TiVo Information and FAQWritten by bradley james
TiVo, a device that records TV shows, has become hugely popular over last couple of years. Here is some basic information about Tivo recording unit:
- Records live TV programs, with a maximum capacity of about 140 hours (although some unity may be limited to only 40 or so hours). - Is compatible with a variety of TV systems, and works with antennas, cables, and satellite configurations. - Can be combined with just about any home network, allowing for digital music, digital photos, and TiVo online scheduling.
Besides regular TiVo system, there are three other types that incorporate other technology:
- DirectTV TiVo - Works with DirectTV programming, incorporating 225 digital channels from which you can choose to record. - DVD TiVo - Contains a DVD player and fully-functional TiVo recorder. - DVD Recorder TiVo - Record your TV shows on DVD with this handy device. Stores many more hours than TiVo device can alone. Of course, you can also take your shows with you as DVDs.
The TiVo service is usually purchased separate of actual unit. The service connects through your pre-existing phone line, much like a dial-up internet service. The connection to service can also be made via broadband. With TiVo service, it is possible to have device actually search for TV programs of your liking, and records them for you at your discretion. You can also have Tivo record every episode of a particular show.
RFID Privacy and YouWritten by Rich McIver
RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) is a tiny wireless technology which has potential to radically transform commerce world. It consists of an inexpensive chip, often smaller than a grain of sand, which can be read up to several meters away. The hope among retailers, is that technology can be used as a next-generation barcode, automating inventory levels, and thus cutting costs for manufacturers and retailers. While technology does offer some potentially remarkable opportunities, it also raises some concerns with regard to individual privacy and corporate espionage.
While barcode-type RFID tags are not likely to reach consumers on a regular basis in near future, there is little doubt that with success of early trials, they eventually will. Consequently, concerns about privacy infringement with regard to RFID are important not only in theoretical sphere, but increasingly such discussions have vital practical applications.
SPECIFIC PRIVACY CONCERNS
RFID tags differ from conventional barcode tags in a number of ways. It is these differences that create benefit of adopting technology, while simultaneously creating greatest concern over privacy issues involved. For example, under today's bar code technology, a pack of Wrigley's Gum sold in Houston, Texas has same barcode as a pack sold in New York City or Ontario. With RFID, however, each pack would have a unique ID code which could be tied to purchaser of that gum when they use an 'item registration system' such as a frequent shopper card or a credit card.
Continuing with Gum example, purchaser could then be tracked if he/she ever entered that same store again, or perhaps more frightening, if they entered any other store with RFID reading capability. Because unlike a barcode, RFID can be read at a distance of up to a few yards. Meaning that if you enter a store with a pack of gum in your pocket, reader can identify that pack of gum, time and date you bought it, where you bought it, and how frequently you come into store. If you used a credit card or a frequent shopper card to purchase it, manufacturer and store could also tie that information to your name, address, and email. You could then receive targeted advertisements by gum companies as you walk down aisle, or receive mailings through your e-mail or snail mail about other products.
As technology behind RFID advances, potential for privacy infringement does as well. A more recent development is a study which reveals that RFID already has capability to determine distance of a tag from reader location. With such technology already available, it is not difficult to imagine a situation in which retailers could determine location of individuals within their store, and thus target specific advertisements to that customer based upon past purchases. In effect, that store would be creating a personal log of your past purchases, your shopping patterns, and ultimately your behavioral patters. While such information gathering would be considered intrusive enough by many consumer's standards, danger that such information could be sold to other retailers, (similar to way such profiles are currently sold regarding internet commerce), could create potentially devastating information vulnerabilities. While some RFID critics have pointed out that technology could lead to some sort of corporate 'Big Brother' there is a more widespread concern that allowing RFID to develop without legal restrictions will eliminate possibility for consumers to refuse to give such information to retailers.