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Google lies about Google Home playing audio ads
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-03-16 22:46:36

Today some Google Home owners reported hearing something extra when they asked for a summary of the day ahead from the smart speaker: an advertisement for the opening of Beauty and the Beast. Several users on Reddit have noticed the audio ad and Bryson Meunier posted a clip to Twitter. Some Android users also reported hearing the ad through Google Assistant on mobile.

And from the Total Bullshit Dpt., also known as Google PR:

This wasn’t intended to be an ad. What’s circulating online was a part of our My Day feature, where after providing helpful information about your day, we sometimes call out timely content. We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case.

It was an ad, plain and simple. A corporate statement like this, which is clearly, utterly, 100% a lie, should be illegal, and punishable by massive fines. This kind of callous behaviour is a disgrace.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-14
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To Be, Or Not To Be ...
By Pro-Competition on 2017-03-17 00:16:13
It used to be "Don't be evil", but now apparently they dropped the "don't".
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RE: Lies
By kurkosdr on 2017-03-17 00:30:06
> Well being that our President says a major lie at least once a day and a new one at least once a week there is no way Google will. E held as illigal. Lol.
I hope you understand why I was obligated to downvote this comment as "Off-topic".
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RE: Lies
By Alfman on 2017-03-17 00:30:38
Windows Sucks,

> Well being that our President says a major lie at least once a day and a new one at least once a week there is no way Google will. E held as illigal. Lol.

One of these days we're going to be faced with a national crisis, but it will be very difficult to trust that anything he says is not BS. He's already lost all credibility for honesty. Owing to his compulsive lying, trump does not deserve the benefit of a doubt.
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Comment by kurkosdr
By kurkosdr on 2017-03-17 00:35:02
So... it's not ad spam, it's unique and timely content.

So, let's summarise: If you are buying into this whole IoT thing, you are signing up to be subjected to annoying advert... err unique and timely content, planned obsolescence, a degree of vendor-lock-in that greatly surpasses the ones found in most desktop OSes and most mobile OSes (even iOS allows you to use non-Apple online servces, but those IoT devices only connect to the online services of their vendor) and of course the good ol' unpatched security whole which will make sure you will be a valuable money making opportunity to hackers and bot-herders.

Yup, sounds like a deal. Sign me up! (not)

Edited 2017-03-17 00:37 UTC
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Surely not that hard
By kwan_e on 2017-03-17 13:10:34
Surely, it's not that hard: will mentioning this increase revenue for something that is being sold? Then yes, it's an advertisement.

I'm not sure there's many false positives with that simple criteria.
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Talking to boxes
By ezraz on 2017-03-17 13:23:21
My rich friends spend half their day interacting with these speaking/listening devices. "Alexa - do this", "Alexa - what's that?", for every question and everything they need to do all day.

It's more annoying than googling everything immediately. Instant experts everywhere. No thanks. Until they invent the holodeck or the replicator i'm not interesting in talking to the computer.

Here's a modern scene I witnessed the other night at a friend's house: kids at the table doing homework, dad helping his 3rd grader. "How many cups in a quart?" asks the dad, looking ahead on her homework. She pauses and thinks, then says "Alexa - how many cups in a quart?" Of course Alexa answers. Dad seems a bit confused but then says "OK, yeah, right answer".

I'm standing by the mom watching this and we both say the same thing under our breath to each other - why do homework with Alexa around? How can any of it be verified as your actual best guess?

Why learn any smallish fact at all when AI is there to give you the fact of the matter w/o needed to lift a single finger?

Edited 2017-03-17 13:25 UTC
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RE: Talking to boxes
By rklrkl on 2017-03-17 13:37:09
I had to look up on Google how many pints are in a quart, because in the UK we use "imperial" pints and quarts and virtually no-one in the UK uses the term "quart" (next imperial step up from a pint that UK people know is usually a gallon).
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My question is
By darknexus on 2017-03-17 13:50:37
Does this really surprise anyone? This is Google. They're an ad company first and foremost. Duh. Did anyone actually buy one of these things with any other expectation?
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Actually true
By Kancept on 2017-03-17 14:56:54
Ads are timely content. If you watch Ads from the 80s, you know they are from the 80s. If that timely content they played for these folks was played 5 years ago, it wouldn't have been timely content. It would have been pre-timely content. We'd need the pre-time police unit!
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RE[2]: Talking to boxes
By shotsman on 2017-03-17 17:52:49
Quarts? How quaint.
Shows how behind the times the USA is... Only Joking.

The main point of the post is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon we will see something counting the adverts we have been subject to each and every day. IF you have not had enough of your mandated daily fix of adverts you will get them think and fast before you go to bed.

Then the likes of Alexa will monitor what you buy and how you respond to the adverts. Not bought enough? more adverts. Responded badly to adverts? More adverts.
your life was totally dominated by personlised adverts.

I read A SF story many years ago where the above scenarions were the main thread and how the refusniks fought back.

I hate all forms of advertising and deliberately do not buy anything that has been advertised to me.
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