January 29, 2005

(HD) Myth Becomes Reality TV

Filed under: commons — Wendy @ 9:38 pm

An intrepid group gathered at EFF Saturday to make the most of the window before the broadcast flag mandate by building our own HD PVRs.

Using open source MythTV and the pcHDTV HD-3000, we assembled personal video recorders to rival TiVo — without the restrictions or dongles. As of July 1, the broadcast flag mandate will outlaw manufacture of the open hardware we used. See the photos and read the cookbook to get started building your own.

Building our own PVRs

Filed under: commons — Wendy @ 8:49 am

With just five months left until the broadcast flag, EFF is staging a build-in: Build your own high-definition video recorder that lawfully ignores the broadcast flag.

We’re using MythTV, a remarkably full-featured platform that can manage not only live and recorded television, but also music, movies, photos, weather, even VoIP phone calls. Because it’s all Free Software, if you don’t see a feature you want, you can code it yourself or find a friend who will.

While the broadcast flag mandate threatens to make TV back into a one-way, watch-only medium, open PVRs like MythTV give control back to us. Cut the commercials and watch only the show; or cut out the game and watch only the commercials, as some I know do for the Super Bowl. Re-mix television to make a point. Build your own Google video.

Watch for photos from throughout the day, and let me know the unexpected ways you use your PVR.

January 24, 2005

This Houseplant is Patented

Filed under: open — Wendy @ 8:54 am

I ran across this purportedly patented plant at Trader Joe’s. (full label) I didn’t buy it for fear it would send off a runner and get me sued for patent infringement. After all Grant of a patent for a plant precludes others from asexually reproducing or selling or using the patented plant, and I don’t want to become another example like the Canadian farmer whose fields were contaminated with Monsanto’s “Roundup-Ready” canola.

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