Monday, November 18, 2013

The "All You Can Eat" Netflix Model Now Available for Magazines

Well, it appears that the magazine industry has finally paid attention to Netflix. After years and years of dwindling readership, today they are rolling out two, new "all you can eat plans". $9.99 a month gives you access to 100 magazine titles a month and $14.99 gives you access to 150 titles a month....including high demand pubs like People and Sports Illustrated.

Not only do you get all new magazines every month, you also have access to all back issues. The Next Issue access is app based for use on Apple and Android devices (tablets and phones). You just download the app and pick the magazines you want included in the "All You Can Eat Plan". While you can certainly choose them all, you may want to be a little more discerning. Personally, I didn't see me spending a lot of my leisure time flipping the digital pages of "Brides".

Next Issue is offering a free 30-day trial so you can give it a test drive. Check it out here:

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Beginning of the End

Cable and satellite TV providers are a bunch of dinosaurs. They've been ploddingly engorging themselves on the cash of their customers, oblivious to the giant, flaming meteor hurtling through space. That meteor is called Internet television...a concept pioneered by one of my former clients, Netflix.

Yesterday, the earth shifted on it's axis, making that meteor a whole lot closer than it ever has been before. Viacom inked a deal with Sony that will make popular channels like Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central available for streaming on the PS4. Subscribers to Sony's unnamed service will have on-demand access to all of those channel's broadcast libraries.

Viacom's channels have only been available to cable and satellite users...they are the first to make them available on the Internet. Watch the other big players make a rush to get on board...Disney, Time Warner, etc. Pay television (cable and satellite) has shown "negative customer growth" for the first two quarters in 2013. Put in plain English, for the first time in history, pay TV is losing customers. That has never, ever happened before. I call it the writing on the wall.

On-demand, Internet television just got a whole lot closer yesterday. It is the truly the beginning of the end. And a note for all of my dinosaur friends out can't hide from a meteor. But at least you'll have a future in fossils.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Garmin Portable Head-Up Display

Head-up display technology made it's way from fighter jets to cars about 25 years ago. I've had head-up displays in my last two cars and find it to be incredibly useful. It projects both the speed you are traveling and navigation instructions on the windshield, although when you are driving it looks like it is about 3 feet in front of your hood.

It makes driving a lot safer because you never have to take your eyes off of the road. However, it is real pricey...we are talking four figures to get the technology in your car. But now there's a game changer. Navigation specialist Garmin is about to release a head-up display for navigation at $129.99. It's simple, small and portable, so it can be used in multiple vehicles.

The Garmin unit is a head-up display unit only. The unit receives the mapping info from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running a $29.99 Garmon app (StreetPilot1 or NAVIGON). The projector attaches to your dash and projects the image onto a transparent film on the windshield. The device is currently at the FCC for approval and will be on the market soon.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Artiphon Instrument 1

The computing power in the iPhone is absolutely astounding. It is incredibly adept at music, but the ergonomics and sound capabilities of the iPhone leave a lot to be desired. Enter Artiphone, stage left. It hooks up to your iPhone and offers stereo sound, an ergonomic hardwood body and a whole new way to create music. Check it out:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The World's Most Expensive Video Game

Feast your eyes on the cover art for the world's most expensive video game. This is not a game for the feint of heart or the light of wallet....this video game will set you back a whopping $190,000.

The Grid 2 BAC Mono Edition does have some drool-worthy extras. First, you get a PlayStation 3, the game disc, a tour of the BAC racing factory, a Bell Racing Helmet, Nomex racing gloves, a Nomex driving suit and Nomex driving boots.

But here's the best part: the game also comes with a street-legal BAC Mono race car...the perfect vehicle to rattle off zero to sixty times in the sub-three second range. Get yourself one:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Chillsner

Meet The Chillsner (yes, rhymes with pilsner). It's a slick little metal device that you stick in your freezer and then in your beer. It makes certain that each bottle of El Pacifico you quaff on a 90ยบ summer day stays ice cold from start to finish. The mouthpiece fits over the top of the bottle and you actually drink your beer through The Chillsner. It's $29.95. Check it out here:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gibson Self-Tuning Guitars

It's been decades since I quit playing guitar. While I still have about six of them sitting around the house, they are more for decor than generating music. When I did play, there was one absolute rule that applied universally: any guitar you pick up will be out of tune.

"Perfect pitch" was not a gift my parents had imbedded in their gene pool, so keeping a guitar properly tuned was always a challenge for me. Now Gibson Guitars has brought the gift of perfect pitch to whomever has the dough to buy one of their new, lithium-ion, self-tuning guitars.

To tune your guitar, you just hit the master control knob and lightly strum the strings. The digital brain kicks into gear and using the motors built into the tuning keys, perfectly tunes your guitar to digital perfection. The lithium ion battery is good for around 100 tunes until it needs to be recharged.  You'll need at least $799 in your wallet to bring one home.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

iPR: Digital CrossFit Log

Just like dinosaurs, horse drawn buggies and transistor radios, paper is going bye bye. Happened again this week when CrossFitMN announced that our paper notebook journals were being killed off. All those paper notebooks were taking up valuable space that could be better used for new equipment. Makes sense.....I'd rather have new state-of-the-art lifting racks and pull-up bars than paper.

After four years at CrossFit, I stopped recording my daily workouts ages ago. However, I did use the notebook to track my personal records (PR) for lifts and times/reps for The Girls and  The Hero workouts. Necessity is the mother of invention, so I climbed onto the iTunes App Store to see if I could find an app to replace my notebook.

Low and behold, I instantly found a gem of an app called iPR. It was created by a fellow crossfitter to track all of the key lifts and workouts at CrossFit. It is so simple and elegant, you'd swear that Steve Jobs designed it. Entering lifts is a breeze, both for a one rep max and all kinds of variations like 5 rep max. Here's how the summary looks:

It is also incredibly easy to enter and manage your times and reps for The Girls and The Hero workouts. It also has a slick little button where you can note if you did a workout Rx or did it scaled (most helpful for myself, The King of Mod):

So while it is sad that our notebooks must die, it feels good to get my CrossFit journal into the digital age. For just 99¢, you can do the same by buying iPR in the iTunes App Store.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Keeper: iOS Password Vault

In January, we were experiencing a lot of network issues in our home. While we had Comcast Business Class cable installed in the house that delivered 50 Mbps,  some non-hardwired devices were dropping off of the WiFi network. I brought in Nic Gallagher and Bjorn McGillan from The Wire Masters to help solve the problem...and solve it they did.

They did an audit of our house which showed that at any given time, we averaged 58 different devices that were Internet-connected and active. I was floored when I heard about that, but when I started to list devices like computers, the main server, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Time Capsule, Airports, Xbox's, security cameras, the exterior lighting system on the house and WiFi controls for all of the AV added up quickly. We had the throughput speed we needed, but our Airport network that we had built over time clearly could not handle all of the traffic.

The end result was that we had to switch to a commercial WiFi network that was made for a small business with about 50-100 employees. As they were tearing down the old network and building up the  new network, it became obvious that I was really struggling to find all of the user names and passwords necessary to access all of the devices. Some were stashed in the Contacts list on my iPhone, some were in desk drawers and file was a disorganized, steaming mess.

That's when Bjorn suggested I download Keeper from the iTunes App Store. Keeper is a free password and data vault that helps you to organize and store all of you passwords. While it is free, I would strongly recommend you pay the extra $9.99 per year for back-up to Keeper's Cloud. With the press of a button, all of your user names and passwords and backed up to their Cloud. So if you lose your device, you can immediately download all of your information and keep right on going.

Keeper has some amazing features:

  • Keeper uses military-grade encryption and world-class security to protect your data. Keeper's built-in password generator provides you with exceptionally strong, easily changeable passwords.
  • The Keeper Web App syncs perfectly with your mobile apps, allowing you to easily and securely access your Data Vault from any browser. (However, they will charge you for back-up by device, so I keep it simple and run Keeper only on my iPhone.)
  • Cloud Saves: Get the peace of mind that comes with unlimited data backup in Keeper's Cloud Security Vault. If you ever need to replace or change devices, this feature is a life-saver.
  • With one-touch web login from inside the app, you can securely access your favorite sites without ever leaving Keeper.
  • With Keeper's super-handy desktop Browser Extension, you can auto-fill your login credentials and quickly save new website info to your secure Keeper Vault.
  • Custom fields allow you to determine how you want to store information, rather than being forced into a template. You can also select the color and palette of your choice making Keeper your own. 

I now have every user name and password for every device, web account and financial account in Keeper. It's nice to have everything consolidated into a single app....and know that if I need to, I can pull it down from the Cloud in a heartbeat. Right now, the app is free and they are also offering you a free month of Cloud back-up. So it costs nothing for you to get the app and Cloud back-up...and take it for a free 30-day test drive. Check it out in the iTunes App Store.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Phillips Design Line HDTV

This new HDTV set from Phillips is fashioned out of a single pane of glass and is meant to be leaned up against a wall. It casts light upon the wall behind it with Phillip's Ambilight system. The HDTV's will be available in 46" and 55"...the latter which is expected to sell for around $4,500 when it is launched in May. If you have rug rats at home, you should probably consider selling them or have their little appendages amputated before you have this giant piece of leaning glass installed in your home.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Corvette Shooting Brake

As a dyed-in-the-wool, Shooting Brake fanboy, I feel compelled to share every iteration of the Shooting Brake that I come across. Feast your eyes on the Callaway C21 Aero Wagon. Once you have your new C7 Corvette in your garage, pack your bags and get ready for a drive to Lyme, Connecticut....home of Reeves Callaway's custom shop. The conversion will set you back about $15,000 and will be perfect for those 200 mph runs to Costco. Deliveries are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of this year.

For those of you new to the Shooting Brake concept, check this out:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

LaFerrari, Successor to the Enzo

Ferrari has a deep and rich history with their flagship vehicles. It started in the 60's with the jaw-dropping GTO and then came absolutely stunning cars like the F40, F50 and Enzo. Yesterday in Geneva, Ferrari unveiled their newest flagship, LaFerrari.

Remarkably, it's a hybrid. The core of the power comes from an 800 horsepower V-12. This is bolstered by two electric motors which are powered by KERS technology from their Formula 1 car. Total output is 960 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is 217 mph and it will hit 0-60 in just a few clicks over 2 seconds.

Only 499 LaFerrari's will be made. If you want one, load up your debit card with $1.31 million and call a close friend who owns a fleet of Ferraris....because current Ferrari owners get first crack. The more Ferraris your friend owns, the better your odds of landing one of these.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mercedes Benz G63 AMG 6X6

I present to you, for your viewing enjoyment, the most badass crew-cab pickup in all the land. The MB G63 AMG features six wheels, all being independently driven for mind-boggling traction in any conditions. Power comes from a handmade, twin-turbo AMG V-8, putting out a most impressive 536 horsepower. If you want one, stuff $525,000 in your wallet and head to your closest Mercedes dealership.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Aston Martin Rapide Shooting Brake

Here are two amazing photos for all of you shooting brake fanboys. Aston Martin is rumored to be introducing their Rapide Shooting Brake at the Geneva car show. So now all of the one-percenters will have their choice of three, big buck shooting brakes: the Porsche Panamera, the Ferrari FF and the Aston Martin Rapide.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Introducing the New MPG World Champion

Feast your eyes on the new Volkswagen XL1. While shown previously as a concept, Volkswagen announced last Thursday that the vehicle has been green-lighted for production. The miles-per-gallon performance of this car is absolutely astounding: it delivers 261 mpg!

It's a two seat plug-in that has an electric-only range of 32 miles. After that, an incredibly efficient diesel engine kicks in. How efficient you ask? The car needs only 8 horsepower to cruise at 62 miles per hour. Top speed of the XL1 is 99 mph and it will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.

The car has gull-wing doors, spats over the rear wheels and camera-based rear mirrors, all to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle. In fact, it will be the most aerodynamic car ever built, with a Cd of 0.19. By comparison, a Ferrari 458 Italia clocks in at 0.33. It weighs less than 1800 pounds and it's shorter than a Porsche Boxster.

The car will debut this year at the Geneva Car Show and will be available later this year as a 2014 model. Pricing and availability details have not yet been released.

Friday, February 15, 2013

In Praise of Automotive Art

Back when I was in the ad biz, the thirty-second TV spot was King of the Hill. While they are still the major source of revenue for broadcast networks, the network brass have to feel like a large herd of leaf-chomping Apatosaurus watching that enormous meteor hurdle directly at their favorite feeding spot.

Al Gore's Internet has changed everything. Imagine trying to convey the image, feel and sex of the new Jaguar F-Type (shown above) in a thirty second spot. Hate to be the creative team on that assignment. But now imagine the client said you had no time constraints, no product restraints, no network censors and you could create a work of automotive art to be placed on the Internet (to derive maximum enjoyment, view in full screen at 1080p):

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Google Maps Hits the Slopes

All through college, there was a group of us that worked at Hoigaard's Ski Shop and we were really passionate about skiing in Colorado. Every chance we got, we were off to Aspen to ski. We'd take Mark Paulson's VW Beetle because we could make it from Minneapolis to Snowmass on just $16 of gas.

The mountains out there are huge and the trail system complex. Accordingly, you always had to carry a large, folded paper map of the ski resort to make your way down the mountain. On February 6, Google Maps put a sword through the heart of paper map publishers everywhere.

They just added ski run and chairlift maps for 38 US ski resorts. Now, when you search for any of the new ski resorts in the Google Maps app, you’ll be able to see the standardized colored runs. Green is for beginners, blue for intermediates, black for experts and orange for terrain parks – as well as the ski lifts as red dotted lines.

The full list of ski resorts is as follows:
  • Alpine Meadows – CO
  • Alyeska Resort – AK
  • Aspen Highlands – CO
  • Aspen Mountain – CO
  • Attitash Mountain Resort – NH
  • Big Sky Resort – MT
  • Big White Ski Resort – BC
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort – CO
  • Brighton – UT
  • Buttermilk – CO
  • Copper Mountain – CO
  • Crested Butte Mountain Resort – CO
  • Deer Valley Resort – UT
  • Granite Gorge – NH
  • Heavenly Mountain Resort – CA
  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort – WY
  • Lake Louise Ski Area – AB
  • Mammoth Mountain – CA
  • Mount Bachelor – OR
  • Mount Shasta – CA
  • Okemo Mountain Resort – VT
  • Panorama Mountain Village – BC
  • Park City Mountain Resort – UT
  • Revelstoke Mountain Resort – BC
  • Schweitzer Mountain Resort – ID
  • Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort – CA
  • Snowbasin – UT
  • Snowmass – CO
  • Squaw Valley – CA
  • Steamboat Ski Resort – CO
  • Stowe Mountain Resort – VT
  • Sugar Bowl Resort – CA
  • Sun Valley Resort – ID
  • Telluride Ski Resort – CO
  • Vail Mountain – CO
  • Whistler Blackcomb – BC
  • Wildcat Mountain – NH
  • Winter Park Resort – CO

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Nike Free Run+ 3

Nike Free Runs are my very favorite CrossFit shoes. In 2012 I took a detour and tried a pair of Inov-8's. That lasted about 2 weeks and I replaced them with a pair of Nike Free Run+ 2's. In my 4 years of doing CrossFit, I've had all three generations of Nike Free Runs and this third generation shoe is the best.

This shoe is unbelievably comfortable right out of the box. Weighing only 9.3 ounces, the shoes are incredibly light, but offer cushioning a good step above a minimalist shoe. I believe the secret to the comfort is in the sole design. The sole is comprised of 53 separate cushions, which gives the sole an otherworldly amount of flex. The sole can twist and bend like no other shoe, which results in an incredible amount of comfort.

While the sole itself is really soft, the key wear areas are fitted with rock hard carbon rubber (those are the black areas on the sole in the above picture). It's been my experience that other parts of the shoe wear out long before the sole does.

There are two big changes in the design of the + 3 compared to the + 2. There was no tongue in the + 2 and the +3 has a full floating tongue that makes the shoe more comfortable and easier to slide into. The + 2 had a plastic ectoskeleton that was part of the lacing system. While it worked well, I often wished I could get a little bit tighter fit. They have fixed that with the + 3, returning to a more conventional lacing, they added another lacing eyelet at the top of the shoe. While the old shoe had 5 eyelets, the new one has 6 and it makes a big difference in how snug you can get the shoe.

These shoes are just unbelievably comfortable. They are so comfortable that I own 2 for CrossFit and one for just wearing around the house. The shoes breathe better than any other I own. The area under the swoosh is pure mesh and the material above the toes and mid-foot wicks moisture away quickly.

At $100, the shoes are pricey...but well worth it. They are available in 15 different colors and come in both men's and women's models. I got mine at While they don't offer any special deals on the shoe, they do offer free overnight shipping and Zappos has a 365 day return policy. Anything goes wrong in that one year period, just send them back and Zappos will overnight you a new pair of shoes.

Here's a pair of Nike Free Run+ 3 in a color not found in nature,
which guarantees that it will warm the cockles of Sully's heart.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Morgan Superdry

This has got to be one of the sexiest cars on the planet. Launched in 2012, the Morgan Superdry is a limited edition of the Morgan 3-Wheeler and only 200 of the cars will be built. The engine sits out in front of the's an air cooled S&S V-Twin that often finds it's way into custom Harley's. The car only weighs 1200 pounds, so that engine is good for a 0-60 time of six seconds flat.

The car is based on the Morgan 3-Wheelers of the 1920's and 1930's. It's a totally analog vehicle in a digital world. There's no power steer and brake takes CrossFit muscles. Big ones. And there's not a drop of electronic wizardry anywhere. No anti-lock brakes. No electronic stability control. It's a brand new car, but it's based on 90 year-old technology. It is driving in it's purest form.

The waiting list is long and it will set you back about fifty-large...a five thousand dollar premium over the base car. Check it out: