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February 25, 2004
Cryogenics for Instruments Now? - An engineering professor at Tufts University tested the allegation of some trumpet players than cryogenically freezing their instruments improved their sound. Ten trumpets were cryogenically frozen and then defrosted and played to see if their sound had improved. The researcher found that there was more difference from player to player than in the minimal results from treating the instruments. (A specialized audio tweak has been to cryogenically freeze not only CDs but also cables and electronic parts.)
Met Opera Loses Chevron/Texaco Sponsorship - At the end of the current seasons the Metropolitan Opera will lose the backing of Chevron/Texaco for its Saturday live opera broadcasts - backing which has gone on for 63 years. The Annenberg Foundation has stepped in with a $3.5 million grant to keep the broadcasts - heard throughout the world - going out next season.
Warner Music Sold - A group of investors led by the former CEO of Universal Music is buying Warner Music Group from Time Warner for $2.6 billion. The result - which also includes publishing arm Warner/Chappell - will be one of the biggest independent music companies in the world. EMI had also tried to bid for Warner Music but is doing better on its own than the rest of the music industry which is seeing a ten percent decline in sales of recorded music.
Latest in the Broadcast Flag Controversy - The Consumer Electronics Association has called on the FCC to allow competition, innovation and consumer choice to flourish in the DTV and home networking rather than passing legislation allowing the networks and studios to employ selectable-output-control (SOC) at their whim to restrict time-shifting or home networking. Once most digital TV users have secure digital interfaces, the concern is that the Motion Picture Association will use downsampling of the hi-def images as copy protection. The CEA stated Downresolutions primary effect will be to punish consumers for making an early investment in HDTV displays when only the wrong interface was available.