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Calling Out TiVo

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the here-comes-the-rockets dept.

Television 372

ephraim writes "Forbes has an article by John C. Dvorak which summarizes the TiVo and similar devices as follows: "It's a way to steal programming." He justifies this remark by claiming that the main purpose of a TiVo is to "skip commercials" that pay for TV content. He also seems upset that people can use these devices to record content onto a hard drive without paying royalties to the content companies. Never mind the fact that the article has numerous factual errors (Dvorak claims that TiVo systems cost $500 and implies that the systems are difficult to use; he also makes a ridiculous comparison between MP3 file-sharing and TiVo). This guy seems to never have heard of the Betamax court case which legitimized time-shifting. "

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Whatever. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#283709)

Who gives a shit about TiVo seriously? Come on now, really if this was "Beergut: News for Couch Potatoes" maybe this would be on topic.

Where's the contract? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#283710)

I paid for my TV. I pay a monthly fee to receive cable. At no time did I sign an agreement promising that I would watch the commercials that are on during my show. So where does it say I have an obligation of any kind? Get it through your head: I do not exist solely to watch your commercials and buy your products. If you want me to buy something, make a quality product and don't try to rape your customers for it.

TiVo & broadband? (3)

abischof (255) | more than 13 years ago | (#283715)

I soon plan on discontinuing my Verizon service. And, I would like to buy a TiVO, but I realize that it requires a phone connection. So.. is there any way to get a TiVo that can make use of Ethernet, such as from my DSL? I mean, it's not like I don't have 'net access -- it's just not via the local monopoly.

Through Google, I did run across a TiVo Ethernet [] project, but I'd like some way to get those results without hacking up my TiVo -- I just want it to work!

Alex Bischoff

Boo fucking hoo. (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#283716)

Technology changes.

Find a new way to advertise.

Dvorak's a whiner.

- A.P.

Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

Re:Yeah, when will the networks notice? (3)

AxelBoldt (1490) | more than 13 years ago | (#283724)

All those big time investors are in there to make sure that Tivo doesn't get a commercial-skip button (which it doesn't have). They are scared.

I hope that soon somebody comes out with a Tivo-like device which skips all the program downloading crap and just gives us what we want: commercial skipping.

I guess for now all we are left with are VCR's that can edit out commercials.


TV advertising is insulting (3)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#283727)

"It's a way to steal programming." He justifies this remark by claiming that the main purpose of a TiVo is to "skip commercials" that pay for TV content.

Well maybe the TV companies need to find a better way of raising money. I'm sick of the constant barrage of crap, ignorant advertising. Either they think I'm very stupid, or the majority that they are targetting is very stupid... I'm hoping it's the former. If it's the latter, then the standard of advertising is a very worrying statement about society. Whatever, I don't watch "normal" television anymore, and part of that is due to the barrage of commercial shit.

In recent years I've lived in Britain, Canada and the US. The highest quality television in these countries was on channels that raised their money via other means.

Re:Typical Dvorak (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 13 years ago | (#283728)

Perhaps in the long run that's how we'll justify skipping commercials...if we want to see the show "as it is being broadcast", then the price we pay is commercials. If we choose to wait some period of time, then we get to skip them.

Ok, but with a TiVo, the required timeshift is five or ten minutes, instead of having to wait until the show is over....

(Not that I think that this is "stealing".)


DAldredge (2353) | more than 13 years ago | (#283730)

It's only US $10.00! That is not a lot of money...

It's not vaporware.. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 13 years ago | (#283731)

It's not vaporware...You can buy it. But it does have bugs and it does lose recording time...

People pay do for TV (1)

freddie (2935) | more than 13 years ago | (#283733)

Because TV content is payed for by ads doesn't mean it's free, it means you're paying for it with everything else you buy.

Is it fair that people who never watch TV (like me for example) have to pay for others' TV shows?

I very much welcome the introduction of devices like TiVo. Sneaking in hidden fees, and giving the illusion of getting TV for free, when it never really was, has been unethical from the beginning.

Ideally if enough people used these devices, we would see TV move to a pay-per-view model for new shows, and old shows for free. This means TV could become some kind of real entertainment instead of a means of getting people to watch commercials.

Just use this (1)

Phil Wilkins (5921) | more than 13 years ago | (#283744)

One that could read TV Guide would be cool...

...I mean, like, where else is it going to get the listings from?

Who's losing money? (1)

ApheX (6133) | more than 13 years ago | (#283745)

Tell me how TV stations are losing money.

a) Compared to TVs in the nation, there aren't that many TiVo's at all.

b) The advertisement will STILL play on that station at the specified time regardless of if you have TIVO. Having the TiVo just means you won't have to sit through it.

c) Doesnt dumbass Dvorak know that there have been VCRs with this technology around for years, before the advent of the hard drive. And you can simply put this on your PC using any VCR and VideoIN on your VCR.

Maybe he thinks we should pay for our television.. wait a minute, most of us ALREADY DO (pay too much). Anyone that has Cable or Satellite is paying for their TV usage (albiet going to DirecTV or your local cable provider, they could kick some profit over too the stations.

I'm sorry but in my personal opinion, Mr. Dvorak i an old fart with old ideas. He says stuff that will piss people off just so people will actually read his boring column.

Move on Dvorak, you stupid old fart, move on..

So it screws the networks. So what? (2)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 13 years ago | (#283747)

Of all the people who deserve to be given
the squeeze in this economy, television
networks have got to rank in the top.

Not to be too technical... (1)

PhilosopherKing (7890) | more than 13 years ago | (#283749)

but John C. Dvorak has consitantly been a poop-head. But of course that's just my informed opinion of his uninforming opinions.

Re:Dvorak is losing it (1)

Mike Bridge (8663) | more than 13 years ago | (#283751)

Tivo is making it harder to skip commercials and is inserting some of their own. Replay has a "skip ahead 30 seconds", while TiVo does not
uhm, you got that flipped around. replaytv inserted their own ads over pause screens (but has since stopped doing that), TiVo has never (and says they will never). and TiVo 1.2 and 1.3 software does have a 30 second skip functionality (changes the 'skip to live' button, check out the forums at [] for how to activate it) and 2.0 probably does also, just nobody's figured out how to activate it. the article you mention is misleading (very much like the privacy foundation report about tivo) in that it simplies implies that TiVo could be doing this in the future, without any evidence to back that they will (like saying "if you go outside, and run across the street, lightning will hit you, a plane will crash on you, and then a poodle will pee on your remains", it COULD happen, but the likelyhood is so insignificant....). not that anybody would believe it, but the president of TiVo has stated numerous times that the company will NEVER have any 'in your face' advertising. food for thought.

Re:TiVo & broadband? (1)

Mike Bridge (8663) | more than 13 years ago | (#283752)

So.. is there any way to get a TiVo that can make use of Ethernet, such as from my DSL
I'd like some way to get those results without hacking up my TiVo -- I just want it to work!

you want a TiVo to have functionality it does not, without hacking it? i wouldn't hold your breath. go for the TiVoNet kit, lots of people have install'em and they work fine. hop on over to the Underground forums at [] to get more info.

Not the first time (1)

MaxwellsSilverHammer (10318) | more than 13 years ago | (#283755)

Dvorhack has shown himself to be ill-informed and inaccurate.

Re:Silliness (1)

MaxwellsSilverHammer (10318) | more than 13 years ago | (#283756)

Oh, crap...

That was -supposed- to read:

"Using 'intellectual' and 'TV' in the same sentence without them being mutually exclusive!!"

I -did- preview, just didn't parse for content.

Re:dvoraks head (1)

MaxwellsSilverHammer (10318) | more than 13 years ago | (#283757)

E. All of the above.

Re:Silliness (2)

lnevo (10937) | more than 13 years ago | (#283761)

Cause TiVo isn't charging you for the video recording you can do that without getting an account. Its charging you for compiling all the programming guide information and letting you dial up and download it every day. I don't have satellite or digital cable yet, so to not have to sit through the TV guide channel waiting, its definitely worth $10, and then to have it auto-record all my shows...thats worth alot more than the $300 I paid for my TiVo (with $200 in rebates) a far cry from $500!!

One of the best purchases I've ever made.

argh! (1)

RAruler (11862) | more than 13 years ago | (#283765)

This pisses me off to no end, a journalistic hack finds someway to show corporate America that he is on their side. 'lest he should have individual thoughts for himself, this guy like many others has deemed technology bad, as it deprives money from corporations who have a hard time spending the money they already have, and the fact that it is complex. It'd be different if he outlined the pros and cons, but who needs to enlighten the people when you can whip them into a frenzy.


Re:Silliness (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#283767)

n top of that, both UltimateTV and TiVo charge customers $10 a month to use the device. None of that money goes to the networks or programmers whose material is being re-recorded and saved to the hard disk.

I wonder if Panasonic (maker of my VCR) and the makers of my no-name VCR tapes send cheques to NBC and FOX?

Well do Panasonic et al charge you a monthly recurring fee for the use of their devices which you've purchased off a store's shelf? No. Why should TIVO etc be any different in that regard? Pure greed... worse than any of the networks, being that they've never charged me a single dime to watch a show...

Re:It's true, it's true (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#283768)

Hmmmmm... maybe you're onto something? If we all (say, 100 million US citizens, just for the sake of math) ditch the networks and go with Tivo, they'ed stand to earn:

$120,000,000,000 a year... I don't think the entire entertainment industry brings (music, TV, film, sports) in that much per year, let alone TV by itself.

Somehow the math doesn't work that they can sell a little box with a hard drive in it, and charge $10 a month for the priveldge of it's use... looking at the size of their potential audience, etc... they need to completely forget the monthly fees, and just figure on a continuous upgrade cycle in sync with whatever one of those laws permits hard drive capacity to quintuple year after year....

Re:John C. Dvorak... he lost it (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#283769)

I loved pointcast! So did my boss and everyone else at work at the time - what was it? 1997 or so? maybe 98?... anyways, we killed our network traffic and had to abandon it. Too bad, these days with cable modems and stuff, it'd be a great product for the home office... (i doubt corporates will ever let that beast near their networks again. at least not until 1000Base-T is the norm)

Re:dvoraks head (1)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | more than 13 years ago | (#283773)

D: Trying to stir up page-hits.

Sweet! (1)

An Ominous Coward (13324) | more than 13 years ago | (#283774)

Hey, a troll made it to the frontpage! Wait a minute...

Who got robbed? (3)

HardCase (14757) | more than 13 years ago | (#283778)

Without conceding the point to Dvorak, my question would be this:

If skipping the commercials is equivalent to stealing the broadcast, from whom was it stolen? Was it stolen from the advertiser who paid for the commercial time? Was it stolen from the broadcaster who based the advertising rates on the number of viewers watching the show? Who gets the money?

Let me pose another question. There are a few Tivo-type devices on the market that only record from DirecTV broadcasts. Consider this (admittedly narrowly focused) situation:

I've paid DirecTV an extra amount so that I can watch my local channels on the satellite dish. In other words, I'm paying a premium for a service that others get for free. Should I then be allowed to skip the commercials because I'm already paying extra?

Let me also suggest that Dvorak is making a mountain out of a molehill...or maybe even out of nothing. Tivo is a dying company, as far as I can tell, and the number of people who use the systems are very small and growing at a very sluggish rate. I suspect that given the slow rate of growth and the cost (while less than Dvorak's quoted $500, still a little spendy), other technologies will overtake Tivo before enough of them are purchased to really worry anybody.


Typical Dvorak (5)

HardCase (14757) | more than 13 years ago | (#283779)

I suppose that this is going to turn out to be a flame on John Dvorak. I apologize in advance.

John Dvorak typically writes his pieces for people who think that they're "digerati" when, in fact, they're really just the same sort of folks who, a few years ago, would buy a component stereo system from Radio Shack and call themselves "audiophiles".

Nothing against those people, though, but I think that Dvorak does them a disservice by trying to make news instead of commenting on it.

I don't see much of a difference between using a Tivo device to eliminate commercials and using a VCR to do the same thing. Both involve some sort of time shifting. In order to miss the commercials, you give up some degree of timliness in your viewing habits.

Perhaps in the long run that's how we'll justify skipping commercials...if we want to see the show "as it is being broadcast", then the price we pay is commercials. If we choose to wait some period of time, then we get to skip them.

I think, though, that Dvorak's claims of theft fall apart when you realize that a Tivo fits the idea of "personal use" even better than a video can always give a video tape of a program to somebody else, thus potentially opening a can of copyright worms, but who's going to record a few episodes of Survivor and then turn over their (much less than $500) Tivo? That's what I thought.


NOT a natural right (5)

Mike Schiraldi (18296) | more than 13 years ago | (#283788)

Since when did it become the right of a broadcaster or provider of any other kind of content to require me to watch their commercials? I don't remember signing any license agreement.

As people have said, what if i watch the commercials but don't run out and buy the products? Am i stealing? After all, i'm leeching off the guy down the block who zips out and buys the Jif peanut butter he saw being advertised. Without people like him, there could be no content, after all!

So, um, if it's the right of content producers to force viewers to do stuff that gets them money, and anyone who doesn't do that is stealing, i have this to say:

Send me $10!

There. I rely on people like you to send me ten bucks -- without which, i would not be able to continue publishing content on Slashdot. If you don't like it, don't read my comments. But if you read my comments without sending me money, you're no more than a common criminal.

And anyone who skips over my comments either manually or through technology is like a Tivo user skipping commercials. In other words, uh, a criminal. It seems.


Ummmm ... another word (2)

LL (20038) | more than 13 years ago | (#283791)

Perhaps a less emotionally laden phrase would be cherry picking? TV production is a very very long chain of events from the script writerrs to the actors to the distribution. Basically baby-boomer execs are trying to guess at shows that will appeal from kids to granniess (of course their kids and grannies). Naturally, this means that you get the odd dud or million (if you think US is bad look at C grades in 3rd world countries). Now being the pragmatic capitalists the studios are, they like to pass off the sunk costs of failures onto the consumer (shock, horror, you don't expect their shareholders to take the risk do you?) so that means that when they offer a good show, they suggest (OK arm-twist) the distributor to also take some crappy failure. Now given finite bandwidth and cable connections, you have to squeeze as much ad revenue out of the system as possible which means that Tivo which puts the slection back onto the consumer bypasses the crud. Hence by picking the killer-franchises, the cross-subsidies become rather glaringly obvious. Problem, quality costs which is why cheap reality-TV is being pushed. A small niche outfit can make a killing by being better targetted which means the biggies have to take it out to avoid losing a captive audience.

I think mainstream media is reaching the point of diminishing returns which is usually indicated by a wave of mergers and acqusitions. What I expect to see now is virtual actors replacing overpaid celluoid celebrities, more reliance on the public to provide their own material (which the studies kindly grant you a spotlight of 15 minutes fame), and more onerous licensing terms as they try to improve their return on footage by flogging anything and everything (cough*Planet Hollywood*cough) starting with reputation (cough*WWF*cough) and morals (though some might claim that was lost long ago).

Stealing is a bit harsh but the reality is that people don't (or more accurately) can't pay $1K to watch a hour of quality production. Street theatre, OK but there's not the same variety of choice unless you live in a big big city.


Yeah, when will the networks notice? (5)

JohnZed (20191) | more than 13 years ago | (#283792)

I love Dvorak's comment that networks haven't gotten mad yet simply because they haven't taken notice of TiVo yet.

Gee, well, let's look at the list of equity investors in TiVo, inc [] : CBS, AOL-Time Warner, Comcast, Liberty Media, Discovery communications, Showtime Networks, Disney, and NBC. So, gee, guess Dvorak believes either (a) NBC, CBS and friends don't count as "major networks", or (b) they invested in TiVo without having even a vague clue as to what the company would produce.

Good research, Dvorak! And you get paid for this crap?

Re:Silliness (1)

cancrman (24472) | more than 13 years ago | (#283795)

The networks do not pay TV guide for the listings. BTW TV Guide is one of the highest circulation publications in the country. Only Readers Digest and Modern Maturity have more readers.

Finally being a media planner pays off!


Re:John C. Dvorak... he lost it (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 13 years ago | (#283797)

He used to hit the nail on the head.

I remember back when that was true, but as I recall, there was as many misses as hits. I first heard about DVD, MP3 and nickel-hydride batteries from his columns years before they became widely known, but if I recall correctly he also thought that push technology was going to become the next big thing. (anyone remember pointcast?)

Re:John C. Dvorak... he lost it (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 13 years ago | (#283798)

I like it too, even with my dialup connection. The only problem was the most of the channels I subscribed to only included a few paragraphs of a story and a link to the full story on their web site, which defeated the whole purpose.

Re:TiVo & broadband? (1)

Spoons (26950) | more than 13 years ago | (#283800)

Here [] is what you are looking for I believe. It takes a little hacking to do it but you can make Tivo get it's internet connection from dsl or cable without dialing up to their network. You are still using and paying for the Tivo service, but you are using your own internet connection not theirs.


Re:It's true, it's true (1)

suraklin (28841) | more than 13 years ago | (#283804)

TiVo should try to develop their technology (maybe use Linux in their boxes instead of Micro$oft?

What are you talking about? Tivo already uses Linux. You can even get the source for it. A little research goes a long way.

Funny but not accurate (2)

Rocketboy (32971) | more than 13 years ago | (#283810)

Mr. Dvorak's talent has always been more in the line of entertainment than accuracy, I believe. This sounds more like flamebait than reportage. Give it a laugh and go on with your lives; nothing to see here, folks, move along...

Re:I don't understand Tivo (1)

lart (33731) | more than 13 years ago | (#283811)

Says the gent who's never watched The Simpsons. That's what you get for watching Friend> and Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place.

Letter I sent to Forbes (1)

marcmerlin (48598) | more than 13 years ago | (#283832)

I am unfortunately used to journalists writing about technical subjects they
obviously know nothing about, but Mr John Dvorak has few excuses for this highly
subjective and incorrect article on personal video recorders.

1) I paid $200 for my Tivo, not $500 as claimed in the article (you could pay
$400 if you prepay the $10/m service charge, but the article mentions that
charge too, so it implies that you can expect to pay $500 +$10/month for a Tivo)
By the way, the $10/m covers automatic upgrades of my Tivo, which with a
VCR would require throwing it away, and buying a new one. My Dvorak also
conveniently fails to mention the work Tivo does to put the TV guides together
in a way that I can use them on my Tivo

2) The article repeatetly tries to blame Tivo for stealing TV stations by
allowing viewers to skip commercials
Never mind objectivism, Tivo is actually the one to not help users to skip
commercials (ReplayTV has a commercial skip button, Tivo only has a fast
forward, just like my VCR, and they refuse to support an automatic commercial
advance feature like my VCR does).
Furthermore, Tivo is actually the one company who's working with TV stations to
advertise their shows and make recording easier, so it's not in their interest
to tick them off

3) Ever heard of a VCR? We probably need to outlaw those too since they allow
unscrupulous watchers to, god forbid, not watch commercials

4) The attempted comparison with MP3s is beyond lame. PVRs have nothing to
do with MP3s, piracy or trading. That Mr Dvorak even tried to compare them
thankfully makes him look completely clueless and hopefully makes the whole
article look like something not very trustworthy.

5) My god, PVRs require a phone line. I guess we must stop using Pay per view
and satellite too then. Ok, UltimateTV apparently has a storage bug, well what
do you expect?
1) It comes from microsoft. 'Nuf said...
2) they tried to design and sell this device in a really short time in order to
give some competition to Tivo and ReplayTV/Sonicblue, and obviously, they didn't
get it right the first time.

If you're so desperate for content that you have to publish such rubish, I pity
you, I thought Forbes was a serious publication.

Re:TiVo is actually *good* for advertisors (2)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 13 years ago | (#283837)

What if they actually started embedding signals to demarcate the beginning and end of commercials, and the TiVo inserted targeted advertising from another source (downloaded in background) rather than playing "live" commercials?

But then they would probably make it so you can't skip over them, a la DVD commericals.

- - - - -

Re:TiVo & broadband? (1)

James_G (71902) | more than 13 years ago | (#283856)

Tivo has a serial interface through which you can update over your net connection with no opening of the case required. Read the howto here [] . (You'll need a Linux box or something you can establish a ppp session with over the serial line).

Who's worse: Dvorak or Katz? (1)

yesman (72063) | more than 13 years ago | (#283857)

I'd vote for Katz if only because he takes more space to say something stupid.

we all pay for ads (1)

yesman (72063) | more than 13 years ago | (#283858)

Ads may pay for "free" television, but this cost is ultimately billed to the consumer in the form of more expensive products.

Dvorak Haiku (2)

Controlio (78666) | more than 13 years ago | (#283868)

Dvorak is nuts -
He hates new technologies -
Someone smack him please.

What a bunch of BS... why not just make it illegal for me to leave the couch when a commercial comes on - because since I'm not watching the commercials, I must be stealing the programming.


Re:Silliness (1)

Hacksworth (81145) | more than 13 years ago | (#283870)

Yeah... the looming issue that has been ignored is that intellectual property is bunk

Nothing to do with Dvorack, but intellectual property is not bunk. If I think of or invent something, I deserve to have the rights to it. It's only fair.

Honestly, I don't see how it's any different than copyright, trademark, or even trade dress.

Re:It's true, it's true (1)

AndroSyn (89960) | more than 13 years ago | (#283883)

TiVo should try to develop their technology (maybe use Linux in their boxes instead of Micro$oft?) before they promote this thing to hell and can't follow through on their demands.

Sorry to inform you,but the TiVo does run Linux on it. Perhaps you missed all of the stuff on Slashdot about hacking the TiVo etc?

You can even look on TiVo's site about it. They have the source posted of their modifications to the Linux kernel, per the GPLs requirements...

Letter to Forbes: (2)

Space Cow (93479) | more than 13 years ago | (#283889)

Dvoraks article was so ignorant that I actually wrote and sent a letter to Forbes in response. Ok, so maybe it won't have any effect, but at least I can share it with you. Some of the ideas in the letter came from reading posts on Slashdot, so this letter is almost Open Source in a way:

Dear Forbes Magazine,

In regards to the recent commentary by John C. Dvorak "Commercial-Free Conundrum" (Dvorak Article [] ). Until I read this article, I thought that Forbes was a professional magazine that would stay away from crass tactics to draw readership. Yet, this appears to be exactly what is happening with Mr. Dvorak's article. To summarize the claims that Dvorak seems to be making in his article:

1. Making a personal copy of a TV show and time shifting it is inherently wrong.

"In many ways the device is similar to MP3 technology: It's a way to steal programming."

2. As a TV viewer, I am required to watch advertisements to watch the programming being broadcast.

"Is it any different to steal programming by skipping the commercials (which paid for the programs) than it is to download a song?"

3. "Someday, though, all the barriers may be resolved and every TV just might have these capabilities built in. Perhaps that's when someone will notice the looming issue over intellectual property that has been largely ignored until now."

Without drawing this out into a full blown debate, I would like a chance to respond to each of these points:

1. Since the Betamax decision, TV viewers everywhere have been copying and time shifting TV broadcast for personal use. The fact that PVR is a new technology doesn't change the nature of this use. In fact, using a Tivo it is impossible to make additional copies and give them to other people, something which VHS permits quite easily.

2. There is nothing requiring anyone to watch TV advertisements. I can mute an advertisement for a show, change the channel, or turn off the TV. If I am recording on VCR, I can hit pause until the commercial is over and resume recording when the show restarts.

3. When "every" TV has this feature built in, it will be no different than the situation today with TV/VCR combo units. Every TV built won't have this feature because it is an added cost, but I do think combo units will appear. Mr. Dvorak, you seem to imply that I am stealing something by not watching the advertisements for a particular show. I find this insulting and counter by asking you: Do you watch the advertisements when you watch TV? Or do you perhaps get up for a snack or a trip to the bathroom?

The PVR is clearly a slightly enhanced VCR with the added advantage from the point of view of the publishers that there is no media associated with it which can easily be traded (like a VHS cassette tape). The current PVR could just as easily been implemented using VHS and there are enhanced VCR devices with features similar to PVR devices.

I hope the above points make clear to you my frustration with this article. If Dvorak were addressing the potential issue that will arise when video of all types is easily traded over the internet (not the case with any of the devices he mentioned) then perhaps he would have an editorial with some ground to stand on. As it stands, his current article only serves to incite and draw the readership of people who are offended by his statements. This is why I am disturbed that his article appeared in Forbes. I did not previously believe that Forbes is the type of magazine that would print pure sensationalism for the purpose of drawing readership.

You claim that your company is "among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders." Please do something to reassure me that Forbes is the professional magazine I once believed it to be.

*** Personal Info Deleted ***

Re:Silliness (1)

stu72 (96650) | more than 13 years ago | (#283892)

I wish it wasn't true, but in Canada the makers of many kinds of blank media (cds/tapes, not sure about vhs) do charge a levy that supposedly goes to compensate for piracy.. Not sure who actually gets it though or how they know what one pirates..

Record. Reply. Repeat. (1)

Recluse (102971) | more than 13 years ago | (#283904)

Stepping out of the TiVo box for a moment -- if I record on my very own VHS (sorry, Beta fans...) VCR some television nonsense -- a sporting event that I had to work during, perchance -- and when I watch it later -- as I fast-forward through the commercials, am I being evil and anti-capitalistic and generally a menace to society by ignoring/avoiding/etc those wonderful advertisements that pay for the programming?

If I record a few hours of my favorite radio station for those long car rides out-of-town and no decent stations (everywhere in America has mainstream pop. Everywhere in America has mainstream country. Repeat for rock, jazz, whatever. Crap, is what it is, for the most part), and go over the tape to remove commercials, announcer ads, et al... when I listen to that tape, is the recording device at fault? Should it be banned, because I can avoid the ads?

If I configure Squid or whatnot to not accept anything coming from ads.doubleclick.whateverthehell, and equivalent places... ban all firewall software immediately! It can be used to (horror of horrors) filter unwanted pseudo-content. Dear Lord help us all.


Re:Silliness (2)

gvonk (107719) | more than 13 years ago | (#283913)

Besides that, sending money to the networks or programmers would be akin to making TV Guide pay to show their listings in their magazines... Or do they?

Matadors and gullible bulls... (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 13 years ago | (#283921)

So the matador waves around a red cape, bull gets angry and charges. Wheee! Watch the matador lead the bull around...
Every once in a while Dvorak or Moody write an article to bait the thousands of Slashdot readers. I won't even bother clicking the link because this is exactly what these people are hoping for.

Dvorak is losing it (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 13 years ago | (#283925)

Tivo has deals with all the major players. "Leading network programmers, including ABC, CBS, the Discovery Channel, ESPN, NBC, HBO, Showtime, the Walt Disney Company, among others, have endorsed our vision for better TV." In fact, NBC owns part of Tivo. Dvorak didn't do his homework.

Looking back to the last time Slashdot covered Tivo, a few weeks back, the big complaint was that Tivo is making it harder to skip commercials and is inserting some of their own. Replay has a "skip ahead 30 seconds", while Tivo does not. A good analysis of the issue is here [] .

Of course, what you really want is an open-sourced box with automatic commercial recognition and deletion. A JunkBuster for TV.

Email Dvorak with your own opinions... (1)

klieber (124032) | more than 13 years ago | (#283927) [mailto]

and be nice. Remember, flaming rarely persuades anyone of anything other than the fact that you're an immature asshole. Persuasive, well-reasoned arguments might get you a whole lot further.

TiVo is actually *good* for advertisors (2)

klieber (124032) | more than 13 years ago | (#283928)

OK, let's accept the premise that commercials needs to continue as an effective means of advertising in order to keep network television free.

Let's also assume that we *want* network television to continue to be free.

In that case, TiVo, et al is a good thing for advertisors. We've all heard about how TiVo tracks our viewing habits -- how long before they inject some sort of targeted advertising based on those viewing preferences? (ignore the privacy issue -- that's a whole separate argument)

When used appropriately, I like targeted advertising. I only have to watch commercials that are applicable to me. That means no douche, tampon or Pampers commercials. Hell, I'd pay extra for that. Yes, I'd prefer to skip commercials altogether, but the economic realities mean someone has to pay for y'all to watch the contestants on Survivor eat their young. I'd much rather pay for that by watching some commercials targeted at me specifically than paying triple/quadruple my DirecTV bill.

PVRs are the easiest and quickest way to deliver targeted advertising capabilities. If John could see outside his grossly over-inflated ego, maybe he'd realize this.

It all the same Drek (5)

Code Archeologist (128429) | more than 13 years ago | (#283929)

Its kind of funny really, when you take it all in perspective. My Grandfather told me when he was working for Magnavox that there was quite the to do about the fact their remote controls were going to have MUTE buttons. Yep there were threats of law suit and all manner of huffing and puffing... it never really hit the press back then though because most people didn't care. And really nothing really came of it and nobody got into any big fight about it, and nobody lost anything from it. Same story, different inovation.

I Think not..... (1)

king_ (143380) | more than 13 years ago | (#283941)

Im sorry but this guy totaly crosses the line, considering that if you wanted to skip commercials you can do the same thing with a regular vcr. Why doesnt he just go after every TV recording device?

When watching live tv with tivo you cant skip commercials unless you change the channel which actually if you think about it helps the network. People will actually start watching full programs and wont channel surf, i guess this means networks have to start adding more clever means of advertising, weather its banner ads on the top of the screen or jennifer love hewit eating a bens kosher pickle (which i would love to see). Please, its people like this that stifle technology instead of protecting it!

Facts about Betamax (5)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 13 years ago | (#283942)

You can read more about the Betamax decision here [] . The Home Recording Rights Coalition [] still works to protect fair use against corporations, but the EFF [] seems to be better equipped for the "Digital Millennium" (yuck).


Dvorak says going to the John. . . (3)

kfg (145172) | more than 13 years ago | (#283943)

during commercials is theft!

Shame on all of you ip thieves out there, depriving all those hard working sponsors of their right to blast you with intelligence insulting propaganda.

Have you no shame?


Man, and i use his keyboard too (2)

Srin Tuar (147269) | more than 13 years ago | (#283944)

I'm going to have to change my keymapping now, until someone swats him with a cluestick.

dvoraks head (1)

DEATH AND HATRED (158846) | more than 13 years ago | (#283952)

Ive read several articles by him and Ive come to the conslusion that he is either

A: A moron:
B: Mentaly retarded
C: He was dropped on his head as a young child and suffers brain damage.

Damn what a flippin moron (5)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 13 years ago | (#283953)

By his logic getting up between shows to grab a drink is stealing television since you're watching the show but not the adds. I suppose he thinks that channel surfing or using the mute button to silence commercials is a bad thing as well. Perhaps he'd like to force us to look at the billboards we drive past. If we choose not to view advertising that's our choice. Advertisers don't like us for that but that's their problem. Long live TIVO.

What a moron... (1)

issachar (170323) | more than 13 years ago | (#283962)


If someone wants me to watch a commercial, they better make it entertaining and/or interesting. And that's not impossible, it's just difficult.

The added bonus is that if an advert entertains me it will make me more likely to buy their product.

And to think I used to think his articles were pretty good...

On a more serious note (2)

L Fitzgerald Sjoberg (171091) | more than 13 years ago | (#283963)

I am troubled by the argument that "x pays for y, therefore if you take advantage of y, you are legally obligated to do x." I am told, for instance, that snack sales are what actually make movie theaters profitable. Does that mean that I'm legally obligated to buy the popcorn that subsidizes the movie? Sony, I'm told, loses money on each PS2, but makes it up on license fees for games. If I buy a PS2 to watch DVDs, as many people in Japan have, does that mean I'm legally obligated to buy games?

Advertising works on a similar finger-crossing principle. Just as people who go to theaters generally buy popcorn, and people who buy PS2 consoles generally buy games, people who watch TV shows generally sit through many of the commercials. If the second half of each of these equations falls through, that doesn't mean that the law should be invoked to hold people to an unwritten contract. It just means that the companies in question need to re-think their business models.

Mind-Shifting (5)

L Fitzgerald Sjoberg (171091) | more than 13 years ago | (#283964)

Personally, I think this pales in comparison to the practice of "mind-shifting," or memorizing plots, funny bits, and catch phrases from television shows in order to experience them -- or worse yet, share them with others -- without having to watch the commercials or pay the copyright holders.

I'm petitioning congress to outlaw quoting television shows to your friends without also quoting at least one ad from that show. For instance, "EX-cellent, Smithers! The Joy of Cola!"

John C. Dvorak... he lost it (2)

tshak (173364) | more than 13 years ago | (#283967)

5-6 years ago I stopped subscribing to PC Magazine - mainly because of Dvorak. He used to hit the nail on the head. Then, he started writing crap like this. I wonder how much stock he has in advertising companies?

Re:Just use this (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#283970)

Why do I need the listings? My VCR works just fine without them. Yes, it's nice to be able to have a menu, but it's not worth a whole phone line and outrageous monthly charges for them.


Re:Once again, the submitter gets it wrong (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#283971)

Oh yeah, and the other thing was his point that they are difficult to use. Dvorak's point is that the necessary phone line is a pain in the ass, and I couldn't agree more. I'm waiting for a TiVo-type device that I can just use.


I don't understand Tivo (3)

metis (181789) | more than 13 years ago | (#283977)

Why would anyone want to skip the commercials? The commercials are the only part of TV programming that looks like somebody actually was trying to think creatively while producing. The commercial breaks are nuggets of gold in a sea of horseshit.

Yesturday I was mentally somewhere else when they started showing a commercial for the Monty Pyton DVD set. Boy, I never, never, laughed so hard watching TV since I moved to the USA.

Why not have the Tivo remove the programming and allow us to see the commercials uninterrupted?

..When you use TiVo your using Communism... (1)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#283979)

I didnt read the article. The description was enough.
Im sorry - but considering the usual 'Group Think' that goes on here at /., one of two things is happening:

Were almost all paranoid, delusional raving morons - incapable of understanding whats *REALLY* going on'

Dvork and everyone else in the media are morons, pawns and liars - incapable of understanding whats *REALLY* going on'.

Im really finding all this hard to believe - I know Im not the only one who believes that IP laws are out of control. I see the ever tightening control of IP as a very serious threat to the future, its offensive to a free people - is Dvork an idiot or a tool?

Nothing new (2)

cthugha (185672) | more than 13 years ago | (#283982)

I don't think the ability to skip ads is new tech. See, when I tape something on my VCR, and watch it later, and an ad break starts, I look to my horribly complex remote control and hit the ultra high-tech "fast-forward" button. The ads fly past in all of ten seconds, and I'm buggered if I know what they were for.

Re:Once again, the submitter gets it wrong (5)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#283986)

Nice troll.

First of all, he is not saying that the primary purpose is to steal programming, he's saying that is going to be a future use similar to what is happening with MP3, and of course, he's right.

Second of all, the Betamax case has nothing to do with anything. The question is about whether anonymous mass distribution of copyrighted material qualifies as fair use, and the answer is again "no"

The Betamax case is relevant because it says that it does not matter if one of the uses of a device is copyright infringement so long as the primary use is legitimate. You already admitted that the primary use was not copyright infringement. Unless we see the widespread distribution of Tivo movie files across the Net in some organised way (a la Napster) you and Dvorak will have a hard time convincing anyone that these devices are anything other than a legitimate VCR variant.

Mr. Dvorak isn't exactly reliable... (5)

Arthropoid (194003) | more than 13 years ago | (#283991)

Among his reasons why the Mac won't succeed:
From the San Francisco Examiner, Feb. 19th, 1984

The Macintosh has no slots for expansion and is therefore restricted in versatility

Well, Microsoft is currently pushing a legacy free, closed box PC as the new consumer utopia...

The machine uses an experimental pointing device called a 'mouse'

If Dvorak didn't use a GUI based system (my bet is a PC, seeing how he is so viruntly anti-Mac) to write his article, and to do all his work for the past 7 or 8 years (conservative estimate), I will eat my own shorts.

Who out there in the general martketplace even knows what a 'font' is?

I would bet that about 90% of the public knows at this point; and most knew by the early 90s

What businessman knows about point size or typefaces or the value of variable point size?

See the comment above...

The Macintosh uses icons to represent functions as though there was some intuitive knowledge on the part of the user as to what these icons mean.

Did you know what sounds the letters in the alphabet represented before you memorized them? Sever anti-GUI trend here...

Mr. Dvorak is one of the worst 'major' PC columnists in almost all regards (accuracy, predictions, impartiality). I don't have time to list more of his hilarious mistakes, but if you put anything Apple in front of him, he will immediatly say it will fail and is inferior to anything PC.

Full of himself... (1)

no_such_user (196771) | more than 13 years ago | (#283993)

Dvorak only writes articles like this one when he's looking to pick up some attention to himself. Watch his show "Big Thinkers" on TechTV sometime. He interviews some industry pioneers on his show - but unfortunately, by the time he finishes asking his question, he's usually already answered it himself, and has moved on to another question! I've got to take a stopwatch to it sometime... I've convinced he spends more time talking than the guest does.

Re:HHMM! (1)

grammar nazi (197303) | more than 13 years ago | (#283994)

I'm sorry to be picky CompuBOb, but there is a little grammatical error in your post. You said: I dont see people trading 15GB TV shows any time soon.

I probably don't need to even point this out, since it is obvious to everyone reading, but what you meant to say was:

I dont see people trading 15Ton locomotives any time soon.

I'm sure it was a typo or something, but please preview your posts before you submit them. I'm glad to have helped.

-grammar nazi

Re:YHBT? (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 13 years ago | (#283997)

May be M$ is -- since they been showing that vaporware box on thier TV spots...

But then you can only hook it up to satilite...

Third (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#284001)

It has come to my attention that the entire Linux community [] is a hotbed of so called "alternative sexuality," which includes anything from hedonistic orgies to homosexuality [] to pedophilia.

What better way of demonstrating this than by looking at the hidden messages contained within the names of some of Linux's most outspoken advocates:

Linus Torvalds is an anagram of SLIT ANUS OR VD "L", clearly referring to himself by the first initial.

Richard M Stallman, spokespervert for the Gaysex's Not Unusual "movement" is an anagram of MANS CRAM THRILL AD.

Alan Cox is barely an anagram of ANAL COX which is just so filthy and unchristian it unnerves me.

I'm sure that Eric S. Raymond, composer of the satanic homosexual [] propaganda diatribe The Cathedral and the Bizarre, [Buy At Amazon [] ] is probably an anagram of something queer, but we don't need to look that far as we know he's always shoving a gun up some poor little boy's rectum. Update: Eric S. Raymond is actually [] an anagram for SECONDARY RIM and CORD IN MY ARSE. It just goes to show you that he is indeed queer.

As far as Richard "Master" Stallman goes, that filthy fudge-packer was actually [] quoted on leftist commie propaganda site [] as saying the following:

RMS: "I've been resistant to the pressure to conform in any circumstance," he says. "It's about being able to question conventional wisdom," he asserts. "I believe in love, but not monogamy," he says plainly.

And this isn't a made up troll bullshit either! He actually [] stated this tripe, which makes it obvious that he is trying to politely say that he's a flaming homo slut!

Speaking about "flaming," who better to point out as a filthy chutney ferret than Slashdot's very own self-confessed pederast Jon Katz. Although an obvious deviant anagram cannot be found from his name, he has already confessed, nay boasted of the homosexual [] perversion of Corrupting the Innocence of young children [] . To quote from the article linked:

"I've got a rare kidney disease," I told her. "I have to go to the bathroom a lot. You can come with me if you want, but it takes a while. Is that okay with you? Do you want a note from my doctor?"

is this why you were touching your penis in the cinema, jon??????? and letting the other boys touch it too?

We should also point out that Jon Katz refers to himself as "Slashdot's resident Gasbag." Is there any more doubt? For those fortunate few who aren't aware of the list of homosexual [] terminology found inside the Linux "Sauce Code", a "Gasbag" is a pervert who gains sexual gratification from having a thin straw inserted into his urethra (or to use the common parlance, "piss-pipe"), then his homosexual [] lover blows firmly down the straw to inflate his scrotum. This is, of course, when he's not busy violating the dignity and copyright of posters to Slashdot by gathering together their postings and publishing them en masse to further his twisted and manipulative journalistic agenda.

Sick, disgusting antichristian perverts, the lot of them.

In addition, many of the Linux distributions (a distribution is the most common way to spread the faggots' wares) are run by faggot groups. The Slackware [] distro is named after the Slack-wear fags wear to allow easy access to the anus for sexual purposes. Furthermore, Slackware is a close anagram of CLAW ARSE, a reference to the homosexual [] practise of anal fisting. The Mandrake [] product is run by a group of French faggot satanists, and is named after the faggot nickname for the vibrator. It was also chosen because it is an anagram for DARK AMEN and RAM NAKED, which is what they do.

Another "distro," (abbrieviated as such because it sounds a bit like "Disco," which is where homosexual [] s preyed on young boys in the 1970's), is Debian [] , an anagram of IN A BED, which could be considered innocent enough (after all, a bed is both where we sleep and pray), until we realise what other names Debian uses to describe their foul wares. "Woody" is obvious enough, being a term for the erect male penis, glistening with precum. But far sicker is the phrase "Frozen Potato" that they use. This filthy term, again found in the secret homosexual [] "Sauce Code," refers to the solo homosexual [] practice of defecating into a clear polythene bag, shaping the turd into a crude approximation of the male phallus, then leaving it in the freezer overnight until it becomes solid. The practitioner then proceeds to push the frozen "potato" up his own rectum, squeezing it in and out until his tight young balls erupt in a screaming orgasm.

And Red Hat [] is secret homo slang for the tip of a penis that is soaked in blood from a freshly violated underage ringpiece.

To summarise: Linux is gay. "Slash - Dot" is the graphical description of the space between a young boy's scrotum and anus. And BeOS is for hermaphrodites and disabled "stumpers."


What worries me is how much you know about what gay people do. I'm scared I actually [] read this whole thing. I think this post is a good example of the negative effects of Internet usage on people. This person obviously has no social life anymore and had to result to writing something as stupid as this. And actually [] take the time to do it too. Although... I think it was satire.. blah.. it's early. - Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Well, the only reason I know all about this is because I had the misfortune to read the Linux "Sauce code" once. Although publicised as the computer code needed to get Linux up and running on a computer (and haven't you always been worried about the phrase "Monolithic Kernel"?), this foul document is actually [] a detailed and graphic description of every conceivable degrading perversion known to the human race, as well as a few of the major animal species. It has shocked and disturbed me, to the point of needing to shock and disturb the common man to WARN them of the impending homo-calypse which threatens to engulf our planet.

You must work for the government. Trying to post the most obscene stuff in hopes that Slashdot won't be able to continue or something, due to legal woes. If i ever see your ugly face, I'm going to stick my fireplace poker up your ass, after it's nice and hot, to weld shut that nasty gaping hole of yours. - Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Doesn't it give you a hard on to imagine your thick strong poker ramming it's way up my most sacred of sphincters? You're beyond help, my friend, as the only thing you can imagine is the foul penetrative violation of another man. Are you sure you're not Eric Raymond? The government, being populated by limp-wristed liberals, could never stem the sickening tide of homosexual [] child molesting Linux advocacy. Hell, they've given NAMBLA [] free reign for years!

You really should post this logged in. i wish i could remember jebus's password, cuz i'd give it to you. - mighty jebus, Slashdot

Thank you for your kind words of support. However, this document shall only ever be posted anonymously. This is because the "Open Sauce" movement is a sham, proposing homoerotic cults of hero worshipping in the name of freedom. I speak for the common man. For any man who prefers the warm, enveloping velvet folds of a woman's vagina to the tight puckered ringpiece of a child. These men, being common, decent folk, don't have a say in the political hypocrisy that is Slashdot culture. I am the unknown liberator.

ROLF LAMO i hate linux FAGGOTS - Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

We shouldn't hate them, we should pity them for the misguided fools they are... Fanatical Linux zeal-outs need to be herded into camps for re-education and subsequent rehabilitation into normal heterosexual society. This re-education shall be achieved by forcing them to watch repeats of "Baywatch" until the very mention of Pamela Anderson causes them to fill their pants with healthy heterosexual jism.

Actually, that's not at all how scrotal inflation works. I understand it involves injecting sterile saline solution into the scrotum. I've never tried this, but you can read how to do it safely [] in case you're interested.
(Before you moderate this down, ask yourself honestly -- who are the real crazies -- people who do scrotal inflation, or people who pay $1000+ for a game console?) - double_h, Slashdot

Well, it just goes to show that even the holy Linux "sauce code" is riddled with bugs that need fixing. (The irony of Jon Katz not even being able to inflate his scrotum correctly has not been lost on me.) The Linux pervert elite already acknowledge this, with their queer slogan: "Given enough arms, all rectums are shallow." And anyway, the PS2 sucks major cock and isn't worth the money. Intellivision forever!

dude did u used to post on msnbc's nt bulletin board? now that u are doing anti-gay posts u also need to start in with anti-black stuff too. c u in church - Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

For one thing, whilst Linux is a cavalcade of queer propaganda masquerading as the future of computing, NT is used by people who think nothing better of encasing their genitals in quick setting plaster then going to see a really dirty porno film, enjoying the restriction enforced onto them. Remember, a wasted arousal is a sin in the eyes of the Catholic church. Clearly, the only god-fearing Christian operating system in existence is CP/M [] - The Christian Program Monitor. All computer users should immediately ask their local pastor to install this fine OS onto their systems. It is the only route to salvation.

Secondly, this message is for every man. Computers know no colour. Not only that, but one of the finest websites in the world is maintained by A Black Man [] . Now fuck off you racist donkey felcher.

And don't forget that slashdot was written in Perl, which is just too close to "Pearl Necklace" for comfort.... oh wait; that's something all you heterosexuals do.... I can't help but wonder how much faster the trolls could do First-Posts on this site if it were redone in PHP [] ... I could hand-type dynamic HTML pages faster than Perl can do them. - phee, Slashdot

Although there is nothing unholy about the fine heterosexual act of ejaculating between a woman's breasts, squirting one's load up towards her neck and chin area, it should be noted that PERL (standing for Pansies Entering Rectums Locally) is also close to "Pearl Monocle", "Pearl Nosering", and the ubiquitous "Pearl Enema".

One scary thing about Perl is that it contains hidden homosexual [] messages. Take the following code: LWP::Simple - It looks innocuous enough, doesn't it? But look at the line closely. There are two colons next to each other! As Larry "Balls to the" Wall would openly admit in the Perl Documentation [] , Perl was designed from the ground up to indoctrinate it's programmers into performing unnatural sexual acts - having two colons so closely together is clearly a reference to the perverse sickening act of "colon kissing," whereby two homosexual [] queers spread their buttocks wide, pressing their filthy torn sphincters together. They then share small round objects like marbles or golfballs by passing them from one rectum to another using muscle contraction alone. This is also referred to in programming circles as "Parameter Passing".

And PHP stands for Perverted Homosexual Penetration. Didn't you know?

Thank you for your valuable input on this. I am sure you will be never forgotten. BTW: Did I mention that this could be useful in terraforming Mars? Mars rulaa. - Eimernase, Slashdot

Well, I don't know about terraforming Mars, but I DO know that homosexual [] Linux Advocates have been probing Uranus for years.

That's inspiring. Keep up the good work, AC. May God in his wisdom grant you the strength to bring the plain honest truth to this community, and make it pure again. Yours, Cerberus. - Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

*sniff* That brings a tear to my eye. Thank you once more for your kind support. I have taken faith in the knowledge that I am doing the Good Lord's work, but it is encouraging to know that I am helping out the common man here.

However, I should be cautious about revealing your name 'Cerebus' on such a filthy den of depravity as Slashdot. It is a well known fact that the 'Kerberos [] ' documentation from Microsoft is a detailed manual describing, in intimate, exacting detail, how to sexually penetrate a variety of unwilling canine animals; be they domesticated, wild, or mythical. Slashdot posters have taken great pleasure in illegally spreading this documentation far and wide, treating it as an "extension" to the Linux "Sauce Code," for the sake of "interoperability." (The slang term they use for unconsensual intercourse - their favorite kind.)

In fact, sick twisted Linux deviants are known to have LAN parties, (Love of Anal Naughtiness, needless to say.), wherein they entice a stray dog, known as the "Samba Server," into their homes. Up to four of these filth-sodden blasphemers against nature take turns to plunge their erect, throbbing, uncircumcised members, conkers-deep, into the recturm, mouth, and other fleshy orifices of the poor animal. Eventually, the "Samba Server" collapses due to "overload," and needs to be "rebooted." (i.e. Kicked out into the street, and left to fend for itself.) Many Linux users boast about their "uptime" in such situations.

Inspiring stuff! If only all trolls were this quality! - Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

If only indeed. You can help our brave cause by voting this message up as often as possible. I recommend +1 Underrated, as that will protect your precious Karma in Metamoderation. Only then can we break through the glass ceiling of Homosexual [] Slashdot Culture. Is it any wonder that the new version of Slashcode has been christened Bender???

IMPORTANT: This message needs to be heard (Not HURD, which is an acronym for Huge Unclean Rectal Dilator) across the whole community, so it has been released into the Public Domain. You know, that licence that we all had before those homoerotic crypto-fascists came out with the GPL (Gay Penetration License, according to [] ) that is no more than an excuse to see who's got the biggest feces-encrusted cock. I would have put this up on Freshmeat [] , but that name is KNOWN to be a euphemism for the tight rump of a young boy.

Come to think of it, the whole concept of "Source Control" unnerves me, because it sounds a bit like "Sauce Control," which is a description of the homosexual [] practice of holding the base of the cock shaft tightly upon the point of ejaculation, thus causing a build up of semenal fluid that is only released upon entry into an incision made into the base of the receiver's scrotum. And "Open Sauce" is the act of ejaculating into another mans face or perhaps a biscuit to be shared later. Obviously, "Closed Sauce" is the only Christian thing to do, as evidenced by the fact that it is what Cathedrals are all about.

Contributors: (although not to the eternal game of "soggy biscuit" that open "sauce" development has become) Anonymous Coward, phee, Anonymous Coward, mighty jebus, double_h, Anonymous Coward, Eimernase, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Jon Katz, Anonymous Coward. Further contributions are welcome.

ANUX [] - A full Linux distribution... UP YOUR ASS!

TiVo and skipping commercials (2)

vslashg (209560) | more than 13 years ago | (#284002)

What's funny is that TiVo is actually making it harder to skip commercials... the version 2.0 software they're in the process of rolling out removes a nifty hidden feature from the old software that activated a 30-second commercial skip button.

Compare this to the UK... (1)

strags (209606) | more than 13 years ago | (#284004)

When I lived in England, we had to pay an annual "license fee" - when I was last there it was approximately $150 per year. This provided 2 channels of commercial-free television. The other two channels had ads, but far, far fewer than any US station.

Now I live in Los Angeles, and pay around $600 per year for the privelege of watching a seemingly non-stop series of commercials. My only consolation (and that which keeps me paying the cable bill) is the occasional Simpsons episode.

Even with 4 TV stations, there was still a greater range of quality programs available than with the 80 or so I have today.

Yes, I know this is more of a rant than a constructive comment about TiVo, but frankly, I feel that I've paid the cable companies enough already.

Dvorak is a boring, predictable blowhard troll (1)

Beatlebum (213957) | more than 13 years ago | (#284010)

Dvorak does this to generate traffic, pure and simple. The guy is full of shit. He is guaranteed to be the contrarian just for the sake of being different. His reactionary opinions seldom have any logical basis and he is well known for 180 degree changes in direction. I have been in his presence at several industry gatherings and I can honestly say he is one of the most ego-driven self-obsessed pricks in the business. He treats people he has no use for like shit while kissing ass whenever there's something in it for him. He's a truly pathetic individual and a 99 cent per word bitch ho.

VCRs allow me to skip commericals too -- so what? (1)

flimpy (216710) | more than 13 years ago | (#284013)

What a silly piece of tripe that artical was; when I record something with my VCR, the chances that I will watch the commercials is almost zero. In fact, after recording, my VCR rewinds and marks the commercials using some complicated algorithm. I only see a brief soothing blue display between segments of my recorded programs. Does that mean my VCR is enabling me to steal programming? I am actually surprised that content holders are not in favor of the TiVo -- after all, when you record a program on a VCR you could give it away to someone (you pirate, you). With the TiVo, you're pretty much stuck with whatever your maximum space is.

Re:I often leave for comercials (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 13 years ago | (#284019)

The best theft device ever is the remote control - you just skip to another channel during commercails. Awesome technology.

Dvorak is a curmudgeon (1)

FastT (229526) | more than 13 years ago | (#284020)

7-8 years ago, he had some interesting thing to say. Now, he's gotten as grumpy and irrelevant as Andy Rooney. Who can stand to listen to either of them? They've become old farts that yell at children to get out of their yards.

Re:This guy is a moron if I ever saw one (1)

FastT (229526) | more than 13 years ago | (#284021)

Why do american ads directors assume that everyone is a moron and won't get a simple joke?

Duh, you answered your own question. You must not have been here long.

A Compromise (1)

TrickFred (231420) | more than 13 years ago | (#284027)

<satire>Hey, I know we've all gone to the bathroom during commercials, we've all gone to get a snak, and we've all flipped channels. I say, to make up for it to the poor, pennless advertising companies, we pick one day a week, and watch only the commercials. If a show comes on, flip to another station to watch their commercials, and show the Ad world that we REALLY CARE!</satire&gt

TechTV (3)

DaSyonic (238637) | more than 13 years ago | (#284032)

I saw an episode of Silicon Spin [] on TechTV [] where John C. Dvorak (who hosts the show) made similar claims. Some guy from TiVo was also there, and they were talking about how TV will make money now that TiVo is 'stealing' TV stations profits, and while the TiVo guy tried to explain how TiVo works to him, and how there are advertisements/channels getting put on TiVo preinstalled now, and other such things, John simply seemed to completely ignore him and say that TiVo is illegal and wont last long. It really got me mad personally, as he was someone whom I respected in the mainstream computing world. And especially since TiVo is quite accepting to geeks who want to basically do what they want with the equipment THEY paid for. However since his working with TechTV he has become quite clueless to facts, and more interested in getting ratings. This was all about 2 months ago too...
I personally gave him feedback, but only received an automated response. It really shows where he stands...

Re:TV advertising is insulting (5)

TGK (262438) | more than 13 years ago | (#284040)

Again, the market comes into play on this.

People want to watch TV shows but do not wish to watch ads.
Consequently they skip the adds.
If the ads are made more amusing and more interesting people will want to watch the ads as well.

The clear example of this is the Super Bowl. My fiancee, who thinks football is a barbaric, mindless, tiresome practice that somehow vents our twisted societies need to experiance violence, religiously watches the Super Bowl every year explicitly for the comercials.

The success of sites like AdCritic [] indicates that people will, if the content is good enough, actualy go out of their way to watch comercials. Hell, the 7up commercials had me laughing so hard I fell out of my chair once. Lo and behold I find myself drinking more 7up.

If advertisers are pissed because people won't watch their shit the clear solution is to make better commercials.

If you build it they will come

This has been another useless post from....

Dear John (1)

Sarcasmooo! (267601) | more than 13 years ago | (#284043)

Dear John Dvorak, I write this message in hopes that you will respond with the utmost urgency and direct me to a law enforcement facility where I may immediately turn myself in and have my remote control impounded. For years I have lived in ignorance; breaking the law by changing the channel when commercials appear on my television. I will cooperate in anyway that I can in order to bring myself to justice.

Sincerely, John Q. Public

garbage (2)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#284046)


Electro magnetic pulse []

Re:Just use this (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 13 years ago | (#284047)

You can use Tivo without the listing service. Just buy the box and don't sign up for the service, there's no requirement that you do so. No need to hook up the phone line or pay the outrageous monthly fees. You won't get the guides, which really does suck, but if you're looking for a slightly more capable VCR with pause/rewind of live TV, then you're all set.

Re:Who got robbed? (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 13 years ago | (#284048)

What will happen is that Tivo-like services will move into the cable head-end. You won't have to pay to buy a box or spend time hooking it up, it'll just come with your cable service (for a small extra charge, possibly.) There'll be customized ad-insertion and restrictions on forwarding through the commercials, of course. Perhaps for another extra charge, you'll be able to opt out of some/all of the commercials.

It really should be the TV networks wet dream, but they're a little slow to catch onto things. For one thing, their business model is heavily reliant on the time-slot in which a program airs. Their advertisers won't pay the same rates if people are watching time-shifted ER at 4am, even though this seems to me to be quite silly. At some point they'll be profiling the hell out of you anyway, so this will all work out.

Re:YHBT? (2)

onepoint (301486) | more than 13 years ago | (#284050)

Well I think he has one point, We are seeing and enjoying the content without seeing the advertising. But this might lead to a new problem. When the advertiser can not get his message out, we might get bombed in other areas ( radio, print, and billboard ) or otherwise we will have to pay to watch TV.

I can only imagine what product placement will be like. it's going to be ugly


spambait e-mail
my web site hip-hop news
please help me make it better

This guy is a moron if I ever saw one (1)

MSBob (307239) | more than 13 years ago | (#284054)

This guy needs to get a clue. Even if tivo gets used to skip the commercials (which it probably does) it's just a signal to the producers of commercials that their products are extremely lame. I recently moved from the UK and I'm finding US commercials appoling. They are loud, stupid and devoid of humour and even if they try to be funny the jokes are either crude or have very obvious "in your face" humour. In Britain I wouldn't have used TiVO to skip commercials. Quite a few of them are too good to miss. Unfortunately very few good British ads make it to the US and when they do they usually get altered so that the punchline is more obvious and hence less funny. Why do american ads directors assume that everyone is a moron and won't get a simple joke?

Oh, speaking of funny commercials I have to say that TiVO has the most brilliant commercial of all American companies. I'm talking about the "masculine itch" one...

Anywas, my point is that Tivo is a cool device and American commercials are very lame and they themselves are the reason for the commercial success of Tivo.

I often leave for comercials (1)

robert-porter (309405) | more than 13 years ago | (#284055)

I usualy do something during comercials, is that theft? Also it's funny that MS's TiVo thing looses disk space.

Silliness (3)

ryants (310088) | more than 13 years ago | (#284056)

On top of that, both UltimateTV and TiVo charge customers $10 a month to use the device. None of that money goes to the networks or programmers whose material is being re-recorded and saved to the hard disk.
I wonder if Panasonic (maker of my VCR) and the makers of my no-name VCR tapes send cheques to NBC and FOX?
At least with MP3, attempts have been made to collect fees to share with the artists and producers. The issue hasn't even been raised in this video-bootlegging scenario.
Uh... what bootlegging?
Someday, though, all the barriers may be resolved and every TV just might have these capabilities built in. Perhaps that's when someone will notice the looming issue over intellectual property that has been largely ignored until now.
Yeah... the looming issue that has been ignored is that intellectual property is bunk.

Ryan T. Sammartino

Re:VCRs allow me to skip commericals too -- so wha (1)

mech9t8 (310197) | more than 13 years ago | (#284057)

>>In fact, after recording, my VCR rewinds and marks the commercials using some complicated algorithm.

I once found a website that explained how that Commercial Advance works... the VCR basically just looks for black frames about 30 seconds apart. Simple concept, probably more difficult to implement, and damn does work well, huh? I officially gave it the title of "coolest thing ever" when I first saw it working...

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

check him for alzheimers (1)

gascsd (316132) | more than 13 years ago | (#284060)

He also seems upset that people can use these devices to record content onto a hard drive without paying royalties to the content companies. ... This guy seems to never have heard of the Betamax court case which legitimized time-shifting.

I don't think he has ever heard of a VCR, let alone a Betamax.

When will the TV industry come upon the fact that Dvorak doesn't know his shit, and that the man and woman that used to be on PBS know more than he does?

TIVO vs. VHS (1)

tbibbs (410020) | more than 13 years ago | (#284068)

Is there a fundamental difference between recording to a standard VCR and using TIVO? All his points make no sense...people have been recording shows for years. It's just that now we can record to disk instead of VHS.

Re:So it screws the networks. So what? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 13 years ago | (#284069)

Nah, I think they take the #2 slot to cable companies. If the television stations are receiving their funding to broadcast through commercials, then why do we have to pay the cable companies?

HHMM! (1)

CompuBOb (442376) | more than 13 years ago | (#284070)

I dont see people trading 15GB TV shows any time soon.

YHBT (1)

John C Dvorak (444212) | more than 13 years ago | (#284075)


John C Dvorak
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