I Went to Paris and the Frenchest Man on the Planet Made Me See the World Differently


Last week I went to Paris with Huawei to sit in on a two day conference about the Beauty of Technology. There were two days of speakers, about a half hour each, and some of it was very high level tech speak but we’ve entered a moment in history where high level tech speak affects every part of our daily lives.

5G is coming and it matters more than you can imagine.

We hear folks talk about the The Internet of Things and I’ve been rolling my eyes at that phrase for a few years now. The reality is that every year more of my house is internet connected. From thermostats to doorbells and television sets to key chains my home is peppered with internet connected devices and the 4G network will soon be overwhelmed.

Zhu Peiying (Huawei’s first female fellow and a compelling public speaker) showed us where we are with the development of 5G and how we’ll get to a 5G network. Huawei is expecting a full roll out by 2020. I’m particularly interested in how it will speed things up in my cars and everyone who is looking forward to self driving cars is actually looking forward to a 5G network, they just don’t know it yet.

The timeline for 5G wireless Huawei collaborations for 5G development

I was surprised to hear from William Xu (CMO of Huawei) about Huawei’s collaborative nature. He gave the opening talk and I had a lot of expectations about the Chinese way of doing things that were wrong. I’d expected rigidity and a reverence for math and order that I didn’t see or hear about. Instead Xu talked about new collaborations with Vodaphone, with universities and with artists. They’ve partnered with Rostelecom to lay a submarine fiber optical telecommunication line (SFOTL) connecting Kamchatka and Sakhalin.

Sadly I was not invited for a submarine trip. Maybe luckily… maybe I’m not the kind of person who is ready to live underwater?

So Huawei isn’t this standalone company in China making phones that Americans will never see. They’re international innovators contributing to science, math and technology. Cédric Villani presented and reminded us of the following:

The key to success is hard work, and trial and error. What if we fail repeatedly? Sometimes, that is what really happens. So success is accidental, and good luck also plays a role. Hard work and good luck are interdependent. Countless trials are the only way one might one day perhaps be rewarded with a bit of good luck.

When I close my eyes and think of a Frenchman I think of a man who looks like Cédric. I just imagine him with a paintbrush in his hand not a Fields Medal.

Cédric Villani Fields Medal winner Huawei day


The event really wasn’t about Huawei specifically so much as it was about innovation, collaboration and math. It was exciting to be part of the day and I now have one of a very few p9 phones in America. I took these photos with it, they’re completely unfiltered.

Lines to get into the #euro2016 fan zone #latergram

A video posted by The Other PTA (@otherpta) on

Lots of support for Orlando at Place de la Republique. #nofilterneeded #p9 #travel

A photo posted by The Other PTA (@otherpta) on

Creve le capital #Paris #travel #nofilterneeded #p9

A photo posted by The Other PTA (@otherpta) on

I’m wondering if I’d use a P9 instead of a standalone phone for future travels. I think the answer might be yes. I’m also playing around with their watch, which works seamlessly with an iPhone. When I figure things out I’ll post more about both, probably mostly on Instagram.



We’re back from nine days of family time. We left San Francisco early this morning so that Jane could get to a party that started at 4.30. The girls are doing a Zumba class and then taking a limo to In and Out Burger, and then the limo will drop them back at the birthday girl’s house.

It sounds like punishment to me.

Coming home is always mixed for me. On the one hand I’m happy to be back in my own space, and on the other hand there’s a flood of things to do. I have boxes stacked to the ceiling for my 20k giveaway day and I haven’t even taken a good look at them. Twitter has started purging this week and I’ve lost about 200 followers so as soon as I get Jane and Alexander’s sports schedules I’m going to go ahead and pick a day where we can do the Almost 20K giveaways.

I got totally distracted by the Lamborghini computer that was waiting for me (I wish it wasn’t just a loan).

This is just a strange week. The kids aren’t in school yet so I’m still busy knocking around with them but there’s a lot I really should be doing. I think there’s a good chance that Google Plus is killing off my blog because my best interactions are there.

Five Things You Can Do To Protect Your Privacy Online


As parents and as social media enthusiasts we have different needs for privacy. As a social media enthusiast you do want your name out there, and maybe even your business address, but certainly not your home address. Right? Jason Calcanis doesn’t trust Facebook, and Jason is kind of a big deal.

Not everything can be controlled, but as Peter Shankman so aptly points out, we are the ones adding the content, so we do have the ability to control some of it. This is a good thing. Here are five easy ways you can begin to safeguard your privacy online.

1. Do not enter your private information online. Really, not for anything, not for Classmates.com, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, resume building sites… everywhere. Either make up an address, don’t enter one, or use a business address. No one really needs your address, they aren’t sending you gifts in the mail.

2. Remove your information from WhitePages.com. Unfortunately WhitePages.com doesn’t follow best practices, it is opt out, as opposed to opt in. You’ll need to search for your name, and then click on each search result to remove yourself from their directory. The very bad news is that both my children were listed at WhitePages.com with our correct address and phone number, the good news is that removal was almost instantaneous. Here’s an example with my friend Lolita’s data. Click here to watch the how to video.

3. Remove your information from Intellius.com. According to Intellius this is how:

In order for us to suppress or opt out your personal information from appearing on our Website, we need to verify your identity. To do this, we require faxed proof of identity. Proof of identity can be a state issued ID card or driver’s license. If you are faxing a copy of your driver’s license, cross out the photo and the driver’s license number. We only need to see the name, address and date of birth. We will only use this information to process your opt out request. Please fax to 425-974-6194 and allow 4 to 6 weeks to process your request. We will only process opt out requests received by fax and no request will be processed without complete information (i.e., name, address and date of birth). Requests for opt out will not be processed over the phone or via email.

4. Use Private registration for your websites. Anyone can go to WhoIs and search for the registered domain owner of any site. When you buy a domain name, you must enter a name, address and phone number, for an extra couple of dollars each year you can hide this information. If you don’t want to make the registration information private, then I suggest a PO Box and a cell phone number.

5. Remove or modify your profile at MyLife.com and Classmates.com. No one is going to find you at either of these places, there’s no social networking to speak of, and they’re just giant data mills.

For the most part we have overshared our own data. Taking it back bit by bit is difficult, but worth doing.

Lala.com The Game Changer


Check it out at LaLa.com licensed music, free, online.

I’m not sure that it’s a business model that’s good for musicians, but business and art aren’t often a marriage.

It’s an incredible start up, you can play music straight from your browser, so it doesn’t take up precious space on your hard drive. With over 6 million songs (as of today) and no intrusive advertising, I’m betting on LaLa.

Somewhere an executive at Apple is weeping. My kids don’t have to buy their music any longer.

Tech Talk Tuesday: Twitter Lists Are A Dream For Marketers And Moms Alike


It’s been a while since I’ve introduced any new technology to y’all over here. It’s not that there hasn’t been any, but nothing has really grabbed me as much as the recent burst of twitter list making add ons.

Back on September 30th Twitter announced that lists would be tested in a small closed group. Some would call this a closed beta, maybe even an alpha. Even though twitter is a lightfooted, independent company, they’re still a little slower than the startups that rely so heavily on them. While the rest of us are waiting for Twitter Lists to become a reality two startups emerged in the last few days that make great twitter lists. I’ll tell you who they are, and I’ll tell you why you need them.

Twillist is the first site I was alerted to. With twillist you can make lists of twitter users and share them with the world. Twillist is great because of it’s users. Naturally the techies are using it first, there are great lists being made by Sean Percival, Laurie Percival, Adam Katz and Michael Broukhim. What’s great and different about Twillist? There’s a snazzy button where you can ask to be added to someone’s list. This accomplishes a few incredibly important goals:

  • social media relies on user generated content, without opening your list up to have just anyone edit it, it allows people to add to your list in a tactful manner
  • it spreads the workload out
  • people who have self identified as part of a group are more likely to help you promote that group

Mixtweet is another twitter list site and it’s UI is a little more nimble than Twillist. This morning I made a very short list of Social Media on Mixtweet, I like that I can clip small conversations so I can get back to them later. Why would I want a very small list on Mixtweet?

  • I follow in excess of 3,000 people on twitter, I want to go to panels, conferences and events. I need a way to listen in a quiet space. Lists are quieter
  • Some people seldom update, this means that I might all but forget they are on twitter, small lists help remind me

Lists in general are interesting. For some reason we all like them, the most read blog posts contain lists, magazines live off of them, and now we are listing our friends and coworkers publicly and privately online.

When I consult with companies I try to remind them that social media is exactly the same as every other part of your life. You have two ears and one mouth. By making twitter lists with either of these two add ons (and perhaps eventually with twitter itself) you can listen to groups of people without having to follow them on twitter. Thus reducing some of the extraneous noise.

Socially lists can be fantastic, but I’m going to give you a little advice you should probably cling to. If you make a list of 10 of the best (or 12 or 100) what you’ve done is tell thousands of people that they are not good enough to be on your list. Those thousands of people may be too polite to tell you this, but they think you’re a jackass and a social climber. If you must make a top tweeter list, make it private. People will hate you a tiny bit less.

Twillist and Mixtweet are both new and buggy, but they both add immense value to anyone who is a social media enthusiast or starter. If I were a marketer or a publicist I’d be using Mixtweet right now to make lists of the people I actually want to listen to, and I’d be keeping that private.