House members introduce bill to stop TV devices from monitoring consumers at home | TheHill

Reps. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) filed legislation that would regulate a new technology that targets TV ads to people by observing their activities and conversations while they watch TV via their set-top boxes and DVRs. Verizon, Intel and other tech companies have developed technology that utilizes infrared cameras and microphones built into cable boxes and DVRs to serve up targeted TV ads to people based on their conversations and activities while watching TV. Verizon had filed a patent application last year for a technology that would allow a set-top box to recognize when people are eating, cleaning, reading, laughing and doing other activities while watching TV and serve relevant ads to them according to that behavior. The application was rejected this past December.

Additionally, the bill requires a cable box or set-top device to notify consumers when the monitoring technology is activated and in use by posting the phrase “We are watching you” across their TV screens.

Source: House members introduce bill to stop TV devices from monitoring consumers at home | TheHill

The Unexotic Underclass | The MIT Entrepreneurship Review

This is America in 2013: 40 years ago we put a man on the moon; today a young lady in New York can use anti-problem technology if she wishes to line up a date this Friday choosing only from men who are taller than 6 feet, graduated from an Ivy, live within 10 blocks of Gramercy, and play tennis left-handed…

…And yet, veterans who’ve returned from Afghanistan and Iraq have to wait roughly 270 days (up to 600 in New York and California) to receive the help — medical, moral, financial – which they urgently need, to which they are honorably entitled, after having fought our battles overseas.

You should care because the unexotic underclass can help address one of the biggest inefficiencies plaguing the startup scene right now: the flood of (ostensibly) smart, ambitious young people desperate to be entrepreneurs; and the embarrassingly idea-starved landscape where too many smart people are chasing too many dumb ideas, because they have none of their own (or, because they suspect no one will invest in what they really want to do). The unexotic underclass has big problems, maybe not the Big Problems – capital B, capital P – that get ‘discussed’ at Davos. But they have problems nonetheless, and where there are problems, there are markets.

We have clear notions of what the ruling class resembles – its wealth, its connections, its interests. … We have clear ideas of what the exotic underclass looks like because everyone is clamoring to help them. … On the other hand, the unexotic underclass, has the misfortune of being insufficiently interesting.

Those who are entrepreneurially-minded but young and idea-poor need serious direction from those who are rich in capital and connections. … We need someone bold (and older than us) to stand up for Big Problems which are tough and dirty. But what we especially need is someone to stand up for big problems – little b, little p –which are tough and dirty and too easy to overlook.

Source: The Unexotic Underclass | The MIT Entrepreneurship Review, by C.Z. Nnaemeka