The NYT’s piece today on TiVo once again questions the company’s prospects, and lays the blame for its possible demise on cable obivating the company’s hardware business by incorporating TiVo-like features into set top boxes. But as usual the piece ignores the implications of what happens to consumer choice and the future of ideas (in the Lessig sense) if we allow cable companies to control what features are available on PVRs. Not only do we lose the freedom to tinker, we also push intelligence, such that it is, into the cable companies’ systems, and away from the edges. Sigh. Time for Apple to step in?