SIGNALS

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 20, 2015 13 comments
I am shopping for a new car. For me, a car is more than basic transportation. In fact, getting from point A to point B is far down on my list. For example, I would gladly trade a practical item such as a spare tire in return for a bit more performance. Things like cargo capacity and riding comfort are unimportant, while horsepower and 0-to-60 times are critical. I’ve always appreciated slick audio/video gear. Same thing with cars.
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 06, 2011 0 comments

I always enjoy logging onto The Onion. Its faux news stories are wicked funny. Their specialty is satirical stories that seem vaguely plausible, but of course are completely bogus. Occasionally, people actually believe Onion stories. Recent Onion tweets reported that armed Congressmen were taking schoolchildren hostage and demanding $12 trillion in cash.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 07, 2014 4 comments
We loved them. We cherished them. We truly believed that we had purchased the last TV we would ever need to purchase. That's because picture quality could never get any better. Plasma was awesome! Wow! Look at those black levels.

Then, as they say, time marched on. Technology improved. Market sentiment shifted; people wanted something newer and cooler. Much like the dinosaurs, plasma TVs looked up in the sky and wondered—what's the deal with that huge flaming mass of asteroid hurtling down at me?

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

I get press releases. Oh boy, do I get press releases. My inbox runneth over. You think spam is bad? Multiply that by 100, and you’ll get an idea of my daily press-release pile. Everybody is flacking their newest and most innovative stuff. And occasionally they flack their oldest and least original.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 18, 2014 0 comments
It’s been awhile since I’ve heard anything from new from Pono. When it was first unveiled, at least in concept, two years ago, Pono was a bit of a head-scratcher. Brainchild of rocker Neil Young, Pono was his response to the scourge of lo-fi music. Pono was a new music player and/or file format and/or music delivery system that would resurrect recorded music. Stay tuned. So, it was interesting to see Pono surface again at SXSW last week.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 26, 2013 0 comments
Whether you support it or not, few of us are completely comfortable with the fact that the government can read our e-mails and listen to our phone calls. On the other hand, without much thought, most of us freely give away our privacy to various companies. Now, that privacy debate is coming into our home theaters.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 03, 2012 0 comments

When you buy a Rolex Submariner from a guy with a dozen of them in a cardboard box in Times Square, there is absolutely no chance of misunderstanding. Both parties fully understand that the timepieces in question are fakes. But what if you buy a pair of high-end headphones from that kind-of-weird stereo store across from the mall?

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 22, 2014 2 comments
Editor’s Note: The following article appears in the May 2014 print edition of Sound & Vision.

How Was Your Day?

Friday afternoon, McCarran Airport. The International CES ends today. Some bitter-enders are still at the convention center, but for me, the show is over. With a mixture of relief and regret, I toss my press pass into a recycling bin. As I wait for my boarding call, I pull out some notes, trying to make sense of what just happened.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jul 14, 2011 0 comments

I have two cars but only a one-car garage. As you might expect, my favorite car (a red 1968 Porsche 911 Targa) gets the garage. Plus, since it’s vintage, it deserves indoor parking. From a performance standpoint, that car is still impressive. It’s lightweight, with lots of horsepower, and since the laws of physics haven’t changed in the last 4 decades, it can blow away most modern cars.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 21, 2014 3 comments
“My my, hey hey. Rock and roll is here to stay. It's better to burn out than to fade away. My my, hey hey. Out of the blue and into the black. They give you this, but you pay for that. And once you're gone, you can never come back. When you're out of the blue, and into the black. Hey hey, my my. Rock and roll can never die.”

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 02, 2014 2 comments
It is the patriotic duty of every American man, woman, and child to go shopping for a TV on Black Friday. After spending most of Thursday up-armoring me and my vehicle, I went to a Best Buy on Friday morning. Two observations: First, I lived to tell about it. Second, it takes about 20 minutes for the ambulance to drive from the Best Buy to the nearest ER.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 07, 2015 2 comments
It's 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. For reasons that really aren't worth explaining, you need to connect from a micro-USB port to a mini-USB cable. But where are you going to find a male-micro-USB-to-female-mini-USB cable? Of course, you head to Radio Shack. The kid there will sell you one. But, going forward, will a New York hedge fund sell one?

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 17, 2013 0 comments
Ah, once again, it’s that magical time of year. Malls jammed with shoppers looking for that elusively perfect gift, parking lots jammed with cars competing for that even more elusive parking space, and everyone’s favorite—the joyous strains of holiday music. When I say “strains,” I mean as in you straining not to go insane when you hear Little Drummer Boy for the umpteenth time.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 16, 2014 2 comments
The plunging, fiery death of plasma TVs, the mind bendingly questionable benefits of curved TVs, the looks-awesome-up-close-and-personal 4K TVs, the ridiculously low prices on ridiculously big TVs, the intriguing new investments in quantum-dot TV manufacturing plants—the wide world of televisions is lively with fast and furious developments. But there is one development in particular that, I think, will overshadow all the others.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
Much to the dismay of audiophile old fogies, the audio scene has been overrun by punks and their celebrity endorsements. Everywhere you look (Dre, I’m looking at you) you see audio gear, headphones in particular, with a famous DJ or other artist name attached. Of course, even old fogies were young once, and now it’s another generation’s turn to discover how cool audio is.

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