PERSONAL TELEVISION (PTV) - A type of interactive television technology featuring a digital hard disk drive inside a set-top box. Viewers can digital record broadcast television in real-time much like a VCR, but watch instant replays while it's recording, pause, playback, reverse and so on. Early technology also allowed the set-tops to skip commercials at the viewers' whim, but this is in dispute currently for obvious political reasons. Companies leading this technology include ReplayTV, TiVo, and others like WebTV, DirecTV who integrate hard drives in their boxes and digital receivers.
PROTOCOL - The "language" spoken between computers to help them exchange information. More technically, it's a formal description of message formats and rules that two computers must follow to communicate.
REMOTE CONTROL - The first remotes were invented, in fact, by the German navy to help ram enemy ships in World War I. Later, in World War II, everybody used remotes to set off all kinds of bombs. In the 1940's, the garage door opener remote was invented. In 1952, the first TV remote appeared and it was called, aptly, the "Lazy Bone". Manufactured by a company called Venus, the Lazy Bone control came with a 10-foot or 100 foot cable. When clicked, a command would rotate the tuner inside the TV set and change the channel. Throughout the years other remote systems explored different technologies, but always seemed to encounter some problem. For example, light sensitive cells on the TV set were sensitive to sunlight, which would turn up the volume at random. Later, ultrasonics built into remote controls would cause dogs to bark when they came into the room. Eventually infrared (individual digital codes of light pulses) would become the standard today; however, they still don't work when pointed at objects in between it and the TV set.