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Monday, April 19, 2004



So what’s “Gphone"*, you may wonder? It’s the Gmail privacy controversy taken to a new level in a message from the Telephone Company:

“Using brand-new automatic speech recognition technology, we will be monitoring your telephone conversations for mentions of product names and other “key words”, on your behalf! At the end of each month, we will send to your home address, FREE OF CHARGE, a customized “Context Coupon Book”, comprised of coupons and other special offers by merchants in your area, just for you! We know you’ll find this service useful, since you’ll have been talking about these very same products and services over the prior month!”
– Bryan, New “Context Coupon” Program! (Netmeme), April 03, 2004

*Just in case Google decides to further expand, I’d like to be the first (or at least, among the first few thousand) who mentioned the following possibilities: Gcar, Gtv, Gmusic, Gos, Gpc, Gfood, Geverything.

The Database of Intentions

“The Database of Intentions is simply this: The aggregate results of every search ever entered, every result list ever tendered, and every path taken as a result. It lives in many places, but three or four places in particular hold a massive amount of this data (ie MSN, Google, and Yahoo). This information represents, in aggregate form, a place holder for the intentions of humankind - a massive database of desires, needs, wants, and likes that can be discovered, supoenaed, archived, tracked, and exploited to all sorts of ends. Such a beast has never before existed in the history of culture, but is almost guaranteed to grow exponentially from this day forward. This artifact can tell us extraordinary things about who we are and what we want as a culture. And it has the potential to be abused in equally extraordinary fashion.”
– John Battelle (co-founder of Wired and author of upcoming book “The Search: Business and Culture in the Age of Google”), The Database of Intentions, November 13, 2003


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