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.

I Have Seven Games Going On At Once     

Words With Friends is a wonderful way to work your brain and keep in touch with people from your personal and business lives. I am now playing a game with people I met once at a party, childhood friends, neighbors, cousins, and business associates.

In all cases, I am delighted to be connected to these folks.  We challenge each other on the board, while chat-chatting on the private message board. It’s all very civilized.

It does get a little embarrassing when they are slaughtering me, but I also get uneasy when I am beating them. I often wonder what they are thinking when I create a word over 30 points,  I know what I think when a few of my competitors manage to score 60 plus points. I never think they are cheating. I become envious of their word skills. I wonder how they got so smart.

Words With Friends keeps you sharp and alert.  

Amazon Working On AR Preview Feature 

 It’s going to be so much fun when we can see how a couch, or a lamp, will look in our home before we actually buy it. Amazon is working on an augmented reality feature that will do just that. The tech industry defines AR as a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

Watch the video to see how it works and read Engadget for nite details.

The World We Live In

 

I feel like I am living in the twilight zone. I can’t believe a news story that I saw on NBC last night. Parents are being encouraged to buy their children bullet resistant backpacks.

I was horrified. The message I got from this news segment was that we, as a society, have accepted massive gun attacks as an everyday occurrence. Instead of trying to protect our children with bullet-proof clothing, why aren’t we taking guns away from the majority of Americans who don’t need them. I know you have heard this plea from many other folks before. 

Florida Christian School, a private, nondenominational in Miami-Dade school (preschool to high school) has started offering parents the opportunity to buy a $120 piece of ballistic armor to turn students’ backpacks into potential lifesavers.

I think everyone has gone nuts. It has gotten so bad, I don’t want to go to concerts, special events, sporting activities, and malls. Maybe big event venues should consider bullet proof vests for all visitors?

FIU Now Offers First IoT Degree In U.S. 

The above video is a NBC broadcast announcing the news that Florida International University, College of Engineering & Computing, is the very first university in the nation to offer a bachelor’s degree in the Internet of Things.

According to Wikipedia,”the Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices that connect and exchange data. 

I think it is very exciting that we are witnessing the birth of the IoT concept. According to the tech folks I talk to on a frequent basis, IoT is going to be one of the biggest innovations ever. All of your electronic devices will be communicating with each other. For example,  in the future, it is possible that your refrigerator will be telling your local supermarket what you need to replenish. Let your imagination run wild.

Keml Akkaya, program director of the IoT degree and associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at FIU said, “When employers hire a computer engineer, that person can focus on the hardware aspect, but companies want to hire employees who can do it all. With this degree, these skill sets will be combined in one person so companies don’t have to do multiple hires.”

To read more about this, click here 

Think About It 

When I see a motto that I can relate to, I like to take a picture of it and store it in my camera roll. From time to time, I look at the words for inspiration. It helps put my thoughts into proper perspective.

Before we get into the words, I wanted to share a Facebook post that made me roar. Every time I think of these two pictures, I chuckle. It will mean different things to different people. To me, it says, “What would stop me from eating a spoon filled with delicious ice cream?” Answer: A picture of my dog. The one below is just too close for comfort.

Magic Wheelchairs Turn Kids Into Superheroes 


I just finished reading about Magic Wheelchair, a global non-profit organization that creates custom wheelchair costumes for kids. The video shows how a father, Ryan Weiner, wanted to dress up his three year old son as a pirate for a special occasion.  

The young boy had spinal muscular atrophy and was restricted to a wheelchair. Weiner designed a homemade costume that incorporated the wheelchair as a pirate ship. Needless to say, his son was thrilled and felt so much joy. 

The organization is now all about making disabled kids feel special. Their wheelchairs no longer define them.  

In addition to bringing joy to the costumed kids, and their families, Weiner says his designs can act as a “cure” by liberating the kids from the stigma so often attached to wheelchairs.

Isn’t this wonderful? For more information, click here

Speaking of wheelchairs. I wanted you to see what the future looks like for people who can’t walk. This is pretty incredible. We are living in an age where technology can provide freedom that others never had before. A designer shared a video that shows what wheelchairs will look like in the future. 

Pick The Right Investor    

(I didn’t have permission to tape the video. It has been deleted by YouTube. I probably would have been able to record it if it wasn’t over 10 minutes. Sorry!

Many DigiDame readers have children, grandchildren, or both, who one day will be raising money for a business they want to start. I think I have enough experience to say they shouldn’t take money from folks who are not passionate about them and the project they are working on.

Most entrepreneurs will take money from anyone they can get it from. I have been involved with those deals. Many times they don’t work out well because the minute something goes wrong, the investor pulls.

I encourage you to watch the segment of Shark Tank I taped off the air. You want an investor like Barbara Corcoran for the Fidget pitch in the video. She will not let this inventor fail.  She won’t run away when the big challenges present themselves.  I’m not saying that Barbara is always the right investor. I’m saying that she is  just as enthusiastic about the Fidget as the inventor.  

My last advice is that if you don’t find a passionate investor, you need to find several deep pockets so that you have plenty to replace the ones you lose.  Investing is a fickle business.