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Bill Gates, Entertainment God? 381

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the future-of-home-av dept.
ppgreat sent in a wired story about the home of the future sort of story discussing A/V in a Microsoft Media Player 9 future. As seems to always be the case, there's a lot of cool stuff in there, but more than a few eyebrow raises.
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Bill Gates, Entertainment God?

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  • so does this make Balmer some sort of weird Dancin' Jesus? [stenstad.net]

    Mike
  • by OwnerOfWhinyCat (654476) * on Thursday June 12, 2003 @03:52PM (#6185367)
    Agent Gates will do.
    • $r1= Assimilate("SCO");
      $r2= Assimilate("Morpheus");
      $r3= Assimilate("Oracle");
      $r4= Assimilate("Andover");

      if (!$r4)
      { ?>
      Yes, that's it...
      It'll be over soon.
      <? }

      $r4= Assimilate("Andover");

      if (!$r4)
      {
      KungFuLawyerChop("Andover");
      }
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 12, 2003 @03:54PM (#6185385)
    I dunno, but the words Bill Gates and God in the same sentence just seem, morally, and ethically wrong...
  • by Bonker (243350)
    I'd rather not have my house p'wned by some l33t electronic theives, thanks. Heaven help you when CodeRedVII hits and makes everyone's house vulnerable to the 'StealyourTVandStereo' exploit.
    • by Erris (531066) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @06:04PM (#6186604) Homepage Journal
      I don't trust M$ to browse, I'd never ever trust it with running my house. The wired story, with a little imagination, is an awful nightmare.

      nstead of traditional locks, there's an electronic kiosk with a touchscreen...

      It's blue with a message for you "Explorer has caused an exception fault ..." This might be because your taxes or some other bill was late or deemed incorrect.

      The lights and heat automatically fine-tune to your preference the moment you cross the threshold.

      A cross licensing agreement with your power company insures maximum profits for them rather than comfort for you.

      A screen on the wall in the foyer reads your email aloud as you hang your coat.

      It's hotmail telling you about penis enlargers over and over again. You have 137 new messages since leaving work.

      Run a chicken pot pie beneath the barcode reader on the microwave and it sets the time and temperature. Break out the food processor and some baking material; your home recognizes RFID tags in the bag of flour and offers to help. "How about ...

      The next sentence is a paid comercial advertisment for food you don't want to buy. What you eat is sold to the highest bidder by Microsoft and they irritate you out loud trying to get you to buy something different. You also had to repeat the word "delete" several times for this while you were hanging your coat and walking to the kitchen before you gave up in disgust and told the computer to "shut up". The computer asked if you were sure.

      And digital media is everywhere. "Suspicious Minds" greets you in full-home surround sound. The family's collective music library is accessible from any room, on every device.

      True, any "trusted" device will be able to talk to the media server and it will be able to display exactly what M$, RIAA and the MPAA want you to see. Once the hardware lock in is achieved, the eHome experiment will be obsolete. You will only be able to run one version of Word that you pay for by the minute. Options like search and replace costs extra. No material deemed "copyright infringing", including your own media, will work. All your old movies, songs and pictures are now "obsolete" and unnecessary because you can rent anything you want that the media cartels feel it's profitable to make available. It will look very much like cable TV and broadcast radio. Equipment that records music that can be played on such a system will be tightly controled through patenets, copyrights and laws like the DMCA.

      Oh yeah, your house will be listening to you. The listening devices can cancel the noises the system creates so that your voices can be recorded loud and clear. Carnivore was just the beginning, though it will still be searching your email, search fees added to your taxes, of course.

  • oh no! (Score:2, Funny)

    by tha_mink (518151)
    Instead of traditional locks, there's an electronic kiosk with a touchscreen, a biometric scanner, and a smartcard reader. Go ahead and make eye contact; if you're a match, you'll pass through into your future home - a time and place a half-dozen years from now when your living quarters will recognize you, communicate with you, and anticipate your every need.


    "Somebody cracked into my front door."

    I hope this happens becuase I can't wait to read the security patches for the front door on the "Update" pa
  • Why do people still make Bill Gates synonymous with Microsoft? He stepped down as CEO. Now it's Ballmer, not Gates.
  • pinky to mouth, "1 billion dollars"
  • by BJZQ8 (644168)
    It will be interesting to see if all of this embedded icemakers and digital toilets and such will be crashing as much as the Windows CE-powered cars and navigation devices...
  • As much as I distrust (not hate) MS for their lack of security, this seems like something I'd want. The idea of the house..damn, it sounds cool. The biometrics, the email thing...all awesome.

    And, if you could integrate other OSes into it (read: Mac OS X), then it'd be freaking heaven.

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      this seems like something I'd want. The idea of the house..damn, it sounds cool.

      and unfortunately 100% impossible without OSS and BSD or linux.

      Microsoft will never go against the Media lords so you will never legally buy the media integration that this "house" supposedly has.

      your only chance at this stuff is build it yourself or hope that someone else in the OSS world does...

      If you read the article you will notice at the end that it mentions the harsh reality that the MPAA nad RIAA wont allow microsof
  • by sczimme (603413) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @03:57PM (#6185416)

    From the article:

    Break out the food processor and some baking material; your home recognizes RFID tags in the bag of flour and offers to help. "How about focaccia?"

    I wouldn't want Clippy (or any of his pals) monkeying around with anything I was going to eat: he would probably still be mad from the gazillionth time he was 'killed' and would add a bunch of habaneros or something.
  • I'm not interested in this at this time, mainly due to the fact that it will be loaded with DRD (Digital Rights Denial).

    It is probably not much to worry about in any case. Looking at Gates' book called "The Road Ahead" that came out several years ago, it is clear to see that Bill Gates is no Alvin Toffler.

    The "Microsoft Living Room" might end up being shelved with the other failed predictions like the "Personal Helicopter in Every Driveway" from Popular Mechanics, or Popular Science's "The New Age of the
  • I thought he was vying for the position of just plain old God.
  • Xbox? (Score:4, Funny)

    by kaamos (647337) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @03:57PM (#6185426)
    That's when the eHome division, which Poole helped start, teamed up with Hewlett-Packard and Samsung to unveil the Media Center Edition PC. With a 2.4-GHz processor, a TV tuner, a personal video recorder, a DVD burner, an outsize 120-Gbyte drive, and a specialized version of Windows XP, it's meant to be a media command center. The new OS allows a consumer to use a remote control to manage digital media files of all sorts and perform time-shift recording with TV shows (Ã la TiVo). The whole thing retails for $1,300 to $2,000, without a monitor. "We wanted something that would handle digital photos, play back selections from video and music libraries, and give you all the capabilities of the PC as well," says Poole, an almost cherubic character with bushy eyebrows beneath a dark shock of hair.


    not to nitpick, but the Xbox is now 199$, they could have paid a nerd a pizza and ran the thing on linux and freevo and have it cost less, isn't it what Microsoft is all ab.... heum.... nevermind

  • Upgrade PCs (Score:3, Funny)

    by LongJohnStewartMill (645597) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @03:58PM (#6185436)
    In the middle stands Microsoft, determined to navigate these extremes. In the face of a rapidly maturing business market, Microsoft needs to find a way to persuade consumers to upgrade their PCs.
    Sounds to me like they want us to upgrade our house. "Oh yeah, four bedrooms is all you'll ever need."
  • by Spytap (143526) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @03:58PM (#6185441)
    Only Microsoft would invent a house where you need to ask permission to act like you live there...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Welcome home you have 435 messages.

    Message one from Edgardo Smith, subject Drop all Debt y ddrf.

    Drone on...

    Message two from Spetic King, subject your septic system needs this!

    Drone one....
  • Maybe not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EisPick (29965) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:00PM (#6185460)
    It won't happen without the cooperation of the big entertainment companies, who are very wary of giving Microsoft too much power.

    This article [businessweek.com] from the current issue of BusinessWeek summarizes the situation well.
    • This is true, but what's to prevent Microsoft from including DVD ripping software in Longhorn? Even the threat of that might be enough to get the media people to the table.

      It was an interesting article, but it repeats as facts the record industry's equation of downloads equalling lost revenue, which isn't true.
  • by sharkey (16670) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:00PM (#6185465)
    Does it have a bathroom? [slashdot.org]
  • by Sean80 (567340) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:00PM (#6185466)
    Perhaps I'll be modded as a troll

    At the end of the day, you've really got to hand it to Bill. You don't become the richest person on earth by standing down by the train station and begging for money. You get there by being damn smart in everything you do, and the type of genius thinking that's going on at Microsoft regarding eHome is proof of how he got there. Ideas are cheap, actually getting something out the door is what really puts your balls on the line, and Microsoft is actually out there and doing it. Microsoft is always the one making us talk about them, what they're doing next. No other guy (expect perhaps Larry Ellison) causes such a stir when he talks.

    Sure, Microsoft is a monster which breaks the law repeatedly, and does us all a world of harm in a lot of ways, but you have to give credit where it's due. Everything in this article sounds cool.

    And what is perhaps most funny is that, at the end of the day, Microsoft may well be on our side when it comes to the way Hollywood wants to sell us our entertainment in the future.

    • by swordgeek (112599) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:11PM (#6185593) Journal
      1) I hope you don't get modded down. UYou bring up some interesting points.

      Bill Gates has been a vicious, tenacious, dangerous, and violent pit bull for his entire career. When people were building a software community of openness and sharing, he came along to poison the well by actually charging MONEY for his pet project--DOS. Without Bill Gates, where would we be? Not paying $700 for a bloody office productivity suite, that's for sure; but possibly without that suite existing at all. Without the dirt, money-grubbing, and sliminess that MS stands for, we probably wouldn't be nearly as far along on the development curve. Stuff like this house are an excellent example of pushing the envelope, for the sake of finding out what directions to take research next.

      Kind of embodies the US capitalist idea in many ways, both the good and the bad.
      • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:41PM (#6185879) Homepage
        Without the dirt, money-grubbing, and sliminess that MS stands for, we probably wouldn't be nearly as far along on the development curve

        Maybe - but really, which would you prefer? I for one would rather be a few years behind the technology curve and live in the kind of society that encourages sharing, than having the technology we have available today but having all the associated garbage from MS, SCO and the like.

        Oh, yeah, Gates is smart. Got to hand it to him. He's not stupid. But that, by itself, is meaningless. I don't perceive being smart as being any more worthy of respect than being attractive, or being wealthy, or being fluent in 8 languages. It's what you do with those assets that matters. Gates hasn't used his smartness well. He used it selfishly in fact. Though I appreciate his business acumen, I don't think I could ever respect him for it.

        • Note that I didn't say "a few years," I said "NEARLY as far"

          Part of me wonders if we would have progressed beyond a command-line text-only interface by now if it weren't for Microsoft. If you work with that postulate, then it becomes a "ends/means" question. Does Bill Gates' destruction of the software industry as a cooperative venture justify his creation of the software industry as a profit-making (and therefore STRONGLY developed) entity? Not an easy question, if you look at it honestly.

          Now on a totall
          • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @05:42PM (#6186431) Homepage
            Part of me wonders if we would have progressed beyond a command-line text-only interface by now if it weren't for Microsoft.

            Do you really think Microsoft were the only company that could have made the GUI a success? The GUI existed before Gates, before Jobs. They were the first to bring it to the mass market, nothing more. Does Bill Gates' destruction of the software industry as a cooperative venture justify his creation of the software industry as a profit-making (and therefore STRONGLY developed) entity?

            Strongly developed in what way? Economically? Yes. Socially? No.

            Now on a totally tangential note, there's one thing that I respect Bill for fully. He has given a LOT of his own personal money to education and charities, and the only reason it's been made public (in the past) is that as Chairman of MS, he's required to divulge his finances to a greater extent than most.

            Yeah, but remember where that money came from. It's good that he's not establishing a dynasty - he's too smart for that. However, I still can't respect him no matter how much money he gives away, as in some ways, that money simply was not his to start with.

      • by nhavar (115351) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:48PM (#6185965) Homepage
        You know you've got to wonder about an alternate reality where Bill Gates and MS didn't exist. Would it be this utopian society where software was cheap and there were plenty of interoperable products and platforms? Or would software be just as expensive, we'd still be arguing PC/MAC, and someone else would be standing there in the void maybe Jobs or Ellison or maybe IBM would be the one we'd be complaining about. Or would it be even worse, more expensive software, more fragmentation and just a bunch of small time jack asses running around being pains in the ass to the community.

        Today who made their carreer because of Microsoft? In the absence of MS who would rise to power? I shudder to think if it were Ellison in Gates position or Steve Case....

        It reminds me of a story I read where someone travels back in time to avert a disaster and each time a bigger disaster results from the intervention until finally the person goes back and allows the first disaster to take place. Lesser of two evils I guess.
        • Based upon my memories of the days before MS...

          Say that Digital Research had gotten the bid for DOS. No other inserted change needed.

          Then computer software companies would consider Apple, and Apple pretty much like the current one, but about 10 times a large, to be the evil monster. And they'd be right. GNU would still have been built, and so would Linux, but they wouldn't have been forced along quite as quickly. The PC Clones might still be the major alterntive to Apple, but perhaps not. Commodore m
      • I might thank Mr. Gates for the fact that we have cheap hardware around, and I don't just mean the Xbox but commodities like x86 in general. MS pushed the idea that hardware is cheap and the real business is in software. Even though I don't use their software, I wonder how the home computer revolution would have proceeded without them.

        I know there would have been alternatives like Amiga, but apparently none of those had the necessary marketing. On the other hand it would be nice if we didn't have to carry

      • Bill Gates has been a vicious, tenacious, dangerous, and violent pit bull for his entire career. When people were building a software community of openness and sharing, he came along to poison the well by actually charging MONEY for his pet project--DOS.

        Uhhh, people were already paying for CP/M and paying lots. MS-DOS was cheaper and that was one of the (many) reasons for its success. Also DOS wasn't Bill's "pet project". IBM had approached Microsoft for a copy of Basic and idly mentioned they were al

    • Microsoft is only on Microsoft's side. As soon as Hollywood is either on board, or out of the way, it will be back to the same old "screw the users" game.
    • */me paddles his board out*

      Yeah, MS may have done the computing world more harm than any other single software company in history, but Bill Gates is really smart and nothing can be all bad, right? I say we approach MS with more objectivity by forgetting all the awful things they have done and focus instead on all those shiny half baked goodies they produce


      Oh, and I'll probably get modded down for saying this


      /me rides karma wave...cowabunga, mods!!

  • And digital media is everywhere. "Suspicious Minds" greets you in full-home surround sound.

    And isn't that ironic......don't ya think.
  • With all that high-tech media on the walls, you would never need to look at the Windows...

    (Also rumored that the reason Gates built most of his house underground was to avoid pouring more money into windows.)
  • If I don't trust Microsoft with the security of my PC, why would I trust them with my home??
  • by NixterAg (198468) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:02PM (#6185486)
    In case you weren't aware, Artisan just released a remastered version of Terminator 2 and has bundled in what it calls the "Extreme Edition". On the second disk, there is a pseudo high-def version of the movie (720P) in WM9 format. It takes a beast of a PC to play it, but it is really, really cool. If you have a good HTPC, you can watch a high-def version of a great movie on your high-def TV. The best thing is that it fits on one DVD with no problem. Sure, it might compress the video a little too much and the sound isn't full-bitrate DTS or DD-EX, but it's at least a taste of what's to come when a HD-DVD standard emerges.

    It doesn't matter to me whether it's Microsoft, Apple, or whoever that's doing it. I'm just glad someone is trying to move us forward.

    Microsoft haters: this post does not address the fears you have of whether or not Microsoft will take over the living room and it's not meant to.
  • Smart Ovens (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:05PM (#6185517) Homepage Journal
    That's one piece of home automation I'd appreciate:
    Run a chicken pot pie beneath the barcode reader on the microwave and it sets the time and temperature.
    It'd be great to have a barcode describing a pre-made food's heating requirements. Something that the oven (microwave, conventional or convection) could apply against it's own known characteristics and produce the best results that can be expected.

    No more "9 minutes in a low-wattage microwave, 5 in a powerful one, rotate 1/4 turn after 3 minutes" just a high density coding letting the oven set itself. Heck if developers were clever the coding could even be stenographically embedded in the packaging artwork so it'd be invisible to the consumer, not distract from the pretty pictures.

    Put a self-setting item into a smart-oven, it reads off the directions and 4 cycles and however many minutes later your whatsits comes out perfectly cooked.

  • So, where does this all leave consumers - the wide-eyed masses, yearning for their content to breathe free? In Microsoft we trust. Ouch.

    Heh.
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:07PM (#6185534) Journal
    Microsoft has been building a 'home of the future' about once a year for a while. This is their forth, I believe.

    Always interesting, always, controversial, and always full of a bunch of half-baked ideas. No problem--that's what showcases are for!

    I'm about the last person on the planet to defend MS, but the idea of creating a 'what if' house once every year or so is brilliant. The answer to some of those "if" questions is often bad ('if we did this, it would SUCK!!!!') but asking them as an exercise is exactly, precisely how we move the state of the art forward.

    • by blackmonday (607916) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:38PM (#6185845) Homepage
      Actually this is the sixth version of the house of the future. In every house, 99% of people refuse to believe in the Microsoft future. Of those 99%, there is always one anomaly, or "The One". The One wanders the house looking for Bill Gates (known as the architect), hoping to get his questions answered. The One has used Microsoft's Internet Blender, Windows Media Faucet and Office Ice Maker, but always knows, in the back of his mind, that something is not quite right.
    • Microsoft has been building a 'home of the future' about once a year for a while. This is their forth, I believe.

      The Home of the Futurix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of systemic anomaly to the emergence of the next in which case this is the fourth version.

      The first Home of the Futurix I designed was quite naturally perfect. It was a work of art. The inevitability of its doom is apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being to not b
  • ... is to come home to my quiet place in the country, throw another log on the fire, cook dinner on my gas stove and play music with my friends who come over later that evening for a jam session by lantern light ... I deal with automation all day at work, I want my home to be a quiet place...

  • From a June 2012 newspaper article in "Fox-Disney-USA-Today":

    Dateline: Billmond, Washinggates.

    "Microsoft revealed today that its Windows XH home security system, installed in many homes through 1997, has a security flaw in which doors open for anyone who walks up to the door backwards. Microsoft says that this OS is too old and it will refuse to fix this security flaw.

    Microsoft is hoping that the old Windows XH home software users upgrade to the new version of the OS that has Digital Rights Management in
  • yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:10PM (#6185574)

    This is the same "smart automated house of the future" concept that has been touted fruitlessly since the 1950's. If there were any real demand for this, we'd all have homes like this already.

    (see also: videophones, flying cars)
  • humm (Score:2, Insightful)

    The front door on this house has no keyhole. Which is not to say it's vulnerable. Security couldn't be more important at 16100 NE 159th Avenue. There's the future to protect.

    Instead of traditional locks, there's an electronic kiosk with a touchscreen, a biometric scanner, and a smartcard reader. Go ahead and make eye contact; if you're a match, you'll pass through into your future home - a time and place a half-dozen years from now when your living quarters will recognize you, communicate with you, and

    • If the power goes out, all the doors open automatically and the faucets start running! Yessir, they've got you covered.

      Either that, or the walls are built from sturdy UPS bricks for backup power and insulation.
  • by netsharc (195805) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:11PM (#6185596)
    Great, so I bring home a girl and the house starts yelling "Penis too small? Buy our penis-enlarger now! Original from Sweden!" and "Hot teens wait for you! Call us now!"..

    I hope they come up with a better protocol than SMTP in the future..
  • by mykepredko (40154) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:12PM (#6185607) Homepage
    All Bill has to do is buy up one record label, one movie studio and one TV network. Maybe a book publisher for good measure. If he wanted to do it in one fell swoop, he could buy Disney.

    Once he has them under his control, he can then offer their content under a single pricing model in which all of the content would be available anywhere in the home just by a clicking on a selection.

    By doing this, the consumer has no need to buy, copy, sell, trade, etc. content and, as the content owner, the money just rolls in. Make the assumption that a household could only absorb, say 2,000 Hours per month of content, distribute royalties based on the percentage of time the consumer is accessing the material (or from the total number of hours and keep everything over 2,000 hours).

    As for independent content developers, they could submit material to the network and get paid a royalty based on its popularity. This could spur on many more small projects like the "Blair Witch Projects" and "Clerks". Maybe music would become much more varied because just a few suits aren't deciding what gets played.

    This creates a problem for the major content owners. Consumers are happy, producers and artists are (very) happy and Bill is not only an Entertainment God, he is richer than Him. So, they have no other choice but to offer their content to Bill for distribution on his network. They will get royalties for their material and hopefully a much larger customer base.

    Everybody's happy?

    Of course, I could be smoking something,

    myke
  • The article mentions Snapstream, which allows recorded video to be streamed to remote machines. However, Snapstream isn't, in my opinion, the best solution.

    Sage TV [www.sage.tv] allows similar streaming to any PC on a LAN, including anything connected to a TV or HDTV. In addition, it's got most of Tivo's bells and whistles. Fast Forward, Instant Replay, Integrated Episode guide, etc. It'll even allow recording of as many channels as you'd like (limited only by how many capture cards you decide to cram into your PC.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:17PM (#6185665)
    Instead of traditional locks, there's an electronic kiosk with a touchscreen, a biometric scanner, and a smartcard reader.

    In the event of a power failure, you're stuck in the house with no air, heat, or way out.

    . . . lights dim, and a recipe shines down from above on your black Corian countertop as the oven begins to preheat.

    Just like MS to naturally assume it knows the best course of action for me. I would hope that the house would ask me to do these things just in case I change my mind.

    Powered by four PCs running Windows XP, it features dozens of networked monitors, Xboxes, appliances, and consumer electronics devices scattered everywhere.

    Exactly how much is all this stuff going to cost me? Why do I need 4 computers? Is there failover/backup capability? I would think 1 main and 1 backup ought to be able to run the house.

    Due to limits imposed by the operating system, there's no way to play its stored shows on another screen or TV.

    Let me get this straight: I can play copyrighted music in any room but not play free, broadcast TV from any monitor?

    Like it or not, the path Microsoft takes will determine the future of digital media - thanks to its dominant desktop market share, the company's actions set the pace for the industry.

    That is, until you buy a new washer and dryer and the whole house shuts down until you can prove to MS that you haven't moved houses.

  • by El (94934) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:22PM (#6185701)
    There's a long, long line of people at the Pearly Gates waiting to get in. Suddenly, this nerdy looking guy in glasses cuts to the front of the line and storms on in. The others at the the front of the line complain "Who was that?" St. Peter replies: "Oh, that was God, but he thinks he's Bill Gates!"
  • Break out the food processor and some baking material; your home recognizes RFID tags in the bag of flour and offers to help. "How about focaccia?"

    Oh for gods sake... I see that in Bills vision of the future we are all incompetent invalids. Come on... I like living my life, I like, you know... doing things the old way. It gives me pleasure to the little things. I know it all comes down to choice, do what make you happy. But I still see Bills vision of the future as somewhat, soulless.
  • by aerojad (594561) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:24PM (#6185713) Homepage Journal
    Can't wait for the worm that's written that makes every home in America play Hanson at the same time, or some other like-annoying band that will drive the general populace insane, just long enough for them to all call tech-support at the same time.
  • I believe that (fortunately for users) there is a powerful "third force" in addition to Hollywood and Microsoft - the combined force of open source developers and pirates. We already know that a very large fraction of the population (the majority of broadband Internet users) are comfortable using P2P to get their MP3s.

    Regardless of products offered by Microsoft, some people will be unhappy with them and that will cause the development of alternative technologies (codecs, distribution networks and players).
  • survive yet another desaster in marketing.

    If Hollywood in the form of the RIAA and the MPAA carry on the way they are, and continually push the limits to edge so that finally one has to have permission to play any song or watch any movie (I'm being overly melodramatic here) Hollywood will die because consumers generally get irritated with things that are restrictive.

    The Microsoft home will almost certainly be an absolute desaster in the first two iterations until Microsoft "get's it", but will then catch
  • by heli0 (659560) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:33PM (#6185779)
    Microsoft has two visions for the future of digital media: unlimited choice for consumers, and unlimited control for producers. One thing's for sure, it's unlimited opportunity for Redmond.

    Gates probably has the same idea of "unlimited choice" as Henry Ford: "any color so long as it is black".
  • The MicroSoft "Home of the future" was burned to the ground last night. The fire started in the CPU closet, and quickly spread to the rest of the house. Fire suppression systems were not activated due to an apparently faulty heat sensor.

    The local Fire Department said that overclocking could have been the cause of the blaze.
  • War is Fun (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nanojath (265940) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:35PM (#6185810) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft has two visions for the future of digital media: unlimited choice for consumers, and unlimited control for producers.


    To go along with your total security on your MS server, presumably. More to the point, the only way these goals are compatible is that producers have the unlimited control to degrade their information and I have unlimited choice to not buy value-diminished products.


    The record labels have seen what can happen when consumers gain total control


    Do they mean what happens when producers strong-arm a technology into the market, and then realize they've given away something they don't want anyone to have due to their failure to understand technology?


    the film studios aren't about to let file-sharing ruin them.


    Thank God they developed unbreakable CSS encryption before they strong-armed DVDs into the market.


    Like it or not, the path Microsoft takes will determine the future of digital media


    I like not believing this is true. I could be wrong but then I'm in denial about a lot of unpleasant realities.


    That's when the eHome division, which Poole helped start, teamed up with Hewlett-Packard and Samsung to unveil the Media Center Edition PC.


    It's like a digital media hub. That Microsoft spirit of innovation marches on!


    Scott Dinsdale, an executive VP of the Motion Picture Association of America, told the crowd that Microsoft and HP were using the Media Center Edition to "build a business on someone else's back." Asked to summarize Hollywood's attitude toward the PC, he said, "You don't screw with me, I won't screw with you. Don't play a movie on a PC ever again, and I won't say a word."


    I think I'll just enjoy sitting back and watching this fight from the sidelines. That is possibly the most arrogant and stupid thing I've heard from the MPAA, which is saying a lot. A lot a lot.


    Eisner added, "We will not let the fear of piracy prevent us from fueling the fundamental impulse to innovate. If we don't provide consumers with our product in a timely manner, the pirates will."


    You could have read that sentiment on Slashdot years ago and got a real jump on the market, Michael. Must I be surrounded by idiots? Must they be running things?

  • http://www.mythtv.org/ [mythtv.org]
    or this,
    http://freevo.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
    or this,
    http://pvr.forceconstant.com/ [forceconstant.com]

    and just for fun and as a FU Bill, why not this?
    http://www.target-earth.net/xbox/hardware.html [target-earth.net]
  • Bill Gates, Entertainment God
    I've always thought of him as something more like the devil, actually.

    Instead of traditional locks, there's an electronic kiosk with a touchscreen, a biometric scanner, and a smartcard reader
    While this system in some ways may protect better than conventional key-locks, sometimes you want low-tech. This sounds too easy to break (especially the touchscreen), and frankly it seems easier for me to click a key in the lock than align my eyeballs to a scanner.

    A screen on the wa
  • by Cruel Angel (676514) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @04:42PM (#6185894)
    And I'm not talking about RAM and little stuff like that, but when your /whole house/ becomes obselete? Or when you want to sell your house? It sounds like much of this will be hard-wired into your homes systems, and not simply removed.

    I dont know about you, but not being able to sell you house easily because it's 'smart' features are 2 years out of date doesn't soud like a happy situation to me.

  • Like it or not, the path Microsoft takes will determine the future of digital media - thanks to its dominant desktop market share, the company's actions set the pace for the industry.

    Determine the future of digital media? No more than, say, the big three automakers working together can determine the future of the automobile. Even in California with its oppressive, draconian smog laws, it's still legal to make your own car, starting with raw ore if you like. Similarly, in the software world, we will still be able to create our own operating systems and digital media players. The question is, will it still be legal to use them? Hell, it's not legal to use them now, though it's not like when I wore my faded DeCSS mirror shirt (thank you copyleft) onto Beale AFB here in sunny Sutter county I was thrown into the lockup or anything.

    I don't agree with the FUD in the article either, though I'm not sure why I'm mentioning it since it isn't written by the author; Still, it's included.

    "It's easy to talk about an interconnected world when you're providing all the pieces," says Tom Jacobs, ISMA president and a director at Sun Labs. "Microsoft is buying market share, but when they run everyone else out of the market, do we think Windows Media 9 will still be free? They'll up their rates because their product will be the only thing that's left."

    Sigh. Their product will not be the only thing that's left. That's dumb. Of course it will still be free, they want everyone using it; People creating and distributing content for it ALREADY have to pay for tools and/or licenses. So what's new?

    Also quoted in the article is a ray of hope.

    But Disney seems to be softening. In April, Eisner told a crowd at a National Association of Broadcasters meeting that he's looking to put Disney "in the forefront of the digital transformation of the entertainment industry." Announcing Disney's plans to launch a video-on-demand service, Eisner added, "We will not let the fear of piracy prevent us from fueling the fundamental impulse to innovate. If we don't provide consumers with our product in a timely manner, the pirates will."

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Powered by four PCs running Windows XP

    Four?! Misterhouse can easily run on one - and one that's quite a few years old, too. Granted, I'm sure MisterHouse isn't as fully scaling as this is, but just imagine the power consumption of 4 modern x86 systems running constantly (especially in addition to whatever systems you already have).

    We're talking about an extra 100$/month, or more, for power (depending on where you live).
  • MPAA's attitude (Score:3, Interesting)

    by H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) on Thursday June 12, 2003 @05:14PM (#6186188) Homepage
    Did anybody else get this far down in the article?
    Scott Dinsdale, an executive VP of the Motion Picture Association of America, told the crowd that Microsoft and HP were using the Media Center Edition to "build a business on someone else's back." Asked to summarize Hollywood's attitude toward the PC, he said, "You don't screw with me, I won't screw with you. Don't play a movie on a PC ever again, and I won't say a word."
    Just thought I would point it out, for those too busy to read all the way through.
  • ...and then in the middle of his alergic reation to apple liquor william climbed to the roof of his estate and proclaimed: "Behold me, I am a porcelain god!"
  • Lots of people have mentioned the problem of the computer reading out your spam when you come in, and that was my first thought too, however isn't it bad enough that when you bring someone else round it starts reading out all your personal email?

    Even if you have no secrets at all from your wife or SO, what if you have kids? Now no-one can send you email with vulgar language in...

    graspee

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