That Stupid Idea From a 20-Year Old May Not Be So Stupid


I just read a blog post from a writer who admitted that he dismissed two early ideas from young inventors. The inventions turned out to be Pinterest and Vine. Pinterest is a very successful content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos, and other objects to their pinboard. It also includes standard social networking features. Vine is a mobile app that enables its users to create and post short video clips.

The same thing happened to me. One day a few decades ago, Eliot called me from work when I was home sick saying two Japanese men stopped by the office to show us two games they were bringing to the U.S. market. I said, “Get rid of them.” I wasn’t feeling well and not getting out of bed to see some dumb games. That turned out to be Nintendo.

What’s the moral of the story? Take a second look.

Let Your Mind Control Your Moves




Brain computer interface is not a fantasy anymore. There are a number of inventions being developed that allow you to move things around simply by thinking about such actions. It really is quite amazing that in just a few years we might be able to turn lights and appliances on and off with our minds.

Here is the reality. Samsung is currently testing tablets that can be controlled by your brain. The current version uses a cap that is studded with monitoring electrodes.

NeuroSky has a Bluetooth-enabled headset that allows people to play concentration-based games on computers and smartphones. Your brain is the joystick.

Emotiv has a device that can be used to play games by thinking about an emotion a person is feeling.

I guess someday I will be able to write this post just by thinking about it.

To read more companies that are delving into this field, click here.

Getting High


If you have lived in New York all your life, you always think about height. Sometimes when I visit friends in their West Side apartment on the 50th floor, I wonder how much above sea level we really are. When I ask, no one seems to know the answer. Recently, we had lunch in a restaurant on top of a ski mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I wasn’t sure if we were 7,000 or 9,000 feet up. Everyone had a different calculation.

I don’t know why I am so curious but I am. I recently heard of an app called Height Finder. It quickly and accurately calculates the exact altitude of your current location. I love it. I am currently 137.39 feet above sea level in my apartment on 62nd Street and Second Avenue.

Height Finder uses GPS for accurate results. It also uses global databases when GPS is unavailable. The app displays altitude in feet and meters, which you can toggle between by tapping the on-screen reading, and can be used indoors and outdoors.

If you decide to download this app, let me know how accurate you feel it is.

Happy heights.

Correction on Polaroid 40-Year Anniversary Post


Richard Krain

Long time friend Richard Krain was good enough to comment on my Polaroid Happy 40th Anniversary post. He was being kind when he said he had a slight correction to my copy.

“Polaroid has been around a lot longer than 40 years. This anniversary commemorates Polaroid’s invention of color instant photography. Seeing a color photo in 60 seconds was an amazing achievement and the soft color tones of the Polaroid system was hailed by photographers all over the world.”

Thanks, Richard, for setting me straight. I do appreciate your attentiveness.

Richard and I met through work in the 70s. He was a big shot at Grey Advertising working on the Panasonic account. No, he doesn’t know Don Draper. He is nothing like him.

The New Sharing Economy


Having dinner with Maria Bartiromo.

Maria Bartiromo, host of On The Money on CNBC, organized a dinner party recently with what she calls “a new breed of technology companies that offer consumers easy access to almost any product or experience—without having to own it.” Airbnb, Kitchit, Rent the Runway, Uber, and Getaround were featured.

Be sure to watch the show that aired this morning to get an insider understanding of the new “shared economy.” These young entrepreneurs are the new stars of the Internet.

The reason I am so excited to feature this show is because it prepares us for a new way of thinking. Write down the names of these company inventors. Listen to their stories. They are our future.

Click here for the TV segment.

Holocaust Survivor Leaves $40 Million to No One


Mr. Blum in striped suit.

After I read a front page story in The New York Times about the life of Roman Blum, a Holocaust survivor, it made me examine my own. We all have our own questions about who we are and what we are doing. His story made me realize once again how complex life is and the different journeys we all take.

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David Pogue’s Time Saving Text Tips

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.

Tech Guru Robert Scoble Can’t Live Without Google Glasses



We have another year to go before many of us will get to try one of the most remarkable new inventions to appear in a long time. Google Glasses, according to Robert Scoble, a leading tech guru, changes your social behavior. He was selected to test the glasses out for two weeks. He now says he is never taking them off.

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