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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Posted on June 26, 2013 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Back when I was a golf pro, I went out one night after work for a 9-hole round with a college player that carried only a single club called a chipper. For you non-golfers, a chipper is designed to let high-handicap players – ie: people that aren’t very good – more easily chip a ball up onto the green when they are just off. It basically resembles a putter with an angled head and has a putter grip. (Any decent player would just use like an 8-iron...)

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Home Theater's Coming Renaissance

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

A recent article in Entertainment Weekly (June 28, 2013) titled, “Ready for $50 Movie Tickets?”  caught my eye.  I mean, if there’s one thing that people complain about going to the movies, it is definitely how cheap the ticket prices are. This is second only to the incredible value snack bar pricing. Surprisingly, quality of “synthetic butter flavored ...

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When a bedsheet won't do: Selecting a Projection Screen

Posted on June 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Some things are just meant to go together. Haggis and neeps. Starsky and Hutch. Chuck Norris and beards. Vodka and a glass. The same is also true for video projectors and screens. In fact, front projectors are often referred to as “two piece projection systems” amongst the A/V cool kids; the ones that used to wear nerd glasses and push around carts in high-school but now drive Italian sports cars and date super models. (The two pieces being the projector and the scr...

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CEDIA 13 On the Cheaps Plan

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (2)

A couple of days ago, CEDIA Communications Manager, Olivia Sellke – not to be confused with a Selkie, a mythological mermaid-like creature said to live as a seal in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. However, it must be noted that I have never actually seen Olivia Sellke in the water, so it is entirely possible she is indeed both a Sellke and a Selkie, so we mustn’t rush to judgment here… - posed the question, “What is your best ...

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Totally RuinedTen by Stone Brewing Co

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

By this point, I’ve drank and reviewed close to 200 beers. Very few have been awful, many have been middle of the road, several have been good, a few have been great, and a couple have been truly epic.


But of all the beers I’ve had so far, only one can stand alone at the top of the awesomeness tast...

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Smart Appliances? Appliances...that are smart?!

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Lying in the vast, middle Promised Land between connected things that are obviously useful and things that are uselessly awful, are connected appliances. Yes. Appliances. That connect. To the Internet.


“Why?!” you say. “How?!” you ponder. Why and how, indeed...


Several years ago I visited Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington and toured their “Home of the Fut...

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Managing Customer Expectations

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

As an industry that prides itself on doing custom work, we like to promise the moon and stars. No wish or desire is too grand, no hope or dream too elaborate or unobtainable. “You want the lights to turn on, the thermostat to drop, the blinds to raise, and the music to start playing the Rocky theme at full volume every time you walk into this room? Yep, sounds totally reasonable to me!”


And the truth is, when the budget and ti...

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Why Custom Integrators Can Still Thrive Without Mega-Rich Clients

Posted on June 5, 2013 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Perusing the June 2013 issue of Residential Systemsthe digital issue no less; you can read it here – I came across a column by Ira Friedman entitled “Targeting the Mega Rich: Why Ultra High Net Individuals are the Best Custom Integration Clients.”


Ira had some interesting points in his p...

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Home Reviews of Home Brews

Posted on June 3, 2013 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (1)

As much as I enjoy enjoy drinking, writing and talking about beer, I actually have no interest in trying to make any for myself. It’s kind of like sausage. Huge fan, don’t want to know or be involved in any part of how it is made. (I’m sure it’s a totally non-gross process that wouldn’t involve bits and scraps and snouts or anuses at all...)


My first encounter with home brewing was none too impressive. My fr...

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