Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover


"When the 40,000 subscribers to Reason, the monthly libertarian magazine, receive a copy of the June issue, they will see on the cover a satellite photo of a neighborhood – their own neighborhood. And their house will be graphically circled. […] Rodger Cosgrove, president of Entremedia, a direct marketing firm and a member of Reason’s board, assisted in coming up with a program that allows the subscriber list to be integrated with satellite photographs. He also worked with Xeikon, the manufacturer of the printer that made the endless customization possible."

You watch movies like Enemy of the State and can’t help thinking, "come on, gimme a break, tin foil hat man!" or "suspension of disbelief plot alert" when they show you the super-sophisticated ways secret services are supposed to be able to watch you. Then things like Reason’s clever gimmick remind me that, by and large, this stuff is indeed a lot more possible than I’d be comfortable with. The good news is, making anything out of oceans of data is about as hard as not working with any data. Watch what tax services worldwide will start doing with that kind of technology.

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