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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More irony: New patent for technology that forces you to watch the ads

Philips has filed a patent for a new technology that will prevent users from changing the channel when ads are shown. The patent states that users will have the option of "paying a fee" or watching the ads. An article in the New Scientist explains that Philips recognizes that users may be upset and think that their TVs have stopped working, so they recommend putting up a warning sign while the ads are playing.

Apparently this works because cable providers who use the popular Multimedia Home Platform software are able to embed digital flags into the TV signals that enable or disable specific features. Stopping you from changing the channel is quite basic, what happens if someone hacks this system and viewers are forced to buy the 24 hour porn package or the Barry Manilow special?

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