Finally, A Good Use For Censorship

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Saturday, August 5, 2000

from the just-say-no-to-mud dept.

ST. LOUIS -- A startup company in the new "Silicon Holler" industrial complex has invented a new device called the "Z-Chip" to be used in televisions. The Z-Chip censors out political advertisements, President campaign coverage, and anything else that the viewer finds to be annoying and sleep-inducing.

Explained the inventor, "Negative campaign ads represent a far greater danger to children than even the bloodiest, raunchiest TV show. It's time to take a stand. No more mug-slinging! No more live 24-hour coverage of boring political conventions! No more commercials about 'saving Medicare!' No more political pundits! If I see George Stephanopolis on TV one more time, I'm going to..."

The Z-Chip filters out material using the closed-caption text. "If, for example, the closed-caption contains the words 'Bob Holden for Governor', the Z-Chip immediately recognizes this as a campaign advertisement and shuts off the screen," the inventor said. "It uses sophisticated neural network artificial intelligence heuristics to determine what to filter out." (Don't worry, we're not sure what that means either.)

Right now the Z-Chip prototype only deals with political ads and newscasts. In the future this device will be able to censor such annoyances as used car commercials, PETA spokespersons, weekend weathermen, and Barbara Walters.

Users who have tested the prototype have given it positive reviews. Said one, "During the last election season, I sprained both thumbs changing channels to avoid any campaign advertisements. With the Z-Chip I don't have to worry about that anymore."

The retail version of the Z-Chip will be on sale next week for $49.95.