682 - The murder of CableCARD
Monday, March 17, 2008

TiVo copy protection strikes at the very heart of CableCARD ... and, uh, TiVo. So, maybe they should reconsider going along with that whole HBO lockdown plan, eh? We also learn about how Hulu, Phorm, BT, Google, and everyone else on earth is tracking down all our personal information all the time. Bummer. Featuring Randall Bennett from CNET's The 404 podcast. Enjoy all 55 minutes (hey, I warned you!).

Stories CoveredEdit

  • Web creator rejects net tracking[1]
  • BT confesses lies over secret Phorm experiments[2]
  • Yahoo Buzz is a game-changer for social media[3]
  • Google says Microsoft’s Yahoo buy might hurt Internet[4]
  • Flickr Video beta due in April[5]
  • Firefox 3 goes on a diet, eats less memory than IE and Opera[6]
  • Limewire digital music store launches[7]
  • Sweden Once Again Hotbed for File-Sharing Debate[8]
  • Japanese ISPs to start policing P2P users[9]
  • TiVo flagging HBO content on Comcast boxes[10]
  • Update on Rush Mac problem: it’s fixed[11]

From The PhonesEdit

  • Haymond from Ohio: Indian pronunciation lessons
  • John from Dolphin: How can you make up a loss on volume?


CableCARD restrictionsEdit

I looked at the TiVo website that was displayed on my TV last night "", and found this. I was watching the broadcast on a TiVo HD on a HBO HD channel, with my TV connected via HDMI cables. I use 2 Comcast CableCards viewing the digital TV channels. It appears that my shows were encoded with the 0×07 values - delete after 90 minutes and never allow copying.

Digital Signal Copy Protection Policies for TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs

The TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD Digital Media Recorders are compliant Digital Cable Receiver (DCR) devices which use CableCARD? to receive high quality digital cable content in its native form. Since the Series3 and TiVo HD are DCR devices, in addition to the Macrovision rules for analog content, they must also comply with the content protection policies for Digital Cable content. These copy protection rules vary by content type, and in general, premium and pay channels will have more restrictive rules.


Tom points out…Edit

Nothing that takes less than 60 minutes to do can have a business model Cooley? I’m disappointed.

But rather than ranting let me dial it back to just a couple points.

1. Blogging is a publishing tool. If a newspaper wants to have a convenient way for reporters to file short stories quickly, why shouldn’t they? I find ‘blogs’ on newspapers to often have some of the best content. This isn’t apologizing for anything, it’s using new technology to provide professional reporting. I don’t see it as ultimately different from switching from a Caxton Press to a mimeo machine to modern publishing. Should they not have switched from long column broadsheet publishing either? It’s about the content that goes into the publishing system, whatever it is, not the system itself.

2. I think Cuban may be off base here. Not every print publication is treated equally. In fact, I’ll wager not even every *newspaper* gets credentials to the Mavericks. Instead, I’m sure there are policies about size of circulation, frequency of publication, etc. Why not ave similar policies for blogs?


Mark CubanEdit

He may have a point, but it does look pretty fishy that the blogger was removed from the locker room soon after writing a story about Mavericks coach Avery Johnson maybe in jeopardy of losing his job if the team doesn't turn it around soon.


Medical records on GoogleEdit

This email is about a month after the fact, but I think we all failed to notice the corrilation between Google wanting to store your medical records online, and the $3.9M Google invested into 23andMe (, whose co-founder Anne Wojcicki is married to Google co-founder, Sergey Brin.

So your 23andMe genetic results and predispositions to diseases could be stored in Google along with your medical history. Sounds like a pretty good business partner and public service, but a world of devastation should your account be hacked into.


In defense of MollyEdit

I left a voice mail but I think it might’ve been over 30 seconds, so I’m following up with an email just in case.

Fordo commented on episode 681 about Molly’s recent change of heart about Hulu, to which Molly basically admitted that she had been wrong about Hulu in the past and now she likes it. If I remember correctly though, the initial negative reaction Molly and many others (myself included) had was not against Hulu pre se, but rather at the fact that NBC announced it’s support of content in Hulu right on the coattails of pulling its content from the iTunes store. Like Molly I too think that Hulu is great now that it’s out, but it was still a jerky move on NBC’s part to take its content out of iTunes. Please correct me if I’m wrong Molly, but I believe this was the root of your prior ill sentiments about Hulu.

Keep up the good work,


Portland OR

Hulu exposed!Edit

So, I just created an account on HuLu in order to watch “The Big Lebowski”. Filled out the form, submit, done. Then, I went to the ‘Profile’ area. By DEFAULT, under Privacy and Settings, your “Personal Information”, “About Me” and “Lists” were all public, this includes the email you signed up with. I feel to exposed! (OK, not really since I immediately set them to private.) And quite frankly, watching video was not satisfying. No, I didn’t get problems with buffering and the UI for the actual player was awesome. My problem was the fact that the movies seem to skip frames rather than buffer. Very irritating. I have a 10Mb connection and can stream things like Netflix, iTunes movie rentals, network television online streaming, etc just fine. I found HuLu to be very disappointing from a privacy and performance standpoint. About the only thing I would watch here is something I can’t find via Netflix, didn’t want to buy from iTunes or was not available on the network’s website. On the other hand, if the playback performance improves, I could become a fan, especially since I have to boot my Windows virtual machine to stream Netflix video.

Ossie, Tulsa OK

(note: 10Mb == 10 Mega bits, and while that is the advertised speed of my connection, I actually get better then that.)

Well actually…Edit

Dear Molly Wood,

You Rock.

Now that Ive gotten that out of the way, I am going to disagree with you. When I called in to CNET Live on Thursday, I never asked to learn how to steal music, I asked how can I get my SpiralFrog music to play in iTunes. The only reason I want to do this is strictly for organizational purposes, its easier when all the music is in one library. I don’t have an iPod, I have never used a P2P client in my life. I AM NOT A BAD PERSON. I AM NOT ”THAT” GUY.

And one more thing: Do you know who showed me how to use an Ad-Blocker? Ill tell you, CNET did. Maybe even Tom.

It really bothers me that you and Brian would think I’m a bad guy. I’m not sure why. My point is you took my question out of context and shambled me in front of millions of listeners.


Jacob from Brooklyn.

Buzz Out Loud comic!!Edit

Hey Buzz Crew,

Recently I decided to start a web comic. After brainstorming for about 30 seconds, I thought: “Hey, I should do a comic about Buzz Out Loud”. A domain registration, Word Press installation, and FTP upload later, came to be. Go ahead and check it out. I’m basing it all on your podcast, so make sure you keep coming up with funny stuff to say. Otherwise I’ll be out of new material.



Additional NotesEdit

  • Is this the longest episode ever?


The 404 is the unwanted stepchild of Buzz Out Loud - Randall Bennett

After The CreditsEdit

  • Alex from Romania: Conspiracy theory as to why Molly changed her mind on Hulu.

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