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Tales from the Front Lines

The fog of war settles sullenly on our psyches. We're just behind the front lines, but close enough that every incoming mortar round feels like it has your name on it. My notebook is so covered in mud and dried blood, I'm tempted to use a bayonet to carve out my words instead of a pen. How did this madness begin?

Everything was so logical in the beginning. Both sides had the same goals, we held the same beliefs. 1080i or 1080p, which was it now, I don't even remember. The DVDites were backed by the computer industry megalopoly, and they were tired of being ruled over by the minority movie-ment of Blu-nees. But the Blu-nees, so used to be being in control, so accustomed to dictating to the electronic manufacturers – hey, it's our way or the highway – weren't happy about this turn of events.

That's when it all got murky. The DVDites were ready to take over. March 2006 meant a new government and DVDites, along with their erstwhile northern allies, the Nerds, were ready to assume power. Still, Blu-nees continued to muster support for their cause even as their own internal 2nd quarter 2006 deadline approached accompanied by rumors that it would slip, perhaps irreversibly, by as much as a year. By then, it could be too late. The DVDites would be firmly entrenched.

The Blu-nee's secret weapon, code name PS3, was being pushed back at a time when Blu-nees were counting on it as essentially their only defense against the onslaught of the DVDite hoard. Reports circulated of the devastating difficulty in getting a copy protection agreement that would satisfy everyone in this fragile alliance while still not disenfranchising their most hardened rank and file, the feared and fanatical early-adopters. Those fundamentalist early adopters, so crucial to the movie-ment's initial success, would be left out in the cold if their non-HDCP compliant display devices (numbered as high as 7 million by some counts) went permanently black.

That last round came too close. We're packing up our gear now as I'm being instructed that the unit with which we're enbedded is being ordered to fall back. Signing off until next time, this is Fred Manteghian, from the front lines.

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