Big Brother is Listening… and He’s an Idiot

Image result for gorilla with cell phone

The moral of this story should be obvious.

The newest hot gizmo that everybody has to have is “Alexa,” the “home assistant device” that carries out verbal commands–turn your music on and off, play your video, set your thermostat, turn your lights on or off, and order stuff from stores. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, wipe my bum”–well, all right, not quite that far–and the machine does it for you. I mean, who needs the hardship of flipping a light switch on or off?

So what happened recently is, there was a newscast on TV, all about the wonders of Alexa, and the noozie on-screen said, clearly and distinctly, “I love the little girl saying, ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse.'” ( http://www.cw6sandiego.com/news-anchor-sets-off-alexa-devices-around-san-diego-ordering-unwanted-dollhouses/ ).

Oops.

All around the greater San Diego area, where lots of people had forgotten to turn off Alexa when they weren’t using it, Alexa “heard” the newscast and ordered dollhouses. Lots and lots of dollhouses. Expensive dollhouses that these people didn’t want and didn’t know they were getting until they got ’em.

Do we really, truly, for sure need all these devices in our lives?

Well, if you’ve got a houseful of smart TVs and smart phones and smart Alexas, I guess you’d better be very careful what you say, because your little electronic servants are going to pass it on.

General Rule for Life: When somebody is trying to sell you something, or get you to do something, and he uses the adjective “smart”… quickly turn and walk the other way.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

6 responses to “Big Brother is Listening… and He’s an Idiot

  • UnKnowable

    Although I work in tech, the new “smart” devices strike me as the worst thing to happen to the human race in a very long time.

    My smart phone has become a virtual necessity, but it now has so many functions that merely answering it can easily trigger an unwanted string of events. A while back, Microsoft decided to “give” Windows 7 users a free “upgrade” to Windows 10, even if the owner of the computer rejected the offer. Who’s running things here?

    Now, with advices like Alexa, people are voluntarily placing an open microphone. In their home and making feasible eavesdropping. All it takes is a court order. Likewise, placing one’s data in a free cloud storage service is tantamount to handing the keys to someone unseen. The businesses that offer these services may have privacy policies in place, but a court order, executed on them, would open the door for snooping.

    In the he last 15 years, technology has shown its darker side and there seems to be no stopping it now. The Internet is the best thing since the invention of the wheel, but the way it’s being misused will go down as being the worst thing since the Third Reich.

    Like

    • leeduigon

      Like I said–when you hear “smart,” turn around and walk the other way.

      Like

      • UnKnowable

        “Smart” = algorithm, which means that the decision making process is being made by some anomymous programmer. One problem that arises is the fact that programming comes down to working with an unreasoning machine which has the ability to calculate, but not on gram of sense. Unfortunately, when you spend a lot of time programming, it’s easy to forget that people are not computers. Most programmers that I’ve met seem to display a misanthropic attitude, at least to some degree.

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  • Erlene

    I agree, and that goes for “smart meters” also. The electric utility replaced all the meters in the area with these smart meters so the reader does not have to leave his vehicle, just reads it from the street. Seems they also have the ability to make people sick and other great stuff, but right after they were installed, the bills began going nuts and a lot of people had to start a fight with the utility co. to try to get repairs and remedied bills. Didn’t always work, though, since a lot of people are still overcharged immensely and there seems to be no fix. Drat, I hate “smart” stuff that is so retarded.

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  • marlene

    The only “smart” in my house are the people.

    Like

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