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.
A flashlight review that begins with the promise “I’m about to hike through a remote canyon to an abandoned mine, and I gotta tell you there’s a storm raging outside” should end on an interesting note, and this one does. [via] Disturbing, strange sounds. That’s exactly what I caught on video while filming and documenting […]
Reflectacles, the hyper-reflective Ray Ban-style $75 glasses frames that Scott Urban is Kickstarting have a new feature: now you can get ones doped with materials that reflect the infrared light that CCTVs kick out to let them capture images in low light, which blind cameras’ sensors. Cool!
Typewriter historian Martin Howard (previously) writes, “I was able to pick up a rare and exquisite Waverley typewriter (1896) this summer in Scotland and have just the other day posted it to my website all cleaned and ready to show.”
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]