Opinion » Cybernaut


I think I’m paranoid…



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Another company called BuzzMetrics scours chat rooms, blogs, Facebook pages, MySpace pages, and just about everywhere else looking for buzzwords. The goal is to figure out what people are excited about, and use that information to tell companies what kind of marketing campaign they’ll need.

Another marketing strategy covered by Cracked is customized ads. Instead of packaging televisions shows with commercials, the strategy would allow cable companies to insert specific ads for products you can afford. For example, in the same commercial break a low income family could get commercials for macaroni and cheese and debt consolidation services, a middle class family could get ads for vacation spots and group cell phone plans, and a wealthy family could get ads for the new Mercedes and the local plastic surgery centre. The program could even differentiate between male and female, single or married, dog or cat.

Another way you could be burned is through the GPS technology in your cell phone. Imagine walking by a burger chain that you visit occasionally, and suddenly getting a text message offering two for one burgers.

There’s really not all that much you can do about this, because none of it is illegal per se. The safest thing is to assume at all times that someone is watching the websites you visit, the movies you rent, the television shows you watch, and the products you buy on your credit card or using your customer card.

Then try to take everything with a grain of salt. The first step to resisting marketing is to recognize marketing when you see it. Don’t give in!


Bill Gates retires

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates officially stepped back from his lead role in the company last week to concentrate his energies on donating billions of dollars to charities and non-profits. It’s a classy way to end a career that changed the world.

While not always popular and often accused of stealing ideas from others, Microsoft rose to power in such a way that they made computing affordable to the masses, focusing on creating an operating system and software that worked with third-party computers instead of selling the hardware themselves. As a result, about 95 per cent of the computers around the world are PCs.