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The Weekly Round-Up: Ancient video meets superfast fibre broadband

Plus news from Delhi, Vegas and Halloween...

It's a reflection of how fast the technology industry moves that today's must-have gadget rapidly becomes tomorrow's doorstop or attic clutter.

While you may find it hard to believe, sooner or later the shiny toys that you were once willing to queue up for overnight will be forgotten down the back of the sofa, and then replaced by smaller, shinier doohickeys.

Indeed, a time will come when youngsters will have never even heard of the gizmo that you were just a few years ago proudly showing off to your mates. Take the VHS video recorder. The Round-Up can still remember getting one at home, probably around 1985. Top-loading, built like a tank and just as noisy, it opened up new vistas of excitement in the form of badly dubbed kung fu movies from the video shop, and taping Dallas or Pebble Mill.

For the benefit of the Round-Up's younger readers, that was in the days before all the world's cultural output had been rendered down into a series of zeros and ones: when you had to own something physically if you wanted to watch a video or listen to a song. Weird, huh?

Anyway, fast-forward a quarter of a century and the VHS is the least used piece of technology among the youth of today, with one in five teenagers never having used a video tape. Four per cent don't even know what VHS is.

Sticking with antique formats, only one in 10 of the teens had used a cassette tape and only two per cent admit to still owning one. Such is the success of the MP3 format that two-thirds only ever buy songs online.

It gets worse. Only a third of teenagers who took part in the MyVoucherCodes poll admitted to having ever used a floppy disk to save documents and one in 10 didn't know what a floppy disk actually was.

And three-quarters have only ever had a television that has a remote control. Sigh. All this is making the Round-Up feel very old. It can still remember using a remote control that was attached to the TV by a cable.

Still - here's a way to keep feeling young: add silicon.com to your social networking universe. You can check out the silicon.com Facebook page here for updates from the team throughout the week. You can also join our LinkedIn group here for the latest on the CIO Jury and other IT issues. And of course there's Twitter too, where you take a look at our tweets from Silicon Towers.

This week silicon.com's intrepid reporters have been in Delhi - check out photos of HCL's Noida campus - Las Vegas - find out why companies are still ignoring their customers on Twitter and Facebook - and... Milton Keynes.

But it's in Milton Keynes that the real excitement is this week. Even more exciting than the Concrete Cows. Oh yes.

This week Milton Keynes was the site of a serious bit of "splicing and blowing".

Stop giggling at the back there. This is in fact a very serious subject - splicing and blowing is how you get the fibre needed for broadband into your home or business, so pay attention.

Fibre optic cable is made of glass, which means it's fragile and cannot bend beyond a certain point. To install fibre BT engineers use compressed air to blow the fibre line through a sub-duct to get it to where it needs to go, and silicon.com's reporters got to see the whole process through from start to finish - so check out the photos: Fibre broadband - BT demos splicing and blowing.

It's Halloween this weekend, so we have the usual wave of warnings from security firms about not opening dodgy emails that claim to offer some ghoulish fun but which will in fact hoover up all your data instead.

Despite the best efforts of many high street retailers, Halloween hasn't turned into the frenzy of consumption that it is it the US. But there are definitely more costumes on sale this year.

But what is there for the discerning techie to wear? Hands up if you're heading out dressed as a Mailer Daemon or a helpdesk zombie with its terrifying chant of "try turning it on and off again...".

And finally this week - time for a canter through the rest of the big stories. Read how to use Twitter and Facebook to recruit top talent - or alternatively to find tips on how to escape your own dead-end job.

Forgot to buy that tin of beans? Maybe you should have used Tesco's barcode scanning iPhone app.

And check out the most popular story on silicon.com this week - our guide to quantum computing, which is certain to make your brain bigger or at least ache a bit. And as ever - check out the fine links below, which will keep you busy until the home-time bell rings.

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