Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Targeted Advertising Coming To Cable TV

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the target-my-fast-forward-button dept.

Television 171

The New York Times reports that Cablevision Systems is testing a new project in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and some areas of New Jersey to bring targeted advertising to television audiences. "The technology requires no hardware or installation in a subscriber's home, so viewers may not realize they are seeing ads different from a neighbor's. But during the same show, a 50-something male may see an ad for, say, high-end speakers from Best Buy, while his neighbors with children may see one for a Best Buy video game." The test deployment includes 500,000 households, and separates viewers by demographic data from Experian. "Experian has data on individuals that it collects through public records, registries and other sources. It matches the name and address of the subscriber to what it knows about them, and assigns demographic characteristics to households. (The match is a blind one: advertisers do not know what name and address they are advertising to, Cablevision executives said.)"

cancel ×

171 comments

An end to offensive ads? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27104821)

If they can do that then they can take off the ads for phone sex when I complain! I've been watching F1 GPs in Australia at 11pm and had 6 of them in a row.

Re:An end to offensive ads? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105161)

If they can do that then they can take off the ads for phone sex when I complain! I've been watching F1 GPs in Australia at 11pm and had 6 of them in a row.

On the contrary, it appears that they're already running targeted advertising and have you pegged as belonging to the "sad lonely loser" demographic ;-P

Re:An end to offensive ads? (2, Funny)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105193)

Yes, now they will know that they need to replace them with the gay phone sex ads.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re:An end to offensive ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105607)

I disagree. I think ads are objectionable

Re:An end to offensive ads? (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105633)

The only porn ads I see with my TV shows are on Pirate Bay.

Re:An end to offensive ads? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105677)

I'm just waiting for the next thing that can appear when this technology is applied - the commercial break detector that detects that you have a targeted commercial and instead pauses the recording or displays a neutral image.

OK fine. (4, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104831)

A little weird, but I'm not really alarmed that this is being used. It (for better or worse) is public data - Taking advantage of it to bore me as little as possible with ads seems perfectly appropriate. Frankly, if I have to watch ads, I'd rather see ads for computer equipment and stuff than for My Little Pony Playhouse...

Re:OK fine. (4, Interesting)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104949)

Although this also goes in the opposite direction for some. It mentions that houses with children may see ads targetted towards games and the like.

So if you have a baby, are you going to be stripped of watching the "funny" advertisements... usually for more adult things like beer, and whatnot... and be forced to sit through baby-food and diaper commercials? I know they're far and few between, but some commercials are actually fun to watch. Why should being in a specific demographic strip you of that fun?

Re:OK fine. (4, Interesting)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105231)

Something just occurred to me. You know there's going to be cases where a couple's baby dies, and the cable company's records don't get updated for a while...

Re:OK fine. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105373)

Ouch.

Re:OK fine. (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105413)

If the data doesn't get updated, somebody is missing an opportunity. Capitalism causing the problem, let the same rabid approach to competition solve it...

"Need a funeral? Call Graves'R'Us for all your dead child disposal needs! Catering included, low low prices."

Re:OK fine. (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105459)

Once the records update after the survey, the couple would be watching ads for assault rifles for the next few months.

"Did the TV show you ads for baby products after your baby just died? Would you like to blast the crap out of it? Why not try our .xx caliber automatic which fires 200 rounds per second...."

Re:OK fine. (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105557)

You heard how much those things cry?

You'll still need the beer.

Re:OK fine. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106723)

Why should being in a specific demographic strip you of that fun?

Because advertisers back the shows that reach their target audience. A few more dollars for a new series like "Battlestar Galactica," a few less for an aging "American Idol."

Re:OK fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105217)

Wouldn't the subscriber's TV viewing history provide more useful information for advertisers than a subscriber demographic? If they knew you watched fishing shows then they could bombard you with boating ads 24x7.

Re:OK fine. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105723)

But they don't need to do anything complicated for that. Fishing equipment companies just need to advertise during fishing shows.

And they've been using this sort of demographic information for years. The Nielsen ratings track the ages and sex of viewers as well as absolute numbers.

Re:OK fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27106103)

Nielsen makes up numbers, and says they tracked some shit.

Re:OK fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27106431)

Yes, and I can't decide if it's creepy that you know what I do or not.

Re:OK fine. (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105227)

Exactly. Who watches TV without a DVR anymore anyway? It's either DVR or download for me, I can't be fucked to watch a bunch of ads for crap I'm never going to buy.

Re:OK fine. (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105573)

Well good news! You can get rid of that expensive dvr and associated hassle once targeted ads come to your area. Soon you can watch ads for stuff you may actually buy.

Re:OK fine. (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105969)

Or you could continue to not watch TV, not watch ads, and only buy things you actually want.

Re:OK fine. (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106181)

Except you won't. Experian won't have details about credit card transactions. They'll see "Oh, he buys a lot of stuff at Fry's, so lets send him electronics ads." What they won't realize is that most of those purchases involve either DVDs or capacitors for microphone modding... the occasional hard drive.... For anything more expensive, I'm 100x more likely to buy online, usually at about half the price.

I'm also likely to spend days or weeks researching purchases ahead of time to zero in on a particular model, so sales on a different model are unlikely to affect my decisions at all on most products.

They'll see that I buy a lot of food at restaurants, so they'll send me restaurant ads. What they won't see is that it is invariably restaurants within walking distance of my workplace and that I almost never go to restaurants that aren't, which pretty much means five or six very specific restaurants.

They'll see that I go to Target a lot, so they'll send me Target ads. What they won't see is that I go there to either eat at the Pizza Hut Pan Pizza Express inside (which looks like any other target purchase) or to buy groceries and carry them back to my workplace refrigerator. Once every couple of months, I'll restock on soap, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels... but otherwise, it's pretty rare that I go to one looking for more general purchases.

It's just like TiVo's suggestion feature where it sees that I watch a couple of shows that are (IMHO incorrectly) marked as "Kids", and it starts suggesting Barney & Friends. It sees that I watch a couple of shows that are marked "Drama" and "Movie", and it starts picking up black-and-white drama movies from the 1940s.

Any system like this, if you want it to work well, needs to have dozens of very specific keywords associated with each ad, and needs to have a thumbs-up/thumbs-down feature. It should also allow you to give a thumbs up or down to keywords on a manual basis to adjust the rankings.

Ideally, they should also do surveys regularly to randomly chosen people and ask them why they gave a thumbs down to a commercial that looked like something they might have reasonably been interested in. That would give additional insight into the sorts of keyword information they should be adding, and would help the system improve.

Short of that, it is inevitably going to be a joke.

Re:OK fine. (1)

phelix_da_kat (714601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106223)

I think it depends how that data became public. With the repeated breach of private data being collected illegally or data that becomes public without the consent of the owner... Also how do you change the profile.. as a single male, your viewing habits change.. say when you get married and have kids.. how quickly does the targeted ads change to match your lifestyle..

Re:OK fine. (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106439)

I agree. Right now, in Canada at any rate, there is an alarming number of commercials for dog food, kids' vitamins, and Pepto-Bismol that feature amplified sounds of dogs masticating, which I personally find disgusting. Since I don't have kids or a dog, I would be delighted if some technology could direct ads that I find either informative or amusing my way instead of things that I have no interest in (e.g. feminine hygiene products, pregnancy tests, Sham-Wows).

Oh, and any commercial featuring Billy Mays.

So, for those of us who... (2, Funny)

level99 (968745) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104837)

Married a chick from Eastern Europe, who is .. cough, 19 years younger than myself. Will we get Viagra or Britney Spears Perfume advertising?

Oh, the suspense!

Re:So, for those of us who... (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104891)

Married a chick from Eastern Europe, who is .. cough, 19 years younger than myself.

You sir, are my hero.

Re:So, for those of us who... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27104927)

He didn't mention the fact he's 32.

Re:So, for those of us who... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106493)

Married a chick from Eastern Europe, who is .. cough, 19 years younger than myself. Will we get Viagra or Britney Spears Perfume advertising?

You sir, are my hero.

He didn't mention the fact he's 32.

Which makes the Britney Spears perfume advertising unlikely then. 13 has got to be way past the target age for that stuff...

Re:So, for those of us who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27106647)

So? Why are you against men marrying fertile females? You're a feminist.

Re:So, for those of us who... (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105081)

Assuming you already know the virtues of Viagra, put the cable account in her name.

Re:So, for those of us who... (4, Funny)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105311)

She'll probably get adverts for applying for citizenship followed by adverts for divorce lawyers.

Re:So, for those of us who... (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106481)

Well played, sir; wish I had mod points.

But I hope the OP remembered five simple letters - P - R - E - N - U - P.

Re:So, for those of us who... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105449)

You'll get lots of ads for Dateline NBC and Chris Hansen's To Catch A Predator.

Anyone want to exchange Slingboxes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27104845)

You see my ads, I see yours?

No more tampon comercials (5, Funny)

detnyre (1406055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104853)

Cool... No more tampon commercials at my house...

Re:No more tampon comercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27104967)

No so fast. Back with Star Trek Next gen was originally airing, that the demographic that wasn't taping and skipping commercials was a result of couples watching the show together. There were lots of changes to the show because of that.

Re:No more tampon comercials (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105147)

Never any girls in your house, then?

do you *have* to live up to the stereotype so much?

Re:No more tampon comercials (1)

LinkX39 (1100879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105265)

Being the good little /.er I am after reading the summary but not the article I'm not too sure that's the case. The example given in the summary tells me that everyone will still see ads from the same company; it's the contents of the ad that will differ. If a company only produces tampons then you will still see a tampon commercial.

Again, I have not read the article and I have a lot of lazing around to do this fine Saturday morning so I can't be bothered to do the proper research to know if I'm write or not. That being said, if I'm wrong this will be followed by fifty different responses from people who DID read the article calling me an idiot and correcting me on the issue, ensuring I don't have to read it anyway. THANKS IN ADVANCE!

Re:No more tampon comercials (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106519)

Don't forget the 100 responses you'll get from people correcting your usage of "write" for "right".

Old grammar Nazis never die, their eyesight just fades away...

Uhhh... huh. (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104889)

So they'll be directing the ads for lovers of painfully loud music to 50-year-olds, while the gaming ads will go to children despite the average gamer being 35. [theesa.com] May I suggest a few more surveys before they roll out their new tech?

this could explain the mystery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27104897)

The time I vegged out in front of the TV watching reruns of Astro Boy and Speed Racer, and all the ads seemed to be for "Hair Club for Men", Milwaukee's Best, and debt consolidation services.

You don't have to target me... (1)

Full Metal Jackass (998734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104907)

...for the Best Buy video game. I'm pre-ordering that bad-boy!

Re:You don't have to target me... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105741)

Achievement unlocked: Slick Salesman.

You sold over 100 deceptive store warranties!

Awesome! CV strikes again! (4, Funny)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104917)

They might have a tough time finding product placement for this household, since the account's in my grandfather's name, and he died in 2003. Maybe some ads for psychics?

Re:Awesome! CV strikes again! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27104981)

Air fresheners, perhaps?

This is obnoxious (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104925)

Slowly and inexorably, the media companies push us away.

Once again it's time to suggest (4, Interesting)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104939)

That we do a DMCA on people's personal information.

Remove the concept of 'public records' and make it all PRIVATE.

If Experian wants to collect personal information on you, they should have to pay a fee to you and agree to a standard distribution restriction agreement that makes them come to you for permission to distribute the data elsewhere.

Now of course credit card companies have to ask and pay you for the right to get that information but they can also charge higher fees, too.

Violations bring the same penalties as with "pirating" a mp3.

Re:Once again it's time to suggest (1)

adnd74 (1022357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105115)

I agree, I don't think that anything that leads to the loosening of rules that govern the information that Experian holds on all of us is a good idea.

Re:Once again it's time to suggest (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105597)

If Experian wants to collect personal information on you, they should have to pay a fee to you and agree to a standard distribution restriction agreement that makes them come to you for permission to distribute the data elsewhere.

They aren't collecting it directly but getting the information from other sources. In this case then you should be charging those other sources for originally collecting the information and maybe a smaller fee for Experian to use it. One of the sources they are getting their data from is public records though. Have fun tracking down the original source(s) of the information (could be credit card companies which would make sense since Experian is involved).

Re:Once again it's time to suggest (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106537)

Violations bring the same penalties as with "pirating" a mp3.

I agree with you and applaud you -- in theory, at least. When it came down to practical matters, it'd never be effective because the average private citizen doesn't have the financial resources to attack a large corporation with a civil lawsuit. More likely what would happen is you'd end up with large corporations being awarded the rights to someone else's life in the form of their personal data.

Re:Once again it's time to suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27106765)

Exactly right. We should be paid for the use of our personal information. Too hard to track? That never stopped now-existing royalty collection entities from processing significant amounts of licensing fees. Apply some technology, it can be done. Needs to be done.

Not sure of the value of this. (2, Insightful)

Telecommando (513768) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104955)

I'm wondering, if Grandma wants to buy a new video game for little Bobby, how is she going to know about any sales in her area? All she's going to get on her TV is commercials for arthritis rub, denture cream, cat food and the like.

On a related subject, I've also wondered why they target ads to kids anyway. They can't drive, don't have much money and from my experience if I whined and pleaded with my dad to buy me something I saw on TV I generally got sent to my room.

Re:Not sure of the value of this. (3, Insightful)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104995)

Sadly, a lot of parents cave into their child's slightest whims every single time. I've seen brats in the mall that I would have loved to hit with my car for the way they were acting, and the mother is actually APPOLOGIZING to the brat for not buying him the crap sooner.

It would be the children of THOSE parents (although it applies to situations not quite that extreme as well, I suppose) that all the advertisements you're thinking of are for.

Re:Not sure of the value of this. (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105031)

if I whined and pleaded with my dad to buy me something I saw on TV I generally got sent to my room.

From what I see, things are different now. Sending a kid to his room is pointless and that's usually his favorite place to start with, plus parents with more money than time or energy tend to spoil kids(*).
Anyway, even if your dad sent you to your room when you asked him for say, a video game, it doesn't mean that when it was time to actually buy you buy he wouldn't get the one you asked for.
(*) Not everyone of course.

Re:Not sure of the value of this. (2, Insightful)

David Nabbit (924807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105409)

On a related subject, I've also wondered why they target ads to kids anyway. They can't drive, don't have much money and from my experience if I whined and pleaded with my dad to buy me something I saw on TV I generally got sent to my room.

Are you kidding? Child marketing is a huge industry. Coincidentally, I'm pretty sure Dante reserved one of the lower circles of Hell for child marketers.

Re:Not sure of the value of this. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106599)

No, that's for child molesters and people who talk in the theater.

Re:Not sure of the value of this. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105435)

Birthdays, and Christmas. The two days where parents will ask the kids what they want and they will (usually) get it.

Re:Not sure of the value of this. (1)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105827)

Fun fact: In Sweden it's illegal to target children with commercials since they are so easily influenced

Don't use their boxes (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104969)

Unless cable has infinity bandwidth or they place insertion device at each home for each TV, this will not work.

Now it you pay them for their box, then they have an insertion device in your home.

Why would you pay them for the right to sell you to an advertiser? Why are you not getting your TV for free then instead of rising rates?

Re:Don't use their boxes (2, Interesting)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105155)

Once the system goes digital, all subscribers will be identifiable by the MAC address or UID of the cable box. One could argue that ad targeting is one of the primary reasons it's going digital.

The really bad news is that although many cable boxes are hackable [usbjtag.com] , and the UID can be changed, it would either be a telltale sign to the cable company that the box has been hacked, or you just end up getting someone else's targeted ads.

Re:Don't use their boxes (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105431)

You give the industry way too much credit for forward-thinking.

Every time a cable company takes down an analog channel they can put up twelve digital (SD) channels. That makes operators salivate.

All other effects of digital (VOD, HD, interactive TV, targeted ads) are things that the operators go along with grudgingly, at best.

(Of course, I'm speaking about the operators as "institutions". There are many brilliant, forward-thinking people involved, but they're hopelessly outnumbered by maintainers of the status quo.)

I'm not at all into set top hacking, so maybe I'm missing something obvious. But how do you get provisioned if you have a hacked UID? Is this like "cloning" a set top?

-Peter

Re:Don't use their boxes (2, Informative)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105267)

This is only on digital. And they surely aren't sending a different ad to each subscriber. In all likelihood they're transmitting two to four ads per service.

Digital cable video bitrates are highly variable. There is no technical impediment to sending out multiple A/V streams on the same service at the same time without increasing the total bandwidth used by the service. Of course, video quality will suffer, but a significant portion of ads are "talking heads" anyway.

Furthermore, it would be quite possible to monitor bandwidth at the QAM level, and "steal" some bandwidth from other services on the QAM in order to provide more consistent quality during targeted ad breaks.

The really interesting thing here is that previous systems (that I'm aware of, anyway) have used a software client on the set top to select the ad. This scales. If they're doing this in the headend I don't see how they're going to scale to a significant number of channels with a useful number of demographic groups. Maybe this is only on DSG boxes?

-Peter

High-end speakers at Best Buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27104985)

The only speakers I saw at Best Buy were low-end crap. I would like to see Ms. Clifford's definition of "high-end".

Sounds like a good idea (2, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27104987)

Why should I watch commercials for tampons, tinned soup, and shampoo? Show me Apple ads, Best Buy ads, trailers to movies I might like, etc.

Re:Sounds like a good idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105257)

Aha! Further proof that goth chicks would rather collect their blood for use in ritual sacrifices!

Re:Sounds like a good idea (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105687)

When ads come on that I don't like, I have a reason to get off the sofa, take a leak, and grab another beer. If they show ads that are interesting for me, I am liable to wet the sofa, and go thirsty.

testing a new project in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and some areas of New Jersey

So what ads do they show to Tony Soprano's crew? New concrete overshoes? Brass knuckles half off at Thugs'R'Us?

Soon you'll be having ads for your ads (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106389)

That kinda reminds me of gametrailers.com and rottentomatoes.com. They let you see movie trailers, which are essentially ads, but most of the time through another ad to see the trailer. While targeted ads are lessing boring than un-targeted ones, I'd hate for marketers to use this as justification for showing more ads.

No more hoveround commercials (2, Funny)

twickline (1203168) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105007)

Those hoveround commercials every 30 minutes during the night are such a pain in the butt... I'm not going to buy one for another 30 years so it's waisted advertising. and the commercials suck! So every time one comes on I turn the channel!! And most of the time don't go back to the original channel for hours if not days, so the channel looses out as the "commercial" ran me away. I would like to see ads about crap im interested in... So who knows this might be a good thing?

Re:No more hoveround commercials (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105181)

The targeted ads will have nothing to do with the channel you're watching, so if bad commercials make you turn away, they will now make you turn it off entirely.

Also, there will be no way to indicate to the cable company that you dislike certain ads, nor would they let you tell them what ads to run even if there were.

Re:No more hoveround commercials (1)

twickline (1203168) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105305)

All im saying is im 40 years old, single and no kids in the house. Why should advertisers use the current (out dated) "SHOT GUN" approach? I'm sure others turn the channel when they see stupid commercials. :) Maybe im a nutter but I would fill out a questionnaire give them first hand info... The cable company that is, and then maybe I would see more of what im interested in. And in the end maybe I would be happier and the advertisers would sell me more crap that I don't need. Yes I know, it's time to wake up Alice this isn't wonderland.

Re:No more hoveround commercials (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105455)

Yeah, they sure are waisted and loosing out a lot.

Um (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105019)

Best Buy and their sister store Magnolia does not sell High End speakers. That's fucked up, don't fool us! Low end Definitive technology and crappy low end Martin Logan don't count as high end in my book. That's like saying Receivers are the best! Fuck off!

Took them long enough (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105075)

They should do this with television so I'm not paying for 3 fucking sports channels, Cartoon Network, 2 Disney channels, 2 VH1s, 2 MTVs, TLC, and the Weather Channel.

Re:Took them long enough (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105491)

You're not. You're paying for the channels you watch. You agree to pay that price for those channels and the cable company is happy to provide the channels you don't want for free.

If they didn't provide these channels why would they charge you less? They already know how much you're willing to pay.

Re:Took them long enough (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106081)

They should do this with television so I'm not paying for 3 fucking sports channels, Cartoon Network, 2 Disney channels, 2 VH1s, 2 MTVs, TLC, and the Weather Channel.

No Joke. What strikes me from the Summary: "The technology requires no hardware or installation in a subscriber's home" So they're lying about the technological limitations of a la carte cable channels?

It's bad enough we get ad's on each page of the gu (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105129)

It's bad enough we get ad's on each page of the guide now they want to push more ad on us how about MORE HD wait DIRECT TV HAS MORE HD better guide with mush less ad's and looks good on a HD TV.

Re:It's bad enough we get ad's on each page of the (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106499)

Uhhh... sattelite and cable have the same number of commercials. Otherise their schedules would start getting out of sync pretty quick.

Just keep them out of my head (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105153)

Anyone remember that Futurama episode where they beamed the commercial into Fry's dream?

Woohoo (1)

popeye44 (929152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105233)

Finally no ads with sports, douches,beer,tampons,cereal,toys, insert new pill with horrible side effects here, Depends, advice to see my physician if erection lasts more than 4 hours, pamprin, reducing the effects of PMS, domain registration,...

I could go on all day. the list of things to advertise to me is 1000x shorter than the ads I currently see. In fact I record almost everything that is episodic and skip commercials.

Now women in underwear jumping on trampolines selling the latest FPS game or RPG I might watch that. I really don't have much use for advertising in general.

Comcrap is losing me quickly the incredible lack of anything worthwhile being on TV makes the amount I pay to have the DVR and HDTV ridiculous. I do have a few series I watch and they are HD though.

Shooting the fish in the bucket! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105241)

Today, our advertising is so full of lies and deceptions, only if they would tell the truth, then the consumer would be able to choose what they need and not what the advertiser wants the to want and buy.

Our brains can not tell the difference between fact and fiction. It's our higher cognitive abilities that will reason in hope to find the fact. Advertisements don't give the higher functions a chance to work, subsequently and despite the common knowledge that the ads are just ads, in the long term, we end up thinking what they want us to think.

Test your self, next time you are in the grocery store, review what you pick and ask yourself why one brand vs the other, then compare ingredients, and see if you have made the better choice. I have talked to many and found that they just picked things that they though were good. I urge you to read the following articles on false memories and see how easy it is to manipulate ones thoughts even memories:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065657.htm

http://www.rense.com/general11/TAWT.HTM

We have no Cable programing of any kind in our home, our time is ours. We rent movies, talk about thing in life, inter act with our neighbors and read more. It took a year after we cut the cable to realize that we never really benefited from watching general TV programing. Just wasting time, the time that was supposed to compose our lives, hence wasting our lives.

Good luck.

No, they just want us to ... (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106331)

in the long term, we end up thinking what they want us to think.

Think Different (TM)

Re:Shooting the fish in the bucket! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106459)

Our brains can not tell the difference between fact and fiction. It's our higher cognitive abilities that will reason in hope to find the fact.

Our higher cognitive abilities aren't part of our brains?

Re:Shooting the fish in the bucket! (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106737)

Our higher cognitive abilities aren't part of our brains?

Not after you get married, the wife takes over that job

Re:Shooting the fish in the bucket! (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106701)

despite the common knowledge that the ads are just ads, in the long term, we end up thinking what they want us to think.

Speak for yourself, you feeble minded clot. I watch a fair amount of TV, and would rather watch 2 episodes of "Lost" rather than any movie that's come out of Hollywood in the last year. "Simpsons" and "South Park" are easily more topical, and funnier, than most so-called comedies. But your point was ads. I watch a lot of commercials, some of which I find informative, and some of which I don't care about. Take groceries - I have the choice of six grocery stores within a 15 minute bike ride. Two of them advertise on TV a lot; the other four, not at all. Where do I go? The store that has the specials that week that I'm interested in. I see a lot of ads for national brands. Do I buy them all the time? Not at all - I buy a number of "no name" or house brand products, because I've tried them and find them satisfactory. On the other hand, I've tried some house brands that I don't like, so I buy the national brand instead (Heinz ketchup is one example). Is it because of ads? No, it's because I tried both, and my taste buds tell me what works better.

I see a lot of automobile ads. Do they influence me? Yes, to the extent that seeing the vehicle on TV might get me into a dealership to have a look at it, but is my final decision made by TV? Not a chance - I need to evaluate the test drive, the deal, the warranty, operating costs, and, these days, whether the company is likely to survive or not. Ads have zero influence there.

You might feel TV leads you around by the nose, but those of us made of sterner stuff are fairly able to resist it.

Could end up being a little too revealing (2, Funny)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105251)

Wife - "Wow - the commercials have changed for the worse, honey... Why do we keep getting ads for pay-per-view porn? I hope the neighbors are seeing this 'cause I'm going to complain to the TV stations and I hope they do too."

Husband - "Ummm, yeah. I don't know why... these ads are coming. Don't call anyone, though. I'll take care of it..."

Heh. (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105279)

And what happens when someone hacks into their system and replaces ads for fox news with 2 girls, one cup?

That could be potentially embarrassing for some... (3, Interesting)

bjdevil66 (583941) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105295)

The content of the ads could be a little TOO revealing about people. Imagine this conversation after the Super Bowl party:

"Did you notice that the Smiths had a lot of ads for bankruptcy lawyers? I wonder what's going on with them..."

It's not an invasion of privacy, but it is a subversion of privacy.

In this case.. let 'em do it. (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105371)

I'm glad I have TiVo. Rarely see commercials at all, and then it's mostly the tail-end of the one at the end of the break, before the program starts again. Yay TiVo! :)

Lesbian Orange Juice Commercials FTW! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105385)

I just want to know how to get targeted by Lesbian Orange Juice Commercials and nothing else!
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/898236/the_lesbian_orange_juice_commercial/

Doesn't matter to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27105393)

What is the purpose of even having Cable Television anymore? I mean, seriously -

1. Cable networks are crap-factories. A couple of the movie networks put out some enjoyable series (ie, Dexter or the Sopranos), but you can easily enjoy those on Netflix for the same cost as one or two of those premium channels, with a ton more flexibility on what you want to watch.

2. Service. Cable television is one of the worst service industries in the world. Their ridiculously wide "service windows" to come visit you when there is a problem. Their ridiculously uneducated call support centers. Their monopolistic regional control allows them to really not care one way or another if a customer is happy.

3. Online content - Between Hulu and Netflix, I am able to watch anything I have any interest in watching, when I want to watch it - with minimal commercial interruption. I especially love Hulu's new "2-minute opener ad" that they let you watch, then you get your whole 1-hour episode without interruption.

So... remind me again why anyone would pay for cable television when it's all available for less money, less hassle, and fewer commercials?

streams of propaganda (1)

High On Markers (1494339) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105517)

this could also be useful for sending targetted streams of propaganda out to people's houses. If the ads are targetted, the programs themselves could be as well.

5 dollar footlong... (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 5 years ago | (#27105699)

Hopefully they have "finds Subway repulsive" on file for me.

Re:5 dollar footlong... (1)

krray (605395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106009)

Hopefully they have "finds Subway repulsive" on file for me.

They do now...

Long Term Progression... (2, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106033)

1. Free TV with commercials
2. Promise of pay TV without commercials
3. Pay TV with commercials
4. Pay TV with commercials and shopping channels
5. Pay TV with targeted commercials and shopping channels
6. Pay TV where they remove your eyes and jab probes directly into your brain so they can harvest your inner most thoughts for a profit

The trouble with this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27106243)

is that Cablevision doesn't serve any of the boroughs of New York City - it serves the area around NYC

This is not to say that CV wouldn't like to provide targeted advertising, but they don't serve the area described in the story - and looking at their systems [from the inside] they don't have the expertise to implement such a system.

Experian sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27106377)

These guys have no decency for the consumer. When we had a case of mistaken identity and a supposed debt on our credit card, these guys were the hardest to deal with. Transunion/Equifax rock, but we had to send so many overnight mail packages to Experian and it took them over 6 months to resolve our case and clear the fraudulent charges off of our account. We had to spend over $100 out of pocket to resolve $90 worth of fraudulent debt. Also when we do our fraud reports every 90 days, if we use a different credit company (Transunion/Equifax) to file the fraud report, Experian usually rejects it, so we have to file the report with them directly. Equifax is my favorite, I am neutral on Transunion. At least they will listen to the consumer. I am not at all surprised that Experian would stoop this low and provide consumer credit information to commercial corporations, and it disgusts me. What is next? Are they going to monitor our internet usage and mail us advertisements towards what we browse? (which is 90% porn and 10% slashdot for most of us).

They Still Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27106603)

They could have an ad pop up on my television with my name, address, and a high resolution picture of my dick on it, and I'd still hit the mute button or flip to another channel for the next 60 seconds.

Another reason to remain single (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106611)

The moment you get a girl living with you, all your ads are going to be for feminine hygiene products. On the other hand, this being slashdot, it is better then the ads we are used to, female depence ads for out mothers.

If you don't like it.... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27106707)

I posted this in another thread. It is a decent solution to avoid all this, primarily by avoiding the "box". Here are the results he got from making and using this antenna.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1128309&cid=26860051 [slashdot.org]

Enjoy.

""It's really not that tough to make. You could make one yourself just as easily in an hour or two. Construction is as follows:

Make eight Vs from 16" lengths of coat hanger, with stripped insulation at the point(EDIT: Guess he means the plastic coated coathangers). The mouths should open about 3.25".

On a 33" or longer stick, about 2" wide and ½" thick, measure off 8" increments on both sides of the ruler. At each of these marks use a wood screw and washer to hold down a V. It should look like four cats stacked head on head when the stick is upright. These V's, now lying flat, should be pulled forward about 20-35. Just pull on one wire at a time to reduce strain on the screw.

Next the Vs need connected with two more coat hangers. Each of these hangers is bowed, connecting to the two center Vs on one side, and the two end Vs of the opposite side. Insulation needs removed at all eight woodscrew junctions, but must be intact where the wires cross over each other between the end and center bows.

Finally, at the center of these two bows (which should be the width of a ruler apart), also strip insulation, insert two additional screws, and attach a UHF-VHF transformer. This is $2 radio shack item which allows one to hook a 300 ohm spade-lug antenna to 75ohm threaded-tube coax cable. The ideal one should be small tube with male threads at one end, and the two spades at the other end which you will screw to the antenna.

Installation. Hook a 75ohm coax cable between the antenna and the 75ohm air-antenna connector of your tuner. A brass hook in one end of the stick, and another in the ceiling is a convenient method of installation. Mounting it to a pole on the roof would provide even better reception, but then would be difficult to aim if not all your TV stations come from the same direction. Here they all come from Mount Wilson which is 41 East of North from me. Directions of your stations from your zip code and signal strengths can be found at tvfool.com. The cat faces aim at the stations. I pick up all stations with a signal strength of 41 Db or more (the ones shaded in green)."

I guess he used a cool piece of driftwood for structure.

Hope this helps."

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...