back to article Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash

Google Home, the web giant's internet-connected talking personal assistant, has started spamming audio adverts to unsuspecting folk today. Never before have we witnessed a technology giant destroy a product with such precision-engineered idiocy. Don't be evil? Do us a favor. Promos for Disney's new Beauty and the Beast flick …

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Terminator

This is nothing

Wait until everyone has figured out the real reason for self-driving cars.

Human: "Take me to Ramen Seas"

Car: "Ok... If you like Asian food, I have a $4 off coupon for PF Chang's."

Human: "Are you f'ing with me?"

Car: "Ha, Ha. Ok. Ramen Seas is crowded. Would you like me to call in a reservation and drop you off at the Macy's 50% off sale?"

Human: "Let me out now"

Car: "Playing 'Let Me Out Now'... Would you like to purchase this song?"

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Flame

Re: This is nothing

Car: "Playing 'Let Me Out Now'... Would you like to purchase this song?"

You jest (I hope) but I had a related steam-came-out-of-my-ears experience just last week while driving:

Me: "Play 'Shameless' "

Siri: "OK, going to the music store to buy 'Shameless' "

Me: DAMN YOU APPLE. "Play 'Shameless' *FROM MY MUSIC*."

Siri: "OK, now playing Shameless by Groove Armada."

And no, Siri hadn't mis-heard the name of the track the first time - its default decision was, believe it or not, to go off and offer to sell me a track, rather than playing it from my local collection. F*ck you very much, Apple.

(Oh, and this also shows I have poor taste in music. I regret nothing! Nothing, do you hear me?!?!)

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Re: This is nothing

You aren't even joking Kevin.

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Thumb Up

Re: This is nothing

Nothing wrong with Groove Armada.

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Linux

Billy Bass

They'd sell a million http://www.instructables.com/id/Animate-a-Billy-Bass-Mouth-With-Any-Audio-Source/

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cd

I have no sympathy for anyone stupid enough to pay for and install one of these in their home. Lazy imbecile doesn't begin to describe them.

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Anonymous Coward

"pants-on-head mad" Oh, that's a good one! I'm saving that for future (mis)use.

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Happy

it's a Blackadder reference. Wibble!

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I sure hope the average person's response is similar

They don't care if they upset people like us, so long as Joe Sixpack has no problem with the ads - and more to the point enough people ask about product being advertised. That kind of instant response would be gold for potential clients.

If you don't want ads in your face, don't be stupid enough to use a product from a company that makes all its income from advertising. Especially don't be stupid enough to pay them for the privilege.

If Amazon is dumb enough to follow, then Apple will have a HUGE opening should they want to sell a similar device.

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Re: I sure hope the average person's response is similar

"If you don't want ads in your face, don't be stupid enough to use a product from a company that makes all its income from advertising. Especially don't be stupid enough to pay them for the privilege."

Pretty soon that won't be an option. Can you find an actual, non-Big-Brother TV in your local electronics department these days? I don't think so, which means if your TV breaks, you're not watching TV anymore if you want to avoid Big Brother.

And since you pretty much need a smartphone (because dump phones can have practical apps) to keep in touch (because it won't be via calls or SMS anymore), how are you going to avoid walking on the Sun?

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Coat

Re: I sure hope the average person's response is similar

"Apple will have a HUGE opening "

Chief of Marketing?

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Too gay for words

Ok first of all, I thought Disney already made "Beauty and the Beast" which I still never got around to watching, because, hey I'm busy alright?

Also as for the homosexuality in the show, we already had that for decades now with Bugs Bunny. Who seems more transgender than anything.

Anyway -------------------- WHY would anybody buy this google device. I already got Google glass for a song, 2nd hand, which I studiously ignore on a daily basis (because its kinda useless & hokey).

I have switched to "duckduckgo" because it doesn't track me, I'm thinking of a good free webmail that I can use instead of gmail; and I'm thinking of converting my tablet device to a flavor of Linux instead of Android.

I think I am un-googling!

Had my fill.

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Re: Too gay for words

@ Grunchy

I'm with you.

Although I did it a few years ago.

Custom ROM on my phone (Google free, side load the apps).

Ixquick or DuckDuckGo for the browser of your choice.

Gmail used as a junk account, signing up for websites etc.

and adblock everywhere.

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Re: Too gay for words

>Ok first of all, I thought Disney already made "Beauty and the Beast" which I still never got around to watching, because, hey I'm busy alright?

I think Disney only did an animated version. There is a beautiful French live-action version with Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux. As for the gay stuff, wow. Using sex to sell a film? How very avant-garde! How very... "reality tv."

The film's director, Bill Condon, has said Le Fou "is confused about his sexuality" and that the film shows a brief "gay moment". Punting sexual confusion at children? Not so good. Little girls like fairy tales because they love fancy clothes, magic, luxurious things, horses, castles and being queen, not snogging a queen. The handsome prince, kissing, getting married and happily ever after is just part of playing grown-ups - being like mummy and daddy. It is not an expression of eight-year-old lust.

And before I get on the wrong side of adult gender politics (ok, maybe that's too late) maybe those who think there is support for the gay community in the film, you might want to look up the French-to-English translation of "Fou".

For my money, the scene is a ploy to get adults worked up and to generate publicity for the film. Nothing makes a film popular like getting it banned. So they aren't going to get my money. Offer me a nice story and I might be interested. Try to manipulate me or punt sex to my children and I get resentful. If you want to make an adult version of the story, go ahead, but don't punt it to children. Without a scene like that I'd probably takes the whole family to see the film, but I dislike that kind of corporate behaviour so that film goes to the naughty step for punishment; which brings me back to Google. This is not their finest hour either. They've done it once, I don't trust them not to do it again. Duckduckgo is already in place. Time to NAT 8.8.8.8:53 to an OpenDNS server and plans are in place to kill off gmail.

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Anonymous Coward

Careful!

DuckDuckGo's ties to Yahoo are seriously unhealthy (do a search) and the results aren't as good either. Startpage is decent or even try Qwant or something else...

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Re: Careful!

"DuckDuckGo's ties to Yahoo are seriously unhealthy (do a search) and the results aren't as good either. Startpage is decent or even try Qwant or something else..."

Which will all just get taken over eventually. Because without the ad revenues, how do the search engines stay in the black? Essentially, they can't. Privacy costs but no one's willing to pay for it these days. Frankly, not too many people even care about their privacy (not even down there--consider flashers and streakers).

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Re: Too gay for words

startpage for searching - it does a google search but strips out your identifiable data.

dmx isn't bad for email - german (so EU privacy laws appliy) & no need to register phone number as some do.

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Re: Too gay for words

"I'm thinking of a good free webmail that I can use instead of gmail"

Tutanota.

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Re: Too gay for words

"startpage for searching - it does a google search but strips out your identifiable data."

And how long before Google blocks Startpage or finds a way to tunnel through startpage to find the real user underneath?

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Anonymous Coward

The modern way?

Google may have fantastic software developers, but Google is terrible at making software products.

Quite why coders think they are good at making software products, I will never know. But here they go again – create a "product" full of stuff they can technologically do, chuck it out there, see what the response is.

This is not a real-world development process. Blame Agile, and the whole MVP cult. Why not ask some people who understand users first? Why attract a tidal wave of shame and opprobrium onto your company?

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Re: The modern way?

A lot of coders think they can design websites and other user interface controls as well.

It's even worse when the marketing department thinks it can instead.

They can't.

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Re: The modern way?

Pretty freakin' useless at making hardware products, too. The Google Pixel C tablet remains so supreme an example of moronic engineering that owners have flooded the company's support threads with complaints since the day the crap was issued. Google's response has been to call upon a Partner to provide advice on Flower Arranging In The Home.

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Re: The modern way?

I initially misread your last paragraph as

"It's even worse when the marketing department thinks it can think instead."

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Facepalm

Wow.

I never thought I'd say this, but Donald Trump is an honest, intelligent, compassionate individual -- compared to Google's spokesthings.

They clearly do not give a shit about reality at all. All they had to say was "Yep -- we took the marketing thing a bit too far -- backing off already." But instead, they're still trying to spin an obvious ad as not an ad. That shows such incredible contempt for their own customers -- it puts them square in the class of cable companies.

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Re: Wow.

Corporate America is all the same: Shameless crack whores who will stab you in the back for money.

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Anonymous Coward

"That shows such incredible contempt for their own customers"

And here's how and why... Google and Facebook and Uber et al are basically all Cults:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/inside-the-strange-world-of-the-church-of-scientology-in-dublin-1.2831493?ref=yfp

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Re: Wow.

Some are just orange and demented.

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Big Brother

The Aunts?

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Be our guest, huh?

The first thing that came to the minds of SWMBO and Daughter was the song from the movie. The one parodied nicely by the Simpsons (Burns: "See my vest, see my vest, made from real gorilla chest...").

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When is water not wet?

When we your corporate overlords say it isn't, peasant!

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Terminator

A spokesdroid said:

"We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content [EAT AT JOE's] for users and we could have done [HALF OFF AT TARGET] better in this case."

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Happy

Movie news

Disney's tale of the Beauty of a brave do-no-evil Internet search engine being devoured by the unthinking Beast of monetization is fun for all. And while we're on the subject of your day and your family, did you know that DuckDuckGo fucks up Google? (This isn't an ad, by the way, but news selectively sourced from one of our partners which we believe is of great relevance to you and your entire life.)

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$129 guarantees a commercial-free environment just as much as a $999 teevee. What a bargain!

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$129 guarantees a commercial-free environment just as much as a $300/mo sky subscription. What a bargain!

FTFY.

I have TV's that've never had a live-TV feed, and have been used as "video" monitors or computer screens, so the device itself isn't the issue. However, the sky subscription, which at first was marketed in the basis of no adverts, now is a way to get paid-for channels that have more advertising than the fta channels, and I believe still as much "informercials" if not more (some 10+hrs/day of "informercials" on a non-shopping channel and people pay to have this shit in their homes? No wonder people are turning to alternatives...)

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Anonymous Coward

How long before Teresa May and her Stasi party make monitoring in the home mandatory

"Citizen, remember to follow the orders given, and also buy more stuff. Be compliant. Have a great day"

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Zap

Google is an ad company, ANYTHING they do is about ads, any tech they get into is only because it helps them sell ads.

They have already shown that they have no boundaries when it comes to ethics, hacking into consumers wireless routers and indexing their PC docs. Gather the SSID's so they could use them to invade privacy and locate people.

All in the name of delivering more relevant ads.

Today they

"Google has been ordered by the Government to explain why taxpayer-funded adverts are appearing alongside extremist material."

"The Guardian has also withdrawn all its online advertising from Google and YouTube after it emerged that its ads were being placed next to extremist material."

"David Pemsel, the Guardian's chief executive, wrote to Google to say that it was "completely unacceptable" for its advertising to be misused in this way, the newspaper reported."

GOOGLE responded:

"We accept that we don't always get it right, and that sometimes, ads appear where they should not. We're committed to doing better, and will make changes to our policies and brand controls for advertisers."

How many times have we heard such meaningless apologies?

TOO MANY TIMES!

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Pint

Illegal advertising to children in the room

There are plenty of jurisdictions that prohibit advertising to children under a certain age. Here' it's outright illegal to advertise to children under 12. McDonalds is being taken to court over their Happy Meals (any parent who has been pestered over them will be happy to see McDonalds lose).

Beer icon, because whoever approved of this must have been drunk on power.

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Re: Illegal advertising to children in the room

How can they enforce it when children under 12 can pretty much watch any channel, which means practically any channel (which pretty much MUST carry advertisements due to the need to keep carrying fees down or cablecos will balk) can't carry ads at all (to say nothing of major broadcasters, who basically have nothing BUT ad revenues), meaning the entire television model breaks down?

And then about about radio, newspapers, and magazines, all of which can be seen by children under 12 AND are all plastered with ads?

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Re: Illegal advertising to children in the room

Can you get CBBC and/or CBeebies where you are? No adverts as the channels are paid for by the UK TV Licence.

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Re: Illegal advertising to children in the room

If you don't let them watch TV alone it's easy to enforce.

But a device like this Google Spy or whatever it's called, will of course violate this law.

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Re: Illegal advertising to children in the room

But how do you know what they're doing when they're alone, given (by definition) no one's watching them?

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Big Brother

Not an ad, they say.... but an invitation to be a guest and share.

Share and Enjoy

Share and Enjoy

Journey through life

With a plastic boy

Or Girl by your side

Let your pal be your guide

And when it breaks down

Or starts to annoy

Or grinds when it moves

And gives you no joy

Cos it's eaten your hat

Or had sex with your cat

Bled oil on your floor

Or ripped off your door

You get to the point

You can't stand any more

Bring it to us, we won't give a fig

We'll tell you, 'Go stick your head in a pig'.

Care of: http://www.hhgproject.org/entries/shareandenjoy.html

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Silver badge

If you want to serve ads through it then discount it.

At least Amazon gives you a way to buy out of ads on their Kindles. I'm surprised that they haven't done the same with the Alexa thingy.

On one hand I hate the idea of these assistants on the other I could direct 90% of my 6yr old son's inane questions to it and get about 2hr a day back. It's a dilemma.

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Anonymous Coward

Danger, Will Robinson!

0laf, having these "assistants" handle the answering of your son's inane questions could seriously backfire on you when our generation is dependent on theirs for elder care. Much safer to go the labor-intensive route of using teachable moments.

Anon because, Trump.

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EBG

and then ..

How will you stop this, once non-AV cars are banned and the only way you can order up your transport is via Home or similar ?

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BBC 'Dossa and Joe' and Tivo circa 2002

Maybe Google should take 5 mins to see how well that went down with the British public.

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Happy

Dealbreaker...

"Ok Google, what's the weather like today?" "It's going to be cloudy today with a 50 percent chance of rain, with temps in the mid 40s. Oh, by the way, did you know that Amazon's Alexa product offers the same information without these annoying, pointless ads?"

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Re: Dealbreaker...

"It's going to be cloudy today with a 50 percent chance of rain"

Yeah, about that.. In UK this means 100% certainty of rain. Anything above 20% means 100%.

20% means about 65% and 10% means about 30%.

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STZ
Thumb Down

No talking and listening machines in my home !

Except for an oldfashioned phone answering machine - anything else is banned.

I'm talking to people, not to machines. And I don't want machines to talk to me, either. Except for some reasonable alerts, eg. the car nav reminding me to take the next exit - and even for that function, I want a clearly marked button for switching it off. And I certainly don't want to be alerted about any special offers for buying something ...

It should become part of the Human Rights to fend off unwanted machine listening and talking, or other snooping and interfering.

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Anonymous Coward

You bought Googhoul, seriously?

Finding it hard to feel pity or anything except schadenfreude for those who buy IoT never mind this ass-wipe creation from the greatest slurper of all time! Sorry, but really how stupid are some people???

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