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There has to be a cosmic joke in this. The New York Times online (register already) yesterday posted an article titillatingly headlined “Sad, Lonely? For a Good Time, Call Vivienne“. Guess we can expect our lexicon to now equate “call girl” with the name “Vivienne”. And since virtual world commerce has become a regulation problem, the world’s oldest profession is apparently on sound virtual economic footing. It just needs a little…. targeted advertising.

Meanwhile, over on Yahoo! Finance BusinessWire, a news blurb proclaimed “Funcom and Massive Inc. to Implement Revolutionary Game Ad Deal“. Imagine a game filled with these kinds of NPC’s (non-player characters) giving a whole new meaning to the term “viral marketing“. Or in-game billboards that actually cause a player to do a double-take which triggers a torrent of spam. Did someone say targeted advertising?

Now I’ve been following both artificial-virtual life and in-game advertising for a while. And had an interest in the possibilities before Gibson gave away the ending to All Tomorrow’s Parties in his preceeding book, Idoru. I won’t spoil the books for those who haven’t read them, but the third element in this sordid love triangle is rapid-prototyping technology (another big thing with me). Somewhere out there I just know there’s a news article about some RP breakthrough. So don’t wait! Order your own Vivienne today! We’ll destroy our species yet. (Me? no worries – my heart belongs to Ananova).

Building Brands with Gadgets

BusinessWeek online has an interesting article on consumer products behemoth Procter & Gamble’s method for building brands by incorporating technology into new delivery systems. With Tide Buzz Ultrasonic Stain Remover and Mr. Clean AutoDry already in stores, new parents everywhere must be anticipating a Pampers technology revolution. At least they’re aware there are limits to gadget fever. In the meantime, read up on how technology is finding its way into the most basic consumer goods.