The MPAA is petitioning the FCC to lard cable television with "selectable output control," a DRM system that allows broadcasters to specify which of your TV devices can decode which shows. With selectable output control, parts of your home theater would go dark as you flipped up and down the dial: this show won't play through your Dolby, that one won't go to your PVR, this one won't go to your DVD recorder, that one won't work with your DTV set. It's the digital TV equivalent of one of those absurd Bond-villain world-domination schemes -- the idea that every device that can plug into a TV (including PCs, game consoles, etc) will be designed to shut itself off in the presence of a flag saying, "This device may not receive that program."
Previously, the FCC told the MPAA that this was a dumb idea and to get lost, but Hollywood is nothing if not persistent (as is amply demonstrated by the number of Police Academy sequels produced). The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed some great comments in the docket:
Right now, your consumer electronics are designed by the consumer electronics industry, which reacts to consumer market demand in choosing how to innovate. That consumer-focused approach makes sense. But if the MPAA has its way, however, we'll be well on the way to a world in which every new feature to every home theater product has to be pre-approved by the content industry.
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]