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CueCat Could be the Worst PC Accessory in History

What if you paid for a subscription to a magazine, and its publisher gave you a bar code scanner so that its advertisers could better determine the effectiveness of their ads? Would agree to use the scanner without being paid to do so?

Apparently, the publishers of Forbes, Wired, and several other magazines think that you will. It's called CueCat and we cannot think of a device that is a greater insult to the intelligence of a magazine subscriber.

We gleefully note the following articles that concur with us on this: Scott Rosenberg's September 15th article on Salon, this Slashdot article documenting CueCat's attempt to prohibit use of its scanner with Linux, and Jakob Nielsen's current Spotlighted Link on useit.com.

What did Steve Forbes get in exchange for agreeing to subject his subscribers to this abomination? Do you think that CueCat offered to donate $1 to his campaign's debt relief fund for every scan by a Forbes reader? At least they could have printed "Capitalist Cat" on the scanner that was sent to CTDATA.

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