Government support is an unreliable gauge of whether a technology really will catch on. In our disputatious society, a better measure might be controversy. And if contentiousness is the key, then internet content filters must be teetering on the brink of unbridled popularity, as our front page story on the patent controversy surrounding content filters plainly shows.

Contrast the sturm and drang booming over internet content filters with the eerie silence enveloping the v-chip. That little governor, already being insinuated into the nation's TV sets, has been available to consumers since 1997, but so far it's seemed rooted

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