shhhI’m thinking that either this man misspoke he was thinking of ideas that were spitballed early on when someone proposed putting a camera in the Kinect but later dismissed as being prohibitively stupid or maybe he just drank too much coffee and mixed up his own ideas with the actual plans, but this is what Dennis Durkin, COO and CFO of Microsoft’s Xbox operation, told investors last Thursday:

We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are. When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.

How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? How are those people engaged with the game? Are they standing up? Are they excited? Are they wearing Seahawks jerseys?

Over time that will help us be more targeted about what content choices we present, what advertising we present, how we get better feedback.

shh2Be that as it may, it could deter sales of the equipment. That high school spy cam scandal comes to mind. Well, if Microsoft did in fact have intentions of doing anything along the lines of what he said, which by the way contradicts the Kinect Privacy and Online Safety FAQ, it will be a bit harder now that this incendiary cat is out of the bag. If you’ve followed Google news (I mean news about Google – which you could read through Google News), you’d know that doing damage control over this privacy stuff is an exhausting pain in the balls even if it was just a senior executive being satirical.

shh1On the other hand, a FAQ is a FAQ, not an all-mighty EULA or an official privacy statement, and this information on consumers could indeed provide valuable information for Microsoft and advertisers and it might be the sort of thing consumers would forget about in a few days once people like me have other things to blog about. It might be worth sweating out some consumer outcry, especially if Google continues to act as the industry’s lightening rod. Heck, it might even be legal in some places.

And I doubt that what this man just said will spook more than a handful of gamers from whatever this Kinect thing does (what, is it an add-on to the Xbox for multiplayer stuff?), but I could be wrong. Would you be any less likely to use one if it meant that The Man could keep an eye on you? Not me, especially if they came out with a Chatroulette game. Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

Doug Simmons via WSJ, Engadget

[poll id=”49″]


  1. Is that how you’d sum up any of my last six articles, including this one?

    In what way is this article bashing Microsoft at all, let alone any more than Google? Regarding the poll, an option that says Google’s playbook includes creepy spying, does that …

    ahh forget it, what’s the point

  2. Im surprised you didnt have a selection on the poll for “wait for google to come out with gaming system that p0wns everybody else”

    Let me guess your next article can be sumed up by either
    “Microsoft, blah blah blah…is evil” or “Google yada yada yada…is the greatest and so brilliant”

  3. So you think I’d be doing this whole operation a favor by leaving and you believe everyone else is with you on that basically?

  4. It’s not a fair argument for me to say that whereas the content here has been overtaken by Windows, whereas we switched from fuzemobility/tiltmobility/ to mobilitydigest in order to unzoom and broaden the scope of things we cover, it’s actually a good thing that I take a disproportionately favorable angle with Google and Android with a large portion of what I write? Or is the writing so bad that it just doesn’t matter what the purpose of any intentional bias may be? I wish I had more non-Windows writers here, especially ones who could write better than me. Don’t have that. But to that end I set up a reader story submit thing on the sidebar, wrote a thing about it, but it only got used until the article I wrote drifted off the front page.

    Not to nitpick but regarding the jailbreaking thing, I was suggesting that in Microsoft’s eyes it doesn’t seem likely that letting a portion of your userbase go to town on doing things on the phone you had intended to restrict them from for the sake of things like security when trying to sell your new platform on companies who might be receptive to a Microsoft solution that trumped their existing Blackberry and BES setup. Whereas with Android, it’s a live and let live situation. Didn’t try to imply in either article or the articles combined that for example WP7 device owners are less technologically savvy than Android users so they are more likely to run into trouble than we are. Is that how I came off? I thought I said I suspected Microsoft would prefer that people not do this this time around, whereas with WM the stakes weren’t high, noting also that XDA has had to walk on eggshells over the years in fear of Microsoft coming down on them legally. Thinner eggshells now, in my estimation, but thanks to the blog format people could weigh in with their own estimations.

    You read that differently though?

    A poll, there’s an idea. If you were me, how low would you find the percentage of votes for you to stay to be acceptable and not quit? 50%, 30%, 70%? 50%, right? I hadn’t given it much thought but you might be onto something here.

    I’m all for helping this site, done a lot more for this place than you know in spite of digging through my old posts, and if helping this place means saying goodbye, if I’m holding the site back, I’ll do it. It’s just that I think I know what’s better for this site a whole lot better than you and people like you so a public referendum on that, I don’t know, it might only be a good stress test to my ego and I’d ignore the results in terms of letting it affect my plans.

    Internal writer vote, that’s different. Think I should I set up something like that for these guys and let you know how it goes? Well actually one of them might have to let you know, depending on the results. I’m down for that. I’ll even let you write the poll options so as to keep it fair. Were I to leave though it would be nice of you to offer to take my place.

    What should I do, Donald?

  5. Lets see you hardly mentioned google in this article, well except for giving their search engine and news section a shout out. Well you did link to two article on google’s latest privacy issues but never gave your opinion on them. And for a guy who says this “Not only do I read the tech sites, I write for one.” you dont know what the Kinect is? Really then should you even be writing on a topic pertaining to “what, is it an add-on to the Xbox for multiplayer stuff?” Now a real article could have compared Microsoft and Google’s privacy problems not just have been a copy and paste of somebodys comment from gizmodo or wsj. You might aswell just stay in a forum on some android site.

    As for your last 10 articles, two of them arent really articles but more of a question/round table for ideas. And funny there you are in the comments section of one of those “articles” bashing on anybody who doesnt say pick android over wp7.
    So the other 8 articles, well look you did bash android…oh wait no youre just complaining about samsung. Ok next 3, wow three in arrow pointing out problems with new WP7. ok im all for helpful criticism, but where are any artles on the successes microsoft is having with WP7? sounds pretty one-sided.
    Then when hit to two “articles that are pretty pointless impo, hurray for anybody who wanted to read those.
    Now onto some good publicity for google with the way they handle bugs followed by a great movement in the OC groups for OC the shit out of the G2, which is awesome by the way. Followed by what seemed to be a plus for microsoft side of argument, only to be a bash to “jailbreaking” the WP7. But rooting is perfectly safe huh?
    To now end it with this post, where even the title is an old cliche at cracking fun of MS. Wow what a great writer you are, you are indeed a cleaver one.

    And the fact that im not the only person who feels this way must say something, but no no its not you, it must be all of us. See to most of us its not really Miscrosoft, Google or Apple that we hate, its just the fanboys in general.

  6. A lot of ppl seem to think you are a little one sided, I wouldnt say everybody though. But as a writer you should cover the good and bad of both sides.

    And if you want to see if you would be doing the org a favor by leaving, then why dont you make a poll

  7. I agree, in fact ive been a reader since the fuze days. Grew up on WM devices and now im on a Droid Inc, love it by the way. Also an iPad user and Windows 7 user when it comes to a desktop, though i do like to mess around with linux as well. I just love technology.

    No when you say most of the content here has been overtaken by Windows, you aren’t exactly helping tone that down when you do your windows related posts. I dont have a problem with your android posts, in fact earlier i applauded your G2 over clock story, it think those are fine and you should stick to posts like that. And sorry if i targeted your writing, i dont really have a problem with that, in fact i find your articles easy to read, it’s the fanyboyism that becomes annoying. And i get it who doesnt love their gadgets but too much can still be too much.

    Stick to the intriguing things in the android world and leave the windows related (good or bad) post to the other guys and you’ll probably find ppl probably wont make such a big deal about it.

    By the way the “poll” thing was just me being a smart ass, always so damn hard to type sarcasm. And you know what doug im actually liking you more and more as we go back a forth.

  8. Donald I sent this out two hours before I posted it. The exchanges included yeah this is big and the like with me trying to get someone else to do it. I sent four of those emails including this:

    An article about the what-ifs and would-yous of a full rooting or jailbreaking or whatever of WP7 devices would be appropriate. One concern is that Microsoft may be more likely than before with WinMo to lash out against the XDA world litigiously as people being able to do this presents a threat security and what not in the “enterprise” climates in particular. Raising the question of whether Microsoft would try harder or not after some service pack to lock things down harder and in the process possibly brick phones, who knows, but it’s time to speculate. And then chase it with a poll on whether or not you’d root your wp7 phone if you could. There’s your article. Don’t even need to link anything, just site the word on the streets, no need to go on about sideloading and com ports and native code and unmanaged code — tl;dr, just pump this out.

    Or I will and then it will turn into a big flamefest against me, not a .. an intelligent discussion about the merits of this sort of thing.

    Did that because the site needed content, it was thirsty for content, this story was content and I tried to hand it off but I was the only one, at the time, not doing the Sunday thing so after two hours I said screw it I’ll try to come up with something satisfactory. If I stuck to writing about Android and not something Microsoft that story would not have gone up. Maybe my mind is exaggerating the importance of the news when I came across it, but it struck me as important, and again, we are hard up for content and I realized I had just written the article essentially in that email.

    As for the polls, polls are cheap tricks to evoke participation and sometimes I whip one out to stir shit up a bit. The poll was the only segment of the post where I did my thing.

    As for everything else if anyone else’s name had been on that post it would not have been received like this, someone spending time trying to help one of really Donald not enough contributors to this site soul search to decide if he turn in his badge and gun on this.

    It is tempting though rather than to put up with writing in enemy territory to wonder what it would be like to write in the company of writers and readers who are into Google a little too much. But I just don’t think that would be as exciting and as challenging as what I’ve got right here. Plus I like the crew we’ve managed to recruit since Smith managed to recruit me.

  9. Well you do that right, quantity over quality. Look there are millions of places to go to get your latest tech news. Hell half the stuff i read here is already a day late, and ive already read it elsewhere. I would rather be drinking half a glass of koolaid rather than a full glass that is watered down. (just trying to stick with your water analogy) Theres a blog i read that the guy probably only post about 4 times a week (an HTPC blog) and thats fine. He has great post that give me tons of options, so I keep coming back. Now i dont agree with him every time but the fact that he gives both sides gains him some respect.

    Another thing then is if you know its a problem when you post, which i guess you do judging by the email you sent prior to posting, why bother? Oh thats right the site is so thirsty. You know if you really think that ppl judge the articles based on what name is at the top then create a new account to post under. Most of the time i can pick out your style though. Ill be reading an article in my GOOGLE READER, (<– that ones for you buddy) and half way through ill realize you wrote it. Its just the way you come off.

    LMFAO holly shit, the analogies you come up with. Badge and gun….really?? Badge and gun….what do you think that you are some kind of superhero swooping in and saving this site with every entry you post??

    So go back to soul searching Doug, because you are still a fanboy, a stubborn one at that, and none of us are going to be changing that.

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