An alarming statistic courtesy of today's Times: On average, 46 percent of DVR-owning adults are not skipping past ads during time-shifted programming, a number that's up slightly from last year. Obviously, the major networks are thrilled about this, since they think it means TV watching is an inherently passive activity that turns humans into sloths, and that their 60-year-old business model is still temporarily viable (time-shifted viewings currently add about 10 percent to live ratings and let networks charge advertisers for commercials watched up to three days after they first air). Clearly, though, this is more indicative of a design flaw in currently available DVRs, and signals that there's a bunch of money to be made by the company that makes commercial-skipping an automatic process (and dodges the resulting lawsuits from networks). If we'd paid any attention in engineering school, you can bet that's what we'd be trying to figure out how to do this morning.
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