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Functionality and Flexibility Trump Quality

I just read Fred Wilson’s Texting Home post. Fred details the shortcomings of landline phones versus what is now possible with mobile phones. Despite the dropped connections and inferior voice quality, he is ready to abandon his landline because, as he says, “all I really want is increased functionality”. Me too, as soon as I…

My Current Beer Obsession

Perhaps because I feel that I am betraying my German heritage, not to mention Erdinger Weißbier, a beer I determined to be the best of the German wheat beers after hundreds of liters of comparison drinking during my six months living in Germany (Berlin and München) in 1992, what follows is something that was not…

Chargers and AC Adapters are Evil

OK, time for a twenty-first century rant: One of the unfortunate side-effects of being a gadget freak is that I have a tangled and cumbersome collection of AC adapters, battery charges and automotive adapters, and Murphy’s law often dictates that I am missing the one I need at a crucial moment. This is also one…

Fujitsu Adopts Akustica’s Digital Microphones

I’m happy to report that Akustica has announced their first digital microphone design win with a major customer. On Monday, Akustica announced that Fujitsu will use the Akustica’s AKU2000 digital microphone (the world’s first single-chip digital output mic) in the upcoming Lifebook Q2010 high-end executive notebook. CommsDesign has an article that covers the announcement in…

How UPS Helped Me Sober Up

An eagerly anticipated shipment of Williams Selyem Pinot Noir arrived at my office last week. My wife and I usually ship our wine orders to my office because a signature is always required and we know for sure that someone over 21 will be there to sign for it. Upon examining the most recent arrival,…

The Ides of March (a day late)

Et tu, Brute? In addition to having been a bad day for Caesar, the Ides of March is also the instrumental opening track on Iron Maiden’s classic 1981 album Killers. As a former junior high school heavy metal fanatic, I just had to share. Listen to it here, or you can download it on iTunes…

Transmitter Ass

Now that our family has gone Fully Hybrid, I am in the process of readying our gas-guzzling 1998 Toyota Landcruiser for sale: tune-up, detailing, collecting service records, etc. Our original remote-lock/unlock key fell apart, so I had to order a replacement unit. Disgustingly, Toyota charges $200 for a replacement key, which is just shameless price-gouging,…

World’s First Single Chip Digital Microphone

Akustica today announced the availability of their AKU2000 all-digital MEMS microphone. This marks a huge milestone for the company, which was founded in 2001 and was based on Ken Gabriel’s research done while he was a professor at Carnegie Mellon, where he developed the CMOS-MEMS technology that allows Akustica to manufacture their MEMS structures using…

First The Baker’s, Now This?

OK, this struck me as a little bit ridiculous. Safeway has redefined the meaning of a dozen: forget the baker’s dozen, fourteen is the new twelve. Apparently even cardinal numbers are not immune to inflation. Will Albertsons feel compelled to respond by forcing the beleaguered Dozen to admit fifteen members? Will the gluttonous Piggly Wiggly…

Secret Agent Man

Yesterday was a good day to be an FOB. That’s a Friend of Brad. Not that it isn’t always good to be a friend of Brad, but yesterday will stand out in my memory for years to come. Our colleague Heidi Roizen arranged a very special visit to the set of Brad’s (and my) favorite…