Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

TV Limits Copies

Filed under
Misc

Aiming to prevent mass piracy of digital TV programs, especially over the Internet, the Federal Communications Commission has mandated a new copy-protection scheme called the "broadcast flag." The FCC's ruling, which goes into effect this July, lets you make a backup copy of flagged shows, but no further copies.

The flag will be attached to "over the air" digital content--both network and local station programs, such as movies or prime-time series on NBC. Any device with a digital TV tuner can grab that content, whether it comes over an antenna or through a cable or satellite set-top box. The flag, basically a piece of code, will travel with any show that the broadcaster wants to protect.

In July, new consumer electronics devices--including tuner cards for computers--that receive digital TV signals must ship with the ability to recognize the flag and to respect its copy restrictions.

Without the flag's protection, television networks argue, Hollywood won't license its blockbusters to them as broadcasts go digital. Unlike copies made on analog media, a digital copy retains the quality of the original, whether it's a first-generation copy or a thousandth-; digital copies are also simpler to make and far easier to distribute, as peer-to-peer networks have shown.

Media companies hope the flag will help alleviate the content piracy problem, which costs the industry about $3.5 billion each year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America's calculations.

A legacy clause will let current products continue to work as usual, ignoring the flag. But questions about how future DVD technologies will allow you to make copies of shows and whether these technologies will interoperate remain unsettled.

At press time, several consumer groups were attempting to block the FCC plan in court (see "Fighting FCC's Copy Controls.") Nevertheless, broadcast flag-compliant devices are rolling off production lines now.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Why Everyone should know vim

Vim is an improved version of Vi, a known text editor available by default in UNIX distributions. Another alternative for modal editors is Emacs but they’re so different that I kind of feel they serve different purposes. Both are great, regardless. I don’t feel vim is necessarily a geeky kind of taste or not. Vim introduced modal editing to me and that has changed my life, really. If you have ever tried vim, you may have noticed you have to press “I” or “A” (lower case) to start writing (note: I’m aware there are more ways to start editing but the purpose is not to cover Vim’s functionalities.). The fun part starts once you realize you can associate Insert and Append commands to something. And then editing text is like thinking of what you want the computer to show on the computer instead of struggling where you at before writing. The same goes for other commands which are easily converted to mnemonics and this is what helped getting comfortable with Vim. Note that Emacs does not have this kind of keybindings but they do have a Vim-like mode - Evil (Extensive Vi Layer). More often than not, I just need to think of what I want to accomplish and type the first letters. Like Replace, Visual, Delete, and so on. It is a modal editor after all, meaning it has modes for everything. This is also what increases my productivity when writing files. I just think of my intentions and Vim does the things for me. Read more

Graphics: Intel and Mesa 18.1 RC1 Released

  • Intel 2018Q1 Graphics Stack Recipe
    Last week Intel's Open-Source Technology Center released their latest quarterly "graphics stack recipe" for the Linux desktop. The Intel Graphics Stack Recipe is the company's recommended configuration for an optimal and supported open-source graphics driver experience for their Intel HD/UHD/Iris Graphics found on Intel processors.
  • Mesa 18.1-RC1 Released With The Latest Open-Source 3D Driver Features
    Seemingly flying under our radar is that Mesa 18.1 has already been branched and the first release candidate issued. While the Mesa website hasn't yet been updated for the 18.1 details, Dylan Baker appears to be the release manager for the 18.1 series -- the second quarter of 2018 release stream.

Exploring Contributors Centrality Over Time

At the end of my previous post we concluded with yet another question. Indeed, on the 2017 KDEPIM contributor network we found out that Christian Mollekopf while being a very consistent committer didn't appear as centrality as we would expect. Yet from the topology he seemed to act as a bridge between the core contributors and contributors with a very low centrality. This time we'll try to look into this and figure out what might be going on. My first attempt at this was to try to look into the contributor network on a different time period and see how it goes. If we take two snapshots of the network for the two semesters of 2017, how would it look? Well, easy to do with my current scripts so let's see! Read more

KDE: Elisa 0.1.1, KDE Plasma 5.13 and More

  • 0.1.1 Release of Elisa
    The Elisa team is happy to announce the first bug fix release for the 0.1 version.
  • KDE Plasma 5.13 Is Making Great Improvements On Its Wayland Support
    KDE Plasma 5.13 that is due for release in June will have a great number of improvements to its Wayland support for allowing the KDE Plasma desktop to work much better on this alternative to the X.Org Server. KDE developer Roman Gilg has provided a nice summary of some of the Wayland improvements in the queue for the Plasma 5.13.0 release due out towards the middle of June.
  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 15
    I’ve initiated a big project: overhauling KDE Open & Save dialogs for greater usability and productivity.
  • Latte bug fix release v0.7.5
    Latte Dock v0.7.5   has been released containing important fixes and improvements! Hopefullly this is going to be the last stable version for v0.7.x family. During the next months the next stable branch (v0.8.x) is going to appear.