SIGNALS

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 10, 2011 0 comments

What do TVs and music sales have in common? They are both big businesses, and both markets are rapidly shifting the money from Old Business companies and business models to New Business companies and business models. And some major players are getting left behind.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments

They are not so common any more, but I'm sure you remember used record & CD shops. Now imagine them without the bricks and mortar. Or the bins. Or the records and CDs. Say what? Welcome to the biggest music-industry brouhaha since Napster.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 30, 2011 0 comments

It seems simple enough. You wait in line, pay $15, put on the dorky 3D glasses, and watch the 3D movie. Popcorn costs extra. What you might not realize is the titanic struggle going on around you. And I’m not talking about the action on the screen. I’m talking about the theater owner who’s mad as hell at the movie studio.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 19, 2013 0 comments

Streaming is hot. Outfits like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Go are jamming the internet with data and putting the hurt on DVD and even Blu-ray. Last time I checked, smart phones, tablets, and ultrabooks lacked optical disc drives. Besides, do you really want to mess with disc-based playback on the train to work? Streaming is entering the hockey stick part of its growth curve.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 25, 2012 0 comments

So you’re a committed audiophile. You used a laser to precisely toe in your front loudspeakers. You lie awake at night worrying about that 2-dB dip at 9 kHz in your room’s frequency response. You hire Mike Mettler to hand-deliver every issue of S+V. [I aim to please —Ed.] Well, that’s great.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 03, 2013 0 comments
David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is one of the most memorable songs of the late 60s. Its release on July 11, 1969 not coincidentally coincided with the Apollo 11 moon landing. The single reached #5 on the British charts and later in his career Bowie revisited the theme several times. This odd song about an astronaut drifting in space is simply iconic. Now, audiences are discovering a uniquely new version of Space Oddity.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 15, 2011 0 comments

Well, it's official: the 1.65 million students of the high-school class of '11 have set a new record. They collectively racked up the lowest SAT reading scores ever. Moreover, their score compared to the '10 score represented one of the biggest declines in 20 years. So not only are today's kids terrible readers, they are rapidly getting more terrible.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 19, 2013 11 comments
For the last few months I’ve thought a lot about the health of the audio/video industry. I worried that the success of smartphones and tablets was irreparably overwhelming traditional consumer-electronics technologies like audio/video. I tried to convince myself that smartphone mania would taper off and the mass market will rediscover big stereos and big TVs. I desperately wanted to evangelize for the profound pleasure that a kick-ass home theater can bring. But lately I’ve changed my mind. I have a new message for everyone glued to their phone: drop dead.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 25, 2011 0 comments

 

How many copies of Jurassic Park do you own? I'll give you an hour to tell me. That's because if you are a dino-fan, it will take awhile to tally them all. Don't miss any! There's VHS, Laserdisk, DVD, the Trilogy DVDs, the Adventure Pack DVDs, Blu-ray…. So, how many copies of Jurassic Park do you own? Well, get ready to buy some more. The Jurassic Park: Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray set is being released today (with a freshly remastered DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack and a whole lotta extras as incentives to purchase). And after that. . .

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 15, 2012 0 comments

How many times has this happened to you? You’re rounding the Warsteiner-Kurve at the Nürburgring at about 3 lateral Gs and your iPad Mini flies out the window of your Porsche 997 GT2 and lands on a hausfrau’s schnitzel, and she exclaims, “Mein Gott in Himmel!”

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 05, 2012 0 comments

Neil Young likes to criticize things: war, environmental abuses, indifference to homelessness, the plight of small farmers, Presidents of the United States, etc.  Name an activist topic, and you can probably find several well-crafted lyrics, ranging from subtle to confrontational, on the issue. Neil Young is also critical of sound quality. Highly critical.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jun 28, 2012 0 comments

Google had revenue of $38 billion last year. So why would they mess around selling a consumer electronics gizmo? Frankly, I don't have the faintest idea. But they have served up a juicy meatball of a nice product.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jul 27, 2011 0 comments

Sure, before you head to the beach, it’s imperative to slather on the sunblock. (Note: as far as I know, this is the first time I’ve used “slather” in a written sentence.) Everyone knows that too many UV rays are bad for you, and that SPF is the remedy. But what about another kind of ultraviolet?

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 05, 2012 0 comments

Americans are sometimes criticized for being ignorant of the rest of the world. I guess the fact that most Americans can't locate Canada on a map tends to confirm that. (It's somewhat south of the North Pole) Along the same lines, we tend to forget that there are consumer markets other than ours. Moreover, those markets can be surprisingly different from ours.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 24, 2013 0 comments

Scientists, who apparently never cease thinking of things that would never occur to me, have demonstrated that it is possible to store digital data in molecular form. As reported in Nature, a team of brainiacs stored the text of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a photo of their institute’s building, and a copy of a paper by Watson and Crick, as DNA sequences.

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