Two Historic Moments In Music

Technology is advancing so fast that it never ceases to amaze. I just had to share these two stories with you.

The first one is about a famous hip hop/pop superstar, Will.i.am, whose new song premiered from Mars.

The second is about a 23-year old deaf filmmaker who heard music for the first time two weeks ago.

I became involved in these stories because of my work with iriver, a Korean company that will be debuting a new product which is slated to become a game changer in the music business. I am not allowed to say anything more.

1. Will.i.am is a famous and talented musician, performer and producer. You know him because he is a member of the singing group Black Eyed Peas, which also boasts the gorgeous and shapely Fergie.

Will.i.am will go down in history as being the first musician and performing artist to premiere a new single from Mars. The NASA rover Curiosity beamed his new song “Reach for the Stars” in the first music broadcast from another planet.

This was all arranged almost a year ago because Will.i.am is heavily involved in promoting math and science education

“Reach for the Stars” was uploaded to the rover which landed near the equator of Mars. The song was played back to Earth, a journey of approximately 700 million miles. That will definitely go down in the history books.

Will.i.am was among more than a dozen celebrities who were invited to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) to watch Curiosity’s landing last month. Others included Wil Wheaton, Seth Green and Morgan Freeman.

Click here to watch everyone at NASA plus an auditorium filled with students listen to the first musical concert from Mars.

2. Austin Chapman heard music for the first time earlier this month thanks to a new breakthrough in Phonak’s Naida S Premium hearing aids.

First time listening to music at age 23

Chapman was born profoundly deaf. Hearing aids helped with words, but music, with its full range of pitches and tones, could not be decoded. Chapman’s entry into the world of music is a fascinating one. A group of friends introduced him to Michael Jackson, Radiohead, and the Rolling Stones. He was blown away when he heard Mozart’s Lacrimosa. It was the first time he was able to appreciate music. Tears rolled down his face and he tried to hide it. But when he looked over at his friends, he didn’t see a dry eye on any of them.

Read his story here.

What Would You Ask A Dead Person?


As far back as I can remember, I was always afraid of ghosts. I lost my grandfather Jake when I was 13. I slept with the lights on. I drove myself crazy. I thought he would suddenly appear in my room. One day I admitted this to my older brother who said he would be thrilled if that ever happened to him. I was stunned! “Wouldn’t you be scared?” He said it would be such a great opportunity to ask him many unanswered questions.

I thought about my brother’s reply for a long time. I still think about it today. As the years went by, we lost more and more family members. I became less afraid and started to hope that some of them would get in touch with me. Funny how life changes. When my mother died over seven years ago, I wanted her to give me a sign. She used to talk on the telephone all the time. I thought for sure she would call me. If anyone could do it, she would be the one. There have been a lot of things I can attribute to her watching over me, but I don’t have any definite proof.

All that might possibly change with a new app being secretly developed by a network of mediums who claim they have the skill to help us talk to our love ones that have passed to the other side. Now before you close this screen because you think I have gone mad, read on. There is nothing wrong with being open-minded. I am not a believer either. I will only believe when I personally communicate with someone who died. It has to be me with the dead person. No intermediaries.

I do, however, want to explore what these mediums are talking about, because I think it makes for an interesting post. The mediums don’t want to be identified because they feel my audience is not big enough for a debut. The Today Show or The New York Times is more their speed. Fair enough. The app is still in development and the only reason why I know about it is because we were approached to handle the PR.

By the way, the people we are talking to have been on TV many times and have a few million followers all around the world. I am at a point in my life where a medium doesn’t threaten me. If he or she is for real, great. If not, I have been scammed by lots of entrepreneurs who feel they have the next big thing. I am in good company. Most venture capitalists and angel investors get scammed every day of the week. They buy into someone else’s dream and write enormous checks to fund them. All I have to give is an hour or so of my time.

Back to the reason why I wrote this post. My question to you is, “Would you download this app if it was free?” At this point the app would allow you to check off who you wanted to ask a question to and then an answer would appear. There are going to be a lot of other options, but some may require face-to-face meetings with the medium. Another feature will be a dead person reaching out to a living loved one. The community has to help the mediums find that person.

It is going to be very interesting to see if Apple approves this app.

In the meantime, just think about it. If you had the opportunity to talk to someone you love who is deceased, wouldn’t you want to? I no longer sleep with the lights on. I am constantly looking for a sign!

The World Of Apps Should Thank Dr. Oz


I am taking a chance talking about such a narrowly focused topic today, especially after I received many emails and comments on my widely- received Richard Schulze of Best Buy post yesterday. There could be many more eyeballs than usual watching to see what I will come up with next. While this next topic may seem a little unimportant to you, it is huge for anyone in the smartphone application business.

The Dr. Oz Show, a daily television program focusing on medical issues and personal health, is the first TV show I know of that is going to devote an entire segment to smartphone applications. Yes, they are health related, but that is not what this is about. TV talk shows have been reluctant to demonstrate apps because they do not show well on the TV screen.

I have been pitching apps for years to national and local TV shows and 99.9 per cent of the time I get a flat “No.” It doesn’t matter if the app is hugely popular or obscure, TV stations were not interested. In the last year or so, an app was mentioned on a TV talk show, but never, never, never, a full segment that will demo and detail how the applications work.

Leave it to Dr. Oz, a very tech savvy guy, not to be afraid to go beyond what is the norm.

It was so frustrating for me, that I finally did an email to each and every TV show producer asking them to reconsider because they were really cheating their audiences. I told them that apps played a very important part in the tech world and by not sharing the info, they weren’t giving their audiences what they wanted and needed. Very few wrote back, and those that did said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

I was in shock when I heard from………..drum roll….. Steve Greenberg, the Innovation Insider and author of Gadget Nation, that Dr. Oz asked him to appear on his show just to focus on apps for Health and Wellness. We are actually going to see one whole segment where apps will be featured as the product showcase.

All I can say to that is…………….thank you Dr. Oz and Steve Greenberg. Steve taped the show this morning. He will let me know when it airs. The guest after Steve’s taped segment was Michelle Obama. Steve said when he left the studio, the building was surrounded by security. Everything and everyone was being searched.

Ah, show biz !

If you click on the highlighted Dr. Oz above, you will read all about him. I am concerned that many of you do not realize that you can do that. You will learn in time.

For those relunctant Digidame readers, here you go…….

Mehmet Cengiz Oz (Turkish: Öz, pronounced [mehˈmet dʒenˈɟiz øz], born June 11, 1960), also known as Dr. Oz, is a Turkish-American cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality.

Oz first appeared on the The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004, and later on Larry King Live and other TV programs. In 2009, Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures launched The Dr. Oz Show, a daily television program focusing on medical issues and personal health.

An Open Letter To Richard Schulze

Richard Schulze

This is my open letter to Richard Schulze, Founder of Best Buy, the 1,400 public store chain he wants to take private so that he can restore it to the greatness it once was.

Don’t do it Dick. The retail world is changing in ways yet to be defined. Even if it works out that you are somewhat successful, what is the point?

It is not even a question of whether I think you are capable. It is a question of why you would want to spend the next few years of your life trying to reinvent what you started in the first place. You are 71, worth $2 billion, happily married to your second wife, have 10 kids between the two of you and an ever-increasing number of grandchildren.

If you are looking for something really exciting to do, I can introduce you to some of the greatest young minds in the digital world that are inventing new technologies that none of us ever thought possible. They need your business acumen, your marketing prowess and your ability to build a business slow and steady. You have everything they do not. They have the kinds of minds that you need to know better. They will fascinate you about ways they are going to change the world in all types of fields, from everyday technology to transportation to outer space. You are one of a few who can help these young geniuses reach their goals. It will be far more rewarding to be the power behind the cure for hideous diseases, than the developer of a new way Americans buy their electronics.

I have researched all the good work you are doing in philanthropy, education and medicine. I congratulate you, but I am not talking about writing checks. I am talking about becoming a full time counselor to the future Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Jack Dorsey’s, and Mark Zuckerberg’s. There are a few dozen out there that will never make their mark without you.

You have a chance to regain the most rewarding and fruitful years of your life if you just take the time to explore what I am suggesting.

I was there when you and your late wife started Best Buy in 1966. At that time it was called the “Sound of Music Store,” in St. Paul, Minnesota. I was 18 and lucky enough to be working alongside two of the industry’s most devoted editors, Aaron Neretin and Manning Greenberg. We wrote about the growth of your company in the pages of Home Furnishings Daily, day after day, year after year. I saw and felt your sweat. I remember when your wife got sick, how you met wife number two, and how you devoted yourself to an industry that has had nothing but pleasure because of your efforts.

It is time for you to get reinvigorated. You are not going to experience the same euphoria you had the first time by trying to turn Best Buy into the next Apple retail chain. Even Apple is trying to figure out the next steps to maintain their own retail phenomena. I am not going to get too deep into it now, but the guys you are surrounding yourself with to rebuild your baby, are not the new thinkers of tomorrow. If you ever read this blog post, please call me and I will tell you why.

I know too many seasoned professionals who tried to go home again. When they got there, they slowly discovered why they left in the first place. Please open up those big baby blues that make you so distinguishable, and see the opportunity to have a much more important second chapter.

Larry Lives


I really have nothing against Larry King other than he seems to fall asleep after he asks his guests a question. I have watched him ask a question many times, get a provocative answer that desperately needed further discussion, and just like a robot, move on to the next point on his cheat sheet.

When he left CNN after 25 years, I thought that was that. The old timers were getting weeded out in favor of all the digital newbies who were going to give us a new prospective on the news.

I was feeling bad for the likes of Larry, and a little for myself, who desperately want to remain relevant in a world dominated by kids who are young enough to be our grandchildren.

Then came the news.

At age 78, King is becoming a dominant force in the new digital age of Internet TV. Backed by one of the richest men in the world, Carlos Slim, a Mexican financier, Larry King has a new talk show on the Ora online network.

A long time business acquaintance of mine, Jefferson Graham, of USA Today, just did a print and video interview with Larry that explains it all.

Click here. Give it a few seconds to appear.

For those of you who want the info quickly, let me spell it out. Larry is now pioneering the Internet even though he doesn’t know how to turn on a computer, answer an email, or post a tweet.

Jefferson says Larry now has Larry King Now on Hulu, Monday through Thursday, and he’s still attracting big-name talent. Guests have included Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, actor Matthew McConaughey, and old friends Regis Philbin and Betty White.
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Larry also makes his debut this week on YouTube with live political analysis of the Republican convention (youtube.com/politics), and the Democratic convention next week.

He has no idea what twitter is but has 2.5 million followers. His wife and assistant handle his digital correspondence.

I don’t want to spoil the video for you but he does a good job of defending his digital inabilities, something about providing a personal touch. You judge for yourself!

Beat The Clock With “Beat The Traffic”


The Jewish holidays are next month. Every year at this time I start thinking about where we will go and what I will wear. We used to belong to a specific Synagogue, but we haven’t done that in a long time. We like the idea of visiting new temples every year because it gives us the diversity of seeing what others are doing and donating appropriately. We usually end up staying on the Island of Manhattan because the traffic is so horrendous leaving it. Our family and friends who live outside of the borough can never really comprehend the additional hours it takes us to get to their home or house of worship when they invite us to join them.

One holiday we spent almost two hours on the west side highway going from 34th Street to the George Washington Bridge. Another year when we went to Long Island it took us almost an hour to get through the Midtown tunnel. Many family members or pals have suggested that we take public transportation or start out earlier. We will consider that a few years from now, but at the moment we say “come to us” or “we will observe with others right here.”

I was recently relating the Jewish Holiday scenario to a friend. He immediately told me about an app that becomes your own personal traffic reporter. It is called “Beat The Traffic” which provides you with a service that lets you know “real time” traffic conditions. You get to create your own personalized routes and see traffic speeds, incidents, cameras, even weather along the exact routes you plan to drive. It will also alert you of a change in traffic conditions while you’re on the road.

I was very surprised to learn that this app already has over a million users and is in three countries. There are 22,245 traffic cameras for you to check. I love looking at the Lincoln and Midtown tunnels. I also just checked on the roads in Miami today where hurricane Isaac is mildly passing over now. Ever so grateful that all is well there even though our flight was cancelled this morning.

We will hopefully be in Miami on Tuesday. And we will be in Manhattan during the Jewish holidays no matter how well this app works. What is that saying for moments like this? Oh yeah, “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.”

Be sure to check out the website. Click here. Remember, get used to the mobile app. You most likely will be accessing info from the road.

We’ve Been Grounded

We were supposed to fly out to Miami tomorrow morning. American Airlines just cancelled our flight because of Isaac, the tropical storm that may turn into a full-fledged hurricane. While Miami still has beautiful weather, AA doesn’t want to send too many airplanes there because they might have trouble getting them out. The winds are starting to act up.

We are so disappointed but are happy that AA had the good sense to give us fair warning. Friends of ours just called to ask if we wanted to take their private plane into Ft. Lauderdale. It was very sweet of them but I don’t take flights where I have to bend down when I stand up. They also never quite spelled out if we would have to pay the $7,000 needed for fuel.

Of course the offer prompted Eliot to once again ask why I am so scared of small planes. He considers them much safer. I consider them a toy. I don’t want to be in any aircraft where I see the pilot and what goes on in the cockpit. Eliot feels that if I did understand what makes the airplane function, then I might be more relaxed.

We decided to put it to the test. We will be going to Hammacher Schlemmer, the novelty store on East 57th Street, to try out the new Cockpit Flight Simulator which coincidentally has a price tag of $7,000. Boy, the dollar figure sounds familiar.

The flight simulator is installed into a cockpit that equips players with the same flight controls found in actual aircraft. The retailer claims the flight simulator is as close to the real thing as you can get, The fore/aft and left/right movement of the yoke controls pitch and roll just like real airplanes. Its toggles and buttons provide authentic control of navigation and radio options. Thrust levers and dual rudder pedals control realistic throttle and yaw.

The padded flight seat adjusts for optimal seat angle and distance to the rudder pedals while the sound system surrounds the player in realistic audio using five speakers and a subwoofer beneath the seat. Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X Gold, the world’s pre-eminent flight simulation software for PCs, comes on the included Dell Studio XPS computer with Windows 7. The software includes 23 flyable aircraft ranging from the ubiquitous Piper Cub to the daunting Boeing 747-800, challenging players to complete over 70 simulated flight missions, all geographically and topographically correct. The missions range from dropping bags of flour onto waterborne targets from an ultralight to taking off from an aircraft carrier aboard an F/A-18 Hornet. Realistic graphics are displayed by a 28″ wide-screen LCD monitor that provides 1080i high-definition resolution. A second 20″ LCD monitor sits below, providing instrument panels that simulate a faithful flight experience. Ages 14 and up. 57″ L x 32″ W x 53″ H. (110 lbs.)

I am getting dizzy already thinking about this mock flight. My heart is already skipping a beat from anxiety. I will let you know how well I do.

A Blow-By-Blow Apple Vs. Samsung Live Blog Feed

This is the perfect time to show everyone who reads Digidame what a “live blog feed” looks like. A “live blog feed” is a blow-by-blow description of news in the making. Bloggers go to an event and report the news in short sound bites. They constantly post info like they are writing for a news scroll on CNN. “Live blog feed” is also called “micro blogging.” People do it all the time on Twitter.

Today I was waiting for the verdict in the Apple vs Samsung case. I decided to watch the result on CNET, a popular tech site, because two reporters were situated in the courtroom in San Jose. They took turns pounding out the events as they were happening. We all now know the results. A jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages after finding that Samsung infringed a series of Apple patents on smartphones and tablet computers.

I started watching CNET on my laptop when I received an alert that the verdict was in. The following is how the events unfolded. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the final dollar award. It started at 6:37pm and ended at 7:13pm.

The typos are real. No one stops to proof.

7:13 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Big win for Apple here today.
7:12 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 515 – yes. 914 – yes
7:12 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Has Apple proven by a preponderance of the evidence that Samsung has violated Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act by monopolizing one or more technology markets related to the UMTS standard?
7:10 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 941 patent – claim 10 – no. claim 15 no.
7:10 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 516 patent – no & no
7:10 PM | by Josh Lowensohn iPod Touch 4th Gen – 711 patent claim 1, no. 893 patent – no. 460 patent claim 1, no. 46
7:09 PM | by Josh Lowensohn iPhone 4 ’516 patent NO. Claim 16 no.
7:08 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 460 patent iPhone 3gs
7:08 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 460 patent claim 1 – iPhone 3GS NO
7:08 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 711 – iPhone 3G – NO
7:08 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 460 patent on iPhone 3G – NO
7:07 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Replenish – $3.350M
7:07 PM | by Josh Lowensohn mesmerize $53.123M
7:06 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi- $833K
7:05 PM | by Josh Lowensohnn Galaxy S i9000 0
7:04 PM | by Josh Lowensohn If you answered “Yes” to any of Questions 21-22, and thus found that any Samsung entity has infringed Apple’s unregistered iPad/iPad 2 trade dress, has Apple proven by clear and convincing evidence that the Samsung entity’s infringement was willful?
7:02 PM | by Josh Lowensohn We’re going to 19…. now
7:01 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC) – YES to fascinate, Si900, 4G, S2 Showcase, Mesmerize, Vibrant . NO to captivate, conntinuum, charge, Epic 4G, galaxy prevail, S2 AT&T, S2 i9100, S 2 Tmobile, S2 Epic 4G touch, SKyrocket and Infuse 4G.
7:00 PM | by Josh Lowensohn If you found the unregistered iPhone 3 trade dress protectable and famous, for each of the following products, has Apple proven by a preponderance of the evidence that Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC), Samsung Electronics America (SEA), and/or Samsung Telecommunications America (STA) has diluted the unregistered iPhone 3 trade dress?
6:56 PM | by Josh Lowensohn D’889 Patent no
6:54 PM | by Josh Lowensohn D’087 Patent – YES for Galaxy S 4G and Vribant, NO for Galaxy S AT&T, Epic 4G touch, Skyrocket, and Infuse 4G
6:53 PM | by David Hamilton Apple’s D ’889 patent: Relates to the industrial design of a tablet computer.
6:52 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Yes for captivate, droid charge, epic 4g, fascainate, S i9000, S 4G, S showcase i900, Gem, indulge, S 4G, and Vibrant
6:51 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Telecom America: Yes for galaxy s 4g and vibrant, no for S2 AT&T, S2 epic 4g touch, skyrocket
6:50 PM | by Josh Lowensohn For each of the following products, has Apple proven by a preponderance of the evidence that Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC), Samsung Electronics America (SEA), and/or Samsung Telecommunications America (STA) has infringed the D’087 Patent?
6:49 PM | by David Hamilton The “yes” answers here, by the way, mean a finding of infringement by Samsung.
6:48 PM | by Josh Lowensohn 915 patent claim 8 – yes for captivate, conniuum, droid charge, exhibit 4g, fascinate, galaxy prevail, galaxy s 4g, S AT&T, Tmobile, Galaxy Tab 10.1, indulge, infuse 4g, nexus, transform and vibrant. No for replenish.
6:45 PM | by David Hamilton Continuum, Droid Charge, Exhibit 4G, Facsincate, Galaxy Prevail, S 4G, Galaxy S 2 AT&T, Galasy S 2 Tmobile, Gem, Induldge, INfuse 4G, mesmerize, Nexus S 4G, transform and Vibrant, NO for intercept and replenish
6:43 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Yes for captivate, fascinate Jx, galaxy previal, galaxy s, galaxy s 4G, galaxy SII i1900, Galaxy S2, Galxy Tab. Gem, Infuse, Mesmerize, NExus S 4g, Transform.
6:40 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co LT, Samsung America Inc, Samsung Telecomm LLC.
6:39 PM | by charles.cooper Love this tweet from Danny Sullivan: After the verdict gets read, I really want someone, judge or jury, to say, “One last thing….”
6:39 PM | by Josh LowensohnAnd the foreman is a male, older. ID’d simply as juror no. 1.
6:38 PM | by Josh Lowensohn There’s a hell of a lot of room for error here, in case that isn’t clear. There are about 700 questions and other checkboxes that needed filling out.
6:37 PM | by Josh Lowensohn Okay, here we go folks.

A Short Cut For Creating “Group Email Distribution” Lists

Ever since the Internet has been invented, I have been sending out emails to hundreds of friends and business associates, all at one time. It never occurred to me to form “Group Lists” so that every time I have an email to send out, I don’t have to go through my thousands of contacts to check off each name one-by-one.  I have lost days, maybe weeks, of my life checking off the “same names” for each mailing.

Today, I was taught what many of you may know already, how to create a “Group List.” I am going to give you step-by-step instructions how to do it so those of you who are unaware of this short cut, are in the loop too.  This is perfect for all of you who love sending out those “dumb jokes” or pictures of yourself on the toilet.

Here we go:

Open Microsoft Outlook.

Click on “Contacts.” (Usually found on the lower left corner of the screen)

Click on the  little arrow pointing down right next to “New.” (Top left hand corner of the screen).

You will now see a list in the upper left hand corner.

The first name on the list  is “Contact”—skip that.

Second name down is “Distribution List.”

Click on “Distribution List.”

Type in the name of your “Distribution List.”

The next step is to select names for the “Distribution List.”

Click on “Select Members.” It is located right above where you typed in the name of the “Distribution List.”

Your address list will appear.

Highlight the names you want on the list, one-by-one.

After each name, you click on “Members.” “Members” is located below the list.

Each time you click on “Members” another name will be added to your list.

When you are finished selecting “Members,” click “Save And Close.”

Congratulations, you just created a list.

Any problems, call me.

There Is Not A Tech PR Woman Alive Who Wouldn’t Want To Be Married to David Pogue

David Pogue

David Pogue, the personal tech reporter for the New York Times, has something that no other man alive has, his column. He is also an author, TV host, public speaker and a Broadway song and dance man.

If you don’t know who David is, then I suggest you “Google” him. His personal tech column probably has more readership than any other source for digital news. That is true for both print and online. I am not saying there are no other powerful tech writers around. There certainly are. However, if David writes about a tech company, the PR person representing that client, has hit a home run, right out of the park. If David likes the product or service and recommends it to his readers, the PR person responsible for the placement, has achieved one of the greatest moments of his or her career.

David calls it “The Pogue Experience.” I had the pleasure of experiencing “The Pogue Experience” several times. One of the most memorable times was when he wrote about an iPhone app we represented at HWH PR, called “Line2.” “Line2” adds a second line on your smartphone so you can have two numbers, one for business, the other for personal. The day David wrote about “Line2,” 72,000 of his readers immediately download the app and brought down the “Line2” servers.  No one at “Line2” was prepared for such a heavy duty, positive reaction.

There are many other scenarios, but the one I want to tell you about today is David’s marriage proposal to a tech PR gal from Silicon Valley. He lives in Connecticut. The 3,000 mile romance has been written up before but not as much as the attention they are getting today. The video he created to be a part of the surprise for his girlfriend went viral. It is the talk of the romance and tech editorial pages all across the country.

Watch his marriage proposal video below.

Mazel Tov David

Check out other stories about David’s marriage proposal in Huffington Post, Gizmodo and Media Bistro. Just click on the bold type to access the stories.