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Technology is sometimes one of those things that improves life. Like heart transplants or that kind of thing. But it can also be something that makes life more difficult. Like trying to get all your AV components connected and working well with each other (and don’t even get me started on the cord issue).

QR Codes fall somewhere inbetween. They are helpful because they save having to type in a web address, but they are currently driving me absolutely insane. I’m trying right now to a) see if my damn phone can run the software needed to decode the little bastards and b) wishing I had included one on the DVD sleeve for exclusive online content.

The one above (I assume) is a link to the website for “The Bet.” I say “assume” because I have no way of testing it (see grumpiness in “a)” above).

So why bring it up? I kinda like the little buggers. They’re squares (an immediate plus) and have a sort of mesmerizing coolness in their simplicity, yet knowing they are a code that unlocks something makes them really cool. They’re like sci-fi versions of a bar code (which was one of the tattoos I had wanted until I realized everyone has one). And there’s a nifty, retro 8-bit style about them.

They’re hugely popular in Japan (another cool plus) and are starting to take off in the UK (another plus) as well. And the Pet Shop Boys’ latest video “Integral” is based around them (hence the title of this post). That’s where I was introduced to them. Then a few days ago I spotted them on the ink cartridges in my printer. And started to thrill with the possibilities. Slap one on the sleeve of “The Bet” DVD which unlocks exclusive online content. Post them up guerilla-style to promote the release. Print business cards with only the QR code – limiting, but awesome. They are at once information and art – which is the biggest plus of all.

EDIT: So my phone doesn’t support reading QR codes (shit!) and it’s too late to put it on the sleeve BUT that doesn’t mean (since I’m still fucking with the DVD) that I can’t include it as an easter egg. HA!)