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Old 05-15-2008, 04:24 AM   #1531
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Oh, please spare me. The US constitution doesn't grant a right to television service of any sort, nor to competitive pricing of any goods or services.
I believe you'll find that this is not the case, at least not in the context of the discussion. The point was that TiVo, itself, is not protected, while access to competitive marketplaces is.

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Yes, but the U.S. Constitution is not a relevant aspect of that environment. I submit your arguments will wield more weight if you keep them cogent and free of detritus.
Your welcome to your opinion, even though it doesn't actually add anything constructive to the discussion, and instead just fosters a hostile environment where attacking what individual posters say and how they say it is the norm, instead of keeping to the topic yourself.

And I won't get on you about how irrelevant the other 5 billion 700 thousand people in the world, who you were discussing in your last message, are to what we're discussing in this thread.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:29 AM   #1532
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I agree with most of what you have said, up to this point. The fact is, every person on Eath - all six billion plus - could scream at the top of their lungs about this issue, and the CATV companies couldn't care less.
Yeah, that was a little over the top. I just kind of became carried away in the moment
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:45 PM   #1533
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The Constitution

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I believe you'll find that this is not the case, at least not in the context of the discussion. The point was that TiVo, itself, is not protected, while access to competitive marketplaces is.
No, it isn't, which is why your point is not taken at all. The U.S. Constitution says nothing about commercial interests or marketplaces. The closest it comes is giving Congress control over patents and copyrights (Article I, section 8, part 8) and forbidding any interstate taxation or restrictions on interstate trading (Article I, section 9, parts 4 and 5). Unless one counts the phrase "...promote the general welfare," in the preamble, not one word in the Constitution mentions internal commerce, trading, marketplaces, competition, or economics, and nothing in the Constitution seeks to protect access to marketplaces of any sort: free, competitive, or otherwise. Its relevance to the discussion at hand is zero, no matter how wide you make it, unless you start talking about taxation and trade or treaty restrictions with foreign powers.

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Your welcome to your opinion
Yes, it was an opinion.

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even though it doesn't actually add anything constructive to the discussion
I submit it does, although of course I admit it did not address the elements under debate, but rather the form of the debate. No matter what some people believe (and I am not saying you are necessarily one of them) obfuscation and hand-waving add nothing to a debate. Indeed, in my opinion they severely impair the argument of whoever employs them, deliberately or not. I am not an official debate scorekeeper, but if I were I would severely dock points from those whose arguments deviate from being cogent.

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and instead just fosters a hostile environment
If you believe constructive criticism fosters a hostile environment, then I submit it is you who are entitled to your opinion.

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And I won't get on you about how irrelevant the other 5 billion 700 thousand people in the world, who you were discussing in your last message, are to what we're discussing in this thread.
They (or rather their complaints) are pretty much completely irrelevant, but only slightly more so than TiVo owners, which was my point, exaggerated for effect as I admit it was.

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Old 05-16-2008, 04:20 AM   #1534
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I don't see your comments as constructive at all. I think they are way off-base. I won't pander to your need to belabor this point by providing a significant response to your diatribe.

Back to the topic.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:50 AM   #1535
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Well at least you're living up to your chosen name.

Look, I disagree with lhorer vehemently and often, but he's right this time around. Your silly crap about the Constitution and its status regarding cable service guarantees is ridiculous, useless, and smacks of a baseless assumption of superiority. I don't know if you ride a garbage truck for a living or sit on SCOTUS itself, but either way you're pushing silly s**t into the discussion for no discernible reason. Please stop pretending it's helpful or relevant or adds anything worthwhile to the discussion. It isn't, it doesn't, and you only make yourself look all the more silly every time you dig yourself further into your bunker on it.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:33 AM   #1536
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Oh sorry, I was looking for the SDV FAQ, must have typed SDV FIGHT by accident. Again, sorry for the interruption.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:11 PM   #1537
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I agree with most of what you have said, up to this point. The fact is, every person on Eath - all six billion plus - could scream at the top of their lungs about this issue, and the CATV companies couldn't care less. All six billion of them writing letters would only garner a little more notice. No, the only things of which the MSOs are going to take much notice is either a major loss of revenue or potentially massive fines from the FCC. The loss of one customer is definitely not a major loss of revenue. The loss of every single Series 3 customer is perhaps a bit on their radar, but even that is comparatively small potatoes. As others have pointed out, we (TiVo owners) just don't have much clout. We have a bit more than some have estimated, but it would not be at all difficult to overestimate the magnitude of our potential influence. All of us put together probably couldn't match in a year the amount of bribes paid by the MSOs in a single day, so I wouldn't hold much stock in convincing the government of anything, either.
I think if every person on Earth screamed, someone would notice. Some places are, for example, experiencing high prices for rice and corn right now. They cannot afford to eat anymore. That actually made world news. (Well, BBC News anyway. The news shown at the networks at 6:30 isn't really world news.) But you are right -- the screams of 0.2% of CableCard users (actual number in my DMA) will be drowned out by the screams of the other 99.8% of cable subscribers who want to know why more channels aren't in HD yet.

Many people are also complaining about high gas prices. You know, the same people who bought trucks and SUVs when they never carry anything else except themselves. Or those people who chose to live in a house that was an hour drive from work (or vice versa). And yet they do nothing else about it except complain.

The point is, if someone doesn't like what his cable company is doing, he should cancel their service! Who cares if the cable company notices or not? And don't buy a product that is exclusively designed to work with them. Save the money for gas, or use the money to buy food for someone else.

And if someone thinks non-network TV is really a necessity, and that a DVR is really a necessity, and he can't put up a satellite dish or wants to use one specific specialized DVR, then he should move to a different place where he can. It's a buyer's market in housing right now. But beware -- people are complaining they can only get a loan if they have good credit and only for houses they can actually afford.

Now, can we please cool down and get back to topic?
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:58 PM   #1538
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(Well, BBC News anyway. The news shown at the networks at 6:30 isn't really world news.)
oops leetist backfire there, which was so snobbish as to make me comment,

ABC world news has very much been following the World Food crisis with in depth reports on what and why around rice and corn that have been aired 2 or 3 times a week for the past few weeks. In a word you are wrong.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:56 PM   #1539
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Oh sorry, I was looking for the SDV FAQ, must have typed SDV FIGHT by accident. Again, sorry for the interruption.
...
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:08 PM   #1540
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I don't see your comments as constructive at all. I think they are way off-base. I won't pander to your need to belabor this point by providing a significant response to your diatribe.

Back to the topic.
And many of us (me included) feel the same way about you.

But then again, that's why you've appropriately named yourself "bicker".
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:17 PM   #1541
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Now, can we please cool down and get back to topic?
No. Everyone wants to get the last word, as if that makes their point true and the points made earlier not.

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But then again, that's why you've appropriately named yourself "bicker".
No it isn't. Were you there at the time?
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:24 PM   #1542
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No. Everyone wants to get the last word, as if that makes their point true and the points made earlier not.
Good job breaking the cycle.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:36 PM   #1543
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I think if every person on Earth screamed, someone would notice.
Notice? Surely. Care? Not so much, or at least not enough to spend money to fix it, or for that matter to even risk impacting other avenues of profit.

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Some places are, for example, experiencing high prices for rice and corn right now. They cannot afford to eat anymore.
That's right, and I doubt you will find more than a comparative handful of people in America who do not find the fact deplorable. Simply by not purchasing useless cosmetics, but buying and shipping durable food products, American women all by themselves could easily feed the entire world several times over. How many women do you think will stop using cosmetics to see to it the starving are fed, however?

With business, it's even more black-and-white. If it isn't required by law, doesn't promote sales / marketing, and impacts or potentially impacts the bottom line, then the odds of it happening are slim to none, no matter what "it" might be.

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But you are right -- the screams of 0.2% of CableCard users (actual number in my DMA) will be drowned out by the screams of the other 99.8% of cable subscribers who want to know why more channels aren't in HD yet.
This is true, but wasn't quite my point. The CATV company doesn't really much care whether their customers fork over the cash happily or unhappily, as long as they continue to fork over the cash. Your point, however, underlines the fact that if the customers are inordinately unhappy about shelling out the bucks, they might very well stop. This is especially true in any market where the consumer has other options for obtaining the commodity or a replacement for it. It is doubly true if the item in question is not essential. In short, it's true the CATV company would in actuality be worried if all their customers started screaming "Bloody murder!", not directly because the customers are screaming but because they might stop screaming and actually do something about it. And yes, the most salient fact is that the CATV company cannot responsibly ignore the 98% of customers' demands in favor of the 2%.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:44 PM   #1544
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By the way, Brighthouse networks in Farmington Hills, MI also is using SDV now.... they keep adding HD channels... and I can't get them unfortunately.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:53 PM   #1545
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Tuning whatevers

A friend of mine works for a company who provides certain hardware to CATV providers, and he is setting up a booth in New Orleans this weekend. I've asked him to keep his eyes open on the SA and Moto exhibits, and I'm hoping he may have some news concerning how real the tuning resolvers / adapters / thingamabobbies are (or aren't) at this time. Maybe they'll even have working prototypes. 'Good news, if so. 'Unsurprising, if not.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:37 AM   #1546
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A friend of mine works for a company who provides certain hardware to CATV providers, and he is setting up a booth in New Orleans this weekend. I've asked him to keep his eyes open on the SA and Moto exhibits, and I'm hoping he may have some news concerning how real the tuning resolvers / adapters / thingamabobbies are (or aren't) at this time. Maybe they'll even have working prototypes. 'Good news, if so. 'Unsurprising, if not.
Shocking, if not. For one thing, both companies brought products to test to CableLabs' Tuning Adapter interop event at the beginning of April and both claim to have passed muster there; both companies announced plans to submit their products for CableLab's Certfication Wave 60. Now, unless both companies were lying, I'd really be surprised if they didn't bring working prototypes to New Orleans (again, they both announced plans to do that). If they don't show up with protos, they got some 'splaining to do.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:25 AM   #1547
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I spoke with a guy in Time Warner's Business Class support today regarding a couple of SDV issues we were having with the SA STB's in my company's office. He wasn't especially knowledgeable, but he swears there are a couple of two-way 3rd party CC boxes up and running under testing in their offices in San Antonio.
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:34 AM   #1548
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And yes, the most salient fact is that the CATV company cannot responsibly ignore the 98% of customers' demands in favor of the 2%.
That is indeed the most salient fact, and indeed is typically the bottom-line of just about every prolonged (ahem) discussion about the commercial realm, on these forums or any others for that matter.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:46 AM   #1549
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That is indeed the most salient fact, and indeed is typically the bottom-line of just about every prolonged (ahem) discussion about the commercial realm, on these forums or any others for that matter.
yes, but I do not hear the 98% demanding more channels. Better content maybe, but not speciifcally more channels.

The 2% are demanding to see the channels they are paying for already, and as noted before some of them are using Cable Company supplied equipment and not able to see the SDV channels. SDV is not having an easy deployment
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:48 AM   #1550
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I want to test the two-way cable card for TWC here in San Antonio. How can I get involved?
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:05 AM   #1551
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... but I do not hear the 98% demanding more channels. Better content maybe, but not speciifcally more channels.
Consumers demand with their wallets not necessarily by voicing or writing. The fact is that there is an advertising battle going on now with every carrier touting the number of HD channels they carry. Those on the short end of that metric will surely pay the price with lost subscribers.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:30 AM   #1552
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yes, but I do not hear the 98% demanding more channels. Better content maybe, but not speciifcally more channels.
Perhaps you're imposing your own personal interpretation on what their clamoring means? As ah30k alluded to, when talking about what the majority is "demanding" that unequivocally means what drives them to make the purchasing decision one way or another. It means nothing else. Again, perhaps you're projecting, based on your own personal preferences, what you think the majority would end up enjoying more. However, what is important is only what will make that majority end up spending more money on. BIG difference.

And thanks to DirecTV, too many people are "demanding" more HD channels, blindly, without regard to what that means. They are switching from cable to DirecTV to gain FX HD while losing PBS HD and CW HD (this would be my own personal situation) and thinking that they are getting a better deal because there are these 25 other HD channels which they'll (I'll) never actually watch. Perhaps some of them will realize their mistake when watching History Detectives this summer in SD; maybe not.

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The 2% are demanding ...
Blah blah blah. We've already established that what the 2% want doesn't matter. They're not entitled to anything that is not explicitly covered by the tariff, and if it is, then take the cable company to court. Don't expect them to change for the 2% unless they are found to be in violation of an actual law or legal agreement, as long as they're doing what is best to attract the 98%.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:09 AM   #1553
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I want to test the two-way cable card for TWC here in San Antonio. How can I get involved?
I'm pretty sure that 2-way cable card isn't deployed yet, although if it is, I'm 99.9% sure it is incompatible (2-way mode anyway) with any Tivo currently made.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:14 AM   #1554
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I'm pretty sure that 2-way cable card isn't deployed yet, although if it is, I'm 99.9% sure it is incompatible (2-way mode anyway) with any Tivo currently made.
All CableCARDs are two-way, and always have been. What's yet to be deployed widely is host devices that can make use of their two-way functions. So existing TiVos are compatible with "two-way CableCARDs," but they cannot make use of the bidirectional services.

That will change in the future, first with the Tuning Adapter (which will add to existing TiVos the ability to use bidirectional services), and later with the expected tru2way TiVo (which will have such capability built in). But neither advance represents a change in the CableCARDs, only a change in how the host devices make use of them.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:52 AM   #1555
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More properly stated, CableCARDs themselves are not and never will be bidirectional (except in that they implement some APIs for communication back to the network when installed in the proper device). CableCARDs have no RF communication built in and get everything from the wire passed to them by the host device that they're installed in. Some CableCARD Host Devices (televisions, set top boxes) implement bidirectional cable network communication, though none have shipped for retail sale that I'm aware of. Technically, all of the new CableCARD-using leased set top boxes that the cable providers have deployed since July 2007, like the SA Explorer xxxxC models, are bidirectional CableCARD hosts. They've deployed millions of them and if you have an Explorer 8300HDC, 8240HDC or 4250HDC, you're already "testing" them (particularly if they're running TWC's horrible Digital Navigator IPG).

Bidirectional host devices that are M-Card capable and have OCAP (collectively referred to as <tru2way>) are supposed to be launching this year--some products might hit the market in the Spring.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:01 AM   #1556
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And yes, the most salient fact is that the CATV company cannot responsibly ignore the 98% of customers' demands in favor of the 2%.
Let's remember that that's 99.8% versus .2%, much closer to the actual usage of CableCARDs in most markets.
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:34 AM   #1557
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2-way cablecards

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I'm pretty sure that 2-way cable card isn't deployed yet, although if it is, I'm 99.9% sure it is incompatible (2-way mode anyway) with any Tivo currently made.
<sigh> Every CableCard ever made, including the very first one to roll out of the fabrication planet has been 2-way. Those very same cards are 100% compatible with every 2-way CableCard host ever deployed, and until the law changes that ever will be. The only caveat as far as TiVo is concerned is that the S3 requires 2 M-cards to receive dual streams, while the M-card is capable of receiving multiple streams. The TiVo HD can receive two simultaneous streams with only 1 M-card. Every CableCard must work in 2-way mode or it won't work at all. I don't know where you came up with that 99.9% number, but it is 100% wrong.

TiVos are not 2-way hosts, and so cannot participate in 2-way services with the CATV headend, but that has nothing to do with the CableCards.

As far as deployment is concerned, all SDV is 2-way, and the vast majority of SDV boxes out there are CableCard based. Prior to July 2007, a significant number of STBs and DVRs with integrated security were deployed, but with only a few exceptions having been granted, every MSO since July 2007 has been required to deploy nothing but devices employing separable security, which at this point means exclusively CableCards.
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:45 AM   #1558
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More properly stated, CableCARDs themselves are not and never will be bidirectional (except in that they implement some APIs for communication back to the network when installed in the proper device).
You say potaeto, I say potahto. If we're going to nit, I would say the "all CableCards are 2-way" statement is more representative of the situation. It's true the CableCard doesn't transmit RF to the headend, but then it doesn't receive RF from the headend, either, as you yourself mentioned. All communications in and out of the CableCard are with the host, of course, but regardless of the type of host, those communications are bidirectional. Even more importantly, no matter what type of CableCard or when it was manufactured, it is capable of being deployed in any bidirectional host and participating in 2-way CATV services, including SDV.

The bottom line is, there is no CableCard in the works that sports any special features as far as 2-way communications are concerned.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:10 AM   #1559
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Corporate arrogance

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Consumers demand with their wallets not necessarily by voicing or writing. The fact is that there is an advertising battle going on now with every carrier touting the number of HD channels they carry. Those on the short end of that metric will surely pay the price with lost subscribers.
I think there is an important point in there. Many people (including me, sometimes) talk about companies paying attention to consumer's spending habits and intent, yet to a significant extent I have seen many businessmen all but ignore their customers in preference for listening to the PR and sales hype of their competition. It's an arrogance thing, endemic to corporate sales and PR types. There is sometimes a tendency to think of customers as being almost 100% malleable at the corporate whim, and that all that must be considered is the actions of the competitors.

Case in point: (And I swear this is 100% true) I was at a meeting of TWC employees, affiliates, and certain industry representatives about 15 - 20 years ago. There were about 3000 people present. T. J. Connally, the V.P. of PR for TWC in San Antonio at the time, was speaking at the podium. He had just announced the company would be doing yet another channel line-up change. Every time one of those was undertaken, the company received tons of complaints, and the field techs got a persistent earful from annoyed customers for several weeks after every major lineup change. One of the technicians - who couldn't believe they were doing yet another one - got up and asked point blank why they were doing this yet again since there was no technical reason they should and it just served to tick the customers off. Believe it or not, Connally actually became gleeful and said (quoted to the best of my recollection), "No, no. We want to annoy the customers! When we do a line-up change like this, it stirs them up and keeps us on their minds. Otherwise they just tend to forget about us."

Another case in point: Classic Coca-cola. When the Coca-cola bottling company was told that for the first time in history Pepsi was out-selling Coke, they panicked and rushed to change Coke's formula so it was closer in taste to Pepsi. Sales plummeted. Finally they were forced to re-introduce the old formula, calling it "Classic Coke". It out-sold the new Coke by more than 7 to 1.

There are many other examples I could site, including Mrs. Field's cookies, Federal Express, Sam Walton, and a host of others where businessmen ignored the public's opinions and desires in favor of business analysts' conclusions and the competition's antics.

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Old 05-18-2008, 01:20 AM   #1560
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Shocking, if not. For one thing, both companies brought products to test to CableLabs' Tuning Adapter interop event at the beginning of April and both claim to have passed muster there;
Is that confirmed? I have seen rumors to the effect, but I hadn't seen any official reports. OTOH, I have been quite busy with other considerations, adn since I'm no longer in the industry, I no longer get the trade rags.

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both companies announced plans to submit their products for CableLab's Certfication Wave 60.
I had heard that about Motorila, but not SA. Again, maybe I'm out of the loop.
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Now, unless both companies were lying, I'd really be surprised if they didn't bring working prototypes to New Orleans (again, they both announced plans to do that).
Ditto. Welcome news, however, if true.

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Originally Posted by mikeyts View Post
If they don't show up with protos, they got some 'splaining to do.
What are we going to do if they don't? Arrest them? Nevertheless, I'm hopeful, if definitely still reserved of judgment. I'll call my friend later today and see if he's got anything to report.
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