Friday, April 18, 2003

'Bar Code' Web Site Closes Under Pressure

A Web site that urged visitors to lower prices for grocery items by substituting bar codes shut itself down after pressure from Wal-Mart Inc. contained a database of bar codes with instructions on how to print them on stickers. It suggested visitors "chose their own prices" by, for instance, sticking a bar code for generic cereal on a name-brand box in the store.

Technology enables a system run without much thinking. The upside is that you can hire irresponsible people in jobs where you once needed go-getters. This saves a lot of money. The downside is that your cheap labor is an easy con. Since the youngest people always know the technology the best, and love pranks the most, web sites will always be susceptible to hacking and corporations will always be susceptible to scams that involve technology.

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