Signals

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 05, 2022  |  0 comments
Waterboarding is a harsh interrogation technique. Most governments have disavowed and unsanctioned its use. There is a title for a Tom Cruise movie in there somewhere. In any case, waterboarding is essentially a form of torture. And a certain airline likes to waterboard its passengers. But instead of water, they use music. And musicboarding is much, much worse.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 28, 2022  |  1 comments
Trinitron, Betamax, Walkman, PlayStation, Compact Disc, MiniDisc, Blu-ray – and EV. Yes, you read that right. In the not-so-distant future, you can pre-order your Sony Electric Vehicle. With a little help (or maybe a lot) from Honda, the proud block-letter logo of our favorite electronics company can now reside in your garage. And I'm not talking about that old Trinitron in the corner of the garage that you keep meaning to recycle.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 14, 2022  |  2 comments
Dear reader, are you ready for one last trip down the rabbit hole? It is Sunday night, November 22. The year is 1987. You are in Chicago, watching a Dr. Who episode on Channel 11. Then something very, very, very, very creepy happens.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 24, 2022  |  2 comments
The year is 2017. You are in Portland, or at least in the general vicinity. It is late at night. You are driving down a dark road. You turn on your radio, and happen to tune to 96.7 MHz on the FM dial. What you hear is something you've never heard on the radio. Something strange is going on, something very strange.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 17, 2022  |  0 comments
If you are of a certain age, you might recall the phrase "duck and cover!" You might also recall your fifth-grade teacher, Miss Boswick, stopwatch in hand, urging you to immediately take shelter under your desk. And there you were, clutching your #2 Ticonderoga, wondering, WTF? If certain potentially atomic events in Eastern Europe have recently rekindled that unfortunate childhood memory, allow me to rekindle two more.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 09, 2022  |  0 comments
Late one night, unable to sleep, you fire up your short-wave radio and aimlessly tune across the dial. Broadcasts from close by and from distant lands, in English and in languages very much not English. Then you come across something unusual — a radio station with a voice endlessly repeating a series of seemingly random numbers. Congratulations. You have stumbled into the strange world of numbers stations.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 26, 2022  |  4 comments
With all due respects to all the great analog engineers out there, it is my opinion that anything an analog circuit can do, software can do better. You don't agree? Fight me. Case in point: software-defined radio.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 12, 2022  |  0 comments
For most of us, when we think of Sony, we think of audio/video stuff. Hey, we're home-theater nerds, and our view of reality is warped by that. In reality, Sony is much bigger than TVs and headphones. For example, the company is also traveling to outer space.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 22, 2022  |  0 comments
Spider-Man is a comic-book character that was created in 1962. The inaugural issue sold for 12 cents. Sony Pictures, which now owns the screen rights to the character, decided not to release the latest Spider-Man movie in the world’s biggest movie market. That decision might cost Sony as much as $340 million.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 15, 2022  |  3 comments
In a previous blog, in an attempt to create images of music, we discussed Supreme Court decisions, oscilloscopes, and Jerobeam Fenderson. The images were certainly entertaining, but our depiction was confined to oscilloscope green screens and the “music” creating the pictures was not always exactly musical. This time, let's try a different approach.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 08, 2022  |  0 comments
"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["of hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that."

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 25, 2022  |  1 comments
For many people, music is a form of entertainment. For others, music is their avocation. For some, music is their job. Or maybe it's an artistic calling. For some people, music supposedly can be used to heal.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 11, 2022  |  1 comments
You've just caught Covid, for the third time. Last year, your 401(k) was poised to lavishly finance your early retirement. Yesterday, you spent what was left of it on a tank of gas. Regular, none of that fancy premium stuff. The good news is that you've found a nice quiet corner in Concourse E. It even has a wall outlet. The airline assures you that you might get home by Labor Day. Today is July 11.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 20, 2022  |  2 comments
I like Swedish meatballs and I cannot lie. Moreover, I would seldom say a discouraging word about cinnamon rolls. Therefore, when IKEA announced that it will be serving up a turntable, my appetite was immediately whetted.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 13, 2022  |  0 comments
I’d like to tell you about Thomas Yuen, former chairman and CEO of SRS Labs, who died earlier this year at the age of 70. I didn’t know him well, but he made a tremendous impression on me.

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