Our Future 

Oh, to be young again. Remember those days at the beach with your friends? Not a care in the world. Eliot captured Miami Beach’s Spring Break beneath our windows, a mile away. He used a Nikon Coolpix, P900, 83xx extreme optical telephoto lens. It accomplishes the long-distance trick everytime. Somewhere in this crowd may be the next big deal in science, technology, engineering, and math. I wish I could meet that person now.

Private Conversations On-The-Go

I have written about a lot of new tech products, but this one is just crazy. I like what it does, but  someone has to redesign it. Hushme is a new gadget that keeps your mobile conversations private when you are in public. The trouble is that, to me, it looks like a muzzle.

The founders of the company worked with a product development company called ARTKB to execute their idea. They wanted to invent a gadget that allows people to talk on their cells without anyone in the vicinity hearing them. 

Hushme muffles your voice or plays sounds while you’re talking. Hushme has a companion app that allows you to choose sounds and adjust volume. Hushme features wireless in-ear earbuds with a built-in microphone.

Hushme will be available later this year at $249 and $149 during a crowdfunding campaign in a few months from now.

More about this in Mashable.

You’ll Never Watch Alone  

Thank you Lulu Chang of Digital Trends. I love the first sentence of your story about the new app, “Uptime.” 

“In this day and age, you’re never really alone, even if there’s no one next to you.”

That really sums up the social media experience. Just the other day, a friend of mine asked me why so many people participate on social media platforms. While I answered him, I still think Lulu’s line is a good one.

Lulu was writing about a “new app from Google that wants to make your video watching experience a more social one.” 

Called “Uptime,” the app lets you connect with your friends via YouTube videos. All you do is sign in with your Google account, and then you find your friends so you can watch videos together. 

By the way, it’s very strange that Google developed this app for iPhone first, and not its own Android format. I guess it speaks volumes for iPhone’s popularity.

Read more in Digital Trends


Snapshot View Of Snapchat

Everyday, someone asks me about Snapchat. What is it? Why is it so popular? 

David Pogue, tech editor at Yahoo Finance, did a marvelous job explaining it. I decided to write bullet points, from his lengthy explanation, so you too can know enough about the app to engage in conversations. 

1-Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, recently went public at $24 per share. It’s now  $22.07.

2-The company lost $515 million last year, and $373 million the prior one.

3-Most people who use it are under 25, and 70% of them are female. 

4-Approximately 200 million people use Snapchat every day. They send 20,000 photos a second, and watch eight billion videos a day.

 5-Snapchat is made up of three apps. 

A-10 second self-destructing photos and videos. The app offers overlays on photos.

B-Longer term posts on the user’s time line called “Your Story.” Chats can be conducted by typing, talking, or video calling.

C-A news section is being developed where online publications can post their own content  for you to read: ESPN, Comedy Central, BuzzFeed, People, National Geographic, CNN, and many others.

If you want to know more, watch or read Pogue’s complete explanation. Click here

Dr. Stuart Ungar Says A Happy Chapter Two Life Is Filled With Exploration  

My friend, Dr. Stuart Ungar, an Englishman, gave up his medical practice in London at 60 to explore other life-long passions. I interviewed him because I was curious how he made the transition into new ventures at an age when many people retire and withdraw from the rat race. Dr. Ungar offers his views on leading a rewarding and satisfying life after you give up your main career. 

Why I became a doctor.

Why did I decide to give up my practice.

What it takes to have a happy Chapter Two In Life.

Read Between The Lines 

The next time you text someone, remember it’s not always being read the way you intended it to be read. Be careful. Texting has dramatic ramifications. Please watch the Key & Peele video sketch “Text Message Confusion,” which shows how people misinterpret the ambiguity of text messages. 

By the way, texting is not the only risky business. So is driving. Certain people are so arrogant. Today, a guy in a Rolls Royce thought he was above Miami law. He was wearing a pair of headphones while driving. That is so illegal. No one stopped him. I snapped a photo of the culprit committing the crime and I got his license plate number too. Maybe this blog post will go viral and someone will recognize the driver. That would be amazing. 

Robots, The New Delivery Men

The next time you order food from a local restaurant, a robot may show up. The first two cities to see robots roaming through their streets are Redwood City, Calif. and Washington, D.C. 

The company that is making this possible is Starship Technologies, an Estonia-based startup. Starship  is working with delivery food service companies Postmates in Washington, D.C., and DoorDash in Redwood City, Calif.

Re/Code, the tech site reports that the six-wheeled robots are a little under two feet tall, weigh about 40 pounds empty and travel four miles per hour. Watch the above video to see the robots in action.

Starship was created by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. They just received $17.2 million in funding from Daimler AG, Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners and others.

Starship has been experimenting with robot deliveries in more than 40 cities in Europe. I guess this is now the real deal. 


Comic Solutions 

I found the new iTunes Terms of Service document so unique, I wanted to share it with you. Artist R. Sikoroyak turned the entire iTunes Terms of Service document into a comic book with cartoon characters. How clever is that? 

The document was always famous for being long and boring. No one ever wanted to read it. Now, more people will not only read it, but will  collect it as well. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stars as the main character.

This comic book is a classic example of turning a major negative into a plus, something we need more of in our lives. 

Nap Pods

Nap pods have been around for a few years. I first saw them in Asian airports. They were situated near the gates, so travelers could rent them for 20 minute power naps. Apparently, it was a hit with Americans like me, because now they are being used around the United States. A number of different companies make pods to sleep in.

I just found out that several New Mexico high schools have installed them in class rooms for sleep-deprived students. The National Institute of Health reports that only a third of teens are sleeping eight hours. 

The Institute recommends 10 hours a night. The sleeping pods in New Mexico were paid for through mental health grants from the state. Educators believe 20-minute naps can help students feel more refreshed and then they become more productive.

Hammacher Schlemmer feels nap pods are going to be a big business. In the future, we may see them in shopping centers, golf courses, libraries, sports arenas, co-working spaces, and theme parks.

Hammacher Schlemmer is selling the Nap Pods for $16,000. The company says, “The pod’s contoured, cushioned bed provides optimal ergonomics for napping by elevating the feet, relaxing the lower back, and slightly bending the knees, all of which promote blood circulation. Its spherical dome enclosure provides semi-privacy; a privacy visor provides additional seclusion. 

“Controlled at the armrest, a built-in timer is set to a pre-programmed 20-minute nap, but can be set to any preferred nap time. A suite of ambient rhythms plays through the built-in 200-watt Bose speaker (or headphones jack) to eliminate surrounding distractions. The pod gently wakes nappers with slowly brightening light and vibration, minimizing grogginess. White glove delivery. Special conditions and guarantee limitations apply. 60″ L x 57 1/4″ W x 48″ H. (310 lbs.).”

I’m rooting for the success of Nap Pods. This may be the answer to a lot of personality disorders and mean-spirited people. A little extra sleep can possibly change attitudes. We can only hope.