The Macalope Daily: Adorable

Forbes has really been on a tear as 2012 gasped its last breath and 2013 stepped in, wondering what it had done to deserve this. Having foisted on us not one, but two “I’m leaving the iPhone!” pieces by pundits who haven’t actually decided that they’re leaving the iPhone, the publisher of “Information for the World’s Business Leaders” would now like us to enjoy some more delicious tripe.

Kelly Clay brings Forbes readers the amazing tale of “Why Intel’s New IPTV Service Will Do What Google, Apple, and Microsoft Can’t” (no link, but tip o’ the antlers to Lessien).

Spoiler: it’s because Intel is made of hopes and dreams and magical candy canes!

And an elf. A crazy, crazy elf.

For the past year or so, Intel has also quietly been working on a top-secret set-top box that could not only be better than what Apple, Google, and even Microsoft offer today, but also kill the cable industry as we know it.

Wow! Intel’s not exactly known for its consumer products—it’s more known for its stickers on consumer products. What’s the secret sauce here?

This set-top box, said by industry insiders to be available to a limited beta of customers in March, will offer cable channels delivered “over the top” to televisions anywhere there is an Internet connection regardless of provider.

Amazing! Tell us more!

Intel’s set-top box will also have access to Intel’s already existing app marketplace for apps, casual games, and video on demand.

Uhhh, Intel has an app marketplace? Well, apparently it does have one which sells Windows apps. So, this device runs full-blown Windows, then? How cost competitive could this box be if it requires a Windows license?

Sorry! Pesky facts! Please, stuff more adorable kittens in our mouths!

Leveraging the speed of current broadband, and the vast shared resources of the cloud …

And rainbows! Don’t forget the rainbows!

… Intel plans to give customers the ability to use “Cloud DVR”, a feature intended to allow users to watch any past TV show at any time, without the need to record it ahead of time, pause live tv [sic], and rewind shows in progress.

How does the company do it?!

Along with hiring the right key players with the expertise needed to develop a revolutionary set-top box, Intel also has the technology to create a product unlike its competitors.

Turns out all you needed are chips! Who knew? Chips and cash.

Intel has been providing chips for set top boxes since the days of Akimbo, which had a similar vision as far back as 2005. Back then, though, no one had digital rights to content – and up until now, no one wanted to risk unbundling the channels. This is clearly the biggest barrier for Intel – but since Intel is used to betting billions on chip design, it has allocated a budget significantly larger than Apple or Google’s. While Silicon Valley measures investments in tens of millions, Hollywood often drops more than $100 million into a single movie. Intel came to the table knowing this, and so was able to negotiate the licensing agreements with Hollywood that other tech giants have never been able to.

Whoa, whoa, ha, OK, there are a whole lot of fluffy Intel kittens in that paragraph, so let’s try to carefully unpack them, because they are so very precious. You’re saying that Intel, which made $33 billion in 2011, is less adverse to spending money than Apple, which made $45 billion in fiscal 2011? That Apple, which has almost three times as much cash as Intel does, only knows how to spend it in $10 million increments? Is that what you’re saying?

Huh, guess that data center must have been cheaper than we all thought.

Intel is also prepared to invest heavily in making it a success. In contrast, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have always viewed Hollywood as something of a hobby.

It’s probably not an adversity to spending money that’s keeping Apple from making deals with Hollywood. It’s more likely an adversity to making monstrously stupid business decisions.

Update: Intel is scheduled to hold a press event at CES, but a spokesperson has clarified that the company will not be announcing anything related to this product or holding any public demos.

Well, sure. It takes time to get all the rainbows and kittens and fairy elves into the cloud-connected boxes. And then you have to put all the stickers on them.

Or maybe just throwing cash at the problem didn’t end up seeming like such an awesome idea.

Intel Corp.’s effort to develop an Internet-based TV service and associated hardware is taking longer than expected, people familiar with the company’s plans say, in part due to delays in reaching content agreements with media companies.

That sound you just heard was a really hungover unicorn throwing up.

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