Boil That Frog!

One thing I’ve been awfully leery of is the proliferation of sensors of every sort in every part of our environment. In particular I’m edgy about the new generation of devices, such as Amazon’s Echo, that just sit in your house and listen.

I realize that this ship has already sailed, really, in that we all now carry around smartphones that contain cameras, location sensors and microphones. (It used to be that if you wanted to, you could make sure they were turned off by taking out the battery — but with most of them, now, you can’t even do that. Am I being paranoid to think the switch away from removable batteries might be motivated by more than, say, reliable waterproofing?)

This latest wave of products, though, is another level of monitoring: we all know it’s right there listening, because that’s what we expect it to do. And apparently we’re just fine with that: these things are selling like hot-cakes.

Here’s an article about the road ahead — at least the few feet of it that we can see.

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16 Comments

  1. coyote says

    this is one of my worst fears in re Trump “making us safer”. the right will buy into total surveillance ala UK. chips in us, our kids, everything.

    Posted February 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  2. JK says

    Just throwing this out here, not knowing y’all understand but I’m thinking strong possibility.

    The article states paraphrased, “Alexa” must be spoken before the machine begins responding/recording. However from all the adverts I’m aware of *Alexa’s* communication cue (in order the conversation seems “natural”)

    Anyway, my supposition would be *Alexa* gets cued at the mere first syllable rather than all three. My thinking (including but not limited to) along the lines of native Southerners, inhabitants of say, Maine .. native speakers of say Tagalog speaking English “turns on Alexa.”

    And if Alexa gets turned on at “A” …

    Posted February 11, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    coyote,

    It’s not even Trump. It seems to be, simply, what we all want. We are downright eager for all of this, and line up for the newest iteration of it.

    Posted February 11, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    JK,

    Anyway, my supposition would be *Alexa* gets cued at the mere first syllable rather than all three.

    My supposition is that Alexa listens whenever whoever actually has control over it tells it to.

    Posted February 11, 2017 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
  5. maybe that’s why there is a still a large market for ‘dumb phones’

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink
  6. JK says

    Malcolm,

    My supposition is that Alexa listens whenever whoever actually has control over it tells it to.

    Eh, … well actually, that’d be a mutual supposition. You ever enjoyed a phone conversation with an American Southerner (and been somewhat annoyed) at the Southerner’s habit of beginning each statement/reply with an “Eh” or somesuch?

    And in a similar vein, rumor has it Stingray does with our cellphones precisely that.

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  7. Rick says

    Here’s what concerns me, and should concern people who buy these devices, even though they may think, “hell, I’ve got nothing to hide.”

    1) recordings and data can be taken out of context, or manipulated.
    2) how do you defend yourself against 1)? With what?

    The auto insurance company Progressive offered a device you could install in your car that monitored your lawful driving habits. It would adjust your bill with savings if the device reported you were a good little driver.
    What if you had to speed up for good reason or were in the vicinity of an accident but not at fault or some other crime in progress.
    What if the device made errors and your bill increased.
    How do you defend yourself?

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Rick,

    The auto insurance company Progressive offered a device you could install in your car that monitored your lawful driving habits. It would adjust your bill with savings if the device reported you were a good little driver.

    I’d never sign up for such a thing even if they gave me the insurance. And if I took the offer as it stands, I’d be priced out of the market within a month.

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  9. M says

    The shitlib multi-faceted, multi-front anti-Trump strategy is taking shape, and it’s a pretty strong one:

    MSM: Scream at top of lungs that Trump is a Hitler racist facist for every move he makes. Also call him mentally ill/insane (echoes of what was done w/ Goldwater).

    Government: Endless amount of leaks from unelected civil service so Trump can’t get anything done. MSM blows each leak out of proportion, calls Trump Hitler racist facist.

    Courts: Challenge every nationalist/anti-GC court order using shitlib judges on the west coast, which will be affirmed by the 9th circuit.

    Protests: MSM attention on Soros-paid protests in GC cities, vastly overestimating the size and impact of the crowds.

    Congress: Obstruct Trump maximally on everything, regardless of the issue. Push for impeachment.

    Censorship: Use Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc to censor conservatives more and more.

    Attack Trump family/allies: You see their attacks on Ivanka brand now and also on Barron, also on Bannon and now on Flynn. Expect these attacks to expand. Echoes of how Pablo Escobar was taken down (if you can’t get at Pablo, destroy his allies and friends).

    This strategy appears to be working, at least so far. Trump has been very quiet and hasn’t done anything over the past week (except get Sessions and DeVos confirmed).

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    M,

    Rather badly off-topic, no? Did you mean to post this on the previous thread?

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  11. Malcolm says

    M,

    I’ll add this: your summary is a good one, but you don’t advance your argument with “shitlib”. Who is your audience? If it’s us over here on the Right, we already know what sort of people our opponents are. If it’s the Left, calling them names (and stooping to their level) only encourages them. And you’ll hardly entice those wavering in the middle, which should really be the aim.

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
  12. Whitewall says

    With all this invasive technology coming on the market, with applause it seems, I wonder if an opposite “disconnect” movement begins quietly and spreads as people want a return to sanity?

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  13. JK says

    Likely too late Whitewall for that “disconnect movement thingy” because … well

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/01/internet-of-things-theres-now-a-us-congressional-committee-for-that/

    And you just know how that public confidence in Congress thingy is going too.

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink
  14. Malcolm says

    One part of the problem: unless (or until) there’s some sort of global Butlerian Jihad, those disconnected will be a small and increasingly disadvantaged minority.

    I have a particular nightmare about all of this that is, I think, likely to happen. I’ll describe it in a post of its own.

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink
  15. JK says

    I think, pretty much, I can (guess)/write the upcoming post Malcolm. Likely Whitewall too.

    You’ll notice neither me nor he do, Social Media for instance?

    Too you’ll never find either of us immersed in our phones and, walking into water-features, lamp-posts or nightmares like for instance, a 90 mph text to “our” Greyhound bus.

    Posted February 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  16. Whitewall says

    JK, you’re right about all of it. I read somewhere that those phones and all the social media are nothing more than “weapons of mass distraction”. If I could remember who wrote it I would cite.

    Posted February 13, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink