We Made It To Paris

This is our second trip to Paris this year. Both are quasi business related, but I have to admit we have plenty of time for both work and fun. I must say that Eliot and I feel totally comfortable here, like it’s our second home. Everyone is friendly and accommodating.

The whole shtick about the French refusing to speak English is not true anymore in Paris. The entire city is filled with people from all over the world, speaking hundreds of different languages. Most folks just want to get along and make a decent living.

We are also very lucky that we have friends who live here so we get to see what life in Paris is really like. They eat tons of bread, butter, and pastries, and still stay thin. Eliot and I had olive bread today with chunks of big olives inside, and it was divine.

Now, on to the great tech news. Many of the telephone carriers are now offering inexpensive international phone, text and data plans. For $10 a day, my iPhone works like I was home in the United States. I am in constant communications with my office, and I can work remotely from anywhere in the world. I never had access like this before.

Making a call right in the street without having to seek out a WiFi area is so liberating. Thank you Verizon. Other carriers have it too. Thank you Howard Stark for making me aware of this service.

Verizon has TravelPass. The minute I arrived in Paris, I received the welcome text below. It’s a whole new world.


Staying Old in a Young Business

Robin is far right.

My girl friend Robin Raskin wrote a brilliant piece for Huffington Post on what it’s like to be old in a young person’s business..I wanted you to read it because some of you are starting to take part-time jobs in environments that are mostly populated by people that are in their 20s, 30s and 40’s.

Life can be fun at your new job, but beware, office life is very different from the days when we were the stars. Here are a few tips that will keep you happy and satisfied. It works. Listen to Robin.

Robin Raskin

“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels. But old men (and women) are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I’ve thought about writing this piece for the last two decades which means I am not getting younger. But now that no amount of hair dye, gym time, or makeup does the trick, it’s time for me (and many of you) to fess up. For those of you who were pioneers in the world of technology, congratulations, you are now old people in a young person’s business. Can you survive in a world where a cloud is no longer a cumulus in the sky and an incubator isn’t just for chickens and babies?

Understanding age and ageism in a young person’s world is going to take some effort, some humility, and some crafty thinking. Here’s my to do list for growing old after forty years in the tech business.

1. Try new tech, even if you screw it up: When I began writing about tech, you could screw up in the comfort of your home; no one was the wiser. Today, social networking (a likely place to screw up) makes your errors totally transparent. Get over it. If you haven’t used Instagram or SnapChat, you need to try it. If you haven’t tried to navigate VR, you must. And you must summon the same child-like sense of wonder you did when you first typed Ctrl+Alt+Del.

My thirty-something kids call me out when I mix up my messaging systems, my photos show up upside down, or my voice to speech texts are laden with the word PERIOD spelled out. I accidentally stick lines of thumbs up emoji into every chat, and my touch typing is a lot faster than my texting. But I do it and am deprecating about my often very public screw ups.

2. Humor ‘em: They take life very seriously, as you did when you needed to prove yourself to the world. Remind them that to screw up is human (and probably machine-like, too).

3. Laugh about the culture divide: I love my young assistant to death, but when I give her a list of “to dos” and she tackles them in the order she sees fit, I’m apoplectic. “When I give you a to do list, it is not a pick list,” I tell her. We laugh and move on. We also have honest discourses about everything from corporate dress to politics. I love every minute of it.

4. Dole out a complement: Would it kill you to say something like “that’s such a novel idea” or “I love your thinking” to a twentysomething? At least complement them on their rapid fire texting or their ability to divvy a Venmo tab. You may be wiser, but chances are they’ve got more mobile dexterity.

5. Don’t bring up the good ole days more than once a week: Seriously, they weren’t so great (okay, the pay and benefits were better). But files got lost on hard disk drives, user interfaces were inscrutable. In contrast, new technology is more inclusive for many more people. If you survived the early days of technology, you’ve earned your badge to tell your story. Just not too often.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask: What is an ICO? Or what’s the difference between an incubator and an accelerator? I’m not familiar with that acronym. Asking questions is not a sign of idiocy; it’s a sign of interest. Asking for help is a skill that takes a while to develop in young employees, and you need a refresher course as you get older.

7. You are what you wear: I’m not saying you need to be a walking advertisement for the connected lifestyle, but you won’t be taken seriously if you don’t cart around the tools of your trade. Think of it like your business card, only more expensive. Super lightweight notebook, late model cell phone, appropriate looking laptop bag, etc. Start weaning yourself from quaint practices like paper business cards.

8. Collaborate: No one in the tech business toils in an ivory tower anymore. There are so many group project trackers, calendar add-ons, voting systems, video conference tools, shared documents and collaborative tools that you’ll probably want to enter a nunnery, but get proficient. Dropbox, GoogleDrive, Trello, MS One Drive, Zoom… just to name a few. If you’re going to do business in the tech world, you’re going to have to be fluent in collaborating with them on the platform of their choice.

9. Cultivate your persona: You have earned the right not to wear khakis and black t-shirts. You cultivated a look from a different era. To my older friends: Think Iris Apfel or Donna Karen —two icons who’ve kept their status in a young person’s industry. Guys, I’m afraid you’ll still be stuck with the khakis, but lose the suit (unless you’re Vint Cerf or Graydon Carter).

10. Add to your diversity checklist: The world has changed since I was the only woman in the tech room, and there’s room for lots more. Seek out diversity and you’ll expand the rather limiting world you knew in the early days of tech.

11. Never be complacent: Survivor badges are a reality show myth. You need to earn the respect of your industry every day. Riding on your laurels? It’s not part of the the new DNA.

Robin Raskin is founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations that intersect lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces conferences and expos at CES and throughout the year focusing on how technology enhances every aspect of our lives through the eyes of today’s digital consumer.

You can also click here to read Robin’s Huffington Post article.


Mother Tesla Doesn’t Take A Back Seat

I’m sorry I didn’t get this story for Mother’s Day. Maye Musk, mother of Elon, is quite a gal. At 70 years old, she is a high fashion, super model with a body that could easily compete with women half her age.

This is one unusual family. The video explains it all. They were poor, now they are rich. They were fat, now they are thin. They were married, now they are divorced. Obviously, the Musk’s have a DNA gene that makes them move forward no matter what.

Maye is certainly the matriarch of the family. She leads by example. It’s wonderful seeing a senior woman who isn’t afraid of exploring so many new opportunities. She reminds me of Tess Mc Gill in the 1988 movie, Working Girl. She has a head for business and a body for sin.

The Audiophiliac And The Self-Proclaimed Ageless Agent

Lois and Steve

I’m getting ready for my 52nd year attending CES. It takes place January 8 to 11, 2019 in Las Vegas. Steve Guttenberg, one of the most respected product reviewers and writers in the audio industry, always gets a chuckle that there truly is a person who has attended every CES. That’s me.

He has interviewed me several times on this subject. Now he has me sounding off on his popular YouTube channel. I am an uncanny cross between Joan Rivers and Joy Behar.

Maybe I will become a social media influencer for seniors who want to work for as long as they possibly can. This virtual business is awesome. I am the best case study for it. No one does it better. I have people who work for me all over the world.

We all work in our PJ’s around the clock and on weekends too. We bring the word “productivity” to a whole new level. Thank you to the awesome Steve Guttenberg for sharing his high profile YouTube platform with me.

Steve’s Audiophiliac Daily Show on YouTube is his latest endeavor, and he’s having so much fun. He does audio reviews ranging from affordable to insanely expensive gear, music reviews, interviews, show reports, and thought pieces. The videos are short, three to five minutes, so they’re easy to digest as they cover just one subject. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9wBmplRUhaCi-aNrkfgeTg

Steve has been writing the Audiophiliac blog and reviews for CNET.com for over 10 years. Before that he freelanced for The Absolute Sound, Audio, Listener, and Home Theater magazines. He currently writes for Sound & Vision and Stereophile magazines. He also worked as a high-end audio salesman in NYC from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s.

Steve is the royal voice of the music industry.

Robert Downey Jr. Explains Artificial Intelligence

If you want to be regarded as a oldie but goodie tech expert, be sure to watch Robert Downey Jr. next year as he hosts a new YouTube series about artificial intelligence.

Downey and his wife Susan, are executive producers. They own a production company called Team Downey. They describe the show as “a fascinating journey as we explore the exciting developments in the world of A.I. and glimpse into the future.”

No More Flat Tires


Big Rep, a Berlin 3D printer manufacturer, is debuting a whole new type of bicycle tire. It’s the world’s first 3D printed airless bicycle tire. Unfortunately, the cyclists who want to try it will have to print it. The prototype is just a concept design.

What A Press Conference Looks Like These Days

Let’s take a peek at the Waterpik Sonic Fusion Press Conference

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum,


May 15, 2018

The press agreed pairing the new Waterpik Water Flosser with the Intrepid was very clever because they are both known for water, technology and power.

The 70-plus members of the media, who showed up for the introduction of Sonic Fusion, will remember this press conference forever. It was in a creative location, the presentation was informative and entertaining, the product was extremely innovative, and the Waterpik team mixed well with the audience.

It’s rare for the media to applaud a presentation. Waterpik got a big roar. They were engaged in the discussion, asked questions, and gave the Sonic Fusion an initial thumbs up.

The work has just begun. We need to get superior editorial coverage, keep the press interested and create many new programs to prove Waterpik is a major marketing and sales force.

Suzanne Carranza of Waterpik

Bart Prins of Waterpik

Brian Woodard of Waterpik

Jay McCulloch of Waterpik


Do You Hear “Yanny” or “Laurel?”

If you haven’t heard about the debate going on over the Internet, then you really have been preoccupied. Every type of media has been covering the “Yanny” vs “Laurel” story.

It all started a few days ago with a gal named Katie Hetzel, a freshman at a high school in Georgia. She was studying for her world literature class where “Laurel” was one of her vocabulary words. When she looked up the word “Laurel” on vocabulary.com and played the audio, she heard the word “Yanny.” Hetzel was mystified.

She then asked her friends what they thought. She posted it on Instagram and the story went viral. If you Google “Yanny,” you will see the hundreds of media outlets who have covered this story.

If you want to hear for yourself, click the New York Times story below.


Let us know what you think.

Waterpik’s Electric Toothbrush Lets You Floss And Brush At Exactly The Same Time

Major Breakthrough in Oral Care.

First ever flossing toothbrush from Waterpik®


After months of planning to introduce Waterpik’s Sonic-Fusion toothbrush, we finally had the press conference today on the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. It was picture perfect. The water, the power and the technology of the Intrepid and the Waterpik unit was a perfect match. The torrential rain hitting the huge windows in the Great Hall today was the perfect sound effect to remind everyone the power of water.

Here is the press release.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. ‒ Waterpik®, creator of the original Water Flosser, introduces Waterpik® Sonic-Fusion®, the world’s first and only flossing toothbrush. Designed for self-professed “flossing failures” who value gum health but can’t commit to the extra step, Sonic-Fusion® offers an effective, one-step oral care regimen for a complete clean.

By merging the latest Waterpik® Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush technologies, Sonic-Fusion® enables brushing and flossing at the same time. As the sonic toothbrush head cleans tooth surfaces, the Water Flosser jet inside the brush head targets plaque and debris between teeth and below the gumline where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This flexible device also allows for brushing and flossing separately, with the touch of a button.

Waterpik® Sonic-Fusion® delivers all the clinically-proven benefits of the Waterpik® Water Flosser[1] and is significantly more effective for removing plaque vs. other sonic toothbrushes.

• Up to 2X as effective as regular brushing and flossing

• Removes up to 99.9% of plaque from treated areas

Dr. Chris Salierno, DDS, tested Sonic-Fusion® with his patients who struggled with home care. “I had the opportunity to test Sonic-Fusion with my patients and I was truly amazed by the results that I saw.  My patients had significantly less plaque build-up, less bleeding and less inflammation of the gums.  It appears to me that Sonic-Fusion is not only a more effective way to brush and floss, but it’s also easier, so I found that my patients were actually flossing more often than they normally would.”

The new Sonic-Fusion® features specially engineered Waterpik® Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush technologies, as well as:

• Compact, all-in-one design that requires less counter space

• One-handed mode control for simplified use

• Three modes (brush, floss, brush + floss) for flexibility

• Advanced water pressure control and 10 settings for custom comfort

• 2-minute brushing timer with 30-second pacer

• Reservoir capacity of 60+ seconds

• Premium LED recharge indicator

• 2 patented Water Flossing brush heads included

• Deluxe toothbrush case included

• 3-year limited warranty

Waterpik® Sonic-Fusion® has earned the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. The extensive review of the clinical research by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs confirmed that it helps remove plaque along the gumline and between teeth and prevents and reduces gingivitis.

The new Waterpik® Sonic-Fusion® will be available online May 15th for $199.99.   For more information, visit waterpik.com/sonic-fusion

About Waterpik®

Waterpik® is the #1 brand of Water Flossers and Replaceable Shower Heads. Headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado, the company has a rich history of innovation and design, engineering their products to deliver the wellness benefits of water in multiple new-to-the world products – including the iconic Water Flosser and Original Shower Massage®.  The Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Church & Dwight.

For more information, visit waterpik.com. Waterpik® can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.