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December 3, 2007 [ More archived home pages here ]

Advertisers And You

The above image is, Tumbling Myths
Click here to see the QuickTime movie in a new window

Today's song is Everybody Knows by The Dave Clark Five, released in 1964.

This article about targeted advertising brings me to comment about the practice today. I have some personal experience because years ago I went to work for a software firm that had the inside track on the emerging capability to target consumers based on where they lived, where they shopped, and what they were likely to purchase.

I won't name the firm. They had a very genius plan for matching up credit card transactions and building the buying habits profile of credit card users. The result was that certain credit card companies increased their marketing effectiveness by 300% over non-targeted approaches. I was amazed that some of my own credit card transactions could be linked back to me by the process invented at the company I worked for at that time.

Keep in mind that my company did not have my credit card account information nor my name on the transaction files. That private information was not provided by the credit card firms to the company I worked for on that project. Instead my credit card number was keyed to determine what were my likely future purchases to take place and what would I be buying and where. It was an eye-opening experience about how much information can be collected about us across the Internet. I learned a lot about information collection using the Internet from that experience.

In the years since, the information collection process by credit card firms has probably been refined and enhanced with new advances in technology.

You can now view TV commercials where all the customers in a store except one use the credit card and that one exception uses cash. The one that uses cash is made to feel as if they are harming the flow and holding up the line. It's part of the peer-pressure processes used in society to make people conform. Sadly, the TV still influences society too much, in my humble opinion. The targeted advertisements you receive are part of the payoff for a society that plays into TV imagery and acts it out on cue.


For November this site accumulated a little over 100,000 page views, responding to over 1,000,000 server requests (hits), delivering almost 21.5 GB of information.


Sherry and I watched Scrooge on DVD Saturday night. That's another of my annual holiday season movies to catch. I first saw it at a movie theater in 1970 when it was released. Other versions of Scrooge I enjoy too, but the 1970 version is my favorite.


Fifty years of CO2 evidence. Many recent years of speculation about what it means and what to do about it, if anything.


The first TV remote control was sold fifty years ago. I love the remote control. I use the mute button the most and then the channel-switcher as the next best feature.

Improvements I would like to see are programmable remote controls that I can download my combination of key features from my Mac. One feature would be the continuous channel switching through a series of channels I select ahead of time. I want to be able to change the rate of channel switching too.

Right now, even the most modern remote control feature set is determined by the manufacturer. I want more freedom of control and I want it selectable from my computer-centric TV interface configuration.


Stepford cockroaches?


Michael Coyle wrote up a useful ringtone tutorial.


Lightning strikes on Venus.


I agree that gene tests are less useful when not ordered by your own medical doctor. But that won't stop a new wave of snake oil medicine to take money out of people's pockets.


My brother-in-law, Bob, sent me this list of questions and answers about why folks enjoy retirement.

Question: How many days in a week?
Answer: 6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday

Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?
Answer: Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Question: How many retirees to change a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.

Question: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?
Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.

Question: Why don't retirees mind being called Seniors?
Answer: The term comes with a 10% percent discount.

Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?
Answer: Tied shoes.

Question: Why do retirees count pennies?
Answer: They are the only ones who have the time.

Question: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire?
Answer: NUTS!

Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?
Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.

Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?
Answer: Normal

Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?
Answer: The never ending Coffee Break.

Question: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?
Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.

Question: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he used to work with?
Answer: He is too polite to tell the whole truth.

Question: What do you do all week?
Answer: Monday to Friday; Nothing, Saturday & Sunday I rest.


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