So here's a thought that came to mind at 3AM. Sony's PSP games run on UMD disks, disks that are essentially little optical disks like CDs or DVDs, but they have something about them. They are protected by a plastic shell so that scratches and other similar damage is minimal.
So I began to think, why does blu-ray or DVD have this?! This is the way optical media should've been, because this way we wouldn't have to worry about the slightest smudge or slightest nick in the data stream. Seriously, who thought of the idea to put all that precious data you just written to a disk at risk for destruction at the hands of mere human hands (or, you know, your 360 controller that's sitting on top of it... face up...)?! All my UMD disks are great... fine and dandy. No scratches, no marks, no scuffs... You get the picture. It's protected.
It also gives the disk this kind of "cartridge" feel to it. It feels secure and not so damned delicate --- you know the feeling, when you just finished burning a Linux ISO you spent 45 minutes downloading, and you handle it like it were the holy grail? Yeah, you do.
So, I thought of a whole new thing right here. keep the formats, keep the disk itself, just make them people-proof! There can easily be a new format introduced like this, because essentially all that's needed is slightly thicker drives. The internals of the drive would be at maximum just modified to fit something a little bigger -- it's simple as that.
Anyone get where I'm driving at? (or why my car is in the front yard?)