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!

In Soviet US, Comcast Watches YOU

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-have-none-get-over-it dept.

Privacy 404

cayenne8 sends us to Newteevee.com for a blog posting reporting from the Digital Living Room conference earlier this week. Gerard Kunkel, Comcast's senior VP of user experience, stated that the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into its devices so it can know who's in your living room. Cameras in the set-top boxes, while apparently not using facial recognition software, can still somehow figure out who is in the room, and customize user preferences for cable (favorite channels, etc.). While this sounds 'handy,' it also sounds a bit like the TV sets in 1984. I am sure, of course, that Comcast wouldn't tap into this for any reason, nor let the authorities tap into this to watch inside your home in real time without a warrant or anything."

cancel ×

404 comments

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

Ah well ... (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820344)

This is one privacy issue that a little electrical tape can cure easily.

Re:Ah well ... (5, Funny)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820392)

not really. If you cover up the lens, the cable box goes "Your papers, please." Then you'll have to type your SSN or passport number in with the remote before you can watch TV.

They knew who I was. (5, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820748)

I put a picture of Mickey Mouse in front of mine. They got me for copyright and trademark violations too. How did they know?

TV is not worth this. Thanks to MythTV, I considered paying for cable TV again. There is no way in hell I'd sit a camera in my living room for it. What complete morons.

Re:They knew who I was. (5, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820816)

Heh. It's hard to believe someone thought this was a good idea. After the recent warrentless wiretap fiasco, it's brutally obvious that this would be abused by some government agency somewhere. Fascists exist in every society.

Re:Ah well ... (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820768)

blockquote>If you cover up the lens, the cable box goes "Your papers, please." Then you'll have to type your SSN or passport number in with the remote before you can watch TV. then you know what I do? I unplug the fscker, cancel my service [not that I'd deal with comcast in the first place] and go post on slashdot or something. it really isn't that important to watch TV, so why give them any power over you? I mean really why do people put up with this? It's almost as if people are too lazy to defend their privacy and too eager to whine about their problems or something.

Re:Ah well ... (3, Funny)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820406)

Until the duct tape becomes illegal in some future legislation that is the love child of DMCA & PATRIOT.

Re:Ah well ... (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820468)

No, they can't make that illegal because they've already told to lay in plenty of duct tape in case of a chemical attack.

Re:Ah well ... (1)

yuriyg (926419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820876)

I wanted to rate this 'Funny', but clicked the wrong item in the list. Replying to cancel.

Re:Ah well ... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820594)

Nail polish then

Until the set top box calls the police if it cant see you. I guess then you stick a picture of an empty room in front of it.

Re:Ah well ... (5, Funny)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820826)

I guess then you stick a picture of an empty room in front of it.
Naaah...goatse.

Re:Ah well ... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820600)

Until the duct tape becomes illegal in some future legislation that is the love child of DMCA & PATRIOT.
You mean like Sharpies [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Ah well ... (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820972)

I don't know about all that tape... hmmm, I might set it up so that Comcast spies^H^H^H^H^H^H employees can watch hours and hours of JibJab making fun of political figures. I might even play some YouTube videos of Richard Dawkins for them. Even better! I'll pipe al jazera tv to them 24/7.
Or maybe just set up a IR light box about 1.5 inches from the lens and let them watch the bright bright IR light. Power it from the box's switched outlet and whenever it is turned on the camera will be washed out with IR.

Perhaps if I repeatedly flash 'kill yourself' or 'kill bush' so it can be seen for a frame every 15 seconds we'll get to use subliminal messaging in reverse?

Noooooo, rick astely video 24/7 !!!!!

Re:Ah well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820534)

This is one privacy issue that a little electrical tape can cure easily.
Wouldn't that be suspicious? Heck, with the way that US courts grant warrants today, blocking a camera intruding into your living room would probably be grounds for the police to raid your house. And most Americans would agree saying "why would you block the camera if you didn't have something to hide?"

Anyways, this was discussed in the book 1984.

Re:Ah well ... (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820568)

My fix is already in place: a cheapo Radio Shack HDTV antenna.

Re:Ah well ... (4, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820576)

This is one privacy issue that a little electrical tape can cure easily.
Using the electrical tape will be classed as theft, as you are preventing the business from optimizing, and thus maximizing the revenue derived from, the advertising. Puts me, albeit tenuously, in mind of a quote I saw recently-

In the 1980s capitalism triumphed over communism. In the 1990s it triumphed over democracy.

Re:Ah well ... (2)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820680)

Comcast shareholders today sued the Bob Family for negatively affecting the Comcast stock price. Followed on the heels of the widely successful lawsuits shareholders brought forward against Take Two and Yahoo, Comcast feels confident that the Bob Family lawsuit will show non-shareholders just how important to society the price of not just their stock, but all stock, is worth compared to non-monetized things like privacy and freedom.

Re:Ah well ... (4, Funny)

btaratoot (937576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820606)

I would just put my cardboard cutouts of Pamela Anderson and Boba Fett in the living room. :)

Re:Ah well ... (4, Insightful)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820676)

I predict if this comes to pass, child pornography will be brought up in defensed of warrantlessly spying on people using this technology.

MORE electrical tape (4, Funny)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820714)

After all don't we all have tape over the flashing 88:88's already?

Re:Ah well ... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820718)

Well, so would canceling your Comcast service.

Re:Ah well ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820854)

No kidding. I used to have them for Internet, TV and phone, but they just kept jacking the prices up. So I dumped the TV and phone service and kept the Internet and got AT&T VoIP for my phone. Haven't had cable TV since and haven't missed it (not for what those assholes charge.) Bloodsuckers.

Unfortunately (2, Insightful)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820920)

Unfortunately, by sticking electrical tape on the camera, you have invalidated your warranty (by their own definition) and they cannot be held responsible if, say, the device becomes permanently nonfunctional when it notices the channels being changed while the camera detects no motion or light.

Them's the breaks!

easily fixed :) (-1, Redundant)

alexbartok (764756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820350)

nothing a piece of duct tape couldn't fix...

Nope. (1)

Cowclops (630818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820358)

They will never succeed in getting this technology in people's homes in the first place. People would just say "Nah i'll take the one WITHOUT the camera built in." And that'll be the end of that.

Re:Nope. (2, Insightful)

alexbartok (764756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820414)

That depends on the marketing strategy. If it's a `cool new device for interacting with your friends`, I'm sure they'll get not so tech-savy or privacy-savy people to buy it.

Re:Nope. (1)

hkgroove (791170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820480)

You underestimate the camwhores that will want to show off for the cable guys.

It will get forced on us (3, Insightful)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820520)

There will be a "think of the children" campaign. People will protest children seeing adult material and someone will argue that "the technology already exists" to solve this problem. These cameras will detect that children are in the room and block inappropriate material. A law will be passed requiring the camera-in-box technology. There you go... it's in people's homes.

Re:It will get forced on us (5, Insightful)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820700)

Well.... that is until someone's underage teenage son and his underage girlfriend decide to shed all their clothes and have brazen sex in front of the cable box... The legal details of that scenario would be very interesting...
-What does legally happen when some adult's Comacast 1984-style bidirectional TV box "inadvertently" observes illegal underage nudity and sex. I am sure if this data was in any way streamed over their network there would be numerous state and federal laws violated (or if it were retained in any way), not to mention grounds for a very hefty lawsuit.
It would make for some interesting legal reading in any case.

Re:It will get forced on us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820754)

and this is exactly why i purchased several firearms from a dealer that didnt require I.D.

Re:Nope. (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820532)

Exactly. Who would possibly want this -- do I want the channel changing when my wife walks in the room and in front of the couch?

If they simply must market such a technology, at least put a biometric device on the remote. That would have to work better than some mysterious body shape recognition, give them the same marketing information and I can still watch Sanford and Son reruns in my underwear.

Already there? (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820698)

What makes you think the camera is not already there? Have you disassembled your cable box?

Food for thought. Your cable box could have a camera already. If you have cable internet you know it has enough bandwidth for monitoring you.

Re:Already there? (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820846)

damn, where are my pants.

Re:Already there? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820882)

Food for thought. How do you know that the doctor hasn't already implanted a tracking device in you? Isn't it a little suspicious that they recommend prostate exams about the same age that many people start questioning the government?

Re:Already there? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820898)

What makes you think the camera is not already there? Have you disassembled your cable box?

Hot Damn!!!!!

I've got my tinfoil hat and a screwdriver... Talk me through this.

So easy to hide. (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820820)

Would the average person notice the pinhole? Would you?


Comcast can not be trusted. Entertainment is getting creepier all the time.

Re:Nope. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820918)

I can't speak for everyone, but as a resident of New York City, the idea that someone might look into your living room isn't all that creepy. I personally can see directly into a couple dozen living rooms in the building across the street. With a telescope, I could see into hundreds. Similarly, people can look into mine any night that I don't close the blinds (which is most of the time).

The question is: why would anyone want to do that? And if they did, so what? If I was doing something where I wanted privacy, I'd just avoid the camera, block it, or what have you - same as the shades. Can you imagine how much money I could win from Comcast if I had evidence that they recorded me without some kind of court order? My God, it would be like winning the lottery!

I don't have cable, but if I did I would probably think that a box that automatically adjusted to my viewing habits was pretty darned cool.

Re:Nope. (1)

Tortooga (1260148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820942)

Yeah - just like they'll say "no, I don't want the FBI to be able to tap my phone" and "no, I don't want the fed. gov't. to have seemingly unchecked power." Riiiight. Bah, bah, bah. Follow the leader. People will accept this with open arms. And then anybody concerned with their privacy will get the old "well, if you aren't doing anything wrong, why do you care?" This is seriously a TERRIBLE thing!

Why the frag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820362)

Why the *frag* are cameras in the set-top boxes to begin with?

It sounds like we need a constitutional amendment giving us the explicit right to privacy. (We'd probably need it to state explicitly that it was not to be used in the context of the abortion debate, or it would never pass.)

Right to privacy settled in '73 (0, Flamebait)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820506)

Roe v. Wade

Then why do we only have it in California? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820880)

Cali's the state you go to if you need to keep your financial records unavailable to the public, if you want theft of your private data reported to you, etc...

Re:Why the frag (2, Insightful)

Numbah One (821914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820644)

I'm sure Comcast will say they are going to sell some type of video phone service or something similar to justify putting the camera in the box. If asked why all boxes have a camera rather than some with and some without, Comcast could come back with some excuse indicating that it is cheaper for them to stock a single type of box rather than multiple types that could result in shortages and poor customer service.

privacy solution: (-1, Redundant)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820372)

Duct tape, camera lens.
Problem solved; feel free to buy the set-top boxes.

Re:privacy solution: (1)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820466)

Wow, posted when there were 0 comments... and showed up as the third almost identical comment
Good to see the Slashdot hive mind is still functioning

Ceiling Comcast watches you masturbate (5, Funny)

LuminaireX (949185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820382)

Note to self: no more sex in the living room.

Re:Ceiling Comcast watches you masturbate (1)

ashridah (72567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820454)

No kidding. This would probably kill their adult movie channels pretty quickly if word got out that some deviant at comcast was recording people watching the channels.

Opportunity to screw with their minds (5, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820526)

No, no, no! Keep on spanking the monkey, but for the sake of the camera do it while surrounded by:

Roll 1d8:

1) Stuffed animals
2) Feminine hygiene products
3) Jars of Bovril
4) Jars of Marmite
5) Old computer hardware
6) Cassette tapes of ABBA albums
7) Duct tape
8) Any two of the above

With any luck, the Demographic Analysis software will either give up or -- unless 1960s SF shows have taught me wrong -- spew reams of paper tape, shout "DOES NOT COMPUTE!" in a tinny voice, and catch on fire.

Re:Opportunity to screw with their minds (1)

Cassius105 (623098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820586)

Either that or they will start producing suck fucked up porn that it can compete with the internet

Re:Ceiling Comcast watches you masturbate (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820668)

Its okay, just wipe up with your cable bill. Its sort of win-win.

Re:Ceiling Comcast watches you masturbate (1)

youngdev (1238812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820724)

or who knows, your living room antics might be the next goatse or starwars kid (I love thos vids). Tell you what though, I see the first application for this being 14 year old myspace hookers. If only comcast realized the goldmine this might be.

Re:Ceiling Comcast watches you masturbate (1)

Fatal67 (244371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820790)

Note to Self:

Unsubscribe to LuminaireX's living room video feed.

Re:Ceiling Comcast watches you masturbate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820798)

Note to self: more sex in the living room.

Re:Ceiling Comcast watches you masturbate (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820916)

You mean, by yourself? Reminds me of that Dangerfield joke:

"Most kids are scared when they first have sex. I was scared. I was all alone...." --Rodney Dangerfield

1984 (5, Insightful)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820400)

A 'bit' like 1984? Who in the hell would go for this? Americans seem to have managed to convince their politicians and corporations that they have no interest in freedom at all.

Re:1984 (5, Insightful)

George Beech (870844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820612)

Politicians and corporations seem to have managed to convince Americans that they have no interest in freedom at all

fixed it for ya

Can't really force this on your customers (1)

merreborn (853723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820404)

If the camera's integrated into the set top box, that means the box has to be pointed at the viewers (not, say, rotated 45 degrees), and not in, say, the drawer of your entertainment center. Even then, a little duct tape in the right spot, and you've got an obscured camera.

There's really not much possibility of this being used without the consumer's knowledge.

Re:Can't really force this on your customers (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820588)

I agree... and presumably, a company like Comcast would never WANT to try to FORCE it on anybody. The obvious goal of such a thing would revolve around more accurate viewer statistics than they can obtain with current technologies. Nielson ratings require VOLUNTARY participation, for example. They only want data from people willing to voluntarily help them collect it.

Nonetheless, this is disturbing. The cable subscriber him/herself would be aware if he/she opted to use this, but what about unwitting participants in the way of house-guests who sit down to watch a little TV, totally unaware they're on camera? Are they going to issue some type of warning on-screen that the camera is watching? (I'm thinking not.)

And furthermore, it's not out of the realm of possibility that this info being sent from the set-top box back to Comcast couldn't be intercepted by a middle-man, using it for purposes other than its originally intended purpose. That, too, could be a somewhat disturbing proposition.

Re:Can't really force this on your customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820658)

Wouldn't that violate the DMCA?

Re:Can't really force this on your customers (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820694)

If the camera's integrated into the set top box, that means the box has to be pointed at the viewers (not, say, rotated 45 degrees), and not in, say, the drawer of your entertainment center. Even then, a little duct tape in the right spot, and you've got an obscured camera.
And an obscured IR receiver as well. You'll need an IR repeater, and have to periodically check the box to see that it has remained powered on as they're notorious for turning off and berating you for trying to operate them without turning them back on (as opposed to turning on for you on receipt of any valid IR signal). And the glorious new failure mode where they look like they're functioning (display channel instead of reverting to clock) but instead have been unresponsive and outputting a static garbage image for a week.

lame (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820408)

lame title. kdawson, do what the apple trolls tell you to and gtfo

Unbelievable. (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820410)

Does Comcast think the behvior exhibited is beneficial to them in the eyes of current/potential customers or the FCC? To think, someone actually believes this is the way to run a business.

Although, I suppose it gives us something to talk about between SCO updates.

Context-sensitive DVR menus! w00t! (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820424)

Cool! Maybe the DVR will only show my porn channels when my wife isn't in the room! :-) :-)

Actually, it's more fun to watch with her anyway. :-) But I could see some value in context-sensitive cable box a/o DVR behavior.

1984 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820430)

While this sounds 'handy,' it also sounds a bit like the TV sets in 1984.

Apart from the fact that allowing them into your house is entirely voluntary and not mandated by law. You know, the important bit.

I'm sick of people comparing everything to 1984. It's like they read one book in school and anything that has privacy implications is immediately associated with it because it makes them feel smart.

Look, I think this is a stupid idea and there's no way I'd let one into my house, but it's not like 1984. Hardly anything compared to it actually is.

Re:1984 (2, Funny)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820502)

Well, we could say it's a lot like "Huckleberry Finn", only that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.

Interesting (5, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820432)

This would be useful for determining who's on the end of the cable line, using bittorrent. The FBI can then go ahead and break their doors in, during an early-morning no-knock raid.

They can then go ahead and develop technology to determine who's watching the commercials and who isn't... and then apply a flat per-minute fee for not watching advertisements.

Alternatively, they can charge a per-viewer fee for pay-per-view events. After all, if you crap 20 people around your HDTV to watch a $40 boxing event, isn't it logical that you should pay extra for every extra person who's watching it?

Heck, there's all kinds of useful things a company could do with this information.

Re:Interesting (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820844)

Not so sure about the P2P angle, i know here at my place the computer is not in the same room as the tv's so it wouldn't show them anything other then a couple of animals walking around in the living room.

Now, the 'superbowl' idea, that is possible.

Well that's no fun (1)

Durrok (912509) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820434)

They already used the "In Soviet Russia..." joke. Now I'm going to have to come up with a car analogy or something...
See it's like someone is looking at you while you are driving down the road...

Awesome business opportunity,,, (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820444)

I'm going to run out and register www.comcastxxxvoyeurism.com right now!

Re:Awesome business opportunity,,, (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820550)

I'm going to run out and register www.comcastxxxvoyeurism.com right now!

Too late, Rule 34 [comcastxxxvoyeurism.com]

Ha ha April Fool's... oh wait (3, Funny)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820456)

I had to check today's date 3 times because I was sure this was an April Fool's story.

Well, I for one... (1)

BvF7734 (1181911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820458)

look forward to our Comcastic overlords!

oblig (1)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820464)

I, for one, welcome our new comcast overlords. Not really, I owe them $335 right now and they keep calling me... Unfortunately, too many people will find this handy and think outloud, "I have nothing to hide." Where does it end?

Cool in theory, not so much in practice (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820484)

The idea that your TV can recognize you, and automatically turn to your favorite shows, is a neat idea in theory. The problem is that nobody trusts the asshats that make these boxes NOT to try to spy on you. Welcome to the digital age.

At last, per-person DRM (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820498)

The RIAA and the MPAA will love this. At last, content can be licensed to the individual, not the device. "Pay per viewer", at last.

And you can't cover the camera; if it can't see you to identify your biometrics, your licenses won't validate.

Re:At last, per-person DRM (2, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820856)

Heck, wan't there a proposal in the VHS era that would limit the number of people in a room for tape watching? Something like you could only have 8 people at a time, otherwise you would have to pay additonal royalties?

I cna see it now. Every time someone walks into the room they have to swipe their credit card in the STB or the TV will turn off.

This sounds like a DRM dream. The sad thing is that many people will think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and will welcome this "customized user experience".

Arghhh.....

Picture this (5, Funny)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820522)

The ultimate reality show: watching yourself watch yourself.

Re:Picture this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22820650)

Didn't we already see this with Spaceballs: The Movie?

Vomast Cameras (1)

benvec (100944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820528)

Do they think this will be a 'popular' feature? Is this the best new feature they can add? Why even go down this road. Aren't there enough cameras watching us now, as it is? We're better off not inviting even such a 'benign' one as this so-called new improvement into our homes.

no more disavowing the pron (1)

Sesticulus (544932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820654)

"Honey, how come every time you walk in the room the TV switches to the Girls Gone Wild pay per view?"

Open quote? (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820660)

Anyone notice that the summary closes with a quotation mark but doesn't have an opening quotation mark anywhere?

Otherwise, I enjoyed this summary more than most. Of course I've got 1984 (book on CD) in my car right now. Which reminds me--it's "Telescreen."

Confuse-o-rama! (2, Funny)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820674)

I'd just drape a white towel over the camera and smile as I am deluged with ads for snowshoes, fur coats, and skis.

I don't like this (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820686)

It used to be my only complaint about all the sex on TV was falling off, now I've got to worry about an audience. Maybe I can charge them for it, like selling power back to the electric company?

Just put a piece of paper over it! (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820696)

I got a new cable box a month ago (a HD box for my HDTV). After reading this, I made a note and stuck it on the front of the box :)

I can't wait until stupid Verizon is avaiable here, now I'm canceling my Comcast cable to. Way to go Comcast!

Does Comcast hate customers? (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820720)

What company ever won a war with their customers?

Biometric DRM (1)

howlatthemoon (718490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820734)

Here's what they are really thinking, they can really charge for access to the individual level for everything you view and block access to people who have not paid. All the other things like invasion of privacy are just bonuses to them and a way to get the government to push for it by making it a key for V-Chip access control.

Imagining the reactions in the control room. (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820738)

Ted: Hey, that hot chick in H3378 just ordered another porno!

Bill: I'll get the popcorn!

A totally safe technology (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820744)

Plain ole paper books are sounding better and better all the time.

So that's what (1)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820756)

....the USB ports in front of the cable box are for. It all makes sense now!

And here I was hoping the USB ports were for plugging in game controllers for some sort of gaming-on-demand service.

duct tape (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820772)

I guess that is what duct tape is for. Stick a little over the camera and viola. They can't see squat!

Personally I think this would be a huge invasion of privacy. If some hacker tapped into this and got video of some guy doing his wife. If they were 'in front of the tv' and watching pr0n, and then it got posted on you tube. I'd imagine that there would be a huge law suite in the US.

I really hate comcast at this point. I wish there were other cable companies in my area, and no dish does not work so well were I live. It is too windy and foggy.

Time For A Video Loop (1)

Technomonics (970384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820786)

Isolate the video signal of the camera inside the box and pump in a video of you sitting happily in your favorite arm chair, wife by your side, your 2.5 children, the family cat on lap and the dog at your feet. Either that or find the raunchiest sex scene and feed that back at them. At least with the second option, you'll find out how often they actually monitor the signal.

It's the Santa Box (4, Funny)

GlL (618007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820824)

It sees you when you're sleeping, it knows when you're awake, it knows if you've been bad or good, so be good or get blackmailed.

Does anything sound like a bad idea to these idiots? I can just see the board room discussion...

CEO: I'm thinking anal probes.
CLO: I don't think we're quite there yet, remember you have to work up to this stuff gradually.
CTO: We already know everything about their web surfing, let's expand on that.
CEO: What do you mean?
CTO: Let's build cameras into the converter boxes, this way we can watch them.

This can be done in better ways (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820830)

Why not just have 4 buttons on the remote, so 4 users can be assigned a button. Another can bring up a full list of users. When the user wants to watch some TV, they just press that button to turn on all the devices they will typically want (sound system, TV, cable box, etc) and load their settings.

tin foil hats? (2, Funny)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820840)

well, this time tin foil has a real use, to cover the camera!

Dear Comcast (0, Troll)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820842)

Dear Comcast,

Blow it out your ass.

Love,

America

Duct-tape (1)

maxrate (886773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820862)

Duct-tape the camera. Done.

Turn off the TV. Turn off the TV. Turn off the TV. (0)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820864)

When you turn off the TV, the World is so much safer and calm. You're not getting the distillation of ALL the Worlds problems into the idiot box. For homework, just note how many disasters, crimes, murders, corruption, etc... actually occurs in your immediate area - your state, province - yes, I mean that big of an area.

World's not such a fucked up place is it?

WIld Palms (1)

DirkBalognapantz (609779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820884)

I am having flashbacks to that Oliver Stone mini-series Wild Palms.

Duct Tape.... (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820886)

Now the solution for 5,000 and 1 problems in your life. Though Electrical Tape might be better for aesthetic reasons.

MAKE Time (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820930)

Well, looks like I'm going to have to make a hard plastic shell to put over all my network devices that covers everything but the fan ports. Sigh.

Just to mix things up a bit..... (1)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820950)

Go to atomfilms and search for "Me and the Big Guy." I'm pretty sure if it ever became mandatory to have these devices, This would be the way to get rid of them....

Fun Stuff (1)

Knight of Shadows (1163917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22820968)

Let 'em try that where I live. I'll give them a show they'll never forget. 2 (alleged) captured cable and/or government a-holes. 1 cup So many regrets. I think they might want to entertain that mental image for awhile, and then see if this whole thing still makes sense.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

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

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

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

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>