Life Arts

Robot with a tip jar = proof times are bad?

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An Op Ed News columnist/photographer who has been collecting tidbits of information about the difficult economic conditions (to use in a planned year-in-review column) recently took a therapeutic stroll on Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach, which is second only to Disneyland as a Southern California tourist destination.  

With business conditions making the competition to attract customers more frantic, it seemed logical for businesses along the famous stretch of beach in the Western end of Los Angeles County to install "greeters" to lure tourists inside the various stores.  

It was then logical to replace human greeters with robots and so they have proliferated along the famous walkway.

If corporations are now persons will robots soon be petitioning for the same consideration?   Will they organize and demand higher wages and the right to vote?

These thoughts were sparked by the visual spectacle of one greeter robot who was trying to make things better for her robot family and her robot kids' need for money for a robot college education by augmenting her paycheck with the addition of cash deposited in her tip jar.

A photograph of this astounding visual evidence of just how desperate things are seemed to be a good idea.  

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Yeah, photos of police officers in riot gear are more dramatic and newsworthy but when there is a lull in such high news value photo ops, the cameraman has to settle for something more mundane with only a feature photo level of interest.   The demise of daily newspapers has caused a concomitant drop in the number of and use of feature photos.   To old hand "shooters" the feature photo opportunity will still draw some attention.   Could that also be true for the Internet surfers?  

In the old days, proof of just how good a particular photograph was came when the "play list" was posted.   That bit of internal communications at the AP would designate which newspapers with access to both AP and UPI photos had chosen the AP photo.   It was an ego-stroke to have taken any photo that got mentioned on the play list.

In the age of Internet news, the concept of the play list has become obsolete and there is no accurate way to measure the appeal of an online feature photo (at least until the Life webstite starts to publish more than just the day's top five or ten news photos).  

[We will contact the ME of the BAGnews Notes website and see if he can suggest a reliable Internet source for submitting suggestions and/or seeing feature news photos and then use any feedback as the basis for a future column.]

In an effort to provide some tangible evidence of the appeal of feature news photos for use in a hypothetical debate in the Op Ed News employees lunch room, the World's Laziest Journalist will try to get some digital feedback by increasing the appeal of this particular photo for possible use on other websites by making this offer:   This particular photo of the robot with a tip jar may be reproduced on other websites, if it is accompanied by the this credit line:   Photo courtesy of Op Ed News.

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)

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