With the Red Sox on their way to the World Series as I write this, it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that Bostonians like me have spent the last week completely glued to our television sets. So I thought it would be a good excuse to talk about two technologies for TV here—one real, and one that's not quite ready for prime time.
We'll start with the not-quite-ready idea. If you were watching the playoff series yourself and live on the East Coast, you already know about the sleep deprivation thing. It's been like reruns of the Night of the Living Dead here in the office every day this past week. Good thing none of us are responsible for operating any heavy equipment!
After the game that went until 1:30 the other night, a friend of mine came up with a fantastic idea: Wouldn't it be great if you could set your TiVO to record only when the ball is actually in motion? That way, you could get a good night's sleep and catch the game in the morning while you're eating your cornflakes. No one would be the wiser!
I am sure the hacks over at the TiVO Community Forum Underground Playground http://rbi.ims.ca/3858-550 are already working on a solution to this problem. (Check it out, there are some pretty cool ideas on ways you can alter your TiVO.) Of course, the trade-off would be that you would miss out on things like the Yankee fan dressed up like Babe Ruth's ghost (some say he looked angelic), but at least you'd be able to do things like write a more intelligible editorial the next day. And you'd also not have to suffer those sour-puss scowls fans always have when their team is behind.
The second TV technology I'm going to discuss was recently written up in Wired News http://rbi.ims.ca/3858-551. It's about a guy named Mitch Altman and his new invention, TV-B-Gone. The device is a universal remote control that's programmed to turn off 209 different TVs (The Wired reporter conducted the interview at a Best Buy, with great effect).
My husband was telling me about this technology the other night while we were—you guessed it—watching one of those interminably long playoff games at a local bar. "Why would you even want something like that?" I asked, distractedly. "Because then you'd be listening to me when I talk!" he fired back, to great effect himself.
He's not going to get one in his stocking this year, but you can get one for yourself for $14.99 at Mitch's website at http://www.tvbgone.com.