Sunday, December 18, 2005

The DVD Situation

For anyone who is not aware of this matter, there is a battle going on concerning the next generation DVD standard. The two new formats are HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. HD-DVD has Toshiba, Sanyo and NEC backing it. Blu-Ray is supported by Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, and Pioneer. Sound familiar? If it does, you're old enough to remember the Betamax vs VHS wars.
I, like many, still have a VHS collection that isn't going away. Sure, I've had a DVD player for five years now but I wasn't about to re-buy movies I already had. The VHS era lasted about 25 years, the first generation DVD era lasted about 8. As television technology is linked more to computer technology, don't expect standards to last the way they used to. For example, NTSC, the television standard that most of us use today, was established in the 1940's. Now before HD-TV even establishes a full foothold on the market, some companies are already looking at standards even better than that.
I'm not buying any more DVD movies in lieu of not wanting to feel the need to buy them again when a better standard comes out. I'm keeping track of how the DVD wars comes out. I'll decide on a standard eventually.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Arctic Issue Continues

From John Adams of the Nation Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

"It's the most outrageous scheme yet to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. We have just learned that pro-drilling Senators are sneaking their Arctic drilling measure into the Defense Appropriations bill."


"But some Senators are so shameless in their quest to boost oil company profits that they're willing to exploit the Defense Appropriations bill, which is meant to fund our troops in Iraq and other military needs.Your Senators will be under enormous political pressure to vote Yes on the Defense Appropriations bill no matter what's in it. We're counting on a last-ditch effort by a determined group of senators to filibuster this bill until Arctic drilling is removed. In that case, the oil industry and their allies would have to get over 60 votes to keep drilling in -- something they have never been able to do."

While I lean to the right on many things, I am disgusted by the desire of many republicans (and a few democrats) who want to open up the Alaskan wilderness to save Americans, perhaps, $0.02 per gallon. This bill has already been shot down so now some senators are trying to attach it to another bill that has a strong chance of passing.

For more information, take a look here: