Friday, June 09, 2006

Name that tune

Does anyone remember that 1970's game show, "Name that Tune," where contestants vied to be the first to recognize a song based on the fewest notes played? They would bid against each other, "I can name that tune in five notes," "I can name that tune in four notes," "Name that tune." I think occasionally someone would do it in one note. I don't remember whether they were given clues.

I'm convinced grocery store loyalty cards create a similar dynamic. It's not just aq question of printing out coupons for pretzels for someone who buys cheetos. I'm sure there are actuaries somewhere who are not only answering questions such as who you voted for in the last presidential election based on your shopping patterns, but that they're competing: "I can tell you whether he prefers blondes or brunettes in three weeks" "I can tell you his vote in 2004, 2000 and 1996 with two weeks of shopping data," "Name that man's vote!"

Anyway, looks like the Pentagon is finding another way to do it, too.

New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, on "Name That Tune" they were given clues. That's how people could name a song in one note, if they knew the answer from the clue.

12:46 PM, June 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the sequel, NAME THAT RAP TUNE.

1:39 PM, June 12, 2006  

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