Archive by Author

The Coming 1K/2K to 4K Upconversion Disconnect

A couple of months back I received a distressed email from a reader. It seems he bought a new 4K TV and eagerly hooked up his DVD player, believing his new UHD would make his old DVDs look lovely. You can guess the inevitable: disastrous results. Imagine blowing up a postage stamp-sized photo to billboard […]

How Disruptive Will Bluetooth Mesh Be?

Even though Bluetooth has been around for less than 20 years, it is only in the last half dozen or so that its adoption has ballooned. Bluetooth’s accelerated adoption rate is attributable largely to the explosion in Bluetooth speakers and headphones, and especially to the growing cornucopia of products and product categories using smartphone-connected Bluetooth […]

CES at 50: Lessons Still Not Learned

Gazing at faded black-and-white photos from the first CES, which occurred 50 years ago this week in New York, it’s tough not to laugh at the antiquated gear that was considered cutting-edge at the time—fat tube black-and-white TVs when 23 inches was considered “big screen,” giant wood console cabinet TV/record player/radio combos, “portable” TVs that […]

Why Automation Fears Are Misplaced

To my utter astonishment, every nook and corner of the internet seems to be suddenly swarmed with hand-wringing reports sounding the alarm about how “automation”—robotics, AI and machine learning—will replace humans and otherwise cause job loss, or how automation will adversely affect or impact businesses and/or society. These adverse automation effect admonitions have even emanated […]

Different Looks at AI, Security/Privacy and eSports

Each year, the fine folks at IFA bring in journalists from around the globe (including yours truly) for a preview of the annual IFA confab in Berlin (1-6 September) and to take in a series of presentations from prognosticators and product makers. Nearly every trending tech topic is discussed. Among all the industry forecasts and […]

The Technology Forest: Don’t Get Lost in the Woods

Believe it or not, there is a somewhat timely pattern to the historical disruption caused by technology advances. Let’s call the individual technology advances the trees, and the profound business and societal impacts from those advances the forest. Individually, these advances may not do much to challenge the status quo, but together, in a compressed […]

Is Net Neutrality In Trouble?

It was barely a blip in the tech press. On February 3, a Friday filled with the furor over the President’s refugee executive order, newly-minted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a simple four-sentence statement: Today, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is closing its investigation into wireless carriers’ free-data offerings. These free-data plans have proven to be […]

Many Monstrous Notes at CES 2017

While wandering around CES 2017, I was reminded of that scene in Amadeus, in which the Emperor Joseph II decides that the new opera by Mozart had “too many notes.” (The actual quote is “monstrous many notes” and referred to Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” but I digress.) That’s what I felt about CES—monstrous […]

I, CES, Robot

Of all the futuristic concepts conceived of in science fiction and turned into reality, one obvious concept has failed to materialize: Robots. It’s been more than 75 years since Isaac Asimov wrote “Robbie,” the first story in his “I, Robot” series, the first robot stories that didn’t entail an updated version of the “Frankenstein,” of […]

A 360-Degree Video Future? Codec is Key

Today, encoding standard 6:9 4K video footage is well served by the newest codecs. But getting to a future of fully immersive 360-degree video recording is where encoding will go next. That destination will be dependent on massive processing power and the most efficient codecs possible that deliver high-quality results. Consumers’ astounded initial reactions to […]