VCR Plus+ were the codes you used to need to videotape a television show. They were generated by Rovi (formerly Macrovision) and provided to the print media where they were published in the TV listings.
Once upon a time, the only visible field in a video recorder was the set of LED numbers on the front. Using the VCR Plus+ code, you could instruct the machine to record such-and-such a channel at a specific time. These days, with DVD player on-screen displays, the codes are no longer needed, and the number of new video recorders using the codes are essentially zero.
Indeed, television has already begun a migration to the Web. Google announced Google TV at I/O on the same day that the last VCR Plus+ codes reached newspapers. Online television site Hulu has been going for three years already.
The VCR Plus+ code disappearance is a rare convergence of, arguably, three different types of defunct tech: newspapers, video recorders and the codes themselves. Not many people I daresay will miss them. But what about the folks who took the time and extraordinary effort to master their use? Will there remain a small group of furious television watchers out there shouting, "They can have my VCR Plus+ code when they pry it from my cold, dead hand?"
Thanks to Larry Price for the tip