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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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> listening to."
>> Let me run some scenarios by you, just based on the premise that
>> 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
>> listening to the radio when you should be working.
>> * You have a car accident involving another party and you are
>> sued by or suing the other party. The other party's attorneys
>> purchase your XM radio data and testify in court that you
>> 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
>> to a little too much Sean Hannity for their taste. Your
>> is eliminated."
>> Include the notion of *everyone's* channel data being recorded for
>> 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,
>> 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
>> 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
>> you'll like, in hopes that you'll go buy them (isn't it convenient
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> I could ever want? Gotta love that!
>> Christopher Fowler wrote:
>>> I guess I'm hanging around with some really cheap people on this
>>> 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>
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