Author Topic: "Your Phone is Literally Listening to your TV"  (Read 4208 times)

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Offline ccexplore

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"Your Phone is Literally Listening to your TV"
« on: November 20, 2015, 01:16:39 AM »
The surreal heights to which advertisers will go in the name of ad targeting. :-\

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/your-phone-is-literally-listening-to-your-tv/416712/

TL;DR:  companies have figured out how to use inaudible (ie. ultrasonic) sounds to establish links between your devices

Offline namida

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Re: "Your Phone is Literally Listening to your TV"
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 01:25:32 AM »
TV? Oh, that's that rectangular box that people used to watch shows on, right? :P
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: "Your Phone is Literally Listening to your TV"
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 01:34:34 AM »
The TV is just one of the examples cited; clearly the technique can apply to pretty much any of your devices that has the ability to either emit or detect sounds (or both).

And even in the modern days of cord-cutting, apparently there's still a majority going for live TV.  Or they opt to stream their Netflix or whatever to the giant fancy HD TV in their living room with their super-comfy sofa/couch, instead of the moderately-sized 5-year-old monitor in their room with the definitely-not-sofa chair. :P

Offline mobius

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Re: "Your Phone is Literally Listening to your TV"
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 10:04:33 PM »
why am I not surprised? Advertisers are devious evil creatures who come from hell.

I would never notice this sort of thing of course, because I am a proud supporter of adblock; the greatest invention since sliced bread. Only on my PC however. I have yet not found a suitable adblock program for my phone, can anyone help?
I tried downloaded regular "adblock plus" for my android but to install it said I must enable wi-fi. I don't use wi-fi [because where I work there is no wi-fi]*. And I could not find a way around this.

*And, I cannot simply enable wi-fi automatic connect because all f&%$ day long at work it will keep pestering me that it's looking for wi-fi, even though there is none to be had.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: "Your Phone is Literally Listening to your TV"
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2015, 10:40:09 PM »
I have yet not found a suitable adblock program for my phone, can anyone help?

A quick Google search shows that this is a known issue and may well be a technical limitation in the Android platform.  The info on the linked thread conflicts at times and aren't very clear even to me, but it sounds like the ad-blocking may not work for cellular on non-rooted devices.  There were some vague instructions given on manually setting it up for a cellular connection, but it wasn't clear (certainly not exactly step-by-step) whether it would work for all phones and whether the device needs to be rooted or not.

In any case, like malware, this will be a constant never-ending battle between the "good guys" and the "bad guys".  Improvements in defense by the good guys only leads to more innovations on offense by the bad guys to try to work around or bypass the defense measures.  Sponsored content for example is one well-known example whereby ads sneak by any attempts at ad-blocking by paying the site to host legimate-looking bait articles/content that are in reality thinly-disguised ads.  Or a site can be set up to have some ads inlined into the page so that it's not possible for the blocker to distinguish ad content from actual content (because they'd both come from the same point of origin [ie. web server]).