XBox 1984

So imagine you're sitting in your living room with several friends. You've decided to watch a movie you just rented/bought/downloaded/whatever. It's been legally obtained. Everyone is gathered around the TV and you decide to show off your fancy new XBox 720 (codename, nobody knows WTF they're really calling it) you just bought. In pops the disc. The Kinect unit flashes briefly and scans the room. Moments later, the screen gives you the digital equivalent of the finger and tells you there are too many viewers in the room for your purchased viewing license. The collective WTF in the room is deafening. Who thought this was a good idea? Microsoft, that's who.

While the outlined scenario is based on leaked information from industry media sources, there's reason to believe it's where things are headed. Microsoft has already been bringing on an increasingly large number of online based features, many of which center around DRM. Yes, one of those features is exactly as described. A form of DRM for movie viewing in the privacy of your own home where the Kinect hardware counts the number of viewers in the room.

There's one more even more disturbing form though. The service is also capable of tracking when you're actually watching the screen and pausing live output if you turn away. Yes, the hardware is aware enough of when you're not looking at it to know to pause the output. Which raises some even uglier concerns not just about DRM, but about forced advertising. Want to leave the room while those commercials are playing? Sorry - XBox 1984 has decided to wait until you get back to resume playback.

So, you might be asking, "Samson, why do you care so much? You don't even have an XBox." Well, I care because this sort of thing is a pretty big warning sign in my mind for the continuing trend toward America becoming a police state and toward the Big Brother-ization of society. Kinect knows how many people you have over? It knows when you're not watching? Then it's only a short hop from there to the Government being able to monitor your home life. Or for hackers to tap into the system to determine when you aren't around so they can rob your house.

"What's wrong? All they'll see is a bunch of geeks huddled around in their underwear?" The person who asked me this was asking it in jest, but the problem is, too many people out there actually have so little regard for their rights that they see it as a serious question. Akin to those who seriously believe that "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear". People like this are why this country is in so much trouble now. Far too many people have accepted the surveillance society, and that's just dangerous.

I sincerely hope this leaked information turns out to be completely false, because otherwise I don't even want to consider how far gone we all really are that this is treated as no big deal.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Apr 10, 2013 9:15 pm by Samson in: , | 7 comment(s) [Closed]
Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #1 Apr 11, 2013 7:10 am
But... but... does this mean I can no longer watch uhm uhm nature documentaries with my collection of realdolls ?

I think we have already gone too far Samson and this is just taking it further. There is nothing corporations do not know about you, if you own a smart phone, use a credit card, join loyalty programs and the like. You pretty much cannot take a shit without someone data mining it and offering to sell you some other brand of toilet paper.

And it is getting harder and harder for people like me to stay off the grid, what i do and how i do it is not for sale, not now not ever, and i think it is time to put a stop to it before we do end up with satellite tracking of every individual on the planet and big brother watching everything.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #3 Apr 19, 2013 6:22 am
Adobe flash has the same capabilities, an app can be programmed to use your microphone and webcam ( both built in to a laptop focussed on looking at you through the lid ), with 16 different communication methods ( among those are ssl encrypted connections ), Actionsource programming API ( it used to be Actionscript but Adobe changed that because it gave away some tell tale signs of what it was up to ), and an invisible click map which relays metrics about your mouse movement ( hover / speed / clicks / where you go next / tied in with the referrer ) in association with what url you are looking at .. And it doesnt need to be an App, adobe and partners can access all the above. Who hasn't got flash ( me for one )

Googles Chrome, can also do all the above, unless you go into fine detail in its advanced settings, and content button further buried settings within the advanced settings .. And strangle its capabilities.

I dont know about Firefox these days, but since they teamed up with google there has been a bit of mission creep, and using the about config can reveal a lot of google linkage which did not used to exist.

Add to all the above Location tracking in all browsers

And all of the above is on by default

Vulnerable click yes happy people ( I dont have any accurate figures but lets imagine 90% of people trust their computer setup and default configurations and site recommendations ) are so easily 'watched', it has become a sport for instance young men watching young ladies online in their rooms, if the target realises they are being watched ( because the webcam light suddenly became active which they try to stop happening ) ... They just laugh and move on to the next 'slave'

rootkits / botnets can easily do all the above ( depends on the intentions of the attackers ).

You dont need a box to do this, everyones got one already, the box is just trying to compete with what adobe and partners and app designers have been able to do for years. But possibly with the advantage of seeing the whole room as opposed to just one user.

I think ISPs would very much like to introduce something similar too for all of your cable network connections and simultaneously watching the living room.

Yep. There was an Ars article not too long ago about web cam victimization for sport. This is one of the reasons you'll never get me to hook one up to my PC or a microphone for that matter.

If more kids today were as distrustful of the internet as parents rightly tell them to be, this wouldn't even be an issue and companies like Microsoft wouldn't be licking their chops waiting to become the official Big Brother.

Yep. There was an Ars article not too long ago about web cam victimization for sport. This is one of the reasons you'll never get me to hook one up to my PC or a microphone for that matter.

WHAT, come on Samson, you are missing out on 99% of the internet, letting others watch and listen to you masturbating to porn :) Seriously thought, i do not have a webcam on my desktop and i taped up the one on my laptop. I do have a mic on my desktop as i use it for 90% of my telephony and for guild raids etc while gaming. Long Live Ventrillo.

Oh and while i am here, DnD Neverwinter is released this week, free to play DnD MMO. If you got nothing better to do, come check it out.

Anonymous [Anon] said:
Comment #7 Jun 6, 2013 6:45 pm
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