Strange New World: Picks of the Week

This week it looks like cross-country flights just got a whole lot more fun -- or just became unbearable, depending on your point of view. Also, the courts have ruled that a new type of DVR is not illegal, which is great news for Cablevision customers. And if you like to get your news via RSS and Twitter, that got easier as well. Here are our picks of the week.

Work Might Actually Get Done in Business Class

Delta Airlines announced that by next summer it will have Internet access on all of its domestic fleet. The service will cost $9.95 for flights of less than three hours and $12.95 for all longer flights. This comes on the heels of Continental Airlines' announcement that it would introduce Internet access on much of its domestic fleet. American Airlines will offer some Internet access on 15 of its trans-Atlantic flights later this year as well. This could change air travel as we know it. It was bad enough that the minute you arrive on the tarmac everybody is on their cell phones. Now what's to stop the person next to you from carrying on a three-hour Skype session while you try to sleep? This could actually push ticket sales a great deal for Delta. Jet Blue's TV selection was enough to get us to try them, and now that Delta has Internet, we're leaning that way.

DVR Networks Not Illegal

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York has just ruled that networked DVRs do not violate copyright laws in the United States. These are different than the traditional Tivo or set-top box DVR systems that record TV programs locally on the box by your television. These are DVR systems that companies like Cablevision would like to set up where their customers would record to a central server. This would allow them to provide DVR functionality to homes without replacing the cable box.

Also in DVR news, Tivo announced that "57 percent of all viewing is time-shifted," and 66 percent of all ads are skipped. We are quickly heading toward an all-DVR world, people. The networks are going to have to find a new way to advertise.

Good News for RSS and Twitter Junkies

The people behind the wildly successful Firefox browser have launched a new project called Snowl. This new Firefox extension is designed to corral all of your RSS feeds and Twitter news in one easy-to-use place. You can choose to receive the feeds in a three-panel style, like an e-mail, or in a format like a broadsheet newspaper. Check it out, and let the developers know what you think.

Jonathan Blum and Dan Evans co-host "Strange New World," a weekly syndicated radio show. Blum hosts the blog Blumsday.com and Evans is a features editor at PC Magazine.

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