CBS Suits Consider the DVR, Not Afraid

PVRWire links to an “interesting” article from Canada about a CBS research exec giving a presentation to a luncheon of TV critics. In the presentation the exec cites a bunch of stats on digital video recorder usage. The article doesn’t say where the research comes from. Here are a few highlights (taken from the PVRWire piece):

* The public is adopting DVRs at a slower rate than some observers predicted, and the idea that a DVR revolution would sweep away the networks’ scheduling power has “been thoroughly discredited.”
* DVR penetration in the United States is at 12% to 15% of households, versus 8% last year. The prediction is for steady growth to 20% and then a slowdown.
* DVR-equipped viewers of the big four U.S. networks still watch 90% of their shows live, although this figure drops to 82% for prime time.
* Sixty-six per cent of viewers who have recorded a show on DVR watch it by 6 a.m. the next morning, and 80% watch within two days.
* Overall viewership of cable and network TV is a roughly even split, but people with DVRs record 77% of their shows from the networks and only 23% from cable.

We’d be interested to know how this data tracks with Street Tech readers who have DVRs. I watch almost nothing live, altho for things like the evening news, I watch on about a 20 minute delay so I can FF commercials. I rarely watch a show that I’ve recorded the same night I’ve recorded it, but I do watch it within 2-3 days after recording. I definitely record more cable shows than network. How about you?

Monitor in a Mouse?

The first question that springs to mind is: Why? But when it comes to geekly hardware hacking, we know the answer: Because other geeks are going to link to it like crazy, and the wackier the hack, the more the link-love. This Finnish dude put a Nokia phone LCD screen inside of a Logitech mouse. No, really.

[Via hackAday]

Ambidextrous Third Hand

We’ve covered Third Hand hacks in the past. This one is especially cool ’cause it allows for up to four “arms” on the unit and you can swap out different types of fingers. The builder used Loc-Line components. While it may look like a kid’s building set, Loc-Line is a snap-together systems of tubes (yes, it’s a series of tubes) for delivering cutting fluid on machine tools. But as you can see from this Flickr set, it makes a bitchin’ solder helper rig, too!

[Via Make]

The REAL Tokyo Underground

This pic may look like the set of Tron or Logan’s Run, or some futuristic mall, but it’s actually a close-up of the giant machinery inside Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization. It’s just one of the amazing images in a piece on PingMag called “Joe Nishizawa: Japan’s Underground Photography.” All the images are from a book of Nishizawa’s photographs, called Deep Inside, which explores the inner (and under) workings of Japan through photos and deep captions. Think of it as UNDER street tech.

Thanks, Jay!

Update: (via Boing Boing):
Matthew says: “The photo in this item is from KEK (“Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization”, as you say), which is not in Tokyo. It’s it Tskuba, about 40 miles north east of Tokyo, more or less the middle of nowhere. I spent a week there in college, installing code for controlling high voltage power supplies for the Belle detector project.”

VoIP Quality Getting Worse?

Om Malik has a link on GigaOm to a report on dropping VoIP quality. He writes:

“Brix Networks, a company that develops monitoring tools for VoIP, says that the quality of VoIP calls is getting worse… nearly 20% of VoIP calls have unacceptable quality…”

Damn, and just when I was thinking of switching to Vonage…

Read the rest of Om’s piece here.

Bots on Ice!

Our buds at Nxtbot have a piece about a new Japanese robot called PLEN. Under 10 inches tall, PLEN has 18 joints, can be operated via Bluetooth and mobile phones, and runs for about 25 minutes on a charge. But the amazing thing is that PLEN rollerskates and skateboards!

Check out this YouTube vid, where PLEN shows off some slick moves on a skateboard and some of his rollerskating routine. Nice form. He’s no Brian Boitano, but still…

Bluetooth Watch from Citizen

It may look about as sexy as an ATM machine, and it has a rather ridiculous name, but the forthcoming i:Vert (ugh) from Citizen is undoubtedly the shape of things to come (tho hopefully, the things to come will be a lot more svelte). The Citizen Bluetooth (we’ll call it) can show your mobile’s caller ID, so you can see who called, send an incoming call to voicemail if you don’t want to answer it, or reach into your pocket if you do. Nice, but not worth the likely price (no details on that) and definitely not worth the sartorial clunkiness of this first from the gate model.

[Via Akihabara News]

Printer Ink Refill Hack

Mark Frauenfelder has an item on his Mad Professor blog about using ink refill kits with printer carts (something I’ve always thought about doing, but never gotten around to).

In the piece, he points out a “hack” I was unaware of. As you may know, many modern printer cartridges have ID chips in them. When the cart is read as empty by the printer, you can’t refill that cart and use it again (’cause the printer has a stored record of that cart being kaput). But, the printer (at least Mark’s HP — your printer’s mileage may vary) can only remember two carts at a time. So, if you keep a couple of dead ink cartridges around and insert those, in succession, when you insert your newly refilled cartridge, the printer will think it’s new. Cool. I’ll have to try this on my Epson.

PSP News from Comic-Con

PSP Fanboy had some interesting news this weekend (via Comic-Con) about Sony’s PSP plans. Among them:

* The PSP will be able to act as a remote for the PS3.
* The forthcoming PSP firmware update will include RSS video feed support for the web browser.
* The firmware update will also include a World Tour Soccer 2 game demo.
* Sony has no plans to improve text entry nor plans for any first-party keyboard.
* Sony is in talks with Wi-Fi hotspot providers to try and make it easier for PSP owners to connect. (a la Nintendo’ and Wayport)
* They are “working on” a video-out feature.
*And ways of bringing downloadable movies to the PSP.