October 18, 2004 3:31 PM PDT

Mark Cuban's innovation giveaway

Broadcast.com billionaire Mark Cuban has ideas to spare, so he's posted them to his blog.

Cuban, who sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo for $5.7 billion and is now president of HDNet, a provider of high-definition TV programming, rattled off a trio of ideas he said were potentially patentable, though he was not personally inclined to file the applications.

"These are businesses I would be looking at starting and software I would look at writing if I were so inclined," Cuban wrote Sunday in his blog. "Instead, I decided to throw them out--free for all...If I were a patent terrorist like some, I could probably even patent these ideas."

Cuban's ideas--like others that have materialized on his Web log--center around the emerging industry for personal video recorders (PVRs), such as TiVo, and video on demand (VOD). VOD is not as widely available as PVRs are, but the idea has shown some recent signs of life with a movies-on-demand deal between TiVo and Netflix, and with the VOD service--offering mostly obscure programming--of Akimbo.

Cuban's first idea is a software program that takes advantage of the time TiVo subscribers spend watching their commercials fast-forward. Where subscribers now sit glued to the blur of fast-forwarding frames, Cuban suggests displaying a static advertisement.

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