A profile of Jack Vance from 2009 can be found here. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/magazine/19Vance-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
This is sheer sophistry. You're conflating two separate rights - the right to marry a man, and the right to marry a woman. In the same way, you could reintroduce public transport segregation with the argument "All citizens have the legal right to sit in that part of the bus that's assigned to them." Separate but equal.
From the article: "I also doubt that there is going to be any process that is going to ‘listen to’ the music to see if it sounds like a recognized song."
Why not? This technology exists and is available in projects like MusicBrainz Picard, used for a very similar purpose. There's every chance that iCloud could work this way.
The contract actually says that they can cancel the service with 30 days' notice "for any reason or no reason".
My understanding is that what's been reported as "encryption" is in fact compression, obfuscated by withholding the Huffman tables. The BBC can then say to STB manufacturers "You must restrict copying of HD content, or we will not give you the Huffman decoding table". The BBC need this so that they can say to (American) studios "Give us your HD content to broadcast, it will be protected".
In the mean time, Linux devs have reverse-engineered the Huffman tables anyway.
Is the TiVo guide data format understood? The BBC offer free XML listings data for all UK channels (not just BBC channels) - it seems like it should be possible for motivated developers to convert this into usable TiVo format data.
Well, an awful lot of work by a great many people went into MythTV. I didn't do any of that work, but I still get to use MythTV for free. So, it has a lot of credit with me, just to start with!
Essentially I think we agree - MythTV is the best thing available, but ideally it would be even better.
I agree that it's hard to set up. I don't agree that it's hard to keep it running.
You talk about problems when you rebuild the machine, or switch distributions, or upgrade to a new version of MythTV. It's true, those are troublesome. Try to avoid doing those things!
If you want a MythTV system that works reliably, then build a Myth box, get it into a working state, and then *stop tinkering with it*.
Obviously as geeks this is hard for us to do - the temptation to upgrade everything to the latest version is great! But, if you want it to behave like an appliance, I think you need to treat it like an appliance, and leave it alone.
Of course, it would be nice if all the upgrades worked perfectly, but my main point is that I don't think it's fair to say "the overhead of keeping it running is high", if you want to include regular software, OS, and hardware upgrades as part of "keeping it running".
It's a shame that you had a bad experience with MythTV. For the record, to provide some balance:
I have been using MythTV continually since 0.14, back in 2004. It's always been hard to get it set up in the first place, but this has improved over the years. Anyway, once it *is* set up, it's just fantastic, and I'd never settle for a lesser system (e.g. retail set-top-box) now that I'm used to the power of MythTV.
With power, comes complexity, but I think it's worth it. I love that I can tell it, e.g. "Record this show at any time, on any channel, as long as it's not an episode I've recorded before, and try to prioritise the shows that do NOT have a sign-language interpreter (but record those if it's absolutely necessary due to conflicts with other things I want to record)".
If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.