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March 15, 2017

Wackadoodle: "Smart Vibrator" Company Settles Lawsuit Over Collecting User Information Without Consent, Agreeing to Pay Out $3.75 Million

Brave and Dumb New World, But Mostly Dumb.

I'm linking this story only for one reason. No, not the relentless invasion of privacy we're unwittingly or wittingly permitting in a quest for convenience and novelty. That's obvious already.

I'm linking it because I don't know what the hell a "smart" vibrator is, or why someone would want or need to have a vibrator which is "smart."

I've seen the dumb versions in action, and they seemed to work just fine.

So I'm linking this to find out what Fresh Stupid Hell this is.

Forbes "throws shade," as aging hipster Chris Hayes might say, at the basis of the suit:

Two anonymous plaintiffs had filed a lawsuit because they claimed that they weren't quite anonymous when using the device with their email addresses and...um...utilization data being beamed to the company's servers in Canada. Yes, they were upset that the "We" in We-Vibe included a company, not just company.

I'll bet they won't be anonymous when it comes to the payout.

Not the lawyers writing out the checks, at least.

So this seems kind of stupid already but I still want to know what the hell this thing is and why someone needs something that just vibrates real fast to be "smart."

Here's how the remote control vibrator and the accompanying app are supposed to work. You first purchase the We-Vibe vibrator (because you need to purchase things to use them), download the "We-Connect" app to your smartphone, and then weeee...you can control the vibrator settings (speed, patterns and intensity) from anywhere in the world. The company's website lists the vibration modes as Low, Medium, High, Ultra, Pulse, Wave, Echo, Tide, Crest and Surf. So say you are in Washington, D.C., and someone else is in Hawaii, that person can help you go surfing just by changing settings on the app. Yes, for somewhere between $100 and $200, you can have a device that allows someone who is long-distance to literally turn you on. The app also allows you to text and video chat with others, so you can tell them to change, change, change the Echo mode.

All right, so this that deeply dumb thing I heard of a decade ago called "teledildonics," exchanging tactile stimulation long distance through electronic relay.

I thought this was dumb when I just heard the idea proposed. Now that it's been advanced to working model, I think it's even dumber. It's one thing to have a dumb idea. It's another thing to spend hours of work and thought to bring the stupid to prototype.

So it's for the international cyber-oriented lesbian set. And/or heterosexual couples in different cities who want to spice up their long-distance fling by unlocking Vibrator Super Move by tapping in up, up, down, back B to activate Whirlwind Berserker Rage Swirl with a 10% chance of a Critical Sexual Hit on each RPM.

I guess I don't have any problems with that... per se. But this still sounds very Dumb to me.

For one thing, the best person in the world at masturbating is the user himself. Whenever you try to bring someone else into it, there's a lot of frustration and "Do this, not that" and a general sense of "Why doesn't she get this?" and "I could have been done ten minutes ago."

Just the way it works. No one's fault. But you can't expect some rando n00b to just walk into a job you've been successfully doing yourself for 15-50 years, honing your skills and adapting proactively to end-user feedback, and do it as well as the lifetime permanent employee. The first ten days they're not even going to know where the pens, pads, and toner cartridges are.

I guess the idea is: "But it'll be like the other person is really touching me!"

Yeah, and a treadmill is supposed to be like you're really walking up a hill, but what it really is an awkwardly shaped hanging rack for towels and that one sock that just wouldn't dry in the drier.

I just think this is going to be like those ten million juice blenders people buy and use three times before realizing that spinach juice still tastes like spinach juice and which wind up living empty lives of lonely desperation in that one cabinet where you hide away all your hasty Ronco purchases, and your shame.

First Use: "I can't believe we're doing this!"

Second Use: "Well, I guess we can try again, now that we've got the kinks worked out and we don't have to do an hour of Pair Device foreplay."

Third Use: "Oooh! Madame Secretary is finally on Netflix! Jackpot!!!"

Oh, and speaking from the male perspective, the one thing I appreciate about the vibrator is that I don't have to worry about her orgasm. That's her problem. You do you, as the kids say. I'm gonna microwave some mini-eggrolls; you let me know when you're done.

Drafting me into this process and making me responsible for working the machinery -- and I guess having to perfect my fast-twitch reflexes when doing so, like I just tore open a Gore-Nest in Doom -- feels an awful lot like mixing the worries of performance anxiety with the exhausting tedium of Quicken.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer sex the natural way: cruising an AOL chatroom for three hours and finding someone type dirty words at.

It also sounds very dumb that people who are voluntarily sending commands to someone else's vibrator through the intermediary of a third-party company they're paying for the service don't realize the company has access to whether or not they prefer "Surf" mode or "Puree."

So the problems this Forbes article mentions is that the vibrators could be hacked -- duh, anything involving an internet connection could be hacked. It further notes that someone hijacking your vibrator and entering in their own order -- changing your "Tide" mode to "Pulse" mode -- could be guilty of a sexual assault, because the victim didn't consent.

Uhhh... sure. In theory. In very dumb theory.

I expect they'll do a Law & Order: SVU about this, and Ice T will reveal that he was once a victim of Dildojacking.

And the other problem is that the company is tracking usage and etc., which is... it's what all these "smart" devices do.

I mean, duh. What are you, a dildo?

Eh. I don't get it. I didn't care about this story when I heard about it a few days ago and I only bothered to post it to find out what this dumb story is about, and now I find it's even dumber than I expected, and in fact it's so dumb I don't find it titillating.

Sometimes dumb can be a turn-on but not if it's like Tapioca Pudding on Saturdays dumb. Like not when it's institutionally-supervised dumb. Dopey can be hot. Drooling is not hot.

I shouldn't even bother you with this nonsense but I already wrote this crap out and so I'm just gonna post it.


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posted by Ace at 06:36 PM

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