links for 2010-04-17

  • For decades, shoppers have taken advantage of coupons. Now, the coupons are taking advantage of the shoppers. A new breed of coupon, printed from the Internet or sent to mobile phones, is packed with information about the customer who uses it. While the coupons look standard, their bar codes can be loaded with a startling amount of data, including identification about the customer, Internet address, Facebook page information and even the search terms the customer used to find the coupon in the first place. And all that information follows that customer into the mall. For example, if a man walks into a Filene’s Basement to buy a suit for his wedding and shows a coupon he retrieved online, the company’s marketing agency can figure out whether he used the search terms “Hugo Boss suit” or “discount wedding clothes” to research his purchase (just don’t tell his fiancée).
  • Baking surveillance, control and censorship into the very fabric of our networks, devices and laws is the absolute road to dictatorial hell
  • Connecting an external hard drive to your Wii to backup and play your games is a simple way to keep expensive discs out of harms way, decrease game load times, and organize your collection with swanky cover art. Here's how it works. Last year we shared two guides with you that other people had written—the original and a revision—on how to back up and play your Wii games from an external hard drive. Unfortunately, like many things on the internet, the guides faded into the digital night (read: they were taken down). Setting up your Wii with an external hard drive is a wildly popular topic, however, and since the old guides went offline, we've received daily emails on the topic. In response to the demand, here's our own complete guide to setting up your Wii to play games from a USB hard drive. When laid out screen-by-screen this guide is quite lengthy, but the process itself only takes about 10 minutes start to finish—if you're not stopping to take lots of screenshots and write a tutor
  • The New York Times writes that Nintendo and Netflix will announce Wednesday that streaming movies and TV episodes will soon be available on the Wii—with one or two caveats. The service will be available free to Netflix subscribers with an unlimited streaming account, but will require a free software disc to be shipped from Netflix and kept in the Wii while streaming. The Wii's hardware limitations will also rule out HD-quality streaming, though that may be a subtle nod toward a possible HD-capable Wii coming down the line. No start date was given, but given that the streaming software sits on a disc, the service could start as soon as Wednesday. Does Netflix on Wii fill out your home entertainment options, or will you hold out for a higher-definition solution? [New York Times]
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