Chinese flagIn an effort to break the foreign stranglehold on DVD patents, China has announced for the second time in a decade that it intends to create new DVD technology. Though more than three-quarters of the world's DVD players are made in China, roughly 40% of the cost of each unit comes from fees that manufacturers must pay to license the DVD technology. With a new, domestic format, the costs of player production will go way down, thus giving producers a great profit margin even if they pass some of their savings along to the consumer.

The new format, which reportedly will offer "higher definition, better sound and better anti-piracy measures," won't potentially hit markets until 2008. That way, we have time to save up enough money to buy the new players. Jeez, with this and Bill Gates' big new plans, we're each going to need about four DVD players to watch all of our discs. Ain't technology grant?