Apple AirPods Can Help You Eavesdrop

I know that most DigiDame readers are upstanding citizens, but for those of you who love to learn new tricks, be sure to read on.

A guy with the handle @arnoldcrndo, got retweeted 50,000 times recently, because he revealed how to use Apple’s AirPods as an eavesdropping device. Twitter went wild when users learned that all they had to do was: 1-activate the Live Listen feature on their iPhone and 2-place the iPhone near the people they want to spy on. They could then listen to conversations through their AirPods.

The Live Listen allows the iPhone to be used as a directional microphone and the AirPods as hearing aids.

Digital Trends explains, “To activate the feature, users will need to go to the Control Center menu under Settings, tap Customize Controls, and then tap the plus sign next to the Hearing icon to add it to the Control Center.”

Apple added Live Listen to the AirPods to help users with minor hearing issues. However, a growing number are using the feature to bug others.

That’s the world of technology.

Click here to read Digital Trends.

Who’s Kidding Whom?

There’s an interactive pillow, called Qoobo, that’s becoming increasingly popular and I think the world has gone mad. After hearing about it for months, I finally saw it at CES.

I just can’t understand why anyone would spend $149.00 for a pillow with a tail that makes lifelike movements when you stroke, or rub it.

Executives at the company said Qoobo is designed for people who cannot own pets, especially those who have allergies or live in apartments.

Qoobo became one of the most talked about gadgets a recent trade show in Japan. Sales soared. I just don’t get its appeal.

What do you think of it?

It Feels Like A BP Cuff

One of the main reasons why I love going to CES in Las Vegas every year is to meet innovators like Heshika Deegahawathura, chief of recovery, of Spryng, a Sri Lanka company. They specialize in compression wear that helps speed up the recovery time from muscle soreness.

The Yale graduate was so much fun to talk to. He was so energized talking about how these new shinguards expand and contract around your calves. There are three different intensity modes, perfect for dancers, runners, hikers, and those with medical issues.

Deegahawathura explains the entire concept in the above video. A pair of shinguards are $129.

Blood Pressure Smart Watch

I saw so many nifty products at CES that I was completely overwhelmed by how many individuals and companies are still innovating all kinds of new solutions to many old challenges.

A case in point is the first wearable blood pressure monitor from Omron. It’s difficult to believe that you can now wear a smartwatch that will take your blood pressure at a moments notice. If you are one of those folks who are constantly worried about your BP reading, this device is for you.

You don’t have to fret anymore. You will learn to relax once you get readings on a 24 hour basis. You start to understand how your BP’s changes during the course of a day and what you can do to keep it normal.

In addition to blood pressure and pulse, the Omron smartwatch also tracks footsteps taken, sleep patterns, calories burned, emails, and text messages.

Watch the video to hear more. The smartwatch is a little pricey but so what? We all would pay this price if we felt we would be adding years on our lives.

Jamie Foxx Hosted HANDL Party

If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it. Actor Jamie Foxx promised my client HANDL phone cases, that he would show up at their CES relaunch party. He is a good friend of one of the HANDL owners.

Not only did Jamie show up, but he sang and danced till the wee hours of the morning. He made up lyrics about the virtues of the HANDL cases and carefully demonstrated how he loves to hold them.

Major bonus, Mark Cuban, Raymond John and Wesley Snipes showed up too. Celebrities always visit celebrities when they come to town.

HWH PR brought out the camera crews to interview Jamie. Extra TV, CBS Interactive and CNET, scored major chats. Needless to say, I was so happy everything worked out.

The event took place at the very exclusive “Mansion” at the MGM Grand. Very few people have been inside this swanky club. This is Lady Gaga’s home in Vegas. The place looks like a Castle in the desert.

I don’t know how many more parties I want to host like this because it was like putting together seven weddings. Now that it’s all over, I’m glad I did it. While we were planning it, I freaked. Dealing with the press and celebrities, is not an easy task. Someone has to do it. It’s me.

Extra TV producer, Sharon Levin and I, have been working together for years. This is the first time we met. That was an extra treat for me.

Still Working In The Motion Picture Home

The Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, CA, figured out a way to keep its residents vibrant and productive. It’s a simple concept that should be used by every independent living, assisted living and nursing home in America.

Keep the clients working at whatever profession they like best. In the case of The Motion Picture Home, residents have their own TV channel where they produce original content.

Watch the video to hear what residents say about their ability to continue to be creative in a safe environment. It would be wonderful for senior, seniors to be able to use their brains for activities that make them want to get up every day and be a part of society.

I’m not saying this is for everyone, but those who want to participate should be able to have a quasi work hobby that interests them. I’m sure there is some creative start-up team that can develop a program that will organize special projects for 80 to 100-plus year olds.

I can see the headline now, “95 Year Old Great Grandmother Designs Inaugural Gown For The New First Lady.” What a hoot that would be. Keeping seniors relevant could even help fight off certain ailments that no one wants to focus on. It’s certainly worth a try.

Who Are We Anyway?

I’m not sure if someone was trying to tell me something as I enter my 52nd year at CES. I happened to watch an episode of the Twilight Zone the other night about an aging, former movie star who lives and dreams in the past, constantly watching her old movies alone in her room. Barbara Jean Trenton refuses to move on with her life, even though her associates try to lure her out of her self-imposed isolation.

The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine” aired on October 23, 1959 on CBS. The title is a reference to 16 mm film. It was written by Rod Serling and starred Ida Lupino, Martin Balsam, Jerome Cowan, and Ted de Corsia

Even though I wouldn’t exactly say I live in the past, I do get very nostalgic about the several hundred people who I knew so well, but no longer attend CES. Either they died, retired, or lost their jobs. It doesn’t matter why they are not at the convention, I just long for the days when I would see all of the people I spent decades with in this industry. There was a time that I couldn’t walk down the aisles at CES without getting stopped a dozen times by people who I knew, and just wanted to say hello.

Now out of 170,000 people who attend the show, I may know 400. I met most of them in recent years. I really shouldn’t complain because I am still very active with all kinds of new assignments. However, just like Barbara Jean Trenton, I want to be one of the most popular in the room.

Thank goodness for Nancy Pelosi. At 78, she has managed to make herself a major force once again. While many of my friends wanted her to give up her position so the Democrats could secure a younger and a fresher image, Pelosi is now the one we are counting on to make the United States sane again. If she manages to pull it off, I feel everyone will have a renewed interest in seniors. We still have a lot to offer the world. I just don’t want to rust.

Never Thought The Weather Channel Would Be So Shady

Everyone who owns a smartphone probably has the Weather Channel app installed on the first few pages of their screen. I personally refer to it several times a day because I’m always interested in the weather in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London. I have family and friends in those locations, so I’m curious if they are experiencing hot or cold weather.

The weather is so unpredictable. Guess what? So is the weather channel app. We just found out that the app, owned by IBM, has been secretly tracking our every step and then selling the information to third party sources for profit.

The app has been downloaded 100 million times. That means others now have information on all of us that we don’t necessarily want anyone to know about.

Most of us have been tricked into turning on the locator option that tracks our every move. People who you never met know how many times you have gone to the hair salon, bank, psychiatrist, gym and other places you wanted to keep confidential.

Find out what some users are doing to combat this. Look at the video.You may want to join forces with them.

Fun Facts

Thank you Jon Erlichman, anchor of BNN Bloomberg’s morning program, The Open, for these interesting facts.

1-Here’s how old these companies will be in 2019:

Snapchat: 8 years

Uber: 10 years

Twitter: 13 years

Facebook: 15 years

Tesla: 16 years

Google: 21 years

Netflix: 22 years

Amazon: 25 years

Apple: 43 years

Intel: 51 years

HP: 80 years

Disney: 96 years

IBM: 108 years


2-Microsoft starts this year as most valuable tech company for 1st time since 2010:

Microsoft: $785 billion

Apple: $748 billion

Amazon: $734 billion

Google: $723 billion

Facebook: $377 billion

Alibaba: $355 billion


3-Netflix subscribers on New Year’s Eve:

2018: 146.5 million

2017: 117.6 million

2016: 93.8 million

2015: 74.8 million

2014: 57.4 million

2013: 44.4 million

2012: 33.3 million

2011: 23.5 million

2010: 20.0 million

2009: 12.3 million

2008: 9.4 million


4-Apple’s first quarter revenue:

Q1 2019: $84 billion*

Q1 2018: $88.3 billion

Q1 2017: $78.4 billion

Q1 2016: $75.6 billion

Q1 2015: $74.6 billion

Q1 2014: $57.6 billion

Q1 2013: $54.5 billion

Q1 2012: $46.3 billion

Q1 2011: $26.7 billion

(*Apple’s new guidance for Q1)

Never Stop Learning

I’m going to have a busy 2019. Between listening to all of the books I want to on my Audible list, I’m adding Master Class to my daily routines. There are just so many areas of interest I want to know more about: book writing, chess, film directing, fashion, and comedy.

MasterClass, an app on your smartphone, offers online education. You can access tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by very well known experts in various fields. Some of the biggest names in the business are teachers.

Years ago these notables never would have considered teaching courses like this, but then it became totally acceptable. You really should take advantage of this opportunity. The best thing about these courses is that they give you insight into the area you are most interested in. Then you can decide if you want to delve further with other online courses, or adult education classes.

The idea is too keep your mind active.

We are living in a time when these opportunities are available to us. Let’s not take them for granted.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!