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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 02, 2007 0 comments
Recent press reports that Jack Valenti passed away last week were not quite complete. This blog has learned that the man who likened the VCR to the Boston Strangler was, in fact, strangled by a VCR. Police say the videocassette recorder snuck into the bedroom of the former head of the Motion Picture Association of America as he slept. Spitting out a cassette, the VCR uncoiled the tape and wrapped it around the neck of the veteran lobbyist who once told Congress: "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone." The murder was captured by a security camera connected to, ironically, another VCR. Valenti began his career as a publicist and served in the administrations of presidents Kennedy and Johnson. At the MPAA he pioneered the rating system and cried wolf insistently enough to secure passage of the unbelievably fascistic Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which criminalizes anything and everything to do with home recording devices, including just looking at one. According to police, forensic evidence in the form of Super Avilyn particles may eventually tie the murder weapon to the rogue VCR. They also say the getaway car was driven by a TiVo.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 01, 2007 0 comments
Are you willing to pay $300 plus $6-10 a shot for an Internet-connected set-top download box that starts a movie as soon as you press the play button?
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 30, 2007 0 comments
Internet radio broadcasters may get a reprieve from Congress. A bill surfaced last week that would reverse the recent royalty rate hike that net radio outfits say would have doomed them to extinction.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 27, 2007 0 comments
One of the few major audio manufacturers to function as a public company will be taken private. Kohlbert Kravis Roberts and GS Capital Partners bought Harman International in a deal worth $8.3 billion.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 26, 2007 0 comments
At least one major cable operator is pruning analog channels in advance of the end of analog broadcasting, slated for February 17, 2009. Time Warner Cable's Staten Island Project will provide 100 new channels of HDTV to the southernmost borough of New York City.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 25, 2007 0 comments
Smaller iPod-compatible speaker systems like this one are usually described as "speakers" (as opposed to "systems"). The Altec Lansing inMotion gets points for not calling itself an i-something. What's seductive about it, though, is its shape-shifting ability.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 24, 2007 0 comments
Cable operators may discriminate against broadcasters by reducing both the quality and quantity of DTV channels, the head of the National Association of Broadcasters asserted last week in a keynote at the NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 23, 2007 0 comments
Sony will offer replacements for 20 defective glitch-prone DVD titles. The cause of the defect is yet another digital rights management scheme that's gone wacky.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: May 21, 2007 Published: Apr 21, 2007 0 comments
Brains, brawn, and bombast.

"Eventually," one of my musical idols once told me in an interview, "everything you said you'd never do, you do. If you're lucky, you get to shake hands with Arnold Schwarzenegger." Those words of Robyn Hitchcock came back to me as I wrestled the JL Audio Fathom f113 subwoofer out of its carton. (The Governator himself couldn't weigh much more.) I've told other manufacturers that I just couldn't see myself working up a thousand-plus-word lather about a sub. What was it about this one that made me change my mind?

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 20, 2007 0 comments
The latest challenge to the music industry comes from musicians themselves. Some of them are re-recording their hits to capture licensing revenue that otherwise would go to their record companies.

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