Now that Borders is dying, book publishers are collectively asking themselves, "Huh, where do we sell all these stupid books, now?" I mean Barnes & Noble is okay and all, but it's gonna take more shelf space than that to show off all those fancy attractive book covers designed to make people forget they could be buying this copy much cheaper used, on Ebay. The solution? Placing books in every kind of store, anywhere, that sells anything at all.
An alarming trend in market research has just come to our attention: Hypnosis focus groups. Regular focus groups are full of lying consumers who are scared to admit they only purchase whatever is cheapest, and they're always dominated by one loudmouth who argues until everyone else agree with them. But not if everyone in the focus group is hypnotized—then they're "compelled to tell the truth about their economic situation and their true feelings." This seems like an extreme length to go to to hear people's deep, dark opinions on fabric softener. And the outfit selling this service is just as odd(ly creepy) as you might expect: Time machines! Sexy time! Godzillllllaaaaaaa! From the website of Hypnosis Focus Groups, complete with disturbingly literal illustrations!
Google is working with QVC on a REVOLUTIONARY advanced type of bar code that can be scanned with a mobile phone. Revolutionary in the sense of "Everything old is new again." These "QR codes" do face some obstacles, the most significant being the fact that less than 5% of people currently own phones compatible with the technology. A previous attempt at a similar product called CueCat was a big failure [Ad Age]. But Google, the company that's determined to scan all the world's books, is not giving up in its retro attachment to print-based technologies, even in the bar code sphere. Besides, these scannable QR codes have already proven their worth in trial campaigns by making the Case Western University campus "look like downtown Tokyo" and benefiting "the end user," say jargon-spouting engineers!