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[ale] Wandering OT: Re: Car PC's and internet radio?

Satellite radio is like AM or FM or TV broadcasting - IT'S ONE->  
WAY.  The broadcaster cannot know which programs or channels you  
listen to.  A single datastream from the satellite is received by all  
the radios.  Nothing is transmitted back.  The radios are "receive- 

This is much more efficient than any sort of cell phone radio  
"broadcasting" with a 2 way datastream for each and every subscriber  
- what a massive waste of bandwidth!  Satellite radios bandwidth  
requirement is constant regardless of the subscriber count.

On Apr 17, 2007, at 8:27 PM, James P. Kinney III wrote:

> 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
>> past.
>> 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
>> subscription.
>> 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."
>> Indeed?
>> 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.
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> -- 
> James P. Kinney III
> CEO & Director of Engineering
> Local Net Solutions,LLC
> 770-493-8244
> http://www.localnetsolutions.com
> 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
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