Business card scanning

Like many people, I’ve probably gotten thousands of business cards over the years. For at least 8 years I carried a Franklin Planner, but by 1998 I went digital. I’m also a bit of a contact-hoarder. I make notes for many of the contacts I make, because I like to go back to give business to people I’ve actually met in person, or when someone else says that they need someone for a particular service, I like to connect people. Over the years I’ve tried entering all of …

Cruise ship app

Almost EVERYONE today carries a smartphone. Carnival should create an Android and iOS app that can connect to the ship’s WiFi but can only access the ship. This app can be a way for passengers to communicate with each other, look up show times and schedules, use maps of the ship, request or schedule services and even scan QR codes around the ship that would give them information about where they’re at or what they are seeing. Carnival could also send messages and information to passengers, coordinate disembarking, …

Will taxis match Uber’s quotes?

This week I’m planning on stopping by the E3 Expo​. Although I live and work pretty close to the LA Convention Center, the parking is the killer part… so, I thought – oh, Uber​! Then, as I often do, I think about the competing business – taxi companies. Then I thought, “I wonder if taxi companies – or taxi drivers – will match Uber pricing.” If I pull up Uber on my phone, enter a starting point and destination, the Uber app will give me quote. On more …

Audio cues in podcasts

With smartphones being a regular part of most people’s lives and podcasts becoming more popular as in-car entertainment, advertising needs to catch up with the technology a bit. I often hear ads that are interesting enough to want to look up, but if I’m driving I can’t pull up a website or even take a note, so I need to really want to remember what the ad was about to recall it later. So instead, what about an app that would listen for audio cues and pull up …

Mobile card readers… for the laptop

Mobile phone card readers have become more popular in recent years because they’re small and easy to use for swiping a payment cards while away from a retail location. There are at least half-a-dozen readers out there that you can get for free from the various payment processors. That’s because the readers are extremely inexpensive to produce – and that’s because they are very simple devices. They read the non-encrypted data on the magnetic stripe of your card. The other day I was sitting with a friend who …

Small business and technology

I started in the software and technology world in 1995 doing tech-support for a software product called “Internet in a Box”. The job consisted mainly of taking phone calls to help customers who bought the software install it, set it up on their computer and configure their modems to get connected to the Internet. By 1996 the Internet had become more open for the public but it still wasn’t ‘easy’ to get connected. Internet in a Box was revolutionary in the same way TiVo and smart phones changed …