My Sundry Best

By Robert MacMillan Staff Writer
Friday, July 15, 2005; 8:48 AM

Like that Easybeats song that David Bowie once covered, " I got Friday on my mind ."

Summertime Fridays can turn into the laziest days of the year in the news business, and today, at least on the tech beat, is no exception unless you count Apple's big iPod news.

But you can read about that anywhere. I, meanwhile, turned up a few fun nuggets that remained in the shadows for the past week. The first shows how teenagers are using the power of the Internet to fight for their right to go to the mall.

The Associated Press reported that a Massachusetts teenager posted a petition on his Web site to get the Holyoke Mall in Ingleside to revoke its policy that people under 18 years of age must be accompanied by adult escorts when they show up on weekend nights.

"Michael A. Lemme of Chicopee posted his petition on the Web at noon Wednesday and by midnight 665 names were added. Many added comments such as 'this is an outrage!' Lemme told The Republican of Springfield that he and his friends are upset. "It's ridiculous," the 15-year-old Chicopee Comprehensive High School student said. 'You shouldn't have to be a certain age just to go to the mall with your friends. You should be able to go at any age, as long as your parents let you.' ... Lemme wants to obtain 1,000 signatures in hopes of persuading mall owners to dump the new rule. But William J. Rogalski, general manager of the mall owned by The Pyramid Companies, said the decision stands."

The story first appeared in the Springfield Republican , which reported that the mall made the move to put a stop to "fighting, horseplay, harassment and offensive language." Rogalski put on his best condescension tone, saying in a second article in the Republican : "We won't change our mind. ... I do applaud the fact that they're doing this, whoever took the initiative."

I remember the mall as being the place where we'd go when we couldn't get our hands on anything that was simuutaneously mind-altering and ingestible. Then again, we didn't have e-mail back then either.

Crow Sings for Dell

Say what you want about Sheryl Crow, but she's no intern.

The popular singer made a deal to hawk personal computers and consumer electronics manufactured by Dell Inc., the Austin American-Statesman reported . The television spots -- scheduled to start airing last night -- also are designed to get fans and casual music listeners excited about her new single, "Good Is Good," the paper said:

"Although it's limited to a few products, this campaign is Dell's highest-profile advertising initiative since it retired one featuring a cast of earnest Dell 'interns' in 2003. And the new ads underscore the company's effort to keep driving sales in the consumer market. ... The commercials feature Crow at home, playing around with her guitar and Dell's home entertainment products. At one point, she watches her new video on a Dell plasma TV and flips through on-screen menus using the media center remote control. The initial spots will hawk the Dimension 5100 desktop PC with Microsoft Corp.'s media center software, which is designed primarily to play and manage digital media, including music, photos and TV. The package comes with a digital tuner built in and will go for $849."

The Hollywood Reporter said more deals could be in the works: "Additional ideas involving Crow are being explored, said Michael Farrello, Dell's vp electronics and accessories. These might include a partnership with Yahoo!'s MusicMatch digital music service or having Crow's music come preloaded on a Dell DJ portable music player."

Crow is no stranger to digital media, as Jordan Running noted on thep2pweblog . He pointed out that she is vice president of the Recording Artists' Coalition, and is among the ranks of major-label artists to speak out against illegal music sharing. Here's an excerpt from a statement she released in April:

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