Thursday, October 30, 2008

'smart' ads

I've just been reading a novel that refers to (fictional) software that tracks basically everything people do in the US. In the novel, the software is being misused by the US government. In real life, I just want to comment that software does not track everything about me anywhere near as well as you think it should. I mean, Amazon was cutting edge a long time ago, but now anytime they suggest something for me, seems like I already own it, or they're recommending books by authors I'm not as interested anymore, etc. They never suggest anything new and exciting. Seems like they ought to have the capability to do that. Instead, the lists made by Amazon users are usually a better source of recommendations than Amazon itself. Lost revenue by the giant? I think so. And then there are the 'smart' ads found so often online, that cater to me, right? OK, so they tend to cater to me ... in Czech! That's right, the extent of their intelligence is to send me Czech ads, since I live in CZ, never mind the fact that the Czech-language sites I visit are very few compared to the English-language ones. In fact, some sites (including blogger itself) default to Czech when I'm not looking. Not so smart after all.

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