Philips’ really dumb idea

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One story that seems to have gotten a lot of pickup in the last 24 hours is the news that Philips has developed a technology that would somehow prevent channel-switching or fast-forwarding during commercials. I’ll dispense with a lengthy description of how the technology works, but have you ever heard such a cockamamie idea? The only way this would work, practically speaking, is for there to be some incentive for consumers to actually watch, and even then it flies in the face of the reality that the consumer is in control. Maybe the people at Philips didn’t get the memo? Still, as a social experiment, it would be fun to see how people would react. Probably by throwing their remotes at the TV. UPDATE: As this story was widely reported, Philips has sent a statement to us and other news outlets to clarify what the technology is really all about. You can read it by either clicking on comments below, or checking out our full, updated post.

 —Posted by Catharine P. Taylor