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Sanyo Invents 12X High-Speed Blu-ray Laser

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the twelve-is-way-more-than-eleven dept.

Hardware 194

Lucas123 writes "Today Sanyo said it has created a new blue laser diode with the ability to transfer data up to 12 times as fast as previous technologies. The laser, which emits a 450 milliwatt beam — about double that of previous Blu-ray Disc systems — can read and write data on discs with up to four data layers, affording Blu-ray players the ability to store 100GB on a disc, or 8 hours of high-definition video."

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194 comments

I don't get it (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25273963)

Optical media seems like it sucks with how easily it can get dirty and damaged. Between hard drives and flash memory why are we still using optical media?

mayhaps someone can clue me in...

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25273991)

optical is easier to see thus easier to read and write.

Attn: Barack Obama supporters: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274483)

Does it bother you that gangs are pledging allegiance to Barack Obama? Does it bother you that they've promised a race war unless he is elected? Does it bother you that his policies looks very similar to those of Robert Mugabe, who crippled Zimbabwe's economy and induced famine by stealing white farmer's land to give to his thug buddies?

Re:Attn: Barack Obama supporters: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274947)

No, it doesn't.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274009)

It's still the cheapest way to distribute data. CDs/DVDs are produced for a few pennies - and even Blu-Ray is produced at a cost significantly lower than flash or magnetic media of the same capacity.

For backup, it probably will still make sense to use some kind of magnetic media.

Re:I don't get it (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274785)

Precisely. It's why Sony, Sega, and later Nintendo abandoned ROM media for distribution of games. Making a cartridge was much, much more expensive that simply pressing a disc. The same cost analysis still applies today for Flash ROM vs. Bluray.

>>>can read and write data on discs with up to four data layers

(shrug). TDK already developed the ability to make 6-layer Blurays that can hold 200 gigabytes. The problem is that already-sold players do not have the ability to read more than two layers.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274159)

Because 50 GB optical media costs less than a dollar to press or burn, and 50 GB of flash memory costs about $100. And hard drives cost a minimum of $30 regardless of their size. Am *I* missing something here?

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274553)

I have a gut feeling everyone's talking at cross purposes.

At this point, distributing the same 50Gb of content to 100,000 people is probably most cheaply done with Blu-ray as long as those 100,000 people are also going to get many, many, many 50Gb-of-content packages in the same format from numerous other sources. So, as a movie distribution technology, optical media kind of works.

This works because it's cost effective for those 100,000 people to spend $200ish on a Blu-ray disk reader, and it's cost effective to get a duplicator to press 100,000 Blu-ray discs at approximately $2.50 per disc.

However, when you start reducing the numbers on either side, the price differentials start to radically change. It's cheaper for me to put the content on a cheap USB hard drive, even at $100 a pop, if I'm just distributing to a few tens of people, who aren't planning on obtaining Blu-ray readers. And it's even cheaper for me to burn the same content to DVD-R, given a dual layer DVD-R costs around $2, whereas a dual-layer BD-E costs around $15-20 - they're getting close per gigabyte, but the cost of obtaining Blu-ray burners, and the receiver of the data obtaining Blu-ray readers obviously changes the cost effectiveness of the whole thing.

Ok, so that's the current situation. Now let's look at the situation in three years.

Flash memory is coming down in price. Less than a year ago, I bought an 8Gb SD card for around $80. Four months later, I bought a 16Gb SD card for $80. A quick Amazon search shows that while 32Gb cards seem to still be relatively expensive, 16Gb is easily available for around $32 [amazon.com]. The cost of adding an SD card reader to a computer is around $1. No, I'm serious. They're actually giving away the readers with many cards now. So we're looking at flash memory gigabytes-per-dollar ratios doubling every three to six months. 50Gb for under $20 (BD-RE price) should be... well, that's about $90 now, so that's about a year and a half away, assuming a six month (being conservative) pricing half-life. Another year and a half, and, well, we're looking at 50Gb of flash costing less than 50Gb of pressed Blu-ray media does today. Actually, we're more likely looking at 128Gb SD cards costing $10.

So the optical naysayers are probably right in the long term.

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274791)

One caveat, flash memory is not as reliable of a storage medium as some believe, particularly as densities increase, particularly as they use smaller and smaller processes. Depending on the specific technology, and the level of error correction built into it, optical (even with dust and scratches) is more robust. Flash is great for sneaker net, or the family vacation pictures, but I'm not sure it's suitable for anything you care about.

As long as the market driving this media is digital photography, the concern about the occasional bit being flipped isn't going to change anything. Flipping a bit on almost anything else, is catastrophic.

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275397)

Guess you've never heard of OUM memory technology. Same glass substrate that's used on re-writable optical media, but instead of using a laser to flip bits you use an electrical pulse to change the state of the glass from amorphous (bit 0) to semi-crystalline (bit 1) and voila no more worry about bit flip. It also is stronger than silicon wafers and can tolerate more heat and requires less power for changing bits. Also, due to using the crystalline structure representing 1 or a 0, it's non-volatile. Access times are faster than standard flash devices today. The read/write cycles are several orders of magnitude higher as well than current flash memory.

Re:I don't get it (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274829)

>>>So the optical naysayers are probably right in the long term.

Disagree. Remember that the reason Nintendo abandoned cartridges was because a 8.5 gigabyte DVD was cheaper than the equivalent ROM. The same is still true today, and will be true in the future. A 50 cent disc (Bluray or otherwise) is cheaper than a $10 flash cartridge.

Mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274841)

All your numbers and calculations mean nothing because of one simple fact:

You'll never have a flash drive under $1. With optical media, it's a guarantee. In a few years, a BD-r will be 50 cents or cheaper.

Nobody will ever hand out a SD drive for distribution. It's too easy to lose a $10 card.

As long as optical media is cheap as in $/unit (NOT $/GB), they'll be around.

Re:Mod parent down (1)

Nathanbp (599369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275227)

All your numbers and calculations mean nothing because of one simple fact:

You'll never have a flash drive under $1. With optical media, it's a guarantee. In a few years, a BD-r will be 50 cents or cheaper.

Nobody will ever hand out a SD drive for distribution. It's too easy to lose a $10 card.

As long as optical media is cheap as in $/unit (NOT $/GB), they'll be around.

Yeah, right. Dual layer DVD(+/-)Rs are still over $1 each (except at some select online stores. In retail, try $2-5 each). No way BD-Rs are getting that cheap any time soon. Pressed disks probably will get cheaper, but the consumer available burnable ones? No way.

Re:Mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25275417)

Who the fuck is doing mass distribution from burnable disks?

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274911)

Not that there isn't a lot of truth to what you say but... The subject of this article, as well as key factor to deciding on Flash memory's fate, is SPEED. Cheap flash can read/write at 5-10 MB/s, whereas this new Blu-Ray laser has a stated read/write speed of 170 MB/sec. So, "cheap" Flash has a ways to go before it's competitive with optical media in strictly read/write performance, which for HD video is of utmost importance. The cost/benefit ratio changes for other purposes, but when speed is on the line it's disc or hard drive, flash just isn't there yet.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275339)

The optical naysayers are right. A few PS3 games are already showing degradation of the foil backing, making them absolutely unplayable now.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274279)

The entertainment industry still uses optical because it costs them only pennies to press optical media. Relatively speaking, it would cost them a lot more to distribute hard drives and flash memories that came pre-loaded with something I could watch or listen to.

For the average consumer, it's easier to stick a CD inside your car for music, assuming your vehicle has a CD player. Most cars do not have an auxiliary port, iPod jack, or USB slot. Only cars that have been made in the last few years might actually come with these options. Keep in mind, I'm speaking as someone that lives in the U.S., I'm not sure how different the options are in other countries.

Most computers and television sets still do not have built-in flash memory card readers. So other than USB sticks, having CF, xD, MMC, or any of those other formats might be useless if your destination cannot support it.

I think the issue isn't really the media format, but the availability of something that would support such formats. I would prefer flash memory over optical, simply because of its ease of use. And perhaps my perception of time is different, but to me it has always been faster to write to flash than to optical.

Re:I don't get it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274451)

Can't speak to other cars as it's the only one I seriously considered when I bought a few months back, but any basic Honda Civic with at least air-conditioning (ie not the cheapest of the cheap) has an aux/"iPod" port.

Re:I don't get it (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275391)

For the average consumer, it's easier to stick a CD inside your car for music, assuming your vehicle has a CD player. Most cars do not have an auxiliary port, iPod jack, or USB slot. Only cars that have been made in the last few years might actually come with these options. Keep in mind, I'm speaking as someone that lives in the U.S., I'm not sure how different the options are in other countries.

Any decent 3rd party CD player has line-in, had one on the player I got ten years ago. The Yaris, Toyota's lowest-end car which is really quite nice, it has line-in as well, standard equipment. The sound system is quite nice. Not up to audiophile standards, obviously, no seal-skin wrapping on the wires to increase the sound's warmth and chewability, but it's nice. Actually, car audio's been sounding good on the imports since the 90's, stock speakers being more than sufficient.

Re:I don't get it (3, Informative)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274833)

Optical media, even in its most primitive form, has always been far more robust than magnetic media were it to be distributed in the same, unshielded manner.

Optical media used to come in "caddies", not unlike the caddies that 3.5" and Zip floppy disks still use. An early sign of optical media's robustness was the fact that mass-market CDDA drives operated caddyless; while early CD-ROM and CD-WORM drives came with a single caddy, into which you'd interchange the disc itself prior to loading into the drive.

Improvements in error correction, the manufacturing process of both the media and the drives, and the improved errorless reading of optical media have led to optical media far outstripping other disc media for robustness.

So: "sucks"? You only see it that way because it gets into situations where other media cannot. Knocking around for a couple of weeks in the footwell of your car, for instance. As an interesting exercise for the reader, try this with a platter of a hard disk containing verifiable information. (Hint: it's only cheating if you work at a forensic data recovery lab.)

Now consider other media: Iomega Jaz and Syquest removable magnetic media were distributed with caddies; yet the market never got off the ground. But consider that these hard disks are finely machined pieces of equipment: an optical disc is simply a pressed piece of crud. Maybe magnetic media could learn something from it, by pressing a cheap plastic disk painted with a layer of magnetic film. Basically a floppy on a hard substrate...

This format would have to lose its caddy, too, if it were to compete on cost terms with the optical disc. Maybe it could do it gradually, the same way the optical disc did. A crutch until the loading, head alignment, and error correction technologies improve sufficiently to do without caddies.

Flash memory? Please, just visit the Apple store and compare the prices of iPods with flash and HD storage.

And just in case you're wondering: I switch between disc and disk because I'm English, and because disk in British English is an abbreviation of diskette, which is imported from U.S. English. There is no spelling of diskette with a c.

obligatory! (and more serious..) (5, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25273979)

"man thats a lot of porn!"

and on a more serious note, what would a normal PC user use this for?

archiving video (see above)?

archiving MP3, I guess not many people have >100GB of MP3s?

an easy method of archiving an entire HDD in a few disks?

when you look into it only video/HD makes such a disk make sense.

and on a *much* more serious note, stop waxing lyrical about the storage capacity and start talking about the durability, its life span, its resistance to UV, its archival qualities. I would be much more interested in a 4GB disk that actually had a change of lasting >10 years in a normal environment (for me..? room temp, light sealed bag).

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274117)

Resistance to UV is only useful if you leave your discs out on your desk in the daytime. Come that point, though, i'd be more worried about coffe-rings after you mistake your archive for a coaster.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274285)

Resistance to UV is only useful if you leave your discs out on your desk in the daytime. Come that point, though, i'd be more worried about coffe-rings after you mistake your archive for a coaster.

I added cork to a bunch of failed burns to make drink coasters. For the bigger non regular size drinking glasses (ever see the 16 oz coke holiday glasses/hugs?)

on topic:

I would like to have 100GB+ disk backup. If it was RW even better. I use RW DVDs for a few home based backup. Format the DVD-RW disk and use it like a big floppy. Yes, there are flash drive and external hard drives that are bigger, but this was setup before flash drives were out. Older non geek people trust a CD/DVD more then the flash drive. They can hold it, they understand it. The flash drive is a little scary for them. The size is a lot smaller and easy to lose.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274125)

archiving MP3, I guess not many people have >100GB of MP3s?

root@Thesaurus:~# du -sh /space/stuff/audio_collection/
240G /space/stuff/audio_collection/
root@Thesaurus:~#

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274685)

fail! you are not many people.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275089)

fail! you are not many people.

How many people does it take to have many people? Is it more than a couple several or more than a few several?

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25275155)

fail! you are not many people.

s/fail/proof/

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275337)

How much of it do you actually listen to?

Let's see... around a minute a megabyte, that's 240,000 minutes, 4,000 hours, 166 days of continuous music.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274205)

Asking what a user will use it for is shortsighted. DVDs have not been enough for me for several years (I backup using HDDs, cheaper considering my time). Even 100GB disc isn't all that exciting - perhaps HVDs will come out with 320-1TB data, but I suspect flash will be there sooner anyway.

Yes, there is porn for some but that's hardly the only use. For me, I tend to scan in a lot of books that were never printed in quantity. Depending on the book, if it's just for information or if there are important pictures - they can take up a lot of room very quickly.

With the invention of epaper, books are going on the list to music (mp3), movies (not just porn), and images as stuff people look to a PC to store. Movies will become a factor again as HD rolls out -- they take up a ton of space. Not too mention images from an high megapixel camera take up a lot of space. In the next 20 years, I also expect more and more devices that will feed data into computers automatically, feeding the need for more space.

I'm not of the crowd that wonders what we'll do with the space, I'm actually disappoint that it seems we stagnated in HDDs with capacity. We went from 10GB to 500GB in such a short time. I don't think the push to 10TB will be so easy. I could use it.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (3, Interesting)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274571)

How, precisely, do you scan in books? Do you have to manually scan each page?

I'd really have no trouble spending a few hundred dollars on a scanner that would basically do it for me. I really want to move to an e-book, but most of the books I love are rather modest Fantasy books that aren't available in e-book form. A flat bed scanner would take me probably a year to get my entire collection scanned in, and that just won't do.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274861)

It'd require destroying the book, but.

Bansaw
Sheet feed duplex scanner

Just cut off the binding and feed in the book, it'll take a little while but you should have a nice PDF at the end.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (2, Informative)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275047)

I used to work in the UC Berkeley library's conservation department, and what they did for scanning purposes--really, archiving rare works to microfilm--was to set the to-be-preserved books in a frame, manually flip a page, lower a non-glare glass cover over it to flatten the book, and snap a picture from a camera above.

I imagine that the process is the same for precious books now, just with digital cameras instead of microfilm.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275205)

I don't really have precious books, and since these things are going to disintegrate at the rate I re-read them anyway, destroying them in the process of scanning them is not such a bad thing. Plus it seems like it'd be faster :O

Re:how do you scan in books? (1)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275369)

How, precisely, do you scan in books? Do you have to manually scan each page?

We have a project at work that is doing this with a small library of books (I think we're up around 35,000 pages scanned so far).

You cut the spine off of the book and drop the pages in the scanner's automatic document feeder. There are scanners available that can scan both sides of the page as they feed through - we're using a Kodak scanner that does about 50 pages a minute.

Pages are scanned to TIFF files and then converted to PDF. We are using Acrobat Capture, which is fairly reliable but as we get into older books the error count goes up. The are a number of manual steps too; for example the software has to be told which parts of each page are text or pictures, and then after the conversion to PDF, the resulting PDF has to be retouched to fix OCR errors and standardize the fonts - Acrobat Capture likes to change fonts in mid-sentence for reasons known only to itself. Adobe seems to have abandoned development on Acrobat Capture - it's been at version 3.0 since the Acrobat 5 days, so it's a little antiquated.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274225)

and on a more serious note, what would a normal PC user use this for?

archiving video (see above)?

archiving MP3, I guess not many people have >100GB of MP3s?

Well, you could, for example, keep all your music using a lossless format.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274231)

and on a more serious note, what would a normal PC user use this for?

It's telling that people are likely, these days, to ask how a normal PC user would use these disks to store his own data, rather than how media companies will use this to distribute their products more cheaply.

Anyway, yes, this would be handy for backups/archives. What else do people use physical media for? I have to back up 5TB of data every week, so don't tell me that these disks have gotten too big for practical application. Even at home, it'd be nice to be able to back up my entire computer onto one disk.

Go ahead and figure out how to store massive amounts of data on cheap plastic with no moving parts. I'll figure out a use for it.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274521)

Not really all that telling. Disk "burning" is a very serial process not suited to large-scale manufacture.

Further, the media companies don't need it to read any faster than 1x.

BD-Video players need a 2x drive (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275097)

Further, the media companies don't need it to read any faster than 1x.

I see your point, but one small nit: The "x" for Blu-ray Disc isn't defined the way it is for CD and DVD. A 1x drive reads 36 Mbps, but BD-Video can be up to 54 Mbps for various reasons, so a BD-Video player actually needs a 2x drive.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274627)

I have to back up 5TB of data every week,...

Don't you get sore down there? I mean, 5TB of porn a week, geeze man! Or maybe you should lay of the Viagra or see a urologist.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275007)

Here's my backup method:

- Use c: or USB driver for temporary storage of not-yet-viewed movies & tv shows.
- if video is junk, delete it; If the video is good, buy the legal DVD or Bluray version.
- if not available legally (example: Earth Final Conflict), copy on both my C: and my external USB drive, so if one fails I still have the other.

I've never felt any need to burn anything to DVD-R unless giving-away material to a friend. The advantage of this method is I don't waste a lot of money on blanks, and I can easily erase stuff off the USB drive if I decide I no longer need it.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (4, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274335)

Audio data doesn't necessarily mean MP3s. Storing your audio in a lossless format like FLAC means about 50% compression, so we're looking at ~250MB/album - 400 albums isn't especially unreasonable.

But who says the data has to be written all at once? I assume BD-R supports multi-session writing like other optical media do - ie. you can incrementally add sets of archive data to the disc so long as you don't "close" it.

Good ideas (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274551)

Yeah, archiving audio/video... with digital distribution becoming common, that's definitely a good use. Also if you have a PC hooked up to the TV as an audio/video jukebox, you could archive all your rips, which are time consuming to create. If you download a lot of podcasts or if you've got Steam, if you take a lot of pictures on your digital camera, you've got a lot of data you need to archive, especially with ISPs insisting on bandwidth caps.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274661)

* High def videos of their kid's birthday parties?
* Installing Windows $Name Ultimate Extreme we_promise_this_is_really_the_best_version 2010?
* porn?
* Lots of extra "can't skip past it" advertising at the start of movies?
* Extra space for all that next generation DRM?
* Half Life 4?

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274921)

archiving MP3, I guess not many people have >100GB of MP3s?

I have 70GB of MP3s (over 11,000 songs), all legally ripped from CDs I own. Currently I use a USB hard drive for backup. Would this disk be more or less reliable than a hard drive? I've had problems in the past with DVDs written on one computer being readable on another computer, or even playing correctly in a Sony DVD player.

Re:obligatory! (and more serious..) (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275387)

I have 70GB of MP3s (over 11,000 songs), all legally ripped from CDs I own.

I'd almost say that MOST of the collections that reach that high or higher or probably, at least largely, legally ripped. When ripping your own CD's that you don't plan on sharing, there's often a trend to use really high bitrates or lossless compression formats. Afterall drive space is cheap and if you're not planning on transferring over a wire, then why bother with the low rate? Online most of the pirated (and even most of the purchased) songs are sitting around 128Kbps.

A 25GB 128Kbps collection becomes a 75GB 384Kbps collection.

That said, I guess I'm just an "audio noob", but my digital music collection barely breaks 6GB. It fits comfortably on a Dual Layer DVD. Now my "video" collection on the other hand, spans close to a terabyte. It's not currently backed up unfortunately, so I'm looking at something like a Drobo or some other RAID5 type solution where it's still on hard drives, but I have some redundancy if one fails.

Is this still releven? (1, Insightful)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25273981)

If someone wants to do back ups, why not simply buy a 1.5 TB hard drive for ~200 dollars?

I don't see why we need cds anymore...

Re:Is this still releven? (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274051)

Distribution :)

I'm not going to send my mother a hard drive if I want to send her pictures or video. Right now I use DVDs.

Re:Is this still releven? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274131)

8 hours of High Definition video of your holiday to Jamaica.

The Slide Show of the 21st Century.

Re:Is this still releven? (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274343)

While YOU might not want hours of video of my daughter doing nothing in particular, I can assure you that my mother does :)

Re:Is this still releven? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274465)

Well I don't know, how old is she?

CD sometimes not so good... (2, Interesting)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274139)

because its worked sooo well for the UK government.

honestly, CD are too easy. simply google for "lost cds uk" and see what a total balls up various government agencies have made of giving all our data away freely,

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=uk+lost+cds&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.ubuntu:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a [google.co.uk]

hell teeth, it should of been easy enough to encrypt it on the CD as a minimum, or VPN it without using a disk.

yes, they are easy to use - but too easy and too insecure in idiotic hands (though that goes for just about any storage medium I suppose).

but I agree with you totally, I'll not entrust a HDD to parcel force, its bad enough buying one on the 'net anyhow and they are professionally packaged.

They have a secure datapost service... (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274411)

...it just wasn't used. How they managed to pin the whole fiasco on some poor AO (that's second grade up from bottom on the clerical scale) I'll never know.

Re:Is this still releven? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274471)

If someone wants to do back ups, why not simply buy a 1.5 TB hard drive for ~200 dollars?
.

if it is a stable read-only media that will cost a buck-fifty in bulk and can be slipped into a media-rated fire safe or safety deposit vault, I want it.

if you are serious about back-ups, a single HDD won't be enough. you'll want at least two or three drives for redundant storage- and a UPS to keep them up and running.

it gets expensive.

and still leaves your data exposed to damage from fire and flood.

Re:Is this still releven? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275303)

You don't really need to have the UPS, just backup nightly, and have the array online during that period. If you're using something sensible like ZFS you're not going to have to worry about disk corruption from the writes.

The bigger issue is getting and keeping the disks offsite. In the long run it's going to make no difference whatsoever between harddisks and discs if you're just going to keep them right next to the computer anyways.

Ultimately a pair of 1 TB drives are likely to be a far better solution than either optical discs or one 1.5TB hard disk.

Re:Is this still releven? (1)

Gates82 (706573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274645)

Diversifying my archives has helped me in the past. I run two servers, one with a RAID0 and another with a RAID6 array. The RAID0 is used for access and runs backups to the RAID6. While this is a fast, and reliable system I still go through drives regularly.

Once my projects (video, photo, documents, etc) are finalized they get archived to DVD's. Now DVD's are not overly reliable so I RAR the entire project into 4 gig chucks with a full archive of parity for every 36 gigs (min 1). Then each of those 4 gig archives get RARed into 250 meg chunks with 2 parity files; plus 5% recovery in each archive. This has proved very robust as I have had to recover a 100gig project in the past.

I can loose several discs and many individual files to corruption and not loose the project whereas if an HD goes everything is gone. The only concern becomes shelf life and with this kind of storage capacity making several copies becomes much more feasible. Just my 2 cents.

--
So who is hotter? Ali or Ali's Sister?

Re:Is this still releven? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274817)

You mean the portable solution that costs about a dime and you can give them away like candy and not care? If I were only worried about my own data I would agree but if I'm giving data to others? CDs are the safe bet and they're more durable in shipping than a drive is.

Re:Is this still releven? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274997)

If someone wants to do back ups, why not simply buy a 1.5 TB hard drive for ~200 dollars?

I don't see why we need cds anymore...

For Off-site backups. It takes to long to transfer that many GBs of information to an off-site server; with discs, you can store them off-site.

450mw beam (4, Insightful)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274037)

Isn't that getting into dangerous territory (popping balloons, instant blindness etc)? Recently, high-power laser pointer sales have been banned on eBay and Amazon [bbc.co.uk] here in the UK, I'm wondering if similar restrictions might appear for drives like this.

Re:450mw beam (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274093)

Isn't that getting into dangerous territory

Yup! Don't remove it. DVD burners already contain dangerous lasers, and those are in the 200mW range IIRC.

Re:450mw beam (5, Informative)

Maddog Batty (112434) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274135)

When encapsulated within a system so that it is not possible for the beam to escape under normal usage then the whole system can be given a class 1 rating and a class 1 label. The laser itself is a class 3B and would have to have this rating if removed from the player. Current Blu-ray recorders are 250mW but are considered safe as they are encapsulated.

Ouch! (2, Interesting)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274145)

Yep. And in other news, those metal things inside toasters get dangerously hot.

Personally, I've given up on using half-disassembled devices.

Re:Ouch! (2)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274919)

Your nerd credentials are hereby revoked. Slashdot bylaws section 12, paragraph 23: to post here you must have at least one half disassembled and operable PC within 100ft of you at all times.

Instant +1 karma if run the system without any mechanical structure at all, beyond FR4 and off the shelf PSUs/HDs.

Re:450mw beam (3, Interesting)

Somegeek (624100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274155)

They are not retailing a bare laser, they are (well, someday) selling a drive. How is that any different than selling a microwave? Do you know what parts they use in those?

arrrg, should have been a car analogy. -slaps head-

Re:450mw beam (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274219)

I wouldn't have thought so. The laser in an optical drive is enclosed and often disabled when the drive is ejected.

The laser pointers which fall into class IIIb (5-500mw) are all exposed and can be viewed directly.

Re:450mw beam (4, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274241)

A class 3b laser, I think (less than 500mW).

It's a big risk if if you're putting your head into the player and resting your eyeball directly over the laser diode. For people who do that, all we can hope for is more powerful lasers, or perhaps blu-ray players with sharks inside to which the laser is attached.

No Thanks (2, Funny)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274053)

Kids with your fancy optical media and lasers and whatnot. I'll stick with my betamax thanks.

Re:No Thanks (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274185)

Betamax? I have to read my tapes with a very small compass and a bit of graph paper then imagine what the bits would be like read out thankyouverymuch!

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274265)

Betamax? I have to read my tapes with a very small compass and a bit of graph paper then imagine what the bits would be like read out thankyouverymuch!

Paper? I use clay tablets!

Re:No Thanks (1)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274341)

CLAY?! You mean to tell me you had access to fire?! Fire was still in beta for us, except that beta hadn't been invented so we called it the other Alpha! I was so happy the day grass was invented because I could finally yell...

GET THE HELL OFFA MY LAWN!

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274549)

Betamax? I have to read my tapes with a very small compass and a bit of graph paper then imagine what the bits would be like read out thankyouverymuch!

Imagine? Use another sheet of graph paper, you cheap slob. Use a whole pad if you're reading an animated GIF.

when anon delivers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274059)

your in for the long *fap*

Invent? (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274065)

They didn't really "invent" this, did they? They just kinda built it from pre-existing ideas-- but bluer.

And to answer what it'll be used for: Releasing a new generation of Blu-Ray players that aren't backwards compatible, forcing everyone who has bought a Blu-Ray to rebuy all their Sony-branded movies. Obviously.

Re:Invent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274161)

They just kinda built it from pre-existing ideas-- but bluer.

Sanyo put the blue man group's faces through the latest in juice extraction technology : )

How fast in m/s? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274077)

I thought all lasers were traveling at the speed of light. Are they claiming that this one is going at 12c?

Re:How fast in m/s? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274247)

I think (IANAPhysicist) that it can pulse faster due to the higher beam power.

Pulses can be shorter, and therefore more frequent, for the same amount of reflected light.

Re:How fast in m/s? (2, Informative)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274319)

Offhand, the read speed for 1x in bluray is 36Mbit/s. So we get 432Mbit/s.

For comparison, 1x DVD is 10Mbit/s.

Re:How fast in m/s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25275325)

I'm so glad I can receive almost three uncompressed bluray streams at the same time.

No drives exist - just the laser (3, Insightful)

Somegeek (624100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274115)

Story states that the drives are 1 to 2 years away. Translation, they have no idea when drives might be on sale, or when 4-layer discs might be available.

Re:No drives exist - just the laser (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274605)

And don't forget the cost - double the laser intensity usually means far more than double the price. The biggest question is what the market would be. Most home users don't produce that amount of data, and enterprises have other storage options. The big driver for the Blu-Ray market is movies and PS3 games. Is 100GB something they need/want? Sure if it came for free, but seriously if you looked at HDDVD30 vs BD50 you'd have a hard time telling them apart. Many of the BD titles carry some absurdly large 8-channel LPCM tracks or similar that simply waste space. There are lossless options that easily could reduce it to half size with no loss if they needed another 5GB or so. I think we'll see 2-layer violet laser before 4-layer blue laser get anywhere.

Worthless. (2, Insightful)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274133)

No matter what the technical achivements, in the end you're still hooking it up to one of Sony's defective players. Pass.

External hard drive (2, Interesting)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274295)

WD My Book Essential Edition External 1TB Hard Drive - $166.99 (link [pricegrabber.com]), enough to store 80 hours of High-Definition video (Lord of the Rings "extended edition" should fit in one).

That's $16.70 each 100 GB - I bet that both: the player is more expensive that this external HD and each disk is more expensive that $16.70.

The only reason one cannot easily use an external HDs to store and play video content is because the mainstream Movie Industry won't sell their movies in a non-DRM-encumbered format (say, XVid in an AVI wrapper) - after all, how would they force people to buy the same movies again and again with each new format if they went with an open data format ...

That said, get a "Digital Media Player" with XVid/DivX support and HD capability and attach one of these external HDs. Then Rip and re-encode your movies (or don't re-encode - there's enough space for high-bitrate files in there) or get the HD version of the movie/tv-series from the Internet in a non-DRM-encumbered format (funny how the pirates provide a better product) and voila - days worth of movies and TV series at the touch of a button (with no pay-per-view charges).

PS: Yes, I am sour that the dream of having your personal movie library accessible from you remote without moving anything but a finger is being hindered by the big studios ...

Re:External hard drive (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274579)

The only reason one cannot easily use an external HDs to store and play video content is because the mainstream Movie Industry won't sell their movies in a non-DRM-encumbered format

As if the public were totally innocent with respect to this. They don't trust you and their fear is well grounded. Not saying I agree with DRM, but I see why it's there.

after all, how would they force people to buy the same movies again and again with each new format if they went with an open data format ...

Well my DVDs haven't exactly, you know, stopped working. And AVI contained XVIDs don't spontaneously uprez from 720p to 1080p last I recall.

More like, they won't distribute un-DRMed videos because "teh internets" have shown that unencrypted media will end up on P2P services instantly. DRM slows them down a bit at the cost of some customer annoyance and they seem to be OK with that.

Re:External hard drive (1)

.sig (180877) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275187)

"teh internets" have shown that unencrypted media will end up on P2P services instantly

And encrypted media ends up on P2P services 2 seconds later....

Re:External hard drive (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274679)

Unfortunately, the Big Studios' profits are hindered by your convenience. Yes, you bought Harry Potter: Double-Secret Book of ... Secrets, but if you don't pay for each and every viewing, how is the blue-collar stage hand or audio technician going to get paid?

Relevance (2, Interesting)

anubis7733 (1377725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274311)

I think that even though the actual drives born of this technology are still a couple of years away, it is a big step. You may argue that the drives will be crippled by being tied to Sony, or that nobody will be using optical media that large, but I say with the current trend these discs will be very welcome. Everything will shift to HD and now you can easily fit multiple HD movies on a single disc. This also allows for the easy and even redundant back-up of a hard drive. If it will only take 10 mins to fill 100GB of the disc, then you could easily create 2 copies of your 500GB external in a couple of hours. That way when it dies with a stupid 1 yr warranty(never buying WD again) you have it all saved.

inform9ative FUCKERFUCKER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274495)

FreeBSD went 0ut My 3edpost up my

12x player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25274609)

Deja vu.

12X High-Speed Blu-ray Laser? (0, Troll)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25274683)

We have a laser whose beam travels 12 times the speed of light and just using it for higher-density video discs? Let's send some messages into the future, for one!

Future, hell. Send 'em to the past. (2, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275055)

Let's send some messages into the future, for one!

Sending messages to the future is trivial: Put 'em in a box.

If you can break the speed of light you can send 'em to the past. THAT's more useful.

Even if it only goes a little way. For instance: We could show the congresscritters that passing the bailout bill would spread the pain from the mortgage sector and crash the REST of the economy, changing 6 months of "subprime borrowers lose their houses and go back to renting" into "Stock market tanks and we have a decade or two of 'greater depression'."

Wait a minute: We already TOLD them that and they passed it ANYHOW.

Never mind.

parallel (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25275381)

Surely reading a disk can be done by multiple lasers, each offset a little radially.

I know it's not quite as good as having a laser-toting shark in your living room, but I would have thought that the lower power lasers might be cheaper.
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