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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Amazon's next market

I refuse to use any of these smart, voice-activated devices or to have one in my home. It astonishes me that anyone does:
Amazon wants to put a camera and microphone in your bedroom with the UK launch of its latest Echo home device. The camera on the £119.99 ($129) Echo Spot, which doubles up as a 'smart alarm', will probably be facing directly at the user's bed.  The device, which is already available in the US has such sophisticated microphones it can hear people talking from across the room - even if music is playing.

However, there remain privacy concerns over using such a device in the home. Amazon devices have previously activated when they're not wanted meaning this small device could turn into a potential spy.
Five years from now, I'm sure we'll all be shocked when Amazon unveils that it is adding adult channels to all of its streaming services, with a library bigger than all of its rivals combined.

Labels:

214 Comments:

1 – 200 of 214 Newer› Newest»
Anonymous TheSmokingMan#3424 January 16, 2018 12:53 PM  

And people will pay, willingly.

Blogger Glenn Phillips January 16, 2018 12:54 PM  

Perverts. If that's the case, their pron library will be like a nude beach. All the people you don't want to see naked.

Anonymous Eduardo January 16, 2018 12:56 PM  

The porn industry intesifies.

This is pretty stupid move, can't you just... Use switches O_O'?

No wait... All cool kids have a sextape these days.

Anonymous Ain January 16, 2018 12:58 PM  

Bezos didn't get 600 million from the CIA for nothing.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 16, 2018 12:58 PM  

MPAI. Demonstrated again.

Smarter TV's have been spying for a few years. Alexa listens to everything in a house. Handset assistants on iOS and Android listen quite a bit more than people realize, and the Android version stores its snippets on Google server farms. The iOS version does something similar for sure.

Plus every Tweet ever sent is stored in a Twitter database. That includes all the adventures in amateur anatomy.

I'm sure we'll all be shocked when Amazon unveils that it is adding adult channels to all of its streaming services, with a library bigger than all of its rivals combined.

Meh, NSA will always have everyone beat on that library, because on top of all the other internet porn, they also have all the pedo porn.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr January 16, 2018 12:59 PM  

Anyone who would have a robo-snitch in the house has got to be out of his mind. Given the basic function of those things, and the "Privacy? What's that?" mindset of the Silicon Valley magnates, you can damned well bet they have the microphones running 24/7. Those twits want to play James Bond villain...except in real life.

And Heaven alone knows who they will be selling your information to.

Blogger wreckage January 16, 2018 12:59 PM  

Oh good. Just what I wanted. A salesman in my house... permanently.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 16, 2018 1:03 PM  

How to fund universal surveillance? By convincing the rubes to pay to be spied on them.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 16, 2018 1:08 PM  

Even Orwell in 1984 didn't imagine the ordinary bloke would want to pay for the telescreen in his apartment. Would pay for it gladly.

Anonymous Amazon E-Salesman (Eduardo) January 16, 2018 1:12 PM  

"Gooooood Mooornig Wreckage!"

"We have noticed that your performance has decreased from your previous 'Happy Night'. We at Amazon want your sex life to be the best ever, so we have chosen a number of products to get on top of your game! Would you like to see the products?"

"Don't forget the latest related products:"

"Alt-Boner, for Alternative sex life!"
"TrumpShaft... What else."
"Dangerous, the sexproof deodorant by Milo"

-----------

Sorry Wreckage, you gave me ideas...

Anonymous Killua January 16, 2018 1:12 PM  

There is already a camera in your bedroom. Is right on your laptop. I am convinced that the cameras on laptops have some way to spy on you.

I actually physically covered my laptop's camera with adhesive tape. Call me paranoid, but I prefer to be safe.

Blogger YIH January 16, 2018 1:13 PM  

From Karl Denninger: So Much For WH [White House] Security - And Yours.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders took to Twitter to call out Amazon after her young son inadvertently ordered an $80 toy using the the company's Echo device.
"Alexa, we have a problem if my 2 year old can order a Batman toy by yelling "Batman!" over and over again into the Echo," Sanders tweeted on Sunday.

Oh really?
So let me see if I get this right. The White House Press Secretary has a spying device with an always-on microphone in her home and in fact it is connected and working. A device she willingly and intentionally paid for.
Said spying device allegedly "ordered" an $80 toy because her child spoke a series of words. The outrage, of course, is that the device ordered an $80 toy.

But one he posted 3 weeks ago really left my hair standing on end: Where Are The Damned COPS (Connected Toys).
First, COPPA. It bars the collection of any uniquely-identifiable information from anyone under 13 without the explicit consent of a parent. A toy marketed for children under 13 that has microphone or camera functionality is by definition a violation, since there is utterly no way for a parent to give consent as to what is sent and received when.
Like, for example, your six year old daughter naked in the bathroom with said toy.
Second, these things simply do not have either the budget or cost associated with them to provide anything approaching acceptable security even for adult use. They typically connect using either Bluetooth or WiFi and while both can be reasonably secure it takes effort to make sure they are. The effort isn't made because it costs a lot of money, and that's inconsistent with mass-market toys sold for kids and costing relatively small-dollar amounts.

The doll itself is quite normal-looking (scroll down for a pic of it) but the eyes have a camera, the ears have a microphone and it connects online via WIFI or Bluetooth:
The My Friend Cayla doll, for example, uses speech recognition software coupled with Google Translate. The doll’s microphone records speech and then transmits it over the internet, a function that leaves it open to hackers, according to cybersecurity researchers. If the doll’s owner does not designate a specific cellphone or tablet with which the doll should have an internet connection, anyone within 50 feet of the toy can use the Bluetooth connection to gain access to it. Security researchers have also raised concerns over what type of data the doll collects, and how the data is used.
George Orwell was a prophet.

Blogger Zaklog the Great January 16, 2018 1:14 PM  

Now come on, actual, single-perspective recordings of ordinary people having sex for their own pleasure would make terrible pornography and we all know it. That's why I've always been confused by people wanting to "f--- like a porn star". What? Soullessly, for others' amusement?

Blogger Markku January 16, 2018 1:15 PM  

"sophisticated microphone". Right. I once tested this. I took the cheapest, oldest cell phone I could find and put it under a stack of pillows, then tested if I could decipher with Audacity (the free software) what I said at the other edge of the house.

Yes. Easily.

Blogger Quilp January 16, 2018 1:16 PM  

I was given an echo as a gift a few years ago at Christmas when they first came out. Meh, its ok. I keep it downstairs in the room I work out in. I do like music without headphones. I already have prime because of where I live, I want the 2 day (ha!) delivery. If Amazon wants to hear my old man grunts, groans sighs, heavy breathing..and mistake it for something else, well the joke is on them. I keep telling myself someday I'll try the audiobook feature, but I never seem to.

Blogger Markku January 16, 2018 1:18 PM  

Conclusion: There is not a microphone so cheap that it can't capture everything you say anywhere in a house, no matter what passive means of silencing it you may use. Only active means (playing noise to its microphone) can accomplish that.

Anonymous Eduardo January 16, 2018 1:21 PM  

@Zaklog

It is all about being kinky dude.

Ever wondered what is the rationale for cumshots?

"Hey, gurl, you so pretty I wanna shoot my fluids all over you!"

Imagine if your friends were like that!

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 1:23 PM  

> I refuse to use any of these smart, voice-activated devices or to have one in my home.

To order things from Amazon or do an Internet search? What's the point? If I'm spending money I want to take my time and actually look at the items being offered before I spend it. For an Internet search the times I can get by with quickly summarized text only are somewhere between few and none.

Blogger Geoarrge January 16, 2018 1:26 PM  

In the background timeline I have for my sci-fi series in development, concerns over the data accumulated by cloud AI assistants eventually started World War III.

Blogger JACIII January 16, 2018 1:28 PM  

Anyone think the microphone mute switch really does anything???

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 1:30 PM  

> Anyone think the microphone mute switch really does anything???

Besides alerting the NSA to pay special attention to the next conversation?

Blogger Markku January 16, 2018 1:37 PM  

Try it. Take any phone, activate the recorder, and try to build a passive noise attenuation such that when you normalize the recording to 0.0dB in Audacity, you can't make out what you said, as far away from the phone as you can get.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 1:37 PM  

There have already been several incidents of these devices ordering goods that their owners didn't intend to purchase. I don't see any upside to having one of these devices and the risks of having one are substantial and obvious.

Blogger Anno Ruse January 16, 2018 1:40 PM  

I'm just amazed at how many useless products Amazon can put out. What's next, I say "french fries" into a $300 microphone and I'm rewarded with a $15 order of fries thirty minutes later? Maybe Amazon can invent a robot to pretend to be my girlfriend because I can't go on real dates after spending all my money on Amazon's latest toilet-monitoring device.

Blogger Ariadne Umbrella January 16, 2018 1:41 PM  

I think every high school kid here has a naked selfie on snapchat. definitely nearly every athlete has sent a dick pic. These kids are all under 18.

tech heavy high school.

Blogger Markku January 16, 2018 1:42 PM  

Also remember: That's just the unprocessed recording. What about when you specifically filter out all frequencies except the ones occurring in human speech? EXTREMELY easy to do with a comb filter. The GSM speech codec works on that principle.

Anonymous Who Rescued Whom? January 16, 2018 1:42 PM  

Boomerposting has hit new heights. You have a spying device in your home because it was shiny and convenient. You like music without headphones? Buy a speaker. You think the Echo isn't listening to what you say in other rooms?

Grow the fuck up and throw the toy away.

Blogger OGRE January 16, 2018 1:51 PM  

Never in a million years would I want something like this.

I'd think that anyone who has a duty of confidentiality is being exposed to substantial risk if they permit these types of devices into their home and workplace.

I'd also think this poses serious implications in criminal cases. It might be a violation of the fourth amendment for the police to set up a camera and mic in your bedroom, but you can't claim any protection against Amazon doing so when you've paid them for the privilege. And theres little to prevent Amazon from sharing that information with law enforcement.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 16, 2018 1:52 PM  

We have two smart tv's I the house. If you mention something like cowboy hats the next random ads on your mobile or laptop will be for cowboy hats. Endless ads for, 'hot Russian brides' or 'this secret hack is terrifying the hand gun industry' then suddenly it's cowboy hats or women's swim wear.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 16, 2018 1:52 PM  

Still not convenient enough. I want Amazon to read my mind, charge my card, then send a robot to my home and shove a custom dildo up my asshole.

Blogger KSC January 16, 2018 1:53 PM  

@28
Exactly. It's well established in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence that it is absolutely legal for the gov't to solicit information about you from third parties--after you all, you gave it to them, so you clearly didn't care about keeping it secret. People have gotten around this in various ways, and it's possible though unlikely that the courts could reverse their precedents on this in light of how much personal information everyone puts on the internet. Until and unless that happens, though, people need to be considerably more careful than they are (I say this as someone who has pretty much failed in this so far.)

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett January 16, 2018 1:54 PM  

Is CWII going to be between smart home users and those of us not too lazy to set a frickin alarm clock? Reckon who'll win that one?

Anonymous GunShowTrash January 16, 2018 1:54 PM  

What about "performance royalties?" Will these be administered by BMI, SECAC, or ASCAP? Or a new entity, identified by an appropriately vulgar acronym?

What about "tour riders?"

New markets may beckon, but I've no plans to participate.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 1:54 PM  

> We have two smart tv's I the house.

So why are your smart TV's connected to your network? Do you actually use a service that requires it?

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 16, 2018 1:55 PM  

And is it too much to ask for a little more fluoride in the water? We don't all have time to brush our teeth, you know. It's 2018 people, I thought this was the future.

Anonymous CloseHauled January 16, 2018 1:55 PM  

There is already a camera in your bedroom. Is right on your laptop. I am convinced that the cameras on laptops have some way to spy on you.

I actually physically covered my laptop's camera with adhesive tape. Call me paranoid, but I prefer to be safe.


Zuckerberg did this to his work computer. Not being paranoid but being smart.

Many people have already complained that they feel facebook is spying on them through their phone.
They get advertisements on fb related to topics (some not so common) soon after speaking about them
in the presence of their phone.

I will never own any of these home voice recognition devices.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club January 16, 2018 1:56 PM  

Who is the market for such a thing? What possible benefit could one not be willing to pass up despite the screamingly obvious drawbacks? I just can't see it.

I actually physically covered my laptop's camera with adhesive tape.

First thing done when it comes out of the box.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 16, 2018 1:57 PM  

It's fun to imagine these will be optional consumer products forever.

Blogger wreckage January 16, 2018 1:58 PM  

@10 Now add the creepy passive tone that computer products all seem to take.

"Wreckage, we're so happy to see you this morning! Wow, you were great last night! Our products will make sure you're all you can be... in bed! We're so pleased to offer you these exclusive products just for you!"

*shudder*

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 1:59 PM  

@26 And if there are multiple mics recording simultaneously, the signals can be combined even after the fact for use in a phased array, providing for some directional gain. I don't know Audacity all that well, but digital filtering like this is pretty straightforward in MATLAB.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 16, 2018 1:59 PM  

Pro tip: Like smartphones these will be a de facto requirement for white collar jobs within 20 years.

Blogger wreckage January 16, 2018 2:00 PM  

@30 Please don't give them ideas. Or if you do, at least make sure you get royalties.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 2:02 PM  

> Maybe Amazon can invent a robot to pretend to be my girlfriend...

I don't think Real Doll is on Amazon yet, but give them time.

Blogger maniacprovost January 16, 2018 2:05 PM  

*eloquent arguments for why Vox Popoli comment quality has not deteriorated, but rather shifted purpose and demographics*

2 day later

I want Amazon to read my mind, charge my card, then send a robot to my home and shove a custom dildo up my asshole.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum January 16, 2018 2:08 PM  

I want Amazon to read my mind, charge my card, then send a robot to my home and shove a custom dildo up my asshole.

But ... but ... muh rhetoric!

Anonymous johnc January 16, 2018 2:14 PM  

"MPAI"

Wait I just came up with a great idea -- let's have people vote for their government representatives! What could possibly go wrong?

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 16, 2018 2:14 PM  

OGRE wrote:I'd think that anyone who has a duty of confidentiality is being exposed to substantial risk if they permit these types of devices into their home and workplace.

Phones aren't allowed anywhere near rooms where Secret conversations might take place. Same with Furbies.

Blogger beerme January 16, 2018 2:16 PM  

My boomerparents have at least three of these awful things because muh convenience. They also love Apple shit because it "just works". It's like they saw all of the boomer memes and thought "Wow, what a great idea!"

Blogger maniacprovost January 16, 2018 2:21 PM  

Wait I just came up with a great idea -- let's have people vote for their government representatives! What could possibly go wrong?

It worked OK when we only allowed people to vote if they were potential revolutionary leaders. The republic was a slight improvement over aristocracy; it allowed well-armed land owners to fight for power without killing the peasants in the process.

The mistake was extending the vote to the peasantry, which had no good historical precedent.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 16, 2018 2:21 PM  

Crybabies. I'll give you the dialectic version.

http://www.mpmlab.org/The%20myth%20of%20harmless%20wrongs%20in%20moral%20cognition.pdf

If I thought homo sapiens were capable of acting morally, and I don't, then I would suggest a zeroth amendment: freedom from surveillance for citizens, where felons are stripped of citizenship.

Blogger The Chortling January 16, 2018 2:24 PM  

Russians found malware infested Chinese consumer electronics and household items years ago.

Stands to reason anything with a pwer source is eventually a witness for the State.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 16, 2018 2:26 PM  

"Markku wrote:"sophisticated microphone". Right. I once tested this. I took the cheapest, oldest cell phone I could find and put it under a stack of pillows, then tested if I could decipher with Audacity (the free software) what I said at the other edge of the house.

Yes. Easily.
"

I believe it. More than once I've had my voice-to-text activated on my smart phone while I was barely "reading with my lips" something else, below what could even be considered a whisper, and it dutifully took very accurate transcription of what I read.

Blogger Giraffe January 16, 2018 2:27 PM  

Combine this with FISA. Sounds like a great idea.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 16, 2018 2:30 PM  

@34 James Dixon no the damn things are not connected. I'm not sure why it happens.

Blogger Edgar Abbey January 16, 2018 2:31 PM  

This was the concern I had with the XBox One. There is a camera and microphone and the device is connected to the internet. Hackable spy device.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 16, 2018 2:34 PM  

@54 Brick Hardslab

They are connected somehow. Could be WiFi, could be Bluetooth. But that's not random, that's a feature.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 16, 2018 2:34 PM  

There is a positive side to these smartspeakers.

Snippet: A Millennial Makes his Case for Google Home

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 16, 2018 2:37 PM  

@44 maniacprovost sounds like any random comment from the last ten years. The subject might have been Apple vs Microsoft at one time.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 16, 2018 2:37 PM  

OT
Not enough winning lately?

Homeland security asks prosecutors if sanctuary city leaders can be arrested

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed Tuesday that her department has asked federal prosecutors to see if they can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.

Please, please, please let the first be (((Rahm Emmanuel)) in Chicago.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 16, 2018 2:39 PM  

Could be Wi-Fi we don't own anything blue tooth.

Anonymous Iacobus January 16, 2018 2:41 PM  

I seriously couldn't see why I would want such a thing in my house. I listen to Internet radio but that's what a smartphone or tablet is for plus a speaker. (And, of course, there are cameras on smartphones and tablets.)

The only benefit I could see is for those that are paralyzed and can't use their motor functions. That's it.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 16, 2018 2:43 PM  

@60
Hardslab, if you have a laptop built this century it has Bluetooth. Your TV's probably searched for available WiFi and connected to a network. Could be yours, could be your neighbors, could be a lot of things. Plus unless your laptop is from the mid 90's, it has Bluetooth on the same card as the WiFi .

Blogger tublecane January 16, 2018 2:44 PM  

I worry about all my things watching and listening to me, not merely things specifically designed to do so. Even phones. Remember when you could overhear neighbors' phone calls on cordless phones? I often imagine something like that's happening. Is that abnormal.

I don't worry much about it, possibly because I'm not a serious enough person. But whenever I put myself out in the world--for instance by posting comments online or making phone calls-or let the world into my house--for instance by having electronic devices connected to the outside world looking at me--I think of it as being in public.

Who wants to talk to robots to get them to do stuff f for you, anyway? I don't like the basic idea. I realize it could be useful, but so is the Clapper. I never bought one of those.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 16, 2018 2:47 PM  

"has asked federal prosecutors to see if they can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts."

Precedent, all the way up to the SC involving other cases where the feds have tried to force state or local jurisdictions to enforce fed law says no. They have even ruled in at least one case specifically dealing with immigration that state or local LE could not enforce fed law.

All they can do is withhold funding.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 2:53 PM  

Precedent, all the way up to the SC involving other cases where the feds have tried to force state or local jurisdictions to enforce fed law says no.

If a state or local government employee has entered into some form of corrupt bargain and has failed to enforce state or local law as a result, then RICO might be applicable.

Blogger Ingot9455 January 16, 2018 2:58 PM  

It's a fine line between 'sanctuary city policies' and not helping the feds enforce federal law and things like aiding and abetting, harboring, and actively transporting.
Passive is probably fine, active is not.

Anonymous Looking Glass January 16, 2018 2:59 PM  

Internet of Things (IoT) is utterly evil. Don't allow any of them in your home, most especially any with a microphone.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 3:04 PM  

> James Dixon no the damn things are not connected.

Well, that makes you go, hmmm, doesn't it? Is your wireless network open or password protected? If it's open, odds are it connected anyway, even if you didn't tell it to.

Blogger dienw January 16, 2018 3:05 PM  

YIH, didn't see the Batman toy; but lower down in the click bait, there was an picture of Bezos: does anyone one else think Lex Luther when they look at it?

Blogger Heian-kyo Dreams January 16, 2018 3:08 PM  

And yet when you call tech support and are first routed through their phone tree, it can't understand "tech support".

"I don't understand what you want."

Some products aren't keeping up with the latest snoopware developments.

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass January 16, 2018 3:11 PM  

People are such fools in that regard. I remember something from InfoWars showing cameras inside cable boxes in the '90s (no, they made sure to point out where the IR sensor was so as not to mistake it as such). For the life of me I have never understood why a TV needs a camera/microphone.

A computer I can understand for videoconferencing, same for a phone.

To all those people who are for transparency and if you have nothing to hide, I present this great skit by Tom Mabe.

Ain wrote:Bezos didn't get 600 million from the CIA for nothing.

@4
I understand needing to make an RFP competitive but that's just a foolish idea, getting them to do a cloud server. That won't ever get compromised. /sarc

A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:MPAI. Demonstrated again.

Smarter TV's have been spying for a few years. Alexa listens to everything in a house. Handset assistants on iOS and Android listen quite a bit more than people realize, and the Android version stores its snippets on Google server farms. The iOS version does something similar for sure.

Plus every Tweet ever sent is stored in a Twitter database. That includes all the adventures in amateur anatomy.

I'm sure we'll all be shocked when Amazon unveils that it is adding adult channels to all of its streaming services, with a library bigger than all of its rivals combined.

Meh, NSA will always have everyone beat on that library, because on top of all the other internet porn, they also have all the pedo porn.


@5 Having used an iPhone for almost 6 years now that is indeed the case.

Brick Hardslab wrote:We have two smart tv's I the house. If you mention something like cowboy hats the next random ads on your mobile or laptop will be for cowboy hats. Endless ads for, 'hot Russian brides' or 'this secret hack is terrifying the hand gun industry' then suddenly it's cowboy hats or women's swim wear.

@29 The opportunity for black knighting abounds!

Hezekiah Garrett wrote:Is CWII going to be between smart home users and those of us not too lazy to set a frickin alarm clock? Reckon who'll win that one?

@32 I still have a standalone iPod for that reason.

The Chortling wrote:Russians found malware infested Chinese consumer electronics and household items years ago.

Stands to reason anything with a pwer source is eventually a witness for the State.


@51 HuaWei has ben known as a PLA front for years. Chalk up Kaspersky and pretty much any ChiCom company to being MSS or SVR/FSB owned.

Edgar Abbey wrote:This was the concern I had with the XBox One. There is a camera and microphone and the device is connected to the internet. Hackable spy device.

@55 That's why I stopped gaming after the XBox 360.

Looking Glass wrote:Internet of Things (IoT) is utterly evil. Don't allow any of them in your home, most especially any with a microphone.

@67 Agreed.

Blogger Cato January 16, 2018 3:13 PM  

I will never get one of these devices that monitors me.

I don't have a TV that has a Camera (so called 'smart' Tvs)

I don't use Windows - I use Linux And I can't understand anyone using it who does not *have* to for what ever reason.

I don't watch mainstream Telly - actually I don't watch much of that period.

The only guilty pleasure is that I use Youtube but you know - we all have failings ;)

Deplug as much as you can. You will find it much better.

Blogger horsewithnonick January 16, 2018 3:13 PM  

They'll pay to be removed from the library.

Anonymous CarpeOro January 16, 2018 3:14 PM  

Another argument for continuing to build my own desktops. No mic, no camera.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 3:16 PM  

@67 Smart meters are ubiquitous now. They don't just measure the amount of electricity used anymore - by examining the switching transients that happen every time you connect or disconnect an electrical device, they can tell which devices are in use. If you're home and you flip a light switch or open a garage door, they know it. And unless you've taken special steps to prevent it, anything that you plug into a wall outlet can potentially communicate with a smart meter through the electrical wiring in your home. The smart meter itself is connected to the power company either by wireless (such as Zigbee) or power line communication.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:17 PM  

You people are luddites. Alexa literally runs my house.

I trust Amazon a million times more than I trust Google or the US government.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum January 16, 2018 3:19 PM  

I trust Amazon a million times more than I trust Google or the US government.

And any number times zero is ...

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 16, 2018 3:22 PM  

I trust Amazon a million times more than I trust Google or the US government.

Hail bezos prime, may he live forever

Anonymous Elder Son January 16, 2018 3:25 PM  

Teach your Gen Z well. They are the ones born into all this. It is normal for them. As they only know, what they know, in the environment they are growing up in. The... new normal. The techno/AI/eugenics prison.

Remember where we were? Here we are. Imagine where your posterity will be.

Blogger Cato January 16, 2018 3:26 PM  

Nate wrote:You people are luddites. Alexa literally runs my house.

I trust Amazon a million times more than I trust Google or the US government.


Do you understand that everything you give to Amazon can be demanded by the US Government - and In fact has to be stored for legal reasons?

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:26 PM  

We have echo devices literally.. all over the house. One weekend I took everything else in the house off line except the echo devices. I pulled up the data flow monitor I use on our router... and I watched.

nothing. I would walk around and talk. No data being sent anywhere. Then I would use the wakeup word...and there would be a spike in traffic.

Now this doesn't work if you have an echo show for example... because the show is downloading content continually... but you can watch a big spike in upload traffic when you use the wake up word versus when you have not.

in short... I think its BS. Amazon is not currently spying on anyone.

also I note that the people so worried about amazon in their homes are carrying around cellphones with microphones and cameras... controlled by google.. or worse... apple.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 3:29 PM  

"nothing. I would walk around and talk. No data being sent anywhere. Then I would use the wakeup word...and there would be a spike in traffic."

If I were going to design Echo as a spy device, I would design it to burst transmit.

Anonymous Elder Son January 16, 2018 3:29 PM  

I trust Amazon a million times more than I trust Google or the US government.

Corporate/government fascism is cool.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:30 PM  

"Do you understand that everything you give to Amazon can be demanded by the US Government - and In fact has to be stored for legal reasons? "

fascinating. Did you learn that from Alex Jones? Was he wearing his shirt when he told you that?

Blogger Lucius Cincinnatus January 16, 2018 3:31 PM  

Phones are already listening. I have reports from multiple friends who talked with someone else about a product (not over the phone, just with phone present) and then had ads for the product start appearing on FB and other websites.

Blogger bobby January 16, 2018 3:33 PM  

In Arkansas, the police requested and received a warrant to examine an Alexa belonging to a murder suspect, and are also seeking to compel Amazon to turn over recordings it received from that Alexa on the night someone was killed and left in a hot tub in the suspect's home. The police have reason to believe the Alexa recorded the entire murder.

So, before you kill someone, pull the batteries.


http://fortune.com/2016/12/27/amazon-echo-murder/

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:34 PM  

@75 that's great in theory. In practice it is garbage because anyone who has ever set up a powerline based network in their home knows... the wiring sucks and communication is degraded significantly from various causes.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:37 PM  

@86

Bobby... did you actually read the article or just the headline? No. They did NOT believe the device recorded the murder. They were hoping to use it to gather evidence about the timeline. Their evidence didn't ultimate come from the device at all. It came from his hot water heater.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 16, 2018 3:39 PM  

It came from his hot water heater.

That's why real patriot sheepdog iii% only take cold showers

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:42 PM  

Honestly Vox... you're to smart for this. Think about it. We're talking about millions of devices here. Millions. if all of them were recording and uploading audio and/or video all the time... it would destroy the internet. Every time someone plugged in an echo device you would see an epic spike in their data usage.

its not happening. I just isn't.

Anonymous Anonymous January 16, 2018 3:44 PM  

@84:

"



@84: "fascinating. Did you learn that from Alex Jones? Was he wearing his shirt when he told you that?"

In the specific, Amazon Terms of Data Privacy.

In the general, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/09/internet-of-things-smart-devices-spying-surveillance-us-government

In fact, thanks to FISA Section 1881a, the US can access ANYONE's information regardless of nationality if that person is using the services of a US-based company.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/yes-u-s-authorities-can-spy-on-eu-cloud-data-heres-how/

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:45 PM  

"Corporate/government fascism is cool. "

The Amazon/Government conspiracy may eventually challenge the Chem Trail conspiracy for the stupidest thing any but a flatearther said.

Blogger Ingot9455 January 16, 2018 3:45 PM  

It's not happening - until the blue-hair tumblrina flips the switch for your particular IP address so as to take a few days of recordings of your house so as to scan until offended.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:47 PM  

"It's not happening - until the blue-hair tumblrina flips the switch for your particular IP address so as to take a few days of recordings of your house so as to scan until offended."

uh huh. BUT THAT TOTALLY CAN NOT HAPPEN WITH YOUR SMART PHONE. ONLY YOUR ECHO DEVICE

Anonymous BBGKB January 16, 2018 3:48 PM  

If Versace was alive today "Alexa order me 2 dozen male whores.

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2018/01/13/miami-20-sacrificed-horses-discovered-shithole-immigrants-blamed/

Is CWII going to be between smart home users and those of us not too lazy to set a frickin alarm clock? Reckon who'll win that one?

Only if you can get Alexa to say "Sorry Dave I can't do that order of Buffalo Bore Ammunition"

That's why real patriot sheepdog iii% only take cold showers

Coal burning hot water heater.

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 16, 2018 3:48 PM  

The Amazon/Government conspiracy may eventually challenge the Chem Trail conspiracy for the stupidest thing any but a flatearther said.

Amazon drones spray chem trails, duh

Blogger Josh (the sexiest thing here) January 16, 2018 3:49 PM  

Coal burning hot water heater.

I thought you stopped burning the coal

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:50 PM  

in the meantime... alexa can do everything but make me a sandwich... from vaccumming the rugs to adding a few extra minutes to the dryer... to cooling down the room... or turning on the fireplace.

and you... well you get to virtue signal on the internet about how much you care about your privacy.

with an iphone in your pocket.

Blogger Chris Mallory January 16, 2018 3:56 PM  

The Alexa is pretty useful for a person who is disabled, bed ridden, and nearly blind. Voice activated is a God send for a person in that situation.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 3:58 PM  

Exactly Mallory. The shows are also awesome for the elderly. you can literally drop-in and check on them any time.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 16, 2018 3:59 PM  

Nate wrote:in the meantime... alexa can do everything but make me a sandwich... from vaccumming the rugs to adding a few extra minutes to the dryer... to cooling down the room... or turning on the fireplace.

and you... well you get to virtue signal on the internet about how much you care about your privacy.

with an iphone in your pocket.


That being the more important issue. There is nothing that Alexa can pick up that your own cell phone can't hear better.

Arguably a lot better.

Cataline: Alexa play music by Arcady

Alexa: I'm sorry, I can't find music by R. K. D.

Cataline: Alexa, you're an idiot.

Alexa: That's not a very nice thing to say.

Anonymous krymneth January 16, 2018 3:59 PM  

Nate wrote:

in short... I think its BS. Amazon is not currently spying on anyone.


Some of us have tried to substantiate the spying claims. I haven't seen anyone demonstrate that Amazon or Google etc. is spying or serving targeted ads as a result of overhearing something. My own attempts to trigger this behavior have failed on both my phone and my wife's phone, the latter being a fairly typical phone (vs. my much more conservative phone). There is also a lot of reason to assume that they can't possibly be; cell phones, for instance, simply do not have the battery capacity to do speech recognition all day, nor do they have the capacity to be constantly sending recordings to a server, nor could they do so without using so much EM bandwidth that we'd be able to prove they do it, nor would Amazon conceivably want to spend the money it would take to be doing speech-to-text on every cell phone or everything an Alexa is present for.

It is far more likely that what people are citing is simply coincidence, because of the huge sampling pool. Eventually people get "lucky". A non-trivial number of them probably did recently search for the thing they claim was out-of-the-blue and just forgot.

There is too much incentive for someone to score big security hacker or technical points by successfully proving the privacy intruders are sucking up all audio for them to be able to do it without someone figuring it out.

But I understand the sentiment, given that they suck up everything they are technically capable of sucking up. I'm sure if they could, they would. By no means am I suggesting cranking down the paranoia.

Anonymous BBGKB January 16, 2018 4:00 PM  

Related to free/expensive speech:

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2018/01/13/south-carolina-set-to-make-criticism-of-israel-illegal/

SC to outlaw criticism of Israel

My main criticism is there are too many jews outside Israel, & too much US taxpayer money going there. Send Israel more jews less $$$

Anonymous Elder Son January 16, 2018 4:01 PM  

No, honestly, there is a thing called the NSA. Nothing to see there. Nothing at all.

Nate, their is nothing wrong with tech in and of itself. It is how corporations, in bed with government, and government, in bed with corporations, use it.

I have to wonder what planet you are on. If you don't think, in this case, that Amazon's Alexa isn't... learning, you are delusional.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 4:02 PM  

> If I were going to design Echo as a spy device, I would design it to burst transmit.

Well, yes, but Amazon engineers aren't that competent.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:02 PM  

also... yes we know the mute button works on echo devices. we know because we have several of them. and if two of them hear you say the wakeup word at the same time... they get all messed up. which ever one got it first works but the other sits there and complains at you that it couldn't get to the internet.

put one on mute and you don't have that problem.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 16, 2018 4:03 PM  

Truthfully, I'm okay-ish with Alexa.

Mind you, I would not trust Google Home any farther than I can throw Silicon Valley.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:05 PM  

"There is too much incentive for someone to score big security hacker or technical points by successfully proving the privacy intruders are sucking up all audio for them to be able to do it without someone figuring it out."

ding ding ding

Amazon is taking over the world with Alexa. Its a freaking platinum mine. And the only thing that would kill that golden egg laying goose... would be proof that it was in fact spying.

no way they are that dumb.

now.. Google. Google is in fact that dumb.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:07 PM  

"Mind you, I would not trust Google Home any farther than I can throw Silicon Valley."

I would consider putting a Google Home device in my house... if and only if Google paid me a monthly salary to do so.

Blogger KSC January 16, 2018 4:08 PM  

I'm not sure I understand the appeal of these devices. I've seen a couple and while they can do some reasonably cool things, they would pretty much duplicate the services of my phone.

Anonymous Steve January 16, 2018 4:10 PM  

in the meantime... alexa can do everything but make me a sandwich... from vaccumming the rugs to adding a few extra minutes to the dryer... to cooling down the room... or turning on the fireplace.

This is the exact same plot as the first act of DEMON SEED.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 16, 2018 4:10 PM  

Elder Son wrote:No, honestly, there is a thing called the NSA. Nothing to see there. Nothing at all.

Nate, their is nothing wrong with tech in and of itself. It is how corporations, in bed with government, and government, in bed with corporations, use it.

I have to wonder what planet you are on. If you don't think, in this case, that Amazon's Alexa isn't... learning, you are delusional.


Honestly, there is nothing that Alexa can do to you that isn't already being done by your cell phone, your laptop, your desktop and (depending on the year) your car.

That was point of my snippet.

1984 is here. There is no way you can avoid getting surveilled at this point unless you are living in a cabin with a wood stove and a kerosene lamp.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:13 PM  


"I'm not sure I understand the appeal of these devices. I've seen a couple and while they can do some reasonably cool things, they would pretty much duplicate the services of my phone."

correct. You can use individual apps on your phone to do all these things.

However you have to bother to take the time to find your phone.. unlock it.. find the app... open the app... then use the app interface to do whatever it is you are trying to do.

Or you just say... Alexa... do that thing I want done.

Blogger Zerk J January 16, 2018 4:14 PM  

If you have a smartphone, you've already got this. In fact it's even worse because it tracks your location at all times.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 4:16 PM  

@Nate

Radio Shack X10 controllers are indeed junk, as is everything from Radio Shack. So are some consumer options for power line communication. However, industrial solutions like G3 PLC are relied upon to collect electrical consumption data from millions of meter connections. This is mature technology that's well beyond the realm of theory.

Anonymous Elder Son January 16, 2018 4:16 PM  

The fact is, "THEY" are spying. And if it hooks up to a land line, or WiFi.

And AI. Got to love it. Always learning. Always sucking it and figuring "it" out.

I'm not tech expert, but you do have to read how corporations and governments are using all this new technology. Because I don't think you've ever bothered. Maybe cognitive dissonance.

If it comes in, it is going out. And it's going somewhere.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:17 PM  

"I have to wonder what planet you are on. If you don't think, in this case, that Amazon's Alexa isn't... learning, you are delusional."

The devices absolutely are getting better and better. For example the original echo devices couldn't be identified beyond user account. they were all just portals to amazon. Not actually connected together. Now.. they can be individually named so you can literally use them for a badass intercom system.

But most of the expansion of the echo world is happening in the sandbox by 3rd parties. That's what was brilliant about Echo. Amazon said "Hey look.. we built a sandbox. Everyone come play in it. Build what ever you want." and everyone did.

And now Alexa comes in your car.

Blogger Heian-kyo Dreams January 16, 2018 4:23 PM  

@117 Nate
"And now Alexa comes in your car."

You just said that to trigger people, didn't you?

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:23 PM  

"If it comes in, it is going out. And it's going somewhere."

its not magic sugartits. you can monitor the data. You can monitor the traffic. Its not going anywhere.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:25 PM  

'You just said that to trigger people, didn't you?'

ya like that King Ranch F350? Maybe the Lariat F150?

Alexa is in the buck-o.

Enjoy your ride.

Blogger Were-Puppy January 16, 2018 4:26 PM  

Next step, Amazon Sex Bot for discerning Digisexuals, with built in body cams.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:28 PM  

"Next step, Amazon Sex Bot for discerning Digisexuals, with built in body cams."

Alexa.. give me a blowjob.

I mean she's already doing half the housework. she may as well right?

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 4:31 PM  

@122 I can picture some Craigslist special with a bad case of meth mouth showing up at your front door. Paid for in advance.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:33 PM  

VD

As a game designer I would strongly suggest that you try to keep an open mind about these devices. Gaming studios are already incorporating them into their gaming experience... and in fact Alexa can be an excellent stand alone gaming platform.

But consider this... Bungie has intigrated Alexa with their game to the point that Alexa can equip your in-game items for you.

Alexa.. ask Ghost to equip my crucible loadout.

Boom. done.

Alexa... ask Ghost to call for backup.. and boom... messages get sent to your clan asking for help.

That's pretty awesome man.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 16, 2018 4:35 PM  

Nate wrote:"Next step, Amazon Sex Bot for discerning Digisexuals, with built in body cams."

Alexa.. give me a blowjob.

I mean she's already doing half the housework. she may as well right?



Checking Alexa skills... Well you never know.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 16, 2018 4:37 PM  

I can now recommend against typing "blowjob" into the Amazon search bar.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:37 PM  

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Blogger pyrrhus January 16, 2018 4:38 PM  

O/T Guess which Judge is trying Uranium One? https://gab.ai/AP_PATRIOT/posts/18028579

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:39 PM  

Dude... Cataline... the ads when you pull up Drudge Report are gonna... suck.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 4:39 PM  

It's amazing what they're doing with USB these days.

Blogger pyrrhus January 16, 2018 4:40 PM  

Better link...https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2018/01/16/a-lifetime-federal-judiciary-a-hallmark-of-our-democracy/

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 4:42 PM  

The newer Kindle Fire's have Alexa built in. And they're cheaper than an Echo. Now, the Echo Dot is cheaper than a Fire, but that's the lowest end model.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 4:45 PM  

I have the new model of the 10 inch fire tablet. Its freaking awesome.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 4:46 PM  

So will the sexbots start integrating Alexa functionality, or will Amazon start designing their own. Place you bets now.

Though I'd still love a Gatebox: https://gatebox.ai

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 16, 2018 4:47 PM  

Nate wrote:Dude... Cataline... the ads when you pull up Drudge Report are gonna... suck.

(*groan*)

Blogger Gloriam Deo January 16, 2018 4:49 PM  

Were I to spy using the Echo, I would rely on the fact that the costumer is excepting passive listening at all times. I would build the Echo with a list of trigger words or phrases. If heard, a recording is started for a period of, say, five minutes. If trigger phrases are continued to be heard during that time, I would extend the recording.

But, I would not upload the recording. Voice recognition software can easily double as transcription software. I would have the Echo transcribe what it heard during down times when the costumer will not be using the Echo and thus will not tax its RAM and upload that transcription whenever the costumer uses the Echo.

Doing it this way masks any spike in data usage. ("Oh, guess I listened to more songs on Saturday than I thought.") And prevents someone getting frustrated with a slow Echo enough to see why it won't respond quick enough.

Anonymous BTC January 16, 2018 4:55 PM  

You're the worst kind of human being.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot January 16, 2018 4:57 PM  

Cue the playing of Avenue Q's "The Internet Is For Porn" ...

The Internet is really, really great. :-)

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 5:00 PM  

@136

And you would instantly be covered up in mountains of data that is so enormous you'd never be able to do anything with it. which is the issue the NSA has.

Blogger bob kek mando January 16, 2018 5:00 PM  

8. Ominous Cowherd January 16, 2018 1:03 PM
How to fund universal surveillance? By convincing the rubes to pay to be spied on them.



you have to give Progressive credit.

at least they're offering to pay people to volunteer to get spied on with the Snapshot monitoring.

https://autoinsurance1.progressivedirect.com/0/UQA/Quote#/FAQCommonQuestions



46. johnc January 16, 2018 2:14 PM
Wait I just came up with a great idea -- let's have people vote for their government representatives! What could possibly go wrong?



and you'd have a point
...
if the USA was founded as a universal Democracy.

only, it wasn't.

less than 30% of the population was even eligible to vote well past 1800.

that is to say, the franchise was restricted to those who had demonstrated minimal levels competency and concern about their Posterity.

the Founders understood quite well that large swathes of the population weren't fit or meet to exercise authority within society.


64. patrick kelly January 16, 2018 2:47 PM
Precedent, all the way up to the SC involving other cases where the feds have tried to force state or local jurisdictions to enforce fed law says no.



you seem to have missed that whole school integration thing.

you also seem to have missed Federal usurpation of States defining their own voting criteria.

because i guaran-goddamn-tee you that no local .gov violating Fed standards in either of those areas will survive very long.


70. Heian-kyo Dreams January 16, 2018 3:08 PM
Some products aren't keeping up with the latest snoopware developments.


you seem to be under the mistaken impression that the corp in question is actually interested in Customer Service.

Convenient Incompetence is a tactic often deployed by people who have a vested interest in not satisfying their responsibilities towards others.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum January 16, 2018 5:04 PM  

I can now recommend against typing "blowjob" into the Amazon search bar.

Wait ... you JUST NOW discovered this was a bad idea? I ran into this years ago while searching for graphics for one of my father's sermons. He wanted an ... er ... fist. Never closed a tab so fast in my life.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 5:05 PM  

"There is no way you can avoid getting surveilled at this point unless you are living in a cabin with a wood stove and a kerosene lamp."

I did - for six years. It wasn't that bad . Could easily do it again. It was a great character building excercise.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 5:11 PM  

"There is no way you can avoid getting surveilled at this point unless you are living in a cabin with a wood stove and a kerosene lamp."

Did it for six years...wasn't that bad. Came to faith during the experience.The cabin was cozy and every evening was spent reading under gas lights.

Anonymous Elder Son January 16, 2018 5:13 PM  

Laugh all you want, but aspects of the Minority Report, Equilibrium... The Circle, and etc. are happening as we speak, and growing exponentially. All this technology is being used by the merging corporations and government. It is our freedom, liberty, and our privacies doom. All for the sake of convenience, and safety. Agenda 2030 and the Internet Of Things. Technocracy.

For the Sexbot aficionados. They are now coming out with a Tranny Sexbot. {{{???}}}

And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.”

Blogger Gloriam Deo January 16, 2018 5:16 PM  

@139 true, but that's how I would do it. those transcripts could be stored and sold to everyone from governments to advertising companies.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 5:16 PM  

"Laugh all you want, but aspects of the Minority Report, Equilibrium... The Circle, and etc. are happening as we speak, and growing exponentially"

its ok... its ok... no one is gonna take away your shirtless alex jones. I promise. You can still get your Super Male Vitality. I bet you will even be able to order it over Alexa.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 5:20 PM  

" those transcripts could be stored and sold to everyone from governments to advertising companies. "

that's just it. They couldn't. its just a pile of useless raw data unless you can organize it. and the computer power to organize it would be ginormous and extremely expensive. even more so in the post Spectre world.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 16, 2018 5:23 PM  

@Nate,
I have difficulty believing you are so naive and trusting.
We are in phase 2, market acceptance.
Phase 4, exploitation is about 4 years down the road.

Smart phones went through the same process. There's too much data there, and it's too valuabke to just leave.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 16, 2018 5:25 PM  

its just a pile of useless raw data unless you can organize it. and the computer power to organize it would be ginormous and extremely expensive. even more so in the post Spectre world.
Ever hear of Hadoop?

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 5:26 PM  

"its not happening. I just isn't."

We can classify this a reassuring lie.


Anonymous patrick kelly January 16, 2018 5:35 PM  

"you seem to have missed that whole school integration thing.
you also seem to have missed Federal usurpation of States defining their own voting criteria."

There's a big difference between the fed forces stepping in to enforce their laws, and forcing the state/local governments to do the same. They did not arrest and charge the state or local LEOS for not enforcing any fed law.

They can hunt down and find any illegal they want, they can't force the states to do the same.

One of the precedents was about the ill fated Brady law. The feds tried to force local LEO to do background checks. The courts said no, the feds couldn't force state/local leos to spend effort or money to enforce fed laws.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 5:35 PM  

'Smart phones went through the same process. There's too much data there, and it's too valuabke to just leave.'

There is to much data there for them to do anything with Snidely. Hadoop is one of those things that sounds great in a boardroom but ultimately doesn't do a damn thing that's actually useful.

If it did... Google's Sales wouldn't primarily consist of selling company's their own names as keywords.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 5:40 PM  

> And you would instantly be covered up in mountains of data that is so enormous you'd never be able to do anything with it. which is the issue the NSA has.

So they just archive everything and go back to the stored data when they have a reason to do so.

> Ever hear of Hadoop?

Yes, he has. It's not enough. Not yet, anyway. In another 20 years all bets are off.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 5:45 PM  

> Hadoop is one of those things that sounds great in a boardroom but ultimately doesn't do a damn thing that's actually useful.

Oh, as I understand it Hadoop can do lots of good things. If you know what you want and how to find it. Most people don't.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 5:46 PM  

dh, if you're around today I'm curious what you think of these things.

Blogger Gloriam Deo January 16, 2018 5:47 PM  

@145 fair enough. I suspect there are ways of getting around that problem (or will be shortly). If I were trying to use Echo to spy on people, I would bank on it. Incidentally, I could have the transcripts tagged by conversation type. When uploaded, they automatically sort.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 5:49 PM  

Including timestamp and IP address metadata, I'm thinking that it would take something like 150 TB per day to keep uncompressed transcripts of every word spoken in the US.

How manageable is that for the Big Data folks? I have no idea.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 5:59 PM  

But regardless of the abilities of Amazon and Google to spy on people en masse with voice assistants, there's no disputing their ability to conduct extensive audio surveillance on a few select persons of interest at a time. The risks of such a scheme being discovered by the targets would be remote.

Anonymous Ain January 16, 2018 6:02 PM  

"Anyone think the microphone mute switch really does anything???"

I think it toggles a flag between stuff they're "supposed to have recorded" and stuff that they haven't. Easier to see what the sensitive information is.

Blogger Gloriam Deo January 16, 2018 6:06 PM  

@156 oooooh, that's good. @nate im adding that to my tags for better automatic sorting.

Blogger Gloriam Deo January 16, 2018 6:08 PM  

@154 I doubt anyone wants to record all of that. just keywords.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 6:48 PM  

"But regardless of the abilities of Amazon and Google to spy on people en masse with voice assistants, there's no disputing their ability to conduct extensive audio surveillance on a few select persons of interest at a time. The risks of such a scheme being discovered by the targets would be remote."

That is where the rubber meets the road. They can't use the big data for a lot... but they CAN look at you specifically. and when they do... they potentially have a lot of info.

But not nearly as much as you would assume.

Anonymous Elder Son January 16, 2018 6:59 PM  

its ok... its ok... no one is gonna take away your shirtless alex jones. I promise. You can still get your Super Male Vitality. I bet you will even be able to order it over Alexa.

Nate, it has nothing to do with Alex Jones. It's a cute response, a naive response, but I would suggest you take some of Alex Jones Super Male Vitality, and start researching how now, and how later, this technology is, and will affect mankind, it's liberties, and privacy.

Anyhow, what do you think government/corporations, AI and these Quantum Computers will be doing with all the info on everyone? Nothing? Possibly... separating the chaff, from the wheat?

Ever hear of Smart Cities?

There was a guy on another blog talking about the Micro Drone Swarm Slaughterbots, who naively said that all you had to do was change your appearance to fool the facial recognition, ignorant of the fact that they are way past facial recognition.

Blogger Silly but True January 16, 2018 7:02 PM  

How long before we hear the "Alexa must have accidentally ordered this Fluggen-kliggin-kien" excuse?

Blogger TM Lutas January 16, 2018 7:36 PM  

There is nothing wrong with having network connected cameras and microphones in your house. There is *everything* wrong with passing control over to a public corporation that has significant legal duties to retain communications on government orders.

Until the service can be run entirely from computing resources inside my house that I both own and fully control, this is not a good idea.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 7:52 PM  

"Anyhow, what do you think government/corporations, AI and these Quantum Computers will be doing with all the info on everyone? Nothing? Possibly... separating the chaff, from the wheat?"

I don't think you know nearly enough about this stuff to be worrying about it.

its easy to imagine the end of the world when look at computers and think they are all powerful because you read a scare piece on the internet.

Go outside old man. The sun is gonna come up tomorrow. The sky is not falling.

Jesus they said the same shit you're saying now about Televisions and telephones.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 7:57 PM  

until there is proof that these devices are actually recording when they are not being used... then using them is no different than well... everything else you do on the internet.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 8:05 PM  

"no different than well... everything else you do on the internet."

Which is why I use a top of the line VPN ..with servers based outside of the country.

Speakings of cabins, woodstoves and kerosene lamps...lived that way for six years. It was an awesome experience

Anonymous Elder Son January 16, 2018 8:05 PM  

its easy to imagine the end of the world when look at computers and think they are all powerful because you read a scare piece on the internet.

LMAO. "Scare piece on the internet." That tells me all I need to know about... what you think you know.

Carry on Nate. Enjoy your Alexa. They are so popular, you will find them in every Intel and LE agency in America. Even Trump has one in the Oval Office. And the DoD uses them in their briefings and action plan room. Ask Alexa.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 8:16 PM  

My father always talked about the coming era of "technological feudalism" .
The older I get his words ring more true. You cannot even adjust the idle on the newer model chainsaws anymore. You have to now bring it into the shop and have the grease flunky plug it into a chip reader. This is chainsaw were talking about..not a heavy piece of equipment. Its gotten beyond ridiculous. Pretty much an open air prison where you toil to pay for your subjugation.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 8:26 PM  

My father coined this ever increasing noose tightening under the guise of efficiency - "technological feudalism"
The older I get the more his words ring true. Today the newer model of chainsaws need a chip reader to adjust the idle...meaning you have to take it to the shop. Minimum charge- $75. This is a chainsaw we are talking about not some heavy piece of machinery. Two years ago - $ 0 ...now $ 75. No gain in efficiency offsets this cost.
We are fast becoming an open air prison where we are bled dry as we are forced to pay for our subjugation.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales January 16, 2018 8:29 PM  

@167
Anyone heard of this yet, or am I actually somewhat early on something for once?

https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/rural-california-escape-democrats/

Is this less or more credible than California as a whole or even, I guess, in part, successfully managing to succeed from the US with TOTALLY-NO-ILL-INTENTIONS-FROM-THE-STILL-GINORMOUS-SUPERPOWER-WITH-AMPLE-PRETEXT-TO-JUST-GOBBLE-IT-BACK-UP-AGAIN-ONLY-THIS-TIME-ALSO-HAVE-THE-PRETEXT-TO-MAKE-IT-A-TERRITORY-WITHOUT-MUCH-POWER-IN-ELECTIONS-EVEN-MORE-SO-THAN-PUERTO-RICO?

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 8:32 PM  

'LMAO. "Scare piece on the internet." That tells me all I need to know about... what you think you know.'

what I know I know... is a lot more than you do. Because you have not done what i have done.

I literally know there is no traffic. Because I tested it.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 16, 2018 8:38 PM  

Nate wrote:I literally know there is no traffic. Because I tested it.

Have you inspected the traffic it does send?

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 8:42 PM  

" Two years ago - $ 0 ...now $ 75. No gain in efficiency offsets this cost. "

or you buy a chainsaw that doesn't have a chip in it. Or you start a company that makes chainsaws without chips.. and sell them for lots more because they are so much better.

Or...

You cower in fear of tomorrow because scary badman.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 8:44 PM  

I am quite confident that the SJWs who infest all large corporations like Amazon will be prevented from using their positions for retribution against those who commit crimes agains the Narrative. Especially once Amazon has achieved dominant market share in all areas of necessity...including food.
Their CEO Bozo's prodigious giving to gay causes has reassured me.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 8:46 PM  

I am quite confident that the SJWs who infest all large corporations like Amazon will be prevented from using their positions for retribution against those who commit crimes agains the Narrative. Especially once Amazon has achieved dominant market share in all areas of necessity...including food.
Their CEO Bozo's prodigious giving to gay causes has reassured me.

Blogger Welsh Woodsman January 16, 2018 8:49 PM  

"or you buy a chainsaw that doesn't have a chip in it. Or you start a company that makes chainsaws without chips.. and sell them for lots more because they are so much better."

Wow the libertardian logic is strong with this one.

No one is cowering in fear...more like praying ( and preparing) for the Apocalypse.

Blogger Akulkis January 16, 2018 8:51 PM  

@102

You are naive.

The ENTIRE Pablo Escobar cocaine network was taken down by.... get this... eavesdropping on cellphones by remotely turning on the mics and listening to the conversations in the room, recording everything in equipment flying around in surveillance aircraft orbitting the targets. And that was with 1990's cellphones. No internet connectivity yet.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 8:59 PM  

also... Think of how much easier it would be to Send Them Back if there was an Echo device in every home

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 9:01 PM  

At least with voice assistants in your home you can unplug the things any time you want to. If you're concerned about it spying on you, you can put it behind a hardware firewall that will monitor and/or limit its daily bandwidth. Same goes for cell phones - you can (or could, until recently) remove the battery. Or just throw the damn thing in the lake. You can cover up that camera on your laptop with some electrical tape.

But it's not so simple to disable Alexa embedded in your car a smart meter constantly connected to your home or office. It's the devices that you cannot easily get rid of that are the most concerning.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 9:03 PM  

" But it's not so simple to disable Alexa embedded in your car a smart meter constantly connected to your home or office. It's the devices that you cannot easily get rid of that are the most concerning."

So... Ram 2500 then? because Ford's come with Alexa now.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener January 16, 2018 9:07 PM  

Toyota. If the hajjis ever take over you can just slap an ISIS flag on it and you'll blend right in.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 9:08 PM  

"The ENTIRE Pablo Escobar cocaine network was taken down by.... get this... eavesdropping on cellphones by remotely turning on the mics and listening to the conversations in the room, recording everything in equipment flying around in surveillance aircraft orbitting the targets. "

Dude. There was a lot more to it than that. But yes. we have all conceded that they can do all kinds of things when they are focused on you specifically.

You're missing the point. If they are focusing on you specfically... there is literally nothing you can do.

You think they needed cell phones and alexa devices during Waco?

When they make up their mind they are coming for you... they are coming.

And if Waco didn't convince you... well hell... you should think of Randy Weever.

He was isolate. He was way more off the grid than you super hard city boys.

But his wife and baby are dead.

Blogger bobby January 16, 2018 9:16 PM  

Nate said:

"Bobby... did you actually read the article or just the headline?"

I had read an earlier article - Gizmodo or Wired or some such - that spoke about how they couldn't know for sure until they got hold of Amazon's records, but they had reason to suspect that the Echo had indeed transmitted during the altercation and might reveal some pertinent sounds and timing data. The entire basis of going after Amazon's data was their expressed assertion that they had reason to believe important information would be the result, as (legally) they have to assert in order to procure a warrant.

And then I came here, couldn't quickly find my source again, and so Googled it and used the Fortune article so I would at least have SOME link to back up what I was saying. Should have read that one more carefully, I guess.

Who would have guessed a water heater would clue them in about the guy washing off the blood-stained deck? Too funny. If you're going to do something hinky, better unplug your whole damned house.

Anonymous RedJack January 16, 2018 9:16 PM  

I was told this by a person who works in Northern Virginia for an alphabet soup agency. They have contracts with Amazon, Google, and Facebook for the same stuff they sell to everyone

Blogger Were-Puppy January 16, 2018 9:17 PM  

@142 Elder Son

For the Sexbot aficionados. They are now coming out with a Tranny Sexbot. {{{???}}}
----

WTF are they going to make it like a Mr. Potato head and let them put the Ms. Potato head lips on it ?

Blogger Were-Puppy January 16, 2018 9:19 PM  

@146 Snidely Whiplash
We are in phase 2, market acceptance.
--

I have to agree with this. It doesn't seem all that long ago that people were freaking out that a Kinect could spy on gamers.

Now it's Alexa do this, Alexa do that.

Blogger Were-Puppy January 16, 2018 9:26 PM  

@168 Emmanuel Mateo-Morales
Anyone heard of this yet, or am I actually somewhat early on something for once?
---

It appears that #NewCalifornia is a thing.
https://newcaliforniastate.com/

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 9:31 PM  

"WTF are they going to make it like a Mr. Potato head and let them put the Ms. Potato head lips on it ? "

yes. They literally are doing that. The skeletons and internals are universal and hey just pull the skins on and off. at least that was what happened at CES.

Creepy as hell.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 9:32 PM  

'I have to agree with this. It doesn't seem all that long ago that people were freaking out that a Kinect could spy on gamers.'

different populations.

also... the kinect thing was such bullshit it actually helped the acceptance of Alexa.

Blogger James Dixon January 16, 2018 9:36 PM  

> Until the service can be run entirely from computing resources inside my house that I both own and fully control, this is not a good idea.

That's been possible for years. Google "Linux home security" and "Linux home automation".

? ...what do you think government/corporations, AI and these Quantum Computers

Quantum computers aren't here yet. They're working on them, and have some interesting things going on in the lab, but there's nothing remotely ready for real work.

Blogger Nate January 16, 2018 9:42 PM  

'That's been possible for years. Google "Linux home security" and "Linux home automation".'

Crestron. It will absolutely do that. its just way harder and way more expensive than Alexa.

Blogger Thucydides January 16, 2018 11:01 PM  

While people who read my posts know I am generally skeptical of conspiracy theories, I accept this one 100%, both from personal experience (having seen changes in behaviours like ads after speaking about things when a Samsun android phone is in the room, allegedly not active), and seeing and hearing about this behaviour from other people.

It also helps that at one point I was involved in network security, and realized even in the early 2000's that the only way to be even somewhat secure was to institute draconian policies and operate under the principle MPAI. This included ensuring the computers did not have wireless installed (a lot simpler when it was a separate and easily removable card), whitelist/blacklist devices so the network would not accept any device not authorized and even disabling USB ports so they were inactive.

Sadly, today about the only way to ensure privacy in your house would be to treat it as a SCIF, including having metal lockboxes to place phones and other devices (100% metal, to prevent connecting to any wireless/radio signals). And as been pointed out, this also means having to divest yourself of electronic devices (or go hunting for "antique" electronics which do not have microphones/cameras/internet access built in). The vast majority of people will never accept that. True security is also difficult and expensive, who would go so far as to buy TEMPEST equipment, install faraday cages throughout the house and special electrical boxes which mask power transients and prevent the use of power lines as signal connectors. In fact, just the time and effort being expended to do that would probably signal to the PTB that you are indeed worth targeting.........

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales January 16, 2018 11:09 PM  

Did comment @189 Just disappear? The one talking about Faraday cages and/or other such things about theoretically proofing your home from most or all possible angles of surveillance?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine January 16, 2018 11:12 PM  

As for Amazon spying... I don't think it is currently.

I am however aware of how suddenly that could change, which is what I'm more focused on, although even that doesn't matter much.

Yes, if amazon can spy on you, any smartphone you own can do so about 10x more effectively.

Do I own a smartphone? Nope, still using an old cheapo that lasts well, and from which I could remove the battery nigh indefinitely without significant consequence if it became necessary.

Do I put things over my laptop cam? Nope, but I also have the thing folded closed when I'm not actively using it, so I'm considerably more focused on the potential risks of the microphone. Fortunately I don't talk a lot during my typical use, or in the vicinity in general, so about the most it's ever likely to get is the rare outburst of profanity once in a blue moon.

As for people suddenly getting ads about what they've been thinking/talking about the last day or so, that shouldn't be very surprising. The amount of data collected on you by the standard (un-modified) browser and tracking scripts, while not immediately seeming like much, is almost certainly enough for Google and other large tech companies to group you with others with similar usage patterns via an absurdly vast array of different metrics. There are also a lot of patterns that you'd never even imagine people follow, that adaptive programming can pick up on and exploit to predictively pigeonhole your behavior with alarming accuracy in many ways.

If you think amazon would even need to video record your night behavior to recommend performance enhancers to you... it's already far, far creepier and more efficient than that.

I've explained it to my parents before as being similar to finding strange attractors in "chaos theory". If you gather enough information you'll begin finding patterns that by all attempts at reconciliation make no sense at all, and yet they're still there and still accurate predictors. Google (for example) doesn't even need to spy on you with cameras and such when it can just passively build a dossier of your browsing and buying habits and automatically stick a pin in your precise location (metaphorically) nine times out of ten.

Blogger jdgalt January 16, 2018 11:52 PM  

Amazon very publicly made the decision to remove all "adult" book and media titles from its search engine more than five years ago. You can still order them from Amazon if you know the author and title you want, but if you need to search for them you'll have to use some other search engine.

I seriously doubt that Amazon's policy makers have any intention to change their decision to exclude sexually oriented material, even if their own recently revealed behavior is just like that of Eliot Spitzer, Jimmy Swaggart, and so many other would-be censors who have turned out to secretly consume the stuff themselves.

Anonymous Elder Son January 17, 2018 12:35 AM  

In case you are wondering what “smart” – as in “smart city” or “smart home” – means:

Surveillance
Marketed
As
Revolutionary
Technology

Why do you think there are so many buckets of cash pouring into the IoT hope-to-be-a-market? The Big Corporations don’t expect to make a big profit on the devices themselves, oh no. News flash: the Big Money in IoT is in Big Data. As in, Big Data about everything those sensors are learning about you and your nasty habits that you hide from your neighbors.

The value of Big Data, after all, aren’t the data themselves. “Fred’s car told Fred’s thermostat to turn on Fred’s hot tub” doesn’t interest anybody but Fred and perhaps his hot date (if he’s lucky). The value in Big Data, you see, are in the patterns. What shows you watch. What apps you use. Which ads influence your buying behavior. The more IoT you have, the more Big Data they collect, and the more Big Data they collect, the more they know about how you behave. And once they know how you behave, they know how to control how you behave.


http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/03/whole-point-internet-things-big-brother-can-spy-2.html

I had to go to the Wayback Machine to find an old blog of mine, where I had a couple hundred links to this stuff. Which I am not posting here. The link, has links. Hard to wrap around your head that obviously intelligent people are not aware of what is going in technology today, and how governments and corporations are/will use it. I also had a bunch of links to eugenics and borg-tech. It's real, whether you want to deny it, or not. And they are far more ahead than you may think.

Quantum computers aren't here yet. They're working on them, and have some interesting things going on in the lab, but there's nothing remotely ready for real work. - James Dixon

Oh, they are here. But you're not going to find one in your local Best Buy anytime soon. And, they are always working out the bugs, and advancing, computers.

Blogger Harambe January 17, 2018 1:46 AM  

At least now we'll have REAL amateur porn

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 17, 2018 1:46 AM  

Quantum computers are purely theoretical. Nobody has so much as built a memory cell on quantum priciples yet, and theres no real indication anyone ever will.

The great majority of next incredibly hot things in computing are pure hype and never happen.

3D memory was the next big thing a couple of years ago, static memory so cheap it would eliminate the distinction between memory and disk. With deliveries in bulk by 3Q '17.

I'm sure you have some by now.

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