what's coming out of YOUR wallet?

(3 comments)
May 19, 2009

The exploration into cardholders' minds hit a breakthrough in 2002, when J. P. Martin, a math-loving executive at Canadian Tire, decided to analyze almost every piece of information his company had collected from credit-card transactions the previous year. Canadian Tire's stores sold electronics, sporting equipment, kitchen supplies and automotive goods and issued a credit card that could be used almost anywhere. Martin could often see precisely what cardholders were purchasing, and he discovered that the brands we buy are the windows into our souls — or at least into our willingness to make good on our debts. His data indicated, for instance, that people who bought cheap, generic automotive oil were much more likely to miss a credit-card payment than someone who got the expensive, name-brand stuff. People who bought carbon-monoxide monitors for their homes or those little felt pads that stop chair legs from scratching the floor almost never missed payments. Anyone who purchased a chrome-skull car accessory or a “Mega Thruster Exhaust System” was pretty likely to miss paying his bill eventually.

Martin's measurements were so precise that he could tell you the "riskiest" drinking establishment in Canada — Sharx Pool Bar in Montreal, where 47 percent of the patrons who used their Canadian Tire card missed four payments over 12 months. He could also tell you the "safest" products — premium birdseed and a device called a "snow roof rake" that homeowners use to remove high-up snowdrifts so they don't fall on pedestrians.

--Charles Duhigg, NY Times What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?. It's kind of funny how stereotypical this stuff seems, and now I REALLY want to see the bug tough biker guy who goes ahead and buys the premium birdseed.
iPhone does some useful tricks to disguise app switching lag- tho at times I'd say it needs an "hourglass" cursor, but Apple would HATE that.
Haven't said much but man... what a bummer of a time for the Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox. Bruins might have the least excuse though.
"I've been growing my beard for charity. Was I supposed to tell anyone about it first?"
--Marty Moon's twitter (character from Gil Thorp)
RAGING AT THE MACHINES,Good mother loving crisco damn it, why are ALL SERVERS rhino sucking MAESTROS at obfuscating stupidity? HATE HATE HATE