Monday, January 23, 2012

No More SOPA - Android Barcode Scanner

Students at the university of British Columbia founded a free android application that allows user to any product’s barcode and determine if it was made by a company that officially supports SOPA, or even a parent company or subsidiary of a SOPA supporter. This Barcode scanner application uses a public UPC database to find a product’s manufacturer, then queries a remote server to compare the manufacturer with a list of 800 firms with lobbying ties to the bill. Chris Thompson, one of the students who created No More SOPA, says he hopes the program could help solidify the widespread anger around SOPA, which aims to block access to foreign copyright-infringing websites, into well-defined boycotts of the companies who have pushed the bill, from Adidas to Xerox to Walmart to Dow Chemical. “These companies think they’ll make more money with SOPA than without it,” says 20-year old Thompson. “If they realize they’re costing themselves more consumers than they’ll gain, they’ll be less inclined to go forward with that support.”

Though No More SOPA is still being tweaked–Thompson admits it currently can’t give a definitive answer to whether about 40% of products have SOPA ties–it’s already been downloaded more than 2,000 times since it hit the Android market late last week, and Thompson says that rate is quickly accelerating. The next upgrade to the app, he says, will tell the user the exact relationship the product has to a SOPA supporting firm, and future versions will allow the user to check on a company’s stance on a wide range of issues, not just SOPA.


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  2. A barcode reader software alone, of course, is not enough. Once you've collected the data from a barcode, you still have to do something with it. For this, you'll need a computer to maintain the data. On that computer, you will want to install barcode software to interpret the data provided by the barcoder reader.

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