Making The Transition

Making The Transition

Came out of the hospital yesterday.

Able to walk with a walker–thankful for this miracle already.

Thanks to good ‘ol technology, I was able to send my surgeon a photo from my smartphone this morning, so he could see for himself what was going on and advise me.

Later today, having nursing and physical therapy to the house and am glad to have yet another set of eyes on me, while I heal up.

Emotionally, it’s trying.

I am a very active and structured person, and for now I am just physically limited–no getting around it.

As I push myself to walk, I can see my body pushing back to give it more time.

Overall, I am determined to get back to myself with G-d’s merciful help.

I’ve already logged onto work–telework–and been in touch with my team trying to keep things moving forward.

I’m also here, on the blogosphere, sharing my experience.

While in the hospital orthopedic unit, I got to meet many others with similar or even worse situations.

One guy had a knee replacement in January and was already back and had his hip done.

Another, I was told had one hip done, followed about 2 weeks later, by the other one.

All sorts of amazing stories of people fighting to recover and get back on their feet, literally.

One more time, I just want to say how my wife has been amazing through all of this, and I can’t thank her enough.

And truly, as my parents told me, “If you have your health, you have everything!”

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Dancer and The Tablet

So we are at this Mediterranean Restaurant next to the beach.

We are sitting outside–it is a little chilly and we cozy up next to one of the fire poles to keep warm.

We weren’t eating much; just a drink for our anniversary and something to munch on.

All of a sudden, my wife points to this lady from the next table who gets up and starts dancing provocatively.

You can see the sliver of ocean behind her, the night sky, and the cars and pedestrians are going by behind her.

There are multiple realities going on here:

She is in her own world–dancing to the music, swaying this way and that, and enjoying her femininity.

On the other hand, the guy she’s with is taking a video of her on his tablet computer–he seems more concerned with capturing the moment with his technology than enjoying his girlfriend.

We are conscientious observers–I sort of wondered if the guy should’ve been paying more attention to the women who was wooing him than playing with his tablet.

The other lesson that I can’t help reaching is that cameras and microphones are truly everywhere–privacy is a complete myth!

He is recording her, we are videoing them on our smartphone, and the restaurant is taping all of us on CCTV cameras, and NSA is laughing at us from Fort Meade.

So if you want solitude, book a flight with Virgin Galactic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Sony Wig Nut

The Sony Wig Nut

Sony has so missed the mobile technology revolution.

In desperation, Sony has filed a patent for the SmartWig.

How incredibly useful (uh, not)?

Your faux hairdo can dial your hairdresser and make your next appointment for you.

It can locate via GPS the nearest salon.

And the SmartWig can even take selfies while you admire yourself in the mirror.

While Sony is goofing around again, and hasnโ€™t had a hit since the to die for Sony televisions of yore (and let’s not forget the Walkman from 1980s), Google is moving out with bravado on Glass.

Google is getting display space for Glass in eyeglass retailers, and working with opticians to make prescription lens eye-Glass.

Letโ€™s just say one company gets wearable technology and the other is hiding under wigs in The Technology Hall of Shame.

Then again, one customer may be interested in talking with Sonyโ€”the CIA for undercover operations.

Maybe a Smart Groucho Marx mustache that automatically shakes out the soup after you eat would be a cool new product, as well–go for it Sony!

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Annetta)

Apple Is Giving Us The Finger

Apple Is Giving Us The Finger

As I always say, I love Apple–and they still have the best darn Smartphone on the market–but they continue to disappoint with anything new.

This week, with the introduction of the iPhone 5S, Apple had the opportunity to introduce something new and exciting, but instead what did we get?

– A faster processor and Touch ID fingerprint reader.

In nutshell, since Steve Jobs untimely passing, Siri was a bombshell, actually just a big consumer product bomb.

And now with the fingerprint reader as the big newcomer add-on to the iPhone, it’s as if (sorry to say), Apple is giving us all the proverbial finger.

While the fingerprint reader is cute and a faster logon, it is really not a must-have or a game-changer.

The only thing less exciting than Touch ID is the new Yahoo logo.

In the last two years, Apple has taken a mighty innovation lead and squandered it.

Still, no one can touch their highly integrated iPhone product.

However, if much more time goes by without something meaningfully new and innovative, they will be in trouble.

Rumors of an iPhablet (iPhone/tablet) with a significantly larger screen (ranging from 4.8 to 6 inches) will be more like the Samsung Galaxy S4 with 5-inch screen rather than than iPhone 5S 4-inch screen, and would have attraction for people who like to read or watch on a larger, better display.

Of course a significantly better camera would be helpful too–need I say more?

Some interaction with wearable technology, like a Google Glass with augmented reality would also be a winner.

And a fully ruggedized smartphone, similar in concept to a Panasonic Toughbook–and up to military grade specs–that withstands drops, spills, dust, and lots of everyday field use punishment, would be way cool for the action-adventurer in all of us–and maybe then we wouldn’t need all the silly looking cases.

In the meantime, put your index finger on the home bottom, while Apple puts their middle finger up at you, the consumer.

Steve Jobs, where the heck are you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: here with attribution to CNET)

When GPS Takes You Down The Wrong Path

When GPS Takes You Down The Wrong Path

Mashable is reporting that a team of university students from University of Texas at Austin were able to spoof the GPS receivers on an $80 million yacht with false signals and make it veer off course without anyone even noticing!

I remember a couple of years ago, I was heading to an offsite meeting for work.

It was planned for a location that I wasn’t extremely familiar with.

Of course, I turned on my GPS device in the car and set the destination.

It was a cold snowy day–the roads were iced–and it was already treacherous driving.

But I followed the GPS directions to a T.

I ended up in someone’s backyard–at a dead end–practically in the middle of a cornfield.

I’m thinking to myself Crap!–what type of crazy GPS is this?

Thank G-d, I had my smartphone in my pocket and I opened up the GPS app on it and set the destination again.

Sure enough, it takes me off and running to the meeting location–about 10 minutes away!

Some things I learnt:

1) OMG, we are so very dependent on our technology; with technology gone wrong, I was stuck in nowhere land USA; with it right–I got out of there and to the correct location and thank G-d.

2) GPS is a capability that is critical for everything from getting us to where we need to go to getting our missiles to hit on target. Take away or mess with our GPS and we end up missing the mark–potentially big time and with devastating consequences.

3) Always have a backup, plan B. One GPS can be wrong as in this case, while the other GPS was correct. Redundancy and contingency planning is a must have, period.

4) When you’re heading down the wrong road (or you’re off course in international waters), man up and admit it and make a course correction. You don’t win any brownie points for continuing to drive into the cornfields. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

We’re All Digitally Distracted

We're All Digitally Distracted

Focus, focus…forget it!

With smartphones, social media, email, texting, phone calls, meetings, and more…it takes a lot of discipline to not get distracted and actually get things done.

The Wall Street Journal (11 December 2012) laid out half jokingly that most people wouldn’t even be able to finish the article because of all the technological and people interruptions in our daily lives.

There are various aspects to this problem:

1) Digital Addiction–We love and are addicted to the information, connectedness, convenience, and entertainment that computerization, digital communications, and the Internet provide. Loneliness be gone!

2) 24/7 Expectations–Employers, family, and friends expect that we will be available to them around the clock. We are tethered to our jobs and each other with computers, smartphones, Blackberries, telework, social media, and more. If I can’t get to you, it’s because you don’t want to be gotten!

3) Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)–One of the concerns we have about getting off our devices is that we may miss out on something–that critical phone call or email may be regarding an important event, a special sale, a job interview, a long lost friend or lover, someone who needs help, or whatever. But if you shut yourself off, then you may just be missing the opportunity of a lifetime!

For most people the smartphone is the last thing they look at before going to sleep and the first thing they look at in the morning…assuming your significant other doesn’t intervene.

Even going on vacation, for many, means checking work and personal emails and voicemails…a vacation is no longer a real vacation, just perhaps less work than going into the office.

On one hand, we have more information and connectedness at our fingertips than ever before, but on the other hand, we are living in virtual, and not physical, reality.

One example is how we sit with our families and friends, but every one is on their device and no one is interacting with each other in the room.

No wonder there is a movement now to “Turn it off!” or “Leave it at home (or work)!”–We are desperately trying to balance between cyberspace and personal space.

We can’t afford to be distracted or to distract ourselves, incessantly–we need to focus on what’s important, what needs to get done, and on those who love and need us.

Whether you do a zero email day or just leave it all behind vacation–everyone needs some time be human with each other again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Shocking Bra To Stop Attackers

A Shocking Bra To Stop Attackers

In the medieval times, to help ensure fidelity of partners and protect against rape, they invented something called a chastity belt–I am sure you get it.

There is one for women and there is another one fitted for men.

Now in light of the horrible rape attacks in India, 3 female students in India’s SRM University have developed an anti-rape bra that literally shocks attackers.

The bra is called “SHE” (for Society Harnessing Equipment) and unlike the chastity belt of the olden-days, this bra according to Popular Science delivers 3,800 kv to attackers.

Women can activate the bra when they feel unsafe and it is pressure sensitive and is calibrated to be able to differentiate say a hug from something more violent.

The woman is insulated from getting shocked by a polymer lining on the inside.

The bra is also being outfitted so the pressure sensor sends a Bluetooth signal to your smartphone to send text message alerts to family or friends and the police with your GPS location.

I want to end with a quote from one of the students as to their inspiration for this innovative anti-rape bra:

“Studying in a convent girls school, we were always taught to be good to everyone and bear a cheerful smile. After stepping into the real, cruel world, we realized that our smile could not last for long as the threat to our purity and integrity always lingered on…Hence, we have initiated the idea of self-defense, which protect the women from domestic, social and workplace harassment.”

While I hope these students don’t believe that everyone in the world is cruel, I applaud these young women for doing something positive to help protect women worldwide.

I don’t know how practical this anti-rape bra will end up being (i.e. wearing something that produces a dangerous shock), this is a good step in thinking about how to make women less of a target and increase the risk to any would-be attacker. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: adapted from here with attribution to Nicolas Sanguinetti)