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Time Warner Cable Patents Method For Disabling Fast-Forward Function On DVRs 298

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-skip-for-you dept.
antdude writes in with a story about a patent that won't have DVR users skipping for joy. "Time Warner Cable has won a U.S. patent for a method for disabling fast-forward and other trick mode functions on digital video recorders. The patent, which lists Time Warner Cable principal architect Charles Hasek as the inventor, details how the nation's second largest cable MSO may be able prevent viewers from skipping TV commercials contained in programs stored on physical DVRs it deploys in subscriber homes, network-based DVRs and even recording devices subscribers purchase at retail outlets."
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Time Warner Cable Patents Method For Disabling Fast-Forward Function On DVRs

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  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:43PM (#40392271) Homepage
    At least the damage will be restricted to one company, albeit a major one.
      • by durrr (1316311) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:54PM (#40392375)

        For those who don't want to read technical details it can be summarized like this: Time Warner patents yet another "Method to create disincentives to honest buyers and drive people into piracy"

        I'm sure it will be a great sucess and useful as yet another argument why pirates kill their business.

        • by PKFC (580410)

          Can't this be a good thing? Because implementing the same system in other TV service would need licensing which would be money which would be skippable then. Time Warner customers are boned, but hey, better for the rest of us

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by kurkosdr (2378710)
            "Because implementing the same system in other TV service would need licensing which would be money which would be skippable then. Time Warner customers are boned, but hey, better for the rest of us" Tee hee... This is where the DMCA comes to play: Are you a company that makes DVRs/DVD recorders, and want your DVRs/DVD recorders to be able to work with Time Warner cable cards? We have a little contract you must sign. If you go ahead and provide compatibility with Time Warner cable cards without Time Warner
        • by skine (1524819) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:19PM (#40393163)

          Their business is showing advertisements to as many people as possible.

          Entertainment is only the method they use.

          • by tompaulco (629533) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:40PM (#40393831) Homepage Journal
            Their business is showing advertisements to as many people as possible. Entertainment is only the method they use.
            The networks business model is showing advertisements to customers. The cable companies business model is providing content to customers. We pay them to give us content without commercials, otherwise we could just get an antenna.
            • by Rakarra (112805)

              The networks business model is showing advertisements to customers. The cable companies business model is providing content to customers. We pay them to give us content without commercials, otherwise we could just get an antenna.

              As Netflix has found, the middle-men (Netflix, Time Warner, Cox, DirectTV) are not the ones who hold the cards and can dictate terms. It's the content owners.

              There is a general "war on advertising" going on now -- no one wants to watch advertising. Everyone hates it. They hate the flashing banner ads on websites. They hate the unskipable commercials on Youtube and Hulu. But they want to watch things for free. But the content requires advertising to pay for it. You think your cable bill pays the costs of sho

          • by sound+vision (884283) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:45PM (#40393875) Journal
            Well no, their business isn't solely ads. They also collect subscription fees, so some of the money actually does come from people paying for entertainment.
            That being said ... it'd be interesting to find out what proportion of their money comes from subscribers, and what comes from advertisers.
        • Quick! Someone come up with a patent for disabling Time-Warner's method for disabling fast-forward function on DVRs!
        • by Idbar (1034346)
          On the bright side: Dish can now say they don't want to pay royalties for this, and therefore, allow their customers to bypass it (which is what they were offering).

          Furthermore, now we'll be expecting a patent of a method for overriding fast-forward disabling methods. I guess there's a new loop-hole on the patent system. The multiple negation method.
        • by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:55PM (#40394347) Journal

          For those who don't want to read technical details it can be summarized like this: Time Warner patents yet another "Method to create disincentives to honest buyers and drive people into piracy"

          I'm sure it will be a great sucess and useful as yet another argument why pirates kill their business.

          Piracy is copying copyrighted content with the intent of making a profit. If one copies such content for their own pleasure but not profit, then it's just... copying. There is such a nice word for it, why not use it? Let me repeat: copying.

        • by ormico (1226940) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @12:20AM (#40394463)

          I can't help thinking this is beating a dead horse. Isn't it fair to say that the market is moving away from DVRs and towards streaming on demand.

          I used to have a Tivo. And then when I had Dish for a year, I had their DVR, but that was years ago. We dropped Cable TV and kept Cabled Internet. We watch everything we care about on Netflix or Amazon over our XBox or one one of our laptops.

          I know not everyone does that, but it seems to be the way things are headed.

          Making DVRs less useful is just going to drive that trend quicker.

          • by omnichad (1198475)

            Except it's not quite working. Have you noticed how many new shows are getting cancelled without getting a real chance? It's probably in part because the target audience has already planned to wait and see if it makes it to a full season or gets renewed for a second season before planning to watch it on Netflix in 2 years.

        • by crazyjj (2598719) *

          Actually, I imagine it will create an incentive for people to leave Time Warner. And the best part is that, since Time Warner has patented it, you can be guaranteed fast-forward everywhere else.

    • by Zuriel (1760072) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:18PM (#40392547)
      You're overlooking the other major upside to this patent: technical details will be available to MythTV's developers and added to the commercial skipper.
      • On the other hand, it's Time Warner...possibly the absolute WORST cable company for a mythtv user since they have a corporate wide policy of marking every channel copy one or copy never instead of copy free. That means they system is absolutely useless with a cablecard, so your only option in myth is to get mutliple HDPVRs and multiple cable boxes. Expensive, inelegant, and a PITA. No thanks.

    • lol... no... they'll just license it to all of the other cable companies.
    • by Denogh (2024280)

      At least the damage will be restricted to one company, albeit a major one.

      No, this just means one company will make bank licensing the method to other companies.

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:58PM (#40392967) Homepage Journal

      You really think so? You are sadly mistaken, as others will license it too. Its not like it comes out of their pocket, they just pass the cost along down to your bill.

    • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @07:39AM (#40396447) Journal

      The first commercial break I can't fast forward through, will be the commercial break I use to call Time Warner and inform them that they are fired, and that they need to come pack up their shitty DVR and GTFO.

      Seriously, their DVR is practically unusable as it is. This new "feature" will completely defeat the purpose of using it versus using some antique like a VCR.

  • by __Paul__ (1570) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:45PM (#40392291) Homepage

    ...and I'll make sure to avoid any device that lists it in its manual.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Unless you are buying cable headend equipment, don't expect to see it listed in anything you buy.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Side note: My Antenna TV is free. :-)

      Buying devices w/o TW's feature won't help to defeat it. If the patent works as well as it claims, it operates similar to Macrovision by deliberately introducing video errors. With Macrovision the errors prevented analog copying, and with TW's new patent the errors prevent playback at any speed faster than 1.

      Of course these digital errors won't harm my Super VHS at all.
      Being analog it ignores all digital trickery/flags.

      • how I'd approach this: use their data of when commercials appear as hints for me to pause (literally or just marker id's in a file) and resume recording.

        of course all your branded dvr's that do work digitally can be mucked with, but anything we have on our own (myth) can actually benefit from your 'a commercial or must-watch thing comes..... NOW' markers.

        bring them on. anything that helps us delimit commercials is welcome!

        cheers

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Disabling the fast-forward function on a DVR would likely spark a backlash from subscribers, and make it more difficult for Time Warner Cable to compete with DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and other multichannel providers that distribute DVRs that allow subscribers to skip commercials.

    So... You're ROCKSTAR PR department lets THIS part slip but... I'm lost.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      the only appropriate response to time warner cable is FUCK YOU. some of us will be saying it with our money, but it would be nice to see someone get this point across in some tangible way.
      • If enough people got on-board, tweeting about it might help. Time Warner pays attention to it and, frankly, they do NOT want to be a trend.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My thinking was "Time Warner Patents Method Of Quickly Losing Cable Subscribers."

      But I think we're on the same idea

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Yeah, this is one DVR patent I can't imagine Dish Network won't be shamelessly stealing, given they are currently being sued for *adding* a smart commercial skip feature to their DVRs...

      • by GIL_Dude (850471)
        But then again, maybe they will steal it - or license it. Can you just imagine a cable ad sales rep talking to a marketing person who is looking to place advertising? We can give you the standard service for $x. But, customers can skip those - and our studies show that your target market mostly skips them. For $2x, we can give you an unskippable ad that your target market will be forced to show. No skipping on those premium ads.
        • by Dahamma (304068)

          I wouldn't put it past Dish. Charlie Ergen is a devious bastard.

          It's sort of like AT&T's fee for being listed in the phone book.

          $0.35 / month for basic phone book listing.
          $.0.50 / month for an unlisted number.

          Just try convincing a customer support rep you don't want either of those services...

    • by Cylix (55374)

      Backlash?

      They have been doing this with the dct dvr's they lease to subscribers for quite a while. The motorola dct 34xx and 64xx are quite capable of 30 second skip and it was an awesome feature that just wasn't. However, it wasn't exactly clever since they simply unmapped the button from the remote.

      Since the remote itself is just a universal rebadge it's quite easy to restore the functionality.

      The real sham was disabling the firewall port on their units. My MythTV unit was perfectly happy to ingest and co

  • Next (Score:5, Funny)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:47PM (#40392313) Homepage
    Next they'll be patenting eye clamps so you can't shut your eyes and a tongue strap so you can't go "la la la la la" during the commercials.

    Peole.Do.Not.Want.To.Watch.Ads.

    Find another way to make money, you morons.
    • by PNutts (199112)

      Find another way to make money, you morons.

      OK. They just doubled your rate and moved everything except goverment / religious to premium tiers.

      • Find another way to make money, you morons.

        OK. They just doubled your rate and moved everything except goverment / religious to premium tiers.

        Good! Advertising is a disgusting, sleazy thing in all forms.

      • Re:Next (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:11PM (#40392489)

        already they have doubled rates (at some point, they were half, right?) and yet we still have crap on the networks.

        so, your theory is BS. no matter how much we'd pay, they would STILL want to dip further into ad money. movies were once ad-free and pay-tv was once ad-free. none of that is, anymore.

        I have zero hope in people Doing The Right Thing(tm) when it comes to us paying and getting ad-free services. so, I pirate, you pirate we all pirate. its what they have forced us to do. their fault. fully their fault for the war on eyeballs and eardrums.

        they want war? they'll have it. and they'll lose.

        btw, someone said there was a DEC logo here. I didn't see it, as it turned out I had many images blocked. I went to an 'unblocked' browser and was amazed at how BAD slash was when unfiltered. running firefox with noscript and adlock and a hefty filter list, I had totally forgotton how BAD the raw internet had become. and so, there is yet another proof that if there is an opp. the farking bastards will seize any free space and try to put an ad up there.

        no more commercial tv, no more dvd's that have not been ripped and edited, no more unfiltered ad-laden internet. they WILL NOT GET MY EYEBALLS. fuckers!

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>already they have doubled rates (at some point, they were half, right?) and yet we still have crap on the networks.

          In the 90s cable was cheap (25-to-30 dollars) because channels were just airing reruns of broadcast television. Once they started producing original shows like Sliders, Stargate, Haven, Deadliest Catch, La Femme Nikita, The Closer (et cetera), they needed more money, and so the channels increased their per-home subscriber fee.

          The average used to be 30 cents and now it's about 70 ce

        • put sports / ESPN it is own pack / theme pack.

          The sports channels added to all to get cost at round the HBO level. Also you should be able to get a Sports only pack with out all of the general entertainment channels (ok some like WGN, TBS, TNT, and (NBC does use it's news channels for NHL playoffs and olympics but that is a limited time and not year round)

          also on a other note lots channels that few people watch like VH1 Classic, Centric, Cloo, Current TV, WE tv, and so on.

          I say have a sports pack (local rsn

      • I'd pay double the rate for no commercials.

    • by Ichijo (607641)

      Peole.Do.Not.Want.To.Watch.Ads.

      While that's mostly true (with the possible exception of the Superbowl commercials), some people consider watching ads to be preferable to the alternatives, such as paying for premium channels, or spending money on a DVR, or getting off the couch and walking out of the room when an ad comes on, or simply not watching television at all. If people disliked ads so much that they never watched them, then ad-supported television would quickly cease to exist.

      So "people do not want

      • Re:Next (Score:4, Interesting)

        by GrahamCox (741991) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:26PM (#40392611) Homepage
        None of those reasons you give add up to people wanting to watch ads. They add up to people being too lazy or whatever to NOT watch ads. That's different.

        If ads were creative and amusing, even occasionally, they might be worth watching, but I am sick of being shouted at for the ten millionth time to go to the perpetual sale at the nearest furniture and electronics good emporium. Give it a rest.

        I would actually prefer to pay-per-view at a rate that reflected the true cost or value of the delivered content as long as it were ad free. I recognise that it costs money to make programming and that the companies involved in its production and delivery have a right to make a reasonable profit. I just despise the way they do it by being subsidised by advertising. It's intrusive and aggressive, and frankly, I do not want it force-fed into my own home where otherwise a little bit of relief from the relentless commercialism of our age can be found.

        Once apps come to Apple TV and similar devices, channels will be just another app, and this whole model will come tumbling down.
    • by cruff (171569)

      Next they'll be patenting eye clamps so you can't shut your eyes and a tongue strap so you can't go "la la la la la" during the commercials.

      Sounds like the aversion therapy used in Clockwork Orange to me.

      • by GrahamCox (741991)
        Sounds like the aversion therapy used in Clockwork Orange to me.

        Yes. Thank god there's "prior art" so that they can't patent it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't think most people mind a few ads. Its just that the sheer quantity of ads has been increasing dramatically. Back in 1966, Star Trek (TOS) had approximately 8 minutes of commercials per hour. In 2004, episodes of Star Trek Enterprise had jumped to over 22 minutes of commercials per hour. That's almost tripled in less than 40 years. www.waynesthisandthat.com/commerciallength.htm

      If you take into account in show product placement this inflates to 43+ minutes per hour for some shows (Hell's Kitchen). ww

    • You forgot to mention the automatic restraint which prevents you from getting up and going to the bathroom or into the kitchen to get a snack while the ads are being shown.
    • I think the best way to deal with this issue is to tie ads directly into the show - very much like they used to with older shows. Character A comes home, opens the refrigerator, pulls out a bottle of Coke and takes a long drink. "Crisp and refreshing!" It's part of the show, can't really skip it, and producers / advertisers can find all kinds of clever ways to get their product into the show.

      There's a couple problems with this model though. Once the show is produced you can't change the advertising - you'd

  • by fish waffle (179067) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:48PM (#40392319)
    They forgot to patent "driving legitimate users to bittorrent through adding techniques designed to irritate paying customers".

    But I suppose there's lots of prior art there.
    • by Phrogman (80473) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:58PM (#40392403) Homepage

      Yeah, every move they make in this industry just seems to point out that a bittorrented version of whatever it is you are watching is preferable to the commercial product.
      When the industry gets it right - say with Netflix (or the new BBC app my wife is using on her iPad), people are perfectly willing to pay for the service. When they get it wrong with crap like this, people will not be willing to just bend over and take it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:49PM (#40392323)

    Half the time I forget I'm watching recorded TV and forget to fast forward through the commercials anyhow. This is one more reason to cut the cable and look at alternative entertainment solutions.

  • by DesertBlade (741219) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:51PM (#40392341)
    Doesn't Time Warner control the software on their DVRs? Can't they just disable that feature? It seems impossible to disable FF feature on all the different types of DVRs out there (like MythTV) through some magical embedded code. It must be some feature of the codec.
  • in lay terms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mug funky (910186) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:54PM (#40392369)

    this munges up the keyframes (I frames) in a stream when it detects a cue embedded by the network (ADS START HERE!!1!). therefore, if a device is designed to fast-forward by skipping over the predicted (P and B) frames, it cannot do this as it can't find the I frames needed to display anything at all.

    this will fail on sane devices because fast-forward is usually implemented as skipping just the B-frames (that are predicted off both I and P frames), while decoding the I frames and P frames.

    this will further fail because MPEG-2 decoders are fast enough that they can decode the stream in it's entirety fast enough for a practical fast-forward (my 5 yo computer can do it on CPU only, 1 core only at about 200fps).

    this will fail even further because a trivial firmware hack could detect this "cue tone" and skip the ads _entirely_. they're basically implanting a trivially readable signal that usefully tells us what are the ads and what is the show.

    • by mug funky (910186)

      oh, also, prior art out the whazoo. DVDs have PUOs, standardized before 1998. VHS tapes had index marks. all pro tape formats had all manner of cue formats.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Prior art just means those methods of signalling the trickplay restricted region aren't patentable - but that's not really the patent, it's about a NDVR protocol design and dynamically reprocessing I frames (in two fairly separate sections, which I find bizarre... seems like this should have been 2 patents since it's achieving a similar goal in two *completely* different implementations...)

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      this will further fail because MPEG-2 decoders are fast enough that they can decode the stream in it's entirety fast enough for a practical fast-forward (my 5 yo computer can do it on CPU only, 1 core only at about 200fps).

      But most DVRs out there (which is the way the vast majority watches TV, not on a computer) use SoC's with dedicated HW decoders that only have to be fast enough to do what they were designed to do. I have been able to get a (relatively high end) BRCM SoC to about 2-3x FF using all frames with HD, and even smooth 1x RW for SD (which is a cool thing when you realize what it takes to do, and is kinda fun to watch as well :) And most services have converted to H.264 for all of their HD, anyway.

      this will fail even further because a trivial firmware hack could detect this "cue tone" and skip the ads _entirely_. they're basically implanting a trivially readable signal that usefully tells us what are the ads and what is the show.

      I'm sure the s

    • Re:in lay terms (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pipedwho (1174327) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:01PM (#40393003)

      As obvious it seems to be able to work around this, it still irks me that somehow this method was considered non-obvious and novel by the patent office and granted patent protection.

      The point of patents is theoretically to advance the state of the art. This type of patent is in no way clever, or anything that couldn't have been thought up by anyone working in that field (and by quite a few people not skilled in the field of video compression and transport). Yes, I agree that in detail it may not "have been done before" and thus not subject to prior art, but the "obviousness" clause is meant to protect the patent pool from accumulating with patents that do nothing but hinder progress. ie. If a patent doesn't provide useful non-obvious information (or information that wouldn't naturally be derived with a trivial amount of calculation or tinkering), then allowing it to be used to extort others that come up with a similar or the same concepts can only harm an industry as a whole.

      That being said, I'm pretty sure there isn't a single person on Slashdot who wouldn't celebrate any injunctory action taken by the holder of this particular patent. But, IMO, the patent should have never been granted in the first place. (Which is also true for far too many patents that are granted these days.)

    • At which point they will declare such hacks violations of terms of service, and upon detection take further action (banning, service charges, etc). Yay arms race!
  • Once again an article from The Onion accurately predicts the future, because this is clearly going to be the next development after Time/Warner successfully eliminates fast-forward: http://www.theonion.com/articles/advertising-firm-unveils-new-muteresistant-commerc,6667/ [theonion.com]
  • by identity0 (77976) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @07:55PM (#40392379) Journal

    At first I was surprised that there was a new posting with the DEC logo [wikipedia.org], but then it turns out it's a newbie who doesn't know what the symbol means.

    It's summer, it's endless summer...

    Let us start a discussion of VAX and Alpha to compensate.

    • It's summer, it's endless summer...

      It's September, it's eternal September...

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:50PM (#40392881)

      I thought slashdot inserted those logos automatically when you typed digital" as a keyword? And speaking of newbies:

      >>>It's summer, it's endless summer...

      It's called Endless September not summer. The term "september" refers to the point when a bunch of college kids got internet accounts, and started spamming a bunch of messages to Usenet forums w/o regard to polite netiquette. The summertime used to be a haven from all the college kids (since they were home w/o a connection).

      The "eternal" refers to when people started getting internet at home. Then it was as if September never ended... a continuous supply of clueless newbies.

      • by identity0 (77976)

        True enough, that's what the original old-timer lament was when the university was the main source of new internet users.

        The 'endless summer' comes from newer generations of net users and forums where the influx is in summer from all the kids on vacation spending their time online instead of school.

      • by nabsltd (1313397) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @01:08AM (#40394709)

        The term "september" refers to the point when a bunch of college kids got internet accounts, and started spamming a bunch of messages to Usenet forums w/o regard to polite netiquette. The summertime used to be a haven from all the college kids (since they were home w/o a connection).

        September, by itself, referred only to new college students, not all of them, since they were pretty much the vast majority of USENET users. After a semester or so, thing settled down, so January-August weren't bad.

        The "eternal" refers to when people started getting internet at home. Then it was as if September never ended... a continuous supply of clueless newbies.

        No, eternal September [wikipedia.org] specifically refers to when AOL started bridging their discussion system to USENET groups.

  • Why there is a logo of that famous HP-owned company in this article?

    • Why there is a logo of that famous HP-owned company in this article?

      They are both IPC [wikipedia.org] members?

  • by cffrost (885375)

    What's with the DEC logo?

  • d|i|g|i|t|a|l (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sdo1 (213835) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:02PM (#40392437) Journal

    I do not think d|i|g|i|t|a|l means what you think it means...

  • 1- no fast-forwarding ads, check
    2- no ability to watch recorded stuff on a different terminal, check
    3- obnoxious ads *during* the program, check
    4- unability to watch the *free* stuff if you're not in the US, check

    Half of those I could do with a VCR, and *keep* the shows for repeat viewings.

    Next, they'll be wondering why people pirate stuff.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:27PM (#40392625)

    Don't like their business practices? Stop giving them money.

    • Don't like their business practices? Stop giving them money.

      Yeah, that's way better than raising holy hell about it now to discourage them from even trying it.

  • by matunos (1587263) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @08:29PM (#40392649)

    "Device to Keep Me From Using a Time-Warner DVR"

  • I dropped my AT&T Uverse TV subscription and I have not looked back. I don't have to worry about dropped I frames because I don't have a DVR anymore. I don't have to worry about if I can fast forward through commercials or not because there isn't any to fast forward through.
  • Funny, my .avi files still fast forward perfectly. Of course, I have no commercials to worry about, but the option's still there.

  • by ichthus (72442) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @09:27PM (#40393241) Homepage
    Assuming this is a signal that's embedded in the content during commercials, monitoring this will make it even easier for software to remove the commercials during/after recording. Thanks guys!
  • Luckily for me, I still have one of those super-high-tech devices that allows me to fast forward, rewind, or whatever else I feel like doing with my recorded programs

    It's called a fucking V.C.R.

    It's a little pathetic when 1980s tech has better features than "cutting edge" stuff, 30+ years later. (OK, so strictly speaking, VCR is mid-70's tech, but as a child of the 80s, I consider the VCR an integral part of my childhood.)

  • Let's see, the DVR they are talking about is software on their computers, and all they are "disabling" is access to that function. something that has been around computers since the OS's went multiuser.

    Even if they put it some way to disable Hardware DVR's, all that amounts to is a software switch that disables it or not.

    Much like Hollywood regurgitating old movies (and some not that old) into new movies, the Corporations are trying to get new Patents because stuff is done in software now, not hardware.

    I

  • Why the hell are they calling "fast forward" a "trick mode"?

  • Why is it if I tamper with the workings of my cable box or cable company's DVR that is a violation of the DMCA but if the cable company tampers with mine, it is okay?

  • by kawabago (551139) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:32PM (#40393777)
    No wonder their business model is in trouble. I think I'll patent not letting customers leave the restaurant until they've eaten their vegetables.
  • by Smiddi (1241326)
    Are they nuts? They should be putting time and effort into technology that will KEEP their existing customers not investing in technology that will push their customers away. Blame Pirate Bay, torrents, pirates, etc all they want, at the end of the day THEY really are their own worst enemy.

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