Something As Simple As This            




Images: Mobstub and Amazon

Something as simple as this can save your life, and keep you warm at the same time. I personally like wearables that light up at night so moving vehicles can easily see  you. As we get older, precautionary steps like this should be considered.

I’m not sure how long these types of knit caps have been around, but they are gaining in popularity this year. In fact, several friends have told me they are back ordered on Amazon. Mobstub, and Walmart. 

I think I want one for myself even though I don’t plan to be in cold weather that much. This type of cap can come in handy anywhere, at anytime. The LED light on a tightly knit hat is perfect for airplanes whose ambient temperature is freezing. Have you noticed how cold some cabins are these days? 

Friends who ride bikes first alerted me about these caps. Then I saw online advertisements for them. While there are a few different brands, most of them feature:
On/Off switch controls 4 LED lights
Knitted acrylic material, no itchy wool.

One size fits all.

Replaceable batteries.

Directional lighting 

Price: Around $20. 

If you find a store selling them, let me know. 

Amazon’s Competition

Image from Bloomberg’s Businessweek , Marc Lore

At dinner tonight my girl friend Bonnie asked me if I ever heard of She said it was a new competitor to Amazon and in many cases less expensive. 
I had never heard of so I told her that she probably got her facts wrong. She told me to check it out. I forgot all about it until I turned to my nightly ritual of checking in with a few tech sites.

The second I opened Engadget, I spotted a detailed post on the concept of What a coincidence. The biggest takeaway that I got from the Engadget post is that “the more you buy, the more rewards you receive.” This amounts to very big savings. 

Read Wikipedia’s explanation of The founder, Marc Lore, was also the creator of and, which he later sold to Amazon for $545 million. 

I’m anxious for a few of you to try and then report back if you think it’s a true Amazon competitor. 

Amazon Gives Startups A Fighting Chance

One of the first things I want to do when I get back to the States, is learn more about the new program Amazon just launched for start-ups. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that Amazon is going to help start-ups launch, market and distribute their products to the hundreds of millions of Amazon customers across the globe.

Never in my life did I ever imagine that a new company could have such an advantage. Amazon is appropriately calling their new program Launchpad. Startups now avoid many of the challenges a new company usually experiences. They can now rely on Amazon’s retail experience and infrastructure to help them be successful. 

What an amazing world we live in. Read more about it in Retailing Today.

And then, we want to share our day in Nice with you.

Welcome to Nice

Getting an early start on the weekend.


Looks like the Flatiron building in Manhattan.


Strolling the streets.


Waiting for a wedding to start .


The Mediterrean.waters are so blue.


No sand, just large rocks.




We had lunch on the beach.


Nice has a style of its own.


At Your Service 

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln. 

I have been living in Manhattan for almost 40 years. I’m used to walking three square blocks in any direction to get what I want. I’m also used to every type of delivery service. I get all my food, laundry, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, flowers, hardware, and home furnishings messengered to my doorstep. 
Now the rest of the country is going to have “almost” the same conveniences in a short period of time. Amazon Prime Now has just announced a new delivery service which will allow customers to order items from local neighborhood stores and have them sent to their homes in an hour or two.

Amazon Prime Now is testing the new service in Manhattan and then will expand to other cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, and Miami. An entire country rollout is presently being worked out. Amazon Prime Now is a new service of the Amazon Prime program, which costs $99 a year.  

This new service is another step in Amazon wanting to become your one-stop shop for everything. The first stores Amazon will be working with in Manhattan is D’Agostino, Gourmet Garage, and Billy’s Bakery. Eataly and Westside Market will join in soon.

Uber is reportedly going to announce a new delivery service as well. Let the competition  begin and welcome to my world!!

A New Chapter In Book Publishing

Book publishers are finally going to compete with Amazon. Harper Collins is leading the way, but I heard other publishing houses plan to do exactly the same thing.

Effective in a month from now, Harper Collins is going to help their individual authors sell books. Harper Collins authors can now add a “Buy Now” button to their own personal websites and social feeds which will transfer book buyers directly to the (Harper Collins) online store.

That’s pretty cool. Seems like a natural to me. Not sure why this was never done before. I guess the book industry finally decided that they needed to do something novel. Ha!

That’s not all. Harper Collins authors will receive better royalty rates on affiliate sales.

Congratulations to all my friends who publish books with HC. My suggestion! Don’t quit your day job yet. A contact of mine at HC confided that this won’t put a dent in Amazon book sales for many years to come.

Click and Collect Lockers

Photo: Engadget

I feel like the retail industry keeps reinventing itself. At some point retailers may end up exactly where they started, a storefront. Friends of mine who are business writers tell me that the next big trend in retail will be to have Internet purchases delivered to a pick-up station rather than a home address. It seems that a lot of e-commerce retailers are looking for new ways to accommodate customers.

Engadget reported that Amazon has already started this in London. I heard that it will be instituted in the United States as well. As of last week, Amazon has opened what they call click-and-collect lockers in Finchley Central and Newbury Park Tube stations in London. It seems odd, but purchases are being delivered to pick-up stations in subways in order to be more convenient for workers who commute.

Amazon is not the only retailer seeking out sites for pick-up locations. I hear that traditional department stores, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, and dedicated online retailers are considering this option too.

This may be a win-win for all. Customers get to pick where they want their purchases delivered and retailers get to make fewer delivery stops.

Dirty Phone Calls




This post is going to gross you out. It discusses exactly how dirty your cell phone is. Maybe you don’t want to know. It’s one thing to find out about how dirty a public bathroom door knob is, or how dirty the inside of your handbag is, but get ready to freak when you learn about the filth and the germs you are putting on your face every time you make a call.

The inventors of PhoneSoap, a device that sanitizes your cell, reported that phones have 18 times more harmful bacteria than the handle on a male public toilet. They also found research reports that showed that staph, E. Coli, and MRSA live on our cell phones!

Okay you’ve been warned. Here comes a shocking bit of info. One in six cell phones have fecal matter on them because people use their phones in the bathroom. All this info comes from Wesley LaPorte, Inventor/Germ-Guru and Dan Barnes, Internet Marketing Guru at PhoneSoap.

This all may sound a little self-serving because LaPorte and Barnes are introducing a remedy for dirty phones, but the info is worth noting. They say that cell phones are susceptible to bacteria because of the warmth they radiate.

LaPorte and Barnes invented PhoneSoap, a small box that simultaneously charges and sanitizes your cell phone using UV-C light. UV-C light is electromagnetic radiation that’s used in hospitals and clean rooms around the world.

There is a lot more to learn about this product but I will allow a previous PhoneSoap fundraising campaign to spell it out. Click here to read much more about this product and cell phone related health concerns.

PhoneSoap is available on Amazon at $45.99. Remember, PhoneSoap charges your cell as well. That’s a huge plus.

Amazon’s Anticipatory Shipping


In an effort to speed up deliveries, Amazon will be shipping products you haven’t even ordered yet. They will be placing bets on what you will want and when. How weird is that?

Amazon actually just received a patent for something called “anticipatory shipping.” It allows Amazon to predict your future purchases based on previous orders, site searches, and online window shopping.

Amazon is absolutely ecstatic about being psychic. They are going to fill warehouses nearby with items you may need in the future. All you have to do is click on “Buy.” The delivery will be made to you within an hour.

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon


I can’t wait until October 15. The print, Kindle, and Audible editions of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” will become available. I love biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. The book is going to tell all of us who don’t know much about Bezos just how he built a $75 billion empire.

The book was written by Brad Stone, a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. I know Brad from his days at The New York Times when he covered technology. He is extremely well respected and very precise, so this book is going to be as close to accurate as you can get.

Bezos was not interested in being interviewed, but he didn’t stop Stone from speaking to hundreds of his closest contacts. As I read an excerpt of the book, featured recently in Businessweek, I soon started to see some uncanny similarities between Bezos and Steve Jobs.

1) No level of tolerance and humiliate those who screw up.

2) Never met their real fathers.

3) Very peculiar. Amazon office desks are repurposed doors. Jobs lived in a house with no furniture.

Amazon will shortly be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Stone says “Amazon rivals Wal-Mart as a store, Apple as a device maker, and IBM as a data services company.”

“In the past few months, Amazon has launched a marketplace in India, opened a website to sell high-end art, introduced another Kindle reading device and three tablet computers, made plans to announce a set-top box for televisions, and funded the pilot episodes of more than a dozen TV shows. Amazon’s marketplace hosts the storefronts of countless smaller retailers; Amazon Web Services handles the computer infrastructure of thousands of technology companies, universities, and government agencies.”

Bezos, 49, surprised everyone last August when he personally bought The Washington Post. He believes he can turn the newspaper around. He also spends one day each week heading his own private rocket ship company, Blue Origin, which seeks to lower the cost of space travel.

Stone’s book is going to be a great read. I look forward to finding out more about Bezos and how he became one of the biggest successes in the digital marketplace.


Before and After Bezos


Mackenzie and Jeff Bezos

By now most of you have heard that the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, purchased The Washington Post with his own personal money, $250 million to be exact. He is worth $22 billion according to Bloomberg business press. At 49, Bezos is also politically active, a libertarian who supports gay marriage.

I have been in discussions with the tech writers at The Washington Post recently. I was trying to get them to write about the kind of land mobile radios that first responders like EMS, fire, and police need to properly do their jobs. It wasn’t an easy pitch, so I was on the phone with a few reporters over many recent weeks.

No one told me that Bezos was in negotiations to buy the newspaper, but the usual eager-beaver “scoop” reporters were just not their usual energetic selves. They now claim they didn’t know that anything was going on at the time, but their dispositions have changed in the past few days.

They are now acting like they have something to prove. If they write a startling story about a certain topic, they may get noticed for breaking news. All of a sudden, I am important. I knew that my news was worthy of page one, but I couldn’t get them to focus. Now I am getting calls several times a day requesting further information or additional contacts.

If and when the story gets picked up, I will let you know. It’s an interesting one that should have been told a long time ago. Of course, bureaucracy kept it on the back burner. Hopefully, that all will be history soon.

Meanwhile, I truly believe Bezos bought The Washington Post because he understands that he needs content for his current and future businesses. There is lots of other speculation going around, like maybe his political aspirations, but I don’t think that has anything to do with it.

I do think that the editorial staff at The Washington Post will see changes over the next year or two. Those changes will help them survive and then prosper. There is nothing to fear. The changes Bezos will make will not have anything to do with the stories the reporters write, but rather the way they are delivered.

The fast pace of the Internet will dictate the changes, and if I were a journalist today I would be thrilled to be a part of his regime rather than work for a publisher who refuses to change with the times.

Here are some of the ways I think newspapers will change.

1) No more print. The Washington Post folks better get used to it. Print is a waste of money and everyone should read everything electronically. Those who are balking now will love the performance of digital once they give it a chance.

2) Layouts will not look like the newspaper of today. Stories will appear in capsule forms. If you want more information, you just click for additional coverage.

3) Every story will have suggestions and cross references to similar or related articles.

4) The newspaper will alert you to the most popular stories, which ones were the most emailed and posted on Twitter and Facebook, and suggested articles based on your previous preferences.

5) Articles will be much more current. New ones will appear every half hour if not sooner.

6) Relevant stories will be pushed out to you via email or alerts. You will check off what topics you want to know about firsthand.

7) Readers will contribute to the news and feature pages with any pertinent information they are privy to, much like a Twitter feed.

8) Readers will be able to access all the former stories that were previously written on the same topic. This will serve as a great reference. No one is left in the dark.

I will let Bezos surprise you with the rest. I gave you my best guesses