Taking The Smarts Out Of “Smart TV”

…would make them more expensive.

I’ve never given our 65″ Vizio (which we bought a year ago) our wifi password. It has no information other than what comes in through the HDMI cable. It’s purely a monitor. I don’t talk to Google, and I won’t get an Alexa. I’ve never installed Facebook on my phone, and I turn off my location unless I need it. I don’t want the tech giants spying on me and selling my data. Because at some point, the government is going to demand it, and they’ll comply.

14 thoughts on “Taking The Smarts Out Of “Smart TV””

  1. I pretty much do the same thing. If I’m gonna get stuck in the system, I at least try to do so only when there is an advantage for me besides “free stuff.” Someone’s gotta pay for it, and they’re the ones who ultimately own it.

    Because at some point, the government is going to demand it, and they’ll comply.

    More likely is they will sell it (at a discount, of course) to the next Progressive Left administration. Better to voluntarily give up some of their vast wealth to their Party masters, people who will have to power to “nationalize” and “expropriate” it. All for the common good, of course.

    1. Did the Obama campaign pay for any of it? Google was working on behalf of Hillary and the DNC for free.

      Typically, we think of fascism when a dictatorship, or some other tyranny, controls companies without owning them. In our situation, they can’t seize power through dictatorship yet but they still control the companies without owning them. In some cases, the companies are coerced but in many, they are willing participants.

  2. A nearly unavoidable one is car & phone
    with BT synching, android auto/ apple car play integration in almost all brands now.
    Smart phone is king for navigation don’t think any GPS head unit by self/or built in car navis has as quick access to the updated maps, and traffic conditions along with routing capabilities.

    Smartphone integrated to use the infotainment for navigation and speakers rather than setting up a phone mount
    Then you have the integration of the phone with the car speaker system.

    1. I use a Garmin GPS, because I won’t use a smartphone, at all. (for one thing, too dang big for me, plus I would never tolerate the invasiveness).

      The Garmin does have traffic and road data, but only for cities – its an FM-based live system. The GPS is also very much a one-way system; it can’t transmit, so no privacy concerns. It does have bluetooth, but I keep that disabled; nothing else I own has it, plus it’s an insecure system.

      It’s also much better at routing than my friend’s smartphone. In just one case, it got me from northern Arizona to to Farmington, New Mexico, half an hour and 20 miles faster, and Ely, Nevada, nearly an hour faster. The smartphone seems to have a bias for staying on numbered routes, plus in his opinion it’s darn near useless when not in a cell coverage area.

      1. I have a Garmin, Mrs. McG has in-dash. I’ve tried using Android Auto for navigation, but I habitually avoid situations where realtime traffic alerts would be of much practical use, and I just don’t like to be distracted by my phone when I’m driving, even if I’m not touching it. I think in my next car I’ll prefer in-dash navigation, since the Garmin has been prone apparently to “forgetting” updates after I’ve installed them.

  3. I always just find it infuriating that large TVs aren’t simply monitors these days. Why solder the $100 computer that is going to be out dated in a year to the $2000 screen that is going to be useful for a decade?

    Give the masses the option to buy a “combo deal” bundle with a smart tv box plus the big monitor. As a side benefit, the monitor can accept a single, combined power+video cable from the replaceable “smart box” to keep things tidy on the wall.

    1. Why solder the $100 computer that is going to be out dated in a year to the $2000 screen that is going to be useful for a decade?

      So you have to buy another $2000 screen in 2 years.

      1. They’re down to a thousand bucks now, unless you go OLED, or really big, like 75 or 80 inches.

        We finally bought a 65″ a year ago for $1100 (our first television purchase this decade — the old one was 37″), and of course the price on it dropped a couple hundred bucks just before the Super Bowl.

  4. I’ve never installed Facebook on my phone, and I turn off my location unless I need it.

    Doesn’t matter because if anyone in your contacts has the FB app, then they are collecting data on you. If you speak or text with anyone with the FB app, then they have recorded your conversations. Many states are two party consent, but no AG’s are suing FB.

    Similar situation with location tracking. Many apps track you even though you have the location feature turned off. When you do activate it, the apps then send in all of the information they have been collecting. IIRC, Google does this too.

    Check out these fitbit maps, https://www.strava.com/heatmap#10.94/-117.42945/47.78991/hot/all

  5. ” at some point”?

    You mean, during any DemocRat Administration (probably since Clintoon, or at least Bambi)? And some of the Republican ones?

  6. I never give the “smart” TVs WiFi, either. In fact, I usually keep my WiFi turned off, and just use it as a router because I prefer ethernet. (and I don’t hook the TVs up to that, either.) The idea of having spies in the house is intolerable to me.

    The government could easily get ahold of any data a company has, though I don’t consider the government the biggest threat anymore, I’m even more fearful of the companies that specialize in spying (google, facebook, etc.).

    They sell the data. To darn near anyone. And don’t assume that anything set “off” by software switches is actually off, because in too many cases, it isn’t. AT&T sells location data to a lot of aggregators, and a recent report demonstrated that a location, based on just a phone number, could be had within minutes for under $20, via a bounty hunter (one of the many kind of firms with access). And GM got exposed for tracking vehicles via Onstar, even customers who had turned it off or terminated the subscription.

    George Orwell would be proud of how many people today just love big brother.

  7. I only recently played the game WATCH_DOGS (even though it came out in 2014). For those who haven’t heard of it or played it, the game paints a fairly accurate dystopian vision of a world in which Big Data is given control of the systems that run an entire city.

    I also watched Truman Show for the first time ever a week or two ago. I found it remarkable how prescient it was for how old it was.

    As with everything, it’s all a trade-off. How much privacy are you willing to give up for convenience? How much autonomy are you willing to give up for security?

    I wonder how long it would have taken to get the current state of Big Data if Informed Consent was more stringently enforced and if EULAs were short and written in plain English.

  8. well I don’t know what you are in to Rand or why at some point the federal government is going to demand to know where you are but .. I am 62 and for the life of me I could not fathom why the feds would need to know about the location of someone like me who is so low on the food chain … but you just never know .. maybe my anti trump rants where I call him a self admitting, unregistered sex offender and draft dodging coward and criminal is making a dent and the ole’ trumpster is sitting up and taking notice of lil ole’ me … smiles

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