Tag Archives: technology

It takes a village

Spock was famous for his Vulcan mind meld.

My family had one today via Twitter.

chocolate_oatmeal_cookiesIt began when my nephew tweeted his slightly unorthodox breakfast choice — chocolate oatmeal cookies.

I replied that his aunt would be proud — not me, my sister Lou.  She has made and eaten many batches of the slightly ugly cookie…even when they didn’t really turn out.

I mean, look at them — does it really matter?

My nephew ‘favorited’ my tweet, and I shared the conversation with my sister via Skype chat (knowing she doesn’t check Twitter as often as I do).  Now she is inspired to make some of the chocolate morsels for the first time in years!

Don’t you just love social media??


During the pre-show at my local AMC theatre, an oft-run promo asks, “Do cell phones dream?” Personally, I want to know…

Do cell phone apps turn themselves on?

cell phone iconsNine times out of ten — when I swipe the screen on my Samsung Galaxy SIII — a random app is ready and waiting instead of the home screen that I expect.

Sometimes my camera is open and pointed at my face (which can be scary when you’re not ready for it).  Or the Seamless app is offering me restaurant choices to peruse.  More often than not, Fandango is open to their current movie push ad, which I quickly skip.

(And we all know it doesn’t take much for me to decide that going to the movie is a very good idea.)

What is making these apps pop open?  Is it something in the way I swipe?  Simple chance?  Or evil marketing genius at work?

If there are any app developers out there reading this blog — and if you are…really? –

I’d love to know.

Beery, beery creative

I have more than one friend and/or family member who records their beer consumption on Twitter.

Why yes, I am very proud.

beer namesThe app shows the beer name, where they were when they swigged it, and how long they breathed — if indeed they did — between frosty brews.

Now, I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I find myself looking forward to this digital diary…and wanting to participate even though I don’t like it!

Luckily I found the perfect way:

The Random Beer Name Generator.

Just click the button, and it generates a way cool beer name.  For example, it just gave me “Irish Elvis Dubble”…

So let’s pretend that’s what I drank this round.


You might see yourself here

The best thing I saw at the movie theatre yesterday was an ad during the pre-show.

No offense to the movie.

I really enjoyed Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. It had great action, an interesting conceit and an ending that I did not see coming.

But this commercial for Windows Phone made me laugh aloud.

Truth is funny.

Did someone hit redial?

Happy 40th Birthday, Cellphone!

cellphone birthdayThat’s right.  Forty years ago today, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first cellphone call — to one of his rival engineers at Bell Labs, no less — and made telecommunications history.

Looking at your ‘baby photo’ at left — a cellphone model that I see turn up in old movies and television sitcom reruns all the time — I can honestly say…

You look even younger today.

(You really do.)

Pixelated, man

My German taxi driver shared an interesting theory today.

He has stopped watching TV because there are subliminal messages between the pixels that hypnotize you.

His concerns were based on the work of a Russian scientist (so you know it’s true).

The conversation took me back to my advertising classes in college.  Of course, back then we were discussing subliminal imagery — ways to get people to buy without realizing they had been manipulated — so his theory isn’t that far afield.

He also posits that the longer you sit there, the more hypnotized you become and the more open to the message.

I’ll give him the hypnotized part…but could the producers of some of these really dumb reality shows be smart enough to embed messaging that would, say, overturn the government?

(Come to think of it, it would explain the Tea Party….)

People — step away from your flat screens!


Like nostalgia?

This image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, captured by four NASA telescopes, is estimated to be millions of years behind.

Wrap your head around that one, and have a nice day.

Get the message

I love watching movies on the big screen. Many of my friends prefer to stay at home.

Price is only one factor.

They hate having their movie ruined by chattering, texting, rude people in the theatre.

Let’s face it — it happens more often than not.

And it might be getting a lot worse.

At a recent CinemaCon panel in Las Vegas, movie executives from Regal and IMAX chains said they both had discussed allowing texting during movie screenings to make the experience more interactive for younger viewers.



It’s bad enough already, with cellphones randomly lighting up the theatre and distracting your eye from the screen.  Imagine what it would look like if they were on throughout the film.  The incessant clicking.  The chatter as people shared text messages.

If movie executives want to lose customers, it’s the perfect business model.

Text them that.

Play big!

Over the weekend, students at MIT hacked the Green Building on campus and made it play Tetris.

It’s not the first time a college building’s lights have been hijacked.  Students at Brown University and Delft University in the Netherlands pulled off similar stunts years earlier.

But it’s still pretty darn fun.

And I think New York City should consider itself challenged — not the colleges per se, but all the wonderfully tall buildings that occupy downtown and bring in millions of tourists each year.

Sure, we have dancing snowflakes on the side of the Sax Fifth Avenue Building each Christmas, but I’m talking bigger.  Taller.  Faster.

I’m looking at you, Empire State Building.

We know you can vary the lights at the very tip-top to reflect the seasons.  How about using the lights on the side of the building to create the biggest video game in the world?

If you don’t do it, I’ll bet there’s a hacker out there who will.

Game on.


Dear Time Warner Cable:  Two is not enough.

(As in the number of HD shows I can record concurrently per DVR.)

I have always been aware of this restriction.  But there will come a night — like tonight, Sunday night — when I have three shows in one given time slot that I want to watch and/or record.

And I’m forced to make Sophie’s Choice.

Yes, I know some or all of these programs may be available online. But call me old-fashioned — I like watching my favorite shows on my big ol’ LCD TV.

Not on my laptop or iPad.  Unless forced.

And this ‘two program limit per DVR’ is forcing me to not watch television in the comfort of my own living room.