Falling for fake Internet sizzle

The Internet, in all of its glory, often fails to deliver what it promises. Part of that is human nature — many of us oversell an item in order to generate some interest in an item. Goodness knows, look at MySpace, any dating site and the real-life bars.
Two recent things have got me hopping. Two sites promised me items from beloved institutions only to let me down.
I was surfing the Stockton newspaper Web site when I noticed an ad touting a huge gift card to the Ikea Stockton.

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Ikea, for those who may have not experienced it, is a mega home-furnishing store offering decent furniture at good prices. It’s a huge step up from discount retailer furniture but a few steps below a full-blown furniture store.
Put another way — if you think spending more than $450 on a couch is ridiculous, Ikea is the place for you (although they have some pricey couches).
As someone who really, really enjoys shopping at Ikea, I figure I would’ve known about Stockton receiving a store. A quick check of the company’s Web site quickly refutes the ad — the nearest store to Stockton remains in West Sacramento.
Disappointment no. 2 is an ad that I see all the time on MySpace. Among the dating service ads, this advertisement for an “NPR Ringtone” pops up:
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As an avid listener of National Public Radio, I believe the ad is referring to some sound from the broadcasting service. “NPR” could stand for something different — like Never Preach to Rhinos (sound advice).
The promo doesn’t make sense — why would it be an “NPR” ringtone? Is it some theme song from the network? Is it NPR newscaster Carl Kasell just saying “ring, ring” over and over?
While the advertiser got me to click on the link, I hit another wall. It’s a ringtone service that wants me to input my phone number and other information before I can enter the site.
Thanks, but no thanks. I definitely don’t want to wind up in a situation where I’m giving billing information to some unknown third-party site just to satisfy my wandering curiosity.
Both of these are kind of bummers. I’d like to see these things exist, but sadly they don’t. I’m keeping my hopes up — I’ve heard there’s a bridge in Brooklyn on sale at eBay.

  • As much as I love NPR — and I do — I think an NPR ring tone might be a terrific sleep aid.
    ESPECIALLY Carl Kasell.