Why I spent $2,400 on an iPad

Plus: Lab-grown brains are watching you; a smartwatch that self-destructs; wine glasses that are also reading glasses, and more!

I bought an iPad last week.

Specifically, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The tablet, plus an Apple Pencil and AppleCare+ (plus tax) together cost me $2,259.34. 

I also bought a Pad and Quill Octavo Slim Magnetic Case for iPad Pro 12.9 for $119.95 (no tax or shipping) and a Twelve South Compass Pro folding stand for $59.99 plus $4.35 in tax (no shipping).

For a grand total of $2,443.63.

The iPad is now my one and only main work and entertainment device. 

All of which raises the inescapable question: “Mike, are you nuts?”

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Mike’s List of Brilliantly Bad Ideas

1. Scientists grow human brains in lab; brains sprout eyes

Am I the only one who read “Frankenstein” and took its lessons to heart? Scientists at the University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany used human stem cells to grow rudimentary “brain organoids” in dishes. Most of the brains each spontaneously sprouted two primitive eyes. From a press release hawking the report: “These structures contained diverse retinal cell types, which formed electrically active neuronal networks that responded to light. The optic cup brain organoids also contained lens and corneal tissue and exhibited retinal connectivity to brain regions.” How are these scientists able to conduct their work with these brain organoids watching them all day?

2. This smart watch will self-destruct in 40 hours

Scientists at Tiajin University in China are working on smart watches that disintegrate on demand. They’re using zinc-based nanocomposite and silver nanowires printed onto water soluble polymer. Their watch even has biometric sensors and activity monitors and an OLED screen. While the prototype can resist small amounts of water on its exterior, such as sweat, it takes only 40 hours to dissolve completely when fully immersed in water. All that remains is the OLED screen, microcontroller and the resistors and capacitors from the circuits.

3. Inventor combines drinking glasses and reading glasses

A New York inventor named George Pietropaolo was granted a patent for wine glass and hi-ball glass designs that have reading glasses-like magnifying lenses in the base. His idea is that printed restaurant menus are too small to read. So, using his invention, you could clearly see the menu every time you take a drink.

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Mike’s List of Shameless Self Promotion

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

  1. I was on This Week in Tech Sunday!

  2. Data-driven personalization and trust: Finding the right balance

  3. Old-fashioned business travel is dead (but don't blame the pandemic)

  4. How to spend smarter — not just more — on security

  5. The art and practice of digital workplace governance

  6. How to fix the Big Problems with two-factor and multifactor authentication

  7. Everything you need to know about FragAttacks!

CURRENT LOCATION: Silicon Valley, California