You must involve someone outside the Marketing Department...
January 4, 2008
Want to know what a given customer has purchased from Sears? It's surprisingly easy to find out. Here's the procedure:
1) Go to the Sears "Manage My Home" site, www.managemyhome.com . Create an account and sign in. Screenshot.
2) On the Home menu, choose Home Profile. In the Search Purchase History section, choose Find Your Products. Screenshot.
3) Enter the name, phone number, and street address of the customer whose purchases you wish to view. Press Find Products. Screenshot.
Sears then displays all purchases its database associates with the specific customer -- typically major appliances and other large purchases. See examples from Washington, DC, Brookline, Massachusetts, and Lincoln, Massachusetts.
Stirring up some interesting comments. Likely some certification will be required...
PI License May Soon Be Required for Computer Forensics
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday January 04, @08:22PM from the geeks-licensed-to-buy-cool-surveillance-gear dept. Security IT
buzzardsbay writes "The good folks over at Baseline Magazine have an intriguing — and worrisome — report on a movement to limit computer forensics work to those who have a Private Investigator license or those who work for licensed PI agencies. According to the story, pending legislation would limit the specialized task of probing deep into computer hard drives, network and server logs for telltale signs of hacking and data theft to the same people who advertise in the Yellow Pages for surveillance on cheating spouses, workers' compensation fraud and missing persons. Those caught practicing computer forensics without a license could face criminal prosecution."
For the IP crowd
New Study on Copyright and Creativity from the Center for Social Media
Posted by Hugh Dandrade January 3rd, 2008
Free video hosting sites like YouTube, Yahoo! Video, and Daily Motion are enabling creators to share video instantly with millions of viewers around the world. A new report from the Center for Social Media takes a close look at these user generated sites, and finds that there is much more at stake than the SNL and Daily Show clips often referenced in the usual Viacom v. YouTube debates on copyright infringement.
... (EFF has published a “best practices” guide that would protect fair uses from being caught in DMCA takedown dragnets.)
...and an interesting business model.
Content Industry Could Learn From eBay Seller Turning A Profit With Public Domain Content
from the competing-with-free dept
Last year, Mike made the point that saying you can't compete with free is saying you can't compete, period. Every business makes a profit by adding value so that customers will be willing to pay above marginal cost for its products. The fact that the marginal cost of content (once it's been created) is zero doesn't change that principle. You can add value to free content just like you can add value to any other product. The New York Times Bits blog nicely illustrates this with a post about the market for public domain content on eBay. Apparently, there are a number of people who make a living by finding obscure, copyright-free content on the Internet, burning it on a DVD or other convenient format, and selling it on eBay. Despite the fact that every one of those customers could have tracked down the video for themselves and watched it on their computers, a lot of people are apparently willing to pay for a DVD version.
This business model actually illustrates two good ways to add value to free content. First is convenience. A lot of people don't have a high-speed Internet connection, don't like watching videos on their computer monitors, or want to be able to take their content with them in a compact format. For those users, a DVD is a much nicer format than a file on their computer's hard drive. DVDs are also a much more convenient format for giving gifts: you can wrap a DVD and put it under the Christmas tree, something that's harder to do with a video on YouTube. Second is filtering and organization. There's way more content out there than any one person could possibly watch. So there's a lot of value in helping people separate the wheat from the chaff. That's a big part of the value we provide here at Techdirt: a lot of the information you'll find on our blog comes from other sites, but we try to highlight only the best and most relevant information, helping our readers to keep up with news in the technology world more easily. By the same token, people who sell public domain content on the Internet create value by filtering and organizing the information so it's easier for others to quickly and easily find what they're looking for.
I won't belabor the implications for traditional content industries. Like it or not, their content is available for free on peer-to-peer sites, and if they want to make a profit they're going to have to find ways to make their content more valuable than what you can get with BitTorrent. Two important principles for doing that are: use formats that convenient and versatile and make sure content is organized in a way that makes it easy for users to find what they're looking for. That means, for example, that you probably shouldn't cripple your products with DRM or sue companies that help people find your content.
For my Web Site class...
WhatsItsColor.com - The Complementary Color Finder
If you’re the type of person who thinks red and green are a good color combination outside of Christmas, or find yellow and pink appealing, then you might want to consider Whats Its Color, a free web app that finds complementary colors for any image you provide. Just upload an image or find one on the web. What Its Color will process and break down the colors in the image you’ve selected, and then evaluate the image’s primary and complementary colors. It’ll also give you the image’s top ten unique colors. With the color palette provided, you can create a killer web design, or spruce up that power point presentation.