Signals

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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 14, 2019  |  5 comments
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a potentially serious blow to Apple. The justices decided that a consumer group could move forward with its class-action antitrust suit against Apple. An unfavorable decision in that case could cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars, upend the apps marketplace, and even rewrite the economics of streaming music.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Apr 23, 2019  |  1 comments
Once upon a time, when you wanted to change channels on your TV, you had to actually get up, walk across the room, and twist a dial. While you were there, savvy users also wiggled the rabbit ears a little bit, and for good measure, whacked the side of the (wood) cabinet. Times have changed.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Apr 09, 2019  |  0 comments
"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." [Genesis 1:27]

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 19, 2019  |  1 comments
Has this ever happened to you? You are surfing on your laptop and suddenly a scary screen appears, demanding ransomware payable with your credit card info, and 3 bottles of vodka. The same thing happened to me, except I was watching TV and instead of demanding that I send money, a pop-up on the TV screen offered to send money to me.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 12, 2019  |  1 comments
Shakespeare famously observed, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” But if Shakespeare could read modern texts, peppered with AFAIK, IMHO, LOL, OMG, ROTLF and WTF (which is NSFW), I’m not sure he would make the same assertion. And don’t get me started about emoticons.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 05, 2019  |  2 comments
Your phone has a 100 million-times more computing power than the Apollo guidance computer that landed men on the moon! How many times have you heard that? In fact, that is probably a reasonably true statement, and perhaps even underestimates just how powerful today's phones are. But one thing hasn't changed much since 1969, or even since its invention in 1925 - the dynamic loudspeakers in the astronaut's helmet headsets.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 19, 2019  |  0 comments
I am an audio guy. All my life, I have been fascinated by the physics, physiology, and technology of audio. You might be surprised to know this, but my hearing is more important to me than my eyesight. But hearing is a privilege that not everyone shares.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 05, 2019  |  1 comments
"Of all creatures that can feel and think, we women are the worst treated things alive. Medea, Euripides, 431 BC.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 22, 2019  |  0 comments
If you are a certain age, you'll surely remember the Get Smart TV series, debuting in 1965 on NBC. You'll also remember how Maxwell Smart always insisted on using the Cone of Silence — plastic domes over him and the Chief that supposedly prevented anyone from overhearing their conversations. Now, 54 years later, in the age of Alexa, the Cone is back, new and improved. And you can build one yourself.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 19, 2018  |  1 comments
I've spent the better part of an hour trying to find a witty way to address this topic, but I can't. So, let's just discuss this head-on. I apologize in advance for my pedantic tone.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 11, 2018  |  0 comments
Well, actually, that title should be Bass Cows from Mars! But in any case, in the long tradition of weird ways to show off your system's bass response, NASA has kindly obliged us with an especially weird way.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 27, 2018  |  2 comments
Black Friday has a lot in common with circumcision. In both cases, they generally occur whether you like it or not. And I am not a fan of things in which I have no say-so. Both of them also inflict sensations ranging from mild discomfort to outright pain. Although, women don't seem to mind it as much as men. One key difference between Black Friday and circumcision is that after Black Friday, at least you have a new TV.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 13, 2018  |  0 comments
I don't usually shop for pasta bowls, but when I do, I shop at Bed Bath & Beyond. On the other hand, I never, ever shop for audio gear at Bed Bath & Beyond. Thus I was shocked, and almost dropped my damn pasta bowl, when I spotted one of the most venerable names in audio in their check-out area.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 23, 2018  |  5 comments
My hypothesis is this: Things that are old will last longer and will be more useful for a longer time, than things that are new. Yes, the logic of my hypothesis is somewhat circular, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Exhibit A: The vacuum tube.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 16, 2018  |  2 comments
As this magazine celebrates its 60th anniversary, we are trying to reconcile the fact that Ken Pohlmann is the longest-serving contributor to these pages. Frankly, we’re not sure why we ever hired him 30 years ago. In an effort to find out, we asked Mr. Pohlmann to share his stories of his early days at the magazine. —The Editors

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