Here’s Looking At You, Kid
I WAS WATCHING THE TODAY SHOW the other morning and I saw a most interesting story (Which is odd for the Today Show. Most of the time they present fluff, interspersed with even lighter fluff.) They did a short piece about the new big screen TVs that are now on the market.
It seems that while we are watching them – they are watching us.
They showed a new Samsung television as their example. The TV has a camera and microphone that enables it to take both visual and verbal commands. The catch is, that as it listens and it watches, it is recording as well and, according to the technical info on the TV says, that this recorded info will be transmitted to a third party.
If that’s a party I wasn’t invited.
Shades of “1984” – read the book, or at least rent one of the movie versions. You can probably get it on Netflix on your new TV. Just say, “I want to watch the film ‘1984’, please.” If the TV answers back with, “I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t do that,” you got a problem. We ALL got a problem.
I think that there is going to be a big backwash on this. Who is this unnamed “third party” that is mentioned? Is it the TV manufacturer? Or the TV networks, the government, the crazy guy who comes into Starbucks every day? Rosie O’Donnell? Unless the answers are forthcoming I think that there may be torches and pitchforks heading to the castle.
Our television is several years old and, I’m sure, doesn’t have this bit of nosy technology. If it did have it, I’m sure that the set would have broken down out of sheer boredom by now. Who would want the job of listening in on the conversations that my wife and I have in front of the TV? Whoever it would be I hope that we have turned them into San Francisco Giants fans by now. We watch about 150 games a season on that TV.
“He hits it high! He hits it deep! It…is…outta here!!!”
“Grab some pine, Meat!”
Since most of these new TVs come from Japan or Korea it might be fun to pick up a few choice phrases in those languages and just toss them out at random intervals and hold up pictures of Nagasaki or a Photoshopped portrait of Kim Jong Whatshisface dressed as Lauren Bacall, dancing cheek to cheek with the Head Jackrabbit of S. Korea’s Gubmint. Just to stir the pot, you understand, right?
And if the “third party” is our government? Just replace Lauren Bacall’s image with the visage of an illustrious American non-entity of your choice. We have no shortage from which to choose. It’d be like shooting fish sticks in the freezer.
If it is the TV networks watching and listening they will have to endure some very non-flattering critiques of their programming.
“When is the last time you nitwits had an original thought?”
“Hey, Diane Sawyer, Ain’t it time to take your facelift in for a tune-up?”
“One of the ESPN hosts died? I can’t tell which one. They all look a bit ripe.”
Somewhere George Orwell is spinning in his grave.
Film at 11!