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Bluetooth Ads Beamed from Billboards

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the ever-expanding-market-droid dept.

Handhelds 231

dylanduck writes "Billboards in the UK have been using Bluetooth to beam media clips at passing cellular phones. The system has been dubbed Bluecasting and 17,000 people accepted the ads. When billboards know your name that's when to really worry."

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Hmmm (5, Funny)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | about 9 years ago | (#13375236)

Hope someone hacks it and starts bluecasting goatse in its place.

BlueTooth Hacking billboards! (5, Interesting)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | about 9 years ago | (#13375245)

Watch out, when someone figures out how to hack your bluetooth automatically, grab all your personal information and talor its advertisements accordingly, thats when I'm going to be afraid.

Re:BlueTooth Hacking billboards! (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 years ago | (#13375336)

Ah yes, I can see the ads in Time Square now:

Bob Huntley, try WWW.PORNO-GOOD.COM for the best pron. Find online pics and discreet phone service!!!

Re:BlueTooth Hacking billboards! (4, Funny)

jdray (645332) | about 9 years ago | (#13375355)

Okay, I'm going long for this one:

When billboards know your name...
Well, it is the UK, and when they give you something or say goodbye, they often say "Cheers." And that's where everyone knows your name, so it fits.

Okay, I'm leaving now.

hmm (0)

znaps (470170) | about 9 years ago | (#13375246)

Given that using one's cellphone while driving is illegal in the UK..that's a lot of potential tickets right there.

Re:hmm (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 9 years ago | (#13375279)

They could just beam the tickets out from the billboards. "If you are reading this message, you are under arrest".

Uh, Oh... (1)

creimer (824291) | about 9 years ago | (#13375251)

Now that's what I call radio interference.

Re:Uh, Oh... (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | about 9 years ago | (#13375662)

They've been doing something like this at the Marshall Field's department store in downtown Chicago for a couple of years, but they use IR instead of Bluetooth. Look for a small sign on the Randolph Street side of the building near either the Bose or Yahoo! display window (I forget which).

I haven't looked for it in a while, but I remember it being there as recently as April.

crazy (1)

Rementis (656260) | about 9 years ago | (#13375252)

You'd have to be crazy to accept a "blue-ad" or "blue-vert" or whatever the hell these are.

Re:crazy (4, Insightful)

Johnboi Waltune (462501) | about 9 years ago | (#13375654)

You'd have to be crazy to accept a "blue-ad" or "blue-vert" or whatever the hell these are.

Nah, just curious. The first time they do this, 17,000 people will accept the "blue-vert". Of those 17,000, the next time, only 7,000 people will accept. The third time, 700.

Eventually the new technology will penetrate the common consciousness and people will just start ignoring it, since it is, after all, thoroughly useless and annoying. The only thing it has going for it is its novelty. Once that's dried up, "blue-vertising" will go away and die.

Thank God my Phone Isn't Bluetooth (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375254)

These filthy marketers are getting desperate.

Re:Thank God my Phone Isn't Bluetooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375370)

Your phone has to have bluetooth switched on and be in "discoverable" mode. You are basically inviting a connection in this mode. I don't find it a filthy marketing trick.

I wouldn't mind being paid to watch these ads.
If these are high quality ads, perhaps free video's, commedy etc. People will go for it.

Re:Thank God my Phone Isn't Bluetooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375484)

So I have to sacrifice my bluetooth functionality full-time just to accommodate a hoard of filthy marketers? Sorry, that's bullshit. And what's the alternative? Fumbling at lightspeed through a zillion chintzy menus to switch bluetooth off in the 3 seconds I have available to me between the time I ascertain a bluetooth billboard is approaching and the point at which I enter its spam range? Sorry, that's unacceptable (and possibly dangerous).

Re:Thank God my Phone Isn't Bluetooth (1)

spectral (158121) | about 9 years ago | (#13375646)

You have no f'in clue what the hell you're talking about, do you? :)

My bluetooth radio is always on. That doesn't mean I'm discoverable. What it means is that things have to know I'm out there before they'll attempt to try and connect with me (This means that I'm paired). If you actually have a dependence upon being always discoverable, I'd like to hear it. Otherwise, there's no reason for it, imho.

I don't even think I can make my phone always discoverable..

Cool (1)

Geak (790376) | about 9 years ago | (#13375255)

So I wonder if these ads cost you money each time you drive past one of the billboards. Go figure

Re:Cool (2, Interesting)

justforaday (560408) | about 9 years ago | (#13375273)

It would seem a lot more useful if they beamed you coupons or discounts that you could use for say the next 24 or 48 hours. Of course, that would also involve setting up the infrastructure for redeeming those coupons...

Re:Cool (3, Informative)

merreborn (853723) | about 9 years ago | (#13375456)

So I wonder if these ads cost you money each time you drive past one of the billboards

Last I heard, there's no charge for bluetooth datatransfer. Bluetooth is like wifi, not like SMS.

Re:Cool (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375595)

So, if accessing an available Wifi access point is illegal, per the recent cases in Florida and the UK, wouldn't accessing my phone also be illegal access of a computer (since a mobile phone is technically a computer these days), and wouldn't someone be able to sue these BlueSpammers for unauthorized access?

Re:Cool (2, Informative)

gjh (231652) | about 9 years ago | (#13375657)

In the rest of the civilized world, receiving an SMS costs you nothing either. It amazes me that that US operators can get away with squeezing the customer for money to receive unsolicited SMS messages.

Great... (3, Insightful)

SuppleMonkey (846625) | about 9 years ago | (#13375256)

As if there weren't enough distracted drivers on the road. Now if people aren't yapping on their cell phones they'll be reading the myriad advertisements being beamed to them.

Re:Great... (4, Informative)

AEton (654737) | about 9 years ago | (#13375362)

These are billboards at railway stations.

Funny how many comments got this wrong....

Re:Great... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#13375487)

These may be billboards at railway stations, but what's the range? Are you certain noone in a vehicle won't be going under the station or driving in the parking lot next to it?

Re:Great... (1)

tehshen (794722) | about 9 years ago | (#13375565)

As if there weren't enough distracted train drivers on the rails. Now if drivers aren't steering the train they'll be reading the myriad advertisements being beamed to them.

Please RFTA (1)

nebaz (453974) | about 9 years ago | (#13375367)

trials of the system were recently held at six London railway stations

I imagine roadside billboards would not be used, it's bad enough in the US with intrusive bill boards on road sides.

In the US (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375261)

My name is double ROT13 encrypted. They can't use my name without violating the DMCA.

Re:In the US (3, Funny)

yagu (721525) | about 9 years ago | (#13375305)

I find if you quadruple ROT13 encrypt your name you'll get a little bit more protection.

Re:In the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375481)

I prefer double-XOR.

Re:In the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375447)

Wouldn't be surprised if you're moderated both Redundant, Off-topic AND Troll

Re:In the US (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375586)

It bothers me when people use "both" with more than 2 things... or "either" with more than two things...

Welcome Mr. Yakamoto (1)

hoggoth (414195) | about 9 years ago | (#13375263)

Thank you for travelling in the tube, Mr. Yakamoto. May we suggest some purchases for you?

Re:Welcome Mr. Yakamoto (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | about 9 years ago | (#13375324)

More like... Thank you for travelling in the tube, Mr. Yakamoto. Customers who purchased Catholic Schoolgirl Party Vol 16 also bought these titles...

no bluetooth (1)

dlt074 (548126) | about 9 years ago | (#13375264)

for me if this is the kind of crap(innovation) we get with it. that would get old very quick. as if my phone doesn't interrupt my life enough, i need to add spam to it too?

no thanks

Well... (1)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | about 9 years ago | (#13375268)

With those kind of acceptance numbers, you can bet we are going to see much more of this type of advertising.

Of course, how many /.'ers actually leave BT enabled on their phones/PDAs?

Enabled? What about discoverable? (1)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | about 9 years ago | (#13375292)

Of course, how many /.'ers actually leave BT enabled on their phones/PDAs?

Forget enabled - you've got to be a real cabbage to leave it enabled and discoverable! This shows there are 17,000 really stupid people in that city. Or at least 1 really unfortunate guy who happens to live within blasting radius of the Bluetooth antenna.

Re:Enabled? What about discoverable? (1)

lakeland (218447) | about 9 years ago | (#13375539)

I've still got mine discoverable. I hesitated about it, but it does save a bit of hassle every time I want to peer with another computer and nothing has abused it yet ... The main abuse is in detecting it, and since I keep it in my pocket, I can't see how knowing which particular model of cellphone I have will really help people.

My wife's cellphone also has it enabled because that was the default and I didn't feel like explaining the potential security risks to her.

Besides, bluetooth is practically broken on the treo 650. It only manages to sync with a computer right next to it half the time, so I can't imagine it causing many problems :-/

Re:Enabled? What about discoverable? (2, Funny)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | about 9 years ago | (#13375651)

I've still got mine discoverable.

Cabbage.

Sci-Fi (2, Interesting)

bobsacks (784382) | about 9 years ago | (#13375269)

This reminds me of Minority Report where the billboards were scanning peoples eyes and addressing them by name. Is this a case of life imitating art?

Re:Sci-Fi (3, Funny)

tacarat (696339) | about 9 years ago | (#13375537)

I'd vote for life irritating art...

Coming Soon! Virally infected Billboards! (0, Troll)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#13375277)

Be the first on your block to BUY COLGATE get one!

Can I have a cookie?

No.

Please?

No.

OK.

How about now?

Re:Coming Soon! Virally infected Billboards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375363)

You post multiple comments on most articles and yet none of those comments make sense. What the hell are you doing?

Re:Coming Soon! Virally infected Billboards! (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | about 9 years ago | (#13375404)

It's funny how many people post this same sort of statement under this joker's posts. This WillAfleckUW is a serious moron.

bluetooth spam to your phone.. (3, Insightful)

joeldg (518249) | about 9 years ago | (#13375281)

great..
now we will have bluetooth spam everywhere we go..

just what we need..

Re:bluetooth spam to your phone.. (4, Informative)

freitasm (444970) | about 9 years ago | (#13375327)

You an still have Bluetooth [On], just don't set it to [Discoverable]. What's the big deal?

For goodness sake folks, just use the technology, it provides the tools for that.

Re:bluetooth spam to your phone.. (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | about 9 years ago | (#13375413)

Uhm, not entirely sure what the billboard is doing...but you don't have to be in "discoverable" mode for someone (or something) to "see" your signal and hack your phone.

Re:bluetooth spam to your phone.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375455)

Uhm, not entirely sure what the billboard is doing...but you don't have to be in "discoverable" mode for someone (or something) to "see" your signal and hack your phone.

That's correct. And using something like hcitool you can not only get the Bluetooth MAC address (what more-persistent cookie could advertisters want for tracking their recipients) but also the make and model of the phone for specific targetting of malware. NOTE: Only the "stock" version of hcitool needs your phone to be in discoverable mode for this to work.

Re:bluetooth spam to your phone.. (1)

thejackhmr (643947) | about 9 years ago | (#13375552)

I can still walk on your own lawn, just don't step in the piles of shit my dog left everywhere. What's the big deal?

Re:bluetooth spam to your phone.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375666)

I think you should have said...

I can still walk on your own lawn, just don't step in the piles of shit my neighbors cat left everywhere. What's the big deal?

Personally I think you should be aloud to buy a 12 bore and shoot any cat that even thinks about shitting on your garden.

If they'd let me do the asking... (5, Insightful)

theblueprint (749157) | about 9 years ago | (#13375283)

I'd be all for this, should the advertisers change it a little. If I could see a billboard, find the product interesting, then "ask" the billboard for more information, I'd probably use it.

Otherwise, it's like a pop-up on your phone, asking if you'd like to see a pop-up ad.

Coralized link (1)

jolar (905312) | about 9 years ago | (#13375284)

here [nyud.net] ; the site took forever to load for me.

Why didn't I think of this? I bet there's a lot of money to be made this way.

BlueTooth Ads?!? (5, Funny)

sled (10079) | about 9 years ago | (#13375289)

I've beeing seeing lots of ads for products that whiten teeth lately, but but who in their right mind would want...oh wait, nevermind.

Is this like L.A. Story? (1)

TheOtherAgentM (700696) | about 9 years ago | (#13375297)

Re:Is this like L.A. Story? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 9 years ago | (#13375629)

Are the billboards going to be solving the problems in our life too? [imdb.com] [imdb.com]
You don't need to add the [domain] thing. /. does it for you. ;)

Hmm, haven't seen these so far (3, Interesting)

fussili (720463) | about 9 years ago | (#13375303)

However they have had interactive billboards on the Tube for some time.

They concerned the use of unlicensed faux-minicabs to lure women into situations where they are abducted and often sexually abused.

The billboards allowed you to align your phone's IR receiver with a flashing icon to receive information on how to better protect yourself if you happen to be a woman.

I daresay Bluetooth seems rather more invasive as a means of delivering content - particularly commercial advertising rather than citizen's advice.

Re:Hmm, haven't seen these so far (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 9 years ago | (#13375715)

... lure women into situations where they are abducted ... [t]he billboards allowed you to align your phone's IR receiver with a flashing icon to receive information on how to better protect yourself if you happen to be a woman.

Personally, the women in my life have been taught how the align their sights to better protect themselves from such activities.

Honey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375308)

Honey, why are you getting ads for gay porn beamed to your cell phone?

That's a lot of acceptance, but not for long! (4, Insightful)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | about 9 years ago | (#13375322)

Most people don't get too many bluetooth messages on their devices so when something like this happens they say "okay" to accept and see what the ad is all about. After a while people will get sick of it though, and fewer and fewer will accept them.

So this is good advertising.... for now... =)

It's exactly the same as email spam (3, Interesting)

StreetChip (870758) | about 9 years ago | (#13375323)

This is exactly the same idea as email spam, sending off an advertisement to as many people as you can whether they asked for it or not. Forcing the user to have to click 'no' to get rid of it. We shouldn't have to cripple technology (IE turn off features on the phone) just to avoid being bombarded with a commercial for Dominoes Pizza. At least with a normal billboard if I don't want to see the message I can look somewhere else. I wish I lived there with a mobile phone just to be the first one to file a lawsuit against the companies sending out these ads.

Idea for advertising (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13375371)

Let's send the signal thru giant antennas and it will be encoded with electromagnetic waves, using Amplitude and Frequency Modulation. The devices are so simple they don't require digital technology.

With this, you can even choose with an analog dial, which emitters (let's call them "stations") to listen to the advertisers! Furthermore, why stop with advertising? Let's add content, like news or music, too!

Forget about podcasting, bluecasting. The future is "wavecasting"! It'll rock!

*Rushes to the patent office*

Re:Idea for advertising (4, Insightful)

utexaspunk (527541) | about 9 years ago | (#13375479)

the USPTO might just be dumb enough to give you a patent on that, too... :)

Re:Idea for advertising (1)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | about 9 years ago | (#13375636)

Sorry for the me-too post, but alas I have no mod points and feel this need to broadcast my giant *grin* -- great post.

Got my hopes up when this happened to me (5, Funny)

herting (542478) | about 9 years ago | (#13375381)

I was walking central London today when I got a message saying my mobile's bluetooth had an incoming message and asked if I wanted to accept it. Thinking I had finally found another toother, I quickly accepted thinking I was about to engage in depraved anonymous sex. Alas, 449 days of toothing in London and still no takers. Pretty soon I'm going to just assume bluetooth is a crap technology and just switch to raising the collars on my green polos.

Re:Got my hopes up when this happened to me (3, Interesting)

t_allardyce (48447) | about 9 years ago | (#13375688)

I think this could ruin any chance of toothing taking off - people will just get sick of the adverts and turn off bluetooth, that and the perceived risk of getting a virus.

Spam (2, Insightful)

CSHARP123 (904951) | about 9 years ago | (#13375385)

We are having enough with Email spams. Now they want you get Cell phone Spams. Really, when this gets worse, people will stop using technology altogether.

Re:Spam (1)

Malyven (774978) | about 9 years ago | (#13375431)

You don't already have cell phone spams? I am on call and as such my work Cell is published, ever since I have been getting 3-15 spam text messages a day. If there is a new medium possible for advertising it will be used to it's full extent. I sincerly doubt this will ever catch on full scale in North America, as the UK tends to use bluetooth a little more than the rest of the world. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/3673093.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Is it spam or Will people stop using tech? (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#13375435)

We are having enough with Email spams. Now they want you get Cell phone Spams. Really, when this gets worse, people will stop using technology altogether.

Exactly. Low tech is the wave of the future.

In the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, one of the most wired and tech neighborhoods, many of us no longer wear watches or carry cell phones, because they're a nuisance. We let loose the electronic leashes and savor the joy of life.

And then we go home and use our wireless laptops and high-speed cable/DSL/internet2 connections to surf the Net, or drop by a free wireless fair trade organic coffeeshop.

You can either be a slave of the Man, or you can opt out of the Man's rules.

Re:Spam (1)

dlvu5 (661576) | about 9 years ago | (#13375633)

Good. I* can't wait until everyone that can't properly use a computer doesn't want to anymore.

*Works tech support.

#$*(@#-casting??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375386)

I'm gonna go to a river and go rod-casting!

But...but... (5, Funny)

mccalli (323026) | about 9 years ago | (#13375415)

When billboards know your name that's when to really worry.

Oh, I don't know. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. You want to be where you can see our troubles are all the same. You want to be where everybody knows your name.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:But...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375489)

Ah, you're forgetting that each one of those billboards is eating away at your fifteen minutes of fame...

Re:But...but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375566)

That was extremely lame, please dont do that again. Thanks

stupid names on stupid names (1)

temi (899624) | about 9 years ago | (#13375423)

Albeit I viciously hate the "X"casting buzzword wave that is threatening to hit at any second...

at least this one sort of makes sense. I mean assuming "X"casting is birthed from the idea of broadcasting, which if is not the case please kill me now, then yes you are broadcasting via the Bluetooth TM protocol to cell phones.

BUT...someone slap the marketing flunky who came up with "podcasting" because the content is actually pulled by clients (like RSS). I know I know it seems nitpicky but i hate it when technical words lose meaning and actually mis-describe things. It merely sets us back further as a whole on the road to technical progression/innovation.

//i could have been wrong on this ENTIRE post because I hate the buzzword "podcasting" so much i would not bother to lookup its innerworkings. but my innergeek tells me im right and my karma is positive.

Re:stupid names on stupid names (1)

Mechcozmo (871146) | about 9 years ago | (#13375524)

Slashdot advertising: Slashvertcasting!

Re:stupid names on stupid names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375617)

I just asscasted you my response to your post, hope you get it soon.

Dubbed blueSPAMMING, not blueCASTING (5, Interesting)

OpenGLFan (56206) | about 9 years ago | (#13375432)

Nope, it hasn't been dubbed BlueCasting, except by marketing twits in Italian suits and advertising twerps in Emo glasses.

The real world calls it SPAM. If you have to get trendy, BlueSpamming. Or if you want to get really wild, based on IM SPAM = SPIM, you get BLUE SPAM = SPLUE.

We let them use Hacker for Cracker, and we let them take Digital Rights Management for Digital Restriction Mechanisms. We control the names, folks, not them. A dog does not lay bioreclaimable fertilizer on the path, it shits on the sidewalk. "BlueCasting" sounds like a neat 21st century hip thing. "Spam" is a nasty annoyance that Russians get beat to death for. Give it the correct name.

blueSPAMMING and DigitalRestrictionMechanisms (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 9 years ago | (#13375461)

We let them use Hacker for Cracker, and we let them take Digital Rights Management for Digital Restriction Mechanisms. We control the names, folks, not them. A dog does not lay bioreclaimable fertilizer on the path, it shits on the sidewalk. "BlueCasting" sounds like a neat 21st century hip thing. "Spam" is a nasty annoyance that Russians get beat to death for. Give it the correct name.

Good catch there. Since techies control the lingo, we determine the playing field.

BlueSpamming it is.

Re:blueSPAMMING and DigitalRestrictionMechanisms (1)

datafr0g (831498) | about 9 years ago | (#13375685)

Us geeks only control the lanuguage amongst ourselves and unfortunatly our playing field is very small...

Re:blueSPAMMING and DigitalRestrictionMechanisms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375723)

Yes and no, geeks tend to be early adoptors, allowing them to contribute to the culture surrounding the technology that others will start using.

Nope, it's SPUE (3, Funny)

googly eyes (906339) | about 9 years ago | (#13375681)

SPUE is a better contraction for SPAM and Bluetooth...

When billboards know your name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375438)

When billboards know your name that's when to really worry.
Some say that's what RFID is for [heise.de] as well... (I'll rather leave it to someone else to provide a translation)

Bluecasted (1)

Graviteh (907587) | about 9 years ago | (#13375445)

If my personal info is bluecasted, the people responsible will be Black-eyed using my "knuckle sandwich" v2 technology.

New technology (2, Interesting)

yRabbit (625397) | about 9 years ago | (#13375449)

Yes, of course. This is why we develop more advanced technologies, such as radio, the television, the internet, and bluetooth. We just want more ads! Thanks a lot.

I wonder if, for some people, disabling their phone/device from being discovered via bluetooth will be a viable option? Maybe they need that enabled for something? Too bad there isn't a "DO NOT RECEIVE ADVERTISEMENTS" setting.

Thank God. (2, Insightful)

Saiyine (689367) | about 9 years ago | (#13375451)


Thank God, bluetooth can be disabled.

--
Dreamhost [dreamhost.com] superb hosting.
Kunowalls!!! [kunowalls.host.sk] Random sexy wallpapers.

Re:Thank God. (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about 9 years ago | (#13375491)

I'm surprised that cell companies aren't doing more to prevent crap like this. Every bluetooth phone related article I see on /. is one more reason I won't be replacing my old cell with a bluetooth version.

Granted it's /. and most of what's being whined about is probably factually incorrect, intentionally misleading, or easily prevented. But still..

crazy people are now realistic (1)

milktoastman (572643) | about 9 years ago | (#13375452)

Isn't it a little scary that soon all the crazy paranoid people--those who think people are beaming messages into little chips planted in their belongings--aren't going to be saying anything too far-fetched?

Muahahahaha! Jerks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375502)

Out of all of the advertisements I've ever seen, I'd say I'm only interested in say...about 0.012% of them. Most of them are for boring-looking products or services. The problem is that too many companies are getting attention through their commercials (*cough*Allstate*cough) rather than having anything special about service.

just one word of warning (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | about 9 years ago | (#13375523)

Don't let Paris Hilton anywhere near England!

Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375525)

This kind of thing makes me very glad that I don't have a cell phone or watch TV.

Kids, remember that if you stop looking at advertising, it magically goes away.

Horrible advertising of the future.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375538)

So tell me, why would I ever want to own a phone with Bluetooth if they're doing this? They still make non-bluetooth phones and wired headsets? Right?

(I pick up 75 wireless access points on my 12 mile commute through what I thought was the countryside - so I can't imagine what this "bluecasting" will be like once it takes off in cities).

I can almost see the next step being advertisers pressuring phone makers to require always-on phones with always-on bluetooth so that they can't be "denied" the chance to spam your phone. You won't be able to switch the phone off, will only ever be able to switch to "silent mode" for a couple of hours at a time (like for going to a movie theater), and it'll automatically accept absolutely anything sent to it (and it'll simply keep the last 128MB [or however much storage the device has] of messages received). Just walking through the mall your phone will pick up 40 different advertising messages before you get to the store you wanted to go to - and when out driving, billboards and other cars will all repeatedly spam you.

And worst of all, they'll advertise this as being a "feature" of the phone ("get always-on bluecast so you're not left out! all the cool kids have it.. and you want to be cool.. don't you?") - and people will still buy it.

Traffic Build Ups. (1)

leon.gandalf (752828) | about 9 years ago | (#13375542)

Does this meen people will have to circle back around top seen that kinky PlayBoy add again and again?

Scary Billboards (2, Interesting)

SilentReallySilentUs (908879) | about 9 years ago | (#13375549)

Couldn't get why only Billboards will send these bluetooth messages? It can be anything - a tree, a transport truck, a building, a shop - they are all going to torture you with these advertisements till you disable bluetooth or upgrade to "premium" service offered by well, your friendly wireless carrier!

In Soviet Russia... (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about 9 years ago | (#13375551)

billboards beam you

17,000 people get a little wiser (1)

d723 (891634) | about 9 years ago | (#13375562)

17,000 people got conned into downloading spam. How many of them do you think will do it next time? How long before there are laws against this sort of thing? CAN-BLAM?

17,000 or 17%? Willing? (2, Insightful)

darthlurker (663459) | about 9 years ago | (#13375612)

FTA - "The posters detected 87,000 Bluetooth phones over a two week period, of which about 17% were willing to download the clip, says Scott."

First 17% is more like 14,790. I couldn't find a reference to the 17,000 number. (Perhaps its somewhere on the corporate web site link.) But even ignoring this point I'd still question the "willing" statement. Does that mean people intentionlly enabled access to their cell phones. Or is it more like 17% of blue tooth cell phonesare left unsecured by their owners?

Sort of like claiming 40% of PCs [pcworld.com] are "willing" to be zombies for spam.

Re:17,000 or 17%? Willing? (1)

javaxman (705658) | about 9 years ago | (#13375712)

it means 17% of them wanted to see what the new ColdPlay album teaser/advert was, or were curious about this new form of spam.

Yea, I'm shocked that so many people were interested in ColdPlay, too /duck

In order to be detected, every single one of those 87k phones had their bluetooth enabled. 14k is the number who answered "Ok, send me the clip", I assume... a pretty high number. This has marketing dweebs wetting themselves, I'm sure.

damn (1)

aturley (79907) | about 9 years ago | (#13375625)

Back in 2001, I worked on something very similar to this as part of my senior project. I think somebody owes me money.

BlueTooth Spam (2, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 9 years ago | (#13375645)

I will not read Bluetooth Spam
I will not read it, Sam I am.

I will not read it in the tube,
I will not read it even if it shows me a boob

I will not read it in my car
I will not read it in a bar

I do not like Bluetooth spam
I do not like it, Sam I am.

Going Off-World (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375677)

Phone Bleeps:

A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure.

Let's go to the Colonies! This announcement has been brought to you by the Shimago-Dominguez Corporation. Helping America into the New World.

Interesting Idea (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | about 9 years ago | (#13375679)

You do find so many people who leave their bluetooth on and it can't be by accident - they go to the trouble of naming their access point. Just sit on the bus or train and there will be a few around. The problem is the battery hit and the paranoia - people are reluctant to accept anything incase its a 'virus'. Just start sending out goatse with some big company names printed over it as your very own brand of 'advertising' - i have a feeling that might catch on a bit more.

Hmm I wonder.... (3, Interesting)

Boap (559344) | about 9 years ago | (#13375680)

I wonder if a virus could be passed this way and if it could then you could have infected at least 17,000 people via blue tooth.

the information that would be valuable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13375693)

Personal information wouldn't be the most valuable thing in this context. A geographical metric of campaign attach rate would be.

Say I have a limited budget for an outdoor campaign (billboards, posters, cabs etc) and want to make the most of my money. Do I put more billboards in city a, b or c? I could do a limited run of the ad with this system and look at the aggregate rate of accept/offer over this system. The areas that get the greatest acceptance rates get the largest amount of billboards and such in my main campaign launch.

This is known as "optimization". It happens in banner ads all the time. You give 5 banners to your ad service and the first 10,000 (or whatever numer) impressions are analized for click-performance and the 3 lowest-performers are dynamically dropped, so you only pay for the most successful banners.

I could see this being used to optimize outdoor campaigns. It wouldn't even require that any data be collected from the phone... just metadata (how many people accepted the offer and how many were offered.)

Now, were an advertiser to take the personal information from your phone and sell it to jerks... that will either be illegal or people will start destroying your devices (they are in public places, after all) and you lose your investment. Maybe even both. So it's not worth it... on top of being morally screwed up.

Besides, why "take" personal information when people give it to you at the cash register? I mean, those coupons are designed to do just that. And it's better info anyway. A list of people who bought in response to the campaign as opposed to random noise you stole off somebodies phone.
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