We wrote several weeks ago about how a recent rise in New York subway crime has been pegged to thefts of iPods and other digital devices, but as of a story in today’s New York Times, we think it’s time to declare earbuds over. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the story says, is actually now running ads that caution, "Earphones are a give away. Protect your device," and it says some people, "have jettisoned the signature white earphones in favor of less distinctive ones." Now, we could quibble here about how earphones and earbuds are two (slightly) different things, but if we were trying to rip off someone’s iPod and we saw one person with earbuds and one with earphones which would we be more likely to target? The one with the earbuds, obviously, since we doubt anyone goes out of their way just to buy earbuds. They’re just not as good a product as earphones for many reasons—including that they only stay in one’s ears properly when one hasn’t been paying close enough attention to one’s personal hygiene, if you catch our drift. But without earbuds, those silhouette ads from TBWA\Chiat\Day will never be the same.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor