New Scientist article about Microsofts patent on creating an IM type thing for tele where you can see what shows your online buddies are watching….
full patent application here
Various embodiments utilize a real-time instant messaging or presence based communications system as a mechanism to remotely control the operation, programming, and/or review of media content on a device or system such as a television, media center, gaming device, digital video recorder and the like. In addition, the use of the instant messaging or presence based communication system opens up various social networking options for users. For example, users can, if allowed, gain access to the viewing habits of individuals in their contact list and exchange information with one another to provide a rich, robust sharing environment.”