A researcher at the University of Twente in the Netherlands has developed a new optical memory disc out of tungsten and silicon nitride that he says could store data safely for extremely long periods of time – up to a billion years.
Although sales of digital music tracks are rising year-on-year, it's clear that U.S. music lovers are still spending most of their hard-earned cash on physical media. According to Nielson SoundScan (which measures point-of-sale of recorded music products), of the 316 million albums purchased stateside in 2012, 193 million were on CD, compared to 118 million digital downloads. Amazon has launched a new service called AutoRip that will save many of those spinning disc buyers the trouble of converting the just-arrived CD to MP3 for playback on a modern portable music player. Anyone who buys an AutoRip CD from the online retail giant will also get a digital copy free-of-charge.
The soft, collagen-rich shock absorbers in our backs, known as intervertebral discs, both add to our height (a full quarter of the spinal column's total length) and cushion our vertebrae from contacting one another. Unfortunately, aging, accidents and overuse can damage them and lead to the costly phenomenon of chronic back pain – roughly US$100 billion is spent annually on treatment in the U.S. alone. Replacement
of damaged discs, rather than spinal fusion, is an option that's growing in popularity, especially because it helps maintain mobility in the spine. Now, a team from Brigham Young University (BYU) has unveiled their new artificial disc, a compliant mechanism that they believe has the potential to restore quality of life to millions of those with injured spines.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment are easing the transition from DVD
with the announcement it will release dual-format discs containing both Blu-ray and DVD versions of some of its films on a single disc. The so-called “flipper” discs will allow users to choose between Blu-ray and DVD formats by flipping the disc, making it easy for movie buffs to future-proof their collections.
Despite the music industry being relatively slow to catch on to the fact that accessing music online is clearly the way forwards, the phasing out of DRM
and appearance of innovative new services
that offer consumers more choice, convenience and easy access to tunes, suggests that things are finally falling into place. One area that is often omitted when discussing the pros and cons of online is the environment, and it stands to reason that there would be a noticeable impact when you remove the cost of both printing CDs and delivering them to the consumer.
The Pioneer Electronics BDR-205 Blu-ray Disc Computer Writer is the industry’s first and fastest model to feature up to 12x write speed for single and dual-layer Blu-ray discs, up from previous speeds of 8x. Pioneer says that when the unit is utilized with a properly configured PC, the drive’s Low Vibration Mechanism Design improves overall writing accuracy, especially for consumers and business people who need to preserve ever-increasing amounts of critical data, making it an ideal choice for authoring providers and system builders.