Meet A Famous Tech Product Reviewer 

Lance, his wife Selma, and me, at the CTA Hall of Fame, last week in the Rainbow Room.

I’m not sure the first time I met Lance  Braithwaite, but it had to be over 40 years ago. Most people in the consumer electronics industry hung around Lance because he was extremely knowledgeable about video technology. I always wanted to talk to Lance because he came from Trinidad. 

I never met anyone from Trinidad, but I felt it was some exotic, far away place. I wanted to know more about the island. Lance probably doesn’t remember me questioning him all the time, but I did. He was always patient and forthcoming. 

It was those traits that made Lance one of the most adored experts and technical reviewers in the video business. He was willing to share his knowledge with anyone who asked, and never displayed an elitist attitude.  Lance worked for Video Magazine, Sound & Vision, plus so many others.

The reason I am writing about Lance today is because Wired Magazine just did a profile about his brilliant career. It was written by another industry great guy, Michael Antonoff, a prize-winning freelance technology journalist. 

Being portrayed in Wired Magazine is very prestigious and I am thrilled that I can document it here. Read all about Lance here.  

I have had the pleasure of seeing Lance at several industry functions recently. The last time was a week ago in NYC at the CTA Hall of Fame in the Rainbow Room. Lance was there with his wife Selma, also a writer. The three of us chatted for a while and promised to have dinner the next time Eliot and I were in New York. Eliot took a picture of the three of us. I’m so proud to have it. 






If You Don’t Like Noise, These Bose “Sleepbuds” Are For You   

I love introducing you to new and innovative products. Here is one that is a great solution to those of you who are very sensitive to noise when you sleep. 

The new Bose “Sleepbuds” promise to block out noise like snoring and traffic outside your window. They feature isolating eartips and soft sounds that mask out the noise. The “Sleepbuds” are available with a case that’s good for one full recharge and additional tips for different sizes ears.  

The price is $185.00. 

For those of you who need an alarm to wake you up, don’t be concerned. The companion app knows the right sound level for rise and shine.


A Digital Pill Tells Drs and Family If You Took Your Medication

Courtesy of The New York Times

The day I have been predicting for years has finally arrived. It’s 11:00pm on Monday night and I just received an alert that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a digital pill that will tell doctors and loved ones if you took your medication.

OMG, I can hear a few of your groans already. You don’t want Big Brother to watch over you. I agree, but for many people who forget to take their medication, this may be a godsend

Those who agree to take the digital medication, will have to sign consent forms that give permission to a doctor and four others to see when pills get ingested.

Of course, an app is required.  I like the fact that the pill taker can block recipients at a moment’s notice. All they have to do is turn off their notification. When you think about it, the whole purpose could be null and void if someone cuts you off.

I know a number of people who would benefit from someone monitoring their medication intake. I’m not sure they would ever agree to be watched. They are stubborn and proud. They want to preserve their independence. 

I do feel that the digital pill will be commonplace a few years from now. People will just have to get used to it. 

There is so much more to the announcement. 

Click here to read the story in The New York Times.


A Review of the Apple iPhone X

Image: Courtesy Of Dealerscope

So many friends and family have asked me if I was getting the iPhone X. I never even thought about it until I read a review by Rob Stott, an editor at Dealerscope magazine. Rob is a thorough reviewer who will give you the best explanation of the most talked about smartphone in a long time. 

Since I don’t have an iPhone X, and don’t plan to get one until next year, let’s see what Rob has to say.

The Breakdown

The Good: FaceID technology impresses; screen is gorgeous; all-around incredible phone

The Bad: Price; the early learning curve adjusting to new gestures; breakability and cost to fix.

The Rating: 5 out of 5

Click here for more.


A Pain In The Neck   

I used to suffer from terrible neck aches. All of my so-called stress would gather in the base of the right side of my neck. It felt tight and stiff. It used to drive me crazy. This went on for years.

The only way I could get rid of the tightness was to sleep it off.  I even resorted to a muscle relaxer on occasion. I still sleep with a neck pillow on top of my two regular ones. 

My uncle Ruby gave me his traction equipment to help me stretch my neck. It looked so barbaric. I would hang this heavy metal contraption on the door of my bedroom and put a collar around my neck. Then I would adjust the straps so my neck would be stretched. It felt great and I would love to crack my neck after.

Today, folks who have problems with their neck have a new, modern alternative. It’s called the Neck Hammock. It’s target audience are those with bad posture, headaches, trouble sleeping, and stiff necks.

The Neck Hammock is currently on the  crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.  The copy on the Kickstarter site says, “Neck pain is commonly treated through mechanical cervical traction, a treatment that can be achieved at a physical therapist’s office.  

“Unfortunately, regular physical therapy is not an option for most people – it’s either too expensive or too time consuming. 
“The Neck Hammock was created by a Licensed Physical Therapist who wanted to give people an alternative solution that was: affordable, convenient, and Highly Effective!”

The retail price is $79.00. Read about it on Kickstarter. I hope the results are good for you. 

Electronic Calendar Vs. Paper

It took me a long time to give up recording everything on paper, but I finally did it three years ago. I enjoy carrying the details of my life and business on my smartphone. No more heavy stacks of paper in my handbag. 

Then I saw my daughter Whitney using a small pocket-size paper calendar. You can’t get anyone more digitally-oriented than Whitney, so I asked her why she was using paper. She said she likes looking at her appointments, a month at a time. Paper calendars allow you to do that.

I immediately started using a paper calendar again. If Whitney is using a paper calendar, so can I.  I must admit that I loved marking everything down in pen and then using color pencils to circle the events. It’s very therapeutic.

Much to my surprise, I saw Whitney using an electronic calendar on her smartphone at dinner the other night. I said, “What’s up with that?” She admitted that she went back to an electronic calendar for security reasons.  A paper calendar can get easily lost, or end up in the wrong hands. Electronic calendars are password protected.

You guessed it. I’m going back to my calendar on my iPhone because of the security reasons Whitney mentioned. I misplaced my paper calendar a few times this past week. I can’t afford to lose my notes. Once you post something on your electronic calendar, it automatically appears in the calendar sections of your laptop and iPad,

I just have to spend a little more time learning the nuances of a digital calendar so I can truly appreciate all that it has to offer. I can’t keep switching back and forth. 

Andrea Peyser Found 

I must have Googled the name “Andrea Peyser” at least 50 times over the last three months. The New York Post writer has been missing from the pages of this tabloid for quite a while.

Photo of Andrea Peyser courtesy, of New York Post.

I didn’t think she was fired because she was loved by so many readers.  I felt if she quit, she would have written a farewell note. There was nothing published about Andrea. Believe me, I looked.

Then out of nowhere, Andrea surfaces. I immediately thought I was going to read about her taking a sabbatical to write a book, or she just needed a break. Instead, I got a shock. Andrea has multiple sclerosis.

She admitted that she was diagnosed with MS in 2008, but decided to keep it quiet until now. It was becoming too obvious to deny. Andrea is just not that mobile anymore. She needs the aid of a walker and wheelchair.

It’s difficult to imagine that the woman, who has such a wicked and twisted way of writing, is being held back. She is the one who attacked. Nothing attacked her. Her talent for going for the jugular, kept millions of readers devoted fans.

I got to work with Andrea during my Samsung days. The stunts that we pulled off were definitely one of the highlights of my career.  I just loved watching her take a story and then reshaping it into a profound, yet dramatic piece. 

I sometimes cringed when I read her copy.  I was scared who she was going to offend. Very few people have the command of the English language like Andrea did. I wish her well.  I truly miss her.

To read her piece in the NY Post, click here.

Photo Stories 

Look what Eliot came across yesterday while walking the streets of Manhattan.

Roy Rogers visited my girl friend Marilyn’s house in Maryland for the afternoon after doing a business venture with her father’s shirt company. That is Marilyn to the left in 1957.

That’s actor Larry David in the middle with the glasses. He was a school pal of my friend Marilyn’s brother, far left. Larry was a cab driver in NYC after graduating the University of Maryland. Everyone wondered when Larry was going to get a real job.

Legendary PR guru Bob Zarem, creator of the “I Love New York” campaign, is the one in the center. My friends Rich and Jan live in the same Savannah community with him. They just had dinner with Bobby and sent this photo to make me jealous. I am.

This is my best friend Bonnie since the second grade. 4 times in the last 10 years someone asked us if she was my daughter. You couldn’t give Bonnie a better present than hearing that she looks so much younger than me.

We had dinner with our former neighbor Josh Rubinger tonight. We watched him record everything he ate for the day. The app he uses let’s him know how much weight he is going to lose and when.

The first Anthropologie store in Paris. I love this chain.

Artist Allen Hirsch created this piece of art from his collection of books.

I only have eyes for you.

Life Is Very Good 

“Life is very good and more optimistic than ever.”  Those are the words of an American author, computer scientist, inventor and futurist. 

Ray Kurzweil spoke at the CTA Hall of Fame dinner last night where he told us that consumer technology is the most advanced technology in the world, far more advanced than the military.  His book, “The Singularity Is Near” was a New York Times bestseller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.

Gary Shapiro, CEO of CTA, said “The Singularity Is Near,” is one of the most intelligent books ever written. Kurzweil is also involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. 

He has written books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. 

Wikipedia said that, “Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements, and gives public talks to share his optimistic outlook on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.” 

I recorded his 11 minute speech last night because it was a fascinating take on the world around us. The video is inferior because of where I was sitting, but the sound is great.

Be ready to be wowed. 

Please check out Kurzweil’s bio on Wikipedia. You will think it’s the work of 10 men. Click here

Marcia Grand Is Being Honored 

Eliot and I are in NYC because our good friend, Marcia Grand, is being inducted into the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame, November 7th, at the Rainbow Room. She was VP/Publisher of TWICE magazine, a leading trade publication, for decades.

Many distinguished members of the industry will attend the event to honor Marcia because she was so dedicated, passionate, and super successful as a newspaper publisher. She was a very serious worker and thoroughly enjoyed her career. I can’t think of many people, like Marcia, who were so satisfied and proud of their work. 

Eliot and I truly admired her career. However, none of that can compare to her love and devotion to her husband Richie, daughter Alison, granddaughter Sage, and son-in-law Gavin. She is also very close to her sister and brother. Marcia is not shy about telling you how grateful she is for having them all in her life, and never misses a chance to outwardly express her love to each and everyone of them. 

I would say Marcia is one lucky lady, but that wouldn’t be quite accurate. Marcia made her luck. She took nothing for granted and worked very hard for everything she has today, I think that’s why so many folks are turning out to honor her. Here is a chance to rejoice and smell the sweet scent of success. 

Steve Smith, a dear associate of Marcia, published a story about her the other day.