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GPL 3.0 released with anti-TiVo provisions

Gnuheadbanner Today marks the release of GPL version 3.0, the first update to the free software license in 15 years. The GPL is the license Linux operating systems are released under and focuses on freely available code you can modify. Every TiVo has been built on a basic Linux kernel but the new version of the license may be at odds with how TiVo uses Linux.

The new version of the GPL includes a provision to prevent "TiVoization" which means you can download TiVo's open source code and modify at will, but you can't run it on your TiVo due to security keys and digital rights software.

Back in April, TiVo filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission warning that the upcoming GPL v3 could harm their business. With the new version out today, it's still too early to tell if TiVo can continue releasing their software under the v2.0 license or if they will be forced to move to the new version and provide a way for developers to circumvent any security or copy-protection limits.

June 29, 2007 in News | Permalink | Comments (5)

Widescreen YouTube on AppleTV!

Picture_1 Last month Apple anounced YouTube for Apple TV, and it was released on Wednesday. I downloaded the update and played with it a bit and I quickly realized there was a definite lack of quantity of available video. There was some speculation last month that not everything would be playable or converted to H.264 versions required for AppleTV, but there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why some videos are available in AppleTV and most aren't.

You can sign in and view your listed of videos marked as favorites, but of the 30 I had previously marked, only 3 were available to play. I went to my computer and marked off another 10, and only 3 more were playable. I did some searches and found usually only 5 or less results for stuff that normally returns 50 or more results.

But the biggest surprise was seeing widescreen video properly handled in the YouTube player on AppleTV. One of my biggest peeves with viewing YouTube on my computer is that anything ripped from a HDTV (16:9 widescreen) source gets smushed into the default player's 4:3 aspect. I was hoping YouTube would someday make their flash player adjust to original source size.

If you do a search for "rodrigo y gabriella" (they're a cool acoustic guitar duo that mix classical and rock techniques) in AppleTV, you only get this one result of the 300+ you get in a computer browser search. But if you play it, it fills the screen of your HDTV with a fairly high quality version of their live set. The odd thing is on your computer, you'll get a vertically compressed version by default and even when shown full-screen.

So it appears the YouTube player for AppleTV only sees a minority of total available YouTube video right now, but of those available, the AppleTV player properly handles aspect ratio accordingly, playing both standard and widescreen aspect ratios. That's something even the browser-based player can't seem to handle.

June 21, 2007 in News | Permalink | Comments (7)

Wii and PS3 Media Centers

Wiimediacenter If you've got a Nintendo Wii, Wii Media Center X looks like a new way to stream various media to your console and onto your TV.

It's by Red Kawa, the same people that make popular iPod/PSP video converter Videora and they've also got a PS3 Media Center app to boot.

June 13, 2007 in Hacks | Permalink | Comments (2)