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January 2nd, 2006


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06:10 pm - slow news minute
Around 8:51 every morning, if you listen to WBZ 1030 AM, you'll get a nifty little feature that probably should get its very own name. If I wanted to give as much attention to the feature as WBZ devotes to it, I'd come up with some half-assed name like "The Duh Report" or "The Daily Duh." See, an hour of news is hard to fill at WBZ, even with traffic on the 3s and weather on the 10s and a few minutes of Paul Harvey banging his walker and blathering on sometime after 8:30, so I guess the last few minutes of the hour is devoted to whatever vague semi-story they can write up all slapdash-like and send on to our ears without having to go in-depth on it.

For instance, the week before Christmas, I heard a nifty little piece on how bad Bad Credit is. "Shoppers this holiday season who spend too much," the lead warned, "may find themselves at risk for Bad Credit." Well! You don't say! Then WBZ newsreader Anthony Silva got to quote an economics expert who, as you can tell, is a real expert on the subject: "...Bad Credit may affect your ability to apply for a credit card, purchase a car or a house." Tips on how to avoid or get rid of Bad Credit, according to this expert, include "paying your bills on time." That's some hard-hitting reporting there, Slick.

A bit less responsible was the OMG COMPUTER VIRUS!!1 warning they did last week. "If you have Windows you shouldn't open images or visit random websites," Anthony intoned. "Computer Expert $NAMEHERE says that a vulnerability in Windows allows spyware and viruses to infect your computer. WBZ news time is 8:52; traffic on the 3s in sixty seconds..."

There is indeed a new vulnerability involving Windows Metafiles (.WMF files) and the "Windows Graphics Rendering Engine" and that yeah, it's way open to an exploit. But this is one of those cases where less information is worse than no information. I mean, I wasn't expecting a full explanation, much less the phrase "Windows Metafiles", because it wouldn't have been helpful or understandable to J. Random Windows User.

But WBZ didn't provide any help whatsoever, or any course of action for people to take. Hell, even just saying "Users are urged to visit Microsoft's website for details" at the end, an open-ended finger point which doesn't solve much either, would have helped a lot more than just "VIRUS! SPYWARE! DON'T OPEN NOTHING IN WINDOWS! DANGER DANGER DANGER! NOW HERE'S A MESSAGE FROM MARGIE, THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS AT NATIONAL LUMBER!"

Ah well. Gotta learn to despise them slow news minutes.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:bostonista
Date:January 3rd, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
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I hate Paul Harvey. He must be 150 years old by now.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:January 3rd, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
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Last month he pretty much proclaimed "those global warming guys" were all wrong, since we still have such things as snowstorms.

Go Paul!

[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:January 3rd, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
My God, he's still alive?
[User Picture]
From:antiquated_tory
Date:January 4th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
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You take the words right out of my mouth. Well, as long as he still lives, so does the spirit of Eisenhower Republicanism.

Oh, wait, I forgot that they still publish Readers' Digest.

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