FreePC could usher in an era of free stuff and ceaseless advertising
A couple of weeks ago, a start-up called FreePC (www.freepc.com) unveiled its business plan, which is to give away free Compaq computers in exchange for detailed personal information and the right to monitor the customers' Internet surfing and buying practices.
As the old saying goes: Sure, FreePC will lose money on every sale, but they'll make it up in volume.
Now, I'm certainly not going to complain, as some observers have, that FreePC's fervent interest in its customers' online habits represents a dangerous invasion of personal privacy. After all, I work for a publication that …