Friday, September 17, 2010

What a night with Lipbone Redding and the Dogs of Santiago

It happens only once every few years, but when it does, wow! It feels like magic. Tonight (9/17/2010), in Park City, I went to a small party, two dozens people or so. The invitation promised live music by  Lipbone Redding.  Never heard of them before.  Marginal expectations at best. As we helped ourselves around the buffet in a beautiful mountain home set on the side of  a hill turning into the stunning colors of the Fall in PC, a treo, not much of a band if you asked me, was tuning up on the terrace.  One guitar, a bass and a bongo with cymbals.  Minimalist was the motif and so were my expectations.
 First surprise: Lipbone Redding had an extra secret instrument you could not see.  Watch this video and listen to the music: there is NO Brass, no trumpet, no sax, no trombone - what you hear is the "voicestrumentalist" sound of Lipbone Redding - Sachmo would be impressed.  When Lipbone just sang, Fats Waller would have stopped to listen with a big smile.  I was in heaven, could hardly stand still. Second surprise: Lipbone and his friends could have stolen the show at last night's final of 2010 America's Got Talent.  May be not from Jackie Evancho (should have won by a landslide!), a 10 year old girl with a heavenly voice,  but in my book would have buried winner Michael Grimm hands down. Anyway, you be the judge.  The range of styles is broad, all impeccably delivered after being made their own like Sixteen Tons, to all the rest original compositions, all with a crips natural happiness of beat I had not heard since Rafa Mora in Costa Rica (see that post and listen). These guys are in a league of their own with a style, technique, a natural voice-trumpet and a tongue in cheek perspective of life like the Dogs of Santiago.  Remember NO horns only a voice - Wow !    Do not pass up a chance to see them yourself if you are so lucky they go through your town. The Lipbone Redding Orchestra Lipbone Redding - Voicestrumentsls, Guitar Jeff Eyrich - Upright Bass, Backing Vocals Rich Zukor - Drums/Percussion, Backing Vocals  or  http://facebook/citizenonemusic

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Columbus all over again

Food for thought

When Columbus landed in North America it took months for his closes back-home associates to learn about it.  Europe's literati took years to hear about it and nearly a century passed before the proof that the earth was not flat sunk into people's consciousness.  Some wits would say that even today some people are only marginally aware of it (Austria and Australia are still indistinguishable to same).

Well we are at that point again. Today's announcement is as momentous if not more so.  The information will travel faster, but, still, real consciousness of its significance will lag, luddites will deny it (e.g. the moon landing was a video scam), some (ostriches) will ignore it, some will be horrified by it (and try to put the gene back in the bottle), all will be directly or indirectly affected.

The impact will be not only in the practical consequences (medicine, industrial, etc.), which have been in the making for years, but mostly, in the psyche of homo sapiens.  I do not know when it happened (lags still exist even in the information age), nor how long it will take to sink in, but today's announcement is "Columbus all over again".  Write down the date; it will matter when you'll say "I remeber when..." to your grandchildren, to whom the whole affair will have become as common place as TV remotes and cell phones.

Today homo sapiens made life, not a human, not without some minor procedural shortcuts, not "new" life only a duplicate, but synthetic self duplicating DNA based life just the same. The world and we as a species will not remain the same.

May 20, 2010

The genome pioneer J. Craig Venter has taken another step in his quest to create synthetic life, by synthesizing an entire bacterial genome and using it to take over a cell.

Dr. Venter calls the result a “synthetic cell” and is presenting the research as a landmark achievement that will open the way to creating useful microbes from scratch to make products like vaccines and biofuels. At a press conference Thursday, Dr. Venter described the converted cell as “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.”

“This is a philosophical advance as much as a technical advance,” he said, suggesting that the “synthetic cell” raised new questions about the nature of life

Other scientists agree that he has achieved a technical feat in synthesizing the largest piece of DNA so far — a million units in length — and in making it accurate enough to substitute for the cell’s own DNA.

But some regard this approach as unpromising because it will take years to design new organisms, and meanwhile progress toward making biofuels is already being achieved with conventional genetic engineering approaches in which existing organisms are modified a few genes at a time.

Dr. Venter’s aim is to achieve total control over a bacterium’s genome, first by synthesizing its DNA in a laboratory and then by designing a new genome stripped of many natural functions and equipped with new genes that govern production of useful chemicals.

“It’s very powerful to be able to reconstruct and own every letter in a genome because that means you can put in different genes,” said Gerald Joyce, a biologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

In response to the scientific report, President Obama asked the White House bioethics commission on Thursday to complete a study of the issues raised by synthetic biology within six months and report back to him on its findings. He said the new development raised “genuine concerns,” though he did not specify them further.

Dr. Venter took a first step toward this goal three years ago, showing that the natural DNA from one bacterium could be inserted into another and that it would take over the host cell’s operation. Last year, his team synthesized a piece of DNA with 1,080,000 bases, the chemical units of which DNA is composed.

In a final step, a team led by Daniel G. Gibson, Hamilton O. Smith and Dr. Venter report in Thursday’s issue of the journal Science that the synthetic DNA takes over a bacterial cell just as the natural DNA did, making the cell generate the proteins specified by the new DNA’s genetic information in preference to those of its own genome.

The team ordered pieces of DNA 1,000 units in length from Blue Heron, a company that specializes in synthesizing DNA, and developed a technique for assembling the shorter lengths into a complete genome. The cost of the project was $40 million, most of it paid for by Synthetic Genomics, a company Dr. Venter founded.

But the bacterium used by the Venter group is unsuitable for biofuel production, and Dr. Venter said he would move to different organisms. Synthetic Genomics has a contract from Exxon to generate biofuels from algae. Exxon is prepared to spend up to $600 million if all its milestones are met. Dr. Venter said he would try to build “an entire algae genome so we can vary the 50 to 60 different parameters for algae growth to make superproductive organisms.”

On his yacht trips round the world, Dr. Venter has analyzed the DNA of the many microbes in seawater and now has a library of about 40 million genes, mostly from algae. These genes will be a resource to make captive algae produce useful chemicals, he said.

Some other scientists said that aside from assembling a large piece of DNA, Dr. Venter has not broken new ground. “To my mind Craig has somewhat overplayed the importance of this,” said David Baltimore, a geneticist at Caltech. He described the result as “a technical tour de force,” a matter of scale rather than a scientific breakthrough.

“He has not created life, only mimicked it,” Dr. Baltimore said.

Dr. Venter’s approach “is not necessarily on the path” to produce useful microorganisms, said George Church, a genome researcher at Harvard Medical School. Leroy Hood, of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, described Dr. Venter’s report as “glitzy” but said lower-level genes and networks had to be understood first before it would be worth trying to design whole organisms from scratch.

In 2002 Eckard Wimmer, of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, synthesized the genome of the polio virus. The genome constructed a live polio virus that infected and killed mice. Dr. Venter’s work on the bacterium is similar in principle, except that the polio virus genome is only 7,500 units in length, and the bacteria’s genome is more than 100 times longer.

Friends of the Earth, an environmental group, denounced the synthetic genome as “dangerous new technology,” saying that “Mr. Venter should stop all further research until sufficient regulations are in place.”

The genome Dr. Venter synthesized is copied from a natural bacterium that infects goats. He said that before copying the DNA, he excised 14 genes likely to be pathogenic, so the new bacterium, even if it escaped, would be unlikely to cause goats harm.

Dr. Venter’s assertion that he has created a “synthetic cell” has alarmed people who think that means he has created a new life form or an artificial cell. “Of course that’s not right — its ancestor is a biological life form,” said Dr. Joyce of Scripps.

Dr. Venter copied the DNA from one species of bacteria and inserted it into another. The second bacteria made all the proteins and organelles in the so-called “synthetic cell,” by following the specifications implicit in the structure of the inserted DNA.

“My worry is that some people are going to draw the conclusion that they have created a new life form,” said Jim Collins, a bioengineer atBoston University. “What they have created is an organism with a synthesized natural genome. But it doesn’t represent the creation of life from scratch or the creation of a new life form,” he said.

Monday, May 10, 2010

An Indomitable Spirit

I could only wish that at 85 I will still have the undying curiosity to try something new every turn and even to recycle my own creations to make new ones.  That is the real test of commitment and detachment of the ultimate creative spirit.

My mother is blessed with that spirit and has shared her painting technique with friends and associates over the years.  The most recent time was earlier this year when she was asked to give a demonstration to the Artists Of South Whidbey (AOSW) on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Here you can see her presentation.

Note: The concept behind this presentation was one of the last projects my mother produced in collaboration with my father's multimedia production support in 2008.  It was updated in 2010 for AOSW.

Find more at her gallery

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Patents - What do they mean to you?

If you are interested in this subject you probably fit one of the following classes:

  1. You are an expert angel investor with IP due diligence experience - your comments would be most welcome.

  2. You are a potential or new angel investor (bless you for helping to grow our country).  In this case you might be interested in a practical view of what protection a patent rally gives you.

  3. You are an entrepreneur that could use some financial help to get your invention (IP) to market (bless you for helping to grow our country). In this case you should know what questions to expect from your angel investor and have good answers.

This post attempts to share, for the benefit of the last two groups, my experiences over twenty five years as an inventor, patent holder, investor in technology ventures, acquirer of intellectual property (IP), licensor of IP, entrepreneur commercializing my own or someone else's IP. If you want legal opinions or legal advice on this, call your attorneys.  If they are IP specialists they'll have legal details and perspective far more reliable than mine.  However, beware; just because they are so familiar wit he domain, IP attorneys will often presume that you understand the nuances of IP legal protection principles and legal practice, not necessarily the practical aspects of it, which is what I am focusing on here.  Mine is a "business" view of patents, not a "legal" view and therefre focuses on what is practical not only what is legally rightful.

What does a US patent give the inventor?

In simple terms, the RECOGNITION by the US government that he/she is PRESUMABLY the inventor of a certain concept, product or process and therefore has the EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to practice the invention for a certain period of time (e.g. 17 years) without competition.  Note that contrary to public perception it does not give the inventor any real protection (with one exception) unless he take steps to enforce that right.  The exception is that the Customs Office will do their best to stop an infringing product from entering the US if they are provided with a suitable request, documentation and proof of patent infringement.  Otherwise, the inventor is solely responsible to enforce his patent rights, which implies taking legal action against an infringer.

Against the above background then a number of questions arise:

Can one afford to sue the infringer?

Practically speaking, only if the practice of the invention has a cash flow worth protecting in an amount that covers the expenses, distraction, aggravation, etc. associated with a litigation. Winning the case may not produce cash flow or a significant pay off;  it may produce only an injunction against the infringer, which by the way does not preclude another one from coming along.

What if in the course of litigation one discovers that other aspects of the product infringe on patents held by the infringer?

This is very common in the electronics industry where frequently patents have great value to counter-sue and eventually settle by reciprocal licensing.  Much of this jousting is now going on and reported in the press involving Apple and their iPad against various competitors among which only one (the smallest and weakest) was sued for infringement.  In these cases there may only be legal expenses and the benefit of upsetting a competitor's product development roadmap.

If one has a validly issued patent, how much protection does it provide?

Better than none to be sure, but hardly a guarantee.  The case of RIM (Research In Motion), makers of the Blackberry, is very instructive (details): It started in 2000 when RIM was a startup with strong beliefs that their issued patents covered their products well.  After a surprising chain of events, by 2006 they settled for $650 million with NTP (plaintiff) after a court injunction forced the Blackberry network dark for one day (a $2 billion business at that time).  Since 2006 and continuing to this date "patent reexamination" action by RIM has sought to void NTP's prior art claims; NTP is responding in kind.  One can hardly imagine the costs involved (at $500 or more per hour).  Needless to say RIM investors had been confident of their IP position.  Conclusion: even ISSUED patents are no guarantee since prior art can be submitted at any time and reexamination requested.

Is a patent much ado about nothing?

Definitely not. A Provisional Patent filing, if properly written and searched, tells potential investors that there may be more than just an idea.  It says that the company and the inventor understand the IP aspect of their business and have invested time and money to protect their innovation.  If a patent is issued, it tells investors that a stake is in the ground that proves innovation, at least from a theoretical and PTO standpoint.  If potential competitors exist, they are not easy to find and may be behind the current inventor and therefore not innovators in the PTO sense.  Of course they could still come out later with proof of "prior art" and open the RIM type can of worms.

It should be noted that claiming infringement while holding an issued patent has a risk.  The "infringer" may turn up to have prior art and that may invalidate the patent.  To wit, I had occasion of working with a small manufacturer who was an outstanding and recognized innovator but never filed a patent. He explained that, not being interested in having investors or selling the company, patents to him were a cost and of no value.  His strategy was to practice whatever innovative process he devised without fear.  If anyone came to try and stop him he depended on his meticulously documented prior art files to trump the action.   Furthermore he had no interest in licensing his own inventions and felt that since issued patents files are open to the public, they are more risky than helpful unless one deals with fundamental inventions.  By those strategies, his company never grew to dominate his markets, but he as happy with that; my lesson was to beware that prior art occasionally may come out only when one "kicks the beehive".
 Why uncertainty cannot be eliminated?

In the US the PTO operates on the doctrine of "first to invent".  This means that anyone can come and claim to be THE inventor of anything if he can show prior art precedent to that of any patent filed.  If a patent had been issued, reexamination is the cure.  Documentary proof of prior art can be from most kind of documents, preferably lab books (numbered non-removable pages), dated and witnessed affidavits, etc.  Elsewhere in the world the "first to file" rule is followed therefor it is imperative to not delay a viable filing and one can depend on the value of an issued patent to a greater degree.


From a business viewpoint, the value of a patent is not an absolute one.  It depends on the circumstances of the business, the market, the product, the objectives of the inventor, the objectives of investors and many other factors. Deciding to file a patent (the inventor) or to assign a value to a patent (the investor) is a problem without an optimal solution.  Clear understanding of options, implications and trade offs is the best one can achieve in reaching an entirely subjective decision.  The "Should I get a patent" Roadmap may help with that analysis.  Read more about my Roadmaps

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Health Care - We, the people, are getting shafted

Now, let me get this straight......
we're trying to pass a health care plan
written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it,
passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,
to be signed by a president that also is exempt from it and hasn't read it and who smokes,
with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes,
all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese,
and financed by a country that's broke.

See any problems with it?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trying Hope ... Again

Frankly I feel completely cheated by the audacity of hope for change.  I just saw the political process prostituted to the point of openly buying votes for a bill with "part of the pay off being exemption from being covered by the bill".  Yes, reread it: even in most corrupted nations like Nigeria they do not have the gall of doing something like that.  Yes, that's change all right. I was one of the dumb asses audaciously hoping and I resent being had.

So, it is time again to hope for change. Now I hope for Paul Ryan to bring us some national leadership along with his straight talk and real, if unpleasant choices.   I long for the intellectual honesty (or just plain honesty) of a person willing to propose a medicine sure to be unpleasant at times but well reasoned, to fix several fundamental weaknesses of our economy and political system.  Bravo, Mr. Ryan.

As a public service here is a reprint of the article by Congressman Ryan published in Newsweek Feb 19, 2010


Red Alert

As Obama’s national-debt panel prepares for deliberations, one congressman proposes how to get back in the black.  

By Paul Ryan | NEWSWEEK
Published Feb 19, 2010

From the magazine issue dated Mar 1, 2010

Imagine your family’s finances if you spent and borrowed like Washington: you’d owe $60 in credit-card loans for every $100 of income. Every month you’d pay back a little but borrow even more. In 10 years, you’d owe $87 for every $100 you made. At some point you’d hand off the debt to your kids. If they worked until 2035, they’d owe more than $180 for every $100 they earned. In 2050, your grandkids would owe more than $320. By 2080 they’d owe seven times their earnings. Of course, lenders would cut them off well before then, and your family would be ruined. But this is the path your government is on right now.

Today, our country faces a fiscal meltdown - and Washington’s continued cowardice is a big part of the problem. The social-insurance strategies of the 20th century - Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security - are driving our federal government and economy to collapse. It’s long been obvious that we’re ill prepared for the retirement of the baby boomers. Now, the recession and Washington’s recent spending spree have accelerated the day of reckoning.

Consider just one program: Medicare. Today, this program is short $38 trillion of what it promises to provide your parents, you, and your kids. In five years, the hole will grow to $52 trillion. Your family’s share: $458,000. Medicaid will add trillions more in state and federal debt.

Social Security’s surplus is already gone, and its debt is mounting. Without shoring up its finances, the government will be forced to cut benefits nearly 25 percent or raisepayroll taxes more than 30 percent.

Both Republicans and Democrats share the blame for failing to be candid about the difficult choices we face and for continuing to make promises that cannot be kept. Some apparently have no sense of shame about shaking a tin cup at China and Japan.

I’ve put forward a specific solution to meet this challenge, a plan the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says can achieve its goals of paying off government debt in the long run - while securing the social safety net and making possible future economic growth. I call it “A Roadmap for America’s Future.” If followed, this is what will happen:


You, not your government or your boss, should own your health plan. The Roadmap replaces a tax break that benefits only those with job-based health insurance with tax credits that benefit every American. It addresses the key drivers of rising health-care costs, securing universal access to quality, affordable health coverage.


Everyone 55 and over will remain in the current program. For those now under 55, the Roadmap turns Medicare into a health-care program like the one enjoyed by members of Congress. Future seniors will receive a voucher and will be able to choose from a list of Medicare-certified insurance plans that best suit their needs. Thegovernment subsidy will provide additional support for those with lower incomes and higher health costs.


Everyone 55 and older will remain in the existing program with no change. My plan offers those now under 55 a choice: continue to take part in traditional Social Security or join a retirement system like Congress’s own plan. Future seniors will be able to invest more than a third of their payroll taxes in savings accounts they will own. These accounts will be guaranteed and managed by the federal government - not by a private investment firm. For both Social Security and Medicare, eligibility ages will gradually increase.


To get the economy going again, the Roadmap offers the option of a simple, low-rate, two-tier personal income tax, eliminating loopholes and the double taxation of savings and investment. Corporate income taxes will be replaced by a simple 8.5 percent business consumption tax.

For specifics on these and other reforms, go to

Critics say that any attempt to cut entitlements is tantamount to political suicide. Nonsense. Most Americans see such reforms as common sense. It makes sense to gradually increase the eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare - Americans are living decades longer than when these programs were first enacted. It also makes sense to tie benefits to income so that those with fewer resources receive more support. Arguing in favor of “means testing” Medicare premiums, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the respected Maryland Democrat, put it well late last year: “We have to buck up our courage and say that if we try to take care of everybody, we won’t be able to take care of those who need us most.”

One frequent charge against these reforms is, however, correct: the Roadmap does shift power to individuals at the expense of government control. It rejects the merits and sustainability of a cradle-to-grave welfare state, which drains individuals of their self-reliance. The plan unapologetically applies our nation’s founding principles - individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise - to the challenges of today. And the Roadmap does this in a way that honors our historic commitment to strengthening the social safety net for those who need it most.

I welcome the debate on how to tackle our fiscal crisis - and the larger debate on the proper role of government. But I’d encourage those taking aim at the Roadmap to arm yourselves with a specific alternative. My dad used to say, “Son, you are either part of the solution or part of the problem.” (That was usually when I was being part of the problem.) Now we must make the same demand of politicians in Washington: Don’t patronize the American people as if they were children - deferring difficult decisions and promising fiscal fantasies. Tell the American people the truth and offer them a choice, and they will do what’s right.

Ryan of Wisconsin is the ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

Find this article at:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Yes we can - No you can't

What a difference a year makes.  I've gone from hope to total disillusionment and it appears I am not alone. This rapid change of mood raises the question: "Are we just a bunch of ungrateful, uninformed, wishy washy and hyper-reactive dingbats? ", or perhaps we are displaying a new trait politicians ought to learn to consider in the age of the internet?

Let's look at two recent instances where voters suddenly revolted against the "great leader" they had trusted.

First we have  George W. and his Rasputin, Dick Chaney.  Here is a quick review of the relevant events:

  1. 9/11 creates an abnormally uncritical citizenry catalyzed by patriotism, and fear,  

  2. the Bush, Chaney, Woolfowitz, etc. gang figure they don't need to disclose their private agenda of redesigning the Middle East. In pursuit of it, fabricate tales of weapons of mass destruction to start a war

  3. the US goes to war on two fronts with a majority of support justified by fabricated information and fears 

  4. with war in progress the great leader gets re-elected 

  5. eventually analysts, former generals, etc. unveil the lies used to tee up the strategy and the internet distributes them to all able to read

  6. after 4 years of burning billions by the month, the economy goes into a tailspin 

  7. the voters, suddenly recognize they were lied to and paying a huge price for it and give victory to an untested newcomer that promises "change", the only thing that all want regardless of political orientation - CHANGE

  8. and change we get with the highest expectations.  Probably an non-republican could have been elected.  I for one admit being so offended by the lies and so smitten by the prospect of change that I abandoned my past "Reagan conservativism" and the fact that the alternative to "yes we can" was an Alaskan-diva whose key qualifications included "mayor of a town of 6000" did not help.

Now let's look at why, suddenly, "yes we can" does not resonate any more with the hopeful change-minded electorate.  Consider this to figure why and how a "tea party" would start:

  1. with the economy in collapse "Mr. hope" bails out the banks.  Perhaps needed to avert further trouble, but why not a single bureaucrat or banker lost his job in the process?  The problem is not that some bankers make millions, is that some are paid millions with our money - "Mr. hope" wonders why the fuss? Duh. 

  2. GM, whose brilliant management consistently lost (stock) value to its shareholders for 45 years straight, must be saved from bankruptcy, its executives must be paid (or exit with) millions of our subsidy money - such great talent must be retained, no? 

  3. Meanwhile small business owners fail by the thousands and banks who are given billions to lend, with no conditions to actually do so, continue to lend nothing. 

  4. "Mr. Change" campaigned on a promise to "change" medical services to control rising costs, rein in insurers' practices of coverage exclusions, increase insurance competition with a government plan  and insurance sales across state lines. 

  5. After near a year of debate and horse trading the grand proposal offers:

    1. no expansion of Medicare as an alternate  to private insurers,

    2. no cross states insurance sales to increase competition, 

    3. any limits on pre-existing conditions will take years to be enacted

    4. senators from too many states to count have been "bought" with cash subsidies, exclusion from participation in the plan they vote for, etc.

    5. unions have been cut similar deals

  6. where does the tax paying citizen figure in this barrel of pork? So much for CHANGE and the audacity of hope.

  7. disillusionment sets in but we are saved at the last minute by sheer luck in Massachusetts

  8. Again the voters have revolted against arrogance, stupidity, lies and having their common sense insulted

The two scenarios above show that one party is no more decent than the other.

The Supreme Court meanwhile asserts that corporations are "citizens" with the right to free speech and are free, if not to a vote at the polls, to at least to vote their pocket book.  The latter of course is worse to the democracy as it entails influence without responsibility or accountability.  The citizenry's common sense could only be insulted more if the wise Justices permitted corporations "as individuals" to marry and have children - now that is a new legal frontier.

Faced with pork and lies and insult to common sense, is it any surprise that a sentiment develops among the sheep that perhaps, just perhaps, "we deserve some respect?  We, the living, ought to stand up and say 'I count and you work for me' ".

Some fantasize nonsense like "going Galt", the more realistic develop a Tea Party frame of mind, perhaps it is finally time for a new party.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Social Media and a 2010 Boston Tea Party

At the risk of being stoned, I admit it: I believe that web social media, so far, has been a phenomenon of a solution in search of a problem,  businesses are wasting tons of money hoping to figure out a way to make money with it, and marketing consultants are the only ones doing so. This conclusion is in part supported by statistics like: over 90% of Twitter traffic is generated by 10% of the registered users; in other words relatively few people with time on their hands chatting with similarly busy people.  The assessment specifically excludes news media people and services who cleverly use it to let the "10% crowd" do some news sleuthing for them, or to generate following for their programs.


Businesses beware!   There may not be easy money to be made out of social media, but lots to lose by treating customers with contempt in an age when that news can be circulated to the world effectively and effortlessly.

To wit, the below email I received from a friend says it all.

(For wared email)
A musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines.
United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar ($3500) during a flight.

Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar.

During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for YouTube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded: "Good luck with that one, pal". So he posted a retaliatory video on youtube.

The video has since received over 5.5 million hits.

United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Naturally his response was:  "Good luck with that one, pal".

Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has lead to a sharp increase in orders.Here's the video .....>


You read it right 5.5 million hits and counting.  I guess the days of telling customers to blow off are ending and social media is lending a hand. 

Well done Dave Carroll, cool song too.