The Wall Street Journal is reporting this week on the future plans of two corporations. As with any corporate news, there is a certain dry and brittle quality to it; most WSJ readers really only care how news will affect share prices. But there's also high drama playing out. Right before our eyes, one company is withering away, while the other soars higher and higher.
You're enjoying a lovely evening in the park - sandwiches and softball. A nice-looking kid comes over and offers to sell you an iPod for $100. You're reluctant, but it's a really sweet deal. You agree. The next day, you find out you've bought stolen goods. Congratulations! You're a business partner in the latest crime wave: stolen MP3 players.
Aah, summertime. Lather on sunscreen, pump up the bike tires, and you’re almost set. What’s missing? Music! And we’re not talking about those antisocial earbuds that cocooned you through the dark winter. We’re talking about actual speakers that you can take along with you on outings.
Stratocaster guitars. Marshall amplifiers. These are the playthings of the gods. The gods of rock and roll, that is. For sure, some of the sweetest sounds this side of a Stradivarius violin have come from Marshall guitar amplifiers. And now, the classic look of the Marshall (if not the sound) can be yours for home playback.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Take a good look at the Yamaha MusicCAST system: it just might be a glimpse into the future of home audio entertainment. The MCX-1000 server (above), essentially a CD recorder on steroids crossed with a digital music server, provides two main improvements over traditional playback devices.
Personal hovercraft. Jet-propelled backpacks. Robots that automatically prepare your meals and clean up afterwards. And everyone's favorite - weekend junkets to the orbting Hilton space station. Back in the optimistic 1950s, technology writers were confident that by the 21st century, such things would be a part of daily life.