Yep, I can see that DVDs have their uses today.
But I was alluding to the upcoming 802.11ac and 802.11ad WiFi standards, not cloud services. That is clearly where technologies like the MacBook Air are headed. I welcome anything that'll get rid of the rat's nest of cables lurking behind every computer I own. I'm expecting high-capacity WiFi-enabled TV's, set-top boxes, NAS SSDs etc. to become widely available around 2015. CDs and DVDs will go the way of the wax cylinder - it's just a matter of 'when', not 'if'.
I've had plenty of DVDs go missing / get left somewhere. I even left a laptop on a train once, containing a patent draft, which caused a minor panic until I collected it from left luggage.
Reliable VPN encryption isn't that hard to set up for wireless connections - I don't mean simple WEP/WPA, but proper VPN.
The floppy was never a means of mass distribution of video or music media.
Not quite yet.
As far as the British market is concerned:
More than £1bn was spent on downloaded films, music and games in 2012, the highest annual total.
Sales increased 11.4% from 2011, meaning that a quarter of the entertainment market is now digital. (And that three quarters of the market isn’t.)
Sales of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and video games fell by 17.6% in 2011 although they still make up most of the market.
Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), which will release the figures, said that breaking the £1bn barrier was an "incredible achievement" for retailers.
"This reflects their huge investment in new and innovative services - which means you can buy music, video and games literally at any time of the day and wherever you are.
"At the same time I suspect that many people will be surprised to learn just how resilient the physical business still is - with three-quarters of entertainment sales still on disc.
"Downloads offer convenience and portability, but people still seem to value the quality and tangibility of a physical product."
More than half of the digital sales went on video games, which grew 8% to £552m.
Films and music had a smaller share of the digital market but sharper growth - downloaded films up by 20% and music by 15%.
No doubt you can find similar statistic for the US market.
 - POPULARITY - Despite the acknowledged dependency by many, their use is simply plummeting. People don't use PC-based DvD drives anything like they used to. Most have DvD players connected to their TVs sets for a start.
Yes, of course I have several DVD players; however, in order to use them, I have to produce a DVD first. Which is what I use my Macs for and 3 burners (2 internal, 1 external). I don't buy movies - I make movies.
I also use the burners to burn music CD's (or do purchase them); I prefer listening to world class symphony orchestras on a good quality (surround) system, not through earbuds attached to tiny devices which can cause injuries and do not produce acceptable sound.
I do agree that the built-in drives were never ideal, but what can you expect from a super slim laptop style vertically installed drive where media can shift 1/100th of an inch. That is why I've had an external FW burner for years; also comes in handy when I need to copy one of my movies from one DVD to another - I simply use both drives at the same time.
The DVD is long past its' use-by date. I'm eagerly waiting for the next generation of WiFi infrastructure to take hold - that's where the next big advance is needed, IMHO.
It is your prerogative to trust the cloud and/or WiFi with your information - I do not. I would no more trust any online server with my work or personal/financial information than I would send $1,000 to the recently deceased Nigerian prince who left me 900 million dollars. Any server can and will be hacked into at some point. I prefer having my information safe and under my control, not some entity in the ether cloud. I will also never publish my work online for anyone to download (a.k.a steal). Unless you receive it as a gift from me, you do need to pay me.
I completely agree with you.
Sure - it has it's use today, but where's the drive for tomorrow's technology developments? For what it's worth, I still think that Word 5.1 running on Mac System 6 on a single floppy was the best ever word processing platform. Why did we bother to move on? Once competing technologies mature, optical disks will seem archaic.
For all their faults, Apple are trying to lead these technological innovations. Some they get right (iPhone, anyone?) and others they get wrong (Newton PDA? A little too ahead of its' time?). I happen to agree that optical drives have had their day.
I preferred WordPerfect!
The question is: how much choice should the user have? Given that Apple's current method of 'improvements' now means that both their hardware and software will be obsolete and unuseable in only 3-4 years, why not leave until the next generation of desktops to leave out the superdrive/firewire/etc that we all currently use?
Six months ago, the current late 2012 iMacs *were* the 'next generation'. Had they waited another year, Apple would still have got slated for dropping the built-in optical drive. At least the Thunderbolt port is firewire-compatible (using an adapter). And DVI-compatible. And gigabit ethernet-compatible. More additions to my cabling tangles, though.
The MacBook Air and 2012 iMacs are clearly showing the direction Apple are going in. The rest of the PC world will follow, if they see an advantage in doing so. Apple have given in over the USB 3.0 vs. Firewire 800 battle, so have supplied them on the new iMacs. If you want a USB optical drive, there are plenty to choose from. Even Apple do one.
After Steve Jobs left us:
Apple releases Lion the worst OS Apple ever released.
Apple removes essentials ports and peripherals like Ethernet, Firewire, DVD, etc from macBook !!Pro!!
Apple gives developers hard times with new !!innovated?!! musts like Xcode 4, Sandboxing, etc.
Apple releases one after the other iPhones and iPads like they were OS Updates (Heeyy Apple we pay 700$++ for the iPhone and you release a new one after some months).
Now the new iMac! Oh What an innovation! They made it even thinner!! I' ll take it with me to my favorite cafe now, but I have to remember: No DVD, No firewire, No, no, no... I can of caurse BUY adapters for 29$ !!!! Why Apple doesn't include them out of the box? We pay 1400$+++ for the machine, why we have to pay another 29 for the adapters?
Apple is falling...
Linux is rising...