367 - Copying movies? Get a vault
Friday, December 1, 2006






TODAY'S VOICEMAIL: Seamus Violent video games causing the flight or flight part of the brain to activate. Yeah, when they come at me with a chainsaw a flight away.

Lionel from Indianapolis Kinda like bringing hot women with you to the clubs.

Pete from Long Island This might not be the last Christmas that's tax-free. I'M TRYING TO USE THE PHONE!

TODAY'S E-MAIL: Breaking up is hard to do--HotBranch! Seems that Finland's "sexiest man," who happens to be the country's Prime Minister, informed his girlfriend of their breakup via text message. Breaking up over the phone is bad enough, but not even speaking to her? Wow! That's a new low.

The Apple/Blu-ray connection--Julio Hi, guys. This is the Apple/Blu-ray connection. As a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association, Apple is likely (if not necessarily required) to incorporate Blu-ray into its Macs at some point. And while I can't claim bulletproof sourcing on this, my recent conversations with Panasonic and others lead me to believe this will happen before long.

Great interview with MPAA--Bob "The Patent Lawyer" proud member of the BuzzTown denizens I thought it was a really well-done interview and showed that there is some common ground. Unfortunately, it appears the mouthpiece of the movie industry has a different view re: playing a movie on all the devices that a consumer owns than his constituents. Personally, for me, I have at least six devices that I would need playback rights for: - my laptop - wife's laptop - Mac Mini that is my media center hub - my iPod - wife's iPod - iTV (when it comes out) And though I know I am riding the front of the geek curve on this, the future will probably have more and more of us that are doing this. Personally, I back up the majority of my DVDs to a 750GB external HDD connected to the Mini. It is an awesome solution that allows my wife and me to watch anything we own without having to fish through all of our areas of storage. Why shouldn't I be able to take that content to other devices, THAT I OWN? I do hope technology comes up with an answer to this. And I would be happy to provide the patent counsel to that innovator. :-)

One man's interpretation of the MPAA--Marc A. J It was great to get the perspective from the "other side." The main point I got from the interview was that media providers would prefer to inconvenience their customers now, waiting for technology to catch up, rather than open up their content. While I can see their point for doing that, it still makes them the bad guys in the meantime. And frankly the idea of consumer products all supporting one DRM method that allows for the (for now) mythical flexibility Mr. Attaway suggests is hard to swallow. Everyone seems to have their own "flavor," and they don't play well together. I think we are in for many more years of this headache before anything happens positive for consumers.

Dear cellular phone folks--Frank L. Don't be jackasses and give Google any ideas that it doesn't have already. If you tell them to do "something about" the people downloading Google apps, instead of your own janky applications, they will: They will start their own "Gphone" cell service, that will be able to store thousands of voice mails, have an interactive Google Maps/Google Earth function so you never get lost, and a "Search" bar so you could find anything anyone has ever said to you on your phone all in the spirit of "Cataloging the world's information." If you tell the Hulk he can't smash you, he will smash you because he is the strongest one there is. Same thing.

We make the Comcast DVR (edited)--Guide-maker Dave Greetings from the land where the Comcast DVR interface is made. First, we all agree the TiVo interface works very well. It does set the standard for all other DVR interfaces. That said, comparing the TiVo to those DVRs provided by the cable companies, like Comcast, isn't truly a fair 1:1 comparison. Differing Hardware Each vendor has numerous cable boxes, each varying slightly while offering the same end result to the consumer. Add to this that each of those companies have their own firmware and hardware architecture, and you can see how building an interface that works across all of these platforms can be challenging. Differing Cable Providers The EPG (Electronic Program Guide) you see in Comcast's Bay Area is not specific to Comcast. That guide is used in Time-Warner, Cox, Charter, RCN, Adelphia, Shaw, Cogeco, and many other cable providers in Canada, USA, and Latin America. That's right, one guide, millions of consumers, and many cable operators all wanting it to be "their way." Storing of Program Info. Cable boxes stream the data. TiVo stores it on your box. Pull the plug, restore the power, wait for the box to reboot, and *woo-hoo* all of your cable listings are there because they're stored on the box, not remotely. Legal Issues TiVo holds patents. Time Rush some things to market. Poor user experience? Yes. Money generator? Yes. But like that's new of any company nowadays...

I hope this provides you with some insight into some of the reasons the Comcast DVR looks & acts as it does. We are continuing to work on improving the look, feel, and behavior of the DVR as we move forward. (I've already seen the preliminary of what the 2008/2009 version of the guide is going to look like, and it's sorta Macintosh-esque) Love the show. Keep up the good work.

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