pissed about missing child alert

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by c-surfer, May 21, 2008.

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  1. May 21, 2008 #1 of 169
    c-surfer

    c-surfer Member

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    :mad: So I'm watching my favorite recorded program on Tivo, and it spontaneously switches to the Travel Channel with some banner announcement about a missing child.

    I'm so pissed. Why is this my problem? Who do I complain to? Who can I sue?

    I feel that my privacy rights have been violated; like the government barged into my living room asking stupid questions.

    It feels like the scene in Fahrenheit 451 where the loudspeakers tell everyone to come out of their houses and look for Montag.
     
  2. May 21, 2008 #2 of 169
    mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Is it a *live* alert?

    I presume it's a live alert, right?

    If so, and you're not recording right now, you're lucky. It your Tivo is _on_ (not in standby), and has cablecards in it, apparently it will switch to the Amber Alert *when recording*. They supposedly fixed a bug where it will go BACK to the original recording when the Alert is over.

    BTW, a workaround (at least for recording purposes, not for your exact problem) is to put the system in standby. Then it won't switch to the Alerts and wreck your recording.

    You can complain to the FCC and the Cable Card consortium.
     
  3. May 21, 2008 #3 of 169
    MirclMax

    MirclMax Ancient Member

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    Having just experienced the same alert you were talking about.. I had a slightly different annoyance about it .. (Please note .. ultimately I think its a valuable function ..but....)

    There was no way to "clear" the alert .. or change channels.. or go to the TiVo menu .. basically.. the only way to not see it.. would have been to turn off the TV .. why would I want to turn it off? Well.. with young kids who were around.. I didn't really want to have to explain the exact details of what it meant for a child to be kidnapped and so forth.

    Obviously at some point a child needs to know about this sort of thing .. (to be safe themselves) .. but there are also children who would unnecessarily worry ... or even obsess about the well being of the child in the Amber Alert ..

    Fortunately .. in this case .. no one was really paying attention .. but I would have rather had the ability to make the conscious choice to hit "clear" and have the alert go away. (I had actually already heard the alert on a different channel a few minutes earlier.. but that was just an audio-overlay .. not part of the TiVo-alert-system)

    Just my thoughts..

    -MirclMax
     
  4. May 21, 2008 #4 of 169
    c-surfer

    c-surfer Member

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    It was a live alert on the Travel Channel which interrupted playback of a recorded program.

    That's pretty creepy that the government is able to reach into a private living room, interrupt a recorded program and force you to watch an Amber Alert. Does the government force Tivo to provide them with a back door? There are compelling reasons to provide Emergency Alerts in the case of a true emergency but invade everyone's home with an allegedly lost child announcement? Ridiculous.

    My privacy has been violated. I need a constitutional lawyer, NRA membership, ACLU card and tinfoil hat.
     
  5. May 21, 2008 #5 of 169
    timr_42

    timr_42 Active Member

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    my cable co will do that sometimes during an EMS test. My cable box will switch to channel 13 for a couple of minutes and then back. If I'm tivoing something at that time, it always pees me off
     
  6. May 21, 2008 #6 of 169
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    just to be clear this is no TiVo alert system but TiVo having to react in a legally prescribed way to these alerts when broadcast on the cable system.
     
  7. May 21, 2008 #7 of 169
    MirclMax

    MirclMax Ancient Member

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    Hopefully you were just clarifying for other people reading so that I did not confuse anyone .. of course I'm aware of what you are saying .. I was just trying to quickly.. and simply differentiate between what I had before.. which was an "Emergency Broadcast System" tone and just an audio message on top of a program .. and the one that triggered the tivo-feature that displayed the alert.

    It was perhaps a very lax way of stating it .. but it *is* a system.... code.. built in functionality in the TiVo to display an emergency broadcast message. So, I wasn't trying to say that my poorly named "TiVo-alert-system" was TiVo creating the alert message out of thin air .. or even sent by TiVo Inc. to my system on purpose.. it was meant to describe the SYSTEM by which TIVO displayed the ALERT to me.

    Alright, I admit it.. I should have said function. :)

    -MirclMax
     
  8. May 22, 2008 #8 of 169
    TriBruin

    TriBruin Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Please tell me this was in a sarcastic post, because I can't believe anyone would care more about their TV shows than a lost child. :(

    If even one tip that could lead to recovering a lost child were come from the Amber Alert, then it was worth it.
     
  9. May 22, 2008 #9 of 169
    GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    :up:

    Bravo, sir - surprised that it took that long for this comment to come about.
     
  10. May 22, 2008 #10 of 169
    Lopey

    Lopey Active Member

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    Ormond...
    It makes even less sense seeing that the OP was watching a recorded show... :thumbsdown:
     
  11. May 22, 2008 #11 of 169
    Lopey

    Lopey Active Member

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    Ormond...
    Do you have kids? If something happened to your child, or someone you love wouldn't you want to get as much help as you can to have that person back unharmed?

    This is what is wrong with our culture... the "I" factor.. I am not directly affected, why do I care...
    This is so wrong on so many levels.... I must leave now before I explode :mad:
     
  12. May 22, 2008 #12 of 169
    Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

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    I whole-heartedly agree with the OP and I am not being sarcastic in the least.

    If I'm sitting in my living room watching TV, I am not in the position to do anything about a lost child. Sure, if the kid wandered through my living room, I might be able to do something, but chances are that if some random kid started walking through my place, I'd call the cops no matter if I heard an alert or not.

    Or are you suggesting that some people might be comfortably watching TV, get interrupted by the alert and then put on their coats, go outside and start combing the streets? Well, if that's what you want to do, I suggest that you sign up for a special service that informs you of these events so that you contribute. I assure you that most people do not share your zeal.
     
  13. May 22, 2008 #13 of 169
    Lopey

    Lopey Active Member

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    Ormond...

    No but if they put the childs picture in your face and make you look at it for a couple of minutes, then later on that day or the next you are driving down the road and you see the child....
     
  14. May 22, 2008 #14 of 169
    DCipher

    DCipher New Member

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    Gimme a break... it's a TV show. Get a grip.

    I'm sure you realize why they have the Amber alerts - maybe you saw something that was suspicious, but didn't really think about it at the time... or maybe when you are outside of your house you might see something - in any case, it's a TV show that's being interrupted so that maybe, just maybe, you can help someone else in need.

    OMG! My TiVo recording is messed up! call 911!
     
  15. May 22, 2008 #15 of 169
    GoHokies!

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    No, but usually the alert includes details like the person the child was last with, and what kind of vehicle they were driving. Maybe you saw something suspicious earlier in the day and didn't realize it, or saw the suspects car, or ...

    It's a remote possibility that you personally saw something, but chances are good that someone saw something that will help law enforcement, hence the need for a system that reaches as many people as possible.
     
  16. May 22, 2008 #16 of 169
    ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    If the recording returns to the scheduled show after the alert I have no problem. It is when the show gets totally hosed from the point of the alert onward that there are problems.

    If it is during a playback of a recording, what is the big deal? Rewind a touch and resume watching.

    The constitution allows the government to perform reasonable actions that may infringe on you in a minor way if there is benefit *. The definition of reasonable and minor are up for debate but if the action causes a very minor loss of a recorded show or a delay in watching your show then you'd be hard pressed to claim you were hurt by the event.

    * let's not turn this into a constitutional debate.
     
  17. May 22, 2008 #17 of 169
    Amnesia

    Amnesia The Question

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    When I'm driving, I pay attention to the cars.

    Now, I've seen Amber alerts on electronic highway signs that say to be on the lookout for a particular car and give the license plate---that's fine. I have no problem with that. Of course, if they interrupted my music to force this message on me, that's an issue again.

    But we're talking about television. And not even the annoyance of shrinking the picture to present a news scrawl at the bottom of the screen (which is bad enough---if I want to watch the news I'll change the channel). No---we're talking about the government changing the channel on your consumer electronics device to force you to watch a message that they choose. Again, if this were opt-in, I'd be all for it. Maybe I'd even support opt-out. But mandatory? No way. Sorry, Big Brother---I'm watching another show.
     
  18. May 22, 2008 #18 of 169
    Lopey

    Lopey Active Member

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    Ormond...
    Thank you for adding to my point....

    But.. what if you were looking at the leaves while you were driving, and then all of a sudden one of these highway signs starts flashing...

    So you are paying attention to the cars while you are driving.. so if on the Amber alert you saw earlier it gave you a car and license plate to look out for and you actually see it...

    I just can't believe that people complain about this.... I know it takes all kinds.. but come on..

    So what if they stop your music while you are in the car to tell you about a traffic accident that happens to be on the road that you are about to get on to, and that that road is now closed.... because it actually benifited you, is that ok??
     
  19. May 22, 2008 #19 of 169
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    the whole idea is that as many people as possible are informed about it as quickly as possible. TV is of course the logical medium for that. The more people the more chance that the burger product placement that made you go hit a fast food joint after the show will give you the information needed if you saw the child being walked through the place by some adult. Even if the alert was in a recorded show that was a month old - stranger things have happened.


    Now what TiVo has to do is follow the rules on displaying those alerts. I recall discussion around this when Severe weather alerts in the Midwest took on this new form. Instead of saying "switch to channel xx fo more info" in the scroll - the digital age was leveraged and cable boxes and TiVo DVR's looking for the alert signal can be switched to the channel detailing the alert. Should that be used for missing children as well? Well that is not a TCF Coffehouse discussion, but one I have seen in Happy Hour in other forms but with this same basic tone.

    The only glitch I saw before was that the TiVo did not switch back to the channel a scheduled recording was set for after the legally prescribed swicth to the alert channel was satisfied. Plus I never saw what the complete legal requirements for showing the alert is.

    If the TiVo stayed on alert channel until user manual intervention - that would be a bug topic for Coffeehouse.
     
  20. May 22, 2008 #20 of 169
    tootal2

    tootal2 Active Member

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    one station here had a missing kids photo on the screen all day. I was worried
    it was going to burn in to my screen. They did find the kid and another one.
     
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