May 30, 2023
Audio Features
Bernstein With a Twist
This is a weekly program with commentary on current issues.
I have an idea that could make billions. It’s such a simple idea, like Velcro or the cup holder, I’m surprised no one else thought of it first.

A few nights ago, I found myself in the company of a bunch of musicians, half of who seemed transfixed by their BlackBerries. The BlackBerry is a thin, hand-held “smartphone” that can do many things, including link up to the Internet. My fellow musicians had convened for a concert at an inconvenient time: Dodgers-Phillies game.

Inconvenient, but hardly an insurmountable obstacle for technology. The BlackBerry screens provided an up-to-the-second, play-by-play account. The moment something happened, the BlackBerry screen unleashed a sizzle of text:

“Ramirez singled to left, Furcal scored, Ethier to third. Ramirez to second.”

So what if you couldn’t plop in front of a 70-inch flat screen? Just whip out the old BlackBerry and read all about it! (I saw one of these gizmos advertised for $100. A friend said his monthly service costs $30).

The BlackBerry sure is slick. But I got to thinking: What if somebody came up with a device that was just as tiny and concealable as the BlackBerry, but would do more than display play-by-play text. What if this device permitted a musician (or a student or a beleaguered office worker) to listen to the game! What if we could hear announcers who were actually at the ballpark describe what was happening. Play by play. With crowd noise to boot!
Episode Date: October 17, 2008
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