Out for a while – back now, and swinging!

Back again after a week at a school camp. No web access is a real killer. I wonder when it will be regarded in the same way as running water and electricity?

The biggest consumer tech news last week was the complete and utter capitulation of HD-DVD’s main manufacturing backer, Toshiba, in what had been touted as the HD Format War.

Following declarations by the major movie studios that they planned to exclusively embrace HD-DVD’s competitor, Blu-ray, Toshiba decided not to throw any more good money after bad abandoning HD-DVD and leaving a single format for physical HD media. And until broadband web access in homes is fast enough to support a market in downloadable HD content Blu-ray is unlikely to feel much pressure from competition in the near future. Here in Australia, I can see that taking a very long time…

In other news, a failing US satellite was successfully shot down by a sea-launched missile. Nice shooting. Glad to see all those billions of dollars are good for something. However, an alternative was suggested: catching satellites on re-entry in a ‘blanket’ that would allow for a more controlled destruction or even retrieval after the event.

Then there was talk of self-healing rubber; an attempt to sail a wave-powered boat from Hawaii to Japan; implantable, blood-powered communication devices and efforts to make fuel from algae. A big week indeed.

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