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Tech Buzz 05/05

Double-layer CD storage, new e-mail options and more
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Bright and Blue

You've just gotten used to the idea of rewritable DVDs and high-capacity, dual-layer DVDs. Now comes the Blu-ray DVD. This new standard allows a single layer to hold up to 25GB of data, while a double-layer Blu-ray disc will hold up to 50GB. This particular blue-laser technology is currently in competition with HD DVD to replace our more familiar DVD formats. HD DVD maxes out at about 30GB--still, that's substantially more than the 4.7GB capacity of today's DVDs.

Those high capacities make either format an enticing option for entrepreneurs working with multimedia files or wanting to store or back up large amounts of data. HD DVD will be the first to arrive later this year, with Blu-ray hitting the streets in early 2006. The two standards are competing, but nobody is ready to call a winner yet. You may want to wait and see who comes out on top before investing in either.

Two Birds in Your Hand

Hot on the heels of its market-shaking Firefox browser, the Mozilla Foundation has released version 1.0 of its companion Thunderbird e-mail editor for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Downloadable for free at, Thunderbird will likely appeal to the same individuals who switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox to gain greater security and customizability.

Thunderbird features spam filtering, a built-in RSS reader and advanced e-mail sorting. Since it still lacks Outlook's advanced calendar features and integration with other Office applications, Thunderbird might make a better replacement for Outlook Express. But keep your eyes peeled for Sunbird, Mozilla's forthcoming calendaring companion for Thunderbird.

Early versions of Thunderbird are prone to small bugs. We tried out Thunderbird 1.0 on a Windows 2000 system and were unable to get it running without repeated program crashes. These issues will likely be fixed in subsequent updates, and the whole package reportedly works much more smoothly with Windows XP. The software documentation is slim, but internet user groups can be invaluable resources if you don't mind taking the time to look. Early adopters and open-source fans should give it a try, but the rest might want to wait until the program matures just a little bit.


of adult IM users are under the age of 30.
Statistic Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
Deleting spam costs U.S. businesses nearly

$22 billion

a year in wasted time.
Statistic Source: University of Maryland

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