tymshft

There is nothing new under the sun…turn, turn, turn

One day, your cable or satellite provider will have some suggestions for resolving your current marital argument

Jim and Jane were sitting in front of the television set one night in 2014.

“You never listen to me!” screamed Jane.

Jim looked up from his smartphone. “What?” he asked.

This did not help Jane’s mood, and she uttered a few choice words that I cannot reprint in this family blog. However, her tirade stopped when a commercial aired on the TV screen.

“Hey, Smith family!” said a friendly voice on the TV. “Do you need marriage counseling?”

Jane stopped her rant. “Why did that ad air just now?”

Jim held up his smart phone so Jane could read the article. “It’s new technology that’s being integrated into set top boxes.”

Jane read the article:

I am questioning the introduction of cameras and microphones into the home to monitor its inhabitants by some service and application providers. Although, not yet implemented, Verizon has filed for a patent on technology that could be included in set top boxes to improve their ability to target ads to anyone and all watching TV or using the set top box for entertainment purposes. In addition to knowing who would be in the room, including pets, the technology would allow for ad selection based upon what is seen or being said in the room. According to the filing, if a couple was arguing, an ad for marriage counseling could be shown.

“So our set top box is listening to us?” asked Jane.

“And it’s watching us,” replied Jim. “I read another article that talked about how set top boxes could be outfitted with infrared sensors.”

Jane sat, deep in thought. “So do we really need marriage counseling?”

“No,” said Jim. “It’s just like any other advertisement. They try to sell you stuff that you might not need. How many new car commercials do you see every day? Oh, and I’m sorry for not listening to you earlier.”

“I’m sorry, too,” said Jane as she reached over and hugged Jim.

“TROJAN MAN!” declared the TV.

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