Don't get me wrong: I rarely watch television. However, I just happened to see a detective show the other evening where the murderer's alibi was that he had been running a marathon at the time of the crime. His proof was the race organizer's log of his progress through the course, captured automatically from a small radio transmitter attached to each runner's shoe. The explanation, surprising only to the TV characters, was that the criminal had attached his transmitter to a camera truck that was following the race.

Simple-minded as it is, this plot neatly illustrates two major challenges in tracking customer (or criminal) behavior.

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