Daily News Brief: Blu-ray Capacity Hits 100GB!


100GB Blu-ray Disc

While the HD-DVD camp touts online shopping with your remote, Hitachi's busy developing a 100GB Blu-ray disc . Using four stacked layers, Hitachi promises the new disc will be compatible with current Blu-ray players, negating the necessity for early adopters to upgrade their hardware. No words yet on pricing or availability, but expect the capacity war to keep increasing. Hitachi's already at work on an eight layer, 200GB disc.

Woman Loses Music Sharing Suit

In case you missed David Murphy's updated blog entry , the recording industry emerged victorious in the first music sharing suit to see a jury trial. Accused of violating copyrights of 1,702 songs, Jammie Thomas has been ordered to pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs focused on in the case. That amounts to $222,000, far more than what the RIAA has agreed to settle out of court in similar complaints. Because the violation was willful, Thomas could have faced penalties of up to $150K per song.

Halo 3 Developer Bungie Studios Divorces Microsoft

Halo 3, one of the most anticipated games of the year, saw worldwide sales of $300 million in its first week , tripling XBox 360 console sales in the process, and also became the fastest selling pre-sale game ever. But despite the record breaking success , Halo 3 developer Bungie Studios is splitting from Microsoft to become an independent company, wrapping up a seven year collaboration. MS will retain ownership of Halo intellectual property.

North Korean Leader an Internet Expert

Al Gore may have created the internet, but it's North Korean leader Kim Jong-il who is the real expert. Or so he claims. The comment came during a summit talk with South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun after Roh asked that companies operating in a North Korean industrial park be allowed internet use. Kim responded by saying, " I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired. " North Korean citizens are banned from internet use and cell phones, and radios and TVs can only receive state broadcasts.

Microsoft Stays Busy

Yesterday we pointed out Microsoft's new Compatibility, Reliability, and Stability pack for Vista, but the busy beavers in Redmond have kept, well, busy. In addition to Vista, IE7 also gets an update that ditches WGA, which will allow XP users to download the browser without jumping through validation hoops. And looking to push XP's third Service Pack , Microsoft has expanded their private pool of beta testers to include Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 testers.

Elderly Turning into Robots!

Sort of. In Japan, the elderly are aided by robots and other geeky gadgets. Take for example a prototype nylon suit developed by the Tokyo University of Science, which uses air pressure actuators to provide upper body support. Other tech 'toys' include the My Spoon feeding robot , an intelligent wheelchair that uses a positioning system for automatic travel, voice activated wheelchairs, and full body robotic suits to help nurses lift up patients into their beds.

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