Beatles Still Among Music’s Highest Earners – Over 40 years after their splitup, the Beatles are still pulling in about $80 million in the past year. Their business, Apple Corps Ltd., made almost $3 million more than last year, landing Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison about $8 million each. The world’s obsession with the Fab Four has never stopped even a half century after they hit the scene. So the money just keeps rolling in. Ringo said recently he believes the group would have reformed and gone on tour by now had John and George still been alive today. Dublin is holding a Beatles Festival in November.
NAS Study on Violent Video Games – The National Academy of Sciences may conduct a study on the connection between violent video games and video programming and harmful effects on children, that is, if the legislation proposing that—The Violent Content Research Act, S.134—passes the Senate. Senator Rockefeller and other congressmen have been advocating against S.134, saying that violent crime in general has been decreasing since the ‘80s, while video game sales have steadily increased. And that there is no scientific proof that a link exists between individuals doing violent acts and video games, or violence and video games in general. (Have any of these people actually played any of the most violent video games?) There are many other studies supporting the position that exposure to media violence leads to aggression, desensitization toward violence and lack of symphony of victims of violence. The nation’s surgeon general, the National Institute of Mental Health and many professional organizations all consider media violence exposure a risk factor for actual violence.
Plasma Display Burn-In – is usually no longer a concern. This former problem with plasma TVs has been corrected in recent models. And most of the AV and video magazines still put plasma displays in their best-of categories most of the time. If you need a really bright display and tend to have it on much of the day or for playing video games, then an LCD TV might be a better choice, but it you use your TV mostly at night and can live with the dimmer (and higher quality) image of plasma displays, that’s the one to get. And don’t use the extra-bright option settings on the TV; instead set it up for the Custom settings with one of the Blu-ray test discs, or better yet, get an ISF or THX professional calibrator. They may charge less now due to the many controls that most HDTVs have today reducing their time to set it up properly. One expert suggests waiting 200 to 300 hours for a new plasma HDTV to age before having it calibrated.
Restaurants and Bars Getting Too Loud – Steve Guttenberg is taking a toll at the c/net site on whether people are getting put off by the level of ambient noise in bars and restaurants getting louder all the time. The New York Times cited many restaurants and bars with even higher than 90dB noise levels, and one gym averaged 100dB. Environments in these places are usually designed with bare floors and hard reflective surfaces which reflect and increase the noise levels of the sound system and people talking, rather than absorbing it. Restaurants used to be much quieter than they now are. By the way, if you haven’t had a hearing test for awhile, consider getting one.