[EAS] TV-B-Gone

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Oct 22 13:41:31 EDT 2004

Subject:   TV-B-Gone

(from NewsScan Daily, 19 October 2004)

     Inventor Mitch Altman has the answer for people in airports,
doctors' offices, restaurants and bars that feature blaring
television sets as part  of the ambiance. The TV-B-Gone is a
universal remote disguised as a tiny keychain fob that works on
most televisions and comes in two models geared toward European TV
sets or Asian-American ones. When activated by pressing  a button,
the device runs through about 200 different codes that turn off 
various TV models, starting with the most popular brands and then
moving to  the more obscure. One TV-B-Gone enthusiast notes, "You've
heard about the battle for eyeballs. They're your eyeballs. You
should not have your consciousness constantly invaded. Television
people are getting better and  better at finding ways of roping us
into TV where we can't get away."  Altman says friends who've heard
about the device have approached him about  other uses, such as one
that could jam cell phones or shut down vehicle subwoofers and car
alarms. (Wired.com 19 Oct 2004)

A nice instance of someone inventing something that is wanted. Media
attention spread word of this device from 4 websites to almost 4000
in four days. They sold out their entire initial stock of 20,000 in
two days, but more are on order. A great present for that person who
has everything, except their sanity.  --PJK

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