This Is Dr. X, You’re Having An Emergency

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There will be a day in the not-too-distant future that your doctor will call you to let you know that you are not feeling well. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, mentioned this possibility last week at the 92nd Street Y, when he was telling the audience all of the things Google was working on.

He didn’t say this was going to be a Google-only project, but he did indicate that his company was researching the sensor part of it. Schmidt said that we will all be taking digital pills with indicators and markers. The pill sensors will be monitored by your doctor on an automated alarm system.

If your blood pressure goes up, one beep. If your sugar levels are rising, two beeps. If you’re having a heart attack, three beeps. If your private parts are not working, the doctor sends life support.

All kidding aside, Schmidt said the medical industry is aware of this progress and is anxious for it to happen. “They want more control over their patients. Millions of lives will be saved because early warning signs will help them make better judgement calls. They can act faster and more timely.”

While a lot of what Schmidt had to say seemed like science fiction, I believed every word if it. Just when I thought I’ve heard it all, he told us other mind-blowing stuff that was also reported in the NY Times.

Click here to read it.

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An Update On Self-Driving Cars

The other night when he appeared on stage at the 92nd St.Y, along with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsDigital, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, hinted that his company’s self-driving cars will be on the road earlier than originally thought. It appears that a number of government officials in California, Nevada, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia, all want to lead the way to make these cars legal. Some states already have legal rights to test them. Schmidt said Google “is very interested in leading the way most people will get around.”

This is a real mindblower.

Google began testing the self-driving cars in 2009 along side engineer Sebastian Thrun, who had previously worked on the technology with the Stanford University faculty. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are cheerleading Thrun to perfect the technology. Yes, the cars drive themselves with the aid of lasers, cameras, and other gear. Schmidt revealed that Google’s autonomous cars have already racked up more than 100,000 miles on the road.

It is very possible that five years from now, when many of us will need them most, we will be able to take advantage of this wondrous invention. Just imagine the implications. We will be more independent than ever before, going where we want to go, when we want to go there. Schmidt said that autonomous vehicles are safer than human drivers. “This technology could prevent accidents, help disabled people get around, and reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption.”

General Motors and Toyota are working closely with Google to hasten the development of the technology.

Swisher added that she took a test run and it was a totally weird sensation. “I found myself breaking to stop and wanting to put my hands on the steering wheel. It is going to take some to get used to this.” Schmidt summed up this advancement in technology saying that “humans driving cars was a big mistake. This is the way it was meant to be.”

Swisher must feel Google is getting closer to introducing the self-driving cars to the marketplace because soon after the 92nd St.Y discussion, the Wall Street Journal released an update on it. My comment is, “This may be a good time to get older.”

Eric Schmidt Of Google Meets Kara Swisher & Walt Mossberg of WSJ (AllThingsD) At 92nd St Y

Walt Mossberg, Kara Swisher and Eric Schmidt.

I was waiting for this night for a long time. Three of the most famous names in the digital world were on stage at the 92nd St Y in NYC, one of the most respected institutions for lectures, talks, and entertainment in the United States.

Eric Schmidt is Executive Chairman of Google.
Walt Mossberg is the author and creator of the weekly Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal.
Kara Swisher started covering digital issues for The Wall Street Journal’s San Francisco bureau in 1997.

Most of the presentation focused on what Schmidt calls “The Gang Of Four,” Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. He said the future really will be about what Facebook does the best, gather personal information from users and their contacts. This will be a valuable growth area and each company will integrate this into their own formats.

Schmidt also pointed out that big name, national newspapers will survive but local ones will not. As strange as this sounds he predicts that celebrities Iike Jay-Z will be the big brands in publishing. “It is very obvious that Americans are celebrity crazed and follow their every word. A newspaper named after a major star will draw more attention than what local newspapers call themselves today.”

Another Schmidt prediction is that mobility will be the most important factor in technology growth. “Software will be designed for mobile devices and then for the web. Today it is the other way around. We have discovered that most users can get along with just using their smartphones. They don’t need anything else.”

Schmidt said six billion people use a phone. One billion use a smartphone. He wants Google to always be the “Center Of Information.”

Life Is Not Fair

From the NY Times–Carter starts his work day with yogurt, fruit and cereal.

All men are not created equal when it comes to getting a story in the New York Times. A perfect example is the Internet story that appeared in the Monday, October 8th, edition about Art.sy, an online start up that just went live this week. Art.sy is a free repository of fine art images and an art appreciation guide. The reason why this company was profiled, is because of its pedigree. The investors read like a Who’s Who in the world of art, Internet, and finance.

The father of the 25-year old founder, Carter Cleveland, is an art writer and his mother is a financier. Both were cleverly not identified. Investors are gallerist Larry Gagosian, art-world figure Dasha Zhukova, Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi, Eric Schmidt of Google, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter. John Elderfield, the former chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, is an adviser.

Now you can accuse me of being cynical and jealous, but I’ve been around long enough to know that a three-day old company does not get profiled in the NY Times, much less a sizeable story. This was a clear case of connections, connections, connections. I have been repeatedly told by the Times that they only write about tech companies that attract record breaking crowds or have proven to be financially successful.

Which category does this fit into?

What is so glaring is the caption below Carter Cleveland’s picture. “Carter starts his work day with yogurt, fruit and cereal.” Who wrote this story, his fairy godmother? In all honesty, I love art and I think a company like this is something I would frequent. However, I must say there have been other companies like it and similar ones still exist. Anyone who has been in the business as long as I have knows that the chances for a company like Art.sy to make it, is going to take a lot of money, more than any of these deep pockets will be willing to part with.

The worse thing that mom and dad could have done for little Carter was helping him get this story planted. He is now going to believe his own PR and will not be able to tough it out against the street kids of the Internet who are prepared to sweat.

Still, I wish Art.sy the best of luck. I truly do.

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