John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

The Experiences: Ultimate writing motivation (pt 3)

Posted on September 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

After I started typing part two of this, I realized that the number 2 and 1 items had a lot more story that I still wanted to tell. Recalling these experiences has helped me to relive some great memories, so instead of burying you with one giant 3000 word mega-post, I decided to give the final two items their own room to stretch their legs a...

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A KEF-ing Good Time!

Posted on September 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (3)

Made it back last night from Manhattan where I attended KEF’s 50th anniversary event.


So, why did I attend KEF’s 50th anniversary event, you ask. Quite simple, really. They invited me. And I think that their PR rep, Stephanie Scola, is super cool. And it was being held at the private residence of Danny Lopez (surprisingly NOT Hispanic as his name may lead you to believe), Her Majesty’s Consul General, New York. An...

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The Experiences: Ultimate writing motivation (pt 2)

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Earlier this week I shared the first half of some of the greatest experiences that this whole writing gig has opened up for me so far. If you haven’t read it yet, take a moment to do so now. If you are more of a, “Dammit, man! Just give me the bullet!” kind of gal, or just have a really crappy short-term memory, then I̵...

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The Experiences: Ultimate writing motivation (pt 1)

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.” – Tony Montana, Scarface


Yesterday I talked about how my motivation for writing has changed over the years. First it was really for the th...

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From the Vault: Digital Cinema circa 2002

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (2)

Back in the first part of 2002, I spent a lot of time researching and working on a story on the move of commercial cinemas towards using Digital Projectors. Star Wars Episode II was just getting ready to hit theaters and this was a story that I felt was interesting to tell. I interviewed some really cool people, and wrote up this feature. Unfortunately, the story was never picked up by a magazine and quickly grew stale and out of date as fast as the technology and the in...

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Big Fat Carrot: What's your motivation?

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

No matter what you do or what you’re doing, there is generally some motivational item that keeps you going and helps you to see it through to the end. That motivation can be the high-level life stuff like, "Get a paycheck, pay my mortgage, keep my house." Or it can be smaller stuff like, "this stupid little bit of $.07 worth of Chinese plastic will make my daughter smile, therefore I'll spend $5.95 on it." Or it can be more base-level, "I like feeling good, scotch makes m...

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Smack, crack, bushwhacked...

Posted on September 23, 2011 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (6)

"To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening." -- R.E.M.


Chances are, you heard the news that R.E.M. decided to disband this week after 31 years ...

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CEDIA 2011: 4X the Resolution is 4K the Fun (video pt 2)

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (2)

When you hear things like, “The front projection market is dwindling” and each year less and less manufacturers actually show up to demonstrate front projection models to the very group of people that are capable of going forth and installing them, it kind of makes you wonder how much some of these manufacturers care about still supporting this segment of the market...


While I own a projector and LOVE it and still cons...

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CEDIA 2011: The Video Stuff (pt 1)

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (1)

As a home theater nut, the video portion of CEDIA is what really puts the peanut butter in my chocolate. Sadly, the show has definitely devolved over time; in the past, glorious ,financial windfall heydays of yesteryear – you know, before the pin was thrust into the economic balloon – there would be giant, mega booths competing for best demo of the show, blasting out SPLs that would make your cochlea both tingle and whither. There would be these sick dedicated scree...

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Lightning Review: Star Wars Complete Saga Blu-ray Collection

Posted on September 19, 2011 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (1)

As I mentioned over the weekend, I succumbed to the subtle yet insistent pressure of not owning the most up-to-date, latest-greatest version of the Star Wars films and I broke down and contributed another $80 to what I like to think of as “The George Fund.”


Honestly, though, I don’t b...

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Netflix's Latest Flick-up

Posted on September 19, 2011 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (6)

I woke up this morning to find a message from Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, in my in box. I’m guessing that many of you received the same e-mail. And while the subject line of the message was “An Explanation and Some Reflections” and was meant to address their previousl little e-mail missive, and while the letter started of...

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"The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded"

Posted on September 17, 2011 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (7)

I tried to convince/fool myself that I wasn’t mentally keeping track of the date and subconsciously counting down the days until the complete Star Wars saga was re-released – yesterday – this time in the full high definition 1080p/24 goodness of Blu-ray. I successfully managed to avoid all of the pre-release hype and fan-boy whining over more changes to the originals and new changes to the re-re-releases. (Here’s a link

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CEDIA 2011: The Audio Stuff

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (4)

It occurs to me that I’ve already put up several CEDIA blogs and have pretty much avoided talking about ANY of the tech at the show. (Well, except for the Lutron shading thing. That was just too cool to pass up.) Lest anyone should forget, the one of the principal points of the CEDIA Expo is to show off all the latest and...

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CEDIA 2011: Lutron's Industry Game Changer

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (3)

I’ll admit that it’s pretty easy to get jaded about cool toys as a technology journalist. I mean, we routinely see and experience systems that would make grown men openly weep like babies and make women utter contemptuous phrases such as, “Are you serious? There is NO WAY I will ever let you have that in this house. Ever.” I’ve sat through multiple home theater demos where the systems cost more than a million bucks, and where ...

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CEDIA 2011: The Social Media Panel

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (4)

Perhaps you’ll recall that prior to CEDIA, I mentioned that this year I was going to do something that would be new for me in the history of CEDIAs I have attended so far. (Twelve I think.) While I have taken my share of classes over the years, this would be the first time I would be pulling up a chair on the other side of the table and actually helping to...

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CEDIA 2011: The Giveaways

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (2)

I’m sad to report that this CEDIA was one of the worst for gifts and handouts ever. In the past I’ve managed  to score suitcases full of various swaggery. So many T-shirts in fact that Dana implemented a one-for-one policy; for each new shirt added, one old one had to be discarded. Lots of toys and tchotchkes and DVDs and CDs and journalistic-ey things like notebooks or fancy pens or random things like blankets and alarm clocks and binoculars. For the record, b...

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CEDIA 2011: The Press Stuff

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

As a “journalist” (I have to quote that because, well, Jeremy G hasn’t actually blessed me officially with the title yet. I think there is a ring-kissing involved and maybe a sword tap on each shoulder. Something.) part of the CEDIA life is covering different events. Stop one at the show is the press room to get your press credentials. This year, mine looked like this:


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CEDIA 2011: The Dinner Scene

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (3)

There are many cool things about being in the press corps. And, I’ll be honest, it's a real ego stroke to walk through the showfloor and have people come up to you. (It is even cooler when they aren’t asking your for directions or money.) At events like the CEDIA Expo, being a member of the press from a major pub is a bit like being a minor celebrity. Granted, it is like one of those TV reality show stars who is about 14:50 into their 15 minutes of fame, but a celeb...

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CEDIA 2011: It has begun!

Posted on September 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (2)

For the next few days, I'm going to be in Indianapolis, Indiana site of this year's CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association) Expo. I'm excited because this is really one of my most favorite-est trade shows to attend; it is bigger than the regional-esque feeling EHX (or EH Expo; I can't remember how they phrase it) which you can walk easily in a few hours. A few hours that includes stopping to have several lengthy chats with whomever strikes your fancy or...

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So, you want to be a writer?

Posted on September 5, 2011 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (2)

While I by no means consider myself an authority on the matter, I think it probably is safe to say that if you are reading my blog, that I have had more stories published than you have. Besides the 500+ blog posts I've put up here, I have had somewhere around 250 reviews, features, columns, blogs and miscellaneous other blurbs that have been published – and paid for – in a variety of different outlets both print and electronic over the past 12 years. And, as ...

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