New Smart Phone App Targets Public Radio Freeriders


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I still want to grow those square trees too!

Good one, though.

Super Snoops

Forget about it. One more reason for a lot of smart people, in the demographic you want to reach, to NOT subscribe.

I can listen to WGBH, WBUR, and during the summer, to VPR.
Plus satelite radio is in the car and at home, and even with me if I want.

Keep it up, and you will LOSE LISTENERS, at a time when NPR funding is all in limbo. But you apparently don't care because of the high support you already have here in NH. It's possibly somewhat tougher in N Dakota.

Live Free or Die! Go back to Massachusetts with these kind of Liberal Ideas. Mabe its time for a lawsuit for all these compromises of privacy, or at least a review of current laws and how they might enjoin you from this kind of snooping.

Even the kids will eventually figuire out that INFORMATION is valuable, and should not be given away for free. I don't give out my zipcode either at LL Bean or the liquor store. It's nobody's business but mine.

Do you have any idea how employers are now checking out all this data on social web sites when a kid applies for a job? Oh, the employer doesn't do it, but they HIRE someone to do it. They won't tell you that. You will only be told they had many applications and your's wasn't one they picked. It will start with a kid's summer job application and go with him/her for life.

So join the ranks of big employers with your supor snooping. We expected more, but you all continue to disappoint. No thanks. I'm out of here.

the date...

Legitimate concerns, all...but did you check the date on this story? Click the download app button for more info...  /RL

Super Snoops

I wrote the comment as I heard the story reported on NHPR April 1. The comments did not appear on your web site until April 2, morning.

I would certainly not download the app! That's the point of my email!

If this is just an "April Fools Joke," I don't find making fun of privacy issues very funny.

They got rid of Juan Williams for a lot less, in my view, and in my Philosopher Kingdom, the people who did this (if in fact it is a joke)and thought it was funny would be looking for another job.

With NPR funding on the bloc, and people FINALLY becomming more aware of privacy issues on the social (socialist?) web sites, it is no laughing matter when a kid won't be able to get a job because he/she bragged about doing something sketchy or illegal on a social web that perhaps he/she never even did. Teens do things like that. Their imperfect brains don't think about the consequences. Future snooping employers will not forgiving. Next!

Imperfect brains at NHPR apparently didn't think about the consequences either. I have been listening to WGBH since the 1950's, long before NPR was even formed, and still have not forgiven NHPR for deleting all classical music. I have seen it all grow up, and now get over grown.

Diane Rehm had 3 ladies on a month or so ago from NPR, PBS, and CPB. What a disaster that interview was. I don't think they ever even listen to their own stuff, and they couldn't even make the funding case. They should have ALL been fired, and one recently was!

A bunch of ladies running around DC thinking how great all the parties are, and schmoozing with our elite political class. That's what I heard coming through. Look to the leadership at the top for replacement, but not for leadership. Frankly, ALL at NPR in the trenches are much better than that! But if the leaders knew that, it never came through that day.

So please don't continue to disappoint. I am not amused.


I contribute monthly to NHPR. However, I'm *less* likely to do so should you decide to use an app like ShowNTell. Shaming anyone into anything is not an effective way to educate the public, and stands in sharp contrast to who you are as an organization -- this completely violates the privacy rights of your listeners!

I sincerely hope NHPR/NPR walks away from this fundraising "opportunity".

Lisa Petrie
Amherst, NH


Folks, this is an April Fools joke!! There's no way a smart phone would be able to tell if you're a contributor or not.

Other uses

Man, this is great! Can I point it at a rich person, and find out how much he pays in taxes? How about pointing it at a Evangelical Christian, to find out if she's secretly gay, or cheating on her spouse? The fun we'll have...jr

If the technnology actually existed

Yes, the possibilities would be limitless.  But fortunately, it doesn't.  Yet.

After a few minutes I wondered: Is this an April Fools Joke

Wow since this was posted on the first I wanted to think it was an April fools joke.

Unfortunately I can believe this idea or concept is real. And you sent me searching iTunes and yes, Pokos. But the app must have been pulled down for some reason. Maybe the demand was too high and crashing their servers - that happens sometimes. Or perhaps the consumer protection agency stepped in.

It is amazing how much information we give away only to have it sold to others so they can approach us to purchase something from them at a profit. We actually pay for our own information to be purchased. The internet is a wonderful thing. This is similar to buying credits in Farmville so that your property will be protected while you take a break from the stress of the addicting game. Creating revenue from nothing - brilliant. Why can't I think like that. I am stuck on the idea of paying more and getting more; for increasing productivity to lower costs and in that way profiting.

And yet now we post pictures with GPS coordinates and we have very good face recognition in our photo cataloging programs (like iPhoto).

Just imagine what Facebook has going on in the back room. I hope (Do no evil) Google is working on it too. I just don't trust Mark Z.

But at least the developer is a NH High Tech company so there may be some benefit there -maybe create a job or two and contribute to our business profits taxes.

I think Orson Welles would like this story.

We might be closer than we think

After I produced this bit of fantasy, I learned that Google purchased a firm called Neven Vision in 2006.  Neven Vision is all about facial recognition.  The only thing holding this back is the shear variability of faces and the ways an image is captured (as in, that's a horrible picture of me).  Also, in the context of this joke, there literally could be half a billion images to search for a match -- although less with geocoding, but still...

Regarding if it's Google, that is not reassuring in the least.


Interesting app -- but I'm shocked that the stations themselves would in anyway employ it or promote it.

It isn't so much about the privacy -- although I share that concern but like it or not, this exact technology is in rapid development and will reveal much more than just public radio membership status!

I think the issue is the relationship the station has with its users and how it conducts and cares for that relationship. If there is any social pressure (or guilt, for that matter), there is coercion and that's overstepping the respectful tone you want.

The current relationship between station and user is a delicate balance that benefits from some ambiguity and requires the user to think about his/her role in it. This is why you have grown deep and loyal members, because they never saw the relationship as simply paying a fee for a commodity but as an act of participation in a socially beneficial enterprise.

If listeners want to do this ShowNtell to each other -- great! But the station must not stoop to such insulting gimmicks.

Technology hasn't replaced relationships yet

Most people who hated this app hated it for this reason.  Thankfully, I made the whole thing up.