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GE To Sample 500GB DVD-Size Discs Soon

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the yes-please-I'll-take-a-dozen dept.

Data Storage 179

siliconbits writes "GE Global Research announced earlier today that it has managed to cram up to 500GB worth of data on a standard DVD-size disc, an increase in storage density of roughly 100x. What's more, the tech arm of conglomerate General Electric Company says that the storage solution will record data at the same speed as Blu-ray discs while increasing storage capacity by 25 times. The Blu-ray Disk Association says that the commonly available 12x speed Blu-ray writers have a maximum writing speed of up to 400Mbps (or 50MBps) which means that in theory, it would take just over three hours to fill that new holographic hard disk. GE has confirmed that its R&D and licensing team will be sampling the media to qualified partners that may be interested in licensing the technology."

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179 comments

Just when I was hoping... (1)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838490)

...that optical media was dead.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (3, Interesting)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838606)

...that optical media was dead.

If it costs more per gigabyte than pocket sized hard drives, it's dead to me.

--
it does.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838720)

Many people use the same reasoning, and for many cases, it's true. But what if you *just* need to backup? HD video comes to mind. How much storage space do you have (I mean physical storage)? how much more vulnerable is a complete hard drive than a CD? What's more practical for off-site backup of large amounts of data (many terabytes)? I much prefer discs to tapes, which are the only option unless you have an ungodly internet connection and can get online storage *really* cheap.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838774)

Tape is more practical for offsite for large amount of data. LTO 5 is 1.5TB raw, and if they made them bigger we would be buying them.

500Gb is nothing.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838834)

What if a company put out a hard drive that happened to have optical platters instead of magnetic ones? What would the pro's/con's be to that product?

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838922)

If they figure out a way to make an optical disc that is as fast, reliable, and infinitely rewritable as a hard disc...

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839356)

It would to slow to use. Check out the burn times on even blu rays.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840346)

Not only that, it would over heat and it would cost a fortune. One of the reasons HDDs are cheap is that the read heads cost almost nothing to make. A laser capable of reading data is not so cheap.

There's been many attempts to make enclosed optical media, none of it was very successful due to speed, price and heat concerns - lasers do run hot.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838964)

Your average user won't go buying a tape drive, I wouldn't mind burning one of these at home once a year or so, though improbably I can still suffer data loss from 2+ disk failure. I can maybe sit on or lose my 500gb dvd?

That brings up another topic though and thats the shelf life a dvd, it may not suffice for all back ups :)

Re:Just when I was hoping... (2)

shaitand (626655) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840134)

"though improbably I can still suffer data loss from 2+ disk failure"

It's no that improbable. We just had three old systems lose their data due to multiple disk failures. All raid 5's that could only lose one drive at a time.

The problem with these systems is that all the drives tend to be bought at once to fill it up, and all the drives are rated for the same number of operational hours.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838976)

I don't have first-hand information about this, but I know a guy who's job it is to help companies setup redundant backup systems. He keeps saying that there are so many formats, so much hardware nuance, and so many proprietary methods of getting data on and off the tapes, that he only goes for them in the most extreme cases. Many times he's called in to retrieve data that was backed up 5 years ago, and already it's a challenge to find the right hardware/software combination to do so.

But, like I said, this is second-hand information.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839394)

So use tar. Simple solution for a simple problem.
There are proprietary ways to do it, don't use them.

Medium on which the tar streams are stored (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839780)

So use tar.

tar(1) just combines multiple files into one stream. How will you read this stream off the backup tape years later?

Re:Medium on which the tar streams are stored (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840270)

um... tar with the "x" option. Just like it's been done for the last 30 years.

I'd be more worried about the "tape" part than the "tar" part, since there's no guarantee the drive that could read your tape would exist in 30 years, let alone the tape itself still being readable.

Re:Medium on which the tar streams are stored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36840374)

the whole point of tar was that to help you find what tape to look in quickly

Re:Medium on which the tar streams are stored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36840654)

With a tape drive of exactly the same model you used for storing them?

If you're mucking about with enough data to justify tapes in the first place, odds are good you can even afford a second drive, and a second host adapter of whatever type is required, and just keep these in reserve so you're not in trouble when the primary rig fails. You may or may not bother putting the whole shebang in a second machine (I would, just to verify nothing's DOA, and so I won't have to hunt down any drivers later), but if you've got those two parts, the hardware problem's fixed. Since you're using tar, the software problem's fixed.

(If your volume is in the range where tape is barely cheaper than optical/HDD, such that a second tape drive will make it more expensive, you're probably better going with optical/HDD than with a tape system with no reserve drive.)

Re:Just when I was hoping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839030)

Home users do not want and will no use shitty unreliable consumer level tape.

These days most of us have decent media libraries of home movies ranging from DV, transcoded output for standard def and HD recordings, along with several thousand photos from 8-12megapixel cameras, plus way too many albums, audiobooks and whatnot. Now think of the modern family, with output from two parents and a couple of kids in their teens. Now add in all the DVD and blu-ray rips, and downloaded content sitting on harddrives and media PCs (or macs). The digital library will not stop growing.

That's a ton of fscking storage for an average middle income family in 2011. A decent backup media is lacking, 500GB optical drives will certainly be a step in the right direction.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839202)

It's also insanely expensive. I can pick up a BluRay writer for about a hundred quid, and blank disks are about £1-2 for WORM disks and £3-5 for rewriteable ones. I couldn't find any LTO-5 drives, but I found an LTO-4 one... for over £2000. I did find LTO-5 tapes, but they cost about £85 each. So, LTO-5 works out about half the cost of BD-RE if you just factor in the cost of the media, but you need to back up a lot before it becomes cheaper overall. Cost of backing up 20TB with BD-RE is about £900. Cost for LTO: about £2500.

Sure, if you're backing up a few TB every day, LTO is good value, but for home users it definitely isn't. BD-RE is big enough for incremental backups, and a lot cheaper - not to mention the fact that BD-RE disks have been dropping in price for a long time. You need to back up about 50TB before LTO's cost per GB is similar to BD-RE, and that's a lot more than a lot of small businesses produce.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839542)

For home users USB hard drives are much less expensive at roughly 50$ per TB while you are at roughly 100$ per TB for BD.
Not to mention the need for additional hardware (BD burner) and having to swap the disk 39 times per TB.

Additionally, hard drives have a longer life expectancy and can be (more or less) easily recovered by forensic labs if need be.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839392)

Cisco has a STORAGETEK T10000C that holds 5TB uncompressed at 240 MBps read. Thats impressive.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839620)

Tape is more practical for offsite for large amount of data. LTO 5 is 1.5TB raw, and if they made them bigger we would be buying them.

Apparently HP make a 3 TB tape, but at a higher cost per byte.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838910)

withering scratching etc... Back when we thought CD's were invincible buggers that as long as you didn't scratch them they would last 100 years sure, then 5 years later we realized, oh wow ok these things can fall apart after 5 years. Hard drive vulnerability, sure to an extent, at least they are more vulnerable to shaking etc, though it appears they are also more recoverable after destruction. platters break etc... you can generally get that fixed, now the cost may be very high to repair it if something goes wrong, but it is at least possible. A worn out CD may become impossible to recover at much less damage.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838608)

It basically is. This is comparable in size to an HDD, meaning it doesn't really outpace a RAID for storage potential, and most people do over-the-net transfers for all but the biggest chunks of data. This only makes sense as a replacement for backup tapes.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838622)

No it's not. You rarely ship media around in on HDs, and burning things to glass has legal ramifications.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838770)

When netflix ships me movies on HDDs, then perhaps.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838818)

This is way too small for backup tapes. LTO 5 is 1.5TB raw. If they made them bigger people would buy them.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840198)

LTO5 is unaffordable for most people, and even most small businesses. Another poster here commented that LTO5 doesn't make economic sense until you're backing up 40TB or more at a time. The drives alone cost thousands of dollars.

What this could be, IF the media price is low, is a good backup solution for home users and small businesses, instead of having to simply buy spare hard drives as backup media. Based on what BD-R drives cost, we should expect the drives to be no more than $100-200 early on, and if they make the discs really cheap, it should be a hit. But if they keep the discs expensive like the BD-R morons have, then it's going to go the way of the Floptical.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840320)

Too slow. For a home user drive to drive is a better solution.
That poster is not counting the value of good backups to a business.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

kinabrew (1053930) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839954)

If anything, this is more evidence of the imminent death of optical media(at least as we know them).

When everyone had CD drives it was generally easy to use a disc from one location in another.

Then some people got DVD discs, and for a while there were a lot of people who didn't have a DVD drive. If you brought a DVD from one place to another there was no guarantee you'd be able to use it.

Then we got to a point when most people had DVD drives, and it was generally easy to take a DVD from one place to another again.

Then there were multiple popular DVD formats(DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL), and it wasn't necessarily easy to take your data from your house to your friend's house.

Then there were HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

Now there will be holographic discs.

A few years from now there will be another incompatible format that promises to hold exponentially more.

And it could happen again and again and again.

Incompatible formats, lack of portability, lack of rewritability, fragility, and overall inconvenience in terms of storage are what are putting an end to optical media.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840434)

Incompatible formats, lack of portability, lack of rewritability, fragility, and overall inconvenience in terms of storage are what are putting an end to optical media.

The core problem really just comes down to price. Lack of rewritability is a non-issue when discs are cheap. Fragility also not much of an issue if discs are cheap and lack of compatibility would go away if the things would be cheap enough to become standard part on any PC. But as it is right now you have BluRays that are more expensive then DVD+R and more expensive then USB HDD, while providing essentially no real advantage, so no wonder that they haven't taken off.

The only advantage that optical media still has is granularity, you can buy a 2TB HDD for cheap, but you can't buy a 5GB HDD for cheap. HDD costs $30 minimum, which is far away from optical media which goes for like $0.40. I think there would still be some use for optical media when it's big enough and cheap enough. DVD+R really start to show their age and are just not big enough to be practical for many uses, while BluRay provides to few advantages to be worth the upgrade.

Re:Just when I was hoping... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840116)

That's weird, I was hoping the opposite, that someone would finally come out with a cheap, disposable media, like CD-R and DVD-R, that could replace actual hard drives as a backup or mass storage media. This new technology looks like it might fit the bill.

The question is how cheap the media will be. For instance, we already have BD-R with 25GB/disc, but they're quite expensive, and if you're trying to back up a 1TB hard drive, it's cheaper to just go buy a second 1TB hard drive and use that for your backups. Plus, they're a PITA because you'll need to shuffle 40 BD-R discs to backup that one drive.

This tech looks like a giant improvement. While it's still a little on the small size if you ask me, you'll only need two discs to backup a 1TB drive, or 4 for a 2TB drive, which is much more manageable than 40 or 80. But will they be stupid and keep the media prices high like the BD-R morons did, or will they keep the prices low so using these discs costs a fraction as much as simply buying spare hard drives?

If they keep the prices high, look for this thing to go the way of the Floptical. If it's dirt-cheap, however, this may become popular. Using hard drives to back up hard drives is a little wasteful, DVD-R is way too small (it's been replaced by USB sticks), BD-R is too expensive, and Flash memory (USB sticks etc.) is simply too small and too expensive as a backup or serious mass storage solution. For 1-20GB, USB sticks are great, but for anything over that they're not economical.

finally.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838500)

something on par with my.. habit.

How stable is the media? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838508)

The big question is how long will a disk burn this way be good?

wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (0)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838530)

we might be unable to buy food and clothing, but at least we will have 3d pornography.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838626)

All the people that are still employed at GE and still creating new technologies can buy cloths and food, as do the people that buy their goods from.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838684)

You sound like a Libertarian ("corporations are good because they employ people").
But I'm not aware of any libertarian that thinks GE shuld have been bailed out. They all think GE should have been left to die, and the pieces bought-up by other healtheir corporations (like google, microsoft, CBS, et cetera).

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839586)

Or a patent troll buying their IP and we would be having more of these "sueing" news on ./

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839942)

Nah, he sounds like a typical white young male. The whole "creating new technologies" thing is a dead giveaway. 99.9% of life has nothing to do with new technologies. Exactly that, clothes, shelter, food, water, infrastructure, all these things have nothing to do with how many unlawfully obtained movies and games you can cram onto a piece of plastic. Trivial nonsense that goes out the window the day you didn't get your three meals.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838928)

the problem is, stop number 2 or 3 on that chain is China and or India

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (3, Informative)

levork (160540) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838690)

The government bailed out General Motors, not General Electric.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838998)

Yeah, GE got a lot a "Government Help" in the form of green energy regulations that favor them and penalize others and sweet tax deals.

GE is the definition of "Crony Capitalism".

A lot of regulations are written by these large companies like GE and Monsanto and their lobbyists to drive the middle sized and small operators out by making them comply with ridiculous regulations that are easier to comply with if you are a large company with a herd of full time lawyers. This kills their competition and allows them to stay on top where they become bloated and filled with corruption. Just look at the Old AT&T of the 1970's and 1980's, horrible service, high prices and no competion so no incentive to improve themselves.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839010)

GE got a $140 Billion bailout. But I don't blame you for being incorrect. Billion dollar bailouts were handed out like candy. And how effective they were (or not) is about the same as candy too.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839656)

Just to be clear: they insured GE Capital's (GE's lending subsidiary) debts to $140 billion... they didn't actually hand them $140 billion. Se the nytimes article basoti linked below.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839232)

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/fdic-to-back-139-billion-in-ge-capital-debt/

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838814)

When you say "bailed them out", to be clear, you mean that they took advantage of tax incentives, by presumably doing things we were trying to incentivize that cost GE money (like green initiatives)?

GE Capital (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839370)

When you say "bailed them out", to be clear, you mean that they took advantage of tax incentives, by presumably doing things we were trying to incentivize that cost GE money (like green initiatives)?

I can't be sure but I expect that the GP was referring to GE Capital, the financing component of GE.

Re:wow good thing the taxpayers bailed them out (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839766)

Wait, you can't buy food and clothing and you're wasting your time on Slashdot instead of looking for a job?

Why the hell are you even paying for an internet connection? That's just messed up.

Too early! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838584)

My bandwidth can barely keep up with blueray image sizes...

Incorrect claim 100x! (5, Insightful)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838620)

Standard blu-ray discs, which are the same size already store 50GB and there are already blu-ray solutions that are supposed to store multiple times that. So, at most 10x, certainly nowhere near 100x!

Re:Incorrect claim 100x! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838734)

given the reference point was a "DVD"-size disc, you can assume "standard" dvd density applied
this means 4.7GB

could they have made this much clearer in the first place? absolutely

Re:Incorrect claim 100x! (2)

pipatron (966506) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838938)

Yes, and there are numerous formats already available exactly the size of a DVD. For example a CD. Maybe they should have written 1000x instead, since it fits about 1000 times as much as a CD. Blu-ray is the most recent standard, and that's what you would expect someone to use as a reference when it comes to new storage media.

Re:Incorrect claim 100x! (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839256)

Actually, it's about the same size as a 5.25" floppy, and stores 400,000 times as much data!

Re:Incorrect claim 100x! (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840546)

There's a difference. Just about everyone these days has a DVD burner. They're $20 new, and most computers come with them, even laptops.

Blu-ray, however, even though it's been out a while, has had about as much uptake as the Iomega 250MB Zip drives. It's not really a de-facto standard, because no one has them. You can buy the burners somewhat cheaply now (though still much more than DVD burners), but they're not common. Typical computers don't come with them standard. The media are simply too expensive for anyone to bother with them.

Comparing this new disc to DVDs makes perfect sense, because it's something you can assume that most computer users have these days. Comparing it to BD-Rs wouldn't make any sense, because so few people have them. Probably the only people who bother with them are people who want to rent and copy Blu-Ray movies.

Re:Incorrect claim 100x! (0)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840226)

Personally, I would prefer that Blu-ray just fade away and be replaced by some new optical media standard backed by a broadly based industry consortium not involving Sony. Apart from my growing distaste for Sony as a company, I do not at all feel comfortable about being watched while I watch my media. The last Blu-ray movie I played wanted to connect to the internet. I said no and I have to say that again every time I play the disk. At least it asked. How do I know what sort of spyware is loading onto my Blu-ray player? The day BD-J was concocted was a dark day for privacy, never mind the stupidly long time it takes to boot a JVM on a minimally powerful embedded processor and load the bloated code that implements those buggy, laggy menu interfaces.

Granted, this is all about Blu-ray as a media format. As a data format... well, if there is a better technology on the horizon with 10 times the capacity, I say die Blu-ray, die.

Itt's about bloody time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838628)

Ive been waiting years for another significant leap in storage tech, I want that feeling of "wow, this is the future" I got when tentatively burning my first CD, the equivalent of several 100 floppy disks.

Give it another 2 years to get to market, and another 10 before I'm bitching about needing 2 holo-disks to burn the quad-hd 60fps 3D rip of monsters inc. 5

Re:Itt's about bloody time (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838822)

It's not 2 years. It's 5, at least. I remember the numerous promises of 45Gb discs and 70Gb discs using blu-ray technology. The bottleneck is usually the burn-time per-disc (about 20 hours). By the time this is market-ready, HDDs will be 50-terabytes large, and this will be too small to be practical.

Re:Itt's about bloody time (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839286)

Dual layer blue-ray disks are on the market now. 50GB rewriteable discs cost about £20, which is pretty expensive considering that the 25GB ones only cost about £5.

Re:Itt's about bloody time (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840566)

And 5 pounds, or even 5 dollars here in the USA (which I think is a typical-to-high price for them here), is still severely overpriced when you compare to the cost per gigabyte of a hard drive. For storing large amounts of data (such as HD backups), BD-R discs make zero sense. You're much better off just buying a second HD.

But... (1, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838634)

how many Library of Congresses is that?

Re:But... (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838782)

Libraries of Congress, please. 500GB is roughly 1/40th of a LoC.

Re:But... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839040)

"Libraries of Congress"

There's only one.

Re:But... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839124)

What's the difference, sum of storage of many hypothetical Libraries each with the capacity of our Library of Congress, or summing the storage of libraries of a bunch of hypothetical Congresses, each having a Library?

Re:But... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839490)

"Library of Congress" in this context is a unit of information, not an actual library. It's the unit which is made plural, not the library and not the Congress.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36840190)

Maybe we should distribute the plural to be Libraries of Congresses.

Re:But... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840336)

it's so fun yanking peoples' chains around here. or yanking people chains. or yanking people's chain.

Back up my 3TB HD in 18+ hours (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838650)

Wow, full daily backups, and I only have to change platters 6 times a day!

On the other hand, most of my neighbors will be able to incrementally back up their computers every day for the life of the computer and never disks. I hope they protect that backup very well.

Re:Back up my 3TB HD in 18+ hours (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840602)

A good backup strategy with incremental backups is to make a fresh backup every so often, and then make incremental backups at shorter intervals in between. Then you can keep 2 or 3 of the full backup sets, plus the incrementals, and have insurance in case your most recent full set fails. You should never have only one full backup set if you're doing incrementals.

18 hours may sound ridiculous for backing up your 3TB HD, but how long would it take to make a 3TB backup onto a second 3TB HD? I don't think that'd be a terribly quick operation either.

Not impressed (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838652)

500GB divided by 50 GB == 100 times??? This must be that new math I heard about. Maybe it's time to do a refresher course at my local college.

(1) I thought Pioneer has already developed a twenty-layer bluray disc that stored 500 GB. So not that big of a deal for GE to do the same.

(2) Optical media will not be dead if ISPs keep putting 150 GB (i.e. three-to-six hd movies) limitations on their internet lines.

(3) Optical discs allow me to KEEP the movie for life. Downloads do not, thanks to DarmnRM.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838764)

"500GB divided by 50 GB == 100 times???"

I think they're referencing the size of a common single layer DVD, which can hold 4.7 GB.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838810)

But that's not the current standard, they might as well reference 5.25" floppy discs if they are trying to inflate their breakthrough.

Re:Not impressed (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839182)

Pure marketing genius!! Heck, let's give the shareholders some real wood and say it's an improvement of 6.25 MILLION times ! !


(over the capacity of a punched card)

Re:Not impressed (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838848)

Yeah, that's what they did but it's stupid. When Intel comes with a new chip, they don't announce it's a leap of 100x speed!!!*

*Compared to a 10 year old P4.

Plus the same write speed as Blu-Ray is pretty bad. It should have scaled up. Oh well, it's something.

Re:Not impressed (3, Interesting)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 2 years ago | (#36838864)

Since the reference is to standard DVD-sized discs, it's reasonable that the 100x is to standard DVD capacity, which is right around 5GB.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839390)

But isn't a bluray the same physical size as a DVD? So all in all the author failed pretty bad

Re:Not impressed (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839140)

Considering they used DVD as opposed to Blueray as the reference point.... you can see what they did there.

Re:Not impressed (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839438)

(2) Optical media will not be dead if ISPs keep putting 150 GB (i.e. three-to-six hd movies) limitations on their internet lines.

So it'll be a US thing like the imperial system, I guess. /speaking from a 60/60 Mbps fiber connection @ $100/mo, no caps. So I am slightly ahead of the curve but almost all large, new buildings now have fiber. They'll deliver me 800/800 Mbps here if I wanted to pay $1100/month, the last mile is no longer the limit.

Re:Not impressed (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839836)

So it'll be a US thing like the imperial system, I guess.

I get it already. The United States is lagging behind in telecommunications and can't be fixed from within. Have you any tips on qualifying for legal immigrant status in a more "civilized" country?

Re:Not impressed (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839978)

I don't own anything BlueRay for precisely the DRM that they are putting on all the devices. Not interested, Fuck Off.

Now if this 500GB disc from GE does not contain any measures like this... and they have readers that they can install into media players, I will be very interested in doing so. That's probably anywhere from 130-150 DVD's on a single disc. Make 3 or 4 backups and keep one in a safety deposit box and you will have all your media (music, pictures, and movies) backed up pretty well.

I would like to see a Jukebox for this. Just like the ones made for DVDs. I had one that stored up 250 DVDs in the carousel. 250x500 GB = Buttload of space.

You are also forgetting Sneakernet. Can you imagine me giving you 5 or 6 of these in trade? Give it a few weeks and you will see an amazing exchange of data that would exceed the bandwidth limitations of every ISP in the city combined.

P.S - Optical discs only allow you to keep the movie for life if you remove the protections. DVDs are okay because the protection is so easily removable, even on the new ones. Prohibited User Operations, and all the extra crap can be removed including trailers and the FBI warning. When a brand new disc is released where they have done some funky things that we cannot remove the protections on easily..... that's where piracy comes into play. Just download a high quality DVD-R release of the movie because the piracy groups are experts at removing protections that should not be there in the first place.

The only difference between DRM on DVDs and BlueRay is the amount of effort it takes to break them. BlueRay is just too damn difficult, and because they are increasingly making it Internet connected devices, it will turn into the same battle between PS3 owners and Sony. No thank you. I don't need to be a participant in that war.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36840148)

500GB divided by 50 GB == 100 times??? This must be that new math I heard about. Maybe it's time to do a refresher course at my local college.

(1) I thought Pioneer has already developed a twenty-layer bluray disc that stored 500 GB. So not that big of a deal for GE to do the same.

(2) Optical media will not be dead if ISPs keep putting 150 GB (i.e. three-to-six hd movies) limitations on their internet lines.

(3) Optical discs allow me to KEEP the movie for life. Downloads do not, thanks to DarmnRM.

Consumer DVDs have a storage capacity of roughly 4Gb, so multiply that by 100 and you get 400Gb, which is very close to 500Gb in terms of rough multipliers. The article goes on to compare Blu-Ray capacity (about 32Gb) and cites a multiplier of 25x, which works out to about 800. That's farther off, but we're speaking in very rough multipliers here.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36840400)

Sory, but optical discs have been known to go bad with age! They are still the cheaper solution, though!

How long will they last 2 years or something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36838944)

How long will they last 2 years or something?

Increase of 100x? (1)

towelie-ban (1234530) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839302)

HVDs [wikipedia.org], with the size of a DVD and a storage capacity of 6TB, would like to speak with you.

Re:Increase of 100x? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839478)

I'll believe that when it hits the market. Right now the only medium that you can buy at a decent price is the DVD[+-]R which holds slightly less than 4 GB.

Re:Increase of 100x? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840634)

You mean slightly more. It's either 4.3GB or 4.7GB, depending on whether you prefer the old or new definition of "gigabyte".

YOU FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839304)

an operAting system Worthwhile. It's assh0le to others

LOL (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839522)

Can't wait to put my computer out of commission for 8 hours while I burn one of these monstrosities. I think I'll just go ahead and stick with hard drives...

How about a smaller disc? (3, Interesting)

willy_me (212994) | more than 2 years ago | (#36839740)

I would like to see how much they could cram into a disc with a 1" radius. The way I see it, the only way this technology will really take off is if they make it cheap and convenient. There is little need for 500GB of portable general purpose optical storage - portable HDs work fine. But I could see a use for ~20GB of cheap, portable, and disposable storage; the sort of thing you hand off to someone knowing full well you will never get it back. Around 20GB would be enough for HD video content, anything more would be wasted - better to reduce the physical size.

Re:How about a smaller disc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839948)

My old Apple II+ came with 48KB of RAM and disks that held ~130KB. Surely that should be enough for anyone... Yet my latest system build had 8TB of disk with 16GB of RAM, and I'm sad I couldn't swing 32GB or 64GB there.

By the time this tech comes to market and is affordable, 500GB will seems tiny. (Even Blue-Ray disks are only just starting to get "affordable".)

500GB = 100x 128GB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36839886)

I mean, did they do ANY research at all? That isn't even a 5X increase, let alone 100X that they are touting. Hardware that is SHIPPING and in consumer hands includes the Pioneer BDR-206MBK, which supports 128GB quad-layer BDXL disks. So the 500GB DVD sized disk is NOWHERE NEAR 100x the size of existing media.

Re:500GB = 100x 128GB? (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840438)

3.5" small disks? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840460)

Small write-once read-only media? Make the 3.5" small disks a fully support format - and I might get slightly interested. Because the 5.25" disks are f****ing huge by all modern standards. Even 3.5" might be too largish. UMD-like media (2.5" or smaller; with a case) if it is still above 10GB, might be interesting too.

If you are again with the same old 5.25" shit - do not even bother. Blu-ray - disks and drives - just got sufficiently cheap to be even considered. Your tech, with the current download/cloud trends, would take even longer to get any traction in the market - probably never getting there thanks to wider adoption of broadband.

Re:3.5" small disks? (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 2 years ago | (#36840580)

I know the capacity is small, but I think the best format so far are the Sony Mini Discs. Too bad discontinued. The cases didn't take more space than the disc and for some of them you slid and snapped it in. No Scratching the media to worry about.

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