The new members are: Jack Doyle, founding president of Pioneer America; Robert Galvin, chairman of Motorola; Dr. George Heilmeier, who led the team that created the first LCD; Dr. Nick Holonyak Jr., inventor of the LED; Howard Ladd, leader of three firms: Concord, Sanyo and Fisher; A.J. Richard, electronics and appliance retailer; John Roach, who made Tandy/Radio Shack a retailing giant; the three inventors of the plasma video display: Drs. Donald Bitzer, Robert Willson and H. Gene Slottow; Andrew Grove and Gordon Moor – who along with past inductee Robert Noyce founded Intel.
Consumer Electronics Holiday Gifts to Total $21 Billion – The 13th annual CEA-sponsored survey predicting holiday spending on consumer electronics items finds that they will dominate a quarter of the overall holiday gift-giving market. And due to a “one for you – one for me” mindset, only about half of the volume of fourth quarter sales is represented. Overall holiday spending is expected to be up 14% and half of that will be spent on gifts – at a 27% increase over last year. MP3 players topped the wish lists and gift lists, followed by DVD players/recorders, digital cameras, computers and TVs.
Gramophone Readers Are Classical Downloaders – An Internet poll conducted by the UK classical review magazine Gramophone revealed that 75% of readers surveyed listen on their PCs or MP3 players and 57% have ripped some of their classical CDs to other digital formats. Most of the respondents were in the UK, and the average number of classical downloads for last year was 12 vs. not quite 13 physical CDs purchased. Legal downloading of the classics seems to stimulate, not threaten sales of CDs: 30% of CD buyers say they’ll buy more CDs next year, 52% of the downloaders intend to keep on downloading the classics, and 22% of those who haven’t tried downloading yet say they will give it a try in the next 12 months. 83% of those surveyed listen on traditional CD gear and 74% listen to classical music on radio. Gramophone will next do a detailed survey on whether classical downloaders prefer lossy or lossless audio files.
Advanced Enhancement of Digital Audio Files – With more frequent playback of data-reduced audio files thru quality high end systems, their artifacts and faults are becoming much more annoying. The Burwen Bobcat Suite, designed by Burwen Audio together with Daniel Hertz, is a combination of a software plug-in for Windows Media Player 10 plus an advanced USB D/A processor. It claims to get fidelity surpassing even SACD out of any digital files – from lossy 128 kbps MP3s to standard 44.1K CDs and 48K PCM DVDs. The basic suite is $1500, with $3200 for an added 50 watt integrated amp.