Signals

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 28, 2020  |  2 comments
Alert readers will recall that I recently chatted up the idea of building your own computer. Unlike most of my words, these were not idle. I needed a new computer for work on book projects, and I was also intent on finding a solid-state home for all my Compact Discs. So, following my own advice, I built a PC.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 14, 2020  |  2 comments
When I bought my first house, the first night I slept there, I was convinced the place was possessed. The first night I slept in my current house, a Nor'easter came along and the place howled like a banshee. Which brings us to the Case of the Singing Bridge.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 24, 2020  |  5 comments
Before we begin, to all of our South Korean readers, please do me a favor. Check to see if your TV is on fire. I'll wait here while you're gone. Let me know if I should call the fire department. I am standing by.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 10, 2020  |  6 comments
So a woman walks into a store to buy a smart speaker. She sees that the speakers are selling for 20 bucks. “Wow,” she exclaims, and asks the store owner, “How can you sell these for such a low price?” The store owner responds, “Well, actually, each speaker costs us 30 bucks.” The woman says, “Then how do you make a profit?” The owner responds, “We make up for it on volume.” The woman says, “That's illegal!”
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 20, 2020  |  11 comments
Superman obviously reads S&V. Well, at least he reads this Signals column. Why else would he so specifically follow my suggestion, and then post about it on his Instagram page?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 06, 2020  |  2 comments
Imagine an alien species in which, when someone dies, all of their wisdom and knowledge passes directly to their offspring. That efficient preservation of experience enables the species to progress at a phenomenal rate. Sadly, when humans die, our lifetime of expertise is lost. At best, we can only try to educate our young, each time starting over from scratch.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 29, 2020  |  3 comments
Playlists. In the world of audio, especially when it comes to critical listening and system evaluation, there is nothing more important than playlists. Those sonic references play a critical role in designing and evaluating an audio system’s performance. And when that system is in a $500,000 vehicle, it’s even more important to get it right.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 22, 2020  |  13 comments
I know, I know. Your plate is full. I won't recite the litany of things already on your mind. We've already recited that list plenty of times. Speaking for myself, I religiously devote a solid hour every night, usually between the hours of 3 am and 4 am, to reciting the list. Well, here's another thing for the list: SSL certificates. In particular, they seem to be expiring.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 08, 2020  |  6 comments
Well, it's official. I am throwing in the towel. My worldview has been shaken, stirred, crumbled, kneaded, blown apart, and reduced to its elemental atoms. Actually, at this point I'm down to the subatomic level. I think I just saw a quark go by.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 25, 2020  |  1 comments
Well the first thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire. Kinfolk said, "Jed move away from there." Said, "Californy is the place you ought to be." So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly. Hills, that is. Swimmin' pools. Movie stars. Corona virus.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 18, 2020  |  2 comments
You can tell the age of a tree by counting its rings. You can tell the age of a person by counting the number of times they say something anachronistic. For example, if I start talking about Compact Discs, kids will instantly identify me as being, uh, mature. They will make snide remarks about the La Brea Tar Pits and mastodons. Kids can be cruel. Ask me how I know.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 11, 2020  |  8 comments
I think something important is happening to movies right now. Not in their content or marketing, but in their distribution. Of course, what we're talking about is a shift, arguably a permanent shift, away from theatrical distribution, and toward home distribution.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Apr 27, 2020  |  6 comments
Alas, poor Compact Disc! My heart is heavy, I cannot lie. It's come to this. Birds. Angry Birds.

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?

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