TV-B-Gone: Turning off TVs, opening up minds

TV-B-Gone is now open source, which may spark the creativity of aspiring engineers.

It has been argued that open source is only good at commoditizing big markets, but the news that TV-B-Gone has been open sourced perhaps provides a compelling counterpoint. (OStatic has a great write-up.)

I've never used the TV-B-Gone remote, which lets the user turn off just about any TV, anywhere. But I've long wanted to get one. The power to instantly stop the noise box is...tempting..

Even so, I may now wait a bit longer to see what the budding TV-B-Gone community will make of this already useful product. As Phil Torrone from MAKE Magazine suggests, this supposedly frivolous device could be the spark to a young would-be engineer's mind and, because it's open source, she can let out the resultant creativity in the form of a modified TV-B-Gone.

You may not think much of TV-B-Gone. But the potential it has as an open-source project is impressive.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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