Signals

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Apr 13, 2020  |  0 comments
You are probably familiar with the Chinese proverb: “May you live in interesting times.” One could debate the meaning of that expression; it may well be intended as a subtle curse. Certainly, no one can dispute that we are now living in interesting times. Maybe topsy-turvy times is a better way to describe it. Things that formerly were good (hugging) are now bad, and bad things (wearing a mask in a bank) are now good. Similarly, people are wondering if formerly sturdy business models are now shaky. Which brings us to Quibi.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 30, 2020  |  2 comments
You've read the poem, and maybe recited it yourself. But would you like to hear a recording of the bugle call that sent the troopers of the Light Brigade into the Valley of Death, played by the bugler who rode with them?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 16, 2020  |  2 comments
The coronavirus is a global tragedy. No one yet knows what the final cost will be in human lives. Some of the estimates are truly sobering. The illness, and fear of contracting it, will also precipitate changes, temporary and perhaps long-lasting, in our lifestyles.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 02, 2020  |  3 comments
You buy a product. It functions well for a few years, and then its warranty eventually runs out. Clearly, you are now responsible for any repairs. The manufacturer then kindly updates the product’s firmware and…wham! It’s suddenly dead in the water. Is the manufacturer now responsible for repairing or replacing it?
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 17, 2020  |  5 comments
Okay. I get it. Contemporary electronic devices are more powerful than old-timey electronic devices. A software engineer recently estimated that a USB-C charger has more computing power than the guidance computer on the Apollo capsules that took men to the moon (shown above). Awesome. But I still have an axe to grind.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 03, 2020  |  4 comments
“It's not you. It's me.”
“We can still be friends.”
“I think you love me more than I love you.”
“You should be free to meet your special someone.”
“I'm so sorry, but my cat just doesn't like you.”

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 20, 2020  |  2 comments
How many times has this happened to you? You become deeply attached to someone, and everything is just wonderful, and you sincerely hope and believe that you'll stay together forever. Then suddenly you are hiring a lawyer, and they hire a lawyer, and you realize the honeymoon is over.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 13, 2020  |  2 comments
My plan for world domination is simple: vacuum cleaners. Of course, as with any fiendishly clever plan, mine has certain nuances. And although it does not involve laser beams, piranha, or secret lairs inside volcanoes, I think you will agree that my plan is quite diabolical.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 06, 2020  |  1 comments
Well, it's official. The year is 2020. And that means we are actually living in The Future. Frankly I wasn't sure we'd make it, but here we are. And things are pretty sweet. All of the fabulous things that technology magazines were predicting in the 50's are finally here. Well, some of them. If you are driving a Tesla.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 16, 2019  |  3 comments
The year is 1962. You are working at Decca Records and your job is to listen to audition tapes and pass along your evaluation. The next demo tape on your endlessly replenishing stack is from some unsigned band calling themselves The Beatles. You mount the tape on your machine and listen for a few minutes. Then you rewind it and put it back in its box. Pass.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 02, 2019  |  0 comments
Wow! Congratulations! You sure got a good deal on that jumbo-sized TV! Black Friday deals rule! But you know what? It's a new TV, you might not be familiar with its operation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation would like to have a word with you.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 25, 2019  |  3 comments
You have absolutely no idea how hip you are. Seriously. No idea. Well, what I mean is that if you time-traveled yourself 30 years into the future, you would be really hip. Maybe not now, but in 2049 you will be awesome.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 18, 2019  |  0 comments
Amazon's newest audio offering, the Echo Studio, packs five drivers and Dolby Atmos into a compact package and promises to deliver terrific sound quality and a truly immersive soundfield. I am trying to figure out whether I should love or hate this thing.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 04, 2019  |  1 comments
How many times has this happened to you? After a long day toiling in the salt mines. you are ready to finally get some shut-eye. You sink down into your Tempur-Pedic and then it starts up - boom, boom, boomity boom. Oh for Pete's sake. Your neighbor is playing his stereo again.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 21, 2019  |  1 comments
Some stories tell you about one thing. The good ones are entertaining and/or accurate. But the very best stories are multi-layered, fitting small pictures into big pictures, with one brilliantly informing the other to show deeper meanings. To demonstrate what I mean, I'd like to show you a YouTube video posted last week, and a figurative map drawn in1869.

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