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!

A TV That Knows and Shares What You're Watching

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can't-hide-your-jersey-shore-addiction-from-skynet dept.

Television 168

holy_calamity writes "A technology will be appearing soon in TVs that fingerprints what is onscreen and sends that information to an internet server able to identify the content, whether it's live TV or another source, like a DVD. Web pages and mobile apps using the same connection as the TV can access that information using an API, allowing online content to dynamically provide relevant information and ads to be more targeted. Startup Flingo, which developed the technology, says one of the top 5 TV brands in the US will launch a set with the Sync Apps system in coming months."

cancel ×

168 comments

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

No thanks, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37145806)

I do not want this technology.

I have a solution. (3, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145976)

See that ethernet port on the back of your tv? don't plug anything in to it.

Your tv have wireless (snazzy!) don't give it your wireless password.

Your tv secretly connecting to the 3g cellular network to report back information? A. who cares it doesn't know who you are anyway and B. start up a class action lawsuit... or C. search the web until you find www.sonytv-hacks.com and follow their instructions to load custom firmware on your tv that lets you use the secret 3g connection as a tether'd internet connection and subsequently torrent anonymously to your heart's connent.

TL;DR: you have nothing to worry about.

Re:I have a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146068)

or C. search the web until you find www.sonytv-hacks.com and follow their instructions to load custom firmware on your tv that lets you use the secret 3g connection as a tether'd internet connection and subsequently torrent anonymously to your heart's connent.

It violates the warranty on the TV.

Re:I have a solution. (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146106)

if it's Sony, you'll probably just be able to load it dynamically off of a modified usb stick.

Re:I have a solution. (1)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146344)

Voiding the occasional warranty is all part of being a power user!

It only affects you negatively if you (A) need repairs and/or (B) paid extra for the warranty... The device doesn't disable itself if you void the warranty. You just lose a benefit that doesn't amount to insurance, but could be useful if the product proves defective.

Some stores' and credit cards' extended warranties supercede the manufacturers' warranties anyway, so you should be okay. Not that I condone buying additional warranties for reasons like this... It doesn't seem ethical. I guess you have to balance reasonable with legal these days :(

Re:I have a solution. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146428)

See that ethernet port on the back of your tv? don't plug anything in to it.

But it's probably running Windows 8, so it won't boot without an Internet connection.

Re:I have a solution. (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146442)

See that ethernet port on the back of your tv? don't plug anything in to it.

Your tv have wireless (snazzy!) don't give it your wireless password.

Your tv secretly connecting to the 3g cellular network to report back information? A. who cares it doesn't know who you are anyway and B. start up a class action lawsuit... or C. search the web until you find www.sonytv-hacks.com and follow their instructions to load custom firmware on your tv that lets you use the secret 3g connection as a tether'd internet connection and subsequently torrent anonymously to your heart's connent.

TL;DR: you have nothing to worry about.

See that bidirectional HDMI cable to your set-top box? Wonder what it's talking about.

Re:I have a solution. (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146576)

See that bidirectional HDMI cable to your set-top box? Wonder what it's talking about.

Don't have a set-top box. I've got a blu-ray player (no internet connection), an xbox 360 (no internet connectino), a ps-3 ( withpurposely broken DNS resolution), and a wii.

I suppose it might be pushing out through the Wii... but I can just firewall that as soon as I find out what ports it is using.

Re:I have a solution. (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146482)

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't let you do that.

Re:No thanks, (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146006)

I second that; I'm not willing to pay extra for this, and even then there had better be a way to completely and verifiably turn it off.

Re:No thanks, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146144)

Don't worry, it is already there, installed, by factory default settings.

Re:No thanks, (2)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146392)

I'll tell you the same thing I tell those religious fanatics that try to keep women from being able to have abortions: If you're against it, then don't do it!

Re:No thanks, (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147040)

Except in this case, the abortions happen automatically and without your knowledge and consent.

The only way to avoid them is to buy a farm and go live with the Amish.

Re:No thanks, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147138)

Maybe it would have a less harmless connotation if we called it what it actually is: I'll tell you the same thing I tell those religious fanatics that try to keep women from being able to "kill their unborn babies by sucking their brains out, and without anesthesia."

Re:No thanks, (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147168)

I think you are referring to partial-birth abortions...that's not what I was talking about, but at least you were able to provide your dramatic flair. Bravo!

Re:No thanks, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147044)

Gee... I have a Miso account that allows me to say what i am watching - if I want to. Why do I need something that does it automatically?

first step.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37145808)

probably a first step responsible for IP TV to go mainstream....

Big Brother is watching. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37145814)

Orwell called, he wants his dystopia back.

big content is watching you (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146390)

we're already half way there; all the people with TV equipped with network port, do you know what it has been transmitting when it's not streaming video for you?

Re:big content is watching you (0)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147020)

In Soviet Russia, TV watches you!

www.pornwatchers.org (4, Funny)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145836)

Find out who is watching what: Only $10/month for unlimited access!

A fine business opportunity: (1)

ClayDowling (629804) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145854)

Selling firewalls that block the Big Brother connection.

Re:A fine business opportunity: (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145942)

Don't give it an internet connection. Problem solved.

Re:A fine business opportunity: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146014)

But it'll be logged internally and the first time you hook up to use it for Netflix, Hulu, Vudu or whatever other service, you lose.

Re:A fine business opportunity: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146086)

Doesn't have to be your net connection, could just as easily be a 3G deal with the $BIG_BROTHER companies. How will you know what your TV is doing? This tech already lives in dirt cheap e-book readers, adding $5 to a $2000+ HDTV will be picked up by those spying on you. The data amount is trivial, no cost to the MAFIAA, who'll pass it on to you via cable subs.

Do you even know what's inside your current TV? Have you looked at the boards, or are you waiting for a website to tell you?

Surely you jest! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146358)

"HDTV will be picked up by those spying on you. "

You're joking aren't you? They will never absorb the extra cost. They will pass on the cost to you, they just will not tell you about it!

Re:A fine business opportunity: (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146566)

They already know what you are watching, this is reported by your cable set top box. What, you thought those had one way communication only?

Re:A fine business opportunity: (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146738)

What cable box?

Re:A fine business opportunity: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146956)

Because people only watch stuff on Cable... they don't use:

DVD Players
BluRay Players
PS3
XBOX
VHS
Hulu
Phones with HDMI out
etc...

Cable tracks all of those?

Re:A fine business opportunity: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146316)

Except that both the programming information and the big brother traffic will go over a VPN that your firewall isn't going to have the keys to. You want the programming guide, BB gets the data. As for me, Usenet works fine.

Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37145866)

What could possibly go wrong?

I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145870)

If my viewership can help the obscure shows I like get some advertiser love, I'm fine with my TV "reporting" on me. Back in the day, they apparently only gave Nielsen boxes to hillbillies in trailer parks (who apparently weren't big Firefly fans). I even volunteered to be a "Nielsen family," but I guess they didn't give them to single geeks. In fact, the only Nielsen family I ever even met was a family of local rednecks in my hometown when I was a kid. They were barely literate and I'm not even sure how they filled out their weekly paperwork (this was before the set-top boxes). I think they probably just randomly checked boxes, which may explain how "The Love Boat" ran for eight seasons.

Now, having said that, there *are* limits. DON'T YOU BE REPORTING ON MY PORN! THAT'S WILLIE'S TIME!!!

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (5, Funny)

Sentry23 (447266) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146018)

Now, having said that, there *are* limits.DON'T YOU BE REPORTING ON MY PORN! THAT'S WILLIE'S TIME!!!

If anybody needed a good example what a difference an apostrophe can make, this seems like a good one.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146834)

Now, having said that, there *are* limits.DON'T YOU BE REPORTING ON MY PORN! THAT'S WILLIE'S TIME!!!

If anybody needed a good example what a difference an apostrophe can make, this seems like a good one.

LMAO but what if they reported on your porn? Don't you think Willie would like more black trann hooker porn? Better listen to your Willie, he's feeling left out.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (-1, Flamebait)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146160)

Just because they make less money than you or may be less educated than you doesn't mean that they are stupid or enjoy insipid TV programming.

Myself, I thought Firefly was stupid beyond belief, but -- hey -- different people like different things.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146276)

spoken like a hillibilly

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146326)

Just because they make less money than you or may be less educated than you doesn't mean that they are stupid

They wouldn't let their kids watch Buck Rogers because his robot friend was an affront to Jesus. I wish I were joking.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146178)

This is the only possible upside I can see. It seems all the shows that everyone loves do poorly in the ratings (Firefly), while the crappy stuff (Glee, Jersey Shore) scores high enough to keep it around.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (2)

slew (2918) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146214)

I think you are mistaken on the economics of TV shows. The viewership (and the resultant ad-rates for the first airing), are only a small part of the equation. There's the aspect of the actual startup cost of the show too.

That's why there are all the reality shows out there today. Reality shows have lower production costs (but also have lower-re-run value) so although they make less money over time, they make more profit up front. "The Love Boat" (and similar series that feature washed-up actors/actresses), were also reasonably cheap to produce like soap-operas.

I'll be willing to bet that the shows like Firefly had reasonably high production costs and relatively lower viewership for the first airings.

So when Fox could air a different program in the same slot and get about the same amount of add revenue and pay a different production company less money, what do you think they will do?

Sure, they could take a piece of the action and invest in the show now and hope that it does better, but the production company is betting the other way (that they will make most of their money in syndication after the TV network takes some of the up-front risk). Unfortunately, most TV execs are very loathe to take any risks at all as much of the money in syndication is not made by them (but by the production company), but their job depends on the current revenue. Although production companies are designed to "lose" money initially, they don't necessarily want to charge too much less (gotta pay those actors, writers, and directors). So unless a TV show can generate a reasonable profit (revenue-costs) out of the gate, the networks won't give the production company enough time to make enough episodes to be profitable in syndication and the whole thing just dies out.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146374)

True. But viewership is a pretty important part of the equation. I'd hate to think of a good show dying because no one realizes how many people are really watching.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (2)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146236)

I've actually been a Nielsen family twice. The first time I still had a TV, but no antenna or cable hookup. (I had a VCR though.) Second time, I didn't even have a TV.

I tried explaining this to them, but they could never quite get the concept...

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146616)

You Don’t Own a TV? What’s All Your Furniture Pointed At?

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147056)

I had a Nielsen book once. i didn't watch any tv the whole time i had it. I sent back a blank book. easiest $10 i ever made.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146794)

If the technology can be disabled in an options menu, sure, why not? Otherwise it seems like snooping.

If they know more about who watches what, that, as you said, can be a good thing. It means things that are watched can survive longer.

Re:I actually WANT my TV reporting on me (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146812)

I even volunteered to be a "Nielsen family," but I guess they didn't give them to single geeks.

Huh. I suppose you got all that education, and still don't understand the meaning of the word "family".

"Hillbillies". "Trailer parks". "Rednecks". Wow, keep the class-based racial hatred flowing, shall we? Basing your prejudices on a sample size of one...that's a real way to show your education has enlightened you, eh? What would you call these people were they dark-skinned? More to the point, what would we call you?

And most of the targeted ads... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37145872)

...end up being the result of porn.

What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37145874)

At least I'll know what kind of TV not to buy.

donotwant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37145876)

Where's the donotwant tag when you need it?

Let's use Clippy Too! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145878)

"Hi. I see you are watching "HalfBreeds Gone Wild. Would you like to subscribe to "Obama's Adult Fan Club?"

(Not making this up! Hulu already does this!)

Re:Let's use Clippy Too! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146254)

(Not making this up! Hulu already does this!)

Hulu has a channel "Obama's Adult Fan Club"?

I get why vendors want this (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145936)

I get why vendors want this feature, I just don't see what is in it for the people who actually buy the TVs. I remember having the same feeling when Microsoft was touting how VIsta would have this stuff in it that would make it harder for people to copy copyrighted material.

Re:I get why vendors want this (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146080)

"...I just don't see what is in it for the people who actually buy the TVs." Consumer whores?

Re:I get why vendors want this (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146310)

I get why vendors want this feature, I just don't see what is in it for the people who actually buy the TVs. I remember having the same feeling when Microsoft was touting how VIsta would have this stuff in it that would make it harder for people to copy copyrighted material.

The set will probably also include offerings like Google TV, Netflix, and other content you might actually want (we've already seen that). I'd guess this other technology won't be an announced feature, or at best the notification will be buried on page 122 under footnote 34 using very convoluted language.

bye bye.... (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 3 years ago | (#37145982)

Guess this is the end for "Big Brother" since it will be in every home soon enough....

Re:bye bye.... (2)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146570)

On the contrary, this now means that Cablevision and friends will be carrying at least several million new channels, and they can up the monthly price! It's a win-win (for the cable guys)!

Tuned Channel + TV Guide data... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146008)

Seems kind of redundant really. Unless it is spying on you while you are watching your personal media collection, there is a playback mechanism that already has sufficient information on what you are watching to precisely identify what you are watching.

I tweaked my MythTV setup to enable this very sort of thing. I would expect an outbreak of spastic paranoia if such features were in the official version though.

Makes it easy to see that I am watching entirely too much TV though... and what it might cost to replicate same with iTunes.

Isn't Tivo already spying on people like this?

Likewise Netflix and Apple could do the same.

It *IS* spying on you while you are watching... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146112)

Unless it is spying on you while you are watching your personal media collection

FROM TFA:

The system can identify any content onscreen, whatever the source, whether live TV, DVDs or movie files playing from a computer.

Re:It *IS* spying on you while you are watching... (1)

edraven (45764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146938)

Actually, from TFSummary...

"A technology will be appearing soon in TVs that fingerprints what is onscreen and sends that information to an internet server able to identify the content, whether it's live TV or another source, like a DVD."

Re:It *IS* spying on you while you are watching... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146960)

...and in all other cases it is REDUNDANT.

There are simply much more accurate ways to determine what is being watched.

This ls much like taking a Ferrari down to the corner store to get some milk.

If used as a replacement for Neilsen Ratings... (3, Interesting)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146074)

If used as a replacement for Neilsen Ratings then I would actually be all for this, as long as the data was properly anonymized (or only searchable/exported with an obscure TV ID or Viewer ID, and not easily identifiable information). I don't mind advertisers knowing which shows are more popular, but I'd rather that neither they or any other entity tracks all my TV viewership for the sake of either custom-tailoring ads/junk/spam at me or monitoring me specifically.

Judging by what is on TV right now, I think we need to try an alternative to Neilsen Ratings to see if that fixes anything ... or at least confirms that humanity isn't worth saving.

Re:If used as a replacement for Neilsen Ratings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146388)

Anonymized - yeah right. It will be, right up until someone in law enforcement thinks he can show you watched an episode of Law and Order and used it as a model for murder. Then, subpoena in hand, data on 10,000 users will be handed over and everyone's viewing habits will be available to any halfway decent hacker.

Re:If used as a replacement for Neilsen Ratings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146660)

Yeah. Even if they used the info to target ads for me, I'd still be all for it if they replaced Neilsen Ratings with this. Of course, I'd probably be inundated with sitcom-related ads from whenever my sister commandeers the TV (which can happen for several hours a day), but it's a small price to pay.

Re:If used as a replacement for Neilsen Ratings... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146754)

I've just about given up watching shows that haven't made it at least one season. I've just started getting into too many shows that were subsequently canceled before they had a chance. And I double don't want Fox as they seem to be the worst offender.

Vote with your wallet (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146076)

If enough people refuse to buy it- they'll stop selling it.

Guess I bought my TV's just in time? (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146092)

Or will they be obsoleting the non-net-aware ones via HDCP so we all have to upgrade?

(bend over backwards to not obsolete first-gen tech .. anyone remember NTSC-M?)

Re:Guess I bought my TV's just in time? (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146234)

Ugh. Markup fail. Should have said:
(remembers when TV standards groups used to bend over backwards to not obsolete first-gen tech ..

Let me see if I've got this right... (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146114)

They want to sell me a TV that tracks what I do and gives that information to others who's only interest is selling me things based on my TV viewing habits?

Why on earth would anyone want a TV that targets spam at them? I suppose if someone were to get the TV for free, they would put up with the spam. But I can't see that as being a huge customer base. Then again, we're talking about the TV viewing public. I wouldn't have though there was much of a market for inane reality shows. I guess I'm just overestimating the intelligence of the TV viewing public.

Re:Let me see if I've got this right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146540)

Exactly. What I want is the opposite. A TV that I can tell what I want to see and it downloads the content for free. Without ads and definitely without telling anyone what I'm watching. And I basically have it already. It's just the fine tuning left and I'm sure that' will sort itself out., Sorry, but the networks need to die, the record labels as well. Along with ads. Thank you very much.

Re:Let me see if I've got this right... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146804)

Because they'll include it in all new TVs and eventually the old ones will break.

shit like this (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146190)

is exactly why i gave up television 10 years ago. Its not designed for entertainment, its designed for marketing.

I can just as easily sit down with a copy dune that i own and read it cover to cover to my hearts content, without anyone interrupting me every five to seven minutes trying to get me to buy a sugary energy drink or cell phone or car.

and unlike E-Readers, revoking a copy of a real book after ive purchased it is much more likely to get your face broken.

Re:shit like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147034)

My, you really are a special little snowflake, aren't you?

Re:shit like this (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147154)

You mean "unlike the Kindle", right? My ereader has a single owner, and that is me.

not sure I want... (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146206)

A TV that knows when I am tugging on my junk just so it can nark to my computers and suggest I do it more.

FTA (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146212)

All of this occurs with the permission of the television's owner, says Harrison. The first time the TV is switched on, it asks users if they would like to opt in to the data-sharing service. If they say yes, it prompts them to accept a terms-of-service agreement. Individual sites and apps must ask for, and be granted, permission to access the data the TV makes available.

So .. does opting out turn off the data feed from the TV, or does it just flag itself as opted out?

Can opting out only be done at the first turn-on, or is it available later on through the setup menu? And if you opt in later, can you opt out again or are you locked in?

How long will it be before scripts get out into the wild that let your 1337 h4x0r neighbor kid eavesdrop on your TV watching habits because you're still running WEP on your wireless network?

Inquiring minds want to know ..

How is this different from phone tracking.... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146230)

..... the fact is, it is providing information to someone about what you are doing. Cell phone companies are facing law suits that are all about privacy concerns. If Cell phone companies are not supposed to track your location, how does the Broadcast Media industry think they have rights to relay information back to 3rd parties about what you watch in the privacy of your own home? Will they add little camera to your TV so as to video you in your home, to monitor what product you might be using so as to further focus their advertisements to you?

I may learn to soon love life without TV.

Re:How is this different from phone tracking.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146516)

I loved that comment about the TV networks spying on you with a little camera.
I guess after a million of so people jerking off/Having sex/farting or just exposing themselves in front of the camera just to let the 'watchers' see them they might think again about doing this.

Seriously, this is just stupid. IF anyone with a half decent mind signs up for this then thay should be taken away in a straight jacket.
There is no way I would ever allow anything like this in my home.

And for anyone who proposes this then I'd set the papparazzi on them 24/7 for a year. Let them see how it feels.

No No and thrice no.

No problem (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146258)

Just don't buy the damn thing.

DVDs now? That's new. (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146268)

Every major cable provider tracks what you watch already. Your cable box asks the provider for a particular show, and that request is logged. The logs are collected and reports are generated. This has been going on for many years, and no, you don't need to consent.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, but I do wonder how many of the folks saying they'll never buy these TVs because of privacy concerns already use cable.

Re:DVDs now? That's new. (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146466)

Why hasn't Nielsen incorporated this dataset into their ratings system? Their current sample size is quite small.

Re:DVDs now? That's new. (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#37147004)

What market advantage would that give Comcast?

Re:DVDs now? That's new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146656)

Damn.. that sucks.. I leave my cable box running all the time and just turn the TV off.. My girlfriend watches MTV in the morning before leaving for work..

Re:DVDs now? That's new. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146768)

Every major cable provider tracks what you watch already. Your cable box asks the provider for a particular show, and that request is logged.

Uh, comparing what cable TV companies do today vs. this technology is like trying to compare little league to MLB. You're not even close.

This covers every single thing that forms an image on your TV. We're talking your personal DVD collection. Perhaps home movies. Perhaps you'll throw in a picture CD you recently got from a family member in your DVD player or computer hooked up to your HDTV. Yeah, remember how eerily accurate Picasa was with their facial recognition technology, automatically "sorting" your photos for you? Yeah, now imagine that with every single thing that anyone ever views on a TV in a household.

And just when I think to myself "that's stupid, no one will ever buy a TV with that technology", I'm reminded about the endless seas of ignorance that is Facebook. I'm sure we'll read about record sales very soon. Privacy concerns are no longer a concern for the masses apparently.

Re:DVDs now? That's new. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146994)

...which is a vanishingly small set of what anyone would be interested in really.

If your set top box can't identify it, then it's likely not something that is worth monitoring or should be monitored.

Big Brother is really redundant here.

So, what's in it for the viewer? (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146288)

Or is this just one of those things that are going to happen in a cartel kind of way, like HDMI and plugging the analog hole?

Who is the driver? (1)

Marc Madness (2205586) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146300)

This system has the same problem as photo-radar speed traps: you can identify the vehicle, but not necessarily the driver.

Seems to me that if the data gathered from the TV is correlated to users on-line utilizing the same internet connection, it should be possible for someone to get some idea of what other people in the same household have been watching (or possibly are watching at the time, which if you are clever can be done remotely). This could also become annoying for others in the household. For example: I could be watching football while my girlfriend surfs the internet. Even though she might be on the internet to avoid watching football, will she be bombarded with football related advertisement?

Does it find piracy too? (2)

Ken_g6 (775014) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146304)

As long as a TV is identifying content, does it also identify pirated content? (A show that looks like a known show, but in poorer quality, for instance?) If so, does it report me to the MAFIAA?

This looks like a slippery slope.

Re:Does it find piracy too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146544)

This was my first thought.

Who exactly gets access to this? Why would I want anybody that I don't allow into my home seeing what's on my screen? Will it detect computer-like elements on a screen like a mouse pointer or icons? Then they'll have a shiny new statistic about piracy at home, regardless of whether it's true or not.

If this actually takes off, I'll bet you the first time they use it against a citizen is in a 'for the children' case. Then precedent is set, and everybody else is up for grabs.

i love it (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146308)

recent news reports are describing a sinister technology being developed by a company named "flingo" next up, an impressive implementation for automated human euthanization has been patented by boobytoo, a new startup out of silicon valley

Re:i love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37146730)

If your shift key is broken, check the other side of the keyboard. Oftentimes you'll find a spare there.

Oh okay, I will bite (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146324)

One of the few shows I watch is Have I Got News For you. I also admit to having liked Miranda... so you are going to give me ads for loud shirts, big girls clothes and boring suits?

Well, they sure got my number.

Except I don't wear suits, my shirts are black and I am not a big girl.

Most people just don't ads, targetted or otherwise. Stop listening to focus groups, only inbred mutants ever volunteer for them. Ask around, who do you know that has ever been in one?

Now there is a group who likes ads but they tend to be the sort that are a bit... stupid. The kind who want a hat just like XXX who is having their 15 minutes of fame. That is not a large enough group for advertisers.

Stuff like this is very old, there are countless attempts to get people to consume advertising. QR codes? OLD hate, barcodes were earlier. CueCat anyone? Total failure. People just ain't that into ads. Most ads realize this and therefor different from the advertising in a supermarket where an ad is a sign telling you this item can be bought for this right now. Rather a car ad wants to create a feeling with you so that in future, that feeling might come back when you are considering buying a car. People aren't going to jump up from their TV show to google that car the criminal was driving. Or stop their movie evening to google what her names dress.

Oh a small percentage might but are they going to buy a new TV just for that?

So you have a subset of a subset and then they have to agree to buy THAT tv and not one of the countless other models.

Not enough of a market. These things NEED mass adoption in a small time frame to survive. Nothing has worked in the past. Just name one of the countless once introcuced over time that have made it. A free cuecat for the winner.

Re:Oh okay, I will bite (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146976)

QR codes are actually helpful and they're standardized in a way that works. The problem with CueCat was that it required that you have a specific device and in order to make use of the device you had to have advertising that was support it. They weren't ever able to solve the chicken and egg problem and failed.

QR OTOH doesn't require special technology, there's at least one app for both iPhone and Android and including the code is actually somewhat desirable as there's tons of folks with compatible devices.

Spoof an IP (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146546)

If I had one of these tvs I'd spoof my neighbor's IP and then leave a XXX porn dvd playing on auto-repeat.

Already have it covered... (1)

MindSlap (640263) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146654)

Tho I dont like where this is technology is going...I'm not worried. I've already covered rouge TV communications nearly a year ago.
Its called a ROUTER.
My current TV has ethernet, and yes, its jacked into my local network. It has access to a local DNLA server for local media.
Being one to not allow a TV unfettered access to the net...the TV has a static IP, and any attempts to get to the net are slammed at the router. The rule is lifted only occasionally if I want to check for software updates.
So...considering this crowd, I dont think the media corps will be getting their marketing info from anybody 'round here.
No..my set doesnt have any 'net apps'. And even if it did, rules restricting connections can easily be created to connections only "I" approve of...

Take Control (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146694)

I think now, more than ever, it is more important to take control of your gateway router/box and DNS so that you can limit the outgoing data and control what is being sent and when. Anyone know of a web-based service I can run that will easily let me review and tinker with out-bound fw rules?

I think I have a solution (1)

lazlo (15906) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146796)

here's my idea for a solution to this: Make a home movie. Play it on the TV. Sue the TV manufacturer for violating your copyright to your home movie by creating and distributing a derivative work. Profit.

Soon? There website says it is in homes already (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146972)

Soon? Their website says it is in homes already. http://www.flingo.org/developers.html [flingo.org] "Flingo connects with any TV that runs a Flingo-enabled application. It's already in millions of living rooms!" Here is the section that talks about how it works."Flingo-enabled devices such as connected TVs and blu-ray players announce to flingo.tv by sending an HTTP request. A Flingo-enabled web site later discovers Flingo-enabled devices by sending an HTTP request to flingo.tv using cross-site scripting. flingo.tv then returns a list of all Flingo-enabled devices sitting behind the same public IP as the browser." The strange on is that the website can control the TV. So I can see TV stations of the future hijacking what I'm watching. Say I'm watching something and my wife is surfing the web. She goes to a website about dogs, my show on how to BBQ automatically switches over to a dog show now. Talk about problems. Quote "So far we have discussed using Flingo to tell a TV to play or queue a video. However, Flingo can be used to communicate arbitrary messages so long as the Flingo-enabled application in the receiving device is written to understand them. As such Flingo can be used to remote control TV applications, manage the user's queue, or do whatever interesting thing someone in the Flingo community can imagine." Things are going to be quite interesting in the future. They will know my age, gender, race, family members, shows I watch and how many times, did I fast forward, rewind, etc, tie that into the neighborhood stats (age area, avg income level, etc) and then tie that into any other print or subscription services, like gym memberships, reward programs that I belong to, etc. Then tie that into products that I purchased around the time an advertisement was played at me and tada! they know me better than I know my self.

This has real possibilities (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#37146980)

You are think of this all wrong. rather than view it as yet another intrusive attempt to gather data and make money off of it; think of it as an opportunity to Slashdot ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H educate content creators

1. Hook up an IR sender to your computer

Scrape TV listings

Create open source show selector, channel changer, and URL generator

Watch favorite show 24/7

Profit? That's the content creators problem, you just don't want your show cancelled.

Seriously, properly done the noise will cancel out the signal. Even better of course, would be a spoofed data stream....

What's with the corporate names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147162)

Flingo? Zoosk?

Why don't these companies name themselves something respectable? How is anyone with half a brain supposed to take these companies seriously?

Reminds me of the SNL skit - www.clownpenis.fart

Ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37147174)

If I'm paying for the hardware, and paying for the service, I shouldn't get any ads at all. I know this isn't the case in current society, but that's how I decide to use my spending money.

Now, if you want to give me the TV for free, then we can talk about delivering ads to me.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?