While HD Dies, Verizon Blows the Doors Off

It's been a long weekend here — complete with a long President's Day snooze yesterday morning — but there's been no snoozing on the news wires. We've got it all for you, from slumps to suits to slapstick and back again.

Heading the lineup is the imminent announcement that Toshiba will finally give up the ghost and bury the long-ailing HD-DVD format after a long battle between it and rival Blu-ray. The impending announcement comes just one day after super-retailer Wal-mart decided to disassociate itself from HD-DVD and just over a month since the humiliating debacle at the Consumer Electronics Show. While this is a sad state of affairs for Toshiba, it's the early adopters — whose expensive state-of-the-art players just became useless junk — that we really feel sorry for. Perhaps Sony will offer a trade in...

While we're on the subject of equipment wars, there's a nasty one 'a-brewing between Motorola and BlackBerry-behemoth Research In Motion (RIM), who have sued each other over — what could it possibly be? — patents! RIM claims Motorola is stealing RIM patents, and if that wasn't bad enough, is overcharging RIM to license Motorola ones, with Motorola claiming just the opposite. Somehow we think it might be better if they spent less time on patents and more time on making their respective services work.

Speaking of mobile services, Verizon is expected to fire a warning shot across the cell phone market today, unveiling an unlimited domestic calling plan for the first time. While a number of smaller providers already offer unlimited mobile calling for a flat rate, Verizon would be the first of the major national carriers to deploy such a scheme. We're happy to see it happen — we have a shiny Verizon phone and on occasion overshoot our minutes — but we're not exactly moved with confidence when Verizon tosses around the word "unlimited."

And with that, we're off to update our plan, and to stock up on our favorite flicks on Blu-ray.

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