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Name Your Present!

Frank Ahrens

What do you want for the holidays?

Sure, we all want peace on Earth and goodwill to our fellow meat-puppets, that's a given. We're good people. We like that kind of stuff.

What thing do you want?

What gadget or service are you spoiling for, and why?

And here's another question: What still-unavailable gadget or service do you crave? In other words, what can't you do that you want to do? What unfilled gap is there that product-makers are missing? What is the minivan of the digital age -- a huge, pent-up market that no one but Chrysler recognized?

As for me, maybe this sounds wonky, but I'd like more access. I'd like for all the licensing and rights-holder issues to be vaulted. I'd like, for instance, to have watched that West Virginia University vs. Mississippi State football game back in October that was not broadcast nationally, broadcast on pay-per-view or even streamed on ESPN. I have been taught to expect everything when I want it. And when I can't get it, I'm like a dumb animal that's had a fence erected in front of it: I just keep butting up against it, stupefied. (For the record, I was forced to pay $20 for a year-long subscription to the Mississippi State sports audiocast just to listen to that one football game. Man, am I looking forward to those Bulldog baseball games in the spring!)

What's on your holiday wish list? Use the comments section below to discuss.

Today In The Post:

* Be careful if you open the wrong virtual Christmas package in your new video game, Mike Musgrove reports.

* Gift cards go high-tech, Ylan Q. Mui reports. New gift cards can play music like MP3 players or video, like DVDs.


* The major record labels have stepped up their attack on Russian music download site, which sells songs -- just like iTunes -- but, unlike iTunes, does not pay royalties to music companies. The major labels are suing the site.

* A look inside the popular Wii gaming console's motion-sensitive controls.

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 21, 2006; 1:29 PM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

When will FIOS ever be offered?? I am sure my little corner of Maryland will be the last to come-up on this technology.

Thanks Verizon, I love you too!

Posted by: Maybe in 2009? | December 21, 2006 2:27 PM

I want a second Wii remote + nunchuck, so my husband and I can play games together. But, although I did score a Wii, I can't track down a second controller anywhere. I understand that the console quantities might be limited, but why the accessories as well?

Posted by: Becky | December 21, 2006 2:29 PM

What I want: It's time we had a little Star Trek technology in the 21st century. We've got high speed Internet, we've got television and we've got (more or less) voice recognition technology. So why can't I walk into my house, turn to a flat panel television half the size of one wall and tell it to turn on, pull up the 1996 movie Swingers that I recorded the other night and display my email on a split screen. We've got all the pieces; why not put them together?

Posted by: J. Archer | December 21, 2006 2:32 PM

Thank you, Captain Archer.

Posted by: Frank Ahrens | December 21, 2006 3:06 PM

I would really like DRM that doesn't handcuff me. If I purchase a song, movie, etc., it's because I want to listen to it or watch it more than once, and possibly in more than one setting. And maybe someday I switch from iPod to a different device, and I shouldn't have to re-purchase it to continue to use it!

When I buy a paperback book, I'm not chained to my couch at home with it; I can read it whenever and wherever I want. And if I want to lend it to someone else or sell it when I don't need it anymore, then I can, and no publisher is ever going to come after me. The point is, I paid for the use of the material and I can do what I want with it.

Okay, so I shouldn't be able to make endless copies and distribute it widely. Fair enough. But I still want to be able to use it within my Fair Use rights.

Posted by: JP | December 21, 2006 4:56 PM

I want a field hockey title for the Wii.

Posted by: Annapolis | December 21, 2006 5:23 PM

Frank, I'm with you. Why can't I, using my Directv technology, watch Jackson, MS television from my home in PA? That way maybe we could catch some games/events that are only broadcast locally...that is locally where the game is taking place. Why does the FCC care? I suspect it has more to do with advertisers, so maybe I won't buy a Ford in it that big a deal? With satellite, I should be able to watch stations of my choice...I'll pay extra!

Posted by: Denny | December 21, 2006 8:59 PM

So you're saying Miss. State is more technologically advanced than West Virginia? As an exile from Mississippi... hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Posted by: dynagirl | December 22, 2006 6:14 AM

Offer me a DVD player with two extra buttons - one, an instant start where I can put in the disc, press "Instant play" and the movie begins, bypassing all previews, commercials, menus, and FBI warnings. Short of that, one with some small amount of flash memory that remembers that my 2 year old has seen (and agrees) to the FBI warning for "Cars".

Second, how about a "What was that?" button - when you press it, the playback it jumps back 15 seconds and temporarily enables the subtitles.

Posted by: rec2tec | December 22, 2006 12:08 PM

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