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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: Feb 13, 2013 0 comments

I travel. A lot. Hotel rooms are not my home away from home — they are my home. As such, most of my TV viewing is done in hotel rooms. Thanks to the miracle of jet lag, I know the late-night schedule everywhere around the world. I’ve watched Wheel of Fortune in 53 different languages, and counting.

I’m also familiar with every brand of flat-panel TV. Samsung, LG, Vizio, Panasonic, Hitachi, Philips, Magnavox, Toshiba, JVC, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony: I’ve seen them all. And I know I’m in a faraway place when I’m staring at a Kogan or a Vestel. It doesn’t make any difference. They all have one thing in common: All of these TVs sound terrible.

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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: Mar 07, 2012 0 comments

Michael Jackson is back in the news, and as usual, not in a good way. This time, at least, it’s no fault of his own. Rather, it’s his employer, Sony, who assumes the blame. It was imprudently careless with the keys to Jackson’s bank vault.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 18, 2012 0 comments

It is the job of engineers to push the envelope and design the products of the future, not the products of today. When the first Compact Disc players were on the drawing board, 780-nm lasers were extremely expensive, but engineers anticipated that low-cost versions would soon become available. They bet right: cheap laser modules were perfected just before the CD format’s launch.

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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.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 22, 2011 0 comments

What is the Great American Pastime? Baseball? Football? Soccer? Actually, it’s none of those. Our great pastime is sitting passively and yelling as other people actively run around. And while shouting from the bleachers is fun, it’s even more fun to sit and shout at the TV.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 03, 2012 0 comments

Pop quiz! Quick! Which industry is evolving faster? Automobiles or computers? 

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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. . .

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Sep 23, 2011 0 comments

Ah, the irony. Unwanted traffic noise is a bane of modern existence. Countless engineers have spent entire careers laboring to reduce vehicle noises from engine, exhaust, tires and aerodynamic turbulence. Most drivers and passengers prefer quieter cars; for starters, it makes it easier to listen to music.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 02, 2012 0 comments

There is one thing that Disney does better than anyone: monetize intellectual property. It isn’t easy to build an empire on the back of a rodent (trust me, I’ve tried) but Walt pulled it off. Now, with its newest acquisition, Disney is ready to expand beyond its earthly properties.

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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.

Filed under
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: Aug 14, 2012 0 comments

Boy, do I feel like a dope. I was under the impression that the decades of conspicuous consumption were finished. What with all the Occupy protesters and unemployed French literature majors out there, I thought that anything ostentatious was unfashionable. Or, as French literature majors would say, passé.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 09, 2013 0 comments

You're probably familiar with Amazon's AutoRip feature. When you buy certain CDs from Amazon, you also get free access to a cloud copy. Now, Amazon has extended the feature to include sales of many vinyl records. When you think about it, a ripped vinyl file is a much more valuable than a ripped CD file.

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