Tivo begins to sell out

As reported in the Washington Post yesterday, Tivo is beginning to cave in to network pressure to place limits and restrictions on a user’s ability to record certain programs.

In its latest upgrade, Tivo apparently included a patch that allows the content provider to flag certain programs for automatic deletion after a certain date. The patch also prevents flagged programs from being transferred to other hardware platforms (media servers, DVD, etc.).

Is it coincidence that the two programs that were “accidentally” flagged on September 10, The Simpsons and King of the Hill, happen to be among the most popular television DVD sets on the market? Here’s a pic of some of the Fox shows red-flagged. Another screen shot shows the user’s inability to reset the delete preferences for the red-flagged recordings. And finally, here’s a screen shot of the restriction explanation.

It would certainly make sense for networks to desire a more temporary storage format for such programs (and other successful DVD sellers like “The Family Guy” and ABC’s “Lost”).

A recent viewer captured a screen shot of the red flag on the IFC channel. The info screen also shows the delete flag is not unintentional.

Tivo denies any such motive. But what other purpose could such architecture serve?

Here’s the official FAQ about the Macrovision Copy Protection from Tivo.com.

Swallowed by the Web

And, just as people began to read yesterday's blog about Fairfield receiving national media attention, the recycled its content. Easy come ...

This does represent a unique problem on the Web. When USAToday changes the content of a story, what happens to the content that is ommitted? Well, to the user, it simply disappearhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifs. The Web is a great medium for building context, but what happens if that context is ephemeral? Aren't we then looking ata a glorified broadcast model of journalism?

USAToday should keep log archives or at least provide links to other photos within a story (like the New York Times and Washington Post do).

How irritating ...

Fairfield mentioned in USAToday …

In an amusing turn of events, my hometown of Fairfield, TX has gained national prominence today as the traffic increase resulting from the flight from Galveston and Houston has jammed Interstate 45.

For the unitiated, Fairfield lies approximately 90 miles south of Dallas and approximately 180 miles north of Houston on Interstate 45. Most of the time, when people have heard of Fairfield, it is for Sam’s restaurant (a deserving favorite pit stop for thousands annually), the Freestone County peach festival (Fairfield is the county seat and Freestone peaches are famously flavorful) or the Fairfield State Lake.

I was born in Houston and spent most of my early years in the suburbs, but I did attend Fairfield High School and graduate from Fairfield ISD. It’s amusing to see it listed in prominent national news media. Fairfield has been on the map before as being the hometown for Winfred Tubbs and Tony Brackens, but rarely does the little (est. population 3,000 - 3,500) sleepy city get so much attention.

If only all those cars were trying to get TO Fairfield, instead of desperately trying to streak past it …

… but I bet the local restaurants are seeing some favorable results.