segphault writes "Ars Technica reports on a paper (PDF) about ambient audio analysis authored by Google researchers. The system described in the paper can effectively determine what television show a user is watching just by capturing a short audio clip. The paper explains how a regular computer microphone can be used to record an audio clip that is then converted into a statistical data summary and transmitted to a remote server which matches the clip against archived data in order to ascertain which TV show it is associated with. Apparently, the system is fully viable, and other kinds of ambient noise don't negatively impact its accuracy. The paper also describes how web services can provide contextually relevant information based on a consumer's television viewing activities."