactured every year to meet the demand of a niche market.

  13. Toilet paper (once we figure out how to use the Three Seashells)

  14. Personally, I shall never forgive the free market for taking away strawberry fruit roll-ups and Hydrox cookies.

    In addition to the revived Hydrox, they apparently still make Fruit Roll-Ups (and Fruit by the Foot) in Strawberry.

  15. Film developers. The number of places to get my slides developed has been constantly dwindling; Wolf Camera people don’t even know what I mean when I ask them about E6 development. Still, as long as there is at least one film maker and one film developer in the world, I’ll keep on shooting with my film cameras.

  16. Way too many lemming guitarists claim that only tube amps sound great

    But they have that “fat, warm” sound! Whatever that is! Why did I give away my Bassman 100?

    Epi, Oreos, like, totally sold out. All the really cool kids are dunkin’ ‘drox now.

    The only interest I would have in cookies is if they were called Hydroxycontin. Then I could do a cold milk extraction on them.

  17. Professional actors versus amatuers with digital camera.

    I keep hearing this, but pro porn producers are still making money hand over, um, fist. Even with the rampant piracy that exists in the online porn world. Until we get really desperate there will be a market for higher quality porn than you’re likely to get from amateurs.

  18. Bathroom attendants are still around and it annoys me. I can pick up my own damn paper towels, I don’t need you to try to guilt trip me into tipping you for it.

  19. Alphabet dude, Hydrox is back. Just so you know.

    Hydrox was back. For an “anniversary run” which ended, yeah that’s right, this fucking month. Rub the salt a little more, you Sunshine pricks!

    In addition to the revived Hydrox, they apparently still make Fruit Roll-Ups (and Fruit by the Foot) in Strawberry.

    Fruit by the Foot is bullshit on a roll. The strawberry roll-ups are, at least in my corner of the world, no longer sold in all strawberry packages, but only in variety packs with mostly bullshit ADHD- or LSD-inspired flavors and colors.

  20. Drummers? Nah, not really. And conventional watch-makers are doing fine at the high end of the market.

  21. Dude, FM radio

  22. Drummers?!?

    Our music is sampled.
    It’s totally fake.
    It’s made by machines
    Cuz they don’t make mistakes.

    KMFDM sucks!

  23. ? U.S. Postal Service

    Eh, not so much. They’ve been on life support for years, but they’re not going away. So long as there’s cheap junk mail to be sent out they will be riding taxpayers down the street like some sort of obscene rodeo.

  24. Sadly, the Polaroid camera (the original tool of amateur porn) should be on there.

    The USPS should certainly be replaced, but alas, it’s protected by law from competition.

  25. Though buggy-whip porn does sound like an innovative idea, in case reason’s favorite porn producer is reading this. Who am I kidding, it’s probably already been done.

  26. Slide projectors

    Slide rulers

  27. KMFDM sucks!

    We don’t give a shit and the kids just love it!

  28. “There’s no way vacuum tubes are going away soon. Way too many lemming guitarists claim that only tube amps sound great and will pay extraordinary amounts of money for “good” tubes.”

    Hey, you totally beat me to this.

    Why would I pay 100$ per tube when I can spend the same amount of money on a quality emulator? Then I can get “fake” tube sounds that are just like “real” tube sounds.

    It is basically just two camps: guitarists who love technology and those who are throwing away money on vacuum tubes.

  29. and optical-removable media (CDs, DVDs) is going to go pretty soon too.

  30. Plenty of things on that list are still going strong and will be for some time to come.

    I mean, vacuum tubes? Maybe your TV doesn’t have any tubes in it, but the TV station that pumps out the signal certainly does. There’s still plenty of jobs we need vacuum tubes for.

  31. There’s no way vacuum tubes are going away soon. Way too many lemming guitarists claim that only tube amps sound great and will pay extraordinary amounts of money for “good” tubes.

    I know some of those guys. They’re hoarding Mesa Boogies.

  32. CRT monitors and TVs should be gone pretty soon.

  33. Non-profit political research groups making it easier for people to find information about candidates… cause, you know, people have always wanted non-cable news sources for info. Really i just want you to send me money so I can keep working though.

  34. I keep hearing this, but pro porn producers are still making money hand over, um, fist.

    There have been numerous reports that the porn market is “flattening” out and that the trend may turn downward in the not so distant future.

    I don’t share Mr. Shafer’s opinion that it will go away, but it is likely that the porn idustry will be effected by the same trends that are eating away at the margins of all forms of entertainment. The market for professional quality porn will shrink until some equillibrium is met.

  35. Repair guys? Where did I find the time to maintenance an HVAC system AND tuckpoint a building?

  36. Didn’t even see the drummers bit. I can only hope so! I’ll take Superior 2.0 over ANY of the drummers I’ve worked with.

  37. As pointed out upthread, niche markets will survive. I postulate that somebody will buy up Kodak’s and/or Fuji’s professional film operations, and make money dealing with the people who (rightly or wrongly) believe digital imaging is the Devil’s work.

  38. Man, I’m getting it from both sides. I used to be a newspaper journalist. Now I’m permanently underemployed in craptastic McJobs. Now, I find out that drummers are obsolete. Good thing I’m not good enough to make money at the second.
    You can have my ProMark 747s when you pry them….

  39. “Wired Telcos” may be premature. They have been on the going away list for over a decade, and as of today I’m not aware of any non-wired telcos. Even with Verizon FTTP the hand-off to the customer is copper. ATT’s u-verse comes into the home on old-fashioned twisted pair at over 20 Mb/s (VDSL2 can do 100 Mb/s at curb to home distances) or copper ethernet. Sheez, these copper bigots just don’t quit.

    Drummers? Ha, reminds me of the credits on one of Big Black’s albums – the drummers name was Roland (and you could tell)

  40. kinnath, I agree, but I think that equilibrium will be well above the buggy whip equilibrium. The market for web design shrunk after the tech bubble burst but I don’t see it going away.

  41. ? Vacuum tubes – Nope. RF power applications.
    ? Repair guys – Nope. Cars and washing machines, average guy/gal … call a professional.
    ? Pimps (displaced by the cell phone and the Web) – Nope. Streetwalkers/massage parlors/anonymous sex. Think Eliot Spitzer.
    ? Turntables – Nope. Vinyl aficionados will always be with us. Market will be very small and high end.
    ? Video stores – Not sure.
    ? Record stores – Not sure. See bookstores.
    ? Bookstores – Nope. Online shopping doesn’t even compare to browsing at Barnes and Noble.
    ? Recording industry – No effin’ way.
    ? Courier/messenger services – No effin’ way. Unless time no longer matters and signatures are no longer required.
    ? Drummers – That’s just stupid.
    ? Toll collectors (slayed by the E-ZPass) – Nope. Privacy nuts prefer cash. See Pimps.
    ? Book publishing (especially reference works) – Maybe on the reference works. 20 bucks a year for OED acceess may be a very good business model.
    ? Conventional-watch makers – You’re kidding, right?
    ? “Browse” shopping – Never. See bookstores.
    ? U.S. Postal Service – Nope. TVA is still around, ain’t it?

  42. kinnath, I agree, but I think that equilibrium will be well above the buggy whip equilibrium.

    It will be interesting to see where they plateau at.

    During the first format war (Betamax versus VHS), the decision to go VHS by porn producers pretty much ended the war.

    When porn went HD-DVD (because Sony refused to support porn), it meant nothing.

  43. What’s wrong with slide rules? My dad, with a bit of ceremony, gave me his K&E when I went away to college, about 2 years before the introduction of the HP-35. I still have it (and the HP-35).

    I think it’s kind of cool, to be able to do complex calculations by rubbing two sticks together.

  44. “I know some of those guys. They’re hoarding Mesa Boogies.”

    Well, I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this.

    I have two Quads preamps, two Studio preamps, a Triaxis with the Lead 1 Red Recto w/o Phat mod, Simul 395 Poweramp, Strategy 500 poweramp, a modded two channel Triple Rectifier (done by Voodoo Amps), and a version 3 Mark IV. I’m also really hoping for the Mark V at Winter NAMM and would give my first born for one of the 78 Mark IIC+ Coliseum heads with Simul-Class, EQ, and Reverb. I ALWAYS come back to Boogie.

    That said, I haven’t played on them in near two months. The Axe FX Ultra rules all.

  45. The inclusion of Drummers makes sense when you consider the decline of real instruments in favour of plastic facsimiles.

  46. Bank Tellers?

    Let me tell you something about aging of our population. Old people love going to the bank. They love it. Don’t see the tellers going away. As Jesus said Laughable, man. Bush League psych-out stuff. As for Pron, the pros that make the best stuff (Digital Playground, Adam and Eve) are doing just fine. The amatuer stuff just hurts the pros that put out the garbage on the margin.

  47. Abdul | December 18, 2008, 11:37am | #
    Why is technology taking porn actors away? Not everyone is into seeing japanese schoolgirls doinking 27 tentacled robots.

    Link?

  48. “J. P. Carlo | December 18, 2008, 11:43am | #
    Elevator operators and Bathroom attendants (although their professions were doomed by the high cost of labor more so than technology).”

    Not if Obama’s new New Deal goes through. I see a resurgence of these professions.

  49. I’m surprised Donderooo didn’t chime in with “Libertarian Party.”

  50. The USPS? That sounds like a pipe dream to me. Postal workers will still be driving their routes when there are no letters left to deliver.

  51. During the first format war (Betamax versus VHS), the decision to go VHS by porn producers pretty much ended the war

    I heard it was Sony, the maker of the Betamax, who decided to freeze out the pr0n producers.

    Good call!

  52. Big Black’s good bad drum machine:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS3Da2ssdwk

    joe will like this one

  53. Add your own! It’s fun for the whole family!

    Youth
    Self respect
    Hope

  54. Illinois
    Michigan
    Ohio

  55. I heard it was Sony, the maker of the Betamax, who decided to freeze out the pr0n producers.

    Sony decided the prime (and only) purpose of the VCR was to tape live TV for playback. Therefore, the Betamax only supported 1 hour.

    VHS assumed there might be a future use for pre-recorded movies, so they adopted a 2 hour format.

    Porn wanted to record full movies, so they went VHS.

    At that time, a basic VCR cost about a month’s take home pay. And who really needs to spend that much money to watch a movie in the privacy of their home 😉

  56. Fast Food Workers

    The day I can roll up to Mickey D’s and be served by a machine that can actually stack the patties on the buns with a 80% accuracy rate will be a happy one.

  57. Drummers will never be out of a job, and vinyl heads will always insist that it sounds better on a record (it’s true for some artists). Can’t say I think guitarists will hang on to vacuum tubes forever, though.

    The last operating video store will be Scarecrow Video in Seattle, WA. Once it ceases rental operations, it will become a museum.

  58. Drum machines have no souls.

  59. As an engineer, the Betamax/VHS war is very instructive.

    The Betamax was a far superior product in every way. They just completely fucked up on who the target market was for introduction into service.

  60. Porn actors… Porn actors?

    Damn, there goes my retirement plan.

  61. The courier-journal wrote a couple of weeks ago that they were laying off some of their reporters. They declared that the c-j would still remain a shining example of journalistic excellence in the state, the region, the nation, even!

    But, there will be less news filling the C-J.

    Ok, so the NEWSpaper will carry less NEWS? What’ll it be, then?

    An ADpaper?
    An OPINIONpaper (a magazine on finger-smudging paper)?

    I’m confused!

    I can’t find the article online yet, can any of my fellow louisvilleans help a girl out?

  62. But you are correct in that Sony has done everything they can to avoid association with the porn market.

  63. Less news seems to be what newspapers think readers want.
    No more home weekday delivery in Detroit.

  64. No more home weekday delivery in Detroit.

    Thurdsay, Friday, and Sunday.

    The days my hometown paper is stuffed chock full of ads.

    Hm, there may be a correlation there.

  65. I’ve felt the axe fall on the publishing industry. It’s tough for me, but knowing how the web is improving lives thoughout the world makes it much easier to accept the fate. I’ll probably go into agriculture to find a more hands on application for my degrees. I also see it as a chance to reinvent myself. With all my business contacts going under at the same time, I figure I might as well emigrate.

  66. We already get less news from the local television news media. Most evenings the local news anchors are little more than hosts for a daily YouTube review.

    And then some people wonder why more audiences are choosing to get their news from blogs and Comedy Central.

    The mind boggles…

  67. an any of my fellow louisvilleans help a girl out?

    I dont read the CJ, so nope. However I cant stop laughing at this:

    They declared that the c-j would still remain a shining example of journalistic excellence

    Thats a good one.

    Even the LEO has gone downhill since Yarmuth got his new job. I really didnt see that one coming.

  68. My newspaper recently announced it would end its contract with the Associated Press.
    I’m still not sure how that will work, but it makes more sense than cutting back local coverage which the Web can’t provide.

  69. Two thoughts… First, arguing that professional porn actors/actresses will become obsolete because of amateurs is like arguing that Hollywood will disappear because of YouTube. I suppose it could happen way down the road, but for now I would imagine the two can co-exist nicely.

    Second, drummers won’t disappear for one obvious reason: people like to play drums!

  70. apropos of nothing, but since you’re here, robc

    you’re not blood type O by any chance, are you?

  71. ? Porn actors

    Someone above may have pointed this out, but the internet has been a boon for porn actors. The way the economics used to work, the porn industry was comprised only of people who went to Hollywood but didn’t quite make it (in either the talent or production side of the biz). Nowadays, though, the internet makes it so that any small group, indeed any individual can be the producer, director, and star of their own movie for wide distribution. If a small town has a viable meth industry, it can have a viable porn industry.

  72. “Why would I pay 100$ per tube when I can spend the same amount of money on a quality emulator? Then I can get “fake” tube sounds that are just like “real” tube sounds.”

    Digital emulators only sound good at low volumes. But like a digital camera with poor resolution, the sound loses fidelity when blown up (amplified). But then again, you should feel free to use the Mesa copy on a Line 6 or Vox emulator and play it through a Peavey. If you can’t tell the difference, chances are your audience can’t either.

    The only emulator I’ve found with a pleasing tone is the Sansamp RBI bass preamp. And I’ve tried them all. They range from crap to pretty darn good.

  73. you’re not blood type O by any chance, are you?

    A positive, I think.

    Interesting bit about that – my Dad’s dog tags from the army are wrong. If he had got injured during his service, they might have killed him with a transfusion (or whatever happens if you get the wrong type pumped into you). He didnt find out until many years later his real blood type.

  74. Hydrox cookies.

    Growing up, I only had Hydrox when visiting the relatives in Queens, because nearly everyone in the part of the family had worked for them at one time or another. I had no idea they had gone away.

  75. Kinnath,

    Why did Sony cave when it came to pron blu-rays? curious, i am.

  76. Even with the rampant piracy that exists in the online porn world

    I have a suspicion that despite their protestations, the porn industry secretly loved usc 2257 because it made it easier to shut down sites that were retransmitting unoriginal content, and/or have the sites shut themselves down because of the downside risk of criminal code violation is greater than that of a civil code one.

  77. Why did Sony cave when it came to pron blu-rays? curious, i am.

    This is from memory, so take it with a grain of salt.

    Sony cannot prohibit the use of bluray for pornography. However, Sony can impose licensing restrictions on the use of technology to write bluray disks.

    Due to past snafus where snipits of adult content made it into family movies, Sony prohibits anyone who manufactures family disks from also manufacturing adult disks. This restriction complicates the problem of mass producing disks for distribution, but does not prohibit the manufacture of adult disks.

  78. Lamar,

    Try an Axe FX or an AXE FX Ultra from Fractal Audio if you have not. This has honestly been the BEST music gear purchase I have made in the last decade and one of the best I’ve done in the 21 years I’ve been playing guitar.

    This ain’t no POD or Valvetronix.

  79. I have a suspicion that despite their protestations, the porn industry secretly loved usc 2257 because it made it easier to shut down sites that were retransmitting unoriginal content

    I mean, is this true? If it is i havent been hearing about it. These sites abound. I havent heard of any being shut down, or even threatened.

  80. I believe that content providers also impose restriction on manufacturers of disks. So Disney won’t do business with anyone that mass produces adult movies for distribution.

  81. Thanks Kinnath.

  82. On further dredging of the memory banks, it comes down to:

    Disney won’t do business with you if you make adult videos, and Sony won’t provide technical support. So you buy the equipment to write disks and you’re on your own.

  83. I mean, is this true?

    I don’t know anyone that has been hit by a 2257 action. Anecdotally, however, I know of several sites that shut themselves down or removed a lot of content when it became law (and who were, at the very least, definitely skirting the boundaries of fair use). There was another original content producer that ceased operations, removed all content that he could, and sold the rights to his entire library to someone in Europe; he has however, resumed operations recently.

  84. Ah, i see. But all the big user provided content clip sites (RedTube to name an example). Seem to go on undeterred with lots of unoriginal content.

  85. ClubMedSux | December 18, 2008, 12:46pm | #

    Two thoughts… First, arguing that professional porn actors/actresses will become obsolete because of amateurs is like arguing that Hollywood will disappear because of YouTube. I suppose it could happen way down the road, but for now I would imagine the two can co-exist nicely.

    Second, drummers won’t disappear for one obvious reason: people like to play drums!

    Good point. I think there is a different fate in store for media producers/distributors and media talent. Someone who makes a living selling video cassets is out of luck. He might still get DVD sales, if people don’t want internet porn showing up on their credit card bills. Porn talent can still do well, especially if they become their own producers, as Kolohe mentioned. The key is to be talented enough compared to amateurs to get people to pay you. Even if you scoff at porn acting as talent, you have to admit that keeping a body in good shape takes more effort than most amateurs care to expend. If the average couple offered to have me watch them for free, I would decline.

  86. Drummers will never be out of a job

    Drummers are truly the oldest profession (every primitive tribe has one) but making a noise by hitting something with something else can be better and more cheaply accomplished with non-humans. Not that drummers are necessarily human. Apes, yes.

  87. My newspaper recently announced it would end its contract with the Associated Press.
    I’m still not sure how that will work, but it makes more sense than cutting back local coverage which the Web can’t provide.

    CN, I assume that you’re referring to the “Columbus Dispatch” (although the biggest example, so far, of an announced contract termination involves the Tribune Company). Apparently, a client has to give at least two years’ notice concerning a termination–and can reverse that decision, prior to the termination taking effect. In other words, it will still be some time before the content ends up disappearing–if it happens.

    Partly because of the client grumblings, CNN is in the process of launching some form of its current CNN Wire to be used by newspapers. And, when it comes to international news, Global News Enterprises/GlobalPost is set to officially launch in about a month.

  88. .. J sub D beat me to most of the comments (he’s right.. he’s always right .. just get used to it)..

    .. but I want to pass along one reason why toll collectors will be around for a while ..

    .. I was returning to La Guardia in a rental car when I came upon a toll bridge .. I was so intent upon seaching for change in the car that I didn’t notice that I was in the EZ-Pass lane .. couldn’t back up .. noticed that the lane dividers were plastic strips so I said, “it’s a rent-a” and did a lane change thru the dividers ..

    .. didn’t appear to raise any eyebrows so I assume that it happens all the time ..

    .. “out-of-towner” Hobbit

  89. I’m not sure about bookstores. The small ones, yeah, but Borders and Barnes and Noble seem to be doing okay.

  90. Ugh. Apparently, I need to keep the terminal slash in the URL for the “Phoenix” article referred to above.

  91. There are a lot of things on that list that I really don’t see going away any time soon. A few really leap out: Repair guys, will everything be disposable in the future or something?
    Drummers? What?
    Browse shopping. I assume that means going to a store.
    Carburetors. I have yet to find a fuel injected chainsaw.
    Watch makers. The high end market isn’t going anywhere.

  92. An oldie but a goodie…

    Q.: What do you call a guy that hangs around with musicians?

    A.: A drummer!

    As for vacuum tubes, those are great for warming yourself over during winter after your gas gets shut off because you blew your entire budget on an SVT. Also, I don’t think that record stores and turntables are going anywhere for at least a little while. I understand that they’ve actually experienced a minor renaissance of sorts now that digital formats have put CDs out to pasture.

  93. I’m not sure about bookstores. The small ones, yeah, but Borders and Barnes and Noble seem to be doing okay.

    Borders is actually having major financial problems.

  94. To his list I’d add real estate agents.

  95. As long as bartenders aren’t on the list I’m good. Also I would like to add tapedecks to the list. Yes, fuck you all, there are still people with tape decks in their car such as myself.

  96. To his list I’d add real estate agents.

    That’s probably a good add.

  97. “Try an Axe FX or an AXE FX Ultra from Fractal Audio if you have not.”

    But they cost more than a nice tube amp. I guess if versatility and convenience is the key, then go for it. But it sounds like at some point people will buy vintage tube gear because it is cheaper than the emulators! Also, if tube gear goes away, what will the emulators emulate?

  98. Repair guys? Naw. The phone number of a good repair man is more prized than the number of a reliable baby-sitter. There are more periodontists in this town than repair guys – it’s actually easier to get oral surgery than your gutters fixed.

    I recently missed a perio appointment. The secretary called me TWICE to re-sked. The guy who’s supposed to fix the vent in my attic? I’ve been on his list for two months and still no firm date no matter how often I call him.

  99. Yes, fuck you all, there are still people with tape decks in their car such as myself.

    No jibes here. Casettes don’t skip.

  100. Yes, fuck you all, there are still people with tape decks in their car such as myself.

    I still have my circa-1988 Case Logic turquoise blue 100-tape bag downstairs, still stuffed with my 20-year old or so tapes. Every now and then I’ll get one out just for larfs and with most of the oxide stripped off the media, I mostly get aewrjoiufmn tynununununowt ungwawagraftonikbun.

    Which is OK, since almost all of the stuff I still wanted to listen to I either found the CD and ripped to MP3 or found ripped on a music blog. I don’t miss tapes one bit. Rewindrewindrewindrewind… shit! missed it! fastfowardfastforward…

  101. “Personally, I shall never forgive the free market for taking away strawberry fruit roll-ups and Hydrox cookies.”

    In addition to the revived Hydrox, they apparently still make Fruit Roll-Ups (and Fruit by the Foot) in Strawberry.”

    So is there any hope for original recipe Taco-flavor Doritos? Those were the real deal, and all the “new and improved” taco- and taco-flavor variants since then have never hit the spot.

  102. I saw my very first porn movie this past weekend…

    Man, I had a lot more hair back then.

  103. “Casettes don’t skip.”

    My car stereo has a CD changer and cassette deck. I haven’t used the CD changer for awhile, but the music player hooks into the cassette deck via the cassette adapter. Current stereos have an 1/8″ input, but I can say that the cassette player’s usefulness outlived the CD player.

  104. yeah, record press plants are booming…if current trends continue it appears that the vinyl record will outlast the CD

  105. Vinyl’s a lot more popular with DJ’s than CD’s even now. As for bookstores, though, my wife works for Borders, and she’s getting her resume updated.

  106. librarians and libraries: on the way out

    bookbinders: safe as long as artists and writers love expensive notebooks from Ciak, Rhodia, Moleskine, et al.

    publishing: safe as long as there are 3 year olds around to wreck daddy’s Kindle.

    paper wall calendar makers: finished

    day-planner/portable calendar makers (e.g. filofax): wounded and slowly bleeding but will hang on for reasons similar to why publishing and bookbinders will be around for a while.

    paper diaries: finished except for those pathetic fools such as me who like writing with fountain pens.

    fountain pens: died long ago but will continue to survive as a niche market among pathetic fools.

  107. I keep waiting for one of these distressed, failing newspapers to realize that it has nothing to lose and get a little crazy and create something brand new and brilliant for readers and advertisers. I keep being disappointed.

    Radio is pretty much in the same boat; if the suits in charge of broadcast chains like Citadel were deliberately out to kill the industry, they could hardly do a better job. Of course, most of the radio rank and file continue to blame it all on “deregulation”…

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