136 Comments

Summary:

If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast‘s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so […]

If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast‘s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.

The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen. Kunkel also said this type of monitoring is the “holy grail” because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes.

Kunkel said the system wouldn’t be based on facial recognition, so there wouldn’t be a picture of you on file (we hope). Instead, it would distinguish between different members of your household by recognizing body forms. He stressed that the system is still in the experimental phase, that there hasn’t been consumer testing, and that any rollout “must add value” to the viewing experience beyond serving ads.

Perhaps I’ve seen Enemy of the State too many times, or perhaps I’m just naive about the depths to which Comcast currently tracks my every move. I can’t trust Comcast with BitTorrent, so why should I trust them with my must-be-kept-secret, DVR-clogging addiction to Keeping Up with the Kardashians?

Kunkel also spoke on camera with me about fixing bad Comcast user experiences, the ongoing BitTorrent battle and VOD. But he mostly towed the corporate line on these issues (the monitoring your living room came up after my camera was put away).

Update: Comcast responded.

  1. Matt Brown-Reugg Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    That is officially the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Talk about invasion of privacy! So that would put an end to me putting my hands down my pants to scratch my bag while eating popcorn? I can just see how some disgruntled worker at Comcast could use this and have a field day on youtube. Yikes is right. Double Yikes.

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    1. I found the fix for this. I bought a box that will not let anything be sent back to the cable company. It will let programing in but anything to be sent back is blocked.

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  2. Not the first time this has been tried.

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  3. Orwell thought that cameras in the living room would imposed on us by a fascist government. Fascism these days is dominated by corporate power guised under a mantle of legitimacy. These systems of control have been primarily put in place by willful consumption of consumer goods. Cameras with phones are the same as the boxes that Comcast is proposing.

    The interesting aspect of this is that many people will be up in arms over this, but we barely complain about all of the technology that is around already that track our actions. Online ad networks linked to medical databases and banking records and gps enabled phones that connect to LinkedIn and Facebook…

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  4. And it won’t be the last time this is tried. If this happens I’m putting the box in a box and piping in the IR or maybe adapting a radio remote. Or Better yet giving up the cable/satellite all together.

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  5. So what about midgets?

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    1. What do midgets like to watch these days?

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      1. What if a midget is watching midget porn?

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  6. [...] Before you start freaking out, hold on. They just wanna know who’s in your living room. That’s all. It’s for a really cool features, really! When you turn on your TV, the box will recognize you and manufacture recommendations or pull up shows in your profile. Still not sold? Well, whether it detects kiddies in the room, parental controls will pop up to block naughty composition. Oh yeah, and it’ll serve up custom ads, just for you. Awesome-o, right? Well, don’t get too excited, it’s still in examining. [NewTeeVee] [...]

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  7. The scary thing will be how quickly people welcome this into their homes, probably in exchange for some discount on cable service or free video chat with friends. Make all the big brother claims you want, and people will still choose free HBO over privacy. So we cede a little more power to the corporations, just like we do when we show a receipt to a clerk watching the door at Best Buy (even though most shrinkage comes from staff), when we use a membership card to shop for groceries (so they can track our purchases), and when we offer up our thumbprints to get into Disneyland.

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  8. [...] Before you start freaking out, hold on. They just wanna know who’s in your living room. That’s all. It’s for a really cool features, really! When you turn on your TV, the box will recognize you and make recommendations or pull up shows in your profile. Still not sold? Well, if it detects kiddies in the room, parental controls will pop up to block naughty content. Oh yeah, and it’ll serve up custom ads, just for you. Awesome-o, right? Well, don’t get too excited, it’s still in testing. [NewTeeVee] [...]

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  9. TiVo filed for a similar patent a few years back, but instead of cameras people were monitored via our (embedded?) RFID chips. Here’s the link:
    http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2005-11/tivos-rfid-remote-control-patent/

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  10. Microsoft also has a patent pending for this concept: http://www.multichannel.com/blog/100000410/post/860012686.html

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  11. [...] here in the U S of A we do some silly stuff on rare occasion. Take, for instance, the fact that Comcast wants to put a camera in your set top box. A camera! What the hell is wrong with them. Turns out Comcast does not love their customers and [...]

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  12. Here’s three words you can take to the bank:

    NEVER. TRUST. COMCAST.

    This is not cool, this is not fun, this is not exciting. This is invasive. They’ve been talking about this technology since the inception of cable modems, and there’s a certain amount of tracking in place already. Cameras? too much.

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  13. [...] quickie. Comcast is trying to make Orwell’s vision of 1984 come true. They would like to put a camera in your cable box that would recognize your face. If it see’s [...]

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  14. [...] nuevo invento de Comcast debería llamarse telepantalla: At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user [...]

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  15. [...] to remove the ads? Just register for a free account! http://newteevee.com/2008/03/18/comc…-watching-you/ [...]

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  16. [...] to watch you watch TV So there I was, minding my own business surfing the Web, when I found this story about how Comcast is testing a new marketing concept: putting cameras in its cable boxes. And I [...]

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  17. [...] svelare qualche succosa anticipazione riguardo al dispositivo ancora in fase di sperimentazione è il [...]

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  18. [...] If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room. – NewTeeVee [...]

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  19. Matthew Dickinson Thursday, March 20, 2008

    This article doesn’t tell us much and seems to be sensational. Gerard Kunkel says the camera doesn’t send pictures back to Comcast, yet everyone here is responding as though it does (and as though they are forced to buy from Comcast by law). Instead it sounds more like the recognition technology used in certain new laptops to identify the owner.

    Regarding the comment about Best Buy checking your receipts — again, it’s their store, it’s their private enterprise. You do not have to go into their store if you do not want to.

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    1. what some people don’t get, is that this is only the beginning of other things to come. Recognition cameras can be modified to provide data files on home activities

      Citizen X

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      1. get ready for a one world government

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  20. This is exactly the sort of thing you should be enraged about, and refuse to go along with — otherwise you’re not paying attention & later you can’t complain when you realize you have no privacy in your own home.

    If I was Comcast, I’d aim to include a microphone, for the luxury of “voice commands” and IR, so the camera can see you in the dark. Later Comcast can add “auto panning” to an external camera, so it can easily follow you around the room for maximum seating comfort.

    Then, one day, this may sound eerily familiar:

    ‘Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ’6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! That’s better, comrade.’ — George Orwell, 1984

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  21. [...] I however have not had any complaints about their cable TV service. Maybe I will week that after reading this. If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living [...]

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  22. [...] this: YouTube – Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me will somebody be looking back at you too? Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? Written by Chris Albrecht Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 11:42 AM PT If you have some tinfoil [...]

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  23. NotSoParanoid Thursday, March 20, 2008

    This is nothing that a small piece of electrical tape over the lens won’t fix…so much fuss over another camera, walk down any street in London and look around, cameras are everywhere.

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    1. Capt. Lionel Mandrake Friday, January 28, 2011

      Right. A piece of tape smack dab in the center of the screen. If a guy pulls a gun on me, I should apologize, right?

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  24. TheEndlessGlobalPreemptiveWarOnRadicalExtremistIslamoFascistTerrorism Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Haw haw haw – tinfoil hat – haw haw haw!!! Yeah, real funny dumbo. Grow up and understand that history is replete with examples of the state intruding into the lives and freedoms of the people. Do you really think America is so different?

    Why is that we always have to invoke the “cwazy conspiracy theorist” whenever we discuss something that involves the overbearing police state in America? Get used to it people – we are living in a 1984 style police state with our very own Ministry of Truth – the mainstream media. It’s just that it’s not as overt as it was in 1984.

    From:

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061203-8343.html

    We have known for some time that anyone carrying a powered-on cell phone can have their physical location easily tracked. Last year, a federal judge ruled that the government could use that ability to track US residents with minimal judicial oversight. Now we are reminded that carrying a cell phone enables the government—and others—to listen to your conversations, even when you’re not using your phone.

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    1. The idea is to be aware and not comply with the darkside. Get it? Speakout as we are doing now or be like the frog in the slowly boiling water that gets USE TO the rising temperature
      until he finally boils to death. Ribbb-bit!

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  25. What a douchebag.

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  26. How many of you have webcams? It’s already in your
    Living Loom/ Bed Room/ Office. Start thinking people.

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  27. Matthew Dickinson Thursday, March 20, 2008

    You numbskulls come over here from Alex Jones’ websites. The article doesn’t say anything about a camera sending images back to Comcast. It says a type of camera is used to read data about who is in the living room — it’s not Comcast or the government watching you. The comparisons to “1984″ are asinine. Comcast is a company. If you believe in free enterprise then you believe in the right for a company to provide harmless services to their customers if the customers want them. There is nothing that is forcing you to use the Comcast service.

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    1. at least not yet!

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  28. [...] Guess what Comcast wants to do… In America, TV soon to watch YOU! Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? NewTeeVee __________________ The new K.I.T.T is a Mustang…and they called Paris Hilton a media [...]

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  29. Chris,

    Your article on “Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You” portrayed some assumptions that require correction and clarification. I want to be clear that in no way are we exploring any camera devices that would monitor customer behavior.

    To gather information for your article on Comcast’s exploration of cameras you picked up on my conversation with another conference attendee. The other attendee and I were deep in a conversation discussing a variety of input devices offered by a variety of vendors that Comcast is reviewing.

    The camera-based gesture recognition device is in no way designed to – or capable of – monitoring your living room. These technologies are designed to allow simple navigation on a television set just as the Wii remote uses a camera to manage its much heralded gesture-based interactivity.

    We are constantly exploring new technologies that better serve our customers. The goal is simple – a better user experience that allows the consumer to get ever increasing value out of their Comcast products.

    As with any new technology, we carefully consider the consumer benefits. In fact, we do an enormous amount of consumer testing in advance of making a product decision such as this. I’m confident that a new technology like gesture-based navigation will be fully explored with consumers to understand the product’s feature benefits – and of course, the value to the consumer.

    Sincerely,
    Gerard Kunkel

    Share
  30. [...] too excited, it’s still in testing. [NewTeeVee] Comcast Wants to Put a Camera in Your Cable Box Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? Hope everyone is behaving as they watch TV, it will know when there are children with the TV. It [...]

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  31. Chris Albrecht Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Hi Mr. Kunkel,

    Just to further clarify. After you granted me our initial video interview, you brought up the topic of Comcast knowing who was in the living room in a conversation between you, myself and another conference attendee.

    I actually left and came back to follow up on this point while you were talking with that same attendee. At this point, you were aware that I was a reporter and I took handwritten notes in front of you as we talked to make sure I had an accurate accounting of what you were saying.

    I’d love to talk further with either you or someone else at Comcast to follow up on this story.

    Share
  32. Ginsberg once told my brother that he hoped the CIA agent had a camera tied to his penis as it slide up Ginsbergs’ ass so he could shit in some peeping tom’s eye . dickhead. Hope Comecast has a middle . finger recognition unit up working soon .
    Dickhead.

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  33. [...] plans to implant cameras into their cable boxes? According to some sources Comcast plans to use cameras to serve personalized advertisements to individuals in your household. [...]

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  34. [...] wants to put cameras in home DVR’s, so it can see who is watching what programs (Orwell’s version of the [...]

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  35. Despite Mr. Kunkel’s assurances, I still do not like the idea. Without looking ahead into the foreseeable future, seemingly innocuous technology meant for consumer enjoyment, if modified, might become something much less benign. I do not doubt that the camera device is simply intended for the consumer’s benefit. But the possibility of where that type of technology could lead is what worries me.

    By now you’ve heard Bush threatens to veto any bill that does not include immunity for the telecoms. Despite being illegal, Bush directly ordered the telecoms to wiretap and monitor the public without warrant, probable cause and judicial oversight. Keeping that in mind (stay with me for a minute) worst case scenario:

    Theoretically, let’s say that ComCast develops the technology. At the behest of the government the camera is modified as a monitoring device. Then marketed, without disclosure, as a mandated equipment upgrade. While that particular scenario is fairly improbable it does not negate the ease in which something similar could be put into effect. Now think of what it would mean if the telecoms had immunity.

    Sure it sounds conspiratorial and far-fetched and I realize the nondisclosure part is pretty far out there, but what iam saying is opening Pandora’s box can lead to all sorts of “possible” scenarios. Considering Bush does not believe he is bound by law the aforementioned scenario does not seem quite as far-fetched. Perhaps it may never come to pass. We do not know.

    Nonetheless, as history proves, unchecked and unfettered power in the hands of the government will be abused. The current administration would love nothing more than to open Pandora’s box. Granted their tenure is about to end, but what about the next administration or the one after that?

    Enhancing the consumer’s experience is appreciated. Foresight is necessary to determine what is at stake and whether the long-term costs are worth it notwithstanding. Taking precautionary measures to safe-guard and protect our rights and privacy cannot be overstated.

    Remember once you open Pandora’s box what is unleashed can never be put back in.

    Share
  36. [...] Your Cable Box Have A Camera To Watch You? Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living [...]

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  37. If Comcast or any company things I will purchase something like this they are CRAZY. Talk about big brother. Absolutely NOT. Stop wasting your time and OUR cable bill money on this crap. All you are supposed to do is send us our shows and internet. Period. Don’t need all this fancy crap that nobody wants and won’t know how to use anyways. STUPID IDEA!!

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  38. <>

    And in CA. they want to install monitoring systems to control how much elelctricity you use i.e. A.C., lights, etc. all under the pretence of avoiding a blackout in the event of overload. If this becomes law, all new houses and renovations will require this “monitor” to be installed at your cost of money, freedom, liberties or all the above.

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  39. [...] NewTeeVee is reporting that Comcast’s Senior VP of user Experience Gerald Kunkel is saying that Comcast [...]

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  40. I’m sure Mr. Kunkel will be happy to have the first camera-equipped unit installed in his bedroom.

    Seriously — have they considered what a set-top box goes through in a house with children? Hope that camera can see through peanut butter finger painting.

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  41. All that evilness… foiled by a piece of black electrical tape with some foil over it.

    Tsk tsk.

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  42. Yes a great idea but it will destroy the need for paying actors as everyone will be watching everyone else.

    Arthur Clarke,bless his soul,wrote a book close to this idea but with video wormholes.

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  43. Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear!

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    1. That’s the kind of attitude that allows our loss of freedoms to keep happening. It is not about anything to hide it is about PRIVACY which when slowly stripped away by new and better technology, strips away our FREEDOM. Stay out of my castle.

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  44. Come on guys, chill a bit … There is no feedback channel on cable-tv (yet). No one can watch the camera picture. The recogniction all takes place inside the box.
    But the camera idea is scary enough to make anyone stay away from Comcast I agree.

    Boxes running on internet thru broadband connection however has a feedback channel so they’re a different thing.

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  45. I’ll get it, print out goatse, and put that over the camera.

    How do you like that, cuntcast?

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  46. John Q Public Friday, March 21, 2008

    Kunkel, how are you possibly going to get the boxes to do something sophisticated like “gesture-based interactivity” when you currently can’t even get them to work properly using a remote control?? Comcast Motorola DVR’s regularly ignore user-input for up to 5 minutes at a time. I’m so sick of mine I’m about to take it out in the street and smash it with a sledge hammer. Two of my neighbors have shelled out $300+ to buy HD TiVO boxes and use cable cards just to get rid of their Motorola boxes. Look on any forum where they discuss Comcast and you’ll find people rampantly complaining about this problem.

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  47. “a better user experience”

    I do not think that means what you think it means.

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  48. Great, so whenever Dad walks in the room, porn comes on…

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  49. Ummm… let’s see… build cable modem chipset into set top box. Boom! Instant feedback channel.

    It’s not that this is going to happen today, but it does have that scary potential some years down the road.

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  50. [...] Pardon me for not wanting to have a video camera in my cable box, nor the idea that someone with some video screen capture software like CamStudio can pretty much so splash moments when I actually have time with my sweetie. If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room. Source: NewTeeVee.com [...]

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  51. sharpinchitown Friday, March 21, 2008

    Jalyx has not heard of corpo-government. How sad. I guess it happening in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany taught him nothing…or maybe he was schooled in the US school system so he doesn’t know anything!

    Government EXISTS for large corporations. Don’t believe it? Why can’t a government contractor be sued for bad service? Why can’t manufacturers of products that are approved by the FDA be sued? Why are large corporations allowed to write legislation and industry regulations (yes, that happens most of the time) that are then passed through their lobbyists to politicians that rubber stamp them into law, which just HAPPEN to be extremely advantageous to them but prohibitive to smaller companies that might want to compete? Why does the FDA fast track drugs that are unsafe while banning substances that are safe and effective (like DMSO, marijuana, GHB)? Why does the government protect companies that manufacture things such as voting machines at the peril of open, honest elections, the CORNERSTONE of a free republic?

    Wake up sleepy head and see what’s coming and already here.

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  52. Ok, since when did we become so lazy that we need the box to tell us what to watch. Please i dont need to have my “favorite channels” preset for me, (you can get tivo for that), parental controlls? umm i can set those up myself. Whats next ? oven that tells you what and when to eat? fridge tellng you “no no its not time for a dring” pleeeaassseee…. get off the couch , take a walk, come back and trun the tv on the old fashion way WITH YOUR FINGER!!!

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  53. [...] From NewTeeVee comes the story that Comcast wants to put cameras in their cable boxes to pick up on who’s in [...]

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  54. Comcast is currently under fire for censoring bandwidth content, so unless they have some lucrative government contract for this technology (think AT&T’s assistance of the communist NSA spying program), from a business standpoint this wouldn’t make much sense. Most people find commercials annoying to begin with, so targeting them based on what some bean counter in market research thinks they would want to buy might REALLY piss people off.

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  55. QUIT GIVING THIS COMPANY MONEY.

    If you haven’t already, cancel your subscription people.

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  56. Francesco Orsenigo Friday, March 21, 2008

    This is not controlling everything you do and use it against you.
    This is a lot more subtle.

    This is deciding for you what you watch.
    The latest choice available, which program to select, is kindly made by someone else.

    This is for getting us used to someone else deciding for us, this is for making us even more passive and accepting than we are now.

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  57. Sweet – Now when TV sucks, we can mod our cable boxes to watch our neighbors in their living rooms!

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  58. It’s “toed the line” not “towed”.
    Comcast is migrating towards providing content (from providing access). They want to be Nielson and CBS, one stop shopping. Essentially all cable systems have 2-way comms, either for internet or PPV/VOD. If you don’t like Comcast, cancel. Get a dish. Or just turn off the TV and choose for yourself what goes into your brain instead of what the advertising biz wants going in there.

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  59. [...] Soviet Russia, Comcast watches YOU… Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? NewTeeVee [...]

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  60. Winston Smith Friday, March 21, 2008

    Re: Scott Johnson

    “Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear!”

    Fallacious rubbish! I take it you have neither curtains or blinds on your windows……?

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  61. Although yes their intended intentions are ‘innocent’ enough, I worry about what they will modify it for later on.
    How do you know that they won’t build it to be able to monitor you later with just a software upgrade, You don’t! Since they are already deciding what you’re allowed to download, who says they won’t activate what they built into it in the first place but didn’t tell you about. What if they were to put a camera in the box and it peeps out a hole that you can barely notice? Then they can do whatever they want, do you trust a company when it says something is safe or innocuous enough? How do you know it won’t have a way to report back or take a pic every 30 seconds? What everyone on here is up in arms about is that they are gradually invading our privacy or at the very least giving us the tools they need to do it under an innocent enough guise. You have no idea what a big company will do to get better market share or ad revenues/ad demographics. I don’t trust them one bit and will cover up the cable box just enough to use the remote if needed. OK, I need to get cable first, but it won’t be with them, that’s obvious to me now.

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  62. [...] Reports points us to the news that Comcast has been experimenting (internally only) with putting cameras into DVRs in order to determine who and how many people are watching. Comcast lays out the reasons why this [...]

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  63. I would like to see specific model numbers that include cameras in the boxes.

    Shining a flashlight into the front of the boxes should reveal what’s behind the piece of dark plastic. If anybody has found a camera, I’d love to know.

    Making a cardboard cutout to fit over the front of the cable box, with a hole for only the IR receiver and the channel readout display, shouldn’t be all that hard to do. I hope they don’t put the camera near the IR receiver or the channel readout display, as we might have to do without those, if we can’t find a way to disable the camera without blocking those.

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  64. Since it is cable, there is nothing stopping them from having internet enabled on the box… This would allow for easy access to the camera image. By the way, a camera can now look like anything, including a LCD display.

    I believe that the move to HD TV will assist in their monitoring efforts. (Their being: The Powers That Be)

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  65. GREAT! The ultimate in spying on peoples households. I would bet the NSA i ‘helping’ with this idea. It was bad enough the psychopathic dickheads in DC masterbated to torture videos from Abu Graib, now they can do it to watching you cuddle with your wife on the couch. Easy enough to open the box and ‘disable’ the camera but just disconnecting your tv and running the cable into 110VAC should send them the message.

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  66. Great just what i need some loser at Comcast to potentially be peeping on me ‘batin watching adult entertainment :(

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  67. Hmm… nothing new. The boxes have been listening to us for years. So has Google, by the way. Don’t believe me. Check it out… http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/03/google_eavesdropping_software/

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  68. Tinfoil hats?

    Wouldn’t it be more to the point to tape the foil over the Comcast settop box cameras?

    And… what about HDTVs with the cable adaptor slots?

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  69. [...] is experimenting with a new technology to recognize the person in the living room, and schedule programs and/or advertisements [...]

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  70. It’s “toed the line” bud, not “towed the line”; he didn’t pull it anywhere.

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  71. This is pretty LOL because if they had claimed it’s for video telephony, nobody would have said a damn thing.

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  72. [...] Comcast wants to put body form recognition in your cable box so it can see who’s in your living room (or bedroom) and serve you tailored ads. In the bedroom too much? More than one body there? How ’bout that PlayBoy channel special we got on now eh? newteevee /via consumerist/ Search [...]

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  73. Here’s a revolutionary advice: get rid of your tv!

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  74. “If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning” (George W. Bush)

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  75. No thanks. I work hard to block advertisements at various points in my home starting with a hardware firewall dropping packets from various points using numerous filters and going on until script blockers and anti-advertisement plugins on my browser finish the deal.

    I won’t accept a cablebox with a camera unless there is no other choice available, THEN, it’s gonna be the black tape therapy. I’m the guy who insists upon the lens cap being replaced on my webcam after each use and has automated scripts running to disable audio cards after a computer becomes idle, then must be manually turned back on when needed.

    Does anyone REALLY want to see me watching TV in my underware, scratching myself, etc? The three letter agency guys who would intercept any video signal can thank me later :-)

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  76. “…he mostly towed the corporate line…” ?!

    Was he pushing when he wasn’t towing?

    ;)

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  77. This technology is already in place and they are already using it. I tested it, laughed and unplugged my television set and cable box. Cut them off and go read the Bible.

    :o)

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  78. [...] the senior vice president for user experience at Comcast, told Chris Albrecht of NewTeeVee that Comcast is experimenting with various camera technologies that will let it know who is watching television. By recognizing body forms, for example, a set-top [...]

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  79. You need to look at the box you have now some have a microphone that some people were cutting out.
    Onstar has been used to hear people talking in there gm cars by the FBI already.

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  80. “Does anyone REALLY want to see me watching TV in my underware, scratching myself, etc?”

    Absolutely. Upload to YouPorn plz. kthxbye.

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  81. So why is every laptop now sold with a camera built in? They are watching us. The “targeting ads” is a smokescreen. And dont forget telcom immunity and why it is so important to Fuhrer Bush…

    time ot get off the grid totally. I dont want your stinkin useless products and i dont “do” walmart.

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  82. HMMmmmm,Kind of coincides with the government doing away with analog tv signals and requiring digital tv’s across Amerika. it’s easier to monitor people with the new techology built in. it you luv yer tv but have an old analog you wont be able to watch yer favorite shows because they’ll all be broadcast in digial.only way to see them is you have to conform to big brother! George Orwell wasn’t making it up he had a vision….

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  83. Hey LOLcat,

    I just bought a new laptop and guess what, it didn’t come with a camera!!! WALMART RULES!!!!

    Share
  84. Sory everyone, since 1972 ALL cable and stelitesystems have been TWO-WAY capable, required by FCC Law, on sytems with 1,200 or more!
    As an Electronics Engineer, and ex-cop, I’ll point out that there is NO block diagram of the Remote Control sensor that sits behind a “dark window” on ALL TV’s. (most are infra-red cameras also. Just like the Police and Fire Departments Radios have options that they are totaly unaware of. nrc@NRCSAVESHOMES.org. Cover your spouse and children up. Cameras CAN be a 1 pixel hole size, right in the middle of a screen TOO. Don’t worry, be happy! Don’t vote for the Anti America Dem Party – they are the Facists of our time (for more government). JBS.org Ready.gov QRZ.com – Be prepared for what’s coming. Just like your banking and passport are open for over 200,000 people (requardless of safegaurds) so is your home TV, Computer, Phone. Worry only about the basics of life; GOD, Country, Family. YOU need to stop being STUPID; VOTE FOR the USA. Larry
    PS: TV’s and Computers Braodcast, “over the air” and through the AC power line – In Socialist England, the Government uses Vans (from the street) to “see” how many electronics items you have to TAX their Citizens. The US has a lot more complicated equipment than England. America needs smart Citizens – WAKE UP -

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  85. Cable television is a big joke anyway! Some of us pay thousands of dollars a year for channels that constantly try to sell us a new car, fast food, etc… I am sick of paying to have people try to sell me something! Commercial free television, what a concept!

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  86. R.G. Frano, A.C.L.S., (Displaced, NOT retired) Saturday, March 22, 2008

    I use comcast in Jersey City and what an absolutely perfect example of ‘rotten’ equipment, service & product is encompassed by the name, ‘comcast’. I suppose I could wrap my cable reciever, (a tiny, 3 x 5 inch oblong with yellow & red lights on the front), in some sort of visual cover, since I’m sure comcast wouldn’t be interested in securing my permission to video…
    I’d have Verizon FIOS, but they haven’t wired up my neighorhood yet…

    Share
  87. Has anyone ever heard of the “Off” button and books? Only the cerebroplegic watch network TV anyway. They deserve whatever happens to them. Likewise for cable watchers, etc. WOMBAT—waste of money, brains, and time. Pick up a book and read—if you can!

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  88. Anybody dumb enough to underestimate the power of a piece of chewing gum placed strategically over a sensor NEEDS to be monitored.

    Share
  89. And when some government misuses this technology or some criminal hacks into the Comcast features as they already do and have done to case someones house for purposes of rape, murder, interracial offenses or just a run of the mill burglary these geniuses will immediately:

    1. Deny liability and responsibility
    2. Insert the words ‘isolated incident’ and other blandisments when PEOPLE have died or been hurt because of them.

    My final reason for detesting this is that it is setting up a precedent for the Antichrist’s Illegal Super Dictatorship.

    Any company worth its salt can create a marketing / advertising plan. Even mom and pop businesses can do this without professional help.

    Some people have no sense.

    Share
  90. [...] Brother? Or a New Way of Interacting? Tags:cable tvNewTeeVee posted an article earlier this week that discusses technology being evaluated by Comcast to use embedded cameras in the set top box to [...]

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  91. spray paint the lense

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  92. S A T E L L I T E

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  93. Well, you know, this is how it all begins. “They” really do want to know what you are doing and who you are doing it with. It’s called a ‘police state’ of being. Freedoms are just going out the window. What’s that thing GWBush wants Congress to sign for so you can’t sue the telecommunication companies? Remember that one? I see no difference here. Instead of snooping into your phone calls and emails they want to come into your safe haven and snoop. God Bless America where we can be a free people! HA HA

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  94. They have already done this to cable boxes. It’s not just comcast either.

    Share
  95. Inconvenient Flame Saturday, March 22, 2008

    Ah yes, the brain-numbed masses spending hours each day passively viewing flashing images on a screen. Complete the picture with a drop of drool escaping a slack jaw except for when greasy chips or pizza slices are bing mindlessly wolfed down. How droll.

    If you people would get up off your posteriors and make real memories with your families instead of watching fictional ones on a screen, you would 1. be much happier and 2. put an end to the obesity crisis that is confronting entire nations.

    Share
  96. [...] newteevee 22 / March / 2008  Odd Stuff, Scary, WTF  [...]

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  97. [...] Comcast has announced that it is working on technology that would allow your television to see who’s watching it and adjust the programming and advertising accordingly. For example, if I sit down to watch the tube all my favorite channels–Comedy Central, Discovery, History, MSNBC, ESPN, etc.–will pop up, along with recommendations for shows that I might find interesting. If my girlfriend comes into the room the device would ostensibly add TLC, the Food Network, and some info about the impending Grey’s Anatomy disaster. And if my cat manages to pull his fat ass up onto the couch, Animal Planet should magically appear. [...]

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  98. [...] reported a new Comcast program this week: The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in [...]

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  99. [...] the senior vice president for user experience at Comcast, told Chris Albrecht of NewTeeVee that Comcast is experimenting with various camera technologies that will let it know who is watching television. By recognizing body forms, for example, a set-top [...]

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  100. [...] your telescreens on comrades March 23, 2008 5:59 AM   Subscribe With Comcast, your TV watches you. Comcast is developing cable boxes with cameras to watch the room. They will know who is there to [...]

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  101. [...] Comcast Responds to Camera Story The story of Comcast’s desire to know who’s in your living room has certainly touched off a web-wide frenzy, starting in our comments section and finding its way [...]

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  102. [...] “holy grail” because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes.   —> http://newteevee.com/2008/03/18/comcast-cameras-to-start-watching-you/ [...]

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  103. All of this connectivity is too good to last. I’ll just drop off the grid when these spy boxes roll out.

    Share
  104. [...] Comcast has responded to the original posting at newteevee.com, the original poster has responded to Comcast to clarify the conversation he [...]

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  105. [...] @ 2:42 pm If you think that interfering with internet traffic is a problem, Comcast is working on much more creepy projects. This report by Chris Albrecht pretty much takes anyone’s breath away: Comcast Cameras to [...]

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  106. “The camera-based gesture recognition device is in no way designed to – or capable of – monitoring your living room.”

    Right, like we TRUST corporate America’s promises.

    All of you people with the argument that “this isn’t designed for…” and “they say it won’t…” need to wake the hell up.

    A simple example…

    Just because the police aren’t “supposed” to search your car without probable cause doesn’t mean they follow the guidelines and/or law. They do whatever the hell they want. Same goes with corporations and the government. Just because they say they won’t do one thing, doesn’t mean they won’t.

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  107. Borg E. Gush Sunday, March 23, 2008

    “Anybody dumb enough to underestimate the power of a piece of chewing gum placed strategically over a sensor NEEDS to be monitored.”

    You’re so clever, you don’t even realize they can easily add a little dummy lense for your gum while the actual camera is hidden elsewhere. I mean, this trick is really REALLY old.

    Share
  108. [...] como parte de un plan para mejorar la experiencia de sus suscriptores a la hora de ver TV — incluir cámaras en sus DVR que registrarían la actividad frente al televisor. Así, mediante el reconocimiento de las formas [...]

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  109. [...] como parte de un plan para mejorar la experiencia de sus suscriptores a la hora de ver TV — incluir cámaras en sus DVR que registrarían la actividad frente al televisor. Así, mediante el reconocimiento de las formas [...]

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  110. It’s all about money and advertising, control and surveillance. I’m sick of this crap all the time. I want to live free without some corporation having me on a pin head and doing my thinking for me. The hell with it. I will live in a cabin if it comes down to it and screw the system. Enough is enough. Who do they think they are? Nobody is going to control me especially in my own home. When I turn on the TV once in a while, THEY are not going to decide for me what I watch! They can take that to the bank!

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  111. [...] Because increasingly, in the name of ‘convenience’, both government and industry are seeking to become more intrusive in our lives, all the way down to the level of what happens inside our homes. People want the convenience, but are starting to become increasingly aware of what the price of the trade-off will be. The latest example: Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? [...]

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  112. Anyone else wondering if this is also going to be put into those new converter boxes that everyone will have to buy soon ??

    Hey big brother, can you analyze this middle finger?

    Share
  113. I don’t have cable. It’s a thousand channels of crap. And this is reason enough not to give these lowlifes more control over your life.

    Share
  114. Annick Belanger Monday, March 24, 2008

    Let me be clear to Comcast or any other cable/media company seeking to do this sort of thing:

    1- I have my own brain and I can use my remote control on my own. If I want to surf channels, I will do it on my own and I sure as hell don’t need anyone or anything to “suggest” shows to me.

    2- As for parental controls, I will again use my own judgment, thank you very kindly. Swear words never killed anyone and I even happen to think they’re good for the soul. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Big Brother.

    3- If cable companies and tv manufacturers develop this crap and insist on forcing it on us, I will be forced to stop watching tv for good. I will not hesitate to do it, if it means sticking my middle finger in the face of those asswipe corporations.

    Okay? Are we clear? Get the hell out of my private life. I hope governments and big corporations keep one very important thing in mind: a few hundred years ago in France, they grabbed their royalty and CUT THEIR HEADS OFF. There are a lot more pissed off citizens than cops or government officials, so if I were you people, I’d be real careful of not annoying the public too much. I certainly could get into a head-cutting mood if the need arose…

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  115. I can hardly wait until we find out that the Administration has already authorized such observation. My bank transactions, phone dialing, and conversations have already been compromised. Not sure how much I trust a group that (supposedly) can’t even store and find their own email, though. The prez defenders will surely say that I haven’t really lost any important liberties; if I’m not a terrorist or a criminal, what in the world do I have to be afraid of?

    Share
  116. [...] NewTeeVee blog claims that Comcast is experimenting with frightening new methods of monitoring customers in their h…. They say Comcast cable boxes would contain a camera that recognizes household members based on [...]

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  117. What monsters invade the sanctuary of the American Home? Thank the gods I don’t have cable. And Comcast is our local provider here in town. What can we do?

    JUST COVER THE THING UP—it can’t see thru black velvet can it?

    Share
  118. Well, there had better be an opt-out, or a “no camera installed” option for customers, or they’re likely to have their boxes “modified” by customers who do not want the cable company looking at them.

    Share
  119. [...] Read the Entire Story…Source: New Tee Vee [...]

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  120. Violation of privicy unless you approve it. Read contracts carefully. Vote No!!!!!

    Share
  121. [...] cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into its devices so it can know who’s in your living room. Cameras in the set-top boxes, while apparently not using facial recognition software, can still [...]

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  122. Here’s a solution…stop watching TV! Its horribly corrosive to our entire society. Read a book, go outside, or just get basic cable that doesn’t have a box.

    The reason I say this is because no matter how much you bitch, its not going to change corporate America, i.e. the government (corporate America’s bitch). England has cameras on nearly EVERY street that monitor everything going on. They ARE going to watch you, either get used to it or you can do what a lot of people over there are doing. Get a small LED headlamp and put UV LEDs in and walk around with it on, which will disrupt the camera.

    Otherwise, move out of suburbia, buy a farm, start growing your own food, and get away from the massively controlled areas. Buy a gun while you’re at it, cause Marshal Law is probably not far away either.

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  123. [...] Chris Albrecht of NewTeeVee reports on a conversation he had with a Vice President of cable giant Comcast. Said Vice President revealed a plan in the research-and-development stage to include a camera in the living room cable box. That way, you see, Comcast could collect data on who in the home is watching what TV show, and when too. The professed goal of this is to offer each viewer in a home an enhanced TV-watching experience (meaning that they get to pitch ads to you in particular and charge higher advertising rates for it), and also to block certain kinds of content for certain kinds of viewers. [...]

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  124. Simple solution.
    Get rid of your cable and anything remotely connected to having your privacy impinged.

    Share
  125. i would leave acomnet but this site has name (required) emai (required). seriously anone here provide then with that info? i bet you are going to get the cameras first in some form or another, you have already lost. they are watching yor every move

    Share
  126. [...] Kunkel, Senior VP of User Experience at Comcast, describes the system in this NewTeeVee article: The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in [...]

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  127. [...] of its customers by throttling and tracking their Internet usage, Comcast now wants to put special cameras into customers’ homes so that it can tell who’s in the living room. The idea being that if you turn on your cable [...]

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  128. [...] firestorm of controversy erupted last week after industry website newteevee.com carried an article by Chris Albrecht which revealed that Comcast was, “experimenting with [...]

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  129. This type of nonsense obviously won’t fly with anyone who is over 20 years old. However, Comcast and others will keep at this until the next generation is sufficiently conditioned to accept what these coporations are peddaling. That “1984″ is being ushered in by corporations instead of government is a testament to the staggering influence corporations have over politians. It’s almost at the point where the US government and corporations think exactly alike. But that couldn’t be could it, because that would be fascism, right? Not in America, right?

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  130. Big brother is in the process of taking over the health care industry altogether, and now they want to supervise your children concerning what programs they can and can not watch. It’s always for the good of the children. Give me a break. Citizens need to stand up and let this company know and the government that they are quite capable of monitoring their own children. I guess people love giving up their own personal control and power and handing it over to a George Orwellian type society.

    Share
  131. [...] take all of it with a barrel of salt. Now, as you well know, I am no fan of cable companies — who apparently want to watch what you are doing inside your living room — but it’s hard to believe [...]

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  132. [...] it’s Satellite TV time. Or will be if Comcast goes through with putting spy cameras in their cable equipment. Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of User Experience told Chris Albrecht (newteevee.com) not to [...]

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  133. [...] Watch Him March 27, 2008 Ok, this one just creeps me out. According to, Chris Albrecht at NewTeeVee Comcast is developing devices with a built in camera designed to recognize the person turning on the cable [...]

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  134. “towed the line” ??? that should be “toed” the line!!!

    good grief!

    Share
  135. cornelius lokett Thursday, March 27, 2008

    if you are not invited inside my home then,STAY THE HELL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Share
  136. A bad idea? YES.

    Does anyone have any (intelligent, mind you!) thoughts about how it would react to two people in the room? Or if the person it had ‘sensed’ first got up and left, would it go all ‘We interrupt this program to take you to your preferences’?

    Share
  137. [...] is playing around with watching you from your cable box (”I’m sorry Dave, I can not turn the channel to The [...]

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  138. [...] hab ich hier vielleicht was falsch verstanden ? Wohl eher [...]

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  139. [...] sugar-packed cereals and adult-friendly pharmaceuticals). After Chris Albrecht broke that story on his New TeeVee blog, a s***storm ensued. Comcast then backtracked considerably, saying it never intended to peer into [...]

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  140. [...] sugar-packed cereals and adult-friendly pharmaceuticals). After Chris Albrecht broke that story on his New TeeVee blog, a s***storm ensued. Comcast then backtracked considerably, saying it never intended to peer into [...]

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  141. [...] experimenting with Big Brother technology for your cable box Excerpted from NewTeeVee: If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living [...]

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  142. [...] Sobering Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living [...]

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  143. [...] Krasse Scheiße (um es mal im Fefe-Jargon zu sagen): Der amerikanische Kabelfernsehanbieter Comcast will mit Kameras in seinen Set-Top-Boxen experimentieren. Die Idee ist, dass der Fernseher weiß, welche und wieviele Personen vor ihm sitzen, damit [...]

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  144. [...] firestorm of controversy erupted last week after industry website newteevee.com carried an article by Chris Albrecht which revealed that Comcast was, “experimenting with [...]

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  145. [...] recompressing doesn’t impact every HD channel, but between this, plans to spy on its customers, and slowing down traffic of its heavy users, Comcast is going to great lengths to make sure it [...]

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  146. [...] a change coming. Whether it’s more interactivity via your remote or a cable box that recognizes your body shape, people want more. And the internet is pushing the change along with the viewers. People who can [...]

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  147. [...] saw a couple of disturbing posts on Newteevee.com that talked with Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience at the Digital Living [...]

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  148. ok you are all feeling a little self important I think. Trust me no one wants to watch you scratching anything regardless of where it is. The whole thing will more than likely be an “added service” so you wont be required to have a camera. Seriously no one cares but the advertisers and I sure wouldn’t want to watch any of you on youtube.

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  149. [...] Comcast is currently experimenting with new camera technologies that will be able to recognize who is in your living room. Apparently this information would be used for things such as recommendations (based on your viewing history) and blocking inappropriate content when it ‘detects’ that children are in the room… Oh yeah, and it’ll serve up some totally sweet advertisements, catered specifically to you. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? No? You can read more here. [...]

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  150. “towed the corporate line”???!!!!

    What school did you [and your editor] ‘graduate’ from?

    Illiteracy, Inc?

    Sheesh!!!

    The expression is ‘TOED’, as in put his TOE on the line!!

    Share
  151. Paul Ouellette Friday, April 4, 2008

    The government is already using cable boxes to spy on Americans. It’s been using other technology as well. Audio equipment, television sets, … anything you can think of.

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  152. the list of kevinbgood621 Friday, April 4, 2008

    I think we should trust these guys …after all are’nt they the same guys who said that cable would never have commercials like free TV ? I have some great ideas/comments/insults for/from this recognition unit …excuse me as I scratch my balls in front of the TV…..
    1. Hey … you got something on your teeth !
    2. I know where your keys are …
    3. Wow ! I’ve never seen an ass that big !
    4. Your wife is cheating on you with the cable guy
    5. That shirt does’nt match !
    6. I think your neighbor is peeing in your coffee!
    7. Time for a tummy tuck !
    8. Do penises come that small ?
    9. The dog peed in your soup !
    10. Is it me or do you need hair implants ?

    Share
  153. [...] second idea that has really made me question the way technology is moving is highlighted in this article.  Comcast is experimenting with new camera technology that would place a camera in your cable box [...]

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  154. before my cable was free, i spent a blissful three years without it. it’s really freeing. television in general is mind-numbing and insulting to those of us with at least average intelligence. it’s easy to find information and entertainment you truly need and want elsewhere, and by more anonymous means. don’t be afraid to disconnect. you’re not missing much at all. it’s amazing how quickly the desire to watch tv will fade.

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  155. Fractal Being Wednesday, April 9, 2008

    “…navigate once – and then every time they pick up another Comcast product…”

    How do the other devices know you from anyone else on another device simply by ‘body form’?

    It’s more than Comcastic – it’s Communistic!

    Share
  156. [...] 4月 09 1984 in 2008 By Add commentsWinter Olympics So NewTeeVee is reporting that Comcast’s Senior VP of user Experience Gerald Kunkel is saying that Comcast [...]

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  157. [...] 4月 09 1984 in 2008 By Add commentsMoney So NewTeeVee is reporting that Comcast’s Senior VP of user Experience Gerald Kunkel is saying that Comcast [...]

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  158. From the perspective of someone working at Comcast, I can tell you that the thought of actually watching customers would disgust almost anyone employed here; it’s bad enough having customers call in to order the adult programming. I’m actually just surprised that the same technology being discussed here has been implemented in the Nintendo Wii, which besides having an internet connection is a child’s video game console. I don’t seem to remember flocks of people badmouthing THAT company at E3, or while standing in line at various Walmarts ’til the wee (pun intended) hours of the morning… If you ask me, I would be more frightened by the prospect of the motion sensors working similarly to the Wii’s — namely being jerky and non-responsive — than the idea of having to take up arms against the inevitable onslaught of corperate robot mutants sure to follow the release of a new moto box..

    Just look at it this way; Comcast is a buisness, sure, but would they be more interested in the crotch-scratchin’ actions of users whose comments are posted above, or in making money? Without regards to the time it would take, it would cost more than Comcast would make to get every digital subscriber to switch over to this new tech; not to mention the hurry we’re already in trying to switch all analog customers to digital before the transition. Comcast is just spending money trying to find novel ways to bring in service, and I for one am surprised more people aren’t laughing in the face of the number one cable provider in the U.S. for inspecting such a dead end idea, intead of being angry at a technology that has already been implemented by a company that markets products to grade-school children.

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  159. [...] line on these issues (the monitoring your living room came up after my camera was put away). Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? NewTeeVee __________________ "The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of [...]

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  160. so glad i threw my TV out a long time ago

    Share
  161. [...] Read the Full Story Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

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  162. it won’t be the last time

    Share
  163. [...] [Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You?] [...]

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  164. Doug Rosbury Saturday, June 7, 2008

    Paranoia is your real enemy. Fear creates what fear
    perceives. And fear is the evidence of a lack of faith.
    Faith in what? Faith in safety and security. Know that you will be safe and secure and the reality will follow.
    —Doug

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  165. [...] 3. The TV that stares back [...]

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  166. Brilliant!

    Share
  167. What an awesome idea for technology. Now if the President of the United States logs on to youtube he can see my full moon!

    Share
  168. [...] This is pretty creepy stuff. I know it isn’t directly related to federal power or the laws of the national (in)security state, but the implementation of the technology itself gives serious pause, especially considering the symbiotic and overly cooperative role communications corporations have with the government (and their willingness to serve as unofficial organs of the national surveillance apparatus. Total information awareness, indeed… If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast’s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room. [...]

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  169. Thsi is very interesting blog! Thank you for this article! Film is awesome :P

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  170. Big brother

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  171. I feel watched all the time! There are cameras everywhere!

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  172. Orwell saw it, he was a visionary. It was only a matter of time before your privacy is replaced by techno-surveillance.your calls are monitored,your cable tv keeps records of what you watch, your computer is monitored,Gm cars with onstar can be monitored and controlled now they want your TV to keep an eye on you also. No thank you,we wont have any say because they will tailor the systems to where you will need their hardware if you want to watch TV,Even with the TV off will it still monitor and report what it sees and hears? Another example of technology used for evil under the guise of innovation

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  173. [...] In March last year, Comcast announced that they were “experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.” [...]

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  174. [...] In March last year, Comcast announced that they were “experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.” [...]

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  175. [...] In March last year, Comcast announced that they were “experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.” [...]

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  176. [...] to keep in mind. Last year a Comcast rep told us the cable giant was experimenting with putting cameras in set-top boxes that could “see” who was in the room watching TV, and the upcoming gesture-controlled [...]

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  177. [...] to keep in mind. Last year a Comcast rep told us the cable giant was experimenting with putting cameras in set-top boxes that could “see” who was in the room watching TV, and the upcoming gesture-controlled [...]

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  178. [...] In March last year, Comcast announced that they were “experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.” [...]

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  179. [...] be it television, music or radio – and then direct advertising at them based on their preferences. In March last year, Comcast announced that they were experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know whos in your [...]

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  180. [...] be it television, music or radio – and then direct advertising at them based on their preferences. In March last year, Comcast announced that they were experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know whos in your [...]

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  181. [...] Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcasts senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know whos in your living room. The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen. Kunkel also said this type of monitoring is the holy grail because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes. Kunkel said the system wouldnt be based on facial recognition, so there wouldnt be a picture of you on file (we hope). Instead, it would distinguish between different members of your household by recognizing body forms. He stressed that the system is still in the experimental phase, that there hasnt been consumer testing, and that any rollout must add value to the viewing experience beyond serving ads. Perhaps Ive seen Enemy of the State too many times, or perhaps Im just naive about the depths to which Comcast currently tracks my every move. I cant trust Comcast with BitTorrent, so why should I trust them with my must-be-kept-secret, DVR-clogging addiction to Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Kunkel also spoke on camera with me about fixing bad Comcast user experiences, the ongoing BitTorrent battle and VOD. But he mostly towed the corporate line on these issues (the monitoring your living room came up after my camera was put away). Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? NewTeeVee [...]

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  182. [...] In March last year, Comcast announced that they were “experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who’s in your living room.” [...]

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  183. [...] no. But a blogger from NewTeeVee suggested as much after his offhand chat with Comcast SVP Gerard Kunkel, setting off a ripple [...]

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  184. [...] it go even further and use facial recognition (don’t laugh, Comcast already had ideas about watching you in your living room)? And if history has shown us anything, it’s that inconvenient roadblocks thrown up before [...]

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  185. To the nice person that said people that have nothing to hide have nothing to worry about..I say this; it is not about what a person would be trying to hide, but rather what could be manipulated.. Get a clue.. We still are entitled to some freedoms that are within the laws of society. If we are being monitored this is easily manipulated.

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  186. Don’t worry folks. This isn’t gonna happen no matter what you hear or what you think. At worst they might ask for volunteers to experiment with some sort of system but YOU control your home. Not Comcast. Rest well and have another cup of coffee. No problems.

    Share
  187. To the nice person that said people that have nothing to hide have nothing to worry about..I say this; it is not about what a person resimler would be trying to hide, but rather what could be manipulated.. Get a clue.. We still are entitled to some freedoms that are within the laws of society. If we are being monitored this is easily manipulated.

    Share
  188. There are loads of types of cameras for consumers to choose today. When I bought my first digital DV, it costs over 300 pound to repair during its warranty period. (In fact, this brand new camera only costs 420 pound). It was great I didn’t need to pay because it was during warranty. It really surprised me that the quality of DV today. I think today’s camera has lots of features such as printing printer, the quality is fine as well.

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  189. [...] mobile voice calls, text messages, and physical location data. It’s even worse than Comcast being able to watch you through cameras they’re putting into their cable boxes. Why? Precedent is so important, and given that the government doesn’t even understand what [...]

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  190. Don’t trust anyone saying that they won’t watch you. They have the Technology. It’s a damn shame. Where did the Old USA go.

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  191. http://www.resistnet.com/group/mississippiresistance/forum/topic/show?id=2600775%3ATopic%3A1385453 Hell((((O))))? What do you think the new boxes by the government for your local channels are for?Hell((((O))))? put a band-aid over the dots. It already in affect by your wonderful government.Hell(((((O)))))?????

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  192. [...] "users" are sitting in front of the TV, based on their thermal images. [Ed note: The NewTeeVee blog picked up on this kind of technology (and the privacy questions it might raise, reporting that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) was [...]

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  193. [...] ‘users’ are sitting in front of the TV, based on their thermal images.” He and others are a little concerned about the privacy questions raised by technology like [...]

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  194. I didn’t watch the clip of this Kunkel guy, but he’s corporate so I assume he’s lying if his lips are moving.
    I personally quit watching TV several years ago, and I don’t miss it. If I want to watch something, I watch a DVD or a video; otherwise, I find TV to actually be irritating (on the rare occasions when I find myself in the room with a TV on, like in a bar or whatever). The reason it bugs me is that I really dislike having my intelligence insulted.

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  195. [...] stand in the rain and pee on my leg then say the suns out. :roll or something like that. http://newteevee.com/2008/03/18/comc…-watching-you/ __________________ i'm the guy i've always wanted to [...]

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  196. Wtf aint dat aqainst da law? They have no right to see what your doing in your house that like wiretapping it’s WRONG. And it’s wronger if thier not telling you. I’m getting annoyed of comcast making you buy thier damn boxes to view certain channels so thwen they can see you what noisy ass people.

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  197. [...] comcast is watching you fap Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? Eye love sarcasm…Kich: "What anal virginity?" Reply With Quote   [...]

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  198. [...] Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? – “The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen…” [...]

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  199. why do you think the mandatory and government sponsored switch to hdtv?

    tvs a la george orwell are the perfect tool for keeping tabs on the majority of a population.

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  200. The cameras in your TV are either listening or video taping and watching you! Do this!….Sometime when you are alone and reading or sitting quietly, you will hear your TV do some clicking sounds! They will click and then again in a few minutes click again. I hear this every night I come home and work on my computer…I also sometimes hear it when I am just doing house work..INFAC,T I just heard it again and it does come from the TV!I also found out that Satellite can watch you…Police are going to Be using this technique..It’s a small device they put in your license plate or your Drivers licence…You then can be tracked or even watched form above….Oh YES! It that being done!You can not escape the goverment as they can track you anywhere and into anyplace and they can also send friends to follow you!That I won’t go into that one…
    Ypur phone can also be used as it will be by reverse technology..Found that out from a good buddy who works with the stuff and this dued is good at it! Oh yes wave at every camera in evry store and TV also..where hter is one you will be the actor in your own show! Oh yes check your mirror in every bathroom and or room if you have an inch between the mirror and your finger pressing on the mirror..you have I spys! You may wnat to be careful when you talk also what you say tapes every word. I kid you not ..this world is turing into perps and hey by the way! If they can watch you, they can also rob you silly if they know your going away for the week ect…Remember just because they are goverment don’t mean they won’t hack you steal form you or break into your life to….Just think of how people can fool you with the ..”I wouldn’t do that story”! They are watching you so becareflu of them also because you don’t know who it is that is watching you..hackers could be hacking them and they did to thier satelite they can through the TV also….Life really is getting to be a game No kidding folks!

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  201. This is how your government is starting watching you. I am serious. Google is working on similar projects. You government wants to watch every family. Because it treats every American as a terrorist. No more freedom, ladies and gentlemen.

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  202. This is just a very tiny part of the whole picture!

    http://www.surveillanceissues.com/

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  203. Actually it is a good thing and some of this stuff is just buloney..How ever our goverment is the best we have and I believe they use this other stuff for more important stuff… (If it is real for the bad guys as in CRIME and the criminals!) So don’t take my word, I am for our country and will always be and you bet if there is anything I know of, or recognize as a threat, It will be reported to the authorities or that of the higher authorities…(Military authority!)

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  204. I have a interesting thought about that! If The USA can do that… So can China!Think of it this way! Who makes most of the TVs and Radios and most everything now! China, Japan ect!
    So who would benefit by putting video and voice recorders in our grown up toys like: TVs and Radios,CD players and even Cell Phones Our enemies and ones who want our Important information. They all know the FBI and CIA and authorities are watching the INTERNET SO go another way to get it through the stuff I just mentioned!
    Yeah one of the Nuclear company owners bosses by a TV sets it up in a break room and stars talking about the business ect…ect… GUESS WHAT every thing they say is intercepted recorded and video taped or what ever!….Now you wonder about that in cop shops, News stations, maybe even in our own state Capitals! I hope our goverment is reading this because hacking thier own people might just set them up for thier own hacking and put our country in deep stuff! Not to mention the burglars and thieves and drug people who want to steal form all of us who are not thieves. I hope they have ANTI hacking stuff on everything but well, it’s probably to late though!It’s a spooky spy world out there and I think we are making it a lot more by opening doors for espionage spy’s!I guess the old saying is: What goes around, comes around! Mostly though is: While you look into the camera others do too!

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  205. PiterJankovich Monday, March 29, 2010

    My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

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  206. policestate Sunday, May 30, 2010

    This is just CREEPY! this country is becoming a police state !!!!!

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  207. TV and relaxation is about privacy and freedom of choice of what to watch. Especially for those young men and their special movies. I don’t know about you, but having a computer voyeur in my living room as I relax and be myself is a major buzzkill. Not everybody wants to be a porn star for the marketing eye, no matter how “anonymous” it is.

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  208. This article is misleading. The technology that is proposed is already being used extensively in many areas in society.

    When you watch tv in commercial locations we know the tv is watching you for security and advertising purposes.

    This technology can increase security and profit in other areas so you can bet it is used all over.

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  209. No offense, but it’s “toe” the line, not “tow” the line.

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  210. [...] Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? Posted on September 24, 2010 by a12iggymom http://newteevee.com/ [...]

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  211. TiVo filed for a similar patent a few years back, but instead of cameras people were monitored via our (embedded?) RFID chips.

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  212. Time to get rid of Comcast!!!!!!!

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  213. “towed the line” ? You mean toed the line as in putting your toes on a line, as close as you can get to the limit, not pulling it somewhere with a tow truck.
    You should stop watching TV altogether. It totally rots your brain as it holds you in hypnotic powerlessness, another dumb deer in the headlights of the media/advertising consumer molding corporate controlled economy.
    TURN OFF THE TV!

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  214. Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? http://t.co/iWT7GZvX

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