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Sky Deutschland Considering Using Bone Conduction To Force Ads On Train Riders

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:48PM (#44196963)
    I was thinking of using bone fragmentation to help my local railway planners understand how I feel about their ossified asininity.
  • by raydobbs (99133) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:48PM (#44196969) Homepage Journal

    ...the incident of violent vandalism aboard trams and trains rose exponentially after the introduction of technology that, to paraphrase a gibbering offender led away in a straight jacket, '...puts goddamn voices in your head..." Advertisers are calling it a new age in advertising and psychotropic drug manufacturers report a boom in sales. More at 11...

  • by DigitalSorceress (156609) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:49PM (#44196977)

    We need a new right - the right NOT to be advertised to.

    I'm sick of being a product.. I mean, ok the old model of Television and Radio where you the viewer gets something of value (the programming/entertainment) without directly paying for it, then it's a reasonable tradeoff that it's paid for by advertising

    However, when you're paying for a train fare, you've paid for the transit... it's not like you're given the option of "pay full price to not be subjected to adversising, or get a discount for being advertised to"

    I know I'm unrealistic, but damnit I'm sick of being monetized against my will.

    • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:58PM (#44197091)

      You mean the television that you have to pay a monthly fee to watch? THAT television?

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        No, the over the air rabbit ears HDTV that I don't have to pay monthly for. That is free to me, and the cost is advertising.

        At this point, the consumer sees cable or satellite TV service as something you pay for - not to defray advertising costs, but to have a range of 200+ channels to choose from. You pay the man in the middle for convenience. People are not buying ad-free TV service because it does not exist outside of specific premium channels, where that's exactly what you buy - on top of the service

        • Over the air HDTV... lucky SOB. I don't even have over the air TV, period.

          • same here, but, hilariously, the local box store (Alco) stocks(and sells) the new digital over the air rabbit ears. I really wonder just how pissed people get when they buy the antenna, hook it up, and NOTHING HAPPENS.
    • by calzones (890942) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:58PM (#44197109)

      I like this idea.

      Advertising is becoming increasingly intrusive in our day-to-day activities. Billboards are bad enough, then it became the sides of busses and tops of taxis, and then gigantic LED displays that blind you at night. Now it's while you're sitting in the theater, broadcast in public areas, it's at the gas pump and the urinal stall, they come up when you press pause on a blu-ray... enough.

      Specifically, advertising needs to be prohibited from all situations where a person has paid for access or entrance to something. More ideally, it would also be prohibited from any context where the person hasn't explicitly agreed to be subjected to ads in exchange to some product or service.

      • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday July 05, 2013 @03:09PM (#44197247) Homepage Journal

        I'm radically anti-advertising, I firmly believe that advertising is actually economically damaging to society, since it represents a deviation from what a person would believe their own best interests were without the advertising present. The degree to which mentally unhealthy con-games and brainwashing are used also potentially represents a mass damage to the human psyche.

        I understand that free-speech is valuable and not to be trod on lightly, but if you're paying for it, it's not really free speech anyways. I'd like to see what a paid-ad free post industrial society is like.

        • by chihowa (366380) on Friday July 05, 2013 @04:19PM (#44198129)

          It's not just economically damaging, it damages our trust in the intrinsic human properties that hold our society together. Advertising increasingly co-opts the signals that humans use to indicate familiarity and trustworthiness and uses them to deceive people for profit.

          A smile from someone you don't know now puts you on your guard. I almost threw out a handwritten letter the other day because so much junk mail uses fake "handwritten" fonts to try to trick people into opening them. There are countless examples of this and our society suffers as a result of this trusted interpersonal interaction breakdown.

          • Hell, even actual handwritten notes can be fake.

            I recently received two identical hand written notes from the same car dealership obviously written by the same person, but with two different names signed on it. Both were begging me to trade in my car to them for a new one. (apparently my car has very good bluebook value for its age due to it no longer being produced)

          • Never-mind what you think, or what you've experienced personally. We are here to let you know that:

            Senator Smitty and his Export Labor Initiative is good.
            Senator Smitty and his Export Labor Initiative is good.
            Senator Smitty and his Export Labor Initiative is good.
            Senator Smitty and his Export Labor Initiative is good.
            Senator Smitty and his Export Labor Initiative is good.

            Come election day, you will vote for Senator Smitty, and even if you don't, we'll have made sure 51% of everyone else has voted again

        • by KiloByte (825081)

          And even worse, every penny put into advertising is a penny that product costs more.

          • And even worse, every penny put into advertising is a penny that product costs more.

            Not true. If they advertise more, they sell more. In order to sell more, they need to make more. In order to make more, they need to buy more raw materials. The raw materials may cost less (per unit) because they are now being bought in bulk. An increase in sales can result in a decrease in per unit costs of production.

            • by KiloByte (825081)

              They could have put that money into improving quality, or decreasing price, both of which would increase sales. Advertising merely steals some dumber customers from the competition, without doing anything productive.

            • by Darinbob (1142669)

              Why do they need to sell more in the first place? It's all junk. The advertisers almost never try to sell me stuff that's useful. It's almost always fluff.

        • by camperdave (969942) on Friday July 05, 2013 @06:31PM (#44199441) Journal
          Free speech is about being allowed to speak out against the government. It has nothing to do with advertising whatsoever.
        • I see your point, but, as in many topics, you can't draw a straight line. Let's say we ban advertising. You develop a product and you want to sell it. How do you do it? Do you go up to your family and friends and talk about your new product? That's advertising. You sell them your product and you ask them to tell their friends? That's more advertising. Is the church bell ringing on Sundays? Is the mullah on the minaret yelling a prayer? Advertising (and pretty intrusive, too).

      • by icebike (68054)

        Specifically, advertising needs to be prohibited from all situations where a person has paid for access or entrance to something. More ideally, it would also be prohibited from any context where the person hasn't explicitly agreed to be subjected to ads in exchange to some product or service.

        What would that ball game cost if all advertising was eliminated from inside the stadium? Could the fans afford it?
        Could the team afford to fly to their next game, or would they all be taking the train?

        Most likely these things drive the inflated contracts we pay athletes these days.

        Is a train, or an airplane or even a bus is a different proposition?

        Major airlines don't seem to advertise anything, except themselves.
        Every city bus I've ever been in has advertising. (Some of it left over from the Pleistocen

      • by Flammon (4726) on Friday July 05, 2013 @04:23PM (#44198201) Homepage Journal

        We can't really let this thread go on without mentioning São Paulo. Looks like the experiment is going well too.

        Five years later, São Paulo continues to exist without advertisements. But instead of causing economic ruin and deteriorating aesthetics, 70 percent of city residents find the ban beneficial, according to a 2011 survey. Unexpectedly, the removal of logos and slogans exposed previously overlooked architecture, revealing a rich urban beauty that had been long hidden.

        http://www.newdream.org/resources/sao-paolo-ad-ban [newdream.org]

      • by jythie (914043)
        Or at minimal it would be really nice if there were some restrictions on advertising to captive audiences. TVs in the gas pumps are difficult to avoid but possible... but TVs on trains are getting really difficult to ignore.

        Heh, here is where we might be able to pull in one of the disability acts or something. Neurotypicals just get frustrated, but people with odder wiring can really suffer from such systems.
      • by spasm (79260)

        "Specifically, advertising needs to be prohibited from all situations where a person has paid for access or entrance to something."

        The poor have rights too.

      • I think people would be more willing to pay for it if it played music as well. The problem with a lot of advertising is they forget that they have to offer you some sort of value. If the government tightened down on ads so they could only be informaitonal(reviews) I think people would like them more.
      • It's bloody Kafka-esque, that's what it is.

    • However, when you're paying for a train fare, you've paid for the transit

      No, you've paid for half the transit. Advertisers paid for the other half. It's little different from newspapers or pay television.

      • by gQuigs (913879)

        Nope, advertisers don't really put that much money into the system.

        Excercpt from PATCO's budget (local transit authority):
        Net Passenger Revenue: 23,900,000
        Advertising: 600,000

        Now, they are still operating at a loss, but that's mass transit, they have a huge positive externality.

      • by sjames (1099)

        The other half gets paid for with interest when you buy the product whose price is padded to cover the advertising. If you don't buy that product, you still pay when the competing brand you bought has to advertise to keep up in the ad wars.

        Amusingly, when cigarette ads were banned from most places in the U.S., the tobacco companies became more profitable than ever due to being relieved of the costs.

        All totaled, consumer prices would be lower if the ads went away.

      • by icebike (68054)

        However, when you're paying for a train fare, you've paid for the transit

        No, you've paid for half the transit. Advertisers paid for the other half. It's little different from newspapers or pay television.

        Tax payers paid for the other half. Interior advertising pays very little on a train, or bus. (The outside of buses bring in some revenue, but not as much as you might think).

        So between fares and Tax Money, virtually ALL of the cost of train, subway, bus transport is paid by the users, or taxpayers in the appropriate jurisdiction.

        If fares went down, or service improved with more routes and frequency, advertising on trains might be warranted. But I still don't want bone conduction or loudspeaker advertis

    • I'd be shocked to see anything useful at a legal level; but I'd encourage everyone to do their part by heaping scorn and vitriol upon the people who help make advertising possible.

      There are real people(and a lot of them) who work on churning out ads, 'concepts' like this, various social media flimflam, etc, etc. If admitting that you were one of them were treated more like admitting that you have a thing for puppy sodomy, it might help, and it would, at least, decrease their quality of life and increase the

    • by stenvar (2789879)

      I'm sure trains would be exempt; they are government owned and operated anyway, and the government can do anything it likes.

    • We need a new right - the right NOT to be advertised to.

      Yea! Nuts to free speech! I want a right NOT to hear what others have to say, and an implicit right to gag any speech that bothers me!

      Any thoughts as to why a "right not to be advertised to" might have one or two bothersome side-effects?

      • by Wookact (2804191)
        YES! This. If I want to force people to listen to me via bone conduction then that is my right of free speech! Just like purchasing.. ohh I mean lobbying politicians is FREE SPEECH.

        Oh but protesting is not free speech, cant we get rid of those protesters, or relegate them to a corner somewhere?

        I am actually tired of the free speech argument, in todays world it is only free speech if you have the money to pay for it. Perhaps if they expanded the definition to include all people we might be able to t
        • Oh but protesting is not free speech, cant we get rid of those protesters, or relegate them to a corner somewhere?

          That is not my argument, and I do not agree with it.

          It is in fact for that reason that I would oppose a "right not to be advertised to"; it opens the door to further justification of random curtailment of free speech in the name of "I dont like it". Unless you are ready to start putting the nails in the coffin of free political speech, you want to be real careful before you start objecting to speech simply because it is unpleasant to you.

          • by calzones (890942)

            Commercial speech should not be protected as free speech.

            Financial incentives are what motivate commercial speech. This is vastly different from you having the freedom to speak your mind.

            In fact, I could bribe you with $5M to NOT speak your mind and instead speak mine.

            Thus, commercial speech has the potential to squelch the true free speech of an individual. More than the potential, it does this frequently already. How's that for putting the nails in the coffin of free political speech?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm sorry to intrude on this discussion with a bit of reality, but there's one thing that Sky Deutschland doesn't have: trains. It's a media company, not a train company. It can patent all the technology it wants, it can consider using those patents all it wants, but until it has some trains to install it in, this is all just some random idea with no basis in reality. British tabloid reporting at its finest.

    • by RDW (41497)

      I'm sick of being a product.. I mean, ok the old model of Television and Radio where you the viewer gets something of value (the programming/entertainment) without directly paying for it, then it's a reasonable tradeoff that it's paid for by advertising

      How about the new model, where an ad agency comes up with a viral marketing campaign featuring a ludicrous idea about adverts supposedly conducted through train windows (but is really a meta-advert for their client's TV app) which is then picked up by a national newspaper and further distributed by the uncritical editors of a popular technology blog..?

    • by dissy (172727)

      I'm sick of being a product.. I mean, ok the old model of Television and Radio where you the viewer gets something of value (the programming/entertainment) without directly paying for it, then it's a reasonable tradeoff that it's paid for by advertising

      When TV first started becoming popular, the actors felt that they were being /invited/ into other peoples homes, and to act rudely would bring about mobs and pitchforks. Actual pitchforks!

      However, when you're paying for a train fare, you've paid for the transit... it's not like you're given the option of "pay full price to not be subjected to adversising, or get a discount for being advertised to"

      Cable TV was initially sold as "Television with a monthly fee, so you won't need to ever see another commercial again". Notice the amount of ads on cable TV these days?
      I don't believe for a second those greedy bastards won't rush as fast as possible to ads with over-charging you at the same time.

      (Insert Futurama - Lights

  • treppaning.

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:58PM (#44197097)
    once someone figures out how to hack into the ad server all kinds of chaos and hilarity can ensue, Ja?
    • Better yet, figure out a way to send targeted individuals subliminal messages - then all you need to do is sit down next to attractive women...

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:59PM (#44197117) Homepage Journal

    Ah, trains, a safe haven for travelers for decades, now the science of pushing crap on people who don't want it has invaded your vestibules.

    I road on Amtrak years ago and could not for the life of me understand why the bar car had an announcer, who broadcast throughout the train, in a voice not unlike a Harley Davidson exhaust tube by your ear, what wonderful deals they still had on drinks ... at 10 PM.

    • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Friday July 05, 2013 @03:11PM (#44197275) Journal

      Not unlike the damn TVs they stuck on the back seats of some cabs in Boston. I just want a moment of peace in a cab (even chatting with the driver would be better) not be forced to watch news about the latest disaster or murder. News is like finding pennies, it is available everywhere and you'll get it eventually. I don't need it shoved at me in every venue. Fortunately I was able to turn it off. I'm sure someday they will remove that option.

      • by sjames (1099)

        As long as you have your fist or a black magic marker, they can never fully remove that option but they can force you to remove the on option for the next passenger.

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          As long as you have your fist or a black magic marker, they can never fully remove that option but they can force you to remove the on option for the next passenger.

          The cabbie probably has a mirror or camera to record would be vandals. Better to just bring a roll of duct tape and piece of cardboard with you.

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Not unlike the damn TVs they stuck on the back seats of some cabs in Boston. I just want a moment of peace in a cab (even chatting with the driver would be better) not be forced to watch news about the latest disaster or murder. News is like finding pennies, it is available everywhere and you'll get it eventually. I don't need it shoved at me in every venue. Fortunately I was able to turn it off. I'm sure someday they will remove that option.

        I was fueling up a rental car somewhere in northern Michigan, at a Shell station IIRC, and suddenly I hear this horribly loud obnoxious music. I figure some ass-hat just pulled up and is sharing his/her lack of musical taste with the world. I turn around and see it is actually a speaker on the gas pump blaring out the offending racket, which transitions into a load of advertising, "... come into the store and find wonderful crap you can buy to further your enjoyment of this visit to Shell Hell ..." I spe

      • Sit in the front seat.
  • I thought people might find these links amusing in this context...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_road [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_0aAIwcE7A [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soKeog0miwk [youtube.com]

  • Why stop there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Friday July 05, 2013 @03:07PM (#44197225) Journal

    Why not just go full Clockwork Orange and strap us down and pry our eyes open and force us to watch ads?

    Ironically any product forced on me using this bone conduction method will just piss me off so much that it will leave me deliberately avoiding that product.

  • Reminds me of this scene from TNG [youtube.com].
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday July 05, 2013 @03:15PM (#44197327)

    You know what would be great, is if leaning my head against a window in a plane (or train) would, the fullest extent possible, emit a nose canceling signal that would cancel out engine noise from whatever I was traveling in.

    Just throwing the idea out there in case some company would like positive, instead of negative, PR.

    • by postglock (917809)
      That's not really technically possible. Noise-cancelling headphones work by detecting the incoming sound at the position of your ears, then broadcasting the out-of-phase version of this sound into your ears (i.e. "anti-noise"). Passengers in a plane or train would each experience slightly different noise, with slightly different phases. This makes it impossible to broadcast a single sound that would cancel noise for all passengers.
      • Passengers in a plane or train would each experience slightly different noise, with slightly different phases.

        I know how noise canceling devices work. But the engine vibrations occur at a known spot at a fixed distance from every seat and are essentially constant for long periods. You could easily calculate for each window the exact offset wave required, a much simpler job than normal noise-cancelling devices have (which have to deal with any potential noise from all over that does not come from a steady

        • by postglock (917809)

          But the engine vibrations occur at a known spot at a fixed distance from every seat and are essentially constant for long periods.

          That's a good point. I imagine that could work for gross cancellation of noise, especially at lower frequencies, but I still think there'd be too much variability at higher frequencies. For example, at 2 kHz, the wavelength is about 17 cm. Hence, if you are 9 cm away from the 'optimal' position, you'd be totally out of phase, and the noise would be worse. Obviously this precision is even more important for higher frequencies.

          • True enough. But if you calculated it for the rear edge of every window, it would work really well I think on an airplane (since your head would be resting against the window and sliding back until the rear of the window well held your head up)

            I agree whole-scale cancellation of noise that way is not feasible, but just a general reduction of the constant engine noise would be a boon.

            Train track noise would I guess probably be too irregular for this to work, now that I think about it...

            • by postglock (917809)

              Also, now I think about it a bit more, I think the phase difference between ears is also enough to make this unfeasible for higher frequencies. But yes, I agree that it should be possible (and useful) to cancel the low-frequency engine noise.

              Okay, so we've a got a proposal. Where do we pitch it?

  • Time to use pillows.

  • Scissors or a pocket knife, snip, and ... quiet.

  • by QilessQi (2044624) on Friday July 05, 2013 @03:55PM (#44197841)

    Fry: So you're telling me they broadcast commercials into people's dreams?

    Leela: Of course.

    Fry: But, how is that possible?

    Farnsworth: It's very simple. The ad gets into your brain just like this liquid gets into this egg. [He holds up an egg and injects it with liquid. The egg explodes, covering him and Leela in yolk.] Although, in reality, it's not liquid, but gamma radiation.

    Fry: That's awful. It's like brainwashing.

    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, sir-ee!

  • So I guess the operating idea here is that the people you WANT to be broadcasting ads to are the ones who are demonstrably trying to get some sleep?

    Do they think that doing so will make people MORE likely to buy their advertised products? They may be in for a rude shock.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Friday July 05, 2013 @04:11PM (#44198041) Journal

    It's the best thing for crazy people since Blue Tooth headsets. Those allowed us to assume that you're talking to another person, even if you're talking to the elves who shine your shoes.

    Now when you hear voices on the train, that'll be perfectly normal too.

    I can't wait to have Monsters Inc (C) projected onto my retinas at inopportune times. Then spontaneous startled reactions and screaming for no apparent reason will be socially acceptable behavior.

    I believe this is all part of some UN Convention and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act. It's a conspiracy and if you don't believe that you're a sheeple. Yep. The Internet's part of it too. This paragraph is perfectly normal on the Internet. 2nd best thing for crazy people, ever.

  • Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"

    Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.
  • by fnj (64210)

    How do you say "conduct THIS" in nazi?

  • by scotts13 (1371443) on Friday July 05, 2013 @05:34PM (#44198973)

    In all seriousness, I haven't paid active attention to advertising in any form for years - I tune it right out. I fast forward past TV ads, I block most internet ads and don't click the ones that get past. When I want to buy something, I'll go look at products in stores. When an ad DOES come to my attention, it's almost always because its loud, visually jarring, or just obnoxiously stupid. In that case, I put that brand on the "never buy" list. Overall effectiveness of the ads is therefore in the negative numbers, and I'm sure I'm not the only person with this perception.

    To me, advertising is like the cold war: Everyone is afraid to stop building H-bombs (or running ads) for fear the other side will get ahead. Stop it all, and a parasitic drain on society ends.

  • So the headline says 'force', but the summary says listeners have to rest their head against whatever is broadcasting the signal. Do they equip seats with oversized obstetrics foreceps? Does a man in jackboots march up and down the aisle, threatening people who do not keep their heads against the walls and windows?

    And as for bone conduction, has anyone seriously looked into this? I mean, seriously-seriously, because this tech came and went with mood rings, because at best the sound is muddier than a stereot

  • by GrahamCox (741991) on Friday July 05, 2013 @08:37PM (#44200153) Homepage
    Sounds like a great scheme for keeping the train windows clean from people's greasy hair.
  • ... apparently means "Brilliant!" if your a marketer....

    • by dskoll (99328)

      Ugh. I can't believe I wrote "your" instead of "you're".

      Oh, the shame....

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