Randy Blanchard, ex-ADI, Takes Audio Role at Vanco

Vanco logoVanco International LLC, a provider of AV and accessories products, announced this week that Randy Blanchard has joined the company as its new Director of Audio Products. Among other things, Blanchard will oversee the company’s Pulse Audio and Beale Street Audio brands. Blanchard joins the company after a 13½-year career with ADI.

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Study Shows People Value Their Data Over Their Car

eMarketer logoAfter years of shocking privacy breaches and the more recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, consumers are becoming more and more concerned about the security of their personal data. This attitude is reflected in new privacy research survey in which a majority of respondents said they viewed their personal data as more valuable to them than even their car.

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Are You Prepared for the Coming Recession?

Photo of stressed guy at deskFive Steps to Take Now to Protect Your Business

Occasionally, I’ll chat with an integrator or other industry colleague about that ugly shared nightmare experience, otherwise known as the recession of 2007-2009. This recession, unlike others in the past, zeroed in like a torpedo on the residential construction market and dramatically reshaped the custom integration industry. For those of you joining the industry since that time, you dodged the bullet…but you also missed the lessons that survivors were forced to learn in order to keep afloat.

Why you need to prepare now for the next recession… Continue reading

Monoprice: King of Cut-Rate Cables, Expands

From Monoprice website

Intros ‘Carbon Collection’ of Home Décor Items

Monoprice, the company most successful at pursuing a low-price, cut-rate strategy in regards to cables, adapters, and accessories, and the bane of many upscale cable companies in the consumer electronics space, has continued to grow and expand, now adding housewares and home goods to their growing assortment.

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Amazon Horror: Alexa Users Not Using Voice to Shop

Amazon logoA new report by The Information has roiled Amazon, punching a hole in the concept that users of their Alexa-powered smart speaker devices will use them to buy billions of dollars of goods through voice ordering. According to sources from inside Amazon, the company is disappointed that only about 2% of users of their devices use them for voice-enabled shopping – a result that throws shade at the company and industry analysts who predicted a tsunami of voice-powered purchases. The company’s spokesperson disputes the report.

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SEC Rejects Monster Cryptocurrency Filing, Notes ‘Serious Deficiencies’

Monster Changes: Prez/COO & Auditor are Terminated, Three-Man Board is Now Only One

Photo of Noel LeeIn June, after significant outreach by many Strata-gee readers, we posted our take on the Monster Products, Inc. (Monster) S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in which Monster sought to launch its own Monster Money cryptocurrency in a major shift in the company’s direction. This SEC filing by Monster was at the end of May, and our story [see: Is Monster Money a Massive Mistake?] was posted June 13th.

We have just discovered that days after our story appeared, Monster received an SEC staff letter dated June 15th titled “SERIOUS DEFICIENCIES.” But that’s not all we discovered…

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Control4 Announces Appointment of Charlie Kindel, ex-Amazon


Former Head of Amazon’s Smart Home Org. to be
SVP of Products & Services for Control4


Kindel close upControl4 Corp. announced today that it has appointed Charlie Kindel, an ex-Amazon executive in charge of their Alexa project, to fulfill the role of Control4 Senior Vice President of Products & Services. Kindel is replacing Eric Anderson, who announced his retirement recently after holding the same role since 2012.

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Transformative Engineering Earns DPL Seal on HLE-4K

Transformative Engineering logoTransformative Engineering, an innovative black box solutions provider, announced today it has been awarded a DPL Labs Seal of Approval for its model HLE-4K, an HDMI 2.0 extender. The company says this is the second Seal of Approval its products have been awarded by DPL Labs, a testing and certification organization.

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Creditor Infighting Could Jeopardize Gibson Bankruptcy

Logo for Gibson BrandsMultiple creditors are fighting a pitched battle over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan worked out between Gibson Brands and their major debt holders and submitted to the Bankruptcy Court. Some of this was to be expected, as there was a large pool of unsecured creditors who did not participate in the pre-bankruptcy negotiations. But now, even one of the secured creditors – a power player in their own right – has turned on the other secured creditors, joining in with the unsecured creditors and potentially jeopardizing the whole plan, according to a report by the Nashville Post.

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EU Hits Pioneer, D&M, Philips & Asus with Fines for Price Fixing

Asus logoThe European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulatory unit, after a 17-month investigation of online price fixing and other illegal anti-competitive practices has levied a fine of €111.2 million ($130 million) against four prominent consumer electronics brands, including Pioneer Corp., D&M Holdings Inc. of Japan, Koninklijke Philips NV of the Netherlands, and AsusTek Computer, Inc. of Taiwan. The companies were alleged to have imposed fixed or minimum online prices for their products.

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