Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: first, to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; last to not only fighting for personal privacy & the freedom of information, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. She is a poet, always. All these efforts find representation here: "ah, Mephistophelis" is so named after the last line of Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, whose heretical success flouted the censor for a time.


Could Be Used Bring Web To 98% of Americans

details below

Originally published 2/12/11 at 3:10 pm.

DTV is and always has been able to transmit as well as receive.  Doesn't that make you feel safer? Relevant in light of A Human Right's ongoing inspiring attempts to buy the now-shelved largest satellite ever made in order to provide all people of Earth with basic internet access -- for free.  (See Group plans to beam free Internet across the globe from space over at Raw Story). 

The 2003 whitepaper below discusses the then only theoretical switch from analog to digital television, proposes a Nationwide Alert System (in case of terrorism, of course) -- and reveals some very interesting things along the way, such as [emphasis mine]:

• The system is “addressable” so that public safety agencies can pinpoint to whom the data is sent... they can send targeted, encrypted information to certain authorized individuals.....
• new digital technologies to create and deploy a platform that will enable two-way and point-to-point communications. This system can be leveraged to support a national homeland security alert system....
• digital broadcast streams may be compressed—which creates the opportunity to use that spectrum for other purposes....

Read more here: PDF  (let me know in comments if you need a plaintext link.)

Hmmm. I'm sure those other purposes are good ones. Certainly that targeting won't be used except in emergencies, hmm? And that two-way thing - with consent. of course.

All upwellings of bitter sarcasm notwithstandsing, recent events no doubt underscore how important it is not to leave control of this crucial resource up to the individual governments. Egypt has taught us that they will not hesitate to do whatever they need to do to keep themselves alive.  

Be not surprised if, after you read this, last year's sudden switchover to digital and Obama's recent promise to provide Americans -- 98% of them -- with internet access (albeit 4G - still 2way) seems different -- somehow...

Although a patent may be granted for a technology that is not yet available, and although this patent was rejected, still this news appeared relevant:

Verizon patent application for TV snooping tech rejected
It would serve ads based on viewer actions 
in front of their sets

By Jaikumar Vijayan
December 7, 2012 04:32 PM ET
emphasis courtesy of a female faust

Computerworld - The U.S. Patent Office has delivered a "non-final" rejection of a Verizon patent application for a controversial technology that would serve targeted ads to TV viewers based on what they're doing or saying in front of their sets.


The technology is ostensibly designed for integration with set-top boxes and would be capable of determining whether a TV viewer is using a mobile device like a phone, laptop or tablet. In some cases, the set-top box could be configured to communicate with the device to see whether a viewer was using it to "browse the Web, draft an email, review a document, read an e-book, etc." It could also get a sample of the content on the device.

The capabilities don't stop there. The technology would also be capable of serving up ads based on one or more physical attributes such as a person's size, build, skin color, hair length, facial features, voice tone and accent. And it could spot pets or objects in front of the TV, such as a bag of chips or a can of beer to serve up related ads.

Read more

Be seeing you.


  1. I'd been wondering where companies like Nielsen get their data. I have long suspected that the cable companies have been selling it to them all along.
    This would likely be spelled out in License Agreements; however. (Third-party contracting, et al)
    Note that this is my own opinion.

  2. They could already be peeking at us. Those set top boxes could be eavesdropping. I remember when suddenly the VCR couldn't unscramble the channels and I was forced to get one. I did feel like the damn thing was watching me! Rupert Murdoch owns both DTV and Dish. nuff said.

  3. Is it any wonder that people are moving to digital TV reception via antennae (even amplified) and cutting out the middleman? Apparently, the signal isn't as compressed either! Mind you, the channel selection is much more limited ...