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Questionable Streaming Boxes, And Controlling LED Lights

LED lights

Jeff in Columbia, Tennessee asked: “I was wondering what y’all know about the G-Box and can you get in trouble for streaming new release movies over it? I heard there’s a loophole about it.”

there are two G-Box models including an octacore, 4K capable one, and both models are completely legal devices that run Kubi (you may know it as XBMC), an open source media center software that is also completely legal.

Kubi lets you either play locally stored media files, including movies, and it lets you access streaming media sources through the use of plugins. That’s where you start running into trouble with the law.

The plugins may access free and legal streaming sources like Vimeo, or utilities like the weather, simply let you access a paid membership-based streaming services, those are all fine, but anyone can make a plugin for the open source service, and some people make plugins to access illegal streams.

Anyone can make a plugin for the open source service, and some people make plugins to access illegal streams

Those are the plugins that are feeding the G-Box the new releases while they’re still in theaters, or shows from cable or otherwise premium channels that would normally require a subscription.

There is no loophole, there are just use cases. G-Box is completely legal, Kubi is completely legal, but some plugins are not. The loophole is on their end, they’ll give you a legal platform, and if you single handedly decide to bolt on some illegal components, that’s your legal responsibility and your legal risk.

A G-Box is like a Ford, which is a totally legal car, a legal streaming plugin is like putting mudflaps on your Ford, your choice but not illegal if you do choose to do it. The illegal streaming plugins are like welding a gatling gun to the roof of that Ford, not legal but also not Ford’s fault if you do it.

They’ll give you a legal platform that you can customize into something legal or something illegal.

Wally in Menasha, Wisconsin listens on NewsTalk 1490 WOSH and asked: “Is there a device that will connect to a USB port with which I can control red-green-blue LED light strips?  I’d like to program the computer to run the lights through a sequence over a period of time.”

There are many devices that will help you do that.

Basically what you’re looking for is a USB LED controller, there are many different types, from custom purpose Arduino/Raspberry Pi types of devices, to devices that take their programming from a computer and then plug into the lights and feed them instructions on their own.

Now, as far as we can tell, controlling the LED strips from your computer will not be trivial, it will probably take some soldering on your part, and it will almost certainly involve some low level work on the software side of things too.

Here is an example of someone who’s done basically what you’re trying to do, so you can get an idea for what’s actually involved.

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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