Tuesday, November 26, 2002 :::
I don't know what's creepier: that this type of possibly-private information is being constantly captured, cataloged and analyzed by who-knows-who who-knows-where, or that people actually spend time trying to convince TiVo or Amazon.com that they are straight and intelligent. Either way it's a funny, interesting article:
What to Do When Your TiVo Thinks You're Gay
By JEFFREY ZASLOW
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Basil Iwanyk is not a neo-Nazi. Lukas Karlsson isn't a shadowy stalker. David S. Cohen is not Korean.
But all of them live with a machine that seems intent on giving them such labels. It's their TiVo, the digital videorecorder that records some programs it just assumes its owner will like, based on shows the viewer has chosen to record. A phone call the machine makes to TiVo, Inc., in San Jose, Calif., once a day provides key information. As these men learned, when TiVo thinks it has you pegged, there's just one way to change its "mind": outfox it.
Mr. Iwanyk, 32 years old, first suspected that his TiVo thought he was gay, since it inexplicably kept recording programs with gay themes. A film studio executive in Los Angeles and the self-described "straightest guy on earth," he tried to tame TiVo's gay fixation by recording war movies and other "guy stuff."
"The problem was, I overcompensated," he says. "It started giving me documentaries on Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Eichmann. It stopped thinking I was gay and decided I was a crazy guy reminiscing about the Third Reich."
A lot of gadgets and Web sites now feature "personalization technologies" that profile consumers by tracking what they watch, listen to or buy. The software, embedded in sites such as Amazon.com and CDNOW.com, then recommends other books, videos and music based on a customer's tastes.
If the headline link above no longer works, you can read the rest of the article here.
::: posted by dan at 5:46 PM :: [ link ] :: (0) comments
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