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Super Audio CD

Super Audio CD is a read-only optical disc format for audio storage, introduced in 1999. It was developed jointly by Sony and Philips Electronics, intended to be the successor to the Compact Disc format; the SACD format offers more audio channels, a higher bit rate, longer playing time than a conventional CD. The SACD is designed to be played on an SACD player; the Super Audio CD format was introduced in 1999. Royal Philips and Crest Digital partnered in May 2002 to develop and install the first SACD hybrid disc production line in the United States, with a production capacity of three million discs per year. SACD did not achieve the same level of growth that compact discs enjoyed in the 1980s, was not accepted by the mainstream market; the first broadcast of a SACD Disc on BBC Radio was in March 2000. The programme was an interview between Colin Mackenzie and Kit Frazer; the disc played was Mariah Carey'Mariah'. By 2007, SACD had failed to make a significant impact in the marketplace. A small market for SACD has remained.

By October 2009, record companies had published more than 6,000 SACD releases more than half of which were classical music. Jazz and popular music albums remastered previous releases, were the next two most numerous genres represented. Many popular artists have released some or all of their back catalog on SACD. Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon sold over 800,000 copies by June 2004 in its SACD Surround Sound edition; the Who's rock opera Tommy, Roxy Music's Avalon, were released on SACD to take advantage of the format's multi-channel capability. All three albums were remixed in 5.1 surround, released as hybrid SACDs with a stereo mix on the standard CD layer. Some popular artists have released new recordings on SACD. Sales figures for Sting's Sacred Love album reached number one on SACD sales charts in four European countries in June 2004. Between 2007 and 2008, the rock band Genesis re-released all of their studio albums across three box sets; each album in these sets contains the album on SACD in 5.1 mixes.

The original stereo mixes were not included. The US & Canada versions do not use CD instead. By August 2009 443 labels had released one or more SACDs. Instead of depending on major label support, some orchestras and artists have released SACDs on their own. For instance, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra started the Chicago Resound label to provide full support for high-resolution SACD hybrid discs, the London Symphony Orchestra established their own'LSO Live' label. Many of the SACD discs that were released from 2000-2005 are now out of print and are available only on the used market. By 2009, the major record companies were no longer releasing discs in the format, with new releases confined to the smaller labels. SACD is a disc of identical physical dimensions as a standard compact disc. There are three types of disc: Hybrid: Hybrid SACDs are encoded with a 4.7 GB DSD layer, as well as a PCM audio layer readable by most conventional Compact Disc players. Single-layer: A DVD-5 encoded with one 4.7 GB DSD layer.

Dual-layer: A DVD-9 encoded with two DSD layers, totaling 8.5 GB, no PCM layer. Dual-layer SACDs can store nearly twice as much data as a single-layer SACD. Unlike hybrid discs, both single- and dual-layer SACD's are incompatible with conventional CD players and cannot be played on them. A stereo SACD recording has an uncompressed rate of 5.6 Mbit/s, four times the rate for Red Book CD stereo audio. Other technical parameters are as follows: Commercial releases included both surround sound and stereo mixes on the SACD layer; some reissues however, retained the mixes of earlier multi-channel formats. Objective lenses in conventional CD players have a longer working distance, or focal length, than lenses designed for SACD players; this means that when a hybrid SACD is placed into a conventional CD player, the laser beam passes the high-resolution layer and is reflected by the conventional layer at the standard 1.2 mm distance, the high-density layer is out of focus. When the disc is placed into an SACD player, the laser is reflected by the high-resolution layer before it can reach the conventional layer.

Conversely, if a conventional CD is placed into an SACD player, the laser will read the disc as a CD since there is no high-resolution layer. SACD audio is stored in Direct Stream Digital format using pulse-density modulation where audio amplitude is determined by the varying proportion of 1s and 0s; this contrasts with compact disc and conventional computer audio systems using pulse-code modulation where audio amplitude is determined by numbers encoded in the bit stream. Both modulations require neighboring samples to reconstruct the original wave, the more the lower frequency that can be encoded. DSD is 1-bit, has a sampling rate of 2.8224 MHz, makes use of noise shaping quantization techniques in order to push 1-bit quantization noise up to inaudible ultrasonic frequencies. This gives the format a greater dynamic rang

Beltway bandit

Beltway bandit is a term for private companies located in or near Washington, D. C. whose major business is to provide consulting services to the US government. The phrase was a mild insult, implying that the companies preyed like bandits on the largesse of the federal government, but it has lost much of its pejorative nature and is now used as a neutral, descriptive term; the term refers to the Capital Beltway, a ring road that surrounds Washington. Many federal government contractors have offices and headquarters near the Beltway because of its proximity to federal agencies and legislators. Civilian contractors tend to locate along the Maryland portion of the Beltway, while defense contractors tend to locate along the Virginia section, closer to the Pentagon. An early use of the term may have been from a description of thieves who took advantage of the newly constructed Beltway to rob houses from their back yards, which were now exposed to the highway. Neighbors would not have seen them from the front yards, by the time the police arrived, the thieves would have used the Beltway to escape to another state, when communications between Virginia and Maryland police departments was rudimentary.

"The Beltway Bandits" is an instrumental piece of music by Frank Zappa on his 1986 Jazz from Hell album. Beltway Bandits is the name of Mid-Atlantic Women's Hockey League team in the DC area

Gemstone Healer

Gemstone Healer is a computer action adventure game created by Canadian developer Paradigm Creators and published in 1986 by Strategic Simulations. It was developed by Peter Lount, it is a sequel to Gemstone Warrior. Gemstone Healer is a 2D action adventure title with the player controlling an armored figure that they would move from area to area in search of treasure and the way to heal the Gemstone, it uses cellular automata to generate maps. The game takes place after the events of Gemstone Warrior. In the first game, the player had to recover the Gemstone, a relic of incredible power forged by the gods and focusing the natural magic of the world. This, they entrusted to Man alone and for a time, there was great peace, but the Demons, led by Nicodemius, had managed to take the Gemstone. Unable to destroy it, Nicodemius fragments it into five pieces. By going into the Netherworld, the protagonist is assumed to have succeeded in this quest and returns with the Gemstone. However, the Gemstone's magic has been lost.

In the sequel, the player must now journey to the Center where the gods had forged the Gemstone and restore the balance of the magic within it by splitting it once more and healing each piece. This time, the player will have to contend with the challenge of discovering the tools that can restore the magic to the Gemstone as well as facing Nicodemius himself; the player is asked to name the dungeon. Dungeon map generation is based on the first twelve letters of the name that the player gives their dungeon ensuring that new names will create new dungeons for added challenge. Three major difficulty levels are offered; the game is viewed in a 2D screen displaying the playing area and inventory. The player controls an armored figure that wields a crossbow with a limited supply of bolts that can be replenished by finding more within the dungeon areas. Special "fireballs" can be launched against foes, although these are limited and are not as common; the player is able to use a sword. There are magical tools and other items that can be collected to provide a variety of benefits such as goblets that can restore health to crystal balls that can annihilate everything on the screen.

The dungeons are filled with a variety of secret doors. Many brutal monsters fill the caverns ranging from skeletal warriors, exploding gas plants, to Nicodemius himself; the player is able to search the corpses of monsters that remain behind and coffins for supplies. Monsters do not always respawn in zones, leaving behind only their corpse as a reminder that the player had been there, although some do return to life such as Nicodemius himself who can be "killed" but may return; the goal is to split the Gemstone on one of the altars that are in the game and the place the pieces on other altars and "heal" them with the use of healing tools that are found throughout the Center. Gemstone Healer was much less successful than its predecessor, only selling 6,030 copies in North America. Gemstone Healer at MobyGames GTA Roleplay Community GTA 5 RP Community Peter. Lount.com