SIGNALS

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 18, 2012  |  0 comments

It is the job of engineers to push the envelope and design the products of the future, not the products of today. When the first Compact Disc players were on the drawing board, 780-nm lasers were extremely expensive, but engineers anticipated that low-cost versions would soon become available. They bet right: cheap laser modules were perfected just before the CD format’s launch.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 14, 2012  |  0 comments

A post on the Olive One by my colleague Al Griffin got me to thinking. For a modest dollar sum, you can own a cool audio component with audiophile-quality specifications. But here’s the paradox: if it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, can audio gear really have audiophile cache?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 03, 2012  |  0 comments

Pop quiz! Quick! Which industry is evolving faster? Automobiles or computers? 

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 20, 2012  |  0 comments

TV manufacturing is a tough business. You’re making a perfectly good black-and-white TV and then someone comes along with a color TV. So you need to make color TVs. Then TVs become digital. Then they become high-def. Then they become flat. Then they become big. Then they become 3D. Then they become really big. Then they become 4K. It just never ends.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 15, 2012  |  0 comments

How many times has this happened to you? You’re rounding the Warsteiner-Kurve at the Nürburgring at about 3 lateral Gs and your iPad Mini flies out the window of your Porsche 997 GT2 and lands on a hausfrau’s schnitzel, and she exclaims, “Mein Gott in Himmel!”

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 02, 2012  |  0 comments

There is one thing that Disney does better than anyone: monetize intellectual property. It isn’t easy to build an empire on the back of a rodent (trust me, I’ve tried) but Walt pulled it off. Now, with its newest acquisition, Disney is ready to expand beyond its earthly properties.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 16, 2012  |  0 comments

Q: How much did you spend on your headphones?

A: Not enough.

I don’t know much. But I do know a few things:?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 03, 2012  |  0 comments

When you buy a Rolex Submariner from a guy with a dozen of them in a cardboard box in Times Square, there is absolutely no chance of misunderstanding. Both parties fully understand that the timepieces in question are fakes. But what if you buy a pair of high-end headphones from that kind-of-weird stereo store across from the mall?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 18, 2012  |  0 comments

"One size fits all" surround is dying. It's time for us all to consider a whole new dimension. First, a parallel to impart from the annals of tech history. In the earliest days of photography, the emulsions and lenses were extremely "slow." Even in bright sunlight, a plate might require hours of exposure time. As technology improved, exposure times decreased to a minute or so.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Aug 14, 2012  |  0 comments

Boy, do I feel like a dope. I was under the impression that the decades of conspicuous consumption were finished. What with all the Occupy protesters and unemployed French literature majors out there, I thought that anything ostentatious was unfashionable. Or, as French literature majors would say, passé.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 25, 2012  |  0 comments

I get press releases. Oh boy, do I get press releases. My inbox runneth over. You think spam is bad? Multiply that by 100, and you’ll get an idea of my daily press-release pile. Everybody is flacking their newest and most innovative stuff. And occasionally they flack their oldest and least original.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 17, 2012  |  0 comments

Gee, who could have predicted this? The Internet is creating entirely new industries, and decimating others. Big-box electronics retailer Best Buy is among the latest bricks and mortar companies to be decimated by the web.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jul 10, 2012  |  0 comments

As Mark Twain (and other others) have noted, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

Blu-ray looks a zillion times better than DVD, right? Are all of those British viewers blind, or are we asking the wrong questions?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 28, 2012  |  0 comments

Google had revenue of $38 billion last year. So why would they mess around selling a consumer electronics gizmo? Frankly, I don't have the faintest idea. But they have served up a juicy meatball of a nice product.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jun 19, 2012  |  0 comments

It’s easy to think of sound recordings in the present tense. Thanks to modern marketing, we’re fixated on this week’s downloads, who’s doing well on America’s Got Talent, and what Lady Gaga is wearing. (Whatever happened to that meat dress, anyway?) But a very cool thing happens once something is recorded.

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