4 studios back new DVD format
It seems like the movie studios are putting their weight behind Toshiba’s HD DVD format, a specification vastly inferior to the tech-preferred Sony Blu-Ray.
Simply, the storage capacity of a dual-layer Blu-Ray disc is 50GB while the maximum a HD DVD disc can hold is only 30GB. Since the writable discs will only be single layer, the Blu-Ray and HD DVD discs will whole 25GB and 15GB respectively. Any other differences between the discs are negligible.
More storage capacity means more special features, longer video, or most unlikely, better quality video compression. (Consumers tend to choose longer play over picture quality, which explains the popularity of VHS’s EP mode for recording.)
Betamax died off quickly mainly because movie studios, when forced, supported the VHS format because it was technologically inferior. The public didn’t seem to mind. The VHS devices were cheaper, and with a format that ensured lower-quality copies, the movie studios felt their product was safer in the hands of the public.
An article on CNN Money gives readers tips on charitable giving:
* Give With Confidence (research the organization you choose to determine its legitimacy)
* Wide Up Over the Phone (don’t be taken in by scammers)
* Beware of Mail Tactics (don’t be taken in by scammers—again)
* Be In It for the Long Run (think long-term)
* Get the Tax Deduction (if the donation qualifies and you reach the minimum limit)
I was reading bits of The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko over Thanksgiving. The authors suggest that people who build wealth at a better-than-average rate tend to stay far away from charitable giving. Needless to say, I didn’t really like the book, especially its tone. Most of these books are so similar; they only have, at most, five things to say. The pages are then filled with corny “real-life” examples of those five points.
In any case, don’t choose a charity under pressure. Don’t choose one just because your friends tell you to donate. If you’re going to give charity, choose one that means something to you. Or, if you are someone who might donate to an organization in someone else’s name as a gift, make sure it’s a charity that has meaning to the recipient.
Happy Thanksgiving to all USians out there. I’m on vacation in Orange County, California at the moment, and I’ll post a Flexo update to my finances when I get back to Jersey next week. Have a great holiday!
The Motley Fool has some tips on how to teach kids about the lottery. They suggest showing children some sort of physical manifestation of what the odds are really like. I think that’s a great idea for demonstrating how money is wasted.
While we’re talking about the lottery, MSN Money also has an article about lottery winners who are back to being mighty poor again.
“Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be,” says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice (1985, 1986), to the tune of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer.