Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

So local television news in Southern California, and I mean this with the utmost respect, sucks. Hard. With slurping noises.

We had more journalistic integrity at my high school newspaper. Heck, even the UCSD Guardian knew it was a hack rag.

In LA, the CBS affiliate -- winner of the "Most Massive Plunge into the Scum" award -- makes a point of mentioning the words "danger" and "you" in all their radio ads, apparently in the belief that if they make you think they know something you don't, you'll tune in to find out what it is. Real bit: "Killer bees have finally arrived in California! What's the danger to you? Find out tonight at seven!" The answer, of course, is "There is none."

When I was living in San Diego, the ABC station ran ads all day, saying that "you can help a family find their lost three-year-old!" It turns out that they led their newscast with the story -- in the sixth largest city in the country -- and took well-nigh a minute to tell you that the "lost three-year-old" was a dog. A dog. Before watching this station, I'd always wondered where the spokesmodels went after their gig on Star Search ended.

And today I was driving in to work when an ad for Channel 9, an independent station owned by Disney, came on the radio. A typical news-announcer voice comes booming, "Tonight at seven: Rocky-road ice cream! Hard to believe it's been around for 65 years. Tonight we'll take a look at this frozen favorite. Then, at eight--"


Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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