Signals

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 04, 2021  |  0 comments
When it was first introduced, digital audio was criticized as sounding “cold” or “sterile.” I vehemently disagreed. What some listeners heard as cold, I heard as a lack of distortion. Even after all these years, I suppose that's something we can still debate. But digital audio is indeed cold and sterile. Not the sound quality - the fact that it isn't nearly as funky, quirky, and weird as analog audio. Which brings us to George Peckham.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 28, 2020  |  4 comments
Because everything must be controversial, I am going to be controversial. This blog discusses God, politics, climate change, and Enzo Ferrari. Furthermore, if it causes lightning to strike you, so be it.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 21, 2020  |  2 comments
2020 was not a particularly good year. In fact it was a horrible year. Normally, at year's end, we're supposed to reminisce about the year. But I think we'd all rather forget that 2020 ever happened. Let's ignore it, and instead skip back all the way to 1984, to a story about a Christian rock band, an LP record, and a very mysterious inner groove.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 07, 2020  |  10 comments
Good morning students and welcome to Backstabbing for Beginners. In this class, you will learn how to betray like a pro. As we will see, there are many ways to screw over another party. But all backstabbing can be boiled down to two easy steps...
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 23, 2020  |  1 comments
You are in a real pickle. You've borrowed money for your project, and persuaded other people to invest their money as well. Everyone expects a return. The product is finished and ready to launch. Then there is a delay. Then another delay. And another. Everyone is getting antsy. What should you do?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 09, 2020  |  2 comments
My prayers have been answered. Ever since I was a small boy, I have wanted this. Every day at school I filled my notebooks with scribbled diagrams of my dreams. My teachers thought I was crazy. But now, my dreams have come true. I pinch myself in disbelief as I say this – humanity has been gifted with a water-powered loudspeaker.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 26, 2020  |  3 comments
Alert readers will recall that in my previous blog I questioned whether Big Tech/Big Data had monopolistic motives. And lo and behold, last week the DOJ went full antitrust nuclear. First I inspire Superman to build a computer, and now I cause the U.S. Government and eleven state Attorneys General to file suit against Google. Never, ever, underestimate the power of Sound & Vision magazine.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 12, 2020  |  4 comments
“These companies copy other peoples' inventions, flood the market with chintzy products sold at bargain basement prices, and make consumers pay with their privacy.”

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 05, 2020  |  1 comments
A few months ago, we considered the playlist used to tune the bespoke sound system in the Rolls Royce Phantom, a car that sells for a tidy $500,000. We discussed playlists generally and why they are so important. But is the Rolls Royce Phantom playlist a good one, and truly worthy of the marque?
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 28, 2020  |  10 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.

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