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Ken C. Pohlmann

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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.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 01, 2014 6 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.

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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: Jun 17, 2014 2 comments
Seat 9D is an aisle seat. The front cover of the Safety Instructions in my seat-back pocket advises me that, "Final assembly of this aircraft was completed in Brazil." I wonder why that is relevant. Should that make me feel more secure, or less? Are Brazilians good, or perhaps lacking, when it comes to assembling airplanes? In any case, I look around me to find the nearest exit. Then I notice that almost everyone on board has a consumer electronics device in their hands.

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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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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.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 24, 2012 0 comments

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Quick! Name the play! It’s Romeo and Juliet, of course. And it’s certainly one of Bill Shakespeare’s best lines, particularly in the way it encapsulates Juliet’s whole Montague/Capulet dilemma.

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