In this America's Test Kitchen video they add salt to the cold water when hard boiling eggs: http://www.cookscountry.com/videos/Hard-Cooked-Eggs/28960/
Would the salt actually permeate the shell and flavor the egg? That seems unlikely to me and is just a waste of good salt.
(Apart from the salt, that method is not new to me. My old, Mom-gave-it-to-me-when-I-got-my-first-apartment Betty Crocker cookbook has the same instructions.)