May 28, 2011 at 8:28
The very first trip I made to the United States was to the Ampex Corporation in Redwood City, California. During the same memorable journey I had a gun pointed at my back by a policeman who decided I wasn’t listening to him after I made an illegal u-turn in Market Street in San Francisco to get into a parking place (yes, it was that long ago). Ampex was at that time riding an unbelievable wave of success as the leader in video tape recording: it was not to last.
The company was founded in 1944 in nearby San Carlos by Alexander M. Poniatoff as the Ampex Electric and Manufacturing Company, with Ampex being his initials followed by EX for excellence. It was not the first design house for audio recording, but it quickly established itself as the best outside Germany... although it actually took until 2008 before it received a Grammy for its achievements in audio recording technology.
It was video tape recording that gave Ampex its worldwide name. The VR-1000, or VRX-1000, was introduced at NAB in Chicago ...
May 22, 2011 at 12:13
It would be difficult for most people to immediately understand which country was at the top of the manufacturing table in the Victorian era; the answer is obvious, right? The sun never set on the British Empire as it straddled the globe, and the raw output of all those countries that were under military control by those red-coated warriors was shipped to Britain by the world’s largest merchant navy.
But England was not the leader in manufacturing as Victoria ascended to the throne that was vacated by the death of her uncle William. It was China. By 1850 China had reached a peak in its population and was a technology leader. Everyone wanted to copy the output from that empire from its porcelain to its explosive weaponry. And the British Isles not only took up the gauntlet that was offered; using the might of the industrial revolution, it also succeeded in becoming the manufacturing leader of the world while Victoria was still queen. It was not, however, a lead that lasted very long, as the new world of...
May 15, 2011 at 12:48
Judging by the reactions I get, there must be only one human connected to a computer who is not also on Facebook: me.
We have spent many of the last years exhorting people to be careful about exposing themselves on the Internet: don’t trust people to be who they say they are; don’t give any personal information; make no financial transactions unless you are one hundred percent sure of where you are connected to. And yet, unbelievably, day after day, millions of people leave their personal information on pages that have to be available to others – because that is what social networking is all about.
We are occasionally reminded of this with smaller scare stories, like the one to come from a Symantec blog this week, where a ‘vulnerability’ has allowed advertisers and ‘other third parties’ to access both accounts and personal information within Facebook applications. Problem fixed, says Facebook, no harm done, let’s move on… Really? Close to 100,000 Facebo...
May 7, 2011 at 11:30
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – named after Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd – was signed into law in July 2010 by President Barack Obama. It has been the most significant change in the financial environment in the United States since legislation after the Great Depression and it affects services across the complete gamut of the nation. While the now-Republican Congress has attempted, and continues to attempt, delays in the implementation of changes in so-called derivatives (often labeled as the prime cause of the major downturns in 2008), and defunding of consumer protection segments, there are things in the Act which profoundly affect the electronics industry.
It is not surprising that some of these items have been lost in the overall picture of the Act; whether it be, for example, that retailers will be able to refuse debit transactions where the sales amount is ‘too small’ and there are sixteen titles requiring the creation of two hun...