Tech Tuesday # 7  10th February, 2015

Hello, this Tuesday I thought I would talk about the new Samsung TV, some of you may have read or seen things about this new TV that may be listening to your conversations for the purpose of marketing.

Is it an invasion of personal space, of our liberties? Quite possibly, it is up to you to decide. Some may say they have nothing to hide and it doesn’t matter, some of you maybe a little troubled, but in fact this is not a new thing. As we all know marketing is the large industry in the world with billions and billions spent every year to get you to buy products. Now tech is making it easier to match the product to the customer.  Facebook and twitter actively look at your search history to work out what you been looking at so they can target you with more relevant ads, Google sells this data without your consent so is this an attack? It’s difficult to say.  For example, I am a huge fan of skiing and when was about to purchase my first set of skis I spent a long time saving up for them and researching the best set for what I needed (park ski with a little all mountain) and that was a few years ago now but I am still flooded with ads for ski equipment. Do I think it is an infringement of my rights? Not really, it’s a little creepy but not bad. In fact some people would go as far to say it is good as you are no longer bombarded with ads that are not relevant, the ads are there about stuff you like motorbikes and skateboards and so on.  However, saying this it is cautionary to consider that the jump technology has made in the last few years and how it is now entering the mainstream does need to be debated. So the question is, is it right that the new Samsung TV actively listens to your conversations, right?  More and more tech in our houses is becoming voice operated and therefore how much of us are being watched or listened to constantly?  As a history graduate I can say that history tells us that it is dangerous for organisations to be holding so much information about people, some of you may be in the camp of ‘ Why not, what have you got to hide?’ but my issue isn’t what’s to hide, my issue is what can manipulated and held over you. I‘ve already talked about the hacking scandal of all those celebrity nudes photos and about Sony, these things can ruin peoples’ lives. Just think, if hackers could watch you watching TV or listen to your conversation, things you might now regret saying, think if all your secrets, everything about you could be exposed – would you feel ok about that? Not to mention the fact that people could use these devices to stalk people and that’s just the low level stuff! What really worries me (but then I have always been slightly anti government)  is the fact governments/police can monitor us almost all the time and I find that disturbing.  Particularly given that government is a mechanism made up of posh idiots who have no understanding of the real world and I want as little engagement in my life from them as possible. The idea that government agents could now be actively watching us is troubling, let’s remember, Government should be scared of their people, people should not be scared of their government. Don’t misunderstand me, I appreciate that I, thankfully, don’t live in a tin pot dictatorship but it wouldn’t take as much as people think to turn us in to one and then people like me, who don’t agree with things and are active in speaking out are the first to disappear! (although that’s my mad take on it, and my own slightly inflated ego!)  The real issue with this tech development  is people now have devices that look like they are actively helping them; not having to get up to change your channel but do it by talking to your TV, having the latest Tech so they can ‘keep up with the Jones’s’  but I do I think the tech that is in Xbox and Samsung TV, and the like, is too much for a society that is already hugely materialistic and money obsessed.

The social ramifications of this attack on our privacy is dangerous and, in my view, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft have all gone to far with devices that actively listen or watch you and then sell that data to third parties. Some of you may argue that you can turn off a lot of this service in the menu bar, which is true but as have pointed out above, older people who may not be comfortable with adjusting their settings or just people not tech savvy will most likely not be able to and this are the people that it will actively exploit.  These are just my thoughts on this development.

To finish off I will say something about the irobot Roomba eating the woman’s hair in South Korea, some of you may have  thought I would talk about robot apocalypses, but in all honesty it is her own fault for being stupid and leaving the Roomba on and then going for a sleep on the floor of all places! It is amusing though.

Anyway that my tech rant over maybe soon il find a story that actually excite me about tech and not make me frown with its ramification, remember if you enjoy any of the stuff i do the video or this blogs about stuff feel free to pick up my short story, trust me it’s not depressing like most of my stuff here, and follow me on twitter and facebook or just leave a comment here. Anyway have a good week I’ll speak to you Sunday and if any of you are wondering our videos will be back this Friday with the next GTA video, it’s taken two weeks because I have been really busy with work , agent hunting, training and flying, sorry about that.

That reminds me, if any of you reading this have an agent or know a literary agent then please show them my site and ask them contact me on twitter, facebook, email (always worth a punt) Have a good week. Bye.

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