Smartphone Secrets

Before I get into today’s topic, I urge you to read yesterday’s DigiDame. I wrote it so early yesterday that I forgot to post it in time for the email blast. I don’t want you to miss the New York Times story I was referring to. It is a good read. Check it out here.

I do some work with I saw this slide show and felt you should see it too. You may not realize the pitfalls of using a smartphone so much. Proceed with caution.

It’s Been One Of Those Weeks

Image: The New York Times

The following story in the New York Times really has nothing to do with the digital world, art, or travel. It’s more about our age group and life in general.

We never know what to expect. I’m not complaining, but the highs and lows of the world we live in has me exasperated and very emotional. I’m not going to get into the insane challenges I’m dealing with on the job. That is to be expected. It’s the other stuff that gets to me. The shootings, the bullying, the insults, and the beatings, are just so aggravating. I pray for peace all the time.

I guess I was in a funky mood when I read the love story this morning. It was most unusual. I immediately wanted to share it with you because it’s about love, marriage, compromises and end of life decisions. I found it to be very real and very insightful. Not every family is the same, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate each other.

Click here for a good laugh, and for a good cry.

A Chance To Be An Amazon Partner

For the last few years, if someone wanted to make extra money, he or she could have become an Uber driver. Now, that person has options. Amazon will be offering jobs to folks who would like to get into the package delivery service. The company needs help delivering an increasing number of packages that are being ordered every day of the week.

Amazon will be providing delivery vans and uniforms with the name Amazon on them. Those folks who want to get involved will pay $10,000 to become an Amazon partner.

Amazon already partners with small and mid-sized delivery companies across the country in addition to UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how this new Amazon delivery service develops. If history repeats itself, the new concept is going to give a lot of people jobs and flexible working hours.

It all sounds good to me.

A New Digital Approach For Hurricane Protection

This is the time of year when the people of Miami start thinking about hurricanes all the time. We never know what to expect. Many folks take this subject very seriously. They start stocking up on supplies, dry dock their boats, tie down their outdoor furniture, and prepare wood for boarding up windows. Being proactive makes many people feel like they are warding off the worst possible storm. We hope it’s not all in vain. No one really knows.

The National Weather Service is really trying to become a better resource for hurricane information. They hope their newly-designed website,, will provide the public with more accurate information in a timely fashion. The navigation should be much easier to use.

The major change this year is that the new website details what to expect city by city, and block by block. That means local residents will be able to zero in on wind arrival times and storm surge predictions. The Center also works with local meteorologists to better understand weather challenges in each neighborhood.

We all hope this will be an uneventful hurricane season. I’m glad to see a better digital effort to keep us all safe. Miami is not the only city at risk. We have all seen destruction everywhere. Information is king. Take advantage of it.

The Miami Herald has more detailed information on this subject. Click below.

Robots Are Getting Ready To Scratch Your Back

Image from YouTube

Every time I go to a tech show, I see more and more robots being exhibited for many different types of functions. The one that interests me the most are the robots for elder care.

I try to imagine what it would be like ordering around one of these strange looking figures.”Go get me my pills.” “Scratch my back.” “Answer the door.” “I want my dinner.” “Wash my hair.” I’m one of a few who could get used to this way of life pretty quickly. I know what you are thinking and it’s not true.

Eliot does not act as my personal servant. He volunteers a lot of his services because he can’t stand seeing me being disorganized. He is a Virgo and has the need to make sure everything gets done quickly and in order. Maybe, I’m being prepped for the new age of robots.

A new survey from Brookings Institute, a research group in Washington, DC, says most Americans today do not want help from robots. That could change in 30 years, the survey indicates. However, many of us reading this post will not be here to see it.

Someone needs to ask robot manufacturers just how long it’s really going to take to get market acceptance. If you know anyone in the business, you may want to show him or her this survey.

Re/code, one of the most respected tech sites, did a great job, reporting the news. Click here to read it.

Eavesdrop On Your Pilot Talking to Air Traffic Control

I’m not so sure I will ever use the app that I am about to describe to you. It allows you to eavesdrop on your pilot talking to air traffic control. I’m just too scared to listen.

Many years ago, I was on a flight that allowed you to listen to the pilot through the airplane’s audio system. I heard the pilot tell an air traffic controller that he didn’t want to land the plane because he didn’t like the air currents.

The air traffic controller told my pilot that a small air craft just safely landed. My pilot still didn’t want to land the plane. He said he wanted to circle once again. I started to freak. What was wrong with this guy? I thought he was having a nervous breakdown and would never land the plane.

Next time around, he decided it was safe. We finally landed. I swore I would never listen in again. I later learned that a pilot has the last word on when, he or she, thinks it’s safe enough to land an aircraft. If the pilot doesn’t feel it’s safe, other options are considered. If you are not a chicken, you can learn a lot by listening in. Read all about it in, a multi-series reference guide. Click below.

The Rebirth of Bookstores

You read it here first. I think the bookstore is really making a comeback. I have been feeling it for a while, but now I think the old book store concept has finally figured out a way to fit in to the digital age.

For example, the Shakespeare & Co., a bookstore company in New York, will be featuring an “Espresso Book Machine” in its new stores. The company said the new machine will be able to print paperbacks that are not in stock. It will also permit writers to self-publish their own work.

Now, that’s cool.

Shakespeare & Co. plans to open new bookstores in New York City this year. Eliot and I passed one of the new bookstores on the upper westside. It also features a cafe. I got so excited when I saw the sign “opening soon” because I immediately got flashbacks of all the hours I used to spend wandering the aisles in bookstores everywhere I went.

Books & Books, an independent bookstore chain in Miami, keeps adding branches and I have noticed many more people shopping in Barnes & Noble. Friends tell me new bookstores are popping up in Denver, Dallas, Boston and Columbus and are becoming gathering places for book clubs, meditation centers, lectures, art exhibits, knitting groups, and all kinds of cultural meetings.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but my guess is that more bookstores will appear on the scene with a new hook. Printed books will still dominate, but a special emphasis will be placed on digital products. You might see digital assistants dedicated to reading books, robots that help you with research, and smart glasses that feature bookstore navigation systems.

I really hope my bookstore theory comes true. It would be great to have a social meeting place again and give Amazon a little competition.

The Power Of Music

This YouTube video is just a day old and five million people have already viewed it. You must stop what you are doing, and watch it too. It will make you laugh and cry. The combination of Paul McCartney with James Corden in Carpool Karaoke is just perfect.

I think the reason why this video is such big news is because Paul gave James a tour of his hometown in Liverpool. Once the word got out that Paul was visiting his old neighborhood, everyone on the street where he lived, and the streets in the surrounding areas, came out to see one of the greatest entertainers in the world.

James was so overwhelmed by the experience, he started to cry when he and Paul were driving from location to location. I will never forget Paul’s reaction. He turned to James and said, “The power of music.”

Paul made reference to the fact that music is what brings people together. “And the world needs that now more than ever.” When Paul said that I started to tear up. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was more love in the world?

I Spy

My friend Marcia Grand, and her husband Richie, invited us to visit New York’s Spy Museum & Experience with them today. It’s on 55th Street and Eighth Avenue. I didn’t even know that NYC had such a museum, but I just learned that many cities have exhibits like this where there are many spy stories and gadgets.

Most of us know nothing about spies, the cracking of codes, encryption, deception, surveillance, and hacking. You may be thinking why should this topic be of interest to you?

We live in a digital world where we all are being watched. Everything we do is being recorded. Big brother knows when and where we shop, what we read, who we speak to, what we eat, and what we do for fun.

This may be a good time to see what the world of spying is all about. You can even test your skills.