Tuesday Feb 12, 2008

AT&T Uverse more stable again

AT&T pushed out TV2 client version 1.2.43048.3, running on WinCE/5.0.1400 to our set top boxes, and so far so good. When we first got Uverse its Windows heritage showed in frequent crashes requiring reboots to restore television service. Soon afterwards they pushed a new version and everything was stable for a few months - indeed more stable than the Time Warner cable set top box had been. But in the last couple of weeks the stability problems were back, and I hadn't been checking the version to see if that was related. Now I'll watch more closely.

The box connected to the HDTV always has the most problems. Maybe the software has more trouble doing 1080i than doing 420p on standard TV's. Or maybe it's because that box has a DVR. Or - dabbling now in conspiracy theories - it's the fault of DRM. I'm using an HDMI cable there which is supposed to give the best picture, and without all the extra cables you'd need with DVI. But it also has copy protection built in. I wonder if buggy copy protection software is making the set top box crash.

Do you remember when televisions contained tubes, not computers? And your TV wasn't shipped under terms of the Gnu Public License?

Friday Sep 28, 2007

Wrong about Apple?

I wrote that Apple's iTunes DRM didn't bother me because I trust Apple, and the only way my previously purchased songs could become unplayable would be if they deliberately pushed out an iTunes update to destroy them. Well, now according to this article in the Inquirer, Apple has pushed out an iTunes update to destroy the iPhones of customers who unlocked them. More from a Google news search...

I guess I'll stick to emusic.com, and check out Amazon's new DRM free music store.

On a side note, it's a ridiculous business model to "give" customers a "free" phone subsidized by a required long term service commitment. The regulators should prohibit the lock-ins, and let the phones compete on a true cost basis, and the phone service compete on a true cost basis.

 

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I am a software engineer in San Diego, president of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (spec.org), formerly a mathematician and a violist.

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