Marilyn Monroe Gave Us A National Treasure  

Everyone knows that Marilyn Monroe was a blonde bombshell. However, few of us knew that she was greatly responsible for Ella Fitzgerald’s career.

I heard the story about Marilyn for the first time on my drive from Miami to the Florida Keys yesterday. Our friend Bobby Williams told us about it, but I just didn’t believe it at first. I decided to Google it and a bunch of stories appeared that confirm what Bobby said. Bobby also texted me the story from KPLU. You can read it here.

During the 1950s, Ella experienced a lot of bigotry because of her race. African-American people were limited to a few venues in the country. Ella wanted to perform in the popular Mocambo night club in Hollywood. That’s where Frank Sinatra got his start. Like many other clubs, Mocambo was restricted.

Marilyn was a big Ella fan. When she heard that Ella was rejected by Macambo, she made a call to the club’s owner requesting that Ella be booked for a week. She told him that if he would oblige, she would show up every night of Ella’s run. Since Marilyn was such a huge superstar, her presence would guarantee a huge audience turnout and headline press. 

The owner said yes and Marilyn kept her word. Ella never had to work a small venue again. The whole world opened up for her.  

What does this have to do with the digital world? Absolutely nothing. I just wanted  to share it with you.

Self-Driving Bicycles   

My brother sent me this video because he didn’t know if it was real. After checking around a bit, I discovered it was an April Fools’ joke.  

Google executives in the Netherland concocted this video as a spoof on its self-driving cars. I encourage you to watch the video. It’s definitely a glimpse into the future. 


Fast And Fun Way To Preserve Old Photos  

Sometimes I think situations, products, and services come about just when I need them. Yes, it’s called serendipitous. I can give you countless examples. Two that just happened to me are: Uber/Lyft and Photomyne. 

In recent years,  I cut back on my driving. I just don’t like to be behind the wheel anymore. I will drive if I have to, but I prefer Uber or Lyft. It just seems strange to me that one day I decide driving is not for me anymore, and then, soon after, I hear about the invention of Uber and Lyft. It was a perfect fit. 

Now I want to condense all of my old photo albums. We have so many of them filled with decades of great memories. The biggest problem is that the photos are now fading and shifting around. We weren’t sure what to do with them.

A few weeks later I learned about Photomyne, a smartphone app that lets you turn your old prints into digital files faster than you can imagine. The big advantage is that you don’t have to snap one picture at a time. The app allows you to scan multiple pictures in a single shot. 

The description from the app says, “The app automatically crops each photo and restores its faded colors using machine-learning technology.” A newer version will have  cloud-only backup to free up storage on the user’s smartphone, faster scanning, and collaborative photo albums.

A recent post about Photomyne in Tech Crunch revealed that since  its launch nine months ago, “The company has grown to over 900,000 users. More than 500,000 are users of the paid Photomyne app, and around 400,000 use the free Photomyne app. To date, these users have scanned over 14 million photos.

The Tel Aviv-based company has raised $2.6 million to make this app one of the most popular. 

I wish life could be so easy, all of the time.

Knock, Knock, Let Me Have My Cash 

In case you haven’t heard, your smartphone is going to be the instrument you will need to start a transaction with an ATM machine in the not-too-distant future. You will be required to tap the cash machine with your phone in order to be recognized. 

This is truly something out of science fiction. I almost can’t believe it myself. We won’t be inserting debit cards anymore. It’s going to be “Knock, knock it’s me. Let me have my cash.”

I read about it in CNET. I suggest you read the story as well because it details exactly how it will work. Security issues are also covered.  You can also watch the video above for a demonstration.

The CNET story claims that Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase will be the first to test the technology and others will follow.

Just when you think you have seen it all in the world of technology, something else develops. 

Poetic License  

I have a client, Allen Hirsch, a New York artist, who claims Tim Cook’s 17th century painting  also has HandL 

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple,  announced that he saw an iPhone in a 17th Century Dutch master painting in Amsterdam yesterday.

To see where he made those claims, click here and here.

                                                                                                                  MAllen Hirsch considers himself a kind of reincarnation of the painter, Pieter de Hooch, was not surprised:

“Mr. Cook may be right, but calculating the relaxed angle of the hand, the two curled fingers, the weight of the phone, the guy in the picture is probably using a HandL.” Hirsch was referring to a unique new phone case he invented that allows users to interact with the phone in a gripless, organic way.

Hirsch also shares the special admiration of the painting as Cook does. He after all, owns De Hooch’s earlier version of the picture. “This was his pre-iPhone period,” Hirsch quips.

 “De Hooch uniquely combined interior geometry and doorways with the organic figure which inspired his more famous Delft peer, Johannes Vermeer. I was painting like De Hooch before I even knew him. But when I saw his work, I felt a metaphysical connection- like he was inside of me. 

“This interest in geometry and figure in De Hooch and my work parallels the organic integration of tech and the hand that I pursued in the development of HandL.”

Hirsch owns seminal works by the artist and is working on a paper presenting recent discoveries he made about the artist including proof that he lived beyond the established 1684, and other interesting subject matter hidden in his work (besides iPhones)..

About Allen Hirsch
 Allen Hirsch is a prolific American artist, writer and entrepreneur. Hirsch and his work have been featured on the cover of TIME Magazine five times, has been featured several times in the New York Times and in New York Magazine. He has spent part of the last 20 years painting in jungle huts in Venezuela, creating works that resemble Dutch 17th century imagery. He has also invented new techniques such as string painting and explored brain lateralization in art and on the face. In New York, Allen has developed special real estate and hospitality properties, which include the world famous restaurant La Esquina in Soho. In 1993, he did the inaugural Bill Clinton portrait for Natl Portrait Gallery that also hangs in the White House. Hirsch’s artwork can be seen at

 About HandL

 “HandL creates a whole new gripless experience for phone owners,” noted Hirsch. “I have designed it as a natural extension of our hand, allowing freedom and flexibility in phone handling without dropping fears. I worked to make HandL the simplest, most versatile interface between hand and phone, consisting of a high quality elastic band and finger brace. It feels like the phone is floating in your hand.” HandL phone case reduces wrist pain caused from gripping our phones and allows the user to operate even the large screen phones easily with one hand. This allows a more seamless integration of these devices into our busy, multitasking lifestyles. HandL also ingeniously converts into a portrait and landscape stand.

 The product is currently available for the iPhone 6/6S, iPhone 6/6S Plus, and the Samsung Note 4 and Note 3 from $24.99-49.99. HandL is also about to launch other models that will ignite the users’ tactile senses.

HandL phone case can be purchased primarily through its website,

A Bright Idea 

This is a fun product for all of us who were never able to spend thousands of dollars on custom lighting systems for our home. It’s almost a dream come true for those who love the idea of remotely controlling the lights in each of the rooms of your apartment or house.

iDevices Socket is wi-fi light bulb adapter that simply screws into a standard light socket. For $79.00, you can buy an iDevices Socket which will turn a standard bulb into a smart Wi-Fi bulb. The iDevices Socket interfaces with Siri and other wi-fi connected products. 

There may be other adapters like this on the market but the iDevices Socket also features dimming capabilities and a color light ring for ambiance. It can handle up to 60 watts.

To find out more about iDevices, see the Dealerscope story on the product.


If You Want To Learn More About 3D Printing Stick With Me   

Image: Wired. Co. UK

Image: Chemical Materials

I’m hoping to learn a lot about 3D printing this summer. I want to share as much information with you as possible.

I’m working with Breakthrough Miami, an academic enrichment program for promising students from disadvantaged communities in the Miami-Dade County. The students will be working in one of the largest art/design-oriented 3D printing centers in the United States this summer. Much to everyone’s surprise, the 3D printing facility is located on Lincoln Road at the 16,000 sq. ft. FIU College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) | Miami Beach Urban Studios.

The program, Project Growlight, was created by Elissa Vanaver, CEO, Breakthrough Miami and John Stuart, AIA, Associate Dean for Cultural and Community Engagement, FIU College of Architecture + The Arts and Executive Director, Miami Beach Urban Studios.    

I met Elissa though her husband Roman Lyskowski, a former Miami Herald photo editor. I met Roman when I sent one of Eliot’s photos to the Herald. Eliot captured a photo of a fire downtown from the balcony of our South Beach condo. Roman published the photo and gave Eliot a photo credit. A few weeks later, I invited Roman, his wife and some of his friends, to one of our parties. Ever since then, the four of us have become friendly.

Elissa and John have been working diligently on Project Growlight. It will engage young scholars in a three-week “think-tank,” exploring the world of design, art, community building, and urbanism through hands-on work with the CARTA Innovation Lab. Through FIU’s faculty and other noted partners, the students will meet one-on-one with creative thought leaders in one of the country’s most dynamic cities, while FIU’s grad students will provide the day-to-day coaching and mentoring. 

Project Growlight, which will turn all of South Beach into a vibrant learning lab, is a unique opportunity to get involved in the rewarding work of creating diverse leadership for Miami’s future.

Breakthrough Miami is 25 years old this year and nearly 1,300 middle and high-school students benefit from the school-year and summer programs the organization runs across the county. Saturday and summer programs operate year-round on the high school campuses of Ransom Everglades, Miami Country Day, Palmer Trinity, Carrollton and Gulliver.

If you want to get involved, let me know.

Thank you.

Earpiece That Translates Foreign Languages In Real Time

Image: Waverly Labs

I think I imagined a gadget like this decades ago. A start-up called Waverly Labs, has created a device, The Pilot System, that translates English, French, Spanish and Italian in real time. 

I have been reading about Waverly Labs for a few weeks and then someone told me that the company will be raising money on Indiegogo. This is what I found. 

If The Pilot works, it will really be incredible. Supposedly, when someone speaks to you in a different languages, The Pilot ear device will translate what is being said. 

The device, $299, is available in three colors. 
You have to download The Pilot app in order to control languages in the earpiece. Future languages include Slavic, Semitic, Hindi and East Asian. 

The Pilot is targeted for Spring 2017. If you want more information you can contact the Founder and CEO, Andrew Ochoa,, 646-480-2644.

The Miami Supercar Rooms

It’s an exotic car collection, a bar, a restaurant, a music venue, and one of Miami’s hottest attractions. Let me introduce you to the Miami Supercar Rooms. It’s located in the creative area of Wynwood, Miami, 2022 NW First Ct. 

It was started by Elo, a British automotive collector, who founded UK’s London Motor Museum, now showcasing 250 exclusive supercars.

The Miami collection keeps changing all the time. You can visit the Miami Supercar Rooms during the day for free or book one of their high end dining experiences.

If you visit Miami, we will be happy to take you to this amazing destination. You’ll get to meet Elo and talk cars with him.

Elo with me

Elo with Ruth