The Latest Blog Vanity Card

Blog Vanity Card (June 2014)

ha ha ha ha
ha ha ha ha

Whew.  That was funny. 
Oh, wait…that was serious??
You mean that Apple’s latest announcements, which were basically “We looked at features Google has had for 5+ years and we’re finally putting those features in iOS 8?” was serious?

Health-related apps?  Yeah, there are only 1000 third party apps that do exactly the same thing.

Siri?  (Really?)

Do Not Disturb” in messages?  Wow.  That’s like Star Trek fancy.

QuickType?  2007 called.  They want their technology back.

Interactive Notifications? To quote CNN, “With this one, Apple catches up on another feature already used by Android owners.”

Family Sharing?  Great.  Now I can share my daughter’s music and vice versa.  I hope she likes 80’s rock.

iCloud Photo Library?  You mean they have fully implemented a cloud backup solution?  Wow.  Tell me more about this new technology.  I’ve never seen it before.

The Emperor (i.e., Apple) has no clothes.  Pretty GUI, but no clothes.  Eventually people will catch on.

Blog Vanity Card (April 2013)
A quote from Roger Ebert about academic film theory, which is equally applicable to lawyers:

"If you understand something, you can explain it so that almost anyone can understand it. If you don’t, you won’t be able to understand your own explanation. . . Jargon is the last refuge of the scoundrel."  Roger Ebert, 2008.


Blog Vanity Card (March 2013)

It's been far too long since I've posted anything in this blog.  

To quote Christopher Reeves in Superman II, "Sorry I've been away so long. I won't let you down again."


Blog Vanity Card (Sept 7)

I will make this fast.  Actually, I need to because my laptop battery is at 7%.  Which brings me to my point: why does American Airlines go through the effort of putting wifi on its planes, but then fail to place a single electrical outlet in its waiting areas?  Omaha airport: nothing.  Dallas: nothing.  If not for a Samsung pole that has 4 outlets (4 outlets for 200 people with laptops--you do the math) every 250 feet or so, American Airlines's waiting area would have no electrical outlets at all. 

Interesting update:  There are two electrical outlets at every seat on the plane.  So, in a strange plot twist, it appears that there are 10-12 times more outlets on the plane than there are in the waiting area. 

Now if they would let us wait for the plane while sitting in another plane, everything would be great.


Blog Vanity Card (August 29, mid-week variety)

I admit it.  My taste for wine is limited to the sweet variety, and not those that are dry, earthy, or "oaky".  Think, "Grape Juice For Adults."  That's what I like, and everything else in the dry, earthy or "oaky" variety can fall by the wayside.  So if you're like me, aim for Lucas' Tugboat Red.  Or Hazlitt's Red Cat.  Or practically any ice wine you can get your hands on.  (Note, "ice wine" is not wine on ice.  Even I know that....)

Blog Vanity Card (week of whatever week this is--somewhere in mid July)

Watching Delta Airlines' infrastructure absolutely fall apart in Detroit airport yesterday was fascinating.  It might have been comical, had I not been trying to get to New York via a layover in Detroit.  Comedy loses its punch when you find yourself stuck waiting for 2+ hours at the end of a Delta customer service line.  Actually, it probably would have been more than 2 hours...there were about 200 people, and Delta had the incredible foresight to staff the location with only 3 customer service personnel.  You do the math.  I did the math too...and after about 50 minutes of moving 6 feet in line (give or take a few inches), I abandoned the line and ventured out in search of a hotel and re-booking assistance.  Here's what I learned:

1.  When your plane is arriving late and the crew announces that it has "no information" about connections or gate changes, you're done.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  Your proverbial goose is cooked.

2.  Delta Airline's Detroit-based customer "help" center needs an infrastructure makeover.  Big time.  Like, they should shut it down, re-build it, and erase the memories of anyone who has experienced that particular location.

3.  Hungry Howe's delivers pizza after midnight to hotels near the airport.

4.  There's a guy named Adam who works as a ticket agent / gate agent for US Airways in Detroit.  (Delta put me on a US Airways flight for the following day).  Look for him--he's an African-American gentlemen, beard and mustache combo, about 6' 3".  If you're lucky enough to get Adam helping you out, then you'll be alright.  He's got the patience of Job, a sense of humor, and actually seemed to give a damn. 

Blog Vanity Card (week of June 3, 2012)

I had three thoughts as I watched the end of the Celtics / Heat game just now (Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals), which I will relate in no particular order:

1.  I'm sure I've seen an NBA game with worse officiating than that one, but I can't seem to think of any right now.  On a positive note, the off-beat officiating impacted both teams equally badly, so que sera sera.

2.  Wade is great.  But Jordan would have made that shot.  That's why the sneakers that bear Jordan's name still demand a premium price tag, and we're all still wearing them a decade after he retired. 

3.  Red Cat, a red wine from Hazlitt winery on Seneca Lake, is tasty stuff.  It's label says that it's a great hot tub wine.  Perhaps that's true, but I found it to be an effective "watching a basketball game" wine.  I think a label change may be in order.

Blog Vanity Card (week of March 11, 2012)

If you're at the South By Southwest event, and if you find yourself with a bunch of people at 2:00 AM who are really hungry, and if you really don't trust the foodstuffs being dished from the various food trucks parked strategically on every corner of downtown Austin, then go to Home Slice.  It's open late, and they've got pepperoni.  And who doesn't like pepperoni?
"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

-Steve Jobs

Blog Vanity Card #10 (week of 10/2/11)

George once said, "Those who can, do." 

And so I shall. 

I've launched my own law firm: The Law Office of Bradley Gross, P.A.  The office is in Weston, Florida, which has hosted some of the largest tech incubators in the State of Florida.

A special thanks to Becker & Poliakoff, the law firm that was both my bedrock and my home for 11+ years.  It's a wonderful firm, with wonderful people. 

Harvey once said, "Now go do, that voodoo, that you do, so well."

And so I shall.

Blog Vanity Card #9 (week of 9/11/11)

A frustrated business traveler's strategy to make a lot of money in 5 easy steps:

1.  Open up a restaurant / eatery in an airport terminal. 
2.  No matter what type of food you serve, make sure chicken nuggets are on the menu.  (For the kids, of course--but I confess that I do partake in my kids' leftover chicken nuggets now and then.)
3.  Have an electrical outlet at each table.
4.  Have free wifi for customers.  (Repeat: don't charge me for wifi.  Charge me an extra dollar or two on something else if you need to, but at least appear to be traveler-friendly.)
5.  Have enough space in between tables for a suitcase or two.

One last (non-mandatory) point: call the place something like, "Traveler's Haven" or "Eat Here If You Actually Want to Be Productive" (too long?).  Travelers will seek out your eatery.  Honestly, they will.

At that point you can charge whatever you want.  I'll pay.  So will everyone else.

Blog Vanity Card #9 (week of 9/4/11)
I dropped my Droid, and cracked the screen.  A few minutes later I walked into a store with my broken phone, the cashier saw the screen and said, "Oh, cool, you got that app?" 

No, sir, I don't have that app.

Blog Vanity Card # 8 (week of 7/24/11)
(The following thoughts came to me as I was driving from Breckenridge, Colorado to Colorado Springs):

Wow, those are some beautiful mountains.  Ah, fresh air.  Stunning vistas. 

Wait...there are no guardrails on this road.  Who builds a winding road, on a mountain, with no guard rails?  What kind of crazy mountain freak designed this highway system?  One wrong move and I'll slide right off this beautiful mountain, and listen helplessly to the fresh air blow past my somersaulting car (that is, if I could hear the air over my screams), land in some grassy patch, and ruin the stunning vista.

Hey, is that a goat?

Blog Vanity Card # 8 (week of 6/24/11)
My favorite iPad apps are (in no particular order): (i) Infinity Blade, (ii) Splashtop, (iii) Evernote, (iv) Netflx / SiriusXM (it's a tie), and (v) iBooks.

That said, my favorite shirt (which I just received as a present) has a picture of the Android character eating the Apple logo, and right below that scene it says, "Nom."

Nom indeed.

Blog Vanity Card # 7 (week of 6/12/11)
Why the hiatus between vanity cards?  I've been busy.  Hogtied with work and clients.  I'm not complaining...just sayin'.

The vineyards on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes (and surrounding areas) in upstate New York are among the most beautiful places to visit in the United States.  (I'd name individual vineyards to visit, but then everyone will go to those vineyards and ruin it for the rest of us.  Send me an email, and I'll send you my top 5 favorites...)

Two things you need to know when you travel the Finger Lake region of New York: first, only visit Cayuga Lake Creamery (on Cayuga Lake, of course) if you never want to be satisfied with any other ice cream again.   Go there and ask for Jeff, the owner.  He's an ex-computer guy, so he knows about computers AND ice cream.  How cool is that?  And for goodness sakes, get a taste of the Caramel Salt ice cream.  It's so good, it's freaky.  

Second, if you're in Ithaca, you need to visit the Shortstop Deli (at any time of the day--it's open 24x7), grab the Hot Truck menu, and order an M.B.C. with hot sauce, lettuce and onions.  (Get a double--singles are for wimps).  Only $0.10 for a fountain drink. 

Oh yes, one more thing: get a bottle of Tugboat Red from....wait, I said I wouldn't mention vineyards.....

Blog Vanity Card # 6 (week of 5/1/11)
All airplanes should offer Internet access.  It's such an easy thing for a plane to have--a couple of external antennas, one or two wireless routers, and you're done. 

If I want to pay $10 or more to crawl along the Internet at speeds that are just slightly faster than a circa-1988 telephone modem, then why not give me the option to do it?  If I want to have my laptop ground forcefully into my groin becasue the person in front of me suddenly decides that he needs to recline his seat until he can see the attendant's call button directly in front of his face, then why deny me that simple pleasure?  I feel that it is my duty to enable those sitting around me to stare surreptitiously at my computer screen as I tab between websites.  They should share in the enjoyment that is a never-ending hourglass superimposed over a website that never loads. 
Blog Vanity Card # 5 (week of 4/17/11)
Want to know what happens when you put aluminum foil along the bottom of a new oven and then turn the temperature up to 350 degrees?  The foil welds itself to the bottom of the oven.  Seriously, it does.  And it would have been a really neat thing to learn on someone else's new oven.  $130 for a new oven liner.  $300 to have two guys replace the oven liner.  The good news?  Soon you'll see an ad on Craig's List for a slightly used oven liner with an aluminum foil fossil welded to the bottom of it.  Going cheap.  Installation extra.
Blog Vanity Card # 4 (week of 4/3/11)

I've discovered FaceTime.  The problem is that I have no one to talk to.  (I could chat with the voices in my head, but I don't need FaceTime for that).  People frequently come into my office to see my new iPad 2, and then I inevitably end up calling one of the two contacts I have in my FaceTime contact list to show off FaceTime's capabilities.

I also just received my new Vu Telepresence equipment.  (This stuff is the Blade of video conferencing equipment: all of the strengths of the best solutions in the marketplace, and none of the weaknesses).  I haven't hooked my system up yet, but the unpacked equipment has garnered comments from my IT Department ranging from "cool" to "that's top shelf--you gotta hook it up."  (I believe that "top shelf" = "way cool").  But except for my clients (who happen to own the company that makes Vu), I don't have anyone to Vu with.

I'm noticing a trend here. 
Blog Vanity Card # 3 (week of 3/27/11)

The following comments were overheard while I was testing out my recently-acquired iPad2.

"This thing is pretty thin and light.  I'll probably drop it."
"Nice screen."
"FaceTime works well--but no one wants to talk to me."
"$69 for a magnetic cover?  That's nuts!  Damn, I'll take it."

Best thing about the iPad2: I got one even though they're sold out practically everywhere.  (Hint: The Super Walmart in Robinson Towne Center in Pittsbugh has plenty of them.)

Next best thing:  Great screen, lightweight and responsive interface.

Worst thing:  The Apple App Store.  Clearly Apple spent all of its time building the device that accesses the App Store, but not enough time plotting out the user interface for the App Store itself.  And the App Store is also ugly.  Really ugly.  Like, "stick your face in dough and make gorilla cookies" ugly.  Such a pretty device, and such an ugly App Store.  There ought to be a law.

Bottom Line: With my recent iPad edition, I can now access Windows 7, the Android operating system, and Apple iOS at any given moment.

I am officially an operating system agnostic.
Blog Vanity Card # 2 (week of 3/20/11)

Some random Apple-related thoughts:

1. If Motorola wanted to compete with the iPad, it would have priced the Zoom competitively. You can't have similar machines priced $300 apart from each other and not expect that the lower-priced machine will dominate. Especially when the lower priced machine has pretty round corners and colorful magnetic covers.

2. Dear Apple:

How come Google makes its apps available for the iPad, and Microsoft makes its apps available for the iPad, but you're allowed to get away with making your apps available only to Apple users?


The Guy Who Wants "Pages" For the PC

3. Who knew that Target sells more iPads than anyone? I had no idea. But that's what the guy at Target told me, and he said it with such conviction, I think I believe him.

Blog Vanity Card #1 (week of 3/13/11)

Welcome to my first blog vanity card.  Since it's the first one ever, it's probably appropriate to tell you a little bit about the blog.  (Future vanity cards will likely not be as informative, so print this one out.  Savor it.)   

In this blog I discuss, interpret and analyze legal issues surrounding the technologies that companies use to make their businesses run.  Posts are written in a very "non-lawyerly" (is that a word?) manner, so you don't need to be an attorney to understand how the issues impact your company and you.

Whether you're CEO or simply someone who hopes to be one someday, if your company relies on information technology or intellectual property in any way, shape or form, then this blog is for you.

Read and enjoy.  Ask questions.  Challenge my thoughts (if you're up to the task), or incorporate them into your own and make yourself look smarter than your colleagues.  Whatever works for you works for me.

Bottom line: With my recent addition, I'm now the only guy I know who, at any given moment of the day, can access Windows 7, the Android operating system, and Apple iOS. 

I am officially an operating system agnostic.