More Info in Bar Codes Than Corps Want You To Know

The New York Times has an article in the Circuits section today on an MIT student who has created a very cool device for “green” consumers: a barcode scanner that draws on an internal database to give users information about the corporation that made the product, such as whether they pollute or use sweatshop labor. The device, housed in an old geiger counter and called the Corporate Fallout Detector, is made by James Patten. Of course being a Media Lab student, James didn’t just make it just display the data on a screen — instead the device rattles like a geiger-counter at Chernobyl when scanning products from companies with bad reputations. I can’t wait for someone to make an program for a Palm that does the same — can you imagine scanning a can of soup just as somebody else is looking at the same brand and your PDA starts ticking like it’s a meltdown?! Drag out your old CueCat, it’s time to hunt corporate scum!