SIGNALS

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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: Aug 18, 2015 1 comments
Tombstone, Arizona Territory. October 26, 1881. It is a Wednesday, around 3:00 p.m. In a vacant lot adjacent to the O.K. Corral, four lawmen including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday square off against five outlaws. Within 30 seconds, 30 shots are fired. When the gun smoke clears, three men lie on the ground, wounded. And three men lie on the ground, dead. Only Wyatt Earp walks away without a scratch. A Wild West legend is born.
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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 18, 2014 4 comments
You remember Gravity, right? Outer space, pulverized space ships, Sandra Bullock floating weightlessly, heavy breathing—pretty good film from both a technical and narrative standpoint. You might already have a copy on Blu-ray. But I'd like to give you two reasons to consider buying it again. A new "Diamond Luxe Edition" Blu-ray due in February promises to be very interesting for both film aficionados and home-theater enthusiasts. Doubly interesting if you are both.

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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: Aug 25, 2015 1 comments
Some inventions are unquestionably awesome and tremendously useful. Things like the steam engine, electric battery, electric light, radio, internal combustion engine, and transistor were truly transformative. Other inventions are uber cool, but for some reason find it tougher to break through to broader application. Case in point: sound from ultrasound; more specifically, the generation of audible sound from modulated ultrasonic beams.

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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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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 16, 2014 5 comments
When I reviewed the original Charge last year, I wrote, “Long playback time, decent sound quality, compact size, and last but not least – the ability to keep your phone charged - the Charge does it all. Amid a sea of small speakers, this one merits a look and a listen.” Apparently millions of people, well, thousands, or perhaps hundreds, or at least more than a handful, agreed. That prompted JBL to capitalize on the success of the original to bring out a successor, the Charge 2. JBL is of the opinion that it is new and improved. I agree that it is new, but is it improved?

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 11, 2014 0 comments
Ouch! Thank goodness for the Affordable Care Act, because now I’ve got a pre-existing condition called Bruised Ego. Man, oh, man&mdashdid I get a beat down. Even after all the stitches and bandages are removed, I’ll probably always walk a little wobbly.

I made the cardinal error of dismissing two high-rez audio formats. You can tell a man that his wife is hot, you can tell him his horse is ugly, you can even tell him his car is slow. But you should never, ever, tell him his audio format is obsolete...

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