February 20, 2008
Who killed HD DVD?
The high-definition DVD war is over, says the Los Angeles Times in an editorial, but, “oddly enough, movie fans played little part in declaring Blu-ray the winner” over rival format HD DVD. Through December, less than a million stand-alone HD DVD and Blu-ray players had been sold, with sales “divided roughly evenly between the two camps.” What tipped the balance to Blu-ray was the inclusion of Blu-ray players in the millions of PlayStation 3 units Sony has sold. The two formats could still have “coexisted” with movie studio support, but “movie fans” shouldn’t be sad about HD DVD’s “white flag.” The sooner the war ended, the fewer people were left with an obsolete “inert unit.”
A house is not an ATM, it’s a home
The financial “value” of housing has dropped in most markets, says Nicolas Retsinas in Reuters, but historically “the value of housing” did not depend on “its prospects for monetary appreciation.” In other words, homeowners from “the Mayflower colonists to the succeeding surges of immigrants” didn’t treat their house like “an ATM.” It was “a sanctuary” and “a stake in the community,” for those who could afford one—and until the Great Depression we were mostly “a nation of renters.” So amid the “despair” of the housing bust, it’s good to remember that a house still has lots of “value” in “its capacity to nurture a family.”