[ale] XM redux...
christopher at bergeron.com
Sat Apr 21 18:50:49 EDT 2007
Brian - Thank you for injecting some sense into that post.
Brian J. Dowd wrote:
>> OK, this leads me to ask something I've been wondering about.
>> I don't know how many channels one can select from with XM/Sirius
>> (hereafter, simply XM), but I understand that it's A Lot (i.e., more
>> than 100).
> XM is currently 170.
> I own 4 of these receivers... and next to my
> Tivo it's the best $6.95 x 4 a month I spend!
>> My question is, does the XM receiver actually receive all of
>> the data stream from all of the channels at once and select from among
>> them (which is what in effect occurs with terrestrial radio), or is
>> something transmitted from the receiver upstream when the XM radio is
>> turned on or when a channel is selected?
> It receives all channels simultaneously and the streaming stock quotes
> These signals are sent from the satellite and simultaneously as a
> terrestrial sub-carrier.
>> If the latter is in fact the case, I find the notion chilling due to the
>> social engineering implications of a mass medium in which the medium
>> knows exactly what each and every recipient is receiving, present and
> I'm sure they wish they knew who was listening to what.
> But they don't.
>> It is my understanding that each XM receiver must have an associated
>> subscription, and I surmise that each subscription has an associated
>> receiver owner identification.
> that is correct
>> If "the system" is told by each receiver
>> what channel to receive, then every subscriber would have an
>> ever-lengthening dataset showing what program, song, announcement - any
>> program material at all - was output by the receiver(s) covered by their
> The radio never communicates with the satellite.
> Only the reverse it true.
>> I can already imagine people who haven't sufficiently assembled two and
>> two saying, "I don't care if 'they' [single quotes mine] know what I'm
>> listening to."
>> Let me run some scenarios by you, just based on the premise that "they"
>> have a dataset of your XM radio channel selections and yours alone.
>> * Your employer pays the XM provider to obtain a list of channels
>> you listen to and when you listen to them. This information is
>> used against you at performance review time to suggest that you're
>> listening to the radio when you should be working.
>> * You have a car accident involving another party and you are either
>> sued by or suing the other party. The other party's attorneys
>> purchase your XM radio data and testify in court that you changed
>> channels on your radio five times in the thirty seconds before the
>> accident, implying to the jury that you were excessively
>> distracted while driving.
>> * A highly liberal employer in an "At-Will" state decides you listen
>> to a little too much Sean Hannity for their taste. Your "position
>> is eliminated."
>> Include the notion of *everyone's* channel data being recorded for all
>> time and you can begin to see the amount of power that an XM provider
>> can potentially wield - the closest thing you can reasonably imagine to
>> a remotely-controlled populace existing in the world of today.
>> It occurs to me that even if XM radio is strictly one-way, the nature of
>> the system is such that the provider can make program material
>> selectable on a per-radio basis.
> That is true. You can block whatever stations you want by going on-line and
> telling them to do it.
> Brian, W1DOC
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> Ale at ale.org
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