CALDWELL, N.J. (AP) -- Tulsa used-car dealer Jonathan Knoerdel
received a bargain, by analysts' standards, in winning the auction
for the first airplane owned by John F. Kennedy Jr. The tragedies
that have befallen the Kennedy family may have helped keep down
bids, officials said.
Auctioneers on Saturday opened bidding for the 1977 Cessna 182Q
Skylane at $300,000, but the plane eventually sold for only
$120,000, plus $18,000 to the auction firm, The New York Times
The auctioneer said one bidder told him that his wife didn't want
him to buy it because of the Kennedy family history.
Kennedy died last year when his single-engine plane crashed off
Martha's Vineyard with his wife and sister-in-law on board. The
auctioned plane was owned by Kennedy from April 1998 to May 1999.
Setting the sharpness on HDTV
NEW YORK (NYT) -- After 10 months of debate, shifting alliances
and back-door lobbying, the nation's major television manufacturers
have finally agreed on a series of revised definitions for digital
television sets. And the agreement requires two companies -- Hitachi
and Toshiba -- to notify potential buyers that some of the
television sets the makers have been advertising as high-definition
TV's provide lower-resolution pictures than HDTV's sold by some
In 1998, the consumer electronics industry agreed on a rule
specifying that for a set to be called an HDTV, the screen must
provide 1,080 lines of resolution (compared with the 480 lines on
conventional sets). In addition, the set must achieve that
resolution on a wide, or "letterbox" shaped, screen.
Last year, Hitachi and Toshiba began selling digital sets with
conventional nearly square screens and calling them HDTV's. When
high-definition signals were displayed full screen, the sets showed
them with 1,080 lines of resolution. But when the image was
flattened down to a letterbox format, only 810 lines were displayed.
In December, the video board of the Consumer Electronics
Association passed a new rule that would force Hitachi and Toshiba
to cease labeling these sets as HDTV's. But complaints and lobbying
by the two companies eventually persuaded two other manufacturers,
Zenith and Sharp, to change their votes, overturning the rule. It
was probably no coincidence that Zenith and Sharp buy some equipment
from Hitachi and sell it under their own names.
The industry has been debating the issue since then, and finally
this month the association approved a new rule. Hitachi and Toshiba
can call their sets HDTV's. But they must also prominently disclose
that when high-definition signals are shown in a letterbox format,
only 810 lines of resolution are being displayed.
Under the new rule, manufacturers are no longer allowed to call
any sets "HDTV-ready." They are to be called high-definition sets --
if they come with a digital receiver -- or high-definition monitors,
if a buyer must buy the digital receiver separately, as is usually
Helped by its persecution
NEW YORK (AP) -- Despite the uncertain legality of the Napster
online music-sharing service, the number of people using it more
than quadrupled in just five months, Media Metrix said Monday. That
made Napster the fastest-growing software application ever recorded
by the Internet research company.
From 1.1 million home users in the United States in February, the
first month Media Metrix tracked the application, Napster use
rocketed to 4.9 million users in July. That represents 6 percent of
U.S. home PC users who have modems, said Media Metrix, which pays
people to install monitoring software on their computers. It
estimates total usage from a panel of about 50,000 people in the
United States. Napster was also used at work by 887,000 people in
July, Media Metrix said.
Napster has been sued by the recording industry for allegedly
enabling copyright infringement. …