September 17, 2015



Now that we all have email at the palm our hands, it’s easy to forget how unusual it was when I first introduced Quickmail to Chiat/Day.

Jay loved technology, and he hated paper. So when I proposed that I introduce this new thing called “email,” he was all for it.

Many of you, who are reading this on some sort of electronic device, kicked like cattle. (Yes, YOU!) I remember my implementation method. I told the front desk receptionists that they could no longer use “While You Were Out” slips. All of your messages, from hence forth/force, were to be delivered by “Quickmail.” (Art directors were the hardest to handle.)

Remember Quickmail? You could create and swap fun Quickmail templates, including cartoons. You could “unsend.”

I would like you to meet, some umpteen years later, two of the people who made this transformation happen. On the left, Laura Scott. On the right, Sue Nail. Both of them worked for CE Software in Iowa and helped me (and the tech staff) grab you kicking and screaming into the age of email.

If I can find it, I will publish the first email Jay ever sent.

Ah, here it is ..

June 02, 2008

The Cubicle


A treatise on the lowly cubicle.

August 09, 2007

Great Mac Tech Support


If any of you are looking for great Mac tech-support, I can highly recommend Pixelfixny. Call and ask for Ben or Lawrence. Or drop them a line by clicking here.

They have a frighteningly exhaustive knowledge of Mac and Mac networks and are extremely pleasant to work with. Ted Colgate still ranks as the best Mac guy I've ever worked with, but Ben and Lawrence are close seconds.


August 05, 2006

Free movie downloads


Although the downloading of movies is in its infancy, the time will come when the Internet will be a primary distribution pipeline for Hollywood. Give the experience a try by downloading from this archive of legal downloads of classic films, short subjects, and documentaries.


February 23, 2006

10 Things That Will Change The Way We Live


Forbes Magazine looks at ten technologies which could dramatically affect our future. Haptics, anyone?


January 18, 2006

Synthetic Worlds


It's my job to alert you when there's something startling new afoot in the world of technology, especially when that something new is creating an entirely new marketplace. That something new is the world of online reality games.

I'm not talking video games, I'm talking about huge, multi-player fantasy games, played online, where characters and "virtual land" are traded --- for real cash. It is not hyperbole to say that the economies of these virtual worlds exceed, in size, the economies of some countries in the real world.

"Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games" by economist Edward Castronova should be required reading by anyone who wants to impress their client with some mind-blowing insight into a new economic frontier.


January 17, 2006

Don't be so judgmental

In less time than it took you to read this sentence, you've already judged the value of this website. My proof? Some Canadians told me.


January 10, 2006



As the world becomes engorged with digital media, it's fun to look back to some of the very first technology to capture sound. Ever wonder what Teddy Roosevelt sounded like? Listen. Or would you like to hear Shackleton talking about his trip to Antarctica? Listen.

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization project has preserved 5,000 wax cylinders.


July 13, 2005



Here's an excellent article about how podcasting is going mainstream. And a website to hang out at that explains how to get yourself jump-started in this exciting new media.

Read article
Visit website

May 05, 2005

Shopping Buddy


A portable computer for your shopping cart? This project sounds about as realistic as Time-Warner's two-decade long attempt to figure out how to do interactive television.


April 20, 2005

Louzy Grammer

Marketing are bad for brand big and small. You Know What I am Saying? It is no wondering that advertisings are bad for company in America, Chicago and Germany.


March 28, 2005



A new website will publish your digital media for free ... forever. Welcome to Ourmedia, a "free, not-for-profit effort to create a global home for grassroots media." The founders hope that the site will become a repository of shareable digital media, including documentaries, student films, grassroots political advertisement and artwork.


February 10, 2005

My card, my Wang


I was cleaning out a drawer and ran across this proof of my nerdiness, a membership card for the International Society of Wang Users. Remember the beloved old Wang computer?

(In Condoleezza Rice's Senate confirmation hearings, she referred to the State Department's outmoded computer systems. ""People are still using Wangs ... not that there's anything wrong with Wangs.")

January 24, 2005

Talking Street


As the use of cellular phones grows, marketers have many new means of reaching consumers. Here's an unusual business that offers walking tours of Manhattan, narrated via your cell-phone. For example, a tour of lower Manhattan, narrated by Sigourney Weaver, takes you from the rise of the skyscraper to the stock market crash of '29 to the rebuilding of downtown. Corporate sponsors anyone?


July 26, 2004

How do they do that?


A fascinating look behind the scenes at the technology at work in the Tour de France.


March 23, 2004

Immersion Point


Virtual meetings, anyone?


February 20, 2004

Free teleconference service


A great dial-in teleconferencing solution for free. You just set up your call as little as 90 minutes in advance and distribute the call-in number to the folks calling. The organizer pays nothing, and participants pay only their usual long distance.


November 17, 2003

Inventions of the Year


From iTunes to third-world water purifiers to getting the fish in your aquarium to glow in the dark. Browse through Time Magazine's Coolest Inventions of the Year.


November 12, 2003



A new personal transportation vehicle from Canada may challenge a market Segway currently owns exclusively. This one actually looks like something even George Bush would look good falling off of.


September 25, 2003

Better Off Without E-Mail?

David Pogue writes a regular column for the New York Times "Circuits" section. I subscribe to an addendum to that column, which he distributes via email. Here is a segment of that newsletter. I think Jay would have loved this:

From the Desk of David Pogue: Better Off Without E-Mail? ===========================================

You already know that individuals and businesses worldwide are struggling to fix e-mail. The spam, the viruses, the irrelevant forwarding, the insipid joke mailing lists . . . whatever productivity gains e-mail once offered are rapidly being offset by the time we spend weeding through the chaff.

So far, though, nobody has gone as far as suggesting that we're better off without e-mail entirely. Until now. John Caudwell is the millionaire head of Phones 4U, a chain of high-end cellphone stores in the U.K. Last week, in a move that's causing shockwaves among, well, just about everybody, he banned all internal e-mail among his 2,500 employees. (They're still allowed to correspond with customers, suppliers, their repair division and so on.) Mr. Caudwell says he wants his company to conduct their transactions by phone or face to face.

Continue reading "Better Off Without E-Mail?" »

September 22, 2003

Grand Canyon


Here's a new toy to liven up your new business presentations!


September 05, 2003

The impact of camera phones

This fascinating article on the impact of camera phones on photography is a thinly-veiled justification for showing a picture of me taken by my friend Dale with his newest toy, a Sony Ericsson T610.


September 04, 2003


If only school was this beautifully designed! Brainpop is an educational site offering content on over 300 different subjects. The site is used by 15% percent of U.S. school districts. Two million children watch BrainPOP movies each month. Teachers and parents love the site, as it's a great "homework helper."

View Requires that your computer be able to show "Flash" animation.

August 18, 2003

Have fun in the dark!


Yes, you too can enjoy your next blackout without the hassle of batteries with these attractive crank-powered radios, flashlights, and cell-phone chargers.


August 12, 2003

Kiddie kalls

A study in Britain reveals that of children in the age group of five to nine, one in nine actually has their own cell phone! Children, in fact, are the fastest growing segment of mobile users. What's fueling the increase? "Pester power."


July 28, 2003

Divorce by cell-phone

A Malaysian court has ruled that it's legal for a man to divorce his wife via text message:

Sharia judge Mohamad Fauzi Ismail declared that the divorce declaration was valid and that as such the marriage between the plaintiff Azida Fazlina Abdul Latif and defendant Shamsudin Latif was annulled, the Utusan Malaysia newspaper reported. Mr Shamsudin was said to have sent Ms Azida a text message saying: "If you do not leave your parents' house, you'll be divorced". Although such a notification of divorce may seem astonishingly brief to some, under Islamic law men are allowed to divorce their wives simply be saying the word 'talaq' - I divorce you - three times.

July 22, 2003

Backup to the moon

One enterprising company has decided that there's only one truly safe place to store your corporate data: the moon


June 11, 2003

The first email Jay ever sent me


The date was 3/9/91. We had just installed the Quickmail email system across the country. (The first ad agency to ever do so, thank you very much. Remember, the first browser for the World Wide Web wasn't even released until 1993, a full two years later!)

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the first email Jay Chiat ever sent to me (or probably to anyone, for that matter.) I took a picture of it and tucked it away in a safe place, as I knew it would prove useful some day. I think that day is now.

Continue reading "The first email Jay ever sent me" »

June 10, 2003

How far we've come


Enter the "Wayback Machine" and revisit 1983. The Chiat/Day New York office had been open for three years. The Mac was a year away from its debut. And in 1983, Motorola introduced the first commercial portable cellular phone. It only weighed two pounds, had enough battery life for a whole 30 minutes of talk time! The cost? A bargain at $3,995 (calling plan not included.)

June 05, 2003

Whatever happened to the Paperless Office?

Here's a fine article on the perpetual promise of a paperless world. (I must print it out and read it later.)


June 04, 2003

We Know Where You Are


The widespread use of surveillance cameras has broad privacy implications. In a study by Hull University, 1 out of 10 women were targeted for voyeuristic reasons" by male camera operators. Minorities, the homeless, and activists are obvious targets for interested eyes. The "isee" project lets you chart a course through Manhattan which skirts all surveillance cameras.

Go to the website and click ONCE on a map location and wait. (Be patient and don't start clicking wildly. Click ONCE.) A yellow stick figure will appear. It represents you. Now click ONCE somewhere else on the map and wait. (Again, be patient.) The website will draw a map showing you a route which avoids all camera.


For a broader explanation of the project, click here.

Meet-up is a free service that allows people with a common interest to form a spontaneous gathering. (Supporters of Howard Dean's campaign for President have been using this service to create highly successful grassroots rallies.) There are groups for Buddhists, the deaf, graphic designers, vegans, Jehovah Witnesses, EX-Jehovah Witnesses ... the cities, interests, and possibilities are infinite.


May 27, 2003

There is no spoon

... but there is a phone. The Samsung SPH-n270 is an exact replica of the phone used in the movie "Matrix Reloaded."


May 26, 2003

Travel Robots

Hewlett-Packard is developing a semi-robotic device that lets your "virtual presence" at a meeting feel more life-like. Focus groups report they like the one without arms.


May 23, 2003

Touch Typing

With the increasing popularity (and computing muscle) of PDAs (like Palms and PocketPCs), the search goes on for methods of entering text without attaching a keyboard. This device gets the "Weirdest Device of the Year" award.


May 22, 2003


"All you, all the time. You give us 24 hours, we'll give you you." Researchers are working on an always-on wearable camera that takes pictures automatically as you go about your day, storing them for later perusal and editing.


May 21, 2003

Paperless P.O. box

Jay would have loved this. This company offers Postal Service Mail In Your Email In-Box. How do they do it? You have all your mail sent to this company. They will open your mail, scan it, and email it to you.


What time is it?

A Japanese web designer has come up with a truly unique way of displaying the time of day: View

Now, he's taken that same design concept and applied it to a commercial website for Nike. View

Warning: do not view the Nike site unless you have a high-speed connnection, like DSL or a cable modem.

May 19, 2003


Ever wonder would it would have been like if Abraham Lincoln had used Powerpoint at Gettysburg?


May 17, 2003

Your own "blog"

You may be reading this website right now, thinking "Gee, this is kind of cool! I would love to start my own blog. After all, I'm an intelligent human being and I have all kinds of things to say that the people in my real life won't listen to anymore. But I'm sure the masses who troll the web would be FASCINATED by my unique perspective. How do I do set one up?"

Well, this website was built using software from a cool company called MovableType. But if you're not a geek, it's tricky to setup and manage. But they're coming out with a really simple version called "Typepad." It's not released yet, but you can sign up here and they will let you know when it's available.

May 15, 2003

Googling the guests

We've all Googled. And everybody knows Google is just about the only "" survivor to make it off the iLand. But this article provides some interesting details on the economics of their business, the threats to their future, and how one hotel manager Googles her guests.


May 12, 2003

New tablet PC prototypes

I've never had a chance to use a tablet PC, but a friend of mine who is the head of technology at Capitol One, says that his employees who participated in a beta program refused to give them back. Here's an article that talks about a prototype of a double-jointed portable computer.

Intel prototype.jpg


Cell phones rule lives

I've bought three different cellphones and each time, at the end of the year contract, I cancelled the service. People kept CALLING me on it. It was very irritating. A new study says that mobile phones have enslaved us. We are emotionally dependent on them for our identity and feelings of self-worth and incapable even of going to the shops without whipping them out at regular intervals to call family and friends for advice.