I went to WebAudio Conf in Berlin pre-pandemic, and at the conference party there were a few live performances. One was a performance where people picked random sounds by searching for words in a poem that was read on an open source database. I appreciated the performance aspect, but the resulting sound wasn’t my jam. The person that closed the night was an amazing live coding performance using Gibber.
And in between was this couple that presented themselves surfing the internet with a browser plugin that would make a specific sound for each of the major trackers. They searched for stuff, bought something, chatted with each other on Facebook, and the pings became so common it almost became background music by the end. Very similar concept to this, and the mundaneness of the performance aspect was pretty sobering.
As a child of the American 1980’s, I especially appreciate that it’s called “Tracker Beeper”
This is getting a bit offtopic (but still on-topic for “privacy”), I recently read about how beepers worked and was astonished to learn that basically messages were broadcasted publicly, unencrypted, and individual beepers chose whether or not to display the message based on an ID number. Anyone would receive any/all of the messages.
It often feels (to me at least) that we’re fighting a losing battle wrt privacy in the digital era, but wowzers were things really bad back then. The only silver lining in the before time was that companies like google didn’t exist to abuse it in ways like they do today.
Wait till you hear about police scanners
ya it’s quite easy to pick those up, at least in my area.
Basically nothing, analog nor digital, was encrypted (other than e-commerce checkout pages) until the 2000s. It’s really shocking to think of ubiquitous, over-the-wire encryption as a very recent creation.
And no one knew! I used to blow people’s minds by showing packet sniffing that could spy on google searches and instant message conversations.