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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

The never ending sea of meat

Posted on May 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)

A few months ago, I purchased tickets to see John Mayer in concert when he came through Charleston. I got some pretty sweet seats using AmEx Platinum Card’s concierge purchasing service, so I was pretty psyched for the show. (Despite any rumors to the contrary, my man-love for John Mayer is entirely natural, completely weird-free, and totally hetero. I just happen to love his brooding, why-did-you-hurt-me-so? music. Also, if I *did* like him-like him, you know that he’d just be a ...

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Kaleidescape owners say, "Meh..." (UPDATED!)

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 10:09 PM Comments comments (8)

(Scroll to bottom for updated material...from Kaleidescape CEO Michael Malcolm!)

Yesterday was a big day for Kaleidescape. (If you haven’t read that announcement, click here...) Owners of their premium movie server system have been waiting A LONG time for a Blu-ray solution, and with yesterday’s announcement reception was...

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DVR: Let's hug it out!

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

(If you’re not caught up on Lost, Survivor or Amazing Race, massive spoilers below….)


As you know, I’ve had a bit of a rocky relationship with my Time Warner DVR. (I love you, I hate you and Yes, I'm sure it's your cable box)


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(Almost) Like taking candy from a baby!

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM Comments comments (15)

If you read my posts from my trip to Alabama last week, then you’ll remember that I offered my 9 year old niece, Kinsley, $100 to eat a vomit noodle (a perfectly retained bit of spaghetti that Lauryn threw-up on me). Now, Kinsley is like most 9 year olds---she figures that she knows *everything* and that everyone else is both semi-retarded and wrong.


While we stayed at their house, Kinsley was fascinated by my whole blogging thing (I mean, seriously, can you blame her...

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Holy crap! Galaxy 15 satellite is trying to kill Lost!

Posted on May 12, 2010 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

OK. Don’t anybody panic. I’m sure that the government is lining up batteries of Patriot missiles and arming F-15s with ASM-135 ASAT sat-killing missiles even as we speak. But, according to CNN a rogue satellite is drifting through space all Palin-style, and it’s threatening to interrupt cable programming in the US.


Apparently, this Luxembourg-based kamikaze sat has “...

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Avatar: More 3D confusion?

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 3:29 PM Comments comments (9)

My parents are about as middle-of-the-road-America as you can get when it comes to technology. Actually, the middle-of-the-road is probably more high-tech than my parents. Growing up, I might as well have lived in an Amish village for all of the technology that they supplied. We never owned a record player or a stereo. The only commentary I ever received about music as a child was a stern, "Turn it down!" and the equally popular "Don't raise it above 4!"  In fact, my parents JUST ...

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Kaleidescape: Yes! We do Blu!

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (10)

It’s been almost exactly a month since I posted my little missive about Kaleidescape and their need to add support for Blu-ray to their line-up to stay current and relevant. Shortly after that post, I received a call from their PR department arranging for a call with their Director of Product Management and CEO, Michael Malcolm himself. Well, I’ve been under a signed non-disc...

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Martin Logan now on the $1 menu

Posted on May 9, 2010 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The Bible has a verse in Ecclesiastes that says that the day of one’s death is better than the day of his birth, meaning that when you die, you have built a name for yourself and that people truly know what sort of person you were.


It’s really no different for a company. It takes *years* to build and establish your name, brand and reputation. For example, Lamborghini used to by synonymous with “that Italian guy that makes tractors.” He didn’t j...

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Behold! Remoticus Maximus!

Posted on May 9, 2010 at 12:23 AM Comments comments (6)

Sometimes life gives you lemons and you make lemonade. Other times, life gives you a basket overloaded with an unexpected bit of serendipity that you just know is going to end up in a blog.


What could have been an uneventful trip over to the in-laws produced this wonder of wonders. When trying to turn on the TV – the power button is strangely MIA, appearing to have been pressed in with such extreme prejudice that it has descended back inside of the protective confine...

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Lay me to rest in the Deep South

Posted on May 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM Comments comments (3)

Yesterday was the funeral service for Dana's cousin, Bryan. I didn't know him very well (as in, not at all) but it was still pretty intense to attend a funeral for someone 9 years younger than yourself. It is cliche, but you always think you have the time to tell people how you feel about them, but sometimes we miss the opportunity. So, I just want to say, AOL, I hate you.


One thing that was very moving was the INCREDIBLE respect that people showed to the funeral...

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641.1 Miles to go

Posted on May 5, 2010 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (3)

An unexpected family emergency has us packing up the RAV4 and heading to Alabama tomorrow to attend a funeral. Totally lame all the way around. Lame for the guy's kids. Lame for Dana's family. Lame for my right foot that has to toe the line for the whole 10 hour haul.


Because I'm suddenly dropping work like it's Hammer time, I had to work a long -- 8 to 7 -- day today to get my house in order before leaving. The whole day I was covered with this Jedi-like focus of jus...

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You win this round, remote!

Posted on May 4, 2010 at 10:37 PM Comments comments (2)

Today was brutal. Like ba-rue-tull. Usually, my work day starts at a civilized 9 AM. I turn on some music, get in the shower, make myself a double latte, drive in to work, check e-mails, return some phone calls, send off some invoices and then spend the majority of the remainder of the day snaking on my lunch and working on “John Time.” John Time is usually filled with Web surfing, writing, reading magazines, rinse and repeat until 6 PM when I go home.


Today was...

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Posted on May 3, 2010 at 6:18 PM Comments comments (8)

This is my month to be off on Mondays, which means a day of errand running. After a lunch at Chick-Fil-A (it’s pronounced “filet” for all you folks west o’ here) we headed over to Wal-Mart for a little financin’.


A few weeks ago, I received a coupon in the mail from First Federal bank with an offer just too good to pass up. If I open a checking account with a minimum $50 balance, they will straight up give me $10. Then, after 90 days, they̵...

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She ain't the Titanic, but she looks to be listing...

Posted on May 3, 2010 at 4:43 PM Comments comments (0)

The landscape of the custom installation industry is changing, and fast. Companies that are too slow, too late, too entrenched or just too frickin’ lame to change and adapt to the new landscape are going to get left behind. And by “left behind,” I mean that the quick and nimble will sail away into the sunset on a luxury cruise liner, sipping Mojitos with little fake umbrellas, smoking cigars rolled on the thighs of virgins and playing high stakes baccarat, while these old ti...

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My $25,000 plant

Posted on May 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM Comments comments (1)

After my lame customer service experience with AOL on Friday – the guy just abruptly disconnected from our chat session after I’d been waiting for 90 minutes (OK, I *might* have frightened him away by saying “my urge to kill is rising!” but still...) I thought I would relate a good customer service experience.


A few years ago, back in the media heyday, I was doing a good bit of regular traveling for Sound + Vision. Between CES, EHX, CEDIA an...

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Oh, it's on. It. Is. So. ON! (UPDATED!)

Posted on May 1, 2010 at 2:24 PM Comments comments (7)

(Scroll to end for updated...Original Post April 23, 2010)

Do you ever have those times when you *know* that you should just keep your stupid mouth shut, but yet, you can’t? Like, brain is thinking, “Nothing to be won from this. Ought to just keep the ole pie hole shut.” But mouth is like, “Screw you, brain! We’re pushing our chips ALL IN!” Had one of those moments while shopping at Piggly Wiggly tonight.


To fully appreciate th...

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