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latest stories from cyberspace

auto-destruct dvd (story from the bbc)
pope takin’ a drive (story from zenit)
going postal down under (story from ABC-AU)
I have three sites for you today- one a new twist on the video rental arena, another… well, it’s a messy topic and then lastly, what a slow news day looks like for the Vatican.

::auto-destruct dvd::
The BBC reports that a new type of DVD is being developed- a EZ-D. This is a normal DVD in every respect but one: after a short time period, it self-destructs. In short, there is a chemical coating on the disc that oxides in the presence of air so once you open the air-tight packaging, you have only a certain time window the use the disc. After that time period, the disk becomes black and blocking the optics used to read the disc. The article mentions various uses for such technology, namely video rentals.
I find the idea pretty cool all the way around. About to take a road trip? Want to be able to watch a DVD when you get somewhere but don’t want to worry about having to return the disc or finding a rental location? Pick up one of these DVDs whereever and don’t think twice. After a couple of weeks, the disc will be worthless to the rental location (and yourself) so no blood, no foul. What is even better is the company is going to operate a recycling program to take care of the useless discs.

::pope takin’ a drive::
We all know what slow news days look like in America. The nightly news talks more about some human interest story. The front page of the NY Times talks about the latest new technological advance that won’t help anyone really for another five years. The local news spends just a few more minutes talking to the weatherman about his latest fishing trip. I learned today what a slow news day is like for the Vatican. Usually, there are about six good news stories a day mentioning something concret coming out of the Holy See. Today, we get a story from Zenit, an independent news organization who tracks the Church and the Pope, mentioning how the Pope took a morning drive. Today, a morning drive, tomorrow, maybe a walk across the grounds. Stay turned for Thursday though, we might get word that he slept in since he’s on vacation.
In all seriousness, Zenit does an excellent job and I dearly love my church but sometimes, it just makes me laugh.

::going postal down under::
American postal workers have little to complain about in light of this. In New Zealand, farmers are protesting a new tax on livestock by sending manure- that’s right, cow chips and the like- to their Parliament via the country’s postal service. That’s pretty crappy to begin with but what made me laugh is the reason for the tax.
Coming straight from the article: “…the Government said it would levy farmers to help pay for research into livestock emissions of methane and nitrous oxide.
The gases account for more than half the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
That’s right folks, it’s a fart tax.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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