The last two DigiDame posts were about how technology is being used to monitor our every move. Today, I got a real scare when the New York Times sent me an alert about how “China is using facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people.”
Just look at the photo from the Times. It shows exactly how the Chinese authorities are keeping records of all of their citizens. It’s very unnerving to know that 1.4 billion people have cameras watching them all the time. I worry that the rest of the world may also be going in this direction.
We are living in times when we just don’t know what’s going to happen next. I often question if technology is giving power to the wrong people. One of my new clients will be introducing smart glasses that will be able to track your emotions and intentions. The purpose is to help people understand what the other person is thinking. I don’t know how well the glasses will work, but I do know that technology is going to change our lives in ways we never imagined.
Check out the New York Times story.
I knew it. There is nothing wrong with stress in your life. It can even be empowering. You just have to have the right attitude. I wanted to share a New York Times article on the subject because I believe it finally sets the record straight.
For years, I had to listen to a number of folks tell me that my stressful job was going to ruin my health. I’m not a dope. I know that anyone can get sick, at any time, but the chance of “work stress” hurting me was just totally wrong.
If you enjoy what you are doing, your body adjusts to stress. In fact, the New York Times article points out that stress from positive work makes you stronger. People who are unhappy, and make themselves victims in most aspects of their lives, are more likely to be the sick ones.
A good dose of stress, because you are doing something worthwhile, can be euphoric, especially when you reach your goal. I wonder how many euphoric experiences those “stress warners” experienced in their lifetime?
Read the article.. Here is the New York Times article. I love it.
By the time most of you read this, I will be in Cuba without any Internet or email. Wish me luck. This is the first time ever that I will be disconnected. I may come back with a nervous tick. In any case, I am determined to make this trip and live through the challenge of not communicating with family, friends, or the office. No one will miss me as much as I will miss them.
On top of all this, I learned from friends in the industry, as well as early morning tweets, that David Pogue, the personal tech writer for The New York Times, is leaving the paper to join Yahoo.
This is a major shift for the tech industry. Pogue was the go-to man at The Times for anything you wanted to know about technology. Along with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, published by the Wall Street Journal, Pogue is iconic for his tech reporting and has a bigger audience/fan club than several other well-known writers combined.
Last month we learned that Mossberg and Swisher will be leaving the Wall Street Journal at the end of the year. The industry is playing checkers with the best tech writers in the United States. While no one will admit it, it all has to do with money. Newspapers are bleeding and tech writers who draw big audiences want to be handsomely compensated.
Yahoo is apparently willing to do that. Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, has been romancing Pogue for some time. She is no fool! She is bringing in the stars to make Yahoo the ultimate news source. This is a repeat performance of when she acquired Tumblr. If you want to be the biggest and the best, then hire the talent.
Pogue, who was with The New York Times for 13 years, claims that Yahoo affords him the opportunity to publish columns, blogs, and videos about innovation, the likes of which we have never seen before.
Pogue spells it all out on his personal blog, the one that uses Tumblr of course.
Mazel Tov to all!
One of the biggest challenges I have writing my blog are the typos. They pop up out of nowhere. Between tapping on one letter and getting another, I am a typo manufacturing machine. I really do check my copy but I don’t generally see the boo-boos until after they are published.
Many people don’t realize that smartphones can help you type better just by changing your settings. In addition, there are app options. Roy Furchgott of the New York Times just provided a sampling of tips and apps to help us improve our typing experience on Apple iOS and Android touch screens.
Furchgott mentions that many of us make the mistake of tapping out whole words one letter at a time. He says a “quick way to speed up typing on almost all phones is through predictive text. Once the feature is turned on, the device will predict what word you are typing after filling in only a letter or two. Choosing the full word takes just a single tap.”
One of the apps he mentions is Fast Keyboard, which is free. This app eliminates the need to switch the keyboard from letters to numbers by displaying both. Fleksy, a free iPhone app, helps the visually impaired.
iOS and Android both have typing expansion programs that you can turn on or off in your settings. You can even personalize abbreviations like “omw” that usually turns into “on my way” to any phrase you like — “on my way, Honey!”
Read more new tricks here.
There are short cuts you can take that will save you time when you type. David Pogue, personal technology editor at The New York Times, outlines them for you in the video below. For example, if you put your flight in the Google search box, your airline will pop up, the flight, arrival, and departure time. Google takes you immediately to the flight data info. Awesome, huh? Or you can use the Google box as a dictionary. Just type in “Define” and the word you are interested in. The definition instantly appears.
Watch David below for other short cuts.
The story in The New York Times about the digital industry not buying art is a non-story. Having worked in journalism for many years, I can just smell what took place before this story was created. Some section editor was thinking of how much copy he or she needed to fill a section and then told the writer exactly what to deliver.
We all thought libraries were going to leave this earth like VCRs, Palm Pilots, and cassette players. Don’t count libraries out just yet. Many libraries across the country have jumped on the ebook bandwagon and will now allow you to borrow from their electronic catalog. How amazing is that? I love when the establishment reinvents itself to take advantage of new opportunities. Kindle is the most popular ebook at most libraries. That is because its owner, Amazon, was smart enough to team up with the majority of libraries. Some places offer books for Nooks as well. Don’t forget that you can get Kindle ebooks on your iPhone and iPad as well.
In order to take advantage of this convenience, you still have to have a library card, (you can get one from your local branch or you can obtain one online) and make sure you have their pin-code so you can access all of the available ebooks in their collection. My good friend J.D. Biersdorfer of The New York Times recently did a blog piece on how to borrow an ebook from the library, so if you click here you can follow her instructions. Each library has its own set of rules but they are very easy to follow. Also note that each library has its own loan period, so be sure to check that out. Some libraries even got wise to which titles are more in demand and put shorter time constrictions on them.
Here are some other helpful tips. You do not have to go to the library to borrow a book. You can now borrow (download) a book from the comfort of your home on the library’s website. Depending on which library that you belong to, you may have to look around a bit for the ebook link, but most sites place it right on their home page. After clicking it, you are free to browse through the available ebooks. Once you are ready to checkout, you click the Checkout button and follow the prompts, including signing in with your local library card and account information. However, if you’re not signed up, it should allow you to do so on that page.
One of the biggest advantages of downloading an ebook from the library is that it is less expensive. If you are a book collector, this is not for you. For the majority of us, borrowing ebooks from the library is now a big wow factor.
Did you see the story in the New York Times this morning about how difficult it is for software app developers to make a living?
When I read this story I just wanted to weep. The technology business moves so fast that one day you’re a hero, the next day you’re just another average nobody. You go from the highest of the high, to the lowest of low.
It is sort of like the entertainment business. I am fascinated by people who have such a passion for the arts that they are willing to starve their entire lives for the one chance of making it big. The same thing happens in the app business. Everyone who felt that they had the million dollar idea left their day jobs, cashed in their investments to float them for awhile, and begged others to chip in as well.
Before I go any further, I am not saying this is the scenario for every developer, but it certainly is for the majority of the 600,000 apps that are available today. Most of the app creators started out with an idea, immediately developed it and never really researched the market potential. They also have no money for marketing, so it just resides in the app store with little to no exposure.
The part that hurts the most is that developing apps today has become the so-called excuse for not doing something more substantial or more productive. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I meet at cocktail parties or other events who tell me they are busy developing an app, when I know they are basically using that line instead of saying they are out of work. I know too many friends who are still supporting their adult children because they supposedly got stung by the entrepreneur bug and want to develop an app. That really is a euphemism for “I am taking some time off from the real working world to screw around.”
I don’t know how it happens, but I often get asked to review the app concept by the grandparents, parents, friends or lovers. More times than not, the idea person can’t even articulate what the app is all about. They talk in circles and never get to the point. Then when you ask to see the business plan, they look at you like you’re asking them to recite the Gettysburg address. They don’t want to bother putting a document together because the “smart” investors will recognize their genius and just hand over the money.
I stopped taking meetings because I found out that I was putting in more time than the developer. I am not an authority on the true merits of an app, but I can spot a “slacker” from miles away. I really want to urge others who want to develop an app to do it at night or on weekends, the returns are just not there.
David Pogue, the personal tech reporter for the New York Times, has something that no other man alive has, his column. He is also an author, TV host, public speaker and a Broadway song and dance man.
If you don’t know who David is, then I suggest you “Google” him. His personal tech column probably has more readership than any other source for digital news. That is true for both print and online. I am not saying there are no other powerful tech writers around. There certainly are. However, if David writes about a tech company, the PR person representing that client, has hit a home run, right out of the park. If David likes the product or service and recommends it to his readers, the PR person responsible for the placement, has achieved one of the greatest moments of his or her career.
David calls it “The Pogue Experience.” I had the pleasure of experiencing “The Pogue Experience” several times. One of the most memorable times was when he wrote about an iPhone app we represented at HWH PR, called “Line2.” “Line2” adds a second line on your smartphone so you can have two numbers, one for business, the other for personal. The day David wrote about “Line2,” 72,000 of his readers immediately download the app and brought down the “Line2” servers. No one at “Line2” was prepared for such a heavy duty, positive reaction.
There are many other scenarios, but the one I want to tell you about today is David’s marriage proposal to a tech PR gal from Silicon Valley. He lives in Connecticut. The 3,000 mile romance has been written up before but not as much as the attention they are getting today. The video he created to be a part of the surprise for his girlfriend went viral. It is the talk of the romance and tech editorial pages all across the country.
Watch his marriage proposal video below.
Mazel Tov David