DVDs are crap

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Another reason to abstain is that these new disc-based technologies are a money pit. I’ve already had to re-buy copies of some of my favourite discs several times because of scratches and oxidation, a problem that some people have used to justify their illegal downloading of music through the Internet. I’ve used the excuse myself.

What I’d really like to see is the technology companies doing something radically different with the next generation of discs – like protecting them in protective cases, like MiniDiscs and those old 3.5-inch floppies that lasted for ever and ever. Some companies already use CDs in protected plastic cases to store their important company information, but that capability – the modified discs and players – was never really made available to the general public. Part of the reason was probably the cool factor – CDs are neat looking, thin, shiny and portable, while clunky looking protective cases are not. I could do without the cool factor.

I know a protective case would restore my confidence in the technology, and I’d be more willing to purchase movies and albums if I knew they were built to last. Right now it’s just not worth it.

Part of me worries that the technology and entertainment companies know exactly how fragile discs are but continue to sell them anyway because they’re secretly hoping you’ll buy them twice once your first copy goes haywire.

As any old-timer will tell you, they don’t build ’em like they used to. Maybe it’s time they did.

Blackberry’s sweet

I don’t own a Blackberry due to various financial constraints, and because I’m hesitant to buy any first or second generation gadgets that I know are going to be obsolete, cheaper or much improved in subsequent generations. But I’ve been tempted.

Blackberry’s are the Swiss Army Knife of electronics, functioning as personal data assistants, portable game consoles, cell phones and wireless computers. Future versions could also come equipped with small hard drives, music and video players, and even built-in digital cameras.

They are a hot item right now and Research In Motion, Blackberry’s creator, has seen profits jump 147 per cent in the last year with 1.7 million subscribers. That growth is not only expected to continue, but to increase as Blackberry makes inroads in Europe, Asia and other big cell phone markets.

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