They're Watching

Department Stores Now Using Your Smartphone To Track Your Every Move

Oh, cool. (Screengrab: RetailNext.net)

This spring, Nordstrom watched its customers skulk around the department store on-camera and tracked their habits through cell phone signals, as if life were just one big game of The Sims, the New York Times reports. Nordy’s ended the experiment in May, because touchy customers complained for some reason.

But the Times mentions retail analytics company RetailNext in the story, and that company’s site names a host of retailers that use its technology, including Bloomingdale’s, American Apparel and Verizon. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: BitPay Raises Real Money from Founders Fund and eBay Wants You to Come Hang Out

(Photo: Flickr)

Peter Gabriel to Sledgehammer music industry Cuesongs, Peter Gabriels’ song rights company, is planning on the “genesis” of a new way of legal music listening by a partnership with Audiosocket, a music licensing and technology business here in the US. The Brit’s company, which includes music from Dido, Groove Armada and Ziggy Marley, plans to license its artists to Audiosocket, whose customers include systems like Vimeo. They hope that it will give legitimate access to music fans while simultaneously paying artists. Here’s hoping it will bring the stop-motion awesomeness of his 1987 video back into fashion. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: More on the Economics of Maria Popova’s Affiliate Links

times gif

It was high time that The New York Times published a trend piece on GIFs. It was not surprising that the GIF the Grey Lady embedded didn’t actually loop..  [Gawker]

“Does she ever wonder, though, whether her readers might need that tip-jar money more than she does?” More on the blogonomics of Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. [Counterparties]

For those of you who have always dreamed of syncing your iPod to your favorite sex toy, here are some possibilities for a high-tech Valentine’s Day. [Mashable]

After President Barack Obama issued an executive order on cybersecurity following his State of the Union address, Congress has scheduled hearings on a cyber bill. [The Hill]

Mark Zuckerberg’s stake in Facebook has climbed to nearly 30 percent, according to recent filings. [Business Insider]

Flame I'm Gonna Live Forever

Preemptive Cyber Strikes Doctrine: Expect More Stuxnets

President Barack Obama does not want Wikipedia to shut down again. (Photo: Wikimedia)

With cyber attacks whistling by at an ever-increasing clip, it’s not surprising that the Obama administration is hard at work nailing down how to respond. The policies will remain hush-hush once they’re finalized, but the New York Times (which previously connected the president to the deployment of Stuxnet) has one juicy tidbit: A classified legal review has found that the president has “broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad.”

That’ll sound familiar to anyone who hasn’t entirely repressed the memory of the Bush administration! (Mr. President, a very agitated Colin Powell is on line two. Something about enriched uranium and the U.N.?) Read More

This Happened

Cats’ Rights Group Attacks ‘Anti-Cat’ Propaganda in New York Times

(Photo: Wikipedia)

A group of cats rights activists are decidedly not amused by the recent backlash against the Internet’s favorite mascot. Last week, the New York Times ran a story called “That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think” based on a Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute report, which set off a firestorm of “Cats are killers!” stories–angering cat ladies everywhere. Read More