Sunday, February 14, 2010

Taking tweeting too far?

I was just reading at CNBC about a toy fair in New York and scanned the new toys. What I couldn't believe was that Mattel has just put out the dumbest toy (or maybe it's ingenious) I've seen in a while: a tag that allows you to follow your pet's every move on the internet. I looked the Puppy Tweets toy up on Amazon and found this description:

Tweets are the new Barks! Ever wonder what your pup is doing while you're away? Well, now you can get the 411 with text messages from Puppy Tweets! Whenever your dog moves, barks (or just naps), the tag knows it and sends a WiFi signal to your computer which then sends you a Tweet via Twitter. Simply set up a Twitter page for your dog and your Puppy Tweets tag starts generating Tweets. Puppy Tweets comes pre-loaded with over 500 phrases that put a humorous or insightful spin on your dog's daily activity. For example, a bark may generate a Tweet of: “I bark because I miss you. There I said it. Now hurry home.” A quick run through the house could produce: “I finally caught that tail I’ve been chasing and…OOUUUCHH!” Invite your friends and family to follow your pet on Twitter and help your dog follow his or her favorite puppy pals or celebrities. Puppy Twitter lets you connect with your pet over the Internet.


Do you really want Twitter updates on all your friends' and family's pets? And what if little Fido is taking a whiz on the new rug? Do you really want to know this if you're not there? Or does it only tell you something cute? Maybe that's better, or at least more comforting.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Topher said...

I like this just to keep an eye on one's pet. Although an owner with enough foresight to get a tweeting collar probably has the dog registered, collared and chipped already, so the likelihood of recovering the animal is pretty high to begin with.

3:19 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Sean D Sorrentino said...

I will admit that my dog has her own email address and Facebook page. Mostly we use the email address to send humorous messages to my mother in law. The Facebook page is so that my wife can play Facebook games without having her personal info out there in internet land.

3:56 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Kevin said...

Getting tweets for other peoples pets... not so much. But I have been toying w/ the idea of setting up a camera on Ustream to watch my chinchilla.

4:58 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

I can see some value to this. I travel with people who worry about leaving their pets home with a sitter or at the kennel. This way they will know their pets are active or taking a nap or whathaveyou. Just as long as I don't have to read the tweets, I'm good with it.

4:58 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger blahga the hutt said...

Never done Twitter, never will. Not really big on cell phones either (don't have one, don't need one).

6:02 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Bóxer Urkabustaiz said...

It may be useful if it lets you know when/if your dog is barking when you are not home. That is often a concern for dog owners.

6:12 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Kevin M said...

You can purchase software to install on your kids' PC that will tell you EVERYTHING he/she's done on it. And they will never know it's there. (Your employer already has a far more sophisticated version, and theirs is custom-made.)

You can install GPS tracking monitors on your own vehicle that will enable you to monitor--in 45-second, 2-minute or 5-minute intervals depending on your monthly payment--exactly where the car is or was...so you know where your teen or spouse is driving.

For less than $100 any person who gets into your house can set up spy cams and audio equip that can transmit onto the Web in real time...of you in the shower, etc.

The miniaturization, affordability and availability of surveillance technology has reached the point that, were George Orwell alive today, he'd scoff at the gov't spying on us. It's each other we should be afraid of.

Devices like this might have genuinely benevolent and beneficial applications, but my flesh is still crawling.

I know an actor in Hollywood (not famous at all, but he pals around with some B-listers) who told me that one of the most common things H-wood celebs do after throwing a big party at their house is to pay about $12,000 to security firms to do a thorough sweep of their homes to find bugs and other surveillance A/V equipment.

According to him, they find stuff like passive recording devices, fiber-optic/Web-enabled lenses and audio bugs almost 70% of the time.

6:20 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Timothy McVeigh Was Right?

Talking about government tracking capabilities?

Interesting....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....]

9:01 PM, February 14, 2010  
Blogger Larry said...

Hey, if available for pets why not the frail or elderly who live alone? Yes, I've read of some similar products for same, but do they have 500 phrases? A lotta home-monitoring potential it seems.

9:04 AM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger befalas said...

The MIT Mystery Hunt anticipated this one by over a year...

"I'm Feeling a Little Twitterpetted."

http://www.mit.edu/~puzzle/09/puzzles/im_feeling_a_little_twitterpetted/PUZZLE/

Warning: approach with caution. May cause madness. Do not taunt Happy Fun Hunt.

10:59 AM, February 15, 2010  
Blogger Professor Hale said...

My cat has been after me for his own Facebook page. But he hasn't earned my trust back after he let his identity be stolen by a Democratic voter.

10:39 AM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

Do you really want Twitter updates on all your friends' and family's pets?

No, nor do I want Twitter updates on all of my friends and family. Personally, I just don't see the attraction to Twitter. Likewise, I don't understand the need to tell others what you're doing or thinking at any given time. An occasional blog post is fine but Twitter just seems an outlet for narcissism. Even more, I can't understand the attraction of reading other people's Twitter posts.

11:00 AM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger justin said...

They don't have anything on this guy.

http://gizmodo.com/5211135/man-builds-chair-that-tweets-his-farts-single+handedly-justifies-twitters-existence

2:15 PM, February 16, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

next chronic parents will be getting thier children fited for them....

6:54 PM, February 18, 2010  

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