by Rael Dornfest

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Carl Malamud's NetTopBox is "trying to make television as easy to use as the Internet." The Open Source project aims to provide something like a cross between Epinions and the Internet Movie Database -- a rich, interactive, easy-to-use TV guide available on the Web and (hopefully) a set-top box near you. NetTopBox is going up against Gemstar-TV Guide International, purveyor of the traditional electronic program guides you know and, well..., don't particularly love. Far from yet another proprietary system, Malamud is creating open protocols and APIs for providing and consuming television listings.