No, it’s no joke: A company called Pudding Media is offering people free Internet phone service if they allow advertisers to pitch them ads based on the content of their calls. That’s right: They’re going to analyze people’s conversations and run ads related to what they’re saying.
In an era when new privacy concerns rear their head daily, this one seems like a nonstarter. Although the company claims young people aren’t that concerned with privacy issues, I would think this one borders on the creepy for nearly anyone. Plus, Skype’s already free, and even to call regular phone lines, it’s only about two cents a minute. There’s no end of people who recognize this for what it is, a dumb idea. Too bad Pudding’s investors weren’t among them.