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G00gle spies?

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  • G00gle spies?

    Anyone see this story?


    Privacy Issues Surround Emerging Google Software

    A software prototype that Google is developing will allow the company to listen in on the “ambient sound emitted from a TV,” in order to simultaneously send tailored information and advertising to your computer.

    The new technology will gather background sounds, like those coming from shows on the TV, through a PC’s built-in microphone. The software breaks the audio sample into five second snippets, creating a digital fingerprint.

    The fingerprint is matched to a similar one in a database, and then shows online content related to what it found. The personalized software could include advertising, search results, or a chat room on the subject.

    Two research scientists on Google’s Research Blog explained the benefits of the software, saying, “The system could keep up with users while they channel surf, presenting them with a real-time forum about a live political debate one minute and an ad-hoc chat room for a sporting event in the next.”

    In a recent Technology Review article, Google’s director of research, Peter Norvig, said that the software will eventually show up in Google products. According to Google’s Research Blog, company researchers presented a paper detailing the software prototype at the Euro Interactive Television Conference (ITC), which took place in Athens this past June.

    Due to issues of privacy invasion, it seems that civil liberties activists could have strong arguments against putting this technology into practice.

    However, according to researchers, the fingerprinting technology in the prototype makes it impossible for the company to eavesdrop on other sounds in the room, such as personal conversations; the only personal information revealed, Google says, is TV-watching preferences.

    "Some people did get the impression that we had an open microphone that was going to listen in on them. Clearly, that was not what we were doing. We are transmitting a key that can be matched but not reversed.” Norvig said, in the same Technology Review article.

    According to their paper on the subject, which was presented at the Euro ITC, Google researchers contend that their goal is, “to combine the best of both worlds: integrating the relaxing and effortless experience of mass-media content with the interactive and personalized potential of the Web, providing mass personalization.”


    It came in an ada ware email this week.
    "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

  • #2
    I don't understand the use of the system for the TV watcher ........

    Comment


    • #3
      You've got to be joking is this for real ? I don't think anyone I know would ever suggest I'm in the least bit paranoid but this sounds pretty dangerous to me. I use google quite a bit but if this is genuine I'll be avoiding it like the plague.

      and over in the big black booth near the edge of the fairground, the last band is playing...

      Comment


      • #4
        Looks like a windup to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, saw this on another site. Sounds a bit tinfoil hat to me. Plus, I don't have an inbuilt microphone on my PC, so I'm not really bothered. Anyway, I had to give 5 test-tubes of blood to the UN when I joined the organisation, so for all I know I could already be a cloned genetic alien hybrid. Bit late to worry about these things, imho...
          The name that can be named is not the true name.

          Comment


          • #6
            No entity being it corporate or individual should have access to such private information without the consent of the individual/s in question.
            On the other hand....I think that I could have some nasty fun with this one. How about hooking up 4 tv,s in the same room with Natural Born Killers, The Chronicles Of The Black Sword, Deep Throat and Visions Of Islam all playing at the same time.
            That would throw a spanner into the works of the spying gOOgle bastards.

            Comment


            • #7
              Most PCs don't have a 'built-in microphone'; laptops do it's true but desktop computers don't afaik. Certainly none of the ones we've bought for work have ever had this feature. Most come with a 'jack' for you to plug an external mic into, but not an internal one.

              Besides, not everyone will have a TV/radio in the same room as their PC, so I don't see how this system would work in those situations.

              Perhaps Google have come up with this technology as presented above, but I'm not yet entirely convinced.
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment


              • #8
                One reason I ask is that a couple of weeks ago I hit the wrong button (right clicked the small rectagular icon, the one which on left click controls the video screen size) at the bottom of the screen to the right of the volume control on the google video player at video.google.com (they have an ok collection of Edison Mutoscope short films by the way), a micromedia flash player settings dialogue box popped up offering a settings option, I clicked on that and a four option box popped up, the first option was privacy, I was offered the option of letting google video access my camera and microphone or not, so that incident plus the above piece created a two-piece mosaic of mild paranoia in my small, tired brain, just wondering what others made of it.

                Oh, don't remember for sure but I believe the default setting was on "allow" rather than "deny".

                Just re-checked something, even though I denied vid/aud access, the mic on my son's gaming headset was still reading hot and responding on the display to bumps and bangs in the room, I had to manually cut their record volume down to get it to stop registering!
                Last edited by Talisant; 10-05-2006, 11:52 AM.
                "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

                Comment


                • #9
                  And you will be in that same room...?? with some industrial strength ear protection, I hope!

                  Originally posted by voilodian ghagnasdiak
                  No entity being it corporate or individual should have access to such private information without the consent of the individual/s in question.
                  On the other hand....I think that I could have some nasty fun with this one. How about hooking up 4 tv,s in the same room with Natural Born Killers, The Chronicles Of The Black Sword, Deep Throat and Visions Of Islam all playing at the same time.
                  That would throw a spanner into the works of the spying gOOgle bastards.
                  Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.
                  -Yousuf Karsh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    later, found this via the advanced box:

                    What are privacy settings?

                    Applications that are created with Macromedia Flash from Adobe may want to have access to the camera and/or microphone available on your computer. Privacy settings let you specify whether you want applications from a particular website to have such access. Note that it is the person or company that has created the application you are using that is requesting such access, not Adobe (unless Adobe has created the application that wants access to your camera or microphone).

                    It is the responsibility of the person or company requesting access to make it clear to you why they want access and how they plan to use the audio or video. You should be aware of the privacy policy of anyone who is requesting audio or video access. For example, see the Adobe privacy policy. Contact the website requesting access for information on their privacy policy.

                    It's important to understand that even though this settings panel is part of Adobe Flash Player, the audio and video will be used by an application created by a third party. Adobe assumes no responsibility for third-party privacy policies, actions of third-party companies in capturing audio or video on your computer, or such companies' use of such data or information.

                    To specify privacy settings for all websites, use the Global Privacy Settings panel. To specify privacy settings for individual websites, use the Website Privacy Settings panel.


                    David, I believe that some older dial-up modems had a small mic/speaker on them, could be wrong.
                    "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Talisant
                      David, I believe that some older dial-up modems had a small mic/speaker on them, could be wrong.
                      Speakers on modems certainly (otherwise you wouldn't hear all the squawking) but don't know about a mic. Technically I understand that you can 'reverse-engineer' a speaker to act as a mic but I don't know if you can do that without physically adapting the speaker.

                      But I still come back to my point about a TV being in the same room as a PC. At the moment, the only ambient sounds in the room that my PC is in are the tapping of my keyboard (as I write this) and and a faint low hum from the PC itself. I can't begin to imagine what sort of advertising Google would want to send me based on that input.
                      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Talisant
                        Applications that are created with Macromedia Flash from Adobe may want to have access to the camera and/or microphone available on your computer.
                        Of course, you still have to have the webcam and/or the mic turned on for this to work anyway. Again, there is possibly more risk of this being the case with laptops, where I guess the mic is potentially on all the time.
                        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The volume control was down all the way on my son's mic/headphone combo but it was still registering sound as shown on their recording meter, until I manually cut the record level down on their options box, guess it was a case of input vs. output.
                          "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Talisant, I've merged the two threads on this to just this one in the 'Technology' forum, which is perhaps a more appropriate place for it. Hope you don't mind.
                            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Mosley
                              Speakers on modems certainly (otherwise you wouldn't hear all the squawking) but don't know about a mic. Technically I understand that you can 'reverse-engineer' a speaker to act as a mic but I don't know if you can do that without physically adapting the speaker.
                              I've used headphones for a microphone a couple of times, just plug it into the mic socket and talk directly into it, sounds bad but audible.

                              Originally posted by David Mosley
                              Talisant, I've merged the two threads on this to just this one in the 'Technology' forum, which is perhaps a more appropriate place for it. Hope you don't mind.
                              No problem, it should've been posted here in the first place, must've taken a wrong turn on the Moonbeam Road .
                              "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

                              Comment

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