This is probably the most innovative thing at Art Basel this year. My friends Ruth and Howard saw it first and told me about it. We all went back to see it again. It’s called paper art. It is all hand made. Picture an accordion and you will quickly understand the concept.
In case you haven’t heard, there is some hot gossip in Silicon Valley. Anne Wojcicki, the newly estranged wife of Sergey Brin, founder of Google, has certainly had her fair share of challenges lately.
First she finds out that her husband of six years has been romantically involved with a Google product manager.
Then last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered her genetic testing company, 23andMe, to immediately stop selling its main product, a $99 “Personal Genome Service.” The company has failed to show that the technology is supported by science.
Brin is currently worth $22.8 billion, according to Forbes. He holds nearly $21 billion worth of Google shares.
Andrew Sager is a survivor
I noticed that Andrew Sager was missing from the pages of Facebook about six weeks ago. I became concerned because he frequently posted pictures of his two handsome children, Mildred, 20, and Charles,18. Andrew now lives in Beverly Hills and is divorced from the mother of his kids. After clicking on Andrew’s page, I discovered that he was recovering from a near death experience and was recuperating in a rehab center in Santa Monica, CA. I posted a message to someone, who I identified as his sister, to find out what had happened to him. A few hours later she answered saying that Andrew was very sick but well enough to call me directly.
I’ve known Andrew for 37 years, because he became a business partner of Stanley Hochstadt, the original H in HWH PR. Stanley and Andrew were drumming up a lot of business designing album covers in the record business. Stanley was supposed to be focused on the advertising side of HWH. Most of the business we secured in the very early days was all public relations oriented.
Stanley, a really good guy, was trying to handle several businesses at once but they all didn’t work out. Stanley probably felt a sense of relief when we suggested the split. The three of us, along with Stanley’s wife Sandy, remained friends for years, but then we lost contact. Over the years, I bumped into Andrew a number of times in Manhattan (at one time he was a partner in the steak restaurant Manhattan Cafe).
Andrew was very distinguished looking, extremely popular with women. At one time, he was married to singer-song writer Carole Bayer Sager (she kept his name). He was the son of a very successful real estate mogul in New York and had five siblings. The Sagers were on top of the social scene.
Andrew and Stanley’s business finally petered out after a few years. Andrew eventually married a very pretty French woman. Together they had two children and moved to Los Angeles.
Twenty years passed without one Andrew Sager sighting. Six years ago, Eliot and I were walking uptown on Second Avenue to our local coffee shop, Silver Star, and there was Andrew. He was standing alone waiting for someone. He told us he broke up with his wife, was done buying and selling businesses, and now was a salesperson in the Apple Store in West Hollywood.
I was eager to know how someone in his sixties fared in a store that catered to and employed 20-year-olds. Andrew said he loved being a part of the Apple culture, and that the energy in the store kept him young. We exchanged contact information and became Facebook friends. I was happy that Andrew was part of a business community I strongly identified with.
For some reason, I didn’t notice Andrew’s five month absence from Facebook until I spotted pictures of him in what I thought was a hospital bed. When Andrew called, he told me that last May he got triple pneumonia. While he was in the hospital, he contracted MRSA. His entire body shut down, and Andrew was unconscious for several months. When he finally woke up, he had lost most muscle control in his body and had to learn to do everything all over again, including swallowing.
When we spoke, I knew we were going to LA for Thanksgiving, so I told him I definitely wanted to visit him. Eliot and I spent ninety minutes with Andrew this past Monday. He should be getting out of rehab in another month or two.
Like all people our age, we spent time reminiscing about the past and shared stories about folks we all knew. Andrew has a strong will to live. That is what got him through the horror of being near death. Frankly, family and friends who saw him during this period had their doubts.
This is a guy with a strong constitution. He managed to get through every occupational, speech, and mental therapy they offered him. He has a lot of living yet to do. His bed was covered with electronics: iPad, Kindle, iPhone, and a few other gizmos. He may have been out of it for a few months, but his technology is helping him to make up for lost time.
There is no doubt about it. We are going to be more than Facebook friends from now on. Andrew, we are very proud of you.
In the future, a woman who goes out to buy a bra might have a choice to buy a smart one. That’s right, even bras are going digital.
A group of researchers at Microsoft have developed a prototype bra that uses sensors to follow a woman’s mood. The goal is to help prevent stress-related eating disorders.
I bet you like what you are reading so far. The Microsoft team want undergarments to multitask. Not only do they keep you in place but now they detect stress. The experimental project uses the woman’s own bra in the beta test, embedding it with electrocardiogram and electrodermal activity sensors (PDF), gyroscopes, and accelerometers.
Data from the sensors was sent to a smartphone app so the women could track moods. The researchers were able to see whether the women were stressed via the mobile mood-detection system. If the subjects see the signs of stress that usually lead to overeating, they can make better choices in the moment.
It would nice to have a wake-up call that stops you from overeating. Just never thought it would come from my bra.
Jeff Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon, conducted several interviews over the last few days that revealed a new delivery service that would feature unmanned aircrafts. The whole point of delivering packages by drone would be to speed up the process, sometimes guaranteeing delivery in just a few hours.
Amazon is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration on new airspace rules so that its drone delivery service would be perfectly acceptable when the company is ready to launch, which wouldn’t be until 2015 at the very earliest.
Bezos talked about the experimental drone-based delivery service in a recent ”60 Minutes” segment. You can see a video of the drone in action here. The working title is Amazon Prime Air. It is currently being tested on a very limited and controlled basis.
When I first heard the announcement, I thought this was one big joke. Then I asked a few of my friends who work at Amazon if this was for real. They confirmed that this was a very important initiative for Amazon because they want to figure out a way to provide deliveries almost instantaneously.
Bezos said the octo-copter drones could carry objects of up to five pounds within a ten-mile radius of an Amazon distribution center. The e-commerce company has been deliberately building distribution centers all over the country. The drone aircrafts would fly from each distribution center after receiving a recipient’s location.
This story does seem like fantasy, but you can count on it in our lifetime.
My mother was one of the world’s greatest doodlers. She would talk on the phone for hours and doodle. I wish I had one of her pieces. They were masterful.
I am sorry my mother is not around to use the 3Doodler. It’s the world’s first and only 3D Printing Pen. When you see how this works, you will definitely want one. Like many other Kickstarter projects, the 3Doodler won’t be available for a little while. It is scheduled to launch sometime next year at a projected price of $75.00. Watch the video to see how it works.
The fundraising site explains that by using ABS plastic (the material used by many 3D printers), 3Doodler draws in the air or on surfaces. Plug it into a power socket and you can be drawing anything within minutes.
If you can scribble, trace, or wave a finger in the air you can use a 3Doodler. As 3Doodler draws, it extrudes heated plastic, which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong stable structure. This allows you to build an infinite variety of shapes and items with ease! Most people will instantly be able to trace objects on paper, and after only a few hours of practice you will be able to make far more intricate objects.
Here are some of the things you can do:
* 3D shapes and 3D models
* Jewelry, pendants, and hanging ornaments
* Decorative art and fridge magnets
* Personalization of everyday objects (iPhone cases, laptops, pens, etc.)
The 3Doodler works on almost any surface, including plastic, allowing users to personalize items such as smartphone or laptop cases, or anything else they feel like 3Doodling on. 3Doodler can even be used for minor repair work.
In a few years from now, the medical profession will be able to tell what disease you may have, or what disease you may get, just by the smell of your body. Your breath, sweat, and other secretions may help doctors detect diseases, hopefully in the early stages. George Preti, an organic chemist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and an interdisciplinary team that includes physicists and veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania, are exploring why we smell the way we do.
As he explained in a recent New York Times article,
Thousands of waste products are swept out in our breath, blood and urine, or simply released into the air above the skin. Metabolic disorders, like diabetes, interfere with the way the body breaks down nutrients and thus make that exhaust especially stinky. People with phenylketonuria (or PKU) tend to smell musty. A faulty or missing digestive enzyme makes people with trimethylaminuria (or TMAU) smell fishy.
Preti and his team have also been focused on the possibility of cancer detection ever since they learned about a woman who asked her doctors to look at a mole that her Collie-Doberman mix began to sniff at intently. The dog tried to bite it off when she wore shorts. The mole turned out to be an early-stage malignant melanoma, inspiring the researchers to test whether dogs, whose smell machinery is at least 10,000 times as sensitive as ours, can tell healthy samples from cancerous ones.
The sniff tests are a wave of the future. I hope this becomes a reality in our lifetime.
Need I say more? This is what the world has come to. The reality is that most people today are just not comfortable separating themselves from their smartphones. They want to stay in constant touch with everyone important to them. Can’t say I disagree.
This year Eliot and I spent Thanksgiving with my west coast family. Cousins Beth, Jeff, and Hanna Young hosted the most magnificent combo Chanukah and Thanksgiving lunch and dinner today including latkes and turkey. We can’t thank them enough. The entire family showed up. It was just a very happy and satisfying day.
Thanks to smartphones, our daughter and friends were in touch with us all day via text, email, cell, and Skype. So while it may not be polite to take calls at the dinner table, we were able to check our messages during breaks. It just made separation from love ones during the holidays a little easier.
Peace to all! Thank you Beth, Jeff, and Hanna.
I have always been intrigued when I see young, funky gals wearing blue, pink, or green wigs. Who are these women and why do they have such great confidence? I saw a bunch of them on Melrose in West Hollywood today. I thought Andy Warhol couldn’t be too far behind.
Sony apparently thinks so too. The electronics manufacturer has filed a patent application for a “SmartWig,” a new, wearable technology. The SmartWig will be able to process data and communicate wirelessly with other external devices. The SmartWig can also navigate roads and collect information such as blood pressure.
The Japanese firm said the wig will be made from horse hair, human hair, wool, feathers, yak hair, buffalo hair, or any kind of synthetic material. It doesn’t really matter because the interface and sensors are covered up by parts of the wig during use. The SmartWig could be considered as a technically intelligent item or as a fashion statement.
As of a few weeks ago, BiblioTech of San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County is the first and only library in the United States providing digital copies of books rather than the printed ones we all grew up on. Hello to the digital revolution.
Imagine, a library that has 600 e-readers in stock so patrons can take one home to read the books they selected. BiblioTech is also the first library that requires users to browse the catalog of e-books on large touch screens. When patrons find a book they want, they simply download a copy onto their personal e-reader (like an Amazon Kindle) or one the library provides.
The all-digital library also features 48 iMac computer stations, 10 Macbook laptops, and 40 iPads. All the equipment must be used on the premises. No loaners.
Here’s another game changer. Bexar County residents can access the digital catalog on their mobile device after downloading the 3M Cloud Library app. That mobile app allows the resident to link his or her library card to the BiblioTech system. Library members will have a “My Books” section on their apps that will show the countdown of how many days the book is accessible. BiblioTech has 10,000 titles. The digital books can be checked out for two weeks at a time.
The library has special events like computer learning classes in order to educate the public on e-readers and other new technologies.
BiblioTech is also targeting children with 200 special e-readers formatted with special kid’s content as well as a regular story time hour and a Xbox 360 gaming system hooked up to a large HDTV.
BiblioTech is certainly not the library we remember. Then again, the digital world has changed so much of what we remember.