The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Chronicle is a newspaper serving the San Francisco Bay Area of the U. S. state of California. It was founded in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle by teenage brothers Charles de Young and Michael H. de Young. The paper is owned by the Hearst Corporation, which bought it from the de Young family in 2000, it is the only major daily paper covering the county of San Francisco. The paper benefited from the growth of San Francisco and was the largest circulation newspaper on the West Coast of the United States by 1880. Like many other newspapers, it has experienced a rapid fall in circulation in the early 21st century, was ranked 24th by circulation nationally for the six months to March 2010; the newspaper publishes two web sites: and sfchronicle.com, which reflects the articles that appear in the print paper, SFGate, which has a mixture of online news and web features. The Chronicle was founded by brothers Charles and M. H. de Young in 1865 as The Daily Dramatic Chronicle, inside of 10 years, it had the largest circulation of any newspaper west of the Mississippi River.
The paper's first office was in a building at the corner of Kearney Streets. The brothers commissioned a building from Burnham and Root at 690 Market Street at the corner of Third and Kearney Streets to be their new headquarters, in what became known as Newspaper Row; the new building, San Francisco's first skyscraper, was completed in 1889. It was damaged in the 1906 earthquake, but it was rebuilt under the direction of William Polk, Burnham's associate in San Francisco; that building, known as the "Old Chronicle Building" or the "DeYoung Building", still stands and was restored in 2007. It is the location of the Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences. In 1924, the Chronicle commissioned a new headquarters at 901 Mission Street on the corner of 5th Street in what is now the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco, it was designed by Charles Peter Weeks and William Peyton Day in the Gothic Revival architecture style, but most of the Gothic Revival detailing was removed in 1968 when the building was re-clad with stucco.
This building remains the Chronicle's headquarters in 2017, although other concerns are located there as well. Between World War II and 1971, new editor Scott Newhall took a bold and somewhat provocative approach to news presentation. Newhall's Chronicle included investigative reporting by such journalists as Pierre Salinger, who played a prominent role in national politics, Paul Avery, the staffer who pursued the trail of the self-named "Zodiac Killer", who sent a cryptogram in three sections in letters to the Chronicle and two other papers during his murder spree in the late 1960s, it featured such colorful columnists as Pauline Phillips, who wrote under the name "Dear Abby," "Count Marco", Stanton Delaplane, Terence O'Flaherty, Lucius Beebe, Art Hoppe, Charles McCabe, Herb Caen. The newspaper grew in circulation to become the city's largest, overtaking the rival San Francisco Examiner; the demise of other San Francisco dailies through the late 1950s and early 1960s left the Examiner and the Chronicle to battle for circulation and readership superiority.
The competition between the Chronicle and Examiner took a financial toll on both papers until the summer of 1965, when a merger of sorts created a Joint Operating Agreement under which the Chronicle became the city's sole morning daily while the Examiner changed to afternoon publication. The newspapers were owned by the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, which managed sales and distribution for both newspapers and was charged with ensuring that one newspaper's circulation did not grow at the expense of the other. Revenue was split which led to a situation understood to benefit the Examiner, since the Chronicle, which had a circulation four times larger than its rival, subsidized the afternoon newspaper; the two newspapers produced a joint Sunday edition, with the Examiner publishing the news sections and the Sunday magazine and the Chronicle responsible for the tabloid entertainment section and the book review. From 1965 on the two papers shared a single classified-advertising operation; this arrangement stayed in place until the Hearst Corporation took full control of the Chronicle in 2000.
Beginning in the early 1990s, the Chronicle started to face competition beyond the borders of San Francisco. The newspaper had long enjoyed a wide reach as the de facto "newspaper of record" in Northern California, with distribution along the Central Coast, the Inland Empire and as far as Honolulu, Hawaii. There was little competition in the Bay Area suburbs and other areas that the newspaper served, but as Knight Ridder consolidated the San Jose Mercury News in 1975; the Chronicle launched five zoned sections to appear in the Friday edition of the paper. The sections covered San Francisco, four different suburban areas, they each featured enterprise pieces and local news specific to the community. The newspaper added 40 full-time staff positions to work in the suburban bureaus. Despite the push to focus on suburban coverage, the Chronicle was hamstrung by the Sunday edition, being produced by the San Francisco-centric "un-Chronicle" Examiner, had none of the focus on the suburban communities that the Chronicle was striving to cultivate.
The de Young family controlled the paper, via the Chronicle Publishing Company, until July 27, 2000, when it was sold to Hearst Communications, Inc. which owned the Examiner. Following the sale, the
Compact disc is a digital optical disc data storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was developed to store and play only sound recordings but was adapted for storage of data. Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage, rewritable media, Video Compact Disc, Super Video Compact Disc, Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, Enhanced Music CD; the first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan. Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres and can hold up to about 80 minutes of uncompressed audio or about 700 MiB of data; the Mini CD has various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres. At the time of the technology's introduction in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard drive, which would hold 10 MB. By 2010, hard drives offered as much storage space as a thousand CDs, while their prices had plummeted to commodity level. In 2004, worldwide sales of audio CDs, CD-ROMs and CD-Rs reached about 30 billion discs.
By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide. From the early 2000s CDs were being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U. S. had dropped about 50% from their peak. In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time. American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record digital information on an optical transparent foil, lit from behind by a high-power halogen lamp. Russell's patent application was filed in 1966, he was granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation and Philips licensed Russell's patents in the 1980s; the compact disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology, where a focused laser beam is used that enables the high information density required for high-quality digital audio signals. Prototypes were developed by Sony independently in the late 1970s. Although dismissed by Philips Research management as a trivial pursuit, the CD became the primary focus for Philips as the LaserDisc format struggled.
In 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the Red Book CD-DA standard was published in 1980. After their commercial release in 1982, compact discs and their players were popular. Despite costing up to $1,000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984. By 1988, CD sales in the United States surpassed those of vinyl LPs, by 1992 CD sales surpassed those of prerecorded music cassette tapes; the success of the compact disc has been credited to the cooperation between Philips and Sony, which together agreed upon and developed compatible hardware. The unified design of the compact disc allowed consumers to purchase any disc or player from any company, allowed the CD to dominate the at-home music market unchallenged. In 1974, Lou Ottens, director of the audio division of Philips, started a small group with the aim to develop an analog optical audio disc with a diameter of 20 cm and a sound quality superior to that of the vinyl record.
However, due to the unsatisfactory performance of the analog format, two Philips research engineers recommended a digital format in March 1974. In 1977, Philips established a laboratory with the mission of creating a digital audio disc; the diameter of Philips's prototype compact disc was set at 11.5 cm, the diagonal of an audio cassette. Heitaro Nakajima, who developed an early digital audio recorder within Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK in 1970, became general manager of Sony's audio department in 1971, his team developed a digital PCM adaptor audio tape recorder using a Betamax video recorder in 1973. After this, in 1974 the leap to storing digital audio on an optical disc was made. Sony first publicly demonstrated an optical digital audio disc in September 1976. A year in September 1977, Sony showed the press a 30 cm disc that could play 60 minutes of digital audio using MFM modulation. In September 1978, the company demonstrated an optical digital audio disc with a 150-minute playing time, 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution, cross-interleaved error correction code—specifications similar to those settled upon for the standard compact disc format in 1980.
Technical details of Sony's digital audio disc were presented during the 62nd AES Convention, held on 13–16 March 1979, in Brussels. Sony's AES technical paper was published on 1 March 1979. A week on 8 March, Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc" in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Sony executive Norio Ohga CEO and chairman of Sony, Heitaro Nakajima were convinced of the format's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread skepticism; as a result, in 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. Led by engineers Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward laser and optical disc technology. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First published in 1980, the stand
Book swapping or book exchange is the practice of a swap of books between one person and another. Practiced among book groups and colleagues at work, it provides an inexpensive way for people to exchange books, find out about new books and obtain a new book to read without having to pay; because swaps occur between individuals, without central distribution or warehousing, without the copyright owner making a profit, the practice has been compared to peer-to-peer systems such as BitTorrent—except that hard-copy original analog objects are exchanged. Many colleges and universities have developed online book exchange programs to help students save money on textbooks; some colleges build their own systems and others use systems from third party service providers. Some book exchanges are informal - a shelf or box is provided where books can be left or picked up; the exchange relies on users leaving and taking books and is not supervised. This is a frequent practice in youth hostels where travellers can leave a book and take a different book with them.
Some railway stations in Great Britain have informal book exchanges and one has been set up in a phone box in Kington Magna. Shufflebook, an online book swapping site BookCrossing, an online book swapping site BookMooch, an online book swapping site JustBookr, an online book swapping site for students on university or college campuses ReadItSwapIt, an online book swapping site Little Free Library, trading posts that offer free books, housed in small containers, to members of the local community WhatsOnMyBookshelf, an online book swapping site PaperBackSwap, an online book swapping club Lenro, connects book readers locally BoocShare, an online site for sharing paper books locally BookTrapper, an online college book swapping platform that lets students post books they need and those they want to sell per semester Bookup, an iOS app for location-based print book swapping Collaborative consumption, a trend describing similar swapping and lending organizations Freecycling The Guardian and Observer Book Swap: how to take part
A paperback known as a softcover or سعيد, is a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth; the pages on the inside are made of paper. Inexpensive books bound in paper have existed since at least the 19th century in such forms as pamphlets, dime novels, airport novels. Modern paperbacks can be differentiated by size. In the U. S. there are "mass-market paperbacks" and larger, more durable "trade paperbacks." In the U. K. there are A-format, B-format, the largest C-format sizes. Paperback editions of books are issued when a publisher decides to release a book in a low-cost format. Cheaper, lower quality paper. Paperbacks can be the preferred medium when a book is not expected to be a major seller or where the publisher wishes to release a book without putting forth a large investment. Examples include many novels, newer editions or reprintings of older books.
Since paperbacks tend to have a smaller profit margin, many publishers try to balance the profit to be made by selling fewer hardcovers against the potential profit to be made by selling more paperbacks with a smaller profit per unit. First editions of many modern books genre fiction, are issued in paperback. Best-selling books, on the other hand, may maintain sales in hardcover for an extended period to reap the greater profits that the hardcovers provide; the early 19th century saw numerous improvements in the printing and book-distribution processes, with the introduction of steam-powered printing presses, pulp mills, automatic type setting, a network of railways. These innovations enabled the likes of Simms and McIntyre of Belfast, Routledge & Sons and Ward & Lock to mass-produce cheap uniform yellowback or paperback editions of existing works, distribute and sell them across the British Isles, principally via the ubiquitous W H Smith & Sons newsagent found at most urban British railway stations.
These paper bound volumes were offered for sale at a fraction of the historic cost of a book, were of a smaller format, 110 mm × 178 mm, aimed at the railway traveller. The Routledge's Railway Library series of paperbacks remained in print until 1898, offered the traveling public 1,277 unique titles; the German-language market supported examples of cheap paper-bound books: Bernhard Tauchnitz started the Collection of British and American Authors in 1841. These inexpensive, paperbound editions, a direct precursor to mass-market paperbacks ran to over 5,000 volumes. Reclam published Shakespeare in this format from October 1857 and went on to pioneer the mass-market paper-bound Universal-Bibliothek series from 10 November 1867; the German publisher Albatross Books revised the 20th-century mass-market paperback format in 1931, but the approach of World War II cut the experiment short. It proved an immediate financial success in the United Kingdom in 1935 when Penguin Books adopted many of Albatross' innovations, including a conspicuous logo and color-coded covers for different genres.
British publisher Allen Lane invested his own financial capital to launch the Penguin Books imprint in 1935, initiating the paperback revolution in the English-language book-market by releasing ten reprint titles. The first released book on Penguin's 1935 list was André Maurois' Ariel. Lane intended to produce inexpensive books, he purchased paperback rights from publishers, ordered large print runs to keep unit prices low, looked to non-traditional book-selling retail locations. Booksellers were reluctant to buy his books, but when Woolworths placed a large order, the books sold well. After that initial success, booksellers showed more willingness to stock paperbacks, the name "Penguin" became associated with the word "paperback". In 1939, Robert de Graaf issued a similar line in the United States, partnering with Simon & Schuster to create the Pocket Books label; the term "pocket book" became synonymous with paperback in English-speaking North America. In French, the term livre de poche is still in use today.
De Graaf, like Lane, negotiated paperback rights from other publishers, produced many runs. His practices contrasted with those of Lane by his adoption of illustrated covers aimed at the North American market. To reach an broader market than Lane, he used distribution networks of newspapers and magazines, which had a lengthy history of being aimed at mass audiences; because of its number-one position in what became a long list of pocket editions, James Hilton's Lost Horizon is cited as the first American paperback book. However, the first mass-market, pocket-sized, paperback book printed in the US was an edition of Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, produced by Pocket Books as a proof-of-concept in late 1938, sold in New York City. In World War II, the U. S. military distributed some 122 million "Armed Services Editions" paperback novels to the troops, which helped popularize the format after the war. Through the circulation of the paperback in kiosks and bookstores and intellectual knowledge was able to reach the masses.
This occurred at the same time that the masses were starting to attend university, leading to the student revolts of 1968 prompting open access to knowledge. The paperback book meant that more people were able to and access knowledge and this led to people wanting more and more of it; this accessibility posed a threat to the wealthy by imposing that
The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, academic and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies; the Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web, electronic mail and file sharing. Some publications no longer capitalize "internet"; the origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the federal government of the United States in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication with computer networks. The primary precursor network, the ARPANET served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks in the 1980s; the funding of the National Science Foundation Network as a new backbone in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial extensions, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, the merger of many networks.
The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet, generated a sustained exponential growth as generations of institutional and mobile computers were connected to the network. Although the Internet was used by academia since the 1980s, commercialization incorporated its services and technologies into every aspect of modern life. Most traditional communication media, including telephony, television, paper mail and newspapers are reshaped, redefined, or bypassed by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as email, Internet telephony, Internet television, online music, digital newspapers, video streaming websites. Newspaper and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators; the Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of personal interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, social networking. Online shopping has grown exponentially both for major retailers and small businesses and entrepreneurs, as it enables firms to extend their "brick and mortar" presence to serve a larger market or sell goods and services online.
Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries. The Internet has no single centralized governance in either technological implementation or policies for access and usage; the overreaching definitions of the two principal name spaces in the Internet, the Internet Protocol address space and the Domain Name System, are directed by a maintainer organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The technical underpinning and standardization of the core protocols is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force, a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise. In November 2006, the Internet was included on USA Today's list of New Seven Wonders; when the term Internet is used to refer to the specific global system of interconnected Internet Protocol networks, the word is a proper noun that should be written with an initial capital letter.
In common use and the media, it is erroneously not capitalized, viz. the internet. Some guides specify that the word should be capitalized when used as a noun, but not capitalized when used as an adjective; the Internet is often referred to as the Net, as a short form of network. As early as 1849, the word internetted was used uncapitalized as an adjective, meaning interconnected or interwoven; the designers of early computer networks used internet both as a noun and as a verb in shorthand form of internetwork or internetworking, meaning interconnecting computer networks. The terms Internet and World Wide Web are used interchangeably in everyday speech. However, the World Wide Web or the Web is only one of a large number of Internet services; the Web is a collection of interconnected documents and other web resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. As another point of comparison, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, is the language used on the Web for information transfer, yet it is just one of many languages or protocols that can be used for communication on the Internet.
The term Interweb is a portmanteau of Internet and World Wide Web used sarcastically to parody a technically unsavvy user. Research into packet switching, one of the fundamental Internet technologies, started in the early 1960s in the work of Paul Baran and Donald Davies. Packet-switched networks such as the NPL network, ARPANET, the Merit Network, CYCLADES, Telenet were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s; the ARPANET project led to the development of protocols for internetworking, by which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks. ARPANET development began with two network nodes which were interconnected between the Network Measurement Center at the University of California, Los Angeles Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science directed by Leonard Kleinrock, the NLS system at SRI International by Douglas Engelbart in Menlo Park, California, on 29 October 1969; the third site was the Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by the University of
DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs. Prerecorded DVDs are mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD; such discs are a form of DVD-ROM because data can only be not written or erased. Blank recordable DVD discs can be recorded once using a DVD recorder and function as a DVD-ROM. Rewritable DVDs can be erased many times. DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to hold high definition material. DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs; the Oxford English Dictionary comments that, "In 1995 rival manufacturers of the product named digital video disc agreed that, in order to emphasize the flexibility of the format for multimedia applications, the preferred abbreviation DVD would be understood to denote digital versatile disc."
The OED states that in 1995, "The companies said the official name of the format will be DVD. Toshiba had been using the name ‘digital video disc’, but, switched to ‘digital versatile disc’ after computer companies complained that it left out their applications.""Digital versatile disc" is the explanation provided in a DVD Forum Primer from 2000 and in the DVD Forum's mission statement. There were several formats developed for recording video on optical discs before the DVD. Optical recording technology was invented by David Paul Gregg and James Russell in 1958 and first patented in 1961. A consumer optical disc data format known as LaserDisc was developed in the United States, first came to market in Atlanta, Georgia in 1978, it used much larger discs than the formats. Due to the high cost of players and discs, consumer adoption of LaserDisc was low in both North America and Europe, was not used anywhere outside Japan and the more affluent areas of Southeast Asia, such as Hong-Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
CD Video released in 1987 used analog video encoding on optical discs matching the established standard 120 mm size of audio CDs. Video CD became one of the first formats for distributing digitally encoded films in this format, in 1993. In the same year, two new optical disc storage formats were being developed. One was the Multimedia Compact Disc, backed by Philips and Sony, the other was the Super Density disc, supported by Toshiba, Time Warner, Matsushita Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, Thomson, JVC. By the time of the press launches for both formats in January 1995, the MMCD nomenclature had been dropped, Philips and Sony were referring to their format as Digital Video Disc. Representatives from the SD camp asked IBM for advice on the file system to use for their disc, sought support for their format for storing computer data. Alan E. Bell, a researcher from IBM's Almaden Research Center, got that request, learned of the MMCD development project. Wary of being caught in a repeat of the costly videotape format war between VHS and Betamax in the 1980s, he convened a group of computer industry experts, including representatives from Apple, Sun Microsystems and many others.
This group was referred to as the Technical Working Group, or TWG. On August 14, 1995, an ad hoc group formed from five computer companies issued a press release stating that they would only accept a single format; the TWG voted to boycott both formats unless the two camps agreed on a converged standard. They recruited president of IBM, to pressure the executives of the warring factions. In one significant compromise, the MMCD and SD groups agreed to adopt proposal SD 9, which specified that both layers of the dual-layered disc be read from the same side—instead of proposal SD 10, which would have created a two-sided disc that users would have to turn over; as a result, the DVD specification provided a storage capacity of 4.7 GB for a single-layered, single-sided disc and 8.5 GB for a dual-layered, single-sided disc. The DVD specification ended up similar to Toshiba and Matsushita's Super Density Disc, except for the dual-layer option and EFMPlus modulation designed by Kees Schouhamer Immink.
Philips and Sony decided that it was in their best interests to end the format war, agreed to unify with companies backing the Super Density Disc to release a single format, with technologies from both. After other compromises between MMCD and SD, the computer companies through TWG won the day, a single format was agreed upon; the TWG collaborated with the Optical Storage Technology Association on the use of their implementation of the ISO-13346 file system for use on the new DVDs. Movie and home entertainment distributors adopted the DVD format to replace the ubiquitous VHS tape as the primary consumer digital video distribution format, they embraced DVD as it produced higher quality video and sound, provided superior data lifespan, could be interactive. Interactivity on LaserDiscs had proven desirable to consumers collectors; when LaserDisc prices dropped from $100 per