Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cookie Chaff Generator

"Hmm, this person seems to spend a lot of time looking for filster head bolts and iguana chow"
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Surfs the web randomly when you're away generating useless consumer data for all those little cookies that ride your browser like so many remoras, ticks or fleas. The name comes from chaff, pieces of aluminum foil that bombers would drop during WW2 to spoof German radar.

I believe a second dot-come bust is coming. Much money is being spent on useless data mining schemes attached to social network sites where somebody read "Nineteen Eighty Four" as a business model instruction manual. At some point people are going to figure out that knowing how everybody wipes their butt is pretty useless information and certainly not worthy of sustaining trillions of dollars in investment.

The idea behind data mining is that the more you know about people, the better you can sell to them. This is a lot easier than just building a better product and letting people know they need it. The iPhone didn't come out of data mining. It came out of the mind of a smart creative person. The idea is that with data mining, you can sell stuff and still be an uncreative, lazy dope, an idea that's very appealing apparently to all the un-creative lazy dopes out there.

Therefore the idea is to set the ball rolling on this collapse by having an unmanned robotic browser that continually surfs the web when you're away for you generating useless information for the cookie monsters out there. You'd of course give it guidelines, you don't want it searching for bomb making ideas or German stump porn, but other than a few rules of decorum, this thing would bounce around the web like a wild weasel hitting random sites and generating random (and useless) web browsing data.

Why do this? Why not? It's a minor inconvenience that if I'm looking for a bath mat on the web I have to endure endless popups for bathmats the next few weeks, but aside from that it just bothers me that people make money poking their noses into other people's business. If it rendered useful information for industry that would be one thing, but this is just a big scam based on a wildly over valued commodity in my opinion.

Don't believe me? General Mills spent a billion dollars on advertising last year and $835 million of it went to tv, the rest spread around on other mediums like the web, magazines, radio etc. Their billion dollar budgeted advertising department knows WAAAAY more about what's effective advertising and what isn't than I do and they say the web and data mining isn't the revolutionary panacea it's sold as.

Besides, it might be interesting to come back and look at your history. On particularly lazy days, might just want to sit back and let it do the browsing for you.

"Wow, plain tooth, champion tooth, m tooth, lance tooth. I didn't realize there were so many different kinds of saw blade teeth."

doctorremulac3, Aug 26 2014

close... http://cs.nyu.edu/trackmenot/
search engine centric instead of cookie centric [Laughs Last, Aug 26 2014]

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       A very similar idea occurred to me, but mostly random doesn't equal all good. Done right, it might be an anti-profile profile you preselect.
4and20, Aug 26 2014
  

       You mean like you have a menu of fake persona traits that you can select so the data miners think you're a "Bi-curious spiked German helmet collecting cat sweater knitter who prints ski slope postcards and uses lots of drain openers between haircut appointments who spends their spare time painting pictures of teddy bears and sad clowns?"   

       I like it.
doctorremulac3, Aug 26 2014
  

       As do I. But the default ads that surface when you log in to your usual are going to get pretty strange.   

       My wife and I share a computer - the motorcycle / bra ad combinations get interesting sometimes.
normzone, Aug 26 2014
  

       BAM! There's another reason why this could be cool. Wildly entertaining popup ads.   

       "Looking for the right bra to wear when riding your vintage Harley Panhead?"
doctorremulac3, Aug 26 2014
  

       Something like this is probably necessary. No matter how good you think you are, it's probably not good enough. To give one glaring example, Mozilla Firefox has a licensing deal with Google for 300 million dollars a year. One Firefox privacy statement says information is sent to Mozilla when you check for new updates, for example. Other browsers, such as Opera, are probably doing the same.
4and20, Aug 26 2014
  

       Ah - I had assumed from the title that this was a device for scattering a trail of biscuit crumbs in ones wake - perhaps when fleeing a bear.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 26 2014
  

       I spend much of my time here, and so I'm quite sure that the cookies are quite confused.
RayfordSteele, Aug 26 2014
  
      
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