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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Video: Just Good Enough Shouldn't Be

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

With all of the talk of 4K/Ultra HD TV and OLED coming out of CES this year, you might be fooled into thinking that people actually care about things like picture quality and performance. You might think that we wouldn’t keep getting these new formats and technologies that can deliver resolution so high that

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Best/Worst Pitch Ever!

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (3)

A friend forwarded an e-mail to me earlier today that was just too full of awesome not to share.


An email which caused audio/video journalist extraordinaire, Brent Butterworth, to say, “I've seen a lot of really bad unsolicited articles in my time, but this rises to a new level of bad.”


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Mr. Cooper Redux

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

It has been nearly two years since we’ve had cause to tell a tale of Mr. Cooper here. For the uninitiated, here’s what you need to know about Mr. Cooper. It’s important to note that Mr. Cooper is not in any way your typical high ender. He lives in what sounds like project-type housing, drives a car that is in such poor shape it has *literally* broken down and stranded him in my parking lot, and he travels about 2 hours one way to come to my store. It all start...

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Beers Brewed for a Right Bastard

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Not all beers are created equal. Some beers are thin, yellow, pissy affairs that are suitable for little more than flavoring the water they’re brewed in. Others are meant to be light and easy, letting you drink all day while lying by a pool or ocean and taking your mind off of a sweltering sun. Others are flavored with fruit and sissified for people who want to drink beer but that don’t really like beer.


Then there are beers ...

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It's About the Magic: 10 Life-Changing Movies

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

With all of the talk about technology, and 4K, and will home theater kill the commercial cinema, and the disappointment of some film transfers, and all the other grumbling and griping we tech writers like to indulge in, I thought I would take a different approach with this post.


Sometimes I think that we get so hung up on all the tech and the presentation and the pomp and circumstance of things that we lose sight of the fact that ultimate...

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5 Reasons Why Discs Aren't Quite Dead

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Electronics-industry pundits and consultants, along with futurists, have long been eager to declare disc-based media dead. Almost as quickly as a new format is announced, we’re quickly reassured, “This, surely, will be the last physical media format we see.”


And the digital writing is definitely on the wall. Streaming and downloading will be the future of audio/video distribution. There are just too many benefits to digi...

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Chasin' Doubble Unearthly Alpha IPAS

Posted on January 21, 2013 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (1)

If you think I’ve been slack in reviewing beers lately, you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. What I’ve been slack in is *posting* beer reviews lately. I’ve been drinking and reviewing beers just fine, thank you very much. But in looking through my notes, I see that I have over 20 beers already photographed and reviewed and just waiting for their days in the sun!


So, let’s start with four new IPA...

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CE-Swag: The best CES give-aways

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (3)

“Swag may refer to:


•    Swag (album), a 2002 album by former Guns N' Roses guitarist, Gilby Clarke


•    Swag (bedroll), an Australian bedroll


•    Swag (motif), a garland


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CES 2013 Press Day - Dinner, DISH, Denmark and Douchey Hats

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

This pretty much sums up the whirlwind which is CES… I started dinner my first night at the same time I was climbing into bed the previous night! It’s Vegas, baby, so you’ve got to just suck it up! Fortunately it was an amazing dinner.


I thought that my dinner dance card had been filled up, but a look at my Sunday night schedule showed an opening that GoldenEar Technologies Sandy Gross was only too kind to fill. (Sandy a...

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Unveiling CES 2013

Posted on January 14, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this it means that you aren’t actually in Las Vegas attending CES 2013 right now (or rather didn't make it to the show last week). So, I’m going to share with you what it’s like to be here, on the first pre-day of the show and through the week.


Sunday at CES is about arriving and getting settled. ...

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Greetings from Seat 5B, CES 2013 Bound!

Posted on January 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks to the largesse of the folks at GoGo In-Flight WiFi, I am coming to you live – well, live as I type this, highly unlikely to be still live as you are reading it – for the first time ever from 30,000 feet from my US Air flight to Las Vegas for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show! Huzzah!


Unthanks to the umm, whatever is the polar opposite of largesse, folks at US Air for lumping...

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I am the 26% - My top Resi Systems Blogs of 2012

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Residential Systems sent out a series of e-mail blasts last week counting down their “first-ever Top 50 Countdown for the most-read web stories from 2012.”


As a regular Resi (that’s what us cool, insider people call it) contributor, I was pleased to have several -- and by "several" I mean 13 -- stories included in the Top 50 list.


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Ask an Expert! Amplifier Wattage

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I’m sure that a lot of readers have a variety of A/V questions. Like which is the best cable to use? Or what is the best surround format? Or why was my cable box apparently forged in the very bowels of Hell? Whatever.


I received an e-mail query from a customer the other day, and when my standard answer of, "Shut up! You're stupid!" didn’t s...

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Sometimes the Customer is Just Plain WRONG!

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

We’ve all heard the old adage, “The customer is always right.” That no matter what they want, no matter what they demand, no matter how outrageous, off-mark or bizarre the request, that the customer is still right. (There’s a classic tale of Nordstrom’s – an upscale clothing/department store refunding a customer’s purchase for tires.)


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