The case for cheaper Blu-ray discs & players

Having won the DVD format war, Sony would be riding high on hopes of ganering the market. While I wish them all success, I hope their garnering strategy would be to reduce the price and mass market it rather than still hype on it as a niche product and keep it pricey. Sony does it all the time with their cameras, camcorders and even memory sticks (which were 2-3 times the price of SD cards). They were able to pull it through perhaps because of the loyal Sony crowd -the consumers who are wedded to the Sony brand. (Including yours truly, until sometime back).

However, DVDs would be a different ball game. Being an absolute consumable and a mass-market product, it should provide the best return when volumes go over the roof. This is conventional wisdom. If media prices become low, Blu-ray movies, for one become more affordable. Things like this should prompt more sales. Would Sony go against this well-established strategy? Or would they give in to the temptation of pricing it high for a couple of years to leach out the maximum out of it – until copy cat manufacturers catch up?


Weird Weather

Most of the population in the southern half of China is now living off railway platforms and bus shelters. No, it is not because they have been left out by China’s giant economic strides. Nor have they been caught in a Chinese mainland subprime mortgage crisis. Its a much bigger reason than that: they are victims of climate change.

Yes. Because of heavy snow, all long distance travel has come to a stand-still. Roads and tracks are covered with knee-deep snow, bridges have collapsed and the entire transportation grid has been held hostage by the weather.

Snow fall is not uncommon in China. It is only the time and the place that makes it look so wierd. Beijing has clear skies; the north has a relatively warmer climate instead of the usual harsh winter. And the south is caught in an unexpectedly cold winter.

It is not just happening in China. Delhi, India, is at near freezing temperatures (~2.3C) that schools are closed for a week. Mumbai is seeing temperatures in the range of 9C, which I had never witnessed in the years I called Bombay my home. To contrast all this, I read a report from NASA the other day that the entire Artic ice cap is shrinking because of warm weather.

What the heck is happening? Global warming, climate change, environment disaster? Beginning of the next ice age?? Or is it just weird weather?


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