“Target” Market

15 03 2012

I came across this article by Forbes the other week “How Target Figured Out a Teen Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did”.  Basically, Target could determine if a woman was pregnant and when she was due based on her purchase history, then they would send her coupons for maternity and baby supplies.

The article is a review of a second article which reviews how the study of habits and statisticians have become such an aid for marketers. It also provides the creepy details of how Target finds Read the rest of this entry »


A Search Engine with the Power to Destroy Lives…

17 05 2010

Being an avid google user, you can just imagine this review will not be positive.

Bing, why do you think you are so life changing?  Why do you think that people are overwhelmed by links?  Why you gotta be breaking up Filomena and Juan Carlos?  Since I have a decent level of reading comprehension and logical reasoning, I actually do not want you to be my “Decision Engine.”  I don’t think that decision making is something I should really be outsourcing.

So, now I ask you dear readers, who is Bing trying to reach with these commercials?  Other than Spanish Soap Opera viewers.  Do you use Bing over Google?  Why?  Please enlighten me on any benefits Bing has, other than promoting laziness and illiteracy.

Just a little off topic…

12 05 2010

This is a topic more suited to this guy, but this article was just too good to not share.

Many people ask why I don’t have facebook, and the general response is “it is creepy and belittles the meaning of friendship by sharing your stuff with everyone from a high school classmate you don’t speak with, to your boss.”  Not cool.

In this article, “Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative,” the author lays out the definitely creepy/borderline illegal (see part about the federal wiretapping laws) setup of Facebook. If you don’t read the article, read this part at least:

Setting up a decent system for controlling your privacy on a web service shouldn’t be hard. And if multiple blogs are writing posts explaining how to use your privacy system, you can take that as a sign you aren’t treating your users with respect, It means you are coercing them into choices they don’t want using design principles. That’s creepy.

Facebook could start with a very simple page of choices: I’m a private person, I like sharing some things, I like living my life in public. Each of those would have different settings for the myriad of choices, and all of those users could then later dive into the control panel to tweak their choices. That would be respectful design – but Facebook isn’t about respect — it’s about re-configuring the world’s notion of what’s public and private.

So what that you might be a teenager and don’t get that college-admissions offices will use your e-mail address to find possibly embarrassing information about you. Just because Facebook got to be the world’s platform for identity by promising you privacy and then later ripping it out from under you, that’s your problem. At least, according to the bevy of privacy hired guns the company brought in at high salaries to provide cover for its shenanigans.

Lighten Up, Steve

4 05 2010

So, Ellen made a very funny mock-commercial for the iPhone, but apparently the folks at Apple were none too pleased which in turn resulted in a staged apology the next day on her show.  If Ellen hadn’t professed her love so adamantly and listed off every product Apple makes, I would have thought her sincere, instead of furiously backtracking from an enraged nerd who had given her free products to shill.

But hey, I can’t say I blame her.  This dude is scary.  Especially if you say “Flash” or “Android” within his earshot.

Who said "Android"?

New Slate Article

3 05 2010

Not your best work, Seth.

I for one, like the Twix ad, because there is no benefit to eating a candy bar, except maybe not being able to talk during awkward moments while you “chew it over.” Who hasn’t used the “I’m taking a drink, so I can’t introduce you to my friend so you’ll have to introduce yourself which is my whole plan because I forgot your name” technique from Gilmore Girls?

As for liking Miller Light Commercials?  I’ve always appreciated their campaign slogans like “It’s Miller Time” and “Miller, Always a Good Call.”  Unfortunately, I have always had too much respect for myself to drink crappy beer, so a faster drinking bottle doesn’t really appeal to me.

(Seth, your overgrown frat boy is showing.)

But everybody’s doing it!

2 05 2010

What would you do with $1.2 Billion dollars in cash?  Well, if you’re HP it apparently seems like a wise decision to buy a floundering smartphone company and break into a market that you have no market share or experience in… I really hope this goes well, but only because I have a vested interest in the well being of Hewlett-Packard.

This may however be a small step in HP’s goal of intergalactic world domination, seeing how they just finished the purchase of networking gear maker 3com.  HP has come out guns blazing against Cisco (and soundly beat them in the consumer advertisement division, in my opinion (sorry Ellen Page, but those commercials suck)), but it seems to me that expanding into smartphones may stretch them too thin and cause their core competencies to suffer.

Happy Meal Haters

28 04 2010

Happy Meal Toys Are Banned in California County

In true California fashion, we have decided the best way to get people to make good decisions is to… legally force them to.  No need for parents to make these decisions for the good of their children, let’s get this police state going!  Who needs freedom to make decisions?  County councils are perfectly willing to make them for you.  After a 3 to 2 vote in approval of the ban, the board supervisor had this to say regarding his “No” vote

“If you can’t control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers,” he said. Gage, who is overweight, said he was a living example of how obese children can become obese adults.
But he questioned the role of fast-food toys. “When I was growing up in Gilroy 65 years ago, there were no fast-food restaurants,” Gage said.

Okay now, this isn’t 1998 there is no beanie baby mania going on anymore.  I personally haven’t noticed much advertising touting the toys in Kids’ Meals anymore.  If anything, Happy Meals mostly serve to bump up the purchase to one with a higher profit margin, when kids see the display in the store, after said parents have already decided their children will eat a high calorie fast food meal.  This egg definitely came after the chicken.

What seemed like a good investment at the time

In case you were wondering, unopened “Teanie Beanie Babies” are now being sold by their adult purchasers for 36¢ each on average.  I’m guessing originally paying $5 for a Happy Meal has left them with so much cognitive disonance they just want to remove the painful regret from their homes at any price.