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Tech Giants Are Patenting a Creepy Future

Another Christmas season may be in the history books, but if the future is anything like the one technology inventors have postulated about lately, it won’t just be Santa seeing you when you’re sleeping and knowing when you’re awake. Envision a gadget in your living room that can sense when you’re squabbling with your spouse or whispering sweet nothings. Imagine a black box that blocks an R-rated show because it notices that a child has entered the room. Dig into public patent applications, you’ll see that such scenarios — as described by the companies that hope to corner the market on the technologies if they ever come to fruition — are not that far-fetched. We’re talking about devices that gather

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