[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[ale] XM redux...
> OK, this leads me to ask something I've been wondering about.
> I don't know how many channels one can select from with XM/Sirius
> (hereafter, simply XM), but I understand that it's A Lot (i.e., more
> than 100).
XM is currently 170.
I own 4 of these receivers... and next to my
Tivo it's the best $6.95 x 4 a month I spend!
> My question is, does the XM receiver actually receive all of
> the data stream from all of the channels at once and select from among
> them (which is what in effect occurs with terrestrial radio), or is
> something transmitted from the receiver upstream when the XM radio is
> turned on or when a channel is selected?
It receives all channels simultaneously and the streaming stock quotes
These signals are sent from the satellite and simultaneously as a
> If the latter is in fact the case, I find the notion chilling due to the
> social engineering implications of a mass medium in which the medium
> knows exactly what each and every recipient is receiving, present and
I'm sure they wish they knew who was listening to what.
But they don't.
> It is my understanding that each XM receiver must have an associated
> subscription, and I surmise that each subscription has an associated
> receiver owner identification.
that is correct
> If "the system" is told by each receiver
> what channel to receive, then every subscriber would have an
> ever-lengthening dataset showing what program, song, announcement - any
> program material at all - was output by the receiver(s) covered by their
The radio never communicates with the satellite.
Only the reverse it true.
> I can already imagine people who haven't sufficiently assembled two and
> two saying, "I don't care if 'they' [single quotes mine] know what I'm
> listening to."
> Let me run some scenarios by you, just based on the premise that "they"
> have a dataset of your XM radio channel selections and yours alone.
> * Your employer pays the XM provider to obtain a list of channels
> you listen to and when you listen to them. This information is
> used against you at performance review time to suggest that you're
> listening to the radio when you should be working.
> * You have a car accident involving another party and you are either
> sued by or suing the other party. The other party's attorneys
> purchase your XM radio data and testify in court that you changed
> channels on your radio five times in the thirty seconds before the
> accident, implying to the jury that you were excessively
> distracted while driving.
> * A highly liberal employer in an "At-Will" state decides you listen
> to a little too much Sean Hannity for their taste. Your "position
> is eliminated."
> Include the notion of *everyone's* channel data being recorded for all
> time and you can begin to see the amount of power that an XM provider
> can potentially wield - the closest thing you can reasonably imagine to
> a remotely-controlled populace existing in the world of today.
> It occurs to me that even if XM radio is strictly one-way, the nature of
> the system is such that the provider can make program material
> selectable on a per-radio basis.
That is true. You can block whatever stations you want by going on-line and
telling them to do it.