Monday, December 27, 2010

Emmaco Project wins Thea Award

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry's "Science Storms" exhibit recently won a Thea award, which is the theme park's equivalent to an Oscar Award.

Emmaco supported Mad Systems (Orange, CA) in their design of the acoustics and audio/video systems on the project.

This is the second Thea Award wining project in which we have been involved.  The first was EPCOT Center, a project of Walt Disney Imagineering.

At left is a 40 foot high Tornado guests may walk through in Science Storms.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Loudest Sport

Unless you play under a space shuttle lauch...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Disneyland's Dragon is Drooping,0,3787283.story

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Solution to Tomlinson's Omission?

Many of you may have had moments of frustration with digital TV audio.   More specifically, getting blasted out of the room during loud commercials because someone forgot to create a formal reference level.

Not wanting to mention any names, but one AES member on the Advanced Television Standards Committee who should have known better forgot reference levels, plaguing us with the need to keep the remote handy at all times during TV viewing for the next 50 years or so.  Well, at least we got AC-3.

Well, $179 later...  at least we're not screaming for the remote at every commerical break.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gene Czerwinski, Founder of Cerwin-Vega, Passes

Great guy, will be missed...

Major Safety Hazard Finally Fixed After 52 Years!

California's safety inspectors and Disney's legal department have teamed up and deemed The Vine at the Disneyland Alice in Wonderland ride unsafe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Host of FCC Rulings Today

So it's now legally OK to jailbreak your iphone, share DVD content in school, get rid of dongles, and some software protection.

Good day for the consumer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is Universal's Harry Potter the Worst Marketing/Research Job Ever?

Here's a picture of the queue line entrance to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure, taken about noon on July 7th, 2010.  The end is actually located between Toon Lagoon and Marvel SuperHero Island- three lands and at least a mile away.

The path to Harry Potter is marked via masking tape on the ground.  Universal was obviously caught with its pants down and badly underestimated their market.   Just as there are perils for spending too much, there are also ones for been to cheap.  They've already opened up the land to Universal Hotel guests an hour before the official opening and it still is well undersized for the demand.

For those of you who never make it, here's a picture of inside of the Wand Shop, the most popular location in the land.  Once you've gone through the two hour line to get into the Wizarding World, it's another hour plus line to get into the Wand Shop.   If you want to go straight to the gift shop, that's another hour wait.

They take roughly 14 guests as a time, pick out two, and magically select wands (via a number of cheesy doorbell switch activated special effects) from the cupboards for both of the selectees.

There are sixteen different models of wands available in the gift shop, priced at $29 each.  Not sure if they really have unicorn hard inside them as claimed.

With it's three rides (two of which are off-the-shelf iron rides having no relationship with the Harry Potter series), some poorly merchandised shops, no characters, and even a 45 minute wait to get some Butter Beer, one can only conclude that Universal could have done better.  Much better.  No doubt there will be some improvement in their other parks in the upcoming years.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Apple Spins an iPhone Yarn

(Los Angeles Times) Apple Inc. said Friday that it was "stunned" to find that its iPhones use a "completely wrong" formula to show how many bars of signal strength they are getting.

Apple said that's the reason behind widespread complaints from users that the latest model, iPhone 4, shows a big drop in signal strength when held in a way that inadvertently blocks the antenna at the bottom of the phone.

That drop seems exaggerated because the phone can wrongly display four or five bars of signal strength when it shouldn't, Apple said.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

V-12? V-6? Or a 3 Banger?

Only your audio system knows for sure.   Lotus is adding engine sounds to its new electric vehicle...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

No 3D TV for Pregnant Women?

So says Samsung.  Classic!

Pregnant women, drunk people and "those who are sleep deprived" should not watch 3-D television because of potential health issues, electronics manufacturer Samsung says on its Web site.

The company also says people at risk for stroke or epileptic seizures should consult a medical professional before watching TV in three dimensions.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

NYCTA Paging Announcements Getting Better?

One of the very few attempts at quantifying paging system quality for a system I've ever read.

Emmaco did work on this system back in the early 1990's for

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ed Roberts, Computer Genius, Dead at 68

This is the guy that got Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak going with his Altair computer back in the 1970's. 

Gates dropped out of Harvard and moved to Albuquerque to found Microsoft because of this guy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Broken Any Laws Lately?

Some physicists at Brookhaven have... laws of physics that appears...

Interestingly, this is the same facility Alec Baldwin wants shuts down...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blockbuster Bankrupt?

First Hollywood Video, now Blockbuster?   End of the physical rental era?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Adobe Fires Back on Apple's Flash Position

The lack of Adobe Flash playing capability on Apple devices is more than just annoying- it's stupid and impossible to logically justify.   Apple's Steve Jobs has repeated refused to integrate it into their systems and tried to justify it publicly.  Now Adobe's Narayen is firing back...

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has shunned Flash on mobile devices, throwing his support behind an emerging standard called HTML5. Apple is the only one of 20 smartphone makers that doesn't let users view Web sites containing animation, videos and other content created in Flash, Narayen said. Apple doesn't support Adobe's Flash in the iPhone, iPod music player or iPad tablet.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Main Street" Electrical Parade Going South

Less than eight months after the debut of the new and improved Electrical Parade at Disney’s California Adventure, the popular attraction is being boxed up and shipped to the Magic Kingdom.

The long-running parade will reclaim its former name, the Main Street Electrical Parade, when it premieres in Florida in June.

No word yet on if the parade will ever return to California. California Adventure is expected to debut the new World of Color nighttime show this spring.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google to Offer 1 Gig Data Service

Google Inc. said it will begin selling ultra-fast Internet access to consumers, a test that could threaten existing telecommunications carriers' grip on the Web and is designed to show off new uses of the Internet at high speeds.

Under the plan, Google will build an experimental fiber network that will target several cities and between 50,000 and 500,000 people, the company announced Wednesday.  Google said it would offer service at a speed of 1 gigabit per second—or 100 times faster than what many U.S. consumers are used to—and would offer the service at "a competitive price."

Monday, February 8, 2010

The FCC, Wireless Microphones, and Licensing- ACT NOW


Deadline For Comments February 22, 2010

After nearly 35 years, the Federal Communications Commission is considering expanding its licensing rules for wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, production intercom systems, and similar equipment that operates in the television broadcast (VHF and UHF) band.

Until now, only broadcasters, motion picture and television program producers, and similar entities were eligible for licenses. The FCC is aware that wireless microphones are used today by musical performers, houses of worship, theaters, schools, businesses, and many other types of entities.

The FCC permits wireless microphone operation either with or without a license. However, in the near future, licensed users may be afforded greater protection against interference from future consumer wireless TV Band Devices (both fixed and portable) that will operate in the same spectrum as wireless microphones.

The FCC is seeking comments from wireless users that will assist them in determining who should be eligible for a wireless microphone license. They need to know how you use wireless systems and how your productions and/or your business would be affected by sporadic interference from new TV Band Devices.

If you rely on wireless audio equipment, it is critical that you submit comments to the FCC before the deadline of February 22, 2010.

For guidelines on how you can submit comments on this issue, send an email message to You will receive a reply message with details on what information must be included in your comments and how to file them with the FCC.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First Recorded Sound- Ever

Thomas Edison wasn't the first person to record sound. A Frenchman named Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville actually did it earlier.

He invented a device called the phonautograph, and, on April 9, 1860, recorded someone singing the words, "Au clair de la lune, Pierrot repondit." But he never had any intention of playing it back. He just wanted to study the pattern the sound waves made on a sheet of paper blackened by the smoke of an oil lamp.

Have a listen (1860 version):

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Meltdown at Technicolor Continues

The French board formally changed the name from Thomson to Technicolor yesterday as part of a "restructuring".

Apparently gave away their Convergent group to Sony as well.  PRN and Grass Valley remain on the chopping block...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jobs Introduces iPad

Steve Jobs took the wraps off the "iPad" tablet on today, looking to define a new category of wireless device that will play video, games and all sorts of other media.

The iPad has a 9.7-inch touch screen, is a half-inch thick, weighs 1.5 pounds and comes with 16, 32 or 64 gigabytes of flash memory storage. It comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity built in. Jobs said the device has a battery that lasts 10 hours and can sit for a month on standby without needing a charge.

The basic iPad models will cost $499, $599 and $699, depending on the storage size, when it comes out worldwide in March.

Apple will also sell a version with data plans from AT&T Inc. in the U.S.: $14.99 per month for 250 megabytes of data, or $29.99 for unlimited usage. Neither will require a long-term service contract.

Those 3G iPad models will cost more — $629, $729 and $829, depending on the amount of memory — and will be out in April. International cellular data details have not yet been announced.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

FCC Orders End of 700 MHz Mic Use

Not that they've actually solved the problem, but...

After a wait of roughly 14 months after the FCC’s Second Report and Order on White Spaces, the agency has finally issued a firm date for the cessation of wireless microphone systems in the 700MHz band that has been reallocated to new licensees. In essence, the use of any wireless mic, in-ear or communications system in the 698MHz-806MHz range will become illegal as of June 12, 2010, exactly one year after the DTV transition occurred. Users of systems that operate in the 700MHz band are required to retire them by that date.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to Go 3D Video at Home

The process is very simple. 

1. First, open up your wallet.

2. You'll need HDMI 1.4 compliant equipment.  Everything you currently own is not.

3. You'll have to buy a 3D compliant television with 240 Hz refresh rates.

4. You'll have to buy multiple pairs of rechargeable active glasses.

5. You'll likely have to buy a new Sony Playstation (the existing one doesn't really cut it).

6. You'll probably have to go DirectTV.

7. You'll probably have to buy a new home theater receiver.

If you need to ask why, read the following summary article:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ESPN To Add 3D Channel

ESPN is launching the industry's first 3D television network. The sports programmer is making a big bet on the format, announcing plans introduce a 3D TV network this summer.