Brian Ploskina

Joe Paone is director of content for CTPG. jpaone@napco.com

Another year, another CEDIA EXPO on the way. Where has the time gone? It seems like this show has been around forever, but in fact it started only 17 years ago, from the humblest of beginnings. Today, it’s one of the largest trade shows in America, and a fact of life for the tens of thousands of people involved in the custom electronics industry. Its phenomenal growth has led to the creation of a second annual show, to kick off next April in Las Vegas. Most of us now have experienced Denver as host once, and hopefully the kinks will be ironed out and

In a best-case scenario, an integrator works with a homeowner before the home is even built; this allows them to plan for a future-proof, fully connected home, designed from the ground up. Most integrators consider it an even better scenario to work with a builder as it plans a tract of new homes; in such cases, economies of scale take over, allowing the kinds of margins that would make any C-business salivate. So imagine how cool it must be for Link Your House, a “digital home” integrator now on the ground floor of Carter Grove Plantation, a new 3,500-home city being built in Cartersville,

All of this doesn’t feel right, not at all. Bruce Jacobs’ passing, all too soon at the age of 60 and certainly all too suddenly, shocked everyone at the Consumer Technology Publishing Group, as well as his many friends and family. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with Bruce, but I genuinely enjoyed each opportunity to do so. The first time we met, before I was working for this particular magazine, he frantically approached me at a Mitsubishi line show in California, camera in hand, all silver hair and tanned face and megawatt, mischievous smile. “Are you Joe?” he asked. “Do me

“Beatings will continue until morale improves!” This famous phrase isn’t just hilarious because of its stark irony, but because of how much it demonstrates the frustrating difficulty involved with motivating and retaining a finely tuned workforce. The beatings only work for so long until you have to get more creative. So what does work? Employee incentive programs? Raises? Bonuses? Paid vacation? A 401(k)? A trip to Tahiti? None of those can hurt, but in each case, the more important question is, “Will it help?” The answers can vary. More than any of those ideas, however, C-businesses told us that consistent, plentiful training is

Mounts, once drab and display-specific, are now reaching the forefront of flat panel purchasing decisions, offering style points of their own. By Brian Ploskina At January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Panasonic showed off a 103-inch plasma television. Now, obviously this unit wasn't something the company was shipping to retail outlets anytime soon, but the unveiling provided a giant-sized example of a particular point: Flat panel televisions—plasmas and LCDs—aren't getting any smaller, and you'll find very few consumers who are interested in placing their pride-and-joy 60-inch plasma sets on top of entertainment centers. In other words, these babies need to be mounted. The

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