The Future of Facebook: Viruses Taking Over Your TV

Line blurring between old, new media in scary ways

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    NEWSLETTERS

    "Fatbwoy" via Facebook
    Artwork: Remote Control Your Life

    IBM has just the thing for anyone whose favorite pastime includes staring into an abyss: a TV remote control for Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

    With a few clicks of a button, the device broadcasts your viewing activity to various social-networking landfills, along with a screengrab. The tether goes both ways, of course: as you remotely control Facebook, Facebook could remotely gobble up data about you.

    There are other objections, too. Some fret that the invention will be at best invasive, and at worst useless.

    Even worse, Facebook users are reporting today that the site is spreading a new virus -- now, imagine your exasperation upon discovering that your remote control has been hijacked by a Romanian bot-net. And we can't wait to see the inevitable copyright kerfuffles.

    Still, though, it's a neat idea, if only for having generated some "what have we come to" self-reflection. It's almost as strange as Sony's recent patent for a "laugh detector" that included a picture of one man laughing at another man trapped inside an automatic butt-kicking machine. A more accurate representation of the Internet simply does not exist.