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Ken C. Pohlmann

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 12, 2013 3 comments
Is our most fervent technology infatuation about to reverse course?

Without question, smartphones are awesome, and they have dramatically changed our everyday lives. We measure our self-worth by the number of bars we have. When our phones are fully charged, we are happy. When they are discharged, we are in full panic mode. Kids today probably can’t fathom how anyone functioned before the advent of smartphones. They ask, “Dude, how did people post pictures of themselves on Facebook while water skiing?”

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 14, 2012 0 comments

You’ve got to hand it to Walmart. First, they make a zillion dollars selling DVD and Blu-ray discs to everyone. Now, they’re set to make another zillion dollars so you don’t have to actually use the discs. Brilliant, simply brilliant.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Feb 11, 2010 0 comments

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 29, 2010 0 comments

You've probably seen them outside the supermarket. You know - those big red vending machines. But instead of a soda for $1.25, you get a movie. For $1. Swipe your credit/debit card, and the disc is all yours for the night. That's Redbox, and the machines are popping up everywhere, ready to supply the masses with low-commitment, impulse-rental DVDs. With 20,000 machines, each holding about 500 discs, Redbox is making tons of money. And some Hollywood studios are going ballistic.

Filed under
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 01, 2014 7 comments
Frankly, I thought he was dead. You know—like one of those male Hollywood stars who’s gone through three too many facelifts and goes into seclusion. Then suddenly he reappears in Teen Beat magazine with a photo of him kitesurfing with his 18-year-old supermodel girlfriend who is naked and you say to yourself—"Whoa! I thought he was dead!" Anyway, last night, precisely at midnight, there was a knock on my door. I unwisely opened it, and there stood Professor Lirpa.

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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: Feb 03, 2014 3 comments
Some people watch the Super Bowl to see some football. Some just want to see the commercials. I tune into the Super Bowl to hear the music. Unlike the game, this year didn’t disappoint. I was blown away by an opera singer selling nothing, and a folk singer selling his soul.

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

I recently received a thoughtful e-mail from S+V reader Michael Kiley. He commiserated with my perception that the general level of sound quality has declined. Like me, he worried that the rise of mobile phones as our preferred playback source, the popularity of listening to compressed files stored or streamed (and through earbuds), isn't exactly making for audiophile heaven. Mr. Kiley's letter provided some perspective and got me to thinking…

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments

After 4 years of testy hostility and 2 more years of bare-knuckled conflict, the war between HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc came to an abrupt end. Hours before the start of the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Warner Bros. announced that it was abandoning HD DVD. Warner is the largest studio in the home-entertainment market, and its decision tipped the scales.

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