A Like Button For Email

Put Some Cool in Your Email

We all get more emails every day than we can respond to. Even if you just want to acknowledge an email, it’s a pain in the behind. You want the people who sent you the email to feel listened to, but frankly you don’t want to spend the time writing some pithy response.

That’s where our new tool Putsomecoolinyouremail (pronounced “put some cool in your email”) comes into play. (You can download it here from the Chrome Web Store.)

Here’s what I wrote on the product website:

1. Your friend from California sends you an email with an important update about what’s going on. You don’t have time to write a full response at this moment. No problem, just hit “cool”.

2. Your girlfriend sends you an email with a picture. Perhaps it’s the 10th today, so instead of putting together a lengthy reply, just hit “like”.

3. Milton from your office sends you another lame link about staplers, how he’s being mistreated, and he’s copied like 15 people on the email. Don’t call him an idiot, just hit “whatever”.

You quickly respond letting them know that you got their email… and they get a quick note back from you acknowledging their email!

For those of you wondering what my new stealth mode software company is all about — it’s not this. This is a bit of a fun side project inspired by this video:

Hopefully I’ll see you responding ‘cool’ to an email of mine soon!

The Spy Who Loved His iWatch

Caught a bit of the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me this morning at the gym. This must have been the first James Bond movie I saw in the theaters, and boy does it make 1977 look like a long time ago.

A few funny bits jumped out at me:

James Bond’s Smart Watch

With the Apple iWatch announcement coming up right around the corner, who was wearing an early prototype? That’s right, good old 007. In his case, a good old Seiko digital watch that somehow was able to print out (in all capital letters) messages from the M5.
photo 1

Smoking on Submarines?

Perhaps it was just an oversight on the part of the director — like the part where they were talking about the oil in Egypt — but these sailors were smoking on a British Sub. Surely that was never allowed, right?

photo 2

Analog Switches Galore!

The movie tries to make everything look so super high tech by putting lots of nobs, dials and buttons on all sorts of machines. Here we are blowing up a helicopter with the push of a button:

photo 3

I’m looking forward to seeing the rest!

Predicting the Future of Photography

Camera Lens by Anna Henryson

For a while now I’ve been contemplating a future where you can find a photograph of almost anything at a certain time.

Meaning, in some future version of Flickr you would say (literally) “show me a photo of 20 Heckscher Drive in Huntington, NY from last week” or “what did Trafalgar Square look like in 2014?” and you’d get the image.

This vision was turned into a tool for the evil information overlords in the Dave Eggars novel The Circle. In that dystopian future, The Circle — think Google and Facebook merged — uses the organized information of the world to promote its own ruthless agenda.

Anyhow, while watching a guy take a photo of a mural this morning I wondered “how many times has this photo been taken?” This then lead to leap to “maybe in the future cameras won’t actually ‘take pictures’. They simply record the date, time, location, light conditions, etc and construct the image from known sources.”

Like the way iMovie has an “automatic Ken Burns” mode, maybe you camera asks you to select Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz mode.

Perhaps I should reach out to the Lytro people. Or maybe start a business creating these non-photography cameras. They’d be pretty small and easy to carry around…

Photo of Camera Lens by Anna Henryson

High Altitude Drone Flying Over Boston

DCIM100MEDIA

Last night’s drone flying adventure was all about getting it as high up in the air as possible.

Learning to understand how the camera works on the drone is a bit tricky. When I pan or move around, controlling the drone from the ground, it seems slow and controlled… but then when I watch the video it always seems too short and sort of jerky. I’m working on that.

If you live in the Boston area and are interested in renting a DJI Phantom 2+, let me know. Or if you want a drone to deliver leads to your sales team, I know the place to go.

Boston Drone Ahoy!

This was the drone I was looking for.

You might recall that I smacked my drone into the house before I went to China. Well, it’s back from the shop and out and flying around in Boston. Well, mostly the two blocks in Boston around my house. In a big park where I couldn’t hurt anyone or the drone.

Anyhow, here are some fun videos I pulled together of the most recent flights:

Drones Come Back from adamhonig on Vimeo.

If you’re a friend of mine, let’s make a date to take the drone around where you live! If you’re interested in renting a drone, let me know too. And finally, if you want a drone to deliver leads to your sales team, I know the place to go.

Happiness and Ephemeral Pleasure

According to Kierkegaard, “many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.” If I ate this 1,200 calorie slice of cheesecake, would I be happy the next day? Is all pleasure ephemeral, lasting but a short moment?

I had a conversation the other evening with my friend Ward, and I mentioned that I find the pleasure derived from eating food to be ephemeral. (It would have been cooler, if I managed to actually pronounce ephemeral (“əˈfem(ə)rəl/”) properly.)

Ward astutely mentioned that all pleasure is ultimately fleeting. I agreed with him but later started thinking more about the idea.

Upon a bit more reflection, I can say that I find some cases where pleasure does last longer. For example my recent trip to China brought back memories of my trip to visit the Taj Mahal back in 2003.

My photo of the Taj Mahal from 2003*

I remember that during my visit, I smiled so much at the beauty of the building that my cheeks hurt for an hour after the visit. And the memory of that visit still brings me pleasure.

Yet, the memory of a great meal, like that of eating bistecca at Florence’s Buca Lapi or suckling pig in Madrid at Restaurante Sobrino de Botin — both great meals with good memories — doesn’t bring back any pleasure. Actually, both memories are making me hungry right now.

From our wonderful meal at Buca Lapi (Via del Trebbio, 1r). We need to return soon.

You know how people say that you should give experiences instead of objects because the pleasure lasts longer? Perhaps there is something in play here like that. And perhaps thats why we take so many photographs of our experiences, not of material possessions.

Pretty much the only photo I could find of “stuff”. Flickr needs to introduce a feature for that.

Then again, I have pretty good memories of my Mini Cooper, which I drove for about 12 years. Or is it the experience of driving the Mini that is bringing me pleasure now? Very hard to separate these issues.

While I enjoyed reading Kierkegaard in college, I’m not sure the author of The Sickness Unto Death is really the person whose lead I want to follow about pleasure.

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(* Boy, digital cameras have come a long way since 2003. It’s always amazing for me to look back and see how photos from today’s iPhones take better photos than actual cameras from just ten years ago.)