[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[ale] Wandering OT: Re: Car PC's and internet radio?
Your mind is devious and your thoughts are rather frightening.
So if Google buys satellite radio and the infamous web-site tracking
company DoubleClick and strikes a deal with Facebook and MySpace...
On Tue, 2007-04-17 at 01:31 -0400, Jeff Hubbs wrote:
> 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). 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?
> 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
> 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. 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
> 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.
> Let me give a simplified illustration. Suppose that when you apply for
> a subscription, you're asked to supply your eye color - green, brown, or
> blue - and you do so truthfully. Then, every day at exactly noon, all
> of the channels sends out three voice announcements at the same time.
> Based on the subscription data and the associated receiver
> identification, all of the green-eyed subscribers hear the noon
> announcement say "Your eyes are green" - and likewise for all of the
> blue-eyed and brown-eyed subscribers. All of the subscribers note the
> seeming omniscience of the XM system, but they know that "seeming" is
> all it is because they realize that they were asked their eye color when
> they signed up for XM service.
> But, in my simplified example, the per-subscriber selection is done
> using information that the subscriber knowingly supplied. If the XM
> provider has taken your knowingly-supplied data and cross-referenced it
> to other data that they obtain on you, the XM provider can mess with you
> in all kinds of ways. Remember Amazon's "recommendations?" If the XM
> provider knows about music purchases you've made through any number of
> outlets, a music channel can select songs for you that the system thinks
> you'll like, in hopes that you'll go buy them (isn't it convenient that
> the song and artist is displayed for you on the receiver's panel?). You
> will have been, in effect, turned into a node in a buying cluster.
> If the system *does* know your channel selections for all time, then the
> data mining that becomes possible and the actions that can be taken as a
> result of that mining take on a bizarre dimension. People hearing
> primarily news stories that either please or disquiet them, as a
> function of whether or not the XM provider wants their subscribers to
> feel pleased or disquieted at any given moment. Different people
> hearing different versions of the same politician's speech, even if the
> difference is only one of inflection or tenor.
> C. 2001 and the advent of digital cable, I realized that two-way
> communication between the cable box and the cable provider was a
> near-certainty (in fact, a decade earlier, I remembered Cox Cable and
> their set-top boxes that "phoned home" over POTS to transmit
> God-knows-what back to the "mothership"). I predicted that that
> capability would be used to select content on a per-subscriber basis,
> and articles I read in subsequent years bore my prediction out.
> Ever since the dawn of mass media, there has been this societal
> understanding that a given "media unit" - a commercial, a newspaper, a
> magazine, a radio program, a magazine, etc. - was the same for all who
> received it. Our modern culture has banked on that understanding - that
> if you went up to me and said, "Hey, did you see Letterman last night?"
> and I answered in the affirmative, then it is implicit that you and I
> both saw the same Letterman. That concept is beginning to break down,
> if only because there is such an incredible barrage of material
> available on television 24/7 that the chances that you and I saw the
> same show on any given night are progressively diminishing. But the
> fact of the matter is that bandwidth and storage growth, rising as they
> are on near-exponential rails, is making possible a non-commonality of
> experience and knowledge that one would normally associate with
> pre-civilization humanity.
> Crystal-clear CD-quality sound? No commercials? All the Yiddish polka
> I could ever want? Gotta love that!
> Christopher Fowler wrote:
> > I guess I'm hanging around with some really cheap people on this list.
> > Or I may be too rich. I do not think that $10+/mon for SAT radio is a
> > bad deal. IMO it is a great deal. I get to listen to what I want. I
> > do not hear commercials. when I do hear commercials (talk channels) it
> > is not some obnoxious car sales ad screaming out the speaker. When I
> > travel the country I do not have to tune my radio every 100 miles. The
> > sound quality is decent compared to FM.
> Ale mailing list
> Ale at ale.org
James P. Kinney III
CEO & Director of Engineering
Local Net Solutions,LLC
GPG ID: 829C6CA7 James P. Kinney III (M.S. Physics)
<jkinney at localnetsolutions.com>
Fingerprint = 3C9E 6366 54FC A3FE BA4D 0659 6190 ADC3 829C 6CA7
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part