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Archive for February, 2007

Ace Hasn’t Kicked

Personally, I have never been a fan of KISS, but I thought I should pass this ditty along for the edification of those of you who are. Apparently, there have been rumors flying around the Web that guitarist Ace Frehley has committed suicide. Fear not; through a press released from his publicist, the painted-faced six-stringer was quoted as saying “Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.”

Although that quote won’t get him style points for originality, it does appear to indicate that he’s still alive. According to the press release, Frehley is working on a brand new “highly anticipated” solo CD and eating wheat germ. (The latter seems to show that he’s planning on sticking around for awhile.)

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MP3 in the News

There was big news Thursday on the intellectual-property front, as Microsoft was ordered by a judge to pay $1.52 billion in a patent-infringement suit brought by Alcatel-Lucent, regarding its use of MP3 technology. Read the Boston Globe’s story for more details.

I bring this up because Apple, like Microsoft, licenses its MP3 technology from the German Fraunhofer Institute, which played a role, along with Lucent’s Bell Labs in the development of MP3. Apparently, the judge didn’t think the Fraunhofer license shielded Microsoft from Alcatel-Lucent’s claims. Will this have any impact on the iTunes Store and all the (legal) MP3 downloading that has become so important to the music industry? What about other software manufacturers who use MP3 technology? The Globe story quotes an industry analyst who predicts that Alcatel-Lucent will use this judgment “like a club” to force fees out of company’s that have MP3 licenses from Franhaufer.

Naturally, Microsoft will appeal this judgment, so it may be a while before we see if any of this has a direct impact on end users. But it bears watching.

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The Bus, EM's editorial blog, features posts from all the EM editors on topics related to gear, recording techniques and much more. It's also home to posts from a selected group of guest bloggers.

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