Google Listens In

I came across an interesting article while burning calories over at the Slashdot site:

The idea is to use the existing PC microphone to listen to whatever is heard in the background, be it music, your phone going off or the TV turned down. The PC then identifies it, using fingerprinting, and then shows you relevant content, whether that’s adverts or search results, or a chat room on the subject.

Read the full story here:…/google_eavesdropping_software/

Any little bit they can get—”they” being the advertising conglomerates—they’ll take. We all learned that in grade school. But this seems overtly perverted. How many of us keep our computer in our bedroom? Is it really worthwhile to download / install software that lets companies listen to what’s going on in our bedroom?

I wonder, though, how many people will simply shrug and go along with the idea anyway. Look at the MySpace (yes, I’m guilty of having an account there, may God have mercy on my soul) explosion—millions of members, wittingly or unwittingly, allowing themselves to be showcased as a product for the advertisers. And everyone wonders why, whenever someone’s profile goes awry, there’s no proper customer support over there. Gee, could it be because we’re not the customers, and the advertising companies are?

I believe a review of the meaning of the word “advertise” is in order (I like definition five).