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WSJ Runs Story About Use of Personalization Technologies by TiVo and Amazon.com

Dave Aiello wrote, "Many websites are pointing to a Wall Street Journal article about the personalization technologies in use by Amazon.com and TiVo. This article begins in the middle of the Front Page of the print edition, which means that it's somewhat whimsical. But, I'd like to point out that there's a lot of truth to it."

"For instance, the article talks about how Basil Iwanyk's TiVo thought that he was gay at one point. After he realized this and counterprogrammed it, the TiVo began to think that he was a fan of The Third Reich. At our house, the TiVo fills itself with situation comedies that my wife likes. But this only happens during the professional cycling offseason-- otherwise it's full of reruns of Liege-Bastogne-Liege."

"The article also points out that Amazon.com's use of collaborative filtering technology immediately suggests books similar to the one's you've looked at recently. This can lead to particularly interesting results when you are doing pricing research for used book selling. Amazon often thinks I'm interested in books on co-dependency and wellness issues. People who know me would have to conclude that I have an ulterior motive if I'm looking at books like those."

"The article is interesting and worth reading whether you use these services or not. And if you use them and they have you pegged as someone you are not, you have my sympathies."

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