The Next Step After A Coloring Book

I found the Smart Sketcher at CE Week, a tech trade show, at the Javits Center yesterday.

I always wanted to draw, but I was never trained properly. The Smart Sketcher will teach me how to draw line-by-line, so I can see how a composition gets put together.

The Smart Sketcher was really developed for children. I’m not going to let that stop me. I’m going to buy one for $60. All I have to do is insert a SD card, featuring 50 different activities, and I start sketching.

The part that I really love is that you can a take a photo of a person and then sketch him or her.You can also take a photo of flowers, cars, or anything at all. After you finish sketching, you can fill in the color.

I can’t wait to start.

Mommy, Look At Me, No Common Sense

Elon Musk ponders Tesla’s Future

A few years ago, one of my Silicon Valley clients told me a story about his son, who at the time, was working for Tesla. He said Tesla had one of the worst working conditions in tech because everyone was nasty, testy, back stabbing and paranoid. I didn’t pay much attention to what was being said because I thought the son was just making excuses for not succeeding on the job.

Turn the clock forward a few years and we are reading about a Tesla disgruntled employee who reportedly sabotaged the company a few days ago. CEO Elon Musk sent an email to employees Sunday night saying that someone had broken into the company computer system and this could interrupt the production of the new Tesla Model 3 electric car.

You can read more about the Tesla mystery story here. I just wanted to add my two cents about the drama that takes place in some of the most successful tech companies. In the infamous words of Joan Rivers, “Grow Up!”

I often wonder how some of the most successful tech companies ever got to where they are today with the nonsense that takes place everyday. If someone isn’t stealing company secrets, then someone else making sexually harassing remarks, or stealing large sums of money out of petty cash.

I hear horror stories several times a week about how some of these tech geniuses behave in public. It’s like they have zero social skills. I deal with a lot of young people who made it big fast. I think they need to have their mommies with them all the time to tell them right from wrong. Why would anyone want to hurt Elon Musk? Maybe it has something to do with all the people he has been firing lately just to turn a profit.

There has to be a better way.

Do Video Games Encourage Violence?

Image: PSU.EDU

I am curious about your reaction to a video game that almost made it to the marketplace. It’s called “Active Shooter,” and the player is either a SWAT officer, or a gunman terrorizing civilians and police.

I just don’t understand how any company could manufacture such a product, or how any sane person could buy such a game. I don’t know how some folks can’t see a connection between video games that explain how murders take place, and real acts of violence.

I am mystified. I get into heated debates with others about anything to do with guns. I get furious when someone says “Guns don’t kill, people do.”

I wonder why any parent, or grandparent, would allow guns to be in the vicinity of any child. I also don’t know why any adult would take a chance on the fact that some crazy accident couldn’t possibly take place. Why put a child in that position?

Watch this news clip about the video game that goes against everything I believe in.

You can also read a Washington Post story on this subject. Click here.

Elon Musk Claims A.I. Is The Biggest Threat Against Civilization

If you read the New York Times yesterday, you probably saw the story where Elon Musk warned Facebook researchers about artificial intelligence. He claims A.I. is far more dangerous than nukes. Musk is the CEO and Founder of Space X and Tesla.

Musk expressed his feelings at a dinner party Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, hosted at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. Musk said. “If we create machines that are smarter than humans, they could turn against us. The tech industry should consider the unintended consequences of what we are creating before we unleash it on the world.”

You can read the NY Times article here.

I asked several friends, in the tech and science fields, to give their reaction to what Musk said.

Dr. Steve Mandy, Miami Beach, FL.

Did you ever see the 60’s SciFi movie Forbidden Planet? It tells the whole story.”

Gary Arlen, President, Arlen Communications, Bethesda, MD, research/analysis and consulting firm.

Nearly 30 years ago, I attended a seminar at Harvard where some participants described separate Pentagon-funded programs to develop robots, artificial intelligence and other features that would be the building blocks for synthetic soldiers.  I’ve thought of this often during the current debate about the value of AI.  One of the flaws back then was that such replicants (as in BLADE RUNNER) would lack human emotion and understanding/caring, which may have been good in a heartless war-fighter.

“So now as a society, we’re confronting that same issue which goes beyond “superintelligence” as discussed in the Times article. Yes, AI robots (as “personified,” pun intended) in movies, could be dangerous.  But there are more sinister ways that A.I. affects our lives in non-hominoid ways, for example: personal monitoring as described in my recent article about China’s AI juggernaut, such as privacy invasion.  http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20180506/index.php#/20.

“Since AI is truly a global science/technology/moral issue, there are worldwide implications.  But as seen at the Zuckerberg/Senate hearings, these decisions are ‘way above the capabilities of policy-makers.  I expect that AI developments will take shape and become part of our way of living, starting with industrial uses.   And the arguments will continue, possibly until a superintelligent, sentinent ‘being’ can dominate a flesh-and-blood opponent.  I’m not putting a clock on that one.”

Rob Reis, President, Higher Ground, Palo Alto, CA.

“When the hacking of our supposedly-secure credit card databases and the dying from supposedly-safe autonomous cars becomes a thing-of-the-past, only then is our software industry ready to take on super-intelligence.”

Dick Krain, Retired Senior Executive, Grey Advertising, NYC.

“If a self-driving car approaches an intersection and wants to make a right turn and there is a car coming from the left, it must decide if the other car’s speed will permit it to turn, if the car will slow down or stop to permit it to turn, if the car will speed up and beat it to the turn or if it should just stop and wait for the other car to pass.

“Now, if the other car is also self-driving, you could build in some form of communications device to take over and coordinate the two machines. But, what if the other car is driven by a human? What happens then? Will the self-driving car be able to correctly forecast what the human driver will do? Will the human driver be able to determine that the car waiting to make the turn is a self-driving car? A bad decision can lead to injury or death to the self-driving car’s passenger or the human driver in the other car.

“As more and more self-driving cars replace human driven cars, will essentially the self-driving cars take over the responsibility of driving? Will traffic rules have to change? What about pedestrians? How do they decide if it is safe to cross the street? If they are hit by a self-driven car, who is at fault? Add bicycles and skate boards into the equation and you see the clear dangers of artificial intelligence.”

Maurice de Hond, Founder, The Steve Jobs School, Amsterdam, Holland.

“My opinion is that, like always, developments in technology give a lot of blessings, and also some dangers. It takes time before we are aware of those dangers, and get them under control.

“This will also be the case with A.I. I think the real danger will come in 20/30 years. The danger will not be the technology itself. It could get used in the wrong way by people who have no understanding of the consequences.”

Let’s keep the dialogue going.

A Woman Makes Pinball History

Bre Burns, a Seattle resident, is making pinball history. Bre just built a fully-functional Lego pinball machine she calls Benny’s Spaceship Adventure. The pinball machine is made out of 15,000 Lego bricks and several Lego Mindstorm NXT programmable bricks that make real Pinball sounds.

It’s amazing that no glue and screws were used to build the machine. The pinball measures two and a half feet tall. Bre worked for Lego for a short time and is now a Zookeeper. Watch the video because Bre explains the entire concept.

Congratulations Bre.


Photos To Ponder

When I first saw this photo on Facebook I completely went weepy. I just had to share this story with you.

Longtime friends Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, shared a hug backstage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Click here for the story in the Boston Globe


Thank you Michael Schneider for posting this photo on Facebook. It’s a good lesson for all of us.


Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2018. Click here for the VentureBeat story.


WWDC 2018: Everything important Apple just announced. Click here for the Re/code story.


Dining with Miami Beach friend, Tom DeSantis, at Ralph’s (as in Ralph Lauren) in Paris. We head home tomorrow.

Graham Hancock on How The Pyramids Were Built

Graham Hancock, a British author and reporter who specializes in pseudoscientific theories, claims no one knows for sure. The video below is just a few minutes long and you will be amazed by what you will hear.

My brother sent me this clip just when I was deciding on what to write for today’s DigiDame post. We are going to Egypt in October so this was of particular interest to me.


Powering up electric cars in Paris.


This is how I visit a museum.

I go straight to the cafeteria, then bookstore and then roof for the best views of a city. When all that is done, I might look at some paintings. Here I am at The Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.

My Parisian Street Art

When I leave Paris this Wednesday to return to Miami Beach, my face and my accessories (Chanel bag, HandL phone case, diamond ring) will be plastered on several walls in the Le Marais section of the city. I was super imposed on a copy of the Mona Lisa painting thanks to my friend Bob Risse who is a street art aficionado.

Bob is exploring ways to get involved in the street art world. You may think the art looks like graffiti, but many art pieces you see on the streets, end up in famous art galleries and museums. Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and Mr. Brainwash, are among the street artists who are known worldwide and have sold works for millions of dollars.

Bob, now known as Radio Robb, has sublet his apartments in Paris and Miami Beach, and will be touring the world over the next few years with his life partner Alfonso. They will be in search of the next phase of their lives. Bob sold his tech business 25 years ago, and has been involved in real estate and art ever since.

Bob plans to paste many of his large multi-media, avant-guard photos on walls everywhere. Many companies with blank walls welcome art work because it draws crowds. Street art work is either painted, drawn, or pasted on walls. Some art work disappears immediately, others stay for weeks and months.

Radio Robb gifted me some wall space in Paris because we always collaborate together. It was a complete surprise and I thank him for it. Eliot and I spent three fabulous days with Radio Robb in Paris and hope to meet up with him and Alfonso again soon. We wish them safe travels and good health.

New Musical Discoveries In Paris

Our friend. Bob Risse, took us to a Parisian art studio today to meet some of the local talent. The facility is called Les Frigos and is situated in the 13th District. One hundred artists and musicians rent individual spaces that become their private workshops.

We had the good fortune to meet Jacques Remus, an experimental musician, on one of our drop-bys. He is famous for working with sound sculptures and musical machines (robots). His creations have appeared in many musical shows, concerts and interactive sound installations. Remus was kind enough to explain two of his new concepts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6u0MtiqCrs

Smart Toilet Paper Could Save Your Life

The next time you wipe yourself after doing your bathroom business, you might be holding some new clues about the future of your health. A number of companies are developing smart toilet paper that could possibly predict or detect more diseases than ever before.

The first one that just made news was announced by British scientists who said smart toilet paper could help fight obesity. Researchers said smart toilet paper is helping them understand the biological processes that create fat around the waist, better known as pot bellies.

The information was published in Nature Genetics. “It identifies the series of actions in the gut that fuel the build-up of fat around the waist. Fecal metabolome is a method that shows how the gut drives these processes and distributes fat.”

Doctors said that under the microscope, the stool samples revealed signs, or biomarkers, of internal fat around the waist.

Expect to be reading more about smart toilet paper and the diseases researchers can identify in the near future. Click here to read the Newsweek story.

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We Went From A Riverboat With A View Of The Seine This Week ….

To Our Hotel With This View This Afternoon. Eiffel Tower To The Left.

I have to say I loved being that close to the water. We had three huge windows that were just inches higher than the Seine for a week. I could easily see the water from every angle in the room. I felt like I was floating on water all the time. Very dreamy.