Confession: I don't own an iPod. I don't even really want an iPod. I know they're cool and store gazillions of songs, but somehow I've avoided falling under the spell. The only portable I've ever owned - and loved - was a Sony Walkman. Not being a big fan of "portables," I didn't think I'd ever give my heart to another.
When's the last time you got really excited about listening to the radio? For me it was when I discovered an alternative station called 99X in Atlanta . Now I actually look forward to visiting so I can tune in. During my formative listening years near San Francisco , I enjoyed an abundance of great music on FM.
The Consumer Electronics Show is all about firsts, but some of this year's bordered on the freakish. Samsung unveiled a flat-panel TV with a 102-inch screen - that works out to 31 square feet of plasma real estate. Or how about $75,000 for LG's 71-inch plasma set?
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.sw.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=200 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>We live in troubling times. Many people look at our society and see an increasing erosion of morality and civility, which leads them to yearn for the perfect suburbia as depicted in early television sitcoms such as <I>Father Knows Best</I> and <I>Leave It to Beaver</I>.
It's unlikely that you've got hours and hours of HD video sitting on your computer's hard drive - although you might if you're the proud owner of a HDV camcorder (from JVC or Sony) or you've invested in an HD PCTV card for your computer and have been recording over-the-air HDTV broadcasts for the past umpteen months. On the other hand, you're more likely to have a slew of high-res images courtesy of your megapixel digital still camera. However, as my wife is forever explaining to me, having lots of great pictures (and video) stored on your computer is nice; it would be nicer (much nicer), though, if they could actually be viewed by the family in some way that didn't involve jockeying for space and hunching over a small computer screen. As I've discovered over the years, you ignore your significant other at your peril.
At this year's CeBIT (Europe's answer to CES) in Hannover, Germany, Samsung is introducing the world's largest LCD flat panel display. Measuring 82 inches diagonally, the 1920x1080 panel was developed at Samsung's new seventh-generation production facility in Tangjeong, South Korea; amazingly, this facility can produce two 82-inch panels from a single substrate, which has been impossible up to now.
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Mitsubishi once manufactured plasma monitors. (Okay, it wasn't that long ago or far away, it just seems like it!) But while the company seemingly abandoned the business in the late 1990s, it managed to keep its foot in the door by working out an agreement with NEC to sell plasma sets using NEC panels. The PD-5050 is the latest model to come along; even though NEC sold out to Pioneer early last year, Mitsubishi is still selling 50-inch and 61-inch plasma products from the same factory.