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The Friday Five

Jeff Baumgartner

Here's our quasi-weekly look at a handful of other stuff that happened in the world of cable this week that bears sharing or repeating:

  • Yet another chapter has been opened in this never-ending patent tiff involving digital video recording (DVR) tech-mology. Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) filed a lawsuit against TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) in a Delaware court, claiming Dish's new workaround software does not infringe on the TiVo "time warp" patent. Is anyone surprised after TiVo chief Tom Rogers suggested the exact opposite earlier this week during the DVR pioneer's earnings call? (See TiVo Sees Dish Drama Dissolving.)

  • Wired says it had an hour-long talk with two hackers claiming responsibility for hacking Comcast.net. (See Hackers Smack Comcast.net .) "Comcast is just a huge corporation, and we wanted to take them out, and we did," "Defiant," one of the supposed hackers, told the pub. Some of the hacker quotes in the story use some colorful language, but perhaps not as colorful as that bong Defiant was using in the MySpace photo Wired lifted.

  • Multichannel News has an interesting update on the ongoing battle between cable MSOs, cable modem vendors and purported "patent troll" Rembrandt IP Management. Several cable ops and modem vendors are firing back at Rembrandt for allegedly trying to "hijack" the Docsis specs and obtain millions in license fees. Legal venom notwithstanding, I kinda dig that cherry red modem.

  • Some Federal Communications Commission (FCC) staffers are getting ready to descend on Wilmington, N.C., site of an early trial that will tell us whether or not we can expect the February 2009 digital TV transition to fall on its face. (See DTV Transition Test Bed .) According to Broadcasting & Cable, the FCC folks will be visiting local retail outlets to tell consumers how they can prepare for the cut-over, which, for them, occurs on Sept. 8.

  • Forgot to mention this last week, but DSL Reports says Sarasota, Fla., could be the next Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) system to enjoy cable modem Wideband speeds. That pinpoints things a bit better after the MSO's Florida system told the world back in March that Docsis 3.0 was on the way. (See Florida Crows Over Docsis 3.0.)

    Until next week…

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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