What is Photo Republic?

Billy Chasen

Billy Chasen

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.  Thursday’s post will cover the amazing story of the discovery of a lost $33 million Fabergé egg.

Take a photo of something unexpected

Take a photo of something unexpected

Many of you may know of my son, Billy Chasen, and his work on the Internet.  His last creation, turntable.fm, looked like it was going to be the next big thing, but unfortunately after the initial hubbub died down, the site ultimately was forced to shut down.  The initial publicity put him on the cover of Inc. magazine and had him written about in Forbes magazine, The New York Times, techcrunch.com and every business and tech publication that mattered.  Billy has also created other websites including chartbeat.com, and stickybits; was the co-founder of betaworks, and is the creator of another fun app called ketchup (also available as a free app).

Take a photo of what's in your pocket

Take a photo of what’s in your pocket

Billy’s fertile mind never stops working, so he’s ever creating.  One of his latest ideas is just great fun.  It’s an app called Photo Republic that’s available for download free for both iPhone and Android.  Once a day at a different time, you’ll receive a message to take a photo within the next 15 minutes.  Some past requests have been “Take a photo of your shoes” or “Take a photo of what’s in front of you”.  As the photos come in, they’re displayed in a grid, with the city and country of origin.  The message goes out to the entire world simultaneously, so you’ll see a montage of worldwide photos. It takes a few seconds and it’s really fun to see the results coming in from Valparaiso, Chile, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Vienna, Austria, Auckland, New Zealand and all over the US and Canada.

I suggest you download the app and tell your friends in close and distant locations to download it too.  You’ll enjoy it!

This wonderful Daum Nancy fall scenic vase is just in

This wonderful Daum Nancy fall scenic vase is just in

It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business.  Click here to view my new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

What is turntable.fm?

Today’s post is personal, not antiques, and is about my son, Billy Chasen, and his work. Billy is a software engineer and entrepreneur whose last creation was stickybits. It was a great idea, but didn’t gain traction, possibly because it was ahead of its time. So Billy directed his software team in a totally different direction, into the music world. He created turntable.fm, which was launched a couple of months ago. The proud papa wants to tell you a little about it.


Basically turntable.fm is a social way to listen to Internet music. You enter the site and choose between creating a music room or entering an existing one. Each room can have up to five different DJs, who each play a song of their own choosing, in order. The music can come from turntable’s library of over 11 million songs, powered by MediaNet, or you can upload music from your personal library. The DJs are represented by avatars sitting at a desk in the front of the room and the listeners by avatars standing in front of the desk. Listeners can vote on each song, lame or awesome. Too many votes for lame and the song stops. The DJ gets a point for each awesome vote. Listeners can also chat, which is frequently very lively. That’s the basic concept.

The site has caught on like wildfire, so for the moment, Billy has had to restrict the number of people who can use it. While the site is in beta, you must be in the USA and you can only enter if you have a Facebook friend who is already using turntable. Quick growth can cause software problems as a site scales up the number of users. These software fires have to be put out immediately, so the users have a good experience — all part of growing pains, a good problem to have.

In the meantime, here are some of the Internet headlines. PCMag.com – “Turntable.fm: The Fastest-Growing Music Service You’re Not Using”; CNN Tech – “Turntable.fm: The cool kids’ Pandora?”; BetaBeat -“What Is This Magical Turntable.fm Everyone’s Talking About?”; NPR.org – “Turntable.fm: A Roomful Of Fun”. Just type turntable.fm into the search bar of your browser and read all about it.

Turntable.fm is actively hiring software engineers. They need “rock star” python and scaling engineers. Let them know if you’ve got the skills and want to work at one of the Internet’s hottest startups.

In the meantime, join me in wishing Billy and his team success.

Impressive 11½ inch Daum Nancy floral vase

Check out my new acquisitions. This week I listed a gorgeous Daum Nancy pink floral vase; a very fine Tiffany Studios Favrile flowerform vase — better than the one that sold at Christie’s for $27,500; a rare Tiffany Studios desk lamp in the Spanish pattern; several fine Daum vases; a Daum lamp; several Galle vases; and several more Tiffany Favrile vases. Soon I’ll be listing a wonderful Tiffany Studios 7-light lily lamp with beautiful shades and a fine patina. Also coming soon will be several wonderful European ceramic items by Clement Massier, Zsolnay and Amphora. Here’s the link. chasenantiques.com

What is Stickybits?

Billy Chasen

Billy Chasen

Today’s post has nothing to do with antiques, but rather my son, Billy Chasen, and his latest creation, Stickybits, which was launched a few days ago. Billy is a software engineer with a very fertile imagination, who would rather be called an inventor. His latest idea is so clever, I predict it will be a major success. The proud father wants to tell you about it at this early stage.

Basically, Stickybits allows digital information to be attached to a bar code. First you download the free app on your smart phone, like the iPhone or Google Android phone. Then you scan a sticker with a bar code and attach any digital information you want to the sticker. The sticker can physically be attached to anything, like your computer or a greeting card or a bottle of prescription medication. If the concept is a little fuzzy, let me give you a specific example. Let’s say I buy a birthday card for Aunt Vicky with a Stickybits bar code inside. I line up the whole family and record a video singing happy birthday to Aunt Vicky. Then I attach the video to the Stickybits bar code and mail the card to Aunt Vicky. When Aunt Vicky receives the card, she uses her smart phone to scan the bar code and voila, she watches the video. The information is automatically encoded with GPS information and a trail is formed. Information is added every time the code is scanned.

Stickybits logo

Stickybits logo

How about this? I’m going to put a Stickybits bar code on my business card. I can attach and change the information as often as I like. One day if you scan the code, you might see a photo of my latest purchase, or a link to my blog. On another day, there might be a video of me and Lia wishing you a Merry Christmas.

How about tagging an object with Stickybits and sending it on a random trip around the world, a modern-day version of message in a bottle? Everyone who picks it up can add their information to the trail of its travels with automatic GPS locations. That would make a cool TV show.

The possibilities are limitless, which is what’s so nice about this technology. Billy and his group have come up with lots of suggestions about what can be done with Stickybits, but there are many more possibilities that haven’t even been dreamt up yet. Once the technology becomes ubiquitous, the true potential will start to be realized. More information is available at http://stickybits.com. The idea is getting a lot of publicity and buzz. Here are links to several of the articles that have been written. The LA Times at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/03/stickybits-barcodes-social-network.html. CNET at http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10467485-36.html?tag=mncol;txt Ecoconsultancy.com at http://econsultancy.com/blog/5592-q-a-stickibits-founder-billy-chasen

What do you think? Email me at philchasen@aol.com.

I’m taking a lot of time to add new items to my website. I’ve already listed new items under Gallé glass, Daum Nancy glass, Tiffany Studios glass and Marblehead pottery, to name a few. Please take a look, as every day I’m adding more. Click on this link chasenantiques.com.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.