Here's a gadget with a simple function, but it could be politically complicated: the remote-control jammer. Anyone who's ever lived in a house with more than one person but just one TV will appreciate its ability to block infrared signals, so that when you tune your set to Grey's Anatomy, it stays there — no matter what your spouse/roommate's plans are. Then again, there's a chance it could kick off an escalating remote-control arms race: First you get the jammer, then he gets an RF remote control, then you get an RF jammer, then he gets a high-power signal booster, then you get an invisible shield for the cable box, then he says, "To hell with it," gets a pair of shoes, and walks up to the damn thing to change channels. That's when you know things have gotten way out of hand, so maybe you'd better think carefully before you send your $9.50 to The Gadget Shop.
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