Sunday, November 13, 2005

Comcast: Spoilsport

This afternoon, I finished watching Wednesday's episode of Lost. (I managed to miss most of the first season, but through the magic of DVR I've been keeping up with this season, even though it runs opposide Veronica Mars.) It had a surprise-twist ending -- but it wasn't a surprise to me. My Internet service provider. Comcast, put a headline revealing just that plot twist on its homepage -- the homepage that loads every time I sign onto the Web. Further, it posted that headline mere minutes after the episode finished on the west coast. (For that matter, it may have been up earlier -- that's just when I saw it.)

Now, the LA Times ran a story about the same spoiler (complete with a photo of the character involved) on Friday, but with a newspaper article one can glance at the headline and choose to skip the story. (If you don't want to skip the Times story, here it is.) Not so with a headline that pops up as soon as you click the Internet Explorer article.

Boo to Comcast, for failing to realize that TV viewers time-shift -- something they've been doing since Betamaxes were introduced nearly 30 years ago.

Speaking of Lost, either the caption-writer or the copy-editor of the LA Times seems a bit lost: In a story about DVD box sets in the front section of today's paper, a photo caption (click on the caption that reads, "Success Found") refers to the first season of Lost as "ratings challenged"; and contends that the box set resulted in the second season's huge ratings. Does being in the Top Ten shows (and sometimes at the top of that list) every week really constitute being "ratings challenged?" A review of the article shows that the reporter was actually referring to Alias as ratings-challenged. Still, considering Lost was a phenomenon of the 2004-2005 season -- one of the most, if not the most, successful SF/Fantasy series ever --you have to wonder how a writer or even a typesetter could make that mistake.

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