11.20.2004

Walmart: bigger than the internet?

Holy kee-rap is this disturbing. Walmart, as we all know, is a greedy corporate giant that's driving economies -- including ours -- into the proverbial ground. Not intentionally, but when the economy tanks and we're all living in cardboard boxes, who gives a shit whether it was intentional or not?

Anywho, Walmart also happens to be quite fanatical about information gathering. All the better to sell those bottles of Sam's Club bottled water, my dear. Watched an interesting little piece Frontline the other night on just that subject, as a matter of fact. Seems it's the secret of their success. But did you know that the amount of customer data they have stored is twice the size of the internet?

Let that sink in for a minute. Then read it for yourself.

The New York Times: What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits

Yet another reason I'm glad I don't shop there.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum posts information from several knowledgeable sources that there's no way Wal-mart's information database is twice the size of the internet. Which, yay! And also, duh. Because if I'd really thought about it, 460 terrabytes isn't that big when considering the billions of webpages number that Google lists on their main page. So apparently, the NYT is pulling numbers out of their asses again. But still, 460 terrabytes is a pretty damn big database and something to be wary about. Still glad I don't shop there.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oy. Well, this ought to help convince my mom to stick with her plan to stop shopping there.

Did I mention the oy?

HH

Miss Bitty said...

Oy indeed. Lately I've started to think that those raving paranoid lunatics who ranted about microchips embedded in the dollar bill and who talked all survivalist about becoming Luddites to avoid the government...lately they don't seem quite so crazy.