Key-chain remote control turns off most television sets

Key-chain remote control turns off most television sets
In case you haven't heard about this device that could save civilization here is the info:

A new key-chain gadget that lets people turn off most TV sets — anywhere from airports to restaurants — is selling at a faster clip than it would take most people to surf the channels on their boob tubes.

“I thought there would just be a trickle, but we are swamped,” inventor Mitch Altman of San Francisco said Tuesday. “I didn’t know there were so many people who were into turning TV off.”

Hundreds of orders for Altman’s $14.99 TV-B-Gone gadget poured in Tuesday after the tiny remote control was announced in Wired magazine and other online media outlets. At times, the unexpected attention overloaded and crashed the Web site of his company, Cornfield Electronics.

The key-chain fob works like a universal remote control but one that only turns TV sets on or off. With a zap of a button, the gizmo goes through a string of about 200 infrared codes that controls the power of about 1,000 TV models. Altman said the majority of TV sets should react within 17 seconds, though it takes a little more than a minute for the gizmo to emit all the trigger codes.

Another excert:

He has tested the TV-B-Gone remote discreetly in many places, including in other countries, and — with the exception of Hong Kong — says he usually gets little to no reaction from others after the background TV noise and glare disappear.

But he said he would never dare silently kill the machines in places like sports bars, where patrons expect TV sets to be on.

I become more and more convinced that commercial TV may be wrong for much of the world's problems in the last fifty years. The origin of the word sabotage according to Word Origins website is:

It is suggested by some that this term for wanton destruction derives from striking workers throwing wooden shoes, or sabot, into machinery in order to destroy it. This belief was popularized when it was repeated in one of the Star Trek movies.

Sabotage does indeed derive from the French sabot and from striking workers, but not in the sense suggested. While sabot can mean a wooden shoe, it can also mean a metal shoe or clamp for holding a piece of metal in place (it can also mean a type of anti-tank ammunition, but that's another story). The second sense is what sabotage is derived from.

Specifically, sabotage comes from the practice by striking French railway workers of cutting the sabot that held railroad tracks in place. The word appears in English in 1910 and early use specifically refers to the French railroad strikers.

Perhaps this could be our bit of sabotage against our TV lords.


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