There Exist Cue Cat Adsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Joel on Software : One Thread
I'm something of a masochist, so I started going through the ads in my Jan 2001 Wired a page at a time, looking for Cue Cat barcodes.
In my issue at least, on the page facing the first publishing information page (a few pages after the TOC), there's a Mazda SUV ad with a Cue Cat barcode.
BTW, I'm aware the publisher says otherwise on pg. 43.
-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000
There is a whole lot of debate going on as to all the "demographic", A.K.A. Personal data that these little cats are collecting (probably without your knoledge).
As I understand it, every time you scan a barcode, the data gets sent back to the company along with a GUID which is encoded in the cat and linked to your information (including your e-Mail address, postal address, etc. which you gave them upon registering).
In fact, word on the boards is that some of this data has "Leaked" already... Also that the company is in the business of selling the data they collect, which would explain why they have been sending out so many of these things for free...
There also seems to be quite a bit of work being done by mostly Linux people decoding the output from and generally hacking around with the :CueCat...
Turns out the coding isn't all that dificult to figure out, and a couple of simple hardware modifications can:
A. Render your GUID null so they can't trace you B. Disable the encoding all together.
Option B renders the device un-useable by the included software (oh, yea... Big deal, how will I get around the net without my cat to help... :-) ) but allows it to be used as a general barcode scanner for a variety of data input tasks...
Of course, the company is shipping Cease And Desist letters around with abandon trying to put a stop to all this "unauthorized Itelectual Property right infrigement), but have so far been largely unsucessful.
I guess they must be unhappy to see the hardware they have literally shoved on so many people being used in a way which does NOT make them money... and which might prove of actual use...
Hum... Maybe I'll get one... I could use a barcode scanner ;-)
-- Anonymous, March 01, 2001