Tagged: digital rights management

The Kaleidescape Cinema One: A Fantastic Set-Top Box That You Can’t Afford

David Pogue, now at Yahoo, reviewed the The Kaleidescape Cinema One.

The Cinema One is a set-top box[1] that allows you to rip your entire movie collection—DVDs and Blu-ray disks—so that you can watch it instantly on your big TV. But because the Cinema One bypasses the copy protection on those disks, Kaleidescape had to seek the blessings from the Hollywood studio cartel. And boy did they make it unusable. Pogue writes:

When you want to play a Blu-ray movie off the Cinema One, you have to hunt down the original disc you own, insert it into the Cinema One’s slot, and wait for it to load. You’re not playing the disc; you’re just confirming that you own it. But you’re also losing 80 percent of the value of having a Cinema One! What happened to “any movie in your collection, instantly”?

If you’re not dissuaded by the fact that the Cinema One doesn’t work any better than playing a Blu-ray, the price tag might. It costs $4,000.

Doesn’t BitTorrent seem easier?

  1. Pogue is right in pointing out that this term is antiquated, but we still call it a computer mouse, long after it’s lost its “tail,” and we still “dial” phone numbers.  ↩

K-Cup Coffee Cartel

There are many reasons to hate those K-Cup coffee machines. First, the machines are expensive. Second, the refills are expensive, and thus, the coffee it makes is also expensive. And for the elevated expense, you get coffee that tastes like crap krap.

One way to make being locked in to the K-Cup system more palatable is to use third-party refills that cost significantly less than those sold by Green Mountain.

But according to Techdirt, Keurig is aggressively combating the spread of cheaper refills.

In a lawsuit filed against Keurig by TreeHouse Foods, they claim Keurig has been busy striking exclusionary agreements with suppliers and distributors to lock competing products out of the market. What’s more, TreeHouse points out that Keurig is now developing a new version of their coffee maker that will incorporate the java-bean equivalent of DRM – so that only Keurig’s own coffee pods can be used in it.

The Keurig CEO has confirmed the new DRM-locked machine. He also called it a “game changer” presumably because instead of “giving away” the coffeemaker and charging for the refills, as you do in the established “razor-and-blades” model, Keurig intends to profit from the coffeemaker and the refills. This is how in bad CEO parlance, the “game” has been changed.

Of course, you can save yourself a ton of money and get better coffee at home with any number of coffee makers, like a Chemex or an Aeropress that don’t have DRM or even require electricity.

That’s truly game changing!

The above links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy something through those links, I will earn a commission fee.