October 19th, 2004

I avoid blindly posting links to other sites from cheesebikini because this doesn’t add much value to the Web. But this one is just too perfect: A new product called TV-B-Gone is a tiny universal remote control that turns off almost any television. Walk into a bar or restaurant or gym, press the button and the device sends out 209 different codes to turn off TVs, the most popular brands first.

More from Wired News, from NPR and from the manufacturer (whose site is currently offline).

But what happens when TV manufacturers create new “off” codes? It would be great to be able to periodically update the device with code lists downloaded from the Web, in the same way you update virus-scanning software. Perhaps in the next version…

(Thanks Jeff!)

8 Responses to “TV-B-Gone”

  1. comment number 1 by: Doug Tygar

    They don’t go on sale until next week, alas.

  2. comment number 2 by: Doug Tygar

    It seems that in face of overwhelming publicity, they are available for sale now!

  3. comment number 3 by: Jean Lotus

    Ha ha! I’ve got one! Mitch sent me some to give to reporters in Chicago, but before I can even get them out the door, the story is already showing up. It’s in the Sun Times today!

    My 9 year old son had a blast turning off a GIANT MEGASCREEN yesterday in a store in Wicker Park.

    Jean Lotus

  4. comment number 4 by: khan

    does this device also turn tvs on? beauase thats what i would be more interested in… so much fun, especially when the teacher has technophobia…

  5. comment number 5 by: sean

    I think it does khan… [cringe]

    One of the news stories I read mentioned it’s ability to turn tv’s back on. the horror.

  6. comment number 6 by: C. Maoxian

    You’re right, linking doesn’t add any value to the web.

  7. comment number 7 by: IE Team

    Explorer will always be the best browser. Don”t you dare install Firefox or we will sue you.

    IE Team

  8. comment number 8 by: Anonymous

    I enjoy turning off people’s life support machines in hospitals. However, this could be mde easier if I could use a simple remote control to do so. Come on budding inventors, give people like myself a break! Make us happy!