This is a joke, right? Or is Google being pushed to do its part in the fascistization of America? The tech as described is interesting, but the potential other uses for it…

Google developing eavesdropping software

The first thing that came out of our mouths when we heard that Google is working on a system that listens to what’s on your TV playing in the background, and then serves you relevant adverts, was “that’s cool, but dangerous”.

The idea appeared in Technology Review citing Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, who says these ideas will show up eventually in real Google products – sooner rather than later.

The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that’s adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject.

Pretty soon the security industry is going to find a way to hijack the Google feed and use it for full on espionage.



  1. We the People says:

    malren, come November, prepare to be amazed

  2. syngensmyth says:

    No proof, but I’ll bet President Bush, the Pope, and Don Rumsfeld have something to do with this.

    I’m watching a Seinfeld re-run. I wonder what Google will send me?

    By the way, I hear Google has developed technology to sense smell through your laptop microphone. My laptop is usually in my … well … lap. And the heat is … well … hot. So this Google ad idea is tweaking my imagination.

  3. moss says:

    We’re also witnessing a pretty good example of webizens jumping to conclusions from 3rd and 4th-hand information. Anyone else track back to the original technical discussions?

    They were exclusively about analyzing the sounds of TV programs. Being able to pick what programs were being listened to. No chat. No conversations. Nada.

    Of course, any technology can be turned to other uses. Ask the 1st cop who decided to wiretap someone — or better yet, the 1st paranoid husband who did so. But, this article and most of the responses here have already leaped beyond the conclusions originally under consideration.

    Oh — and the prototypical Fascist, Benito Mussolini — always counted on corporations to be the core of his ideology. No different, today. Personally, I’d characterize thugs like Rove and the rest of the PNAC crowd as “proto-fascists”. A reasonably accurate term and not even a neologism.

  4. Aric says:

    Horseshit.

  5. Shane says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Google overlords!

    I can’t wait for their exciting new product; the Google USB Anal Probe! (which they will use to identify what we have eaten and target ads to us accordingly.)

  6. John S says:

    Re: Uncle Dave and Mr. Fusion:

    I tend to agree with you and not with Malren on most occasions. While I do agree with you in this topic as well Malren does have a point in regards to Astro and his comment on Israel, Zionism and Jews. Maybe I am delirious or remembering a time that does not exist, but I do seem to remember when it was the right wing people who attacked the Jews. When did the left leaning members of society start attacking Jewish people? I agree that ideas like this from Google do tend to look rather ominous, yet to pull “The world is controlled by Jews!” out of it seemed less than sensible. This point was never mentioned in your response to Malren.

    John

  7. Uncle Dave says:

    John S, I didn’t mention the Jewish comment because I was only addressing what he had aimed at me which was regarding the fascist label.

  8. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    #26, John S,

    So what is your point? Did either Uncle Dave or I agree that Jews are the bane of existence?

    I can not speak for Uncle Dave, but I do not recall ANY post he has made that condemns Jews or condones discrimination against Jews. Uncle Dave’s response was pointed to malren’s attack on the word fascist. He even ended his post with a request that malren suggest a new or different word to describe the situation.

    My own post was pointed directly at the insulting language used by malren in his last line. I’m frigging flabbergasted you brainiacs can find the goddamned on button. Yes I condemn the language in that line. And no, my condemnation has nothing to do with being pro or anti Jewish.

    If you have been a follower of DU for any length of time, you must realize that malren quite often makes cutting, sarcastic remarks just to gain attention. Rarely does he produce any thought for the discussion. His only comment about astro’s post was to call him an idiot. There is nothing to back up his argument or disprove astro. Sorry, but malren lost this debate between himself and astro.

    I don’t agree with astro, but that is something entirely different.

  9. Uncle Dave says:

    For the record, while I don’t necessarily approve of everything Israel does, I have nothing but respect for Jews. However, if you reread what malren wrote, he was saying (I think) that astro (#8) was making a stupid, anti-Jewish comment. Rather than him attacking Jews, he was defending them, sort of.

  10. John S says:

    Re#28 – “If you have been a follower of DU for any length of time, you must realize that malren quite often makes cutting, sarcastic remarks just to gain attention.”. I have lurked for quite a while and only recently started posting. Yes I agree with your statement, however, I read the post and took what I wanted and ignored what I did not. As may I point out did you.

    You where offended by the rediculous comment he made and responded knowing that he “makes cutting, sarcastic remarks just to gain attention.”. When someone behaves that way responding to it verifies their behaviour. You made no mention of his comment on Astro.

    In regards to my post. I never said that you or Uncle Dave defended what Astro said, but while you chose to respond to Malrens attack on yourself you chose to ignore an actually intelligent point he made. Malren did not make it in an intelligent manour mind you, but an intelligent point none the less. No one made any comment on Astro’s statement aside from Malren and that is something that can have an implicit acceptance attached to it. Once again I am not saying you or Uncle Dave agreed with Astro’s post.

    “I don’t agree with astro, but that is something entirely different.”. Different due to the fact it did not involve attacking you. You may not have meant that, but my mind reading is poor so I can only judge what you meant by what you have typed and not on what you did not. You did not say whether you agreed with Astro until you responded to my post. You or someone should have said you disagreed with Astro or at the vary least asked him to clarify his posts message.

    I see three problems in this comment group:

    1. Only one person even came close to questioning the assertion that Astro made.
    2.That person was Malren and he did it in a childish manour.
    3.Malren was questioned for his rediculous insult and was rightfully held to account for his comment on the use of the word fascism, yet no one mentioned the fact he made a good point about Astro’s comment.

    Mr. Fusion there are many in the DU community who attack commentors personalities rather than the content of their argument. Malren, as you point out, is one of those people. If you go to Mr. Paradox’s web site you will find an article in which the following point is made. “When someone tries to rebut an argument by criticizing or denigrating its presenter rather than by dealing with the argument itself, that person is guilty of the fallacy of appeal to the person. An ad hominen attack. Malren’s comment is one example, unfortuneatly, so to a degree was yours. “So what is your point?” was meant as a derogatory question. If that is not how you meant it to be taken I can assure you that is how it was recieved. I do not like being insulted any more that you do no matter how it is done.

    Mr. Fusion I have almost always agreed with both yourself and Uncle Dave. And perhaps due to this hold you to a higher standard than people such as Malren. It is for this reason that my comments are made. I believe that Astro’s comment needed to be challenged. I will question a statement made by those that I admire with as much fervor as I will agree with a statement made by those that I do not admire. I expect for people to due the same with me.

    John

  11. John S says:

    Uncle Dave I know that if you have read my previous post you will see that I partially responded to your post. Your question was reasonable to me and I did not make that known. If what Google is attempting to do does not lean towards an acceptance of fascist ways than what word would better describe it. If Malren or anyone has a better word they should feel free to post it.

    “For the record, while I don’t necessarily approve of everything Israel does, I have nothing but respect for Jews.”. I believe I know what you mean and I share the same opinion. I, however, commented on the fact that you had not said that. I believe that some things should be said. When it comes to generalizations about communities I just feel better knowing where people stand. I cannot read minds. Thank you for responding to my comment.

    “However, if you reread what malren wrote, he was saying (I think) that astro (#8) was making a stupid, anti-Jewish comment. Rather than him attacking Jews, he was defending them, sort of.”. I do see your point on Malren’s comment, however, Astro did not seem to be defending Jews. I have been both attacked and defended in my life. If Astro truly was defending Jews than his comment falls squarely in the “with friends like you who needs enemies” realm.

    I am not attacking either Uncle Dave or Mr. Fusion, or anyone else here, nor do I intend to. I hope to contribute more to this forum so that that statement will become become perfectly clear. I believe that if you only listen to those like yourself and ignore those different that you, you may miss opportunities to grow and learn.

    Finding anything of value in Malren’s comment was a lot like finding a mushroom in manure. Still the “mushroom” was there and deserved to be noticed. Malren is like a child and responding to his comments only brings those who do down to his level. That is not fair, but it is true.

    I wish that someone had intelligently asked Astro to clarify his comment. I also wish that Malren and his ilk would play somewhere else and leave places like this to adults. Until that happens the best thing is to act in a manner befitting adults and hope the children leave when they fail to get the response they desire.

    John

  12. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    however, I read the post and took what I wanted and ignored what I did not. As may I point out did you.

    Sorry John. I commented upon what I felt like commenting on.

    You made no mention of his comment on Astro.

    Nor did I feel any urge to comment on any of the other posts on this topic or several other topics currently on DU. And I notice you haven’t either. Nor will I comment on everything you have said.

    “I don’t agree with astro, but that is something entirely different.”. Different due to the fact it did not involve attacking you.

    Different because it is off topic and I did not care to get into that discussion at that, or even this, point.

    I believe that Astro’s comment needed to be challenged.

    Then challenge astro’s comments. I encourage you. I might even very well agree with your points. But I don’t agree with being taken to task because I didn’t challenge a point someone made. Many times I see the point as being just too ridiculous to even consider. Other times, someone else has already made an extremely well written opposing view that I can’t add to. Or, my mind is in a different direction.

    I also encourage you to return to DU. You have a good writing style and I’m sure you could contribute to some lively discussions. Forgive my crankiness. I just had a 6th operation on my foot last week and I am uncomfortable and cranky. And remember, it isn’t the venom in what I write, it is how much spittle I leave on my keyboard.

  13. John S says:

    Mr. Fusion:

    Your point is well made. I guess I should take my own advice. I agree I was put off track from the main topic, just that comment about Israel really burned my briches. ;-). I apologize for the way I expressed that irritation. Thank you for complementing my writing stile also. I decided to make posts in part to work on my writing skills as well as my debate skills. I hope to improve both with time. I hope you feel better soon. In regards to spittle, I tend to deposit mine on the monitor rather than my keyboard. Perhaps I am sitting to close. Time to see the Optometrist. ;-)

    John

  14. atari911 says:

    This is so typical of liberals. Look how off topic you all have gotten. You better watch what you say, and how you say it or they will sure as hell make you know that you are wrong. Talk about big brother!