Friday, January 12, 2007

And that settles that

When I was grade school, a good friend of mine was the first kid in our town to get a video tape player.

His dad was kind of a gadget guy, an "early adopter" as the marketing gurus say. They were also the first family to have a video camera, and a cell phone (which, back then, came in the form of a small bag that you would sling over your shoulder, and you had to put an antenna on top of your car for it to work).

Anyway, they spent hundreds (maybe even a thousand) of dollars on this video tape player and we all thought it was so cool how you could watch a movie at home without commercials. You could rewind, fast forward. It was all very cutting edge. But eventually, we got tired of watching the same movie over and over again.

That's when my friend's dad realized he had invested in the wrong technology. We had been watching a Betamax player, and it didn't take long to see that VHS had won the format war.

I bring this up because we technophiles were facing a similar showdown until today.

The war was between which high-definition video format would succeed the standard-def DVD. On one side was HD DVD, on the other was Blu-ray. Sure, there were efforts to work together to come to a consensus. But like the battle between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, no solution was forthcoming.

Until today. The multi-billion dollar porn industry has stepped in to put and end to the destructive conflict by adopting the HD DVD format for your late-night wanking pleasure.

The importance of this development would be difficult to overestimate. Despite the lip service (pun intended) paid to morals and family values in the US, Americans were estimated to spend as much as $8 to $10 billion on pornography in 2003.

And it's axiomatic that, from a technological standpoint, where the porn industry goes, the rest of American follows. Arguably, the porn industry deserves credit for most of the advance in high-speed internet content delivery technology, and possibly the internet itself.

So here's a twenty-one tissue salute to the porn industry for solving yet another social problem.

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  1. I guess we can consider that chicken pretty much choked.

  2. Porn: is there anything it can't do?


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