To Google, Or Not To Google

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The Good News: Google will be selling Google Glasses for one day only on Tuesday, April 15th at 6am West Coast time. If you have an extra $1,500, and you want to be among the first to own glasses with a built-in computer, then prepare to move fast. There is a limited supply. Make sure you don’t lose this link. http://google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one

The Bad News: A number of people in and around Silicon Valley are reportedly being assaulted when wearing Google Classes. E Kyle Russell, a journalist with Business Insider, was one of the recent victims who had his Google Classes ripped from his face in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Several weeks ago I wrote about the social tensions in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Companies like Google, Apple, and Yahoo, who pay many of their employees six figure numbers, are gentrifying the areas. The cost of houses, rents, food, transportation, and clothes have all jumped dramatically to accommodate those with money. The gap between the haves and have nots , is getting worse and worse.

Everyday there are demonstrations, marches, confrontations, and town meetings to resolve the situation. There is no quick answer to this situation, so be careful what you wear.

If you think I’m exaggerating, be sure to Google “Google.” You’ll see many stories on this topic.

Thank You Juan Carlos

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I always wanted to be Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts. Only one problem. I can’t draw. That is no longer an issue. My friend Juan Carlos Zapata introduced me to Bitstrips, an app that lets you design cartoon versions of you and your friends. You can share these cartoons on all social marketing platforms and emails.

You get to choose from 2,000 customizable scenes. New ones are added daily. Once you join in, you will be amazed how many people you know are already members. You get to use their avatars in your cartoons as well.

Enjoy your senior years as a cartoonist.

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Future Automobiles May Give You X-Ray Vision

Seeing through things may be one of the hottest new technology features for 2015.

After I wrote my blog post yesterday about Apple developing a transparent text messaging feature, I received a call from the PR department of Land Rover telling me about their new hood that does the same thing.

I have to admit, I was a little confused at first because I didn’t quite understand what the guy was saying. “We have a disappearing bonnet.” After several embarrassing attempts to catch on to his lingo, he explained that bonnet was the English term for a car’s hood. Ha ha, the joke was on me. Then I saw the video that demonstrated what he was talking about. A big wow. See above.

Land Rover is still in the experiment stage but the reaction has been very positive. They are placing cameras under the bonnet then projecting a live video feed on the windshield. That creates what seems like a transparent bonnet. The technology lets you see the road under the front of the car as you are driving.

The entire concept will be demonstrated at the New York International Auto Show this month. If Americans like the idea of seeing more of the road (I do), expect other auto makers to license the idea.

Transparent Text Messaging

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Photo by Veooz.com

Before anyone introduces transparent text messaging, I would like to see a study that says it’s safe, especially for those of us who are getting on in years. The idea of people crossing a street thinking that it’s okay to text at the same time because they can partially see what’s in front of them, is insane. If your two eyes are not focused on exactly what’s in front of you, then you’re a danger to both you and me.

I am not sure what Apple is thinking but industry sources recently revealed that the company filed a patent to introduce a transparent text message feature for either the iPhone 6 or a future update to iOS 7.

PC Advisor is one of a few publications that covered this new development. As far as they know, Apple will have a live feed feature of whatever the rear camera is focused on and captures. That supposedly should be enough so people can walk and text or even drive and text.

The transparency is viewed on your screen. You can see what’s in front of you on the screen behind the text so that it is almost like seeing through your mobile phone. You will be able to read and respond to your messages.

What a horrible thought. The entire concept, in my opinion, is irrational and impractical. You just can’t do both at once.

You Can Never Be Too Thin

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I can’t wait to see the stats that I’m going to get on this post. I get the feeling it is going to a whopper. It’s one of those “You have to see this!”

That’s how I found out about the SkinneePix app. My girlfriend Susie posted several Selfie picture on Facebook. I almost didn’t recognize her. She looked super thin. My comment below her photo made her fess up right away. “Wow, how much weight did you lose?”

She quickly answered me because we were seeing each other for lunch the next day and she didn’t want any embarrassing moments. “I doctored the photo with SkinneePix.”

I immediately checked out the app and learned that if you take a Selfie with it, you can take five, 10 or 15 pounds off of your photo.. SkinneePix costs 99 cents and uses an algorithm to make you appear lighter.

Go ahead, have that extra piece of cake. No one will ever know.

Getting A Full Charge In 30 Seconds


I knew I was on top of a hot story when three different sources emailed me several days in a row about a new battery and charging combo that can fully charge a Samsung Galaxy S4 in 30 seconds. StoreDot, a start-up from Tel Aviv, plans to introduce the battery and charger combo in 2015. Hopefully, the iPhone version will be ready at that time as well.

Personally I couldn’t be happier about the news. I don’t walk out of my apartment without my battery charger backups. My friend Steve gave me one when I became envious of his. He had a spare for me, My cousin Beth gave me a second charger when I admired how thin her unit was. She also had an extra.

I truly consider myself fortunate to leave my home for the day knowing that I can use my cell as much as I want to. I always hated looking for an electrical socket so I could recharge. Now I have a big smile on my face thinking that a year from now it will only take 30 seconds to be back in business.

For a full explanation about the technology StoreDot is bringing to market click here.

Be sure to watch the video above for a demonstration of the battery and charger combo.

Here’s to a fully charged life!

HBO’s Silicon Valley Almost Makes Us Happy That We’re Older

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Photo by HBO

Several times a month, I get calls from tech nerds just like the ones in HBO’s new comedy called Silicon Valley, looking for jobs. I think some higher power was sending certain kids to me so I can set them straight before they enter the brutal world of the technology workforce. I tell them all one thing, “If you are not prepared for a constant sea of changes, then this is not the niche for you.”

I have been working 48 years this September, and I can honestly say that I have never seen such a fast-paced and fiercely competitive landscape as the one in tech today. If you are not confident (and comfortable) within your own skin, be ready to be eaten alive. Only people who truly like themselves, enjoy challenges, and read and think all the time, can make it. The rest go running home to mommy and daddy.

Most of us over 50 have no idea what goes on today at tech startups or at the new types of work environments like those in Facebook and Google. Everyday there are new adventures, with new demands that are tremendously difficult to achieve. We liked knowing what was in-store for us in black-and-white. We didn’t like surprises. Tech workers today have to be ready to reinvent themselves over and over. Everyone has to think creativity all the time. No slackers allowed.

The acting in HBO’s Silicon Valley was way too dramatic and the script was juvenile. However, the series could still be a major success because it touched on points that the younger workforce can relate to. For example, a young inventor of “compression algorithms” has to choose between one company who wants to buy his technology outright for $4 million and another one who wants to give him $200,000 for a small percentage but will help him grow what he already started.

The entire scene was very real because it showed how people interact with each other today and the kind of fantasy work environments that are created to entice the younger generation to work around the clock.

I guess the point of this blog post is to make you aware that your children and grandchildren live in a work environment that none of us ever experienced or could tolerate. This is all they know, even though it is totally foreign to us.

No More Bath Towels

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Top photo by bodydryer1.com. Second photo by FreeNewFashionDesign.com

You heard it here first. It is very possible that a year from now you will not be using a towel to dry yourself off after a shower and/or bath. Instead, you will be stepping on a bathroom-type scale that will blow dry you like Marilyn Monroe experienced in her famous photo that will live on forever.

I can’t wait. Unlike my pals who live with their own personal washers and dryers, I only change my towels once-a-week when we do the laundry across the street. Apparently, the inventors of the “Body Dryer” were apartment dwellers too. We have all had too many damp towels. The inventors are also cognizant of bacteria growing on towels and what impact that could possibly on you after multiple uses.

The device will supposedly dry you off in 30 seconds or less using “ionized air” that you can switch from cold to hot. You get to control the temperature.

A fundraising effort to bring this product to market is currently underway on Indiegogo, a Crowdfunding platform. The Body Dryer will retail for $250. Contributors to the fund will be able to buy it for $150.

Cupcake ATM

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Photos by Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

I met some friends today for breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien on 64th Street and Lexington Avenue, NYC. After breakfast I decided to take a stroll down Lexington Avenue to Bloomingdale’s. By the time I got to 61st. and Lex, I saw a line of people across the street waiting to use a machine in a store-front window marked Cupcake ATM.

I thought the whole scene seemed a little unusual so I marched myself across Lex to take a closer look. My payoff was a big chuckle and the content for this blog post. The new Sprinkles Cupcakes added an automated feature that apparently was a crowd pleaser. The cupcake store now has a 24-hour digital dispensing machine inserted in a window that offers red velvet, peanut buttercup, lemon meringue. and Cuban coffee cupcakes at $4.25 each. Sprinkles Cupcakes is headquartered in Beverly Hills.

I found it amusing that a digital cupcake concept was such a big hit on the upper East Side of Manhattan where everyone is supposed to be so weight conscious. I asked a few local friends what they thought about this neighborhood addition.

Guess what? They were all customers. Apparently, eating a cupcake outside of a store window is just like picking food off of someone else’s plate. The calories don’t count.

When I got home today, I discovered that the Wall Street Journal did a video story on Cupcake ATM. Click here to start salivating.

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Bye Bye To A Famous Retailer

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Rachelle and Joe Friedman

I feel like I’m living in a state of disbelief. It is possible that a store that was once considered the most popular retailers in New York City because it sold the most exciting tech products available, is closing because no one wants to go to it anymore? I never thought the day would come that J&R Music World would be extinct.

Located on Park Row, across the street from City Hall, J&R was founded by Joe and Rachelle Friedman in 1971 after arriving here from Israel.

This was their American dream. The Friedman’s turned the location into a top tourist attraction, a place where hot recording artists released their albums and a destination for their music concerts in the park right across the street from them.

It’s hard to believe that people would prefer to shop online rather than to go to J&R to schmooze with other techies. I can’t get it in my head that J&R, as a bricks and mortar retailer, is no more. At least for now, their online and catalog sales will continue,

One Park Row lived on for 40-plus years. It was home to everyone in the business. Now it’s going to be yet another apartment building. Boohoo!