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Bits & bytes from the new-media front.

How long would you wait to see an ad? That breakthrough McDonald's commercial available through NBC's area on America Online takes a whopping 57 minutes to download using a 9600 baud modem. Which may explain why only 53 people had reeled it in as of Aug. 22. By comparison, a page from a coloring book taking less than 2 minutes to download was accessed 421 times.

Prodigy behind on its ABCs. If you want to know how many Prodigy subscribers there are, you won't find out by reading the Audit Bureau of Circulations' FAS-FAX report for the six months ended June 30. After trying for three years to convince the audit bureau to track its audience size, the group finally established a new division for "Electronic Publications." But while the report, issued earlier this month, includes Prodigy, there's something missing. In the spot where Prodigy's membership total should be is the following line: "Publisher's statement not filed by press time." Oh, well. Prodigy can still meet the bureau's Sept. 2 deadline to be listed in a supplementary report.

Just do it. Thomas Rogers, president of NBC Cable and Business Development, likened interactive TV to teen sex at a Kagan Seminars conference on multimedia in New York earlier this month: "Everyone is thinking about it. Everyone thinks everyone else is doing it. Everyone talks about it, but only a few are actually doing it. The few who are doing it are not doing it well. And everyone hopes it will be great when they finally do it." Got it?

Reinventing interactivity. If you thought the days of 3-D glasses were gone, take another look. A new CD-ROM from InterActive Publishing Corp., called "Leonardo, the Inventor," comes packaged with 3-D glasses that make images seem to pop out of the screen. Somehow the idea of experiencing such da Vinci inventions as the suspension bridge this way is a bit more interactive than we'd like.

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