Beta
×

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!

Google's Reach Hits Your Tivo

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-more-intestinal-products-please dept.

Privacy 98

accido writes "As reported by The LA Times, Google has now decided to expand its marketing and data collection to include what you watch on your Tivo. The data collected would help Google, who sells TV ads, show who watches which commercials and who skips right over them. The article outlines how this could be bad for networks that cash in whether you watch the ad or not. Does this mean fewer commercials for viewers? Not likely, but one can hope."

cancel ×

98 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Whether, not weather (1, Informative)

puppetman (131489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231626)

Rain has nothing to do with this.

Re:Whether, not weather (0, Offtopic)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231690)

Rain has nothing to do with this.

I don't know, I'd like some cash in weather. As long as it was bills. Coins dropping on us from miles up would hurt.

Re:Whether, not weather (0, Offtopic)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232186)

I wants to make it raiiiin on all you bitches, yo.

Re:Whether, not weather (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231780)

Rain has nothing to do with this.

No, but if your cable is down and you have crappy reception, all that snow might make you tempted to watch something you Tivo'd

Re:Whether, not weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232124)

Are you implying Google has a wether control satellite?

Re:Whether, not weather (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232810)

*Regardless* of whether I have good reception or crappy reception, I want to watch something I Tivoed.. even if just paused for 15 minutes to avoid the ads for something I need to watch "close to live" (which is rare).

Commercials? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231964)

Tivo actually automatically downloads commercials, perhaps that is what they are tracking. I have watched a couple about new cars coming out. However, if Google checks our viewing habits they will see we watch mostly Netflix "instant" at about $9.00 a month it is the best deal for us and so far commercial free.

Re:Whether, not weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231980)

Rain has nothing to do with this.

Some of us get our TV via satellite you insensitive clod!

2nd! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231634)

2nd woot

I'm sure 99% (1, Troll)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231648)

Of Tivo users skip commercials. I'm sure the other 1% either don't know they have Tivo, don't know how to use Tivo, or watch so much television that their mental capacity to understand the concept of skipping commercials has been severely damaged.

Re:I'm sure 99% (3, Funny)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231710)

Some of us watch commericals on YouTube for comedic value. To be fair, it's usually vintage ones (Try refreshing Ayds to lose weight! Ayds helped me lose 15 lbs!)

Re:I'm sure 99% (3, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231894)

Actually, the commercials are the best part of TV. They are innovative, have high production values, and basically all the stops are pulled out to make sure they're effective.

The shows, on the other hand, are usually terrible.

Re:I'm sure 99% (2, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232546)

That's true, in part, but the difficulty is that I don't get to choose what commercials I watch. So even though there are some truly horrific shows out there, I just don't watch them. Even if the worst commercial ever produced is only 1/10 as bad, it could still play during a show I do watch, therefore exposing me to it (unless I have a DVR). Therefore, of what I see (rather than TV in general) commercials are usually the worst part. And that's not even getting in to how repetitive they become...

Re:I'm sure 99% (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232596)

well not all commercials Ask Gary [youtube.com]

Re:I'm sure 99% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233644)

Actually, the commercials are the best part of TV. They are innovative, have high production values, and basically all the stops are pulled out to make sure they're effective.

Oh yeah. If you think the ads are innovative with high production values, then I'M DAN DOLAN*, AND HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT EASY-OFF BAM?
(* or BARRY SCOTT, or MARTIN GRELLIS)

Re:I'm sure 99% (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233720)

I often enjoy commercials the first time I see them. By the fifteenth time (or worse, second time in one commercial break - curse your advertising directors, CBC!), I am utterly sick of them and wish they'd never been made. Except for that one [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QW3bInxgmc]Subaru Canada ad[/url]. I'm still not tired of that one.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:I'm sure 99% (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233736)

Oh wow... too much foruming. I sincerely apologize for the BBCode; should I hand in my card on the way out?

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:I'm sure 99% (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233812)

I often enjoy commercials the first time I see them. By the fifteenth time (or worse, second time in one commercial break - curse your advertising directors, CBC!), I am utterly sick of them and wish they'd never been made....

Point. It's the reruns that make commercials boring.

Re:I'm sure 99% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30234394)

Marketers must LOVE you!

Re:I'm sure 99% (2, Informative)

gamecrusader (1684024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232102)

I've have used tivo for over 3 years and tivo has commercials that can't be fast fowarded through.
though they rarely come up, but they do exsist

Re:I'm sure 99% (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232828)

What in the heck are you talking about?

There are 'ads' that show up at the bottom of the first menu (usually called 'star ads') that the user has to specifically go to.. There are nowadays, sometimes, ads that show up under the time banner when you hit pause.. but you can just hit 'down' to make them go away or hit the clear button (like always) to clear all onscreen displays..

You need to provide a citation for "commercials that can't be fast forwarded through".

Re:I'm sure 99% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233678)

I fart in the general direction of your citation request, you wikipedia elitist!

Re:I'm sure 99% (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232578)

What advertisers need are more events, like the Superbowl, where it becomes cool to watch commercials. Or do what most Internet sites have done and go with the 15 sec commercial spot instead of the 30 - 60 sec spot.

Re:I'm sure 99% (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30236810)

I think that's a bit optimistic.

99% might "fast forward" through them. Although actual commercial "skip" is a special hack you enable yourself.

When this was undone every time the unit cycled power, I was the only one in my household that could handle putting the hack back in place. It's an obscure set of commands sent through the remote that requires a bit of a "knack" to get right.

Even with 30-second skip, you still need to pay attention and know when to stop skipping. There's still an opportunity for something to catch your eye.

That other device had genuine commercial skip and got sued for it.

Weather they stop the ads? (2, Insightful)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231650)

The article outlines how this could be bad for Networks who cash in weather you watch the ad or not

They have ads there too? Sunny and a 50% chance of Cialis?

I wonder when this arms race for our eyeballs will peak. I'm not angry with targeted ads, overall it makes for a smarter consumer when after a generation or two we learn to identify market-speak at the cost of the last company to the block's poorly-spent campaign. In the mean time there's a greater likelihood I'll chance across something that is actually valuable to me, or a funny Geico ad :)

-Matt

Re:Weather they stop the ads? (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231694)

In the mean time there's a greater likelihood I'll chance across something that is actually valuable to me, or a funny Geico ad :)

So... what happens in the nice time? Hey, if you're going to make terrible puns about typos your posts are fair game ;)

Re:Weather they stop the ads? (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231708)

Touche good sir, touche

Re:Weather they stop the ads? (1)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231818)

They have ads there too? Sunny and a 50% chance of Cialis?

Typical, the weatherman *always* says a 50% chance...of course it is...chaos theory. Wait a minute, was I just advertised to?

Re:Weather they stop the ads?Christmas gifts (-1, Offtopic)

coolforsale126 (1686418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231994)

http://www.coolforsale.com/ [coolforsale.com] Dear ladies and gentlemen Hello, In order to meet Christmas, Site launched Christmas spree, welcome new and old customers come to participate in the there are unexpected surprises, look forward to your arrival. Only this site have this treatmentOur goal is "Best quality, Best reputation , Best services". Your satisfaction is our main pursue. You can find the best products from us, meeting your different needs. Ladies and Gentlemen weicome to my coolforsale.com.Here,there are the most fashion products . Pass by but don't miss it.Select your favorite clothing! Welcome to come next time ! Thank you! http://www.coolforsale.com/productlist.asp?id=s76 [coolforsale.com] (Tracksuit w) ugg boot,POLO hoody,Jacket, Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33 Nike shox(R4,NZ,OZ,TL1,TL2,TL3) $35 Handbags(Coach lv fendi d&g) $35 Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $16 free shipping Thanks!!! Advance wish you a merry Christmas.

Re:Weather they stop the ads? (3, Insightful)

Dysphoric1 (1641793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232010)

In the mean time there's a greater likelihood I'll chance across something that is actually valuable to me

In all honesty, I don't think I have ever seen an ad that was of value to me. Maybe I'm just weird or something, but I start with a need and then seek out a solution in a product or service to fulfill it, usually through reviews and such. I never see an ad and then suddenly decide I need the product or service.

Never mind. I forgot about porn.

Re:Weather they stop the ads? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232850)

You've *never* seen a new item advertised for a restaurant that you then tried out (at some point)?

Re:Weather they stop the ads? (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232530)

...or a funny Geico ad :)

This one [youtube.com] is my favorite.

Re:Weather they stop the ads? (1)

ncohafmuta (577957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30234892)

true..the geico ads are hilarious, but you know what? i never thought about switching my insurance to geico. every time the commercial starts i'd be thinking "oh great, it's that funny little gecko again, this should be good" instead of "how much are they going to save me this time? should i check it out?"

so that begs the question..can a commercial be so good it's bad?
Does too good a commercial, i.e. clever, funny, intriguing, hurt the message the advertiser is trying to send by distracting the viewer with humor and wit and maybe a little cleavage? So that the viewer is hoping for more humor, wit, and cleavage the next time around?
Sure, they may remember your company name. The gecko for Geico, He went to Jared, blah blah.. but that doesn't mean it gets them anything. Everybody knows the name McDonalds; doesn't mean they have great burgers. But at least they show juicy nice-looking burgers on the commercials. They don't show scantily clad women on the commercials. It would dilute the product.

To get back on-topic, i can count on one hand the number of ads i've seen on tv or online that interested me. Especially online. I've never bought anything online that was through an ad. I don't care what they say, targeting ads either tv or online still needs a lot of work. When they start hooking smart people, then i'll believe. It's easy to hook the dumb ones. And that's their bread and butter right now until they perfect targeting.

-Tony

Who the fuck still watches TV? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231654)

Seriously, who the fuck still watches TV? There hasn't been anything good on any channel for years now, not that there was much good on in the first place.

Go see a play at the local theater, watch a live band at a nearby pub, go for a walk, or read a book. Those are all much more enlightening and entertaining options.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (2, Insightful)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231744)

Um... what kind of a question is that? 99% of the US population? Oh wait, sorry, I see - you were being "ironic" and "cool" because you don't do what everybody else does. No, yeah, you're right, there's absolutely nothing of value on any television channel anywhere, and probably never has been. While we're at it, let's throw out all our radios and computers.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (2, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232214)

Reminds me of an old David Spade bit where he tells of two girls he knew in high school that would argue over who watched less television; each trying to out-bohemian the other.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231748)

Yeah, alot of people don't realize how much better life is without TV. When I moved out for the first time I didn't have the cash for cable, it was something I could live without. After 1 month of no TV I began to realize how much more time I had for things I always wanted to do. I took up sketching, I go stargazing, even started programming side projects.

TV just brings you down, even if you only watch it for an hour, after that hour you feel lazy and you just want to go to bed or play video games. It ends up ruining the whole evening. Without it, I feel obligated to DO something. Usually its absense will help me dedicate that half an hour to chores, and then I will want to do something more creative, like write a song.

Anytime I'm over visitting someone else's place, and they have the TV on, 99% of the time I can't stand what is on there, because its SO trashy. The only channel I would even bother watching now is discovery, for Mythbusters and such.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232522)

"Anytime I'm over visitting someone else's place, and they have the TV on, 99% of the time I can't stand what is on there, because its SO trashy."

Unless the TVG is holding a gun to your friends heads, it's really your friends you need to think about, not the TV.

After 8 year of no TV, we just got satellite, and it's freakin' awesome. I really enjoy having TV.
Next year we get a TiVo.

TV is just a medium. what you do with it is what counts.

"after that hour you feel lazy and you just want to go to bed or play video games."
where you hittin' the pipe at the same time?

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30236858)

The beauty of a Tivo (or MythTV or SageTV) is that you can record 10 things and then just watch 1. You don't have to be faithful and dedicated about it. You can make the whole thing into sort of a primitive video-on-demand system that includes things that would never be formally in a VOD system.

You're basically taking the possibilities present with a single fixed TV schedule and multiplying them by 1000 or 2000.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233532)

Yeah, alot of people don't realize how much better life is without TV.

Generally, yes. But you're talking about commercial television, just like people who complain about crappy radio are talking about commercial radio

I'm a regular viewer of of PBS and C-SPAN. The Charlie Rose show, for example, is probably the closest most people will get to an intelligent and informative conversation than they'll have had all year long in their personal lives, reading material included. How is that, or the latest documentary or episode of Frontline not enriching? And C-SPAN, hell, what could be more informative? Instead of reading on Slashdot re-circulated Bruce Schneier blogposts, why not watch and listen to him directly?

You need to get out more. Your comments reminds me of the time when I mentioned to a friend that I stumbled across this nutty but really well done show called A Prairie Home Companion on the radio. He told me had been a regular listener longer than he could remember.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233714)

TV just brings you down, even if you only watch it for an hour, after that hour you feel lazy and you just want to go to bed or play video games. It ends up ruining the whole evening. Without it, I feel obligated to DO something. Usually its absense will help me dedicate that half an hour to chores, and then I will want to do something more creative, like write a song.

Your neighbour called. He'd like you to watch more tv...

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246762)

I feel obligated to DO something.

I get enough of that at work, thanks.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231760)

Or sit here posting Anon on the web. Not that I disagree with any of the things you said were more entertaining or enlightening, but you know, sometimes when I am doing some housework, I like to have some pointless trashy TV going, so I can mainly focus on the housework, but feel like I am watching TV.

Yes, much of TV is crap, but you ever tried getting the latest news update on DVD at your local DVD store? How about the weather updates? TV has it's benefits.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (5, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231764)

Seriously, who the fuck still watches TV? There hasn't been anything good on any channel for years now, not that there was much good on in the first place.

All your neighbors. TV has become a "necessity". I overheard a guy complaining about his cable being out. I quote, "My children haven't had TV in two weeks!" I really had to stifle a laugh.

Go see a play at the local theater, watch a live band at a nearby pub, go for a walk, or read a book. Those are all much more enlightening and entertaining options.

Google will eventually have a system where as you enter the pub, you show your ID, and then that information will go into a database. Read a book? Google will collect the data from Visa and MC and AMEX to see what books you're reading and then use that data to market other shit to you. Local theater? Buy those ticket and well, you have to show your ID for pickup - again, data in the database. Live band? Show ID at the door and pay for those drink with your credit card? There you go.

It's not big brother. It's Google and other companies - Orwell was close. It's not the state that will spy (directly at least), it's going to be corporate American.

The state will just buy the information and technically do nothing wrong.

Technology - making life better for all.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231798)

Seriously, who the fuck still watches TV?

You do, and your Onion-esque attempts to pretend you don't aren't fooling anyone.

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231804)

Parent poster doesn't even OWN a TV [theonion.com]

Re:Who the fuck still watches TV? (1)

KraftDinner (1273626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232302)

The first two suggestions you made are quite a bit more expensive than TV. The fact that I can get an "buffet" style service for $1 a day seems like a much better deal than paying for a one time event.

If you want fewer commercials (2, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231656)

Why not just set up mythtv and have it auto-extract?

Block data collection (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231662)

These days, is there anyone left who does NOT block all these data collection and tracking things?

The trouble is that they invent them fast enough that it's hard to keep up. Web bugs, cross site scripts, I block everything I know about, but it takes a little bit of diligence to keep up with it. And some, like TIVO, you can see coming a mile off, so are easy to never start using in the first place.

If we don't stick up for a shit-free internet, soon it will all be commercialized into uselessness. TV 2.0!

Thankfully, unlike TV, it's in OUR hands, and it can only go to crap if we let it. So just block attempts at tracking everyone's every move, and problem solved.

Yes, it takes a little bit of sacrifice. But so does anything that's worth while.

Re:Block data collection (2, Informative)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232016)

These days, is there anyone left who does NOT block all these data collection and tracking things?

Most people. They either don't understand, or don't care.

Re:Block data collection (1)

happylight (600739) | more than 4 years ago | (#30235074)

I like my commercials, you insensitive clod!

Re:Block data collection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233890)

I don't see what's insightful about the parent post--the only way to totally block all this data collection stuff is to go back to using something like NCSA Mosaic.

That's right, can't even have cookies, or JavaScript. Even then there are the server logs that show the IP address and the referrer but anyway.

You know who is to blame for all this? The technological wizards, geeks, etc. who invented this stuff and failed to prevent malicious use when they deployed it. They allowed this to happen. Instead of carefully thinking about the effects of mainstream use of the technology and the potential for nefarious use, it was simply deploy first because it was "cool", because it set someone else apart from an otherwise standards compliant application (yes, that even goes as far back as Netscape Navigator's extensions beyond the HTML standard), and now--look what you have done to the web (well, besides make it so slow there are page load times even using high speed broadband internet).

Cookies? Okay, now there's state to HTML, but what did that do beyond just introducing state?

JavaScript? Okay, now pages are animated, not just static text. Again, though, what did that do beyond animating the page?

Cascading style sheets? Can't have relative page rendering, no it must look exactly like a newspaper or some artists canvas. Beyond a pixel perfect page rendering (although browsers still have rendering bugs), what else did that do? (Big hint: cross site scripting exploits).

Three easy examples, others can fill in the rest. I don't want the web to be some reporter's newspaper, some artist's canvas, or another version of television thank you very much. Want to take back the web? Start by going back to HTML 1.0, back to static text, and lose the dream of the web being an application.

Re:Block data collection (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30236900)

> I don't see what's insightful about the parent post--the only way to
> totally block all this data collection stuff is to go back to using
> something like NCSA Mosaic.
>
> That's right, can't even have cookies, or JavaScript. Even then there
> are the server logs that show the IP address and the referrer but anyway. ...you are attempting to make this rant to an audience that probably mostly all run some sort of selective script blocker already.

So of course we all know what sort of bullshit this sort of false dichotomy is.

Of course Google is not the worst thing out there in this respect either.

Technology is either in your control or you will quickly get hijacked by someone and their intentions may not be as nice as Google's.

haha all this amouts to is (2, Interesting)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231828)

a big pant-load of results based on guessing what the analyzed data means.

For example, I usually skip commercials. Sometimes when I am multi-tasking thus only half-watching I forget to skip the commercials, but I am not watching them either. And so on...

One thing I know for sure, I picked the wrong business, weathermen and marketing analysis experts amount to the same thing; getting paid for guessing with no repercussions for being wrong. A perfect job!

Re:haha all this amouts to is (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232542)

weathermen are pretty accurate most of the time, and the fact that we live in a world of 10 day forecasting is pretty amazing I remember when 3 day forecasting was cutting edge.

Atheism isn't dogma. People posit there is a God(S) with no proof and claim he has certian rules, that's dogma.

Re:haha all this amouts to is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30235176)

Atheism is typical of other religions in that it is a belief in something(s) one cannot know.

Re:haha all this amouts to is (1)

gfreeman (456642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30236584)

No, atheism is a lack of belief. Calling atheism a belief-system is like calling not collecting stamps a hobby.

TiVo for 6 years now (3, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231832)

If I was suddenly forced to watch commercials (i.e. no 30 second skip and/or no fast forward) I'd probably dump cable and just watch what I can get on Netflix instead. It would be sad though because there are down-times during the latter parts of my evenings when it's too early to go to bed but I'm too tired to do anything else and I want something passive and relatively low-bandwidth brainpower-wise to do in the meantime, and the few shows TiVo records for me are perfect for that.

Cash in weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231850)

Sounds like my kind of weather!

What's Tivo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30231896)

Is it an internet-provided TV channels service? Is it better than cable or satellite? Do they offer their services in Europe or is it blocked by IP address?

Maybe some day.. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231914)

..Google will "team up" me to extract info from my mythbackend.

Tivo was cool in its day, but part of the reason I modernized was to take total control. It's mine, all mine, and if you want a piece, you talk to me. This is why I fuckin' love Free Software.

Re:Maybe some day.. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232908)

Uhh, you have control with a Tivo.. You tell it what to record. What in the heck are you talking about?

People have been able to withdraw from the *ANONYMOUS* data collection for as long as it's been done.

Can you even record from digital channels without manually recording the output of a cable box? Multiple tuners? OTA?

Yes, I think there *is* room for something better than Tivo, I just haven't seen anyone come close *in total* yet. (I didn't like the lack of features regarding lack of editing or multi-session burning the Tivo/DVD recorder combos had, so I didn't get one.)

Re:Maybe some day.. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30236930)

> Uhh, you have control with a Tivo.. You tell it what to record. What in the heck are you talking about?

The Tivo decides what it will send back to the mothership.

The Tivo will decide whether or not you can copy something from room to room or your iPod.

The Tivo will decide whether or not commercial skipping is allowed.

The Tivo will decide whether recording is allowed at all.

Being unsure to what degree Tivo Corp was in bed with the content
providers I wanted their technology to work against was one of the
big reasons I dumped them. I got tired of their best gear not working
with the satellite providers and nonsense with commercials and needing
a special hack to enable the 30-second-skip.

Hope... (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231940)

Yeah, look where that's gotten us.

get a mythtv (2, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30231950)

then it just skips commercials without even needing a remote button push and invasion of privacy like this.

Re:get a mythtv (1)

kregg (1619907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232878)

have you got it working, doesn't work for me...

Re:get a mythtv (1)

mkendall (69179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233958)

It works pretty well most of the time for me. There are several algorithms used for program break detection. The ones that seem to work best are blank frame detection and station logo detection. I find it works well on Discovery, A&E, CBC Newsworld and Speed TV (blank frames), and AMC and other movie channels (logo detection down in the black letterbox bars). It works passably on network TV but tends to get a bit confused when they run the final seconds of the show and the credits in a sidebar next to station promos.

Re:get a mythtv (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30240500)

Wow, I had to go back a look, because mine just works. It almost always detects all the commercials on all stations. The algorithm that it uses is the combo blank frame / station logo / everything else. Works great.

I want it all (1)

Fulseman (1031990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232078)

I spend way too much money on cable every month. I don't understand why I can't "order" say Gilligan's Island (the one when they find the radioactive seeds) any time I want. I would sit through a commercial or two to be able to watch what I want. I just don't understand why the way we watch TV doesn't change. Instead of focus groups and canceled new sitcoms, let me watch what I know I already want to watch, then I'll watch the commercials too. How is "The Greatest American Hero" (the first episode they get to meet the aliens) worth more sitting in some vault worth more to the TV folks than me watching what I want and willing to sit through a sales pitch?

Re:I want it all (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232924)

Netflix has the 3 seasons of Gilligan's Island for rent (I just checked). They also have a bunch of other movies/old TV shows (not GI, except for one of the followup TV movies) available for streaming though.

Re:I want it all (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30237030)

???

BUY them if you like them so much.

The whole Gilligan's Island series can be had for dirt cheap at Walmart.

TGAH is a little more expensive because it's a bit of a cult show.

I Agree (1)

KraftDinner (1273626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232244)

Fewer commercials? Not a chance. I think what we'll find is more channels being shown to people who just skip over them.

The choke hold of google (4, Interesting)

gamecrusader (1684024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232288)

This article just makes me hate google more and more, you have no idea how many patents they have covering every aspect of every possible search engine. Isn't google using illegal means to gain information for their, financial gain then to bombard us with advertisements. This has to come an end, how far can a company go before it gets out of hand. the way this is going googles going to get worse than microsoft, thats a complement microsoft. Isn't this a breach of privacy? How bad will it become before, anyone will put their foot down? Also, Isn't it illegal with the methods that the networks are using to get personal information, in order to fine tune the battering ram of advertisements the besiege us with every day? Isn't time for the government to put their foot down. For the right of privacy of every person in this country, along with the world, as google's masive hand starts to cover the world.

Re:The choke hold of google (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232628)

If Microsoft had done this, it would have been hoarsely cried upon from rooftops with evil and big brother thrown in liberally. When Google does it, there is a positive spin given to it saying that it could mean fewer commercials.
Oh the duplicacy....
The above one is the only comment that I have seen crying foul, others all skip the issue in different ways. And the score was 1..

Nowadays I read slashdot with the same perspective that I read the inquirer or fox news or msnbc knowing that I should take every sentence that they write with a pinch of salt, with lots of skepticism and knowledge of the fact that these are zealots and will distorts facts. Sad. Pretty soon I will stop reading it as it is not news, but slant propaganda

Re:The choke hold of google (1)

1000Monkeys (593520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30234124)

Well, the parent makes all of its points in the form of a question, and from watching fox news and msnbc I've learned that any time someone asks a leading question to make a point, the question can almost always be answered "no." Let's try it out:

- Isn't this a breach of privacy? No, it's aggregated data, there's nothing personally identifiable about it
- Also, Isn't it illegal with the methods that the networks are using to get personal information, in order to fine tune the battering ram of advertisements the besiege us with every day? No, but it's not even relevant because personal information isn't involved.

See: http://www.pcworld.com/article/183054/the_googletivo_deal_what_it_means_for_you.html [pcworld.com] .

Re:The choke hold of google (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30237272)

> - Isn't this a breach of privacy? No, it's aggregated data, there's nothing personally identifiable about it ...only assuming they did everything technically correct, there's no problems with their methodology and they are actually telling the truth.

That's depending on both Tivo and Google to be both correct and "non-evil".

Re:The choke hold of google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30232910)

Tivo has been selling this data for years. How is it wrong for Google to make it available to their advertisers, and how could they possibly correlate aggregate TV data to anything else they own?

Re:The choke hold of google (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30234842)

I don't understand your problem, are they holding a gun to your head?

Commercials on TiVo? (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232320)

Watching commercials on a Tivo Now i live in Canada, so I don't have Tivo, but I have the equivalent in Canadian terms. My question is this. Why would anyone in their right mind watch commercials. That's like buying a car and then pushing it around yourself. Definitely not taking advantage of the technology.

Re:Commercials on TiVo? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232570)

because the need time to go take a piss or get a drink?
Advertiser are well aware this happens, why do tyou think the volume jumps for commercial? so you can hear it in another room.

Beside, you would make a judgment, but instead look at the data. If you asked me 10 years ago if the music industry would still exists as the giant corporation they are, I would have said no way. Turns out most people will buy music online.

Actually... (1)

ivonic (972040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232348)

Actually it probably means advert placements for those demographics that skip ads become cheaper, whilst those that actually watch adverts become more expensive. Not a massive shift, but expect to see the cheap slots becoming less sophisticated, and open to ever-smaller companies, which could be a good thing.

Alternatively, maybe the ad-breaks for the skipping-demographics will get shorter, to discourage people from skipping, so ensuring they watch the bother to watch 1 advert that is on (rather than skipping all 20).

Re:Actually... (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232696)

Think again. I propose:

1) "This channel/show is no longer profitable, cancel it"
2) "We are not getting as much per slot as we expect, so lets just make more slots. Just double the commercial breaks and cut the length of the commercial breaks by one third."
3) "let's increase cable rates. Er, more than we originally planned"

Google is being clever (1)

TadMSTR (996071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232678)

If they are able to provide target ads for viewers, this could be good for digital video distribution. This market really needs to go and improve. Cable TV is too overpriced for the "content" they provide. We put the phone on the internet and now its time to put the TV there as well.

Is Google becoming more evil than MS? (3, Informative)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232720)

While an a purely ethics level I don't care for MS's business practices at least they tend to usually just screw other businesses, Google frankly scares the crap out of me. Its pretty easy to avoid MS but avoiding becoming a google statistic is becoming increasingly impossible.

Easily Fixed! (There's a business idea in this...) (3, Interesting)

ivi (126837) | more than 4 years ago | (#30232834)

If Google or others sites are recording & selling our search keys, here's a solution:

- develop an application that - while our browser is idle -
      selects BOGUS search keys AT RANDOM and sends
      them to Google as if we'd entered them in real searches

Ie, feed Google a "noisy" stream of search keys, at about
the same speed as we'd be sending them, if they were
real searches.

I have no doubt that such an application would become
very popular, very soon...

Any takers?

PS Are there any such applications in existence today?

Re:Easily Fixed! (There's a business idea in this. (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233072)

I don't think such a thing would be popular. Most people don't care, but those few that do would find it easier to use a service with a better privacy policy. Perhaps Bing or Yahoo! could profit from the backlash in the unlikely event that one should materialize.

Re:Easily Fixed! (There's a business idea in this. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233092)

Firefox addon TrackMeNot does this. Been using it for eons.

Re:Easily Fixed! (There's a business idea in this. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30236120)

If Google or others sites are recording & selling our search keys, here's a solution:

- develop an application that - while our browser is idle -

      selects BOGUS search keys AT RANDOM and sends

      them to Google as if we'd entered them in real searches

Ie, feed Google a "noisy" stream of search keys, at about
the same speed as we'd be sending them, if they were
real searches.

I have no doubt that such an application would become
very popular, very soon...

Any takers?

PS Are there any such applications in existence today?

Track Me Not

http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/trackmenot/index.html [nyu.edu]

Re:Easily Fixed! (There's a business idea in this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244084)

PS Are there any such applications in existence today?

TrackMeNot [nyu.edu]

Yep. TrackMeNot's been available for a little while.

And here's Bruce Schneier's reason [schneier.com] not to use it.

You could also try CustomizeGoogle [customizegoogle.com] or the Scroogle [scroogle.org] scraper...

Re:Easily Fixed! (There's a business idea in this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30236746)

trackmenot [nyu.edu]

Re:Easily Fixed! (There's a business idea in this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30242792)

TrackMeNot Firefox plug-in. It uses an rss feed of the New York Times front page to pull terms and search spam 5 different search engines, including Google. It can be set to 10 a minute, 1 a minute, 1 an hour, etc.

I'm not the developer, just a fan.

m&od up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233152)

[idge.ne7]

TROLL (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233294)

Pro6ect sbomewhere

Get satellite TV. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30233790)

With either Dish or DirectTV, there is no way for them to collect data on you but the boxes you put in your living room do all the same stuff: record tv, let you skip ahead, etc. The interface isn't as slick as TiVo but I can live with that.

DirectTV does have a phone cord that they encourage you to plug in (you need it for "on-demand" tv show purchasing) but I've left it unplugged for 4 years and I have no problems. I'm sure the unit tracks what I record, watch or listen to but that data doesn't get back to the mothership.

But if you've got Comcastic Internet and Comcastic TV so that you get a better price, well that better price is what you're selling your privacy to them for.

Fewer commercials, no, but maybe... (1)

prograde (1425683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233854)

The most likely outcome of this is that the networks will finally start an arms race on commercial avoidance strategies.

I really don't get why it is that they still make all of the commercials exactly 30 seconds in length. Ten years ago, I had a VCR with a button that would fast-forward 30 seconds and stop.

Today, MythTV does a darned good job of auto-flagging commercials, and then auto-skipping them for me. And the default fast-forward time is that magical 30 seconds. I haven't watched a commercial in years. I mean, really, VCR manufacturers had it figured out a decade ago, and the networks haven't caught on yet!?!

(OK, if this post is what finally gives the networks a clue, then feel free to hunt me down. I'd deserve it.)

tivo's opt out option (3, Informative)

sdnoob (917382) | more than 4 years ago | (#30233972)

absolutely no mention in TFA of tivo's existing opt-out policy (keeps your tivo from reporting usage and viewing history of your box) and if it will also apply to google's sticky fingers.

Relevance (1)

scarlac (768893) | more than 4 years ago | (#30234566)

(...) Does this mean fewer commercials for viewers? Not likely, but one can hope.

Quite possibly not. It would mean more relevant commercials and less annoying flashing and screaming ads. Before Google entered, advertising on the internet with mere text was unheard of. By using very relevant ads both viewers/users and companies benefit. The issue with todays TV ads is that they are highly irrelevant. It's up to the company to make sure the ad gets displayed at the right time of day. Perhaps Google could improve upon this, so some of us can be freed of vacuum cleaner ads, unless they are robots.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?