May 14, 2001
As a device to bring print media readers to corporate Web sites via bar-code scanning, the CueCat has barely scratched its way out of the litter box. But there may be a useful life for CueCat after all. RTMark, an organization that offers bounties for “acts of creative subversion against mass-produced items,” is now offering free software that turns CueCat against its corporate masters. With the software, called CueJack, in place, a scan of a bar-coded Web address will actually point the user to Web sites that contain critical information about the company in question. CueJack was developed by a hacker who goes by the nom de guerre of Cue P. Doll. “It’s not that I have some vendetta against CueCat,” Doll told The Net Economy in an e-mail interview. “It’s more the cultural assumptions surrounding CueCat that disturb and amuse me. CueCat takes passive consumerism and turns it to active consumerism — people are supposed to happily go out and wrangle up their own ads! So I decided to make it active in a different way.