Yes, any new technology comes with potential for abuse. But I'm still excited that maybe one day this tech could be miniaturized enough (or deployed responsibly) to give me wireless virtual earbuds without having to stick anything in my ear.
But the modern world offers nice alternatives now. I can watch movies and episodes without ads (thanks to Netflix), and can listen to all the songs in the world without ads (thanks to Spotify). Because I pay instead of watching ads.
A lot of platforms and products offer the choice between looking at ads or letting you pay.
But of course, everyone wants to have stuff for free without ads, but that's just not how a functional economy works.
However, I don't think services which offer a free-but-with-ads-version are the issue here. After all you could just not use those services.
I think the way bigger issue is the ubiquitousness of advertisements/spam in our daily life. Most e-mail traffic is spam. If you walk around in your city you most probably get to see an ad every couple of meters. And this is not just your local butcher putting up a sign with today's specials. These are footholds of international corporations which manipulate your emotions so they can sell you their shitty products (Oh, I forgot, it's not shitty, after all if I believe the ads your corporation somehow has some deep connection to my family life and that's what makes the product so great!)
How it ever got like that is insanity in its own right. Now giving these public space polluters another tool for manipulating people? I can't see much good coming off of it.
My point: a netflix with ads will be more profitable than one without. However they cannot get away with that right now, competition, etc. Maybe never, but there's a reason ads came around, even for people who paid for television.
With time is money and media backlogs many would rather just use their Steam backlog or DVD library.
Of course, people still moan about “being forced to pay for it”, even when you tell them how to legally stop paying for it.
At least, that’s what the TV licencing website says, I don’t know the name of the actual law so I can’t look it up.
If you don’t want to be bothered by ads, we probably need better targeting, not a ban on it.
I am very unimpressed by targeted advertising - it seems to be more a metamarketing thing since clients think they are getting more while the suggestions only gather enough to be creepy and useless compared to "what am I looking at right now?". I accidentally managed to flip Youtube ads gender targetting in a ham fisted way once in a week despite me telling them already.
Great! That means they're less likely to influence me.
It would be perfect for an office computer, or an arcade console.
- Doctor, I hear voices in my head
- Don't worry, it's just ads
Leela: "Didn't you have ads in the 20th century?"
Fry: "Well sure, but not in our dreams! Only on tv and radio...and in magazines...and movies. And at ball games, on buses, and milk cartons, and t-shirts, and bananas, and written on the sky. But not in dreams! No sirree."
Interestingly the tone of hallucinations is very culturally shaped - western ones tend to be more negative.
Artists with schizophrenia tend to produce interesting degrees of abstraction which seems to be "accidental" as opposed to deliberate. Interesting but sad of course.
If one wants to cause mental illness we already know how - isolation
One of the ones I've considered is that we already have the ultrasound beams that others are discussing, publicly available for years, to the point I've heard them at the supermarket . I suspect with just a slight tweak of the math, you could make it so that with two emitters you could create audible sound that exists only at the intersection of two beams, for instance. And that's just one idea of how this could be done; by no means am I claiming it's all of them. Even if I'm wrong about this one, something will work. Sound is so basic and simple that it is logical it can be produced by all sorts of things, because we already know from experience it is produced by all sorts of things.
This is initial research from a public team. I see no evidence from the story that they used any tools that haven't been available for 40-50+ years, albeit not as cheaply or as compactly, of course. (i.e., in contrast to the ultrasonic beam which actually requires non-trivial computational power to attain) I don't find it very hard to believe other non-public entities have the refined-over-decades version of this idea.
Combine this with a bit of chemistry and yeah, you could probably play some serious mind games with people. From what I see, it would be easy, like, give the Mythbusters a couple of weeks and take all their scruples away and they could probably bash out a "plausible" prototype of the process from where they are (not terribly expert in the relevant fields). Even just publicly-known psychoactive drugs provide a lot of tools to play with.
I am not claiming that if this technology does exist that it is being used for any particular purpose. I'm just saying with all that black budget and the obvious utility to intelligence agencies of such basic technology it's very easy to believe that they have it, and that they have for a while, because it isn't some wild hypothesis about unknown science or new forces or aliens or any sort of thing they're suppressing from public knowledge, but rather a fairly boringly-straightforward application of relatively basic science, as shown by this exact article. An infrared laser and some modest cleverness in what you do with it. Other comments speculate about putting together a DIY rig to do this. Not complicated.
: They experimented with playing ads to people waiting in line to checkout. It must have been deeply unpopular, it didn't last long. As a nerd I enjoyed the chance the first couple of times to hear it and play with the parameters and see what happens if I bounced it off my cell phone, how sharp the boundary was, and such, but it would have gotten old pretty fast after that, and most people wouldn't even be that entertained.
Edit: Another example of the sort of thing that I think could lead to sound production with some tweaks, here's a video from 2014 of a mid-air laser system generating enough plasma in the air to be visible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNoOiXkXmYQ You can hear it makes a very characteristic squealing sound. Do something less violent (much, much less violent) to someone's body, and what are the odds that you could get sound out of it with some years of development? There's just so many avenues to create sound, one of them is going to work.
But as technology progresses, I can see a future where AI and facial recognition and this targeted sound will torment every person, everywhere they go. The more recent Time Machine movie showed a bit of this.
- Don't worry, it's just ads.
Edit: They call it Hypersonic Sound System, not nonlinear acoustics, see .
But very reminiscent, and a great series.
They used this in an ad in New York in 2007 for the TV series "Paranormal State", which was premiering soon on A&E. It was a paranormal themed reality show. They had a big billboard for the series on the side of a building, and Holosonic's "audio spotlight" technology on the roof that sent two beams of modulated ultrasound down to the sidewalk.
Pedestrians who walked directly into the beams would hear a disembodied voice whispering creepy things like "Who's there? It's not your imagination", but someone next to them who didn't enter the beam would hear nothing. Here's a video .
Here's an article about that ad campaign, and it also mentions some other ad uses of the technology . Interesting quote from it:
> Joe Pompei, president and founder of Holosonics, said the creepy approach is key to drawing attention to A&E's show. But, he noted, the technology was designed to avoid adding to noise pollution. "If you really want to annoy a lot of people, a loudspeaker is the best way to do it," he said. "If you set up a loudspeaker on the top of a building, everybody's going to hear that noise. But if you're only directing that sound to a specific viewer, you're never going to hear a neighbor complaint from street vendors or pedestrians. The whole idea is to spare other people."
Edit: I also wonder how it works if you modulate or otherwise moderate the interface between ear surfaces and ear-surroundings moisture, since that's apparently the resource this method needs in order to work at all. Shopping with headphones on can be a pretty nice experience IMO, and maybe it doubles as a countermeasure.
People annoying other people with laser pointers is going to become _so_ much more annoying.
True. Antisocial behaviour gets orders of magnitude worse and more prevalent once you can actually make money with it.
This strikes me as a rather bizarre example to use. What's special about active shooters that would warrant using lasers to beam whispered audio messages directly into someone's ear?
"We made this thing, I wonder what we could potentially do with it that would benefit people as much as possible?"
This is part of why we get such a stream of stories about amazing new breakthroughs in solar, battery capacity, terrorism reduction, etc. that never seem to come to fruition. A lot of times they were never for that purpose anyhow, really; it was just a paragraph tacked on to get the grant.
I imagine you can certainly drive people crazy with this thing. For some one who doesn't know this kind of technology's existence, it's pure magic.
- it's really silent. They claim that the signal is audible, but under pretty much ideal conditions.
- creating arbitrary sound with this approach is hard. Each laser sweep generates a sharp wavefront that is audible, but that only eorks ehen the sweep is at the speed of sound. This limits the frequency at which you can emit those pulses and their shape is fixed, too. The only really changeable property is amplitude.
Not sure if this can be turned into a reasonably high quality source.
The sweep could be sped up by several orders of magnitude, and the modulation could be coordinated with it to create traveling pulse trains toward the listener that would have higher fidelity.
What you possibly could do is to have multiple laser beams forming a sweeping comb pattern. Depending on dispersiom and other effects, you might be able to do some waveform shaping. But that is very elaborate for a loudspeaker.
Granted, the laser sweeping technique trades off fidelity for the volume, this is still just laboratory tests and is not a "final product" in any sense.
Apparently, now their science fiction is finally partially realized...
Of course, the possibility of having a practical weapon is low, while the chance of these conspiracy theorists being the actual victims of a human experiment is practically zero. But I personally do believe the R&D of such psychological weapons do exist, and this is how the non-fictional part of the conspiracy fiction originated. Related published researches is what they used as a foundation to justify it, now they just get more materials... And well, this "mental control" meme has been around since a long time ago, since the age of radio.
I can imagine a rock show where the whole band goes straight into the mixer, and instead of speakers PA uses this laser tech to transmit the sound to listeners.
If you are a person who for some reason doesn't receive the transmission, it must feel very bizarre: the only acoustic sounds would be band playing the instruments silently, vocalist singing without any amplification, crowd noises.
It would be a paradise for people making / receiving orders at the bar with the live music going on.
Or imagine a night club where people on the dance floor receive music very loudly, but people outside of it receive it at a conversational level.
 - A good biotech sci-fi; I liked it and can recommend it. Speaking of which, if there are other "biopunk" books out there, I'd love to know.
This writeup is short: https://www.recordonline.com/article/20091118/Health/9111803....
There's also a (busted) Mythbusters around picking up radio signals thru fillings.
-- The Pentagon
I could easily see this being adopted by cheaters in passing exams:)
For example, sharks with giant fricking laser beams that convert shark thoughts to audible sound that gets louder based on target's voice level.
Or government, millitary, and adtech abuse.
I'm not a big regulations person but see value in them in this case.
and screw the mindset that active shooter is the "cool use case" for something like this. Jesus christ - if these people had imagination, how about the fact that it can be uncomfortable to always have a device sitting in your ear canal - maybe it would make a good headset for a phone conversation sitting at a desk - you dont need a thing on your head/in your ear to be able to converse on a call..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF9G9M0cR0E - very interesting to watch.
Oh, sure, it says it's safe...
Imagine any negative or false perception can be corrected with a medical device.
"No, Janet. The butt naked dwarf with a pitchfork isn't real. Keep coding."