I've long said that we'll lose our privacy to business before we lose it to a totalitarian state..
You mean it's been big business installing the cameras on the intersections and streets?
I believe new fangled TVs nowadays have a special feature that keep the decibals between any certain range you prefer, or some system similar to that to keep the loud bangs down while keeping the quiet dialogue up.
I had a TV like that in years past and loved it. I even liked watching movies and being able to hear the dialogue and dimming the sound of the crashes. Listening through the tv speakers I obviously did not care about sound fidelity anyway. Then I got an HD tv and use only a receiver for sound (since the tv sound is horrible) and this pronounces the loud commercials so much that I either dvr a 20 minute delay to miss the commercials or sit there with a remote on hand to mute them when watching live tv. However, there are now even cheap receivers that will do the same modulation - google audyssey for one example - so I found what I am getting for christmas.
"I don't want to pay my fair share"
Just being curious, what is _your_ fair share? I personally think we could run a constitutional sized government on a 3% sales tax. But I would be interested in finding what percentage you think is fair.
Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.