You Need a New Dictionary

posted in: External Viz, Smog 1

One of the many things you’ll find out from the Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series is that you need a new online dictionary. In their study of tracking files distributed by major websites, (aka topped the rankings by passing on an absurd 234 tracking files to its visitors in the name of 40 companies who want to know more about people who use the dictionary.  Merriam-Webster, whose auto-play videos should be punishment enough, came in second with 131 trackers.

So the next time you look up bullshit in the dictionary…

Wikipedia is your only safe bet when it comes to what Google is going to serve up first, though Wiktionary would be the appropriate option. Not only is Wikipedia the most popular website without ads, it is the only one of the top 50 sites not installing a single tracking file on your computer. Check out What They Know to find out which sites lie in-between.

[via Visual Complexity]

Promising New College Stats

A recent marketing study found that 79% of college students do not know how to scan QR codes and 75% considered themselves “not likely” to scan one in the future.

Good for them.

Not only is that a logical conclusion, but a sign that they might have better things to do.  While there is plenty of fun to be had and useful things to be done with QR codes, when they are part of a marketing campaign, it’s a little like junk mail coming in the form of a puzzle you have to solve just to hear the pitch.  As if what everyone’s day needs more of is extra steps.

QR codes?  You know, for computers.

[via The Consumerist]