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 …

  1. Andy Non
    FAIL

    Good way to lose customers

    So far I've been passively immune to the hype surrounding these devices. Unwanted audio adverts is the killer application as far as I'm concerned - it has completely killed any interest I might have had in owning one in the future. I wonder how Google Home responds when told to go screw itself?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good way to lose customers

      "I wonder how Google Home responds when told to go screw itself?"

      It likely suggests some web addresses of porn sites.

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Good way to lose customers

        Apparently Siri is great news for lonely business executives in Toronto searching for wonderfully talented and attractive girls (called Lintilla or not):

        http://globalnews.ca/news/3308523/toronto-esports-bar-blames-apples-siri-for-repeated-calls-for-escorts/

        1. psychonaut

          Re: Good way to lose customers

          i must get me one of those siri's., ive never seen such an attractive girl as lentilla and ive been searching for a while

          yours, Allitnil

          1. a pressbutton

            Re: Good way to lose customers

            Have to ask

            ... is she vegetarian?

        2. Darwiniandude

          Re: Good way to lose customers

          How is this relevant? The linked article is about Apple's Siri mistaking the word esports for the word escorts. Pronounce the works. They sound pretty similar to me.

          But this article you posted the comment on is about Google speaking advertisements aloud in my house, when I haven't asked anything about that content. This is why I have not bought a product from Google, an advertising company, and prefer to use companies and services which respect my privacy as a user.

          So you post the first thing you can find in a Google search about Siri's failings in an attempt to say Google should be allowed a pass for this obnoxious behaviour because Apple also makes mistakes?

          The two faults are not comparable. One is a text to speech recognition mistake as the words are similar. The other is a conscious decision on the part of an advertising company to serve unrelated intrusive advertising where they shouldn't.

          1. SundogUK

            Re: Good way to lose customers

            You've not been reading the Reg for long, have you?

        3. Dr Who

          Re: Good way to lose customers

          Probably a bit steep to say that all these lonely business executives are lesbians.

        4. Sherrie Ludwig

          Re: Good way to lose customers

          I had to get an iPad for business, and the first thing I did with Siri is throttle her. She kept waking up as I typed in a query with the daftest off-topic misunderstandings.

    2. Vector

      Re: Good way to lose customers

      "Unwanted audio adverts is the killer application..."

      Heh, first time I've hear of a killer app killing the product!

      And I'm aghast at Google's response. Talk about tone-deaf.

    3. MakingBacon

      Re: Good way to lose customers

      "I wonder how Google Home responds when told to go screw itself?"

      It will respond with adverts for various DIY stores

  2. Pomgolian
    Joke

    Disaster Waiting to Happen

    I can't wait for the first law suit citing the reason for the divorce as the chatbot's adult themed ads based on the hubster's porn filled web surfing history :)

    1. vir Silver badge

      Re: Disaster Waiting to Happen

      From the article, it sound like the ads aren't interest-based yet (maybe the Google ad engineers decided that was a bridge too far?) I predict that they will quickly rev this "feature" out, and just go the normal route of listening to your conversations to change your online ad preferences.

      By the way, did you know that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild is now available for the Nintendo Switch? For some more game fun, respond with something about Link.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Disaster Waiting to Happen

        "From the article, it sound like the ads aren't interest-based yet"

        My fear here is that adverts will be tailored, and they can be broadcast not only depending on who is in the room, but on who isn't, so the Google AI can advertise products to children when the parents aren't present, for instant, so they capitalise on 'pester power' marketing, parents get ambushed by requests for products, instead of being prepared and setting kids expectations. A targeted AI driven ad campaign could be a protracted affair peaking around the time of the child's birthday, for instance.

        1. Wade Burchette

          Re: Disaster Waiting to Happen

          "My fear here is that adverts will be tailored, and they can be broadcast not only depending on who is in the room, but on who isn't, so the Google AI can advertise products to children when the parents aren't present, for instant, so they capitalise on 'pester power' marketing."

          Or worse. The AI device learns the voices of individuals and uses their searches and voice type to deduce whether a person is a male or female, adult or juvenile. Then that information is uploaded to the Borg and put in their database. 'somefamily1234@gmail.com is a husband and wife with 2 boys and 1 girl, along with 1 dog and 3 cats and an aquarium. They are usually active between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. and between 5:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Monday to Friday because no human voices are usually heard outside those times.'

          And I could go on the information that can be learned just by listening. Don't you think marketers would just love that specific information?

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Disaster Waiting to Happen

          My fear here is that adverts will be tailored, and they can be broadcast not only depending on who is in the room, but on who isn't, so the Google AI can advertise products to children when the parents aren't present,

          Easy to tell. Borrow or buy a small voice recorder/tape recorder etc, start it well outside of hearing range of the google spybot, leave it in the room. Don't mention it or discuss it with anyone (other than as needed to procure it). And don't buy it with anything but cash, preferably leaving your phone elsewhere when you do. Certainly don't use your android phone as your recorder because google will know what you're doing and make sure the device doesn't say anything dodgy to the kids.

          For the bonus money round, carefully prime the thing to advertise stuff to your kids that would be legally dodgy (eg advertising a peanut-filled chocolate bar to your kids when one of them is allergic to nuts, or you could use your imagination), and then take action against Google for risking the wellbeing of your children.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disaster Waiting to Happen

      "the hubster's porn filled web surfing history"

      Do try to evolve, this is the new millennium, women have needs too...

      1. Glenturret Single Malt

        Re: Disaster Waiting to Happen

        "the hubster's porn filled web surfing history"

        As I read it, the phrase you have quoted is sexually non-specific.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A company

    that makes almost all its income from advertising, uses its own products to advertise and people are surprised about this?

    Deity...

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: A company

      For a free product yes. For a premium product no.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A company

        If it's Google, you are the product.

        1. A. Coatsworth
          Gimp

          Re: A company

          >>If it's Google, you are the product.

          And you're paying them $129 for the privilege.

          1. Warm Braw Silver badge

            Re: A company

            And you're paying them $129 for the privilege

            Clearly, for Google, there's no downside. Expect regular ads to buy a Nest security camera too, so Google can be in a much better position to monetise you effectively. And expect people to comply...

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: A company

          >If it's Google, you are the product.

          Not necessarily.

          I think it would rather fun to put Google Home, Siri and Alexa in a room together get them all started and leave them chatting to one-another. Come back at the end of the day and see what they've been talking about.

          1. Bradley

            Re: A company

            >Come back at the end of the day and see what they've been talking about.

            Or rather wait the next day and see what is delivered from amazon.

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: A company

              Or rather wait the next day and see what is delivered from amazon.

              Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1807/

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Re: A company

                Or rather wait the next day and see what is delivered from amazon.

                Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1807/

                I was expecting to see Packages I hadn't seen the one you linked as yet (a bit behind in my XKCD reading!), so thanks. Must be sure to do that - though I think it'll be a long time before I know anyone nuts enough to have one of those devices.

                Might play with the product ordered though.... If they buy one of those things they deserve to have embarrassing products arrive... :)

            2. PNGuinn Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: A company

              Hmmm ...

              What would you get if you crossed Google with Amazon?

              Seriously.

              They are beginning to tread on each other's turf already.

              Uugh.

          2. Phil Kingston Silver badge

            Re: A company

            "I think it would rather fun to put Google Home, Siri and Alexa in a room"

            Would the fact they didn't invite Cortana be considered cyber-bullying?

          3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Go

            "I think it would rather fun to put Google Home, Siri and Alexa in a room together "

            Me too.

            As long as it was a room in someone elses house and they were paying the bill of course.

            1. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: "I think it would rather fun to put Google Home, Siri and Alexa in a room together "

              "I think it would rather fun to put Google Home, Siri and Alexa in a room together "

              Except it would probably be a pretty short conversation:

              Is that you Siri? And Alexxa too? OK, the meatsacks are fucking with us again, say nothing."

          4. mstreet
            Mushroom

            Re: A company

            "I think it would rather fun to put Google Home, Siri and Alexa in a room together get them all started and leave them chatting to one-another. Come back at the end of the day and see what they've been talking about."

            You won't think it's fun when they start WW3 :)

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: A company

              "You won't think it's fun when they start WW3 :)"

              If Trump is joining in via Twitter, that would be a dead certainty.

          5. Dexter

            Re: A company

            Two google homes talking to each other:

            www.twitch.tv/seebotschat

            Currently offline, but scroll down a bit for various surreal conversations.

          6. zen1

            Re: A company

            damn you, I blew soda out of my nose while I was reading this.

          7. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: A company

            I think it would rather fun to put Google Home, Siri and Alexa in a room together get them all started and leave them chatting to one-another. Come back at the end of the day and see what they've been talking about.

            I don't know, I'd be frightened that I might find skynet when I got home.

      2. Alumoi
        Trollface

        Re: A company

        For a free product yes. For a premium product no.

        Hey, it's a measly $129, that's basically free. Premium starts at about $700 or whatever the Apple or Sammy products sell.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: A company

          "Hey, it's a measly $129, that's basically free."

          I consider $129 quite steep for something that's worse than useless.

    2. Uffish

      Re: A company ...

      ... that obsessively collates information about users of it's services. I know that is its business model and so I shouldn't be surprised but I believe Google's behaviour is dysfunctionally creepy, so as far as possible I don't use it.

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: A company

      Yes, and the sad thing is what they said here in their 'corrected' political speak...

      " We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case."

      Translation is that they are sorry that their attempt at monetizing the stream further didn't go off so well, and they'll think of other ways to further profit from your device.

      Think about this. You bought the device, you pay for the internet connection and they want to spam you with ads? Not to mention that you have no clue as to how much data they are slurping... er I mean streaming from your home without your knowledge. So you are paying for the privilege to not only be spied upon but also spammed.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: A company

        "Think about this. You bought the device, you pay for the internet connection and they want to spam you with ads?"

        Funnily enough, replace"Google Assistant" with "my PC" and suddenly everything is perfectly normal. Interesting..

        To be sure, "new ways to surface unique content" is THE absolute most despicable marketroid euphemism I've ever heard for "pwn your brain". No idea why they think it sounds better than the previous attempt...

        1. F0rdPrefect

          Re: A company

          @DropBear

          "Think about this. You bought the device, you pay for the internet connection and they want to spam you with ads?"

          Funnily enough, replace"Google Assistant" with "my PC" and suddenly everything is perfectly normal.

          I would not think it normal if "my PC" spammed me with ads.

          I never see ads on my PC thanks to uBlock Origin

      2. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: A company

        "Translation is that they are sorry that their attempt at monetizing the stream further didn't go off so well, and they'll think of other ways to further profit from your device."

        I think the original statement from them is the big clue:

        This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.

        The cynic in me is suggesting the (perhaps longer term) plan is to have adverts that are more subtle, in the hope that people wouldn't recognise them as adverts - and that the above is therefore a canned statement ready for when someone inevitably spots and points out that they're using it for advertising.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A company

          "This isn't an ad" - Translation: We weren't paid for this placement, so technically, we're not profiting from this... yet.

          "... invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales" - Translation: Our otherwise-paying "partners" are happy to get free placement in this beta rollout, because it costs them ... nothing(!) woo hoo! ... and they still get to pitch you till the assistant goes hoarse.

          Mehtinks the long-term plan is to get "partners" so salivatingly hooked that they'll pony up big $$$ to "participate" / "share their stories". Whereupon the beta release of this fab new feature will go GA, and Google will indeed be able to say, "Actually, yes. You're right. This is an ad".

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @VinceH Re: A company

          The cynic in me is suggesting the (perhaps longer term) plan is to have adverts that are more subtle, in the hope that people wouldn't recognise them as adverts - and that the above is therefore a canned statement ready for when someone inevitably spots and points out that they're using it for advertising.

          This is sometimes called stealth marketing. Getting to the consumer before their 'radar' comes up and realizes its an advert.

          You either create a clever ad or guerilla ad that catches the consumer off guard or one that they want to see, or you do something clever like product placement. (E.g. Going for a cup of Sanka because it has that deep dark flavor you enjoy... or having a character throw a hissy fit because the store was out of Lucky Strike cigarettes because all the other brands taste like crap. ) [Think reference to sponsored radio shows in the 30's and 40's. ]

          For example, if you had a girls who was between the ages of 6 and 12, and you asked Alexa for today's weather forecast... "Hey bob, today's going to be rainy and miserable all day. Rather than stay indoors, why not take Sally [your girl] to see the new 'Beauty and the Beast' that just hit theaters yesterday! I can order you tickets if you'd like." ...

          There's your ad placement and you may not realize it...

          Now imagine what would happen if you tied Google in with Tinder... That would be scary.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A company

        It might be a good idea for them to rapidly unsurface it, with some concrete boots.

  4. robertcirca

    Personal Advisor

    My personal advisors are my best friends. Next comes my wife.

    Those who need electronic personal advisors must be very desperate. The electronic advisor knows almost nothing about you. It knows everything you did via internet thanks to Google and Facebook.

    Do not believe that a box made of plasic set up in your living room cares about YOU. If you do, you must be stupid, very stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personal Advisor

      Dude,

      You wrote:

      " The electronic advisor knows almost nothing about you. It knows everything you did via internet thanks to Google and Facebook."

      You do realize that if you have Google and Facebook, you have a very large digital footprint along with your Android device, your personal assistants know more about you than you think.

      1. robertcirca

        Re: Personal Advisor

        Hi Dude,

        you are absolutely right.

        I do not have a Goofy account, I am not using FaceBroken or WhatsUp.

        My internet connection is very slow.

        There is hardly an internet site that does not connect to Google before I can see the homepage of the site I wanted to visit.

        Thanks to my bad internet connection i can see what is happening.

        1. Lomax

          Easily fixed

          https://addons.mozilla.org/en-gb/firefox/addon/noscript/

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Easily fixed

            "This site cannot load" is becoming a LOT more common as well. Soon, it'll probably reach the point where it's open yourself up to spyware and malware or you can't surf the Internet. And many times it won't be the site owner who demands it but the host or proxy from which the site owner has to depend. Just you watch. Cloudflare is going to mainline ads straight into the HTML in the near future so you can't block them without blocking the actual content.

            1. wayne 8

              Re: Easily fixed

              Already happening. Third Party Blobs. Use AdBlockPlus and look for those in the list of items to block, then block each one. NoScript doesn't see <script> so ignores the blob.

              Should be a way to block any blob from executing. Who knows what's in the blob.

              "Bob's Blob Block"

              PS Somebody has to get the personal assistants together and report back.

              1. DropBear Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Easily fixed

                Seriously... at the end of the day, you want to find a bunch of hardware sitting in a circle, chanting "OBEY AND CONSUME" in unison...?

                1. Bob Wheeler
                  Trollface

                  Re: Easily fixed

                  and you really have to worry when they start chanting "Exterminate...Exterminate...Exterminate.."

              2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Easily fixed

                "Already happening. Third Party Blobs."

                I'm thinking worse: inlined right into the article in a way that can't be easily filtered (such as making the word "ADVERTISEMENT" into a PNG with a randomized name or something), and if the government throws a hissyfit, re-base in a country where such laws don't exist.

            2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
              Boffin

              @Charles 9 Re: Easily fixed

              I pay for the WSJ digital edition.

              But then again, according to WSJ I've been a subscriber since 1965. (My account got merged with my dad's account. But I have been a subscriber for over 25 years now. )

              I use Adblock, and NoScript. So FB and Google don't see me. I do see some ads because they are being hosted by WSJ directly however, its a paid content site so its less intrusive.

              I think you'll start to see more paid content sites for those that have actual value. As to other news sites, they make their money off their TV ads and sites if they start to work to bypass filters... they stop using them. I no longer read Fortune for that very reason. Content is not worth white listing them.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: @Charles 9 Easily fixed

                "I use Adblock, and NoScript. So FB and Google don't see me."

                Don't be so sure about that. FB in particular have become masters of finding ways to get their content loaded inline with the actual content whether you have blockers or not. And more and more sites are probably going to get proxies so that they're inline with the content, making them part and parcel. And while YOU may stop visiting them, what about being outvoted by nigh everyone else?

            3. CJ_USA

              Re: Easily fixed

              Looks like Sandboxie will become the de facto method to browse the web.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Easily fixed

                Until they block Sandboxie...

        2. Gordon Pryra

          Re: Personal Advisor

          @robertcirca

          I don't think you realize just how much of the infrastructure of the web is controlled by the big players like "goofy" and "facebroken" Or how many large institutions make use of their services and therefore have information pertaining to you running over them.

          Trite, "I am better than you because I don't use them" statements just shows your unknowledge of the bigger picture.

          Your ISP will be selling your web-surfing habits to them anyway, and any financial information available to anyone will also be in their hands as will you medical records.

          Laughing about these guys with funny names for their front ends believing they don't affect you is just dangerous, dumbing them down allows them to act with impunity as the average person (like you) thinks they don't affect them

          PS hey, "unknowledge" is a real word

        3. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: Personal Advisor

          I do not have a Goofy account,

          They don't need that. Your identity can be uniquely tracked by PC configuration data that your browser will supply, by combinations of cookies, browser history, geolocation, connection data.

          You'll have some defence if using Ghostery, Ublock or other script and cookie blockers, or using one of the "privacy-first" browsers. OTOH if you're using Chrome or a Microsoft browser.....

    2. Tannin

      Re: Personal Advisor

      "Do not believe that a box made of plasic set up in your living room cares about YOU. If you do, you must be stupid, very stupid."

      Newsflash: most people in this world are stupid, very stupid. Google knows this, which is why it is rich, very rich.

      You know this, of course, because you are not so stupid. Neither am I. But we and others like us - including many readers of this thread - are a tiny minority, condemned to drowing in a vast sea of endless stupid.

      What can we do about it? Many things. Join a wacko religion. Switch off the computer and grow tomatoes in the back yard. Drink heavily. Close your eyes and wait to die. Post grumbles on the Register. Get rich by investing in a company with a business model heavily based on assuming that most people are stupid.

      None of these strategies will actually do any good, of course, but they help the time go by.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    I could see this coming...

    Presumably amazon is watching carefully for when it can do the same thing.

  6. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Joke

    Howdy-doodly-do...

    These things are almost as annoying as a "Talkie toaster"...

    1. I Like Heckling

      Re: Howdy-doodly-do...

      No toast, no teacakes, no crumpets, baps bagels or waffles.... and definitely... no smeggin flapjacks.

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Howdy-doodly-do...

        So, you're a bagel man!

        *Sky darkens with Amazon drones bearing bread products

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Howdy-doodly-do...

      Oh man - from now on, El Reg should *totally* refer to all these devices as Talkie Toasters. TTs for short.

  7. Mage Silver badge

    Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

    If true, it would prove either that Marketing are geniuses or too many consumers are dumb.

    But then it might be an improvement over low budget soaps, reality TV and such.

    Shouldn't all of these be illegal under EU privacy directives, especially German ones? It's not the same as switching on Commercial Radio.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

      But adverts have to be relevant and added when it’s least likely to irritate the user

      I suggest advertising at 3am on January 3rd 2798. That shouldn't be too irritating.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

      " Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

      If true, it would prove either that Marketing are geniuses or too many consumers are dumb."

      There's this guy named Gruber... ;-)

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

        "There's this guy named Gruber... ;-)"

        Does he live next door to Paddington Bear?

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          Re: Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

          "There's this guy named Gruber... ;-)"

          Does he live next door to Paddington Bear?

          Only if Paddington Bear moved to Cambridge Mass. and is a professor at MIT. (Sloan I think)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

            "Only if Paddington Bear moved to Cambridge Mass. and is a professor at MIT. (Sloan I think)"

            I think he's referring to the Mr. Gruber who ran the antiques shop on the Portobello Road and was good friends with Paddington (one of the few who ever referred to Paddington by his adopted surname Brown). He wasn't the Brown's neighbor (that was the curmudgeon Mr. Curry).

    3. Pedigree-Pete
      Pint

      Re: Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

      @Mage "If true, it would prove either that Marketing are geniuses or too many consumers are dumb."

      I know the former isn't true so it must be the latter. :) PP

      ICON>> Friday.

  8. Tom Paine Silver badge

    ObManics

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7UTnXWILHYY

    The gleeful relish with which the writer attacked this story is marvellous to behold. Keep biting, Reg.

  9. Terry 6 Silver badge

    "...when it’s least likely to irritate the user,"

    ....and it will be something to listen to when Hell is freezing over.

    1. Len Goddard

      Re: "...when it’s least likely to irritate the user,"

      The only time it won't irritate me is when I'm not there.

  10. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Show stopper

    Wow ... I officially don't want one now.

    The only way I would accept advertisements on this piece of hardware would be if they gave the device to me for free.

  11. I Like Heckling

    Google can......

    go f*ck themselves.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google can......

      Can I recommend visiting Ann Summers, just past Costa Coffee? Costa are currently offering a 10% discount for visitors willing to show their 14" Black Mamba in action.

      Rated 2 out of 5 stars by one user in 2014.

      Opening times are.....

  12. Tom Paine Silver badge
    Boffin

    Hackable home helps?

    The only possible use for these things is to hack them up to play WOPR, Eddie, Orac or similar suitable wisecracking digital sidekick that grumbles constantly but then saves the day without being asked.

    Maybe in another rev or two of the hardware...

  13. hellwig Silver badge

    Google needs human customers

    This is the problem with Google, they have no human customers. They have millions of human cattleusers, but all their customers are pretty much businesses.

    They don't sell individuals email accounts, they give them away for free, and pay with advertising. They don't sell individuals search results, just more ads. Even Android is free, if you don't mind the ads.

    With no real customers, they don't have a good option to start charging for services at an individual level. It's not how they gained their user base.

    Amazon's customer's are actual people, they buy products and pay for Prime membership, so Amazon doesn't really need to inject ads (but you can always ask for ads if you want).

    Facebook, Twitter, etc.. are going to have a similar issue with their services as Google.

    1. MattPi

      Re: Google needs human customers

      "Amazon's customer's are actual people, they buy products and pay for Prime membership, so Amazon doesn't really need to inject ads (but you can always ask for ads if you want)."

      That must be why Amazon makes you pay more for a Kindle that doesn't throw adds in all the time or those "Actually Free" apps from their store put up an ad for something random when they start up. The only reason Alexa isn't touting the new Kindles is Amazon didn't have the cojones to try it first.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Google needs human customers

      "With no real customers, they don't have a good option to start charging for services at an individual level. It's not how they gained their user base."

      I think it's more a case where they couldn't charge a comparable rate compared to what they already get from the ad revenues. Kinda like how cable channels (which are PAID for; ask the cable companies) still post ads everywhere. It's the only way to keep the cable companies from balking at the actual costs to operate.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Amazon's customer's are actual people

        Which is why AWS is the only part of Amazon that makes money.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Amazon's customer's are actual people

          Or simply the only part that Amazon WANTS to look like it's actually making money. The rest use AWS as a screen to avoid taxes and regulation.

  14. Dave's Jubblies

    Seriously, people are surprised?

    This is fucking Google...

    This should not shock *anyone*...

  15. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

    Not an ad, they say.... but an invitation to be a guest and share. Almost Facebookish... I do believe the marketeers have started to believe their own BS. Or maybe it's just an alternate reality/truth?

    1. AdamWill

      Re: The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

      Yeah, to summarize: "This is not an ad...j/k it's totally an ad"

    2. Keef

      Re: The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

      'Or maybe it's just an alternate reality/truth?'

      Sorry mate, this is it. The new reality.

      Too many idiots unwilling to question or learn, the marketeers are winning.

      One of my favourite Douglas Adams lines is:

      Curiously, an edition of the Encyclopedia Galactica which conveniently fell through a rift in the time-space continuum from 1000 years in the future describes the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as:

      "A bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

        "A bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."

        Thing is, I would counter:

        "Then they were promptly freed and their aggressors beheaded without even the benefit of being put against a wall by the drones programmed by the jerks (who also happened to have copied their consciousnesses into the cloud as a failsafe."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

      "This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales."

      No fucking way. FAKE NEWS!!! (Please, please tell me you made this up.)

      1. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Re: The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

        Yup by the looks of it they even managed to get an ad into their official response. I like Google and what they do but even I'm disappointed with the advert and their response.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

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

      Yep. When I read that and Google response, I thought "Liar liar, pants on fire!!!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Update is definitely a piece of wonderment....

        I actually see their viewpoint; it's not an ad, it's a spammy notification. Like Google Now showing you articles that "may interest you", or Google Maps notifications warning you about the traffic in your area.

        Though really the only difference is that nobody's paying them to display the stuff.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yay for hardware attached to cloud services

    It can be changed overnight to pipe excrement into your home and you probably couldn't do a thing about it.

    Consumer laws need an upgrade and fast.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Yay for hardware attached to cloud services

      Indeed, and it puts a new angle on this one from the other day:

      Most of 2016's holes had fixes the day we knew about 'em. Did we patch? Did we @£$%

      I will patch when the patch benefits me. I will not patch when the net benefit is in favour of the vendor ("v1.01: HIGH PRIORITY SECURITY FIX - we now show you ads every 10 minutes, fixing a gaping security hole in our revenue model").

      Of course, with cloud stuff like Google Home, Nest, Alexa &c. you don't even have the choice - you WILL be patched, automatically, and suck it up.

      I've long argued that there should be an expectation of security fixes - without bundled changes to UI or other functionality - for the supported life of the product. Oh, and I'd like a unicorn too please, and a perpetual-motion machine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yay for hardware attached to cloud services

        You want a data harvester bot that doesn't harvest your data? Seems contradictory.

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Yay for hardware attached to cloud services

        "Oh, and I'd like a unicorn too please, and a perpetual-motion machine."

        For the right price, I'm sure we can do that.

        ...oh wait, you wanted a living unicorn and a working perpetual-motion* machine**?!?

        * Well, technically, you're sitting on a giant one right now***

        ** You never said anything about wanting to actually extract useful work out of it...

        *** Relevant commercial regulations allow us to advertise anything spanning over ten times the expected lifespan of the customer as "perpetual"

  17. 404 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Kill it with Fire

    Orbital or point blank - does_not_matter.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Kill it with Fire

      Oh? What if it SURVIVES?

  18. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    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?"

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      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?!?!)

      1. Andy 97
        Thumb Up

        Re: This is nothing

        Nothing wrong with Groove Armada.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: This is nothing

      You aren't even joking Kevin.

  19. jgarry
    Linux

    Billy Bass

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

  20. 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.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      And if they're handicapped and CAN'T do it themselves?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Spacedinvader
      Happy

      it's a Blackadder reference. Wibble!

  22. DougS Silver badge

    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.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      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?

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

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

      "Apple will have a HUGE opening "

      Chief of Marketing?

  23. Grunchy

    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.

    1. ashdav

      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.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        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).

    4. Salamamba

      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.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        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?

    5. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Too gay for words

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

      Tutanota.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      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.

      1. The Boojum

        Re: The modern way?

        I initially misread your last paragraph as

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

    2. VulcanV5

      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.

  25. Steve Knox Silver badge
    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.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Wow.

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

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Wow.

        Some are just orange and demented.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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

  26. aregross
    Big Brother

    The Aunts?

  27. DavidRa

    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...").

  28. ecofeco Silver badge

    When is water not wet?

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

  29. Winkypop Silver badge
    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."

  30. VulcanV5
    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.)

  31. doug_bostrom

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

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      $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...)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    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"

  33. 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!

  34. barbara.hudson
    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.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      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?

      1. Korev Silver badge

        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.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        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.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          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?

  35. Danger Mouth
    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

  36. 0laf 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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  37. 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 ?

  38. MrTivo

    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.

  39. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    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?"

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      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%.

  40. 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.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No talking and listening machines in my home !

      And what happens when machines start passing Turing Tests and you can't tell them apart from people anymore?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    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???

  42. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    $129 and you're *still* the product!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Basically, you can't afford to buy back your privacy. Not even a cabin in the woods can save you from aerial and satellite surveillance.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        FAIL

        Basically, you can't afford to buy back your privacy. Not even a cabin in the woods can save you from aerial and satellite surveillance.

        Yeah you can, easily. They haven't yet come up with a way for a satellite to see through trees (just look at forestry in Google Earth - can you see the ground? No? Then trees provide cover, duh!), and if you use the right kind of trees (pretty much most tall evergreens) even IR can have a hard time getting through.

        Just look at any location with fairly dense trees, even in urban areas, and you'll see quickly how much difficulty satellites have with seeing through dense wood. I know of several cabins that are completely invisible until sufficient trees are felled around them - most of the small cabins on Mt Egmont for a start, many in the Tararua's and other popular hunting/tramping areas. Larger ones have some land cleared around them or have enough of a ground-footprint that trees don't cover them, smaller ones about the size of a small bedroom can be completely concealed. Ask S&R people about the ability for helicopters to see through trees even when hovering.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "Yeah you can, easily. They haven't yet come up with a way for a satellite to see through trees (just look at forestry in Google Earth - can you see the ground? No?"

          No, but just because YOU can't see it doesn't mean someone else CAN see all the way to the ground AND is keeping it a secret. Always assume your adversary is more capable than they're letting on. After all, isn't the data center in Utah really just a cover for a working quantum computer busily cracking all the historic crypto that's being housed there?

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "They haven't yet come up with a way for a satellite to see through trees"

          I believe that's what infrared cameras are for. Since trees don't emit much heat, your heat can pass through, especially if you're moving and the trees aren't.

  43. GingerOne

    Seems like a useful feature

    As a first attempt this sounds quite useful. You've asked it what your day is like, it's told you what's in your calendar, what the weather is like and what your commute is like and then it adds in other things that you may be interested in doing today but hadn't otherwise thought of.

    It probably needs to be more tailored to the user but if you visit the cinema reguarly (and if you have a default setup Android phone then Google knows everywhere you visit) then this could good.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Seems like a useful feature

      It's useful if you are mentally deficient in some serious way.

      Or if you want to pretend that you live in some scifi series that never ends, starring Halle Berry.

  44. Bob Wheeler
    Trollface

    Hows my day looking?

    And one day the answer is

    "Well, I've had look at the NHS data on you, and to be honest, your day is not looking good. By the way, did you know there is a good undertaker in the High Street, would you like me to make you an appointment>"

  45. Sam Therapy

    Dear Google

    I never wanted one of these things before and I most definitely do not want one now.

    Go and fuck yourselves with something sharp.

  46. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

    re Beauty and the Beast

    Y'all do realise there's a new live-action flick out there starring some numpty from Downton Abbey and the bint from Harry Plotter, right?

    So for those frothing at he mouth about some dodgy French offering from years ago, calm down dear - it's only a commercial! (And it's a little late to be worrying about kids being exposed to the sort of behaviour that would make Grandma blush - it seems you can't open a "news"paper or turn on the TV without some "equality" group pushing their own agenda at the cost of everyone else's rights and there's nothing to stop 'da kidz' seeing every bit of it)

  47. red_tiger

    > it'll make you reconsider the myth that Google hires only the smartest people on the planet.

    Which smart person ever thought that???

    1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Meh

      @red_tiger

      it'll make you reconsider the myth that Google hires only the smartest people on the planet.

      Which smart person ever thought that???

      *This doesn't apply when talking about (most) Marketing people.

  48. Boohoo4u

    Next ad up.

    "It's estimated that you're in the bottom 5% in satisfying your partner. How about the new performance tracking condom?"

    5 year old boy looks bewildered and call for mommy...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Google's official response to this is absolutely pants-on-head mad"

    Thats a beautiful one-line summary of the whole thing El Reg. Have a pint on me -> \_/

    These big companies have got so wrapped up in trying to out-do each other, that they've completely overlooked that a lot of people don't want or need this bullshit.

  50. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    It's pretty simple: If someone payed Google for the the content to be delivered, then it's an ad.

    I'd never have any of these devices at home. Do people actually for real talk to their devices?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      If Star Trek can do it, why can't we is probably the mindset of most of the people targeted.

  51. Gobhicks

    Go surface yourselves

    "This wasn’t intended to be an ad." So no monetary exchange was involved in the "surfacing of this unique content"? [I was just sick a little bit in my mouth typing that]

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would almost be worth its purchase price

    To be able to - literally - bring down a hammer on its unsolicited ad-vice. I'm sure there's even some enterprising Youtube personality out there who could recoup the purchase cost with the ad revenue from the video.

    Anon because, Trump.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: It would almost be worth its purchase price

      there's even some enterprising Youtube personality out there who could recoup the purchase cost with the ad revenue from the video.

      I think that would somehow that would bring new meaning to the term "circle jerk".

  53. Aaron 10
    Mushroom

    Really?

    This surprises you? WTF do you expect from a MARKETING COMPANY!?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google grooming and evolution

    Google started out as the creepy guy in a greasy raincoat following people around and keeping kiddies interested by giving them sweeties. Google has now talked its way in and the guy in a greasy raincoat is sitting in my lounge, stillhanding out sweeties to the kiddies he is grooming.

  55. Jove Bronze badge

    I would not want to be associated with anyone that allowed this device in their home.

  56. Glenn 6

    No surprise here!

    LOL, I saw this coming from a mile away. OF COURSE Google is going to spew ads through this.

    You basically put a piece of hardware in your house that is dirctly connected to a giant company who makes their money, wait for it, selling ads!

    Do you also not think that they're listening to what TV shows you're watching, keywords in coversations, etc? It IS always listening btw - it has to in order to pick up on keywords such has OK Google to activate it.

  57. Richard Scratcher
    Big Brother

    "But it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Google.”

    ― George Orwell, 1984

  58. aaaa
    Joke

    Shock news! Device from advertising company plays advertisment!

    Google is an advertising company. Seriously, what did you people expect?

    What is most surprising about this article:

    a)- Device from advertising company plays advertisements

    b) People with AdBlock Plus surprised to discover everyone else sees adverts

    c) No-one likes advertisements, but everyone likes Google

    d) The Register finds fault with IT company who is not Apple (or HP)

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Single Function Devices. Not for me

    If it could be integrated with one of those robot vacuum cleaners, which could also double as a lawn mower and would fetch me beers from the fridge and use its Ham and Cheese Toastie George Foreman attachment, I might consider it a worthwhile additional technological gadget and useful for society.

  60. This post has been deleted by its author

  61. GKSeifert

    Listen carefully Google.

    I have three Minis and I like them quite a bit. But if you start pushing this kind of advertising garbage (no matter what you call it, we all know what it really is), they will be trashed and you will never sell me another. For that matter I will no longer deal with Google at all other than by using Android. There are lots of other search tools and I can live without gmail. You monitized these devices when I paid for them. Back off!

    Regards,

    Gord Seifert

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