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Advertising Displays The Media

Video Adverts On the Printed Page 153

An anonymous reader writes "Prepare yourself. A staple of near-future sci-fi—magazine video ads—are now a thing of the present. And which high-tech magazine is leading the charge? Wired? Popular Mechanics? Nope. Successful Farming. The advertisement itself is for a pesticide that protects crops against nematodes. You can see a video of the video here."
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Video Adverts On the Printed Page

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  • Mute button (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thomasinx ( 643997 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:03AM (#33365864)
    Did anyone catch whether or not there was a mute button? I could see an ad with audio like that being incredibly annoying when reading in a public place.

    Overall though, I think this is an interesting trend. I definitely wonder whether or not the benefit of such an ad outweighs the cost of all the extra hardware...
    • Re:Mute button (Score:5, Insightful)

      by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:08AM (#33365902) Journal
      Did anyone catch whether or not there was a mute button?

      I would imagine that it is like those musical greeting cards: close the page, and it shuts off.
      • This is an advertisement we're talking about. It would just get louder.

      • (1) This could save the magazine and newspaper industry. Instead of reading about the cops chasing a runaway suspect, you could watch it.

        (2) I want this to flatsheet video for my living room wall.

    • Here's a frightening thought, what happens when the marketroids realize they could combine this tech with the old "make the ad fall out of the magazine on purpose" trick.

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @03:21AM (#33366236) Homepage

        Then they just have to make it proofed against everything up to and including a sledgehammer.

        But if you want to make sure that you aren't annoyed a few seconds in the microwave would take care of the problem.

        The next thought is - can this be hacked? Probably, and now we will wait for those items to appear in pr0n magazines too. Just imagine what people will look like if the magazine stand starts to moan.

        • But if you want to make sure that you aren't annoyed a few seconds in the microwave would take care of the problem.

          Hey, good idea, seriously. Just a couple of seconds in the microwave should toast these things without damaging the magazine.

          But really this is like sticking a touchscreen and camera onto an analog landline phone. Dead tree magazines are on their way out. If you want to embed videos into an e-mag it's easy to do - and I'll have a plugin to block them from running without my consent.

    • Re:Mute button (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 246o1 ( 914193 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:25AM (#33366004)

      This is the kind of thing that will make me want to carry around a hammer or an EMP device. Ads already pollute enough of my life.

      • Re:Mute button (Score:5, Interesting)

        by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @03:09AM (#33366192)
        Makes me want to hack and repurpose them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          The technology in use is Americhip's "Video in print" []. They are a touch light on technical detail; but it appears to be a full color LCD screen, most likely made possible by the economies of scale of the cellphone world, along with a driver board of some kind(unlike say, the fixed-segment, e-ink display that Esquire ran 100,000 of, which was pretty easy to control; but nearly worthless because it was fixed-segment and not even usefully so like the old LCD/LED alphanumeric displays).

          I'd assume that, for t
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Pezbian ( 1641885 )

            I remember Esquire.
            Suit: "We encourage hacking of the displays!"
            Hacker: "Well... I made a clock out of it... but that's all and it takes a training seminar to learn to read it."

            This isn't going to be useless at all... until the suits realize they can save half a penny by shrinking the circuit board to get rid of all those trivial externally-accessible contacts, sealing the ASIC into an epoxy blob to save the expense of IC packaging and switching to PROM to spare the expense of Flash memory.

            With the savings,

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              I'd be less concerned about strict cost cutting measures(the board is already height constraints, so I'm sure that headers and DIPs are out; but test lands never killed anybody with steady hands and I'm not at all sure that PROMs are much ahead of NAND Flash for bulk storage/$, also, particularly for short runs, being able to stock one driver board, programmable on demand, albeit quite possibly through a ghastly little custom connector/bed of nails arrangement is very handy).

              My concern would more be that
        • by Travco ( 1872216 )
          Hack A Day has some useful info on this thing in the last 15 or so comments on this article. []
        • I wonder if that USB port can also be used for data. Depending on how accessible the port is, you could have some fun uploading other vids to the magazines before sneaking away.

        • What could they be good for? Once the novelty of hacking them wears off they're pretty useless apart from maybe some sort of art project.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can just install ad block plus and you won't be bothered by these anymore.

    • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

      I can't wait for this! This would be totally awesome to hack!

    • by joebok ( 457904 )

      It is interesting, but I hope it doesn't catch on. I'll bet no thought, and certainly no funds, have gone into dealing with the waste - a classic external cost being eaten by the taxpayer. Time was we could toss an old magazine into the recycle bin - now - ? Madness... madness!

  • Landfill... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:07AM (#33365894) Homepage
    Aren't there a lot of "bad things* in computers and monitors? Isn't it bad enough the ones on our desktops turn over every few years? Can you imagine if hundreds of thousands of these ended up in the landfill every month? Forgive me if I sound like a kneejerk hippy, but this just doesn't seem at all green.
    • by vidnet ( 580068 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:14AM (#33365942) Homepage

      Well, considering that it's an advert for poison...

    • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:14AM (#33365944) Journal
      Forgive me if I sound like a kneejerk hippy, but this just doesn't seem at all green.

      Just turn off all the red and blue pixels, and it'll be green.
    • by Bombur ( 544425 )
      The landfill issue can be ended if the following question can be answered with "yes":

      Can it be hacked?
    • that much for farmers beeing green.....

    • The real question is, if I plant this thing in the ground will it kill nematodes? Better than the stuff it advertises?

  • by CTU ( 1844100 )
    I kinda want a copy of that mag...although I wonder if that screen can be used for anything else?
  • Pimp my mag (Score:5, Funny)

    by XiaoMing ( 1574363 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:21AM (#33365984)

    Yo dawg! I heard you like overkill, so we put up a video of a video of an advertisement in an advertisement so you can watch while you read about watching while you read!

  • Looks cool, but (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:28AM (#33366008) Homepage

    Is it just me, or isn't that horrendously fucking ridiculously wasteful? Environmentally, that is.

    • It's also not very 'Minority Report' is it?

      I could create a larger version at home using some cardboard and my plasma screen or perhaps I'm missing the point..

      • Re:Looks cool, but (Score:4, Interesting)

        by plumby ( 179557 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @05:45AM (#33366744)

        I was thinking the same thing - there's a big difference between something that looks like a sheet of paper, but with animation on it, and something that looks like a small TV screen stuck into a hole in the page.

        Maybe it looks better in real life, but it looks quite some way from proper "sci fi" e-paper to me.

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      The latter.

  • further details (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:29AM (#33366018)

    some more links with additional information.

    this post includes info on pricing, the cost is $50/insert for a volume of 1,000

    about halfway through there is footage of the raw board. looks like a standard small LCD, Li-Ion pack and logic board. and surprisingly a mini-usb for recharging

  • Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xeno man ( 1614779 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:33AM (#33366044)
    One of the first things that come to mind is cost. How much does it cost to run these types of adds. Is it really cost effective to manufacture batteries, displays, speakers and memory for video to be viewed maybe once if at all just to be tossed out? Now if displays are really that cheap, we should also be seeing an effect of lower costs on all displays. Also where can I get a few dozen copies as I'd love to start hacking those displays and putting together some sort of awesome free display.
    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )
      Cost-wise, long term, would worth better if the magazine offers an eBook reader to subscribers for 1 year subscription
      As the prices are falling fast (e.g. Kobo - under $150), it would not take long for niche magazines to be distributed in electronic format only, with all the multimedia ads they want.
      • If the technology becomes widespread enough that it's commonplace, you're probably right. I suspect the first few magazines to do this will be more interested in the temporary readership boost they'll get from being one of the first to offer it than in offering better value to customers. This is no doubt what's attractive about it to the advertisers, too (i.e. it might not justify the cost by itself, but they're probably banking on the extra publicity they'll get).
    • It surely *was* very cost effective for the first advertiser that has done that -- look, they're all over the news, even on Slashdot!
    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      How much does it cost to run these types of adds

      Well, computer time used to be pretty expensive, aven for adding... Oh, did you mean "ad" as in "advertisement"? My bad.

      • Yes, that was totally worth the time you spent typing that out, to bring to everyone's attention that I mistakenly added a second "d" to "ad" when I typed out my comment. The world is now a better place because of that and aven for adding.

        Oh, did you mean "even". If your going to be a dick about spelling, be sure that yours is correct first.
        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          Sorry, it's just that there are too many people who really think that "ad" is spelled with two Ds. I was trying to be humorous. Lighten up!

  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:37AM (#33366068) Homepage

    I used to dream about newspapers that had video where the pictures would normally go, but otherwise the pages with video didn't look any different from the pages you see in real newspapers. It's not as impressive when the video screen is small and the page is as thick as cardboard.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Pezbian ( 1641885 )

      Reminds me of video in Windows 3.1. If it didn't crash every half-second, you were treated to 96x72px moving postage stamps of the moon landing and other stuff that actually made a VHS tape look great in comparison.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:43AM (#33366084)

    Yes. Yes I did. []

  • What's in a name? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tgv ( 254536 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @02:48AM (#33366102) Journal

    Nobody noticed the abbreviation for Successful Farming is SF?

  • can hardly call Wired a 'magazine'

  • by Osty ( 16825 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @03:11AM (#33366196)

    I've been saying it for some time now, but farmers have pretty much always been on the cutting edge of technology. The common view of farmers as slack-jawed yokels couldn't be any further from the truth. For thousands of years, most technology advances were the domain of farming. How do you think we can continue to feed the world's growing population and still have food surpluses that can be used for stuff like ethanol, high fructose corn syrup, plastics, etc.?

    Growing up as the son of a farmer, we were always playing around with new technology long before anyone else. Think your GPS is pretty sweet? Yeah, we had that in the early 90s for charting harvest yields (X bushels harvested at Y location with a relatively fine scale on the location == pretty yield maps). Wireless real-time stock quotes? We had that in the 80s for the futures markets. Self-driving vehicles? You've been able to buy tractors that would drive themselves in the fields for the past 15+ years, including collision avoidance (fields are not empty -- there are creeks, rocks, power lines, hills, etc that all need to be avoided or otherwise handled). The only thing surprising about this story is that this didn't happen 5 years ago.

    • Yes, I've read a documentary [] on that exact subject.

    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

      I've been saying it for some time now, but farmers have pretty much always been on the cutting edge of technology. [...]

      Strikes me as extremely stupid, then. What stops them to buy an eReader and ask the magazine be delivered in electronic format, with all the multimedia ads they want?

      • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @03:50AM (#33366352)

        Strikes me as extremely stupid, then. What stops them to buy an eReader and ask the magazine be delivered in electronic format, with all the multimedia ads they want?

        Well, he was talking about farmers. The farmers are smart. Magazine publishers, on the other hand...

        • by Warll ( 1211492 )
          I'll guaranty you that it was not the Magazine publisher how financed the ad, typically the person who is advertising the product will pay for ads.

          Now as to if Bayer is making a mistake here, I would say no. When you think about it the modern farmer is a very lucrative target market. They make their own buying decisions, most of their expenses are in consumables (Pesticides being a major one) and capital (vs labour as in most other industries) and like all business owners are always willing to buy a prod
          • Also, TFA says that, since this is more of a subscription magazine than a newsstand thing, they could target the ad based on the size of the subscriber's farm. Going to the trouble of doing that suggests that these things are not inexpensive; but that Bayer will probably be getting a pretty decent chunk of whatever it is that advertising efficacy is measured in...
      • by ksandom ( 718283 )

        What stops them to buy an eReader and ask the magazine be delivered in electronic format, with all the multimedia ads they want?

        In a lot of parts of the world, an internet connection. For example, it's very hilly here, so it's not viable to run lines or get wireless access to remote areas.

        • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

          What stops them to buy an eReader and ask the magazine be delivered in electronic format, with all the multimedia ads they want?

          In a lot of parts of the world, an internet connection

          Internet is not the only method of delivery of binary content. An USB stick (even CD-ROM) is still less expensive that a video advert embedded on dead-tree page.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by delinear ( 991444 )
        What's to say they're not already doing that? If a significant portion of readers prefer electronic versions and a similarly significant portion prefer dead tree editions then the smart move would be to cater to both markets, not just tell the dead tree people to move with the times and dump them. And as to why they prefer dead tree editions, any number of valid reasons, maybe it's easier to relax with a magazine than with a laptop or eReader, maybe they like to stick it in a back pocket while out in the fi
    • by 0WaitState ( 231806 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @04:25AM (#33366450)

      There's no technology helping with ethanol production, unless you consider technology oriented towards lobbying congresscritters. There's only a tiny, tiny band of US farmland where one can grow corn efficiently enough to achieve a small (1.01 coefficient) energy-positive margin for the ethanol produced. Everywhere else it's a subsidised net energy loss--you use more petroleum products fertilizing, transporting product, and moving water than you save with the ethanol generated.

      My country tis of thee, sweet land of subsidy.

    • Thank Mohammad/Jesus for High Fructose Corn Syrup. Our kids would be so damn skinny and frail without that fricken gem.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      So are farmers smart enough to know that if you kill nematodes, you kill the soil and are therefore fully dependent on chemical companies if you want to keep farming? Are they smart enough to know that you should NEVER use this product? Most I have talked to lately insist its impossible to produce food without chemicals, which just isn't true. In fact, most studies show that the surpluses would be larger without chemicals limiting the environment. We might have to eat more than five crops and not use corn i
      • Spot on comment, wish I had mod points today.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by caseih ( 160668 )

        "Studies" apparently show lots of things. Most of the problems you mention are well-known, (even by us farmers), and are caused largely by unwise government subsidies. Obviously the farm bill is pushed by American farmers (of which I am not), and of course EU farmers, which is definitely short-sighted.

        As for precision fertilizer, you are quite mistaken. Farmers are jumping at the bit to do this sort of thing, but so far it's just not economical yet. I can easily meter an average fert rate across my 52'

      • by jjhall ( 555562 )

        Talk about only looking at one side of the coin! There are harmful nematodes and beneficial nematodes. Just like bacteria. There are a plethora of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system now, but there are also bacteria that will make you very sick if introduced into your digestive system, or into your body in general. Bacteria that will turn milk into yogurt, and bacterial that will turn milk into a dangerous rotten cup of botulism.

        I have not looked at this product in detail, but if it is formulat

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      I expect you will find virtually all those advances were created by engineers and scientists, not farmers. Of course the farmer isn't stupid, and if some tech comes along which speeds up / automates / increases yield etc. then naturally they will want to use it.
    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

      Not to mention laser levelling of fields, use of satellite views to evaluate cropland, etc, etc. which has all been going on for decades.

      As a minor corollary, North Dakota was one of the first states to put everything-gov't online. "Backward" compared to what??

      Having just come over from the story about how we need downtime to let our brains work efficiently... farmers riding that tractor get a lot of time to think. And they put it to good use.

      (Yes, I grew up in farm-and-ranch country myself. :)

  • 1 year ago we had almost the same article on slashdot, without calling it "near-future sci-fi". []
  • Cool tech (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @03:39AM (#33366302)

    Looking at this I was just thinking on how fast our technology moves.

    15 years ago CRT screens were still the norm, 10 years ago they were still going strong against the flat screen competition. Now we have screens that are so flat and cheap that they can be added to a magazine page.

    15 years ago playing video on your PC started to work, mostly. Not too high resolution and you're fine. Now we play video smoothly on our mobile phones. Video processors are now small enough to fit in a magazine page. The same for storage, even low res video requires a relatively large amount of memory.

    15 years ago my simple mobile phone needed recharging of its bulky battery at least every two days, when not using it much. Now batteries have the capacity to run a video player, a small screen, for a significant period of time, all while being small enough to fit in a magazine page.

    15 years ago I had a 120 MB hard disk in my computer, a quite reasonable size at the time. It served me well. Software came typically on small stacks of 1.44 MB floppy disks. Nowadays a magazine page can fit larger amounts of storage, at a mere fraction of the price.

    It is simply absurd how fast this tech is moving these days. A video in a magazine page was pure science fiction at the time. The idea that you would go to a web page (that did exist already) and click on a link to watch a video without the need for a lengthy download.

    We definitely live in exciting times for techies!

    • by MORB ( 793798 )
      ...15 years ago a technology allowing one to browse news and read articles electronically began to make printed media obsolete.

      ...5 years ago the technology to embed videos inside of the above became popular.

      Basically internet made this "embed a video into a paper magazine" crap obsolete 5 years ago, before it was even invented.
      • Many people say traditional news papers are obsolete. You can read the paper on the train on your iPad instead.

        True, but screen resolution is lower than newsprint, and the screen size is less. Reading a traditional paper is easier than reading it on a screen. And my daily newspaper costs just HK$7, the cheapest iPad HK$3888. That's 555 papers for one iPad. Or almost two years of buying newspapers, not counting the cost of buying the electronic version instead (they do not come free here). And by then today

  • Excellent! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by naich ( 781425 ) on Wednesday August 25, 2010 @03:48AM (#33366342) Homepage

    Sounds to me like a good source of cheap screens to hack and use with your favourite microcontroller.

  • Tch tch

    This may well be another nail in the coffin of print media. At the moment at least, by and large, any magazines you subscribe to can be chucked in a paper bin for later recycling. What is one meant to do with these monstrosities?

    • Tear out the one offending page?
      • I'd say you're right, except that I've seen how well my neighbors recycle (living in a US apartment complex). 1) Lots of recyclable stuff still gets tossed in the garbage. 2) The recycling that is done is often done carelessly (I find stuff in the recycling bins that absolutely doesn't belong there).

        If this catches on, even if the paper still gets recycled, we'll have tons and tons of single-use LCD displays, batteries and circuit boards destined for landfill.

  • Yes, this isn't interesting at all. It sure must be good at catching the attention of the reader which is one of the primary goals of advertising. But shouldn't this kind of technology be relegated to digital magazines? Why put expensive and environment damaging technology in such a thing as (most of the time) disposable media?
  • Boring (Score:1, Insightful)

    by KritonK ( 949258 )

    I wanted to watch the video on the magazine, for the geekiness of it, and was bored, watching the fancy graphics, while I was waiting for the name of the advertised product (which I have already forgotten, as the tech was more impressive than the name of an unknown product) to appear.

    Now that I've seen what it's all about, and the novelty is lost, there is no way I am going to wait 45 seconds per page, to watch a <censored> video, while leafing through a magazine. In fact, I won't even notice there is

  • I wonder which video codec they decided upon. I would imagine they'd pick OGM or VP8 to (considerably) reduce overhead by avoiding shelling out to MPEG.
    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      The cost of playing back OGM or VP8 in software would require costlier hardware (more powerful CPU required) and would lower the playback life of the batteries. It's less complicated and costs less overall to just go with MPEG-4 or H.264.

      Who knows, maybe it's even MPEG-1. Storage space for such a small and short video wouldn't be that high.

      Or maybe it's something else entirely and they're using an old CODEC used by videogames a decade ago. Let's say the one from Diablo II.

  • Interestingly, the very first commercial in Polish TV after beginning of transformation towards capitalism was for Prusakolep, a bug bait with pesticide against the German cockroach, (Croton bug, Steam fly, Blattella germanica).
    It wasn't all that much of a problem really and it being the first and only commercial on tv for quite a while (and run pretty frequently) it was pretty much leaving many people stumped, wtf is this about...

  • I don't think this is the first instance of this technology. I remember hearing about it last year. It was CBS and Pepsi.

    It was discussed [] last [] August [].

    This is now a year after the first people did this. I suspect Slashdot covered it then too.

  • Ads for content shown on the iPad will now arrive in your physical mailbox, in post-it form. Digital newspapers will have empty dotted rectangles where you can apply the ads of your choice.

    Hackers all over the world will attempt to re-use the post-its for other purposes, with limited success.

The absent ones are always at fault.