Monday, March 18, 2013

Is Samsung Galaxy S4 the Smartest Phone in the World?

14 March 2013/NEW YORK – IT does not walk the dog and water the plants. Nor does it make the bacon and fry it up in the pan. It does not put the kids to bed or kiss them good night; it does not make love to your partner.

But seemingly the Samsung Galaxy S4, the long-awaited latest-generation smartphone does just about everything else. In a schmaltzy unveiling ceremony at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall called “Samsung Unpacked 2013,” Samsung Mobile Communications President JK Shin revealed the device, calling it a “life companion.”

Rather than a performance from someone with the stature of Kanye West, Samsung went for a purer form of theater in presenting the sundry and many, varied and myriad features of its new product. Through four different dramatic and comedic scenes that included a young man traveling abroad, a bride-to-be and her bridesmaids, as well as a cute-as-a-button tap dancing kid, the lucky few thousand in the Radio City theater got a vivid demonstration of what the Galaxy S4 can do. (See video above of full presentation.)

The smartphone is pretty impressive, so impressive that a couple of days after its debut, Apple saw fit to remind folk of the virtues of its iPhone suite, mainly of its superiority to all other smartphones. The headline says it all, “There’s iPhone. And then there’s everything else.”

While Apple did not directly call out Samsung’s Galaxy S4, it is clear that Apple was throwing “shade” in the direction of its relentless competitor. Some in the know are saying Galaxy S4 edges iPhone 5 and will sell well when it becomes available next month. (

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes in black and white. Photo from Samsung.

Samsung hasn’t yet put a price on the head of Galaxy S4, but the scuttlebutt so far has it at $200 to more than $700. Taller, slimmer and better in the ways that count than the S3, the Galaxy S4 is not perfect but is advancing at a good clip in that direction.

Some of what the Galaxy S4 can do and has – in lay terms:
1. Speak 9 languages;
2. Two cameras that can be used simultaneously and a shutter speed that rivals a standalone camera (it certainly surpasses by 10 country miles the speed of the Nokia Lumia 720);
3. Screen that does not freeze if touched with gloves;
4. 2GB of memory (about as much as a certain Dell Inspiron 2200 laptop circa 2005);
5. Pause function that can control what shows on the screen with the human eye;
6. Air gesture feature that allows operator to scroll, take a call, and change music with the wave of a hand;
7. Remotely controls the television.

Is the Samsung Galaxy S4, which does have some smarty-pants superfluous apps (work-play separator), the smartest phone in the world?

The jury is still deliberating, but no one is doubting its brilliance (and audacity).

Visit to learn more about the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Portrait of 73-Year-Old Cover Girl Named Tina

13 March 2013/MUNICH, Germany – SO why exactly is Tina Turner on the cover of the April edition of Vogue Germany? It hit news stands on Wednesday.

Tina Turner is Vogue Germany’s April 2013 Cover girl.

What’s the hook? She doesn’t have a new record; she’s not about to embark on a tour. She did gain Swiss citizenship in January, but this is old news. (Incidentally, TT renounced her American citizenship to throw in with the Swiss. It doesn’t matter where she has citizenship, though, she will always be all-American..

The deal then with the cover photo, featuring the legendary singer in some nice threads and wearing an odd smirk? Is she channeling the Mona Lisa? Who knows? Maybe the mag wanted to make some history since it has been determined beyond a reasonable doubt that at 73, TT is the oldest woman to grace the cover of a Vogue anywhere in the world. She supplanted another great dame, 60-something Meryl Streep, for the distinction. Betty White is nominated to dethrone TT.

Anywho, under a headline titled “Simply the Best,” TT reveals that she is not – I repeat – IS NOT going on tour again. Of course, she’s made such declarations before. And while she is working on a “Beyond” album, she asserts that beyond that she won’t be too bullish on recording unless she gets some new and fresh material.

Regardless of the reason for TT’s Vogue cover she really is simply the best.

Anna Wintour, portrait of a jobs czarina. Photo from Vogue.

Elsewhere at Vogue, current editor-in-chief and editorial director of Teen Vogue Anna Wintour, the newly minted Artistic Director of Conde Nast, is on a “listening tour” of the publishing group’s various properties. Here’s to hoping herself will also have an open mind to ideas other than her own and that she will not Voguenize every mag in the stable.

Perhaps after the listening tour, AW can will take up a talking tour, explaining to the U.S. public how it is possible for one person to be holding down three well-paying gigs.

Visit to learn more about the April 2013 Vogue Germany cover and issue.

Courvoisiology Really Mixes It Up With Cognac

Moses Laboy offers a little Courvoisiology in a glass. Photo by Yours Truly.

12 March 2013/NEW YORK – WHO is that man and what is the brown liquid in the glass he is offering?

That is noted mixologist Moses Laboy. He is also a newly converted Courvoisiologist? Say what? Yes, a courvoisiologist.

A courvoisiologist is an individual who practices Courvoisiology. Of course, what is courvoisiology? Simply put, courvoisiology is the practice of mixing a certain Courvoisier cognac (C by Courvoisier) and cognac blends (Gold and Rose) with other ingredients to create a whole new drink – something that is not a cognac.

The King's Martini comes with spice. Photo by William Gaines.

ML and a colleague were doing their thing Tuesday night at the Courvoisiology laboratory set up at the Carlton Hotel's Millesime restaurant in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. The liquid in that glass ML is handing off is “The King’s Martini.” It is made by mixing C by Courvoisier, Black Caraway Tincture, Dry Vermouth and Sweet Vermouth. The caraway tincture gives the drink a spicy flavor profile; it is an odd, yet pleasant taste, and it doesn’t taste like cognac.

Courvoisiology is not only a branch of mixology, it is a very clever marketing campaign. Courvoisier is banking on its program to increase market share to reach more females, younger drinkers and urban professionals who may not be drawn to a straight cognac or who may view cognac as an old foggy's particular poison; it also wants in on some of the action that vodka has been getting the last decade.

Palomino relies on fruits and beer for his distinct flavor. Photo by Yours Truly.

Throughout 2013, the maker of the Napoleonic-era “Revolutionary Spirit,” will host other educational and interactive events under the courvoisiology rubric to further its goal. Viewing homework very seriously, Courvoisier provides a courvoisiology takeaway kit (aforementioned cognac, cognac blends and mixing container) for lab participants. After all, practice makes perfect (and can increase Courvoisier profits).

Another manifestation of courvoisiology is Palomino, a cocktail that is made from Courvoisier Gold, Fresh Lemon Juice, Demerara Syrup and Blue Moon or wheat beer of choice.

Two words: it’s delicious.

Visit and to learn more about Courvoisiology. Rx

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