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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @
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April 27, 2004

Crippled External Hard Drive for DVRs

Posted by Ernest Miller

A number of gadget websites have noted what sounds like nifty new technology, an external hard drive especially designed for Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). The device, from hard drive manufacturer Maxtor, connects to an existing DVR to provide up to an additional 160 hours of recording capability. Read the press release: Maxtor Expands QuickView Outside the Box.

What the press release doesn't tell you:

The first devices will be available in the summer of 2004 and have an eSATA interface. Maxtor is exploring USB 2.0 and FireWire/1394 connections. Good enough.

However, the product will not be available in retail initially, but rather via your cable/satellite provider. In other words, you won't own it. Actually, ownership is probably not a good idea because the device will not be portable and will be designed to connect to a single DVR. Moving or switching providers will be fun.

Furthermore, according to Maxtor's press contact:

Due to content protection/privacy, the Expander will not communicate/share files with the PC.

Content privacy? Not sure what that is. Regardless, why are so many new consumer devices being designed deliberately crippled? Why is the United States sacrificing so much potential innovation? Perhaps, Mary Hodder is right and it is time for "Silicon Valley Lamented".

via Designtechnica

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Tools


COMMENTS

1. Jenny Levine on April 28, 2004 04:41 AM writes...

Ernest, you are so off-based on this one. After all, what makes you think you'll even be able to switch providers? Won't it all be one company by then?

;-)

Nice catch.

Permalink to Comment

2. Dennis on May 20, 2004 03:11 AM writes...

Jenny, how can you be so stupid?
One provider?
Check your email. After the @ you will see providers you never heard of before.
Shopped for a car? Did some of those guys even make cars 5 years ago?
No. They entered the market because there was a profit potential.
Do you think the profit potential on web access will grow, decrease or stay the same?
If you answered correctly, then your comment: Won't it all be one..." is dumb, dumb, dumb!
If it ever got down to just one, I would enter the market and make a killing. And so would 1,000 others.
Too bad they did't teach economics when you went to school.
Think! Then email.

Permalink to Comment

3. makster gamiitron on June 6, 2004 02:47 PM writes...

corporate america is insecure, because it knows it's gonna get the boot from competitors... the patterns of action that lead to the desires in these groups controlling our markets are based soley on making you give more to them, and allow them to imagine all the potential you have... hmm, yah.. they teach real economics in the academies of the underground, without fake smiles and catchy remarks, without the faucade that one believes in the potential of rich people to care of the awareness of their existence to other people... of shut the fuck up i have the money and the resources, here is what you'll get to make it and create it, whatever you will be after you give me all your money and your freedom... screw the bitches and don't buy that devolved shit that tries to own what you do, even the non-existent potential

Permalink to Comment

4. Eric on September 3, 2004 09:56 PM writes...

"Content privacy? Not sure what that is. Regardless, why are so many new consumer devices being designed deliberately crippled? Why is the United States sacrificing so much potential innovation? Perhaps, Mary Hodder is right and it is time for "Silicon Valley Lamented"."


It's called the "Inducement Act", and the RIAA is trying to push it through Congress here in the USA. It would make hardware and software manufacturers partly responsible for illegal activity committed using their products. (It's complete bull, but that's never stopped our lawmakers before.) Kind of like holding Ford responsible if a bank robber uses one of their trucks as a getaway vehicle.
PLUS, next year we get the "Broadcast Flag" going into effect, which would effectively copy protect broadcast television (at the option of the specific channel) just like DVDs and VHS tapes.
They're just covering their butt.

Never dreamed of a day that a VCR would be illegal, did you?

"If it ever got down to just one, I would enter the market and make a killing. And so would 1,000 others."

Not if our fearless leaders repeal or just simply ignore antitrust laws (laws against monopolistic marketplace behavior). Without those in place, we'd all be using nothing but Windows in no time, because we'd have no choice.
Before you call someone dumb, you should check your own position for fiscal and political naivete.

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