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Ring Tone Nation

Okay, I’ll fess up right here and admit that I paid $2 to download a ring tone of the Cheap Trick song, “I Want You to Want Me.” And I paid another couple bucks to get a Grateful Dead ring…
March 18, 2004

Okay, I’ll fess up right here and admit that I paid $2 to download a ring tone of the Cheap Trick song, “I Want You to Want Me.” And I paid another couple bucks to get a Grateful Dead ring tone for my wife. Of course, I’m hardly alone. Ring tones are big business, pulling in more than $1 billion per year globally. And now companies are finding new ways to cash in.

The latest–and shrewdest move–comes from Artemis Records. The label is including Xingtone software on the “Palm Trees and Power Lines” CD from a band called Sugarcult. For $15, you can activate the software and transform any song on the disc into a ring tone for your cell. Talk about viral marketing. Ring tones are basically free advertising for labels, and a great way to vest fans. This is a good example of how the recording industry can embrace–and benefit from–new technologies, as opposed to running away.

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

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panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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