Sure, the popularity of digital devices has resulted in shorter attention spans and a constant need for stimulation and they are probably responsible for our growing inability to relate to each other on a personal level, but on the other hand they give you something to do when you are dining alone, which is going to be an increasingly frequent experience for you as the years go by because, let's be honest, who is really going to want to put up with you when there are clearly so many younger, more attractive options who actually make an effort at being pleasant out there? Bon appetit! [Via]
Well, the TechCrunch "Disrupt" conference in San Francisco has ended. And no one is talking about the drama surrounding TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington's sort-of dismissal any more, because a legal agreement was clearly made with AOL, his former employer, and everyone's obeying the NDA. Plus the vaguely promised self-immolation of the staff of TechCrunch didn't materialize in the slightest. But wait, who won TechCrunch Disrupt???
Of 31 startups competing to be the "winner," they came up with… this thing. "Shaker is a mixture of Second Life, The Sims, and Turntable.fm all mixed together using your Facebook data and connections. Your Facebook profile becomes a walking avatar, your pictures [...]
Yesterday Apple introduced a new version of Safari, along with a ton of other stuff, and it has something they call Reader. Some time back, we'd all heard that Apple was getting into the game, with what people were calling "Reading List," which would let you "collect webpages." This language was suspicious and largely wrong. What Reader does is pop up a nice, easy-readin' overlay over the website you're "at," allowing you to read without distraction—and also to print it or to email it to a friend. It deals with pagination really well; it looks great, and it makes sense.
Its sensible structure is, at least in part, [...]
Most people spend their app pennies and time on effects apps for photos. Everyone has Instagram, so they can put scratchy, slightly out of focus, over-saturated pictures on their Tumblrs, and it looks so meaningful. This is a thing that people really like doing, and even those of us who disapprove must learn to accept it. Instagram is the top free photography app in the Apple store! So the people have spoken. Go on, download it, I know you want to.
Likewise, Hipstamatic is the #3 paid app right now. Hipstamatic also "processes" your digital pictures to make them look old-timey film-ey. So this is a look [...]
Everyone has been going crazy about "frictionless sharing" for the last week. That's Facebook's cute new term for what happens when you give permission for something new and fun to enter your life and then it takes you to a party and "auto-shares" your activity with the world. You drunk slag. What to do? Short version long… you should probably get off the Internet now while the getting is good. (Well? At least consider it!)
And here is an iPhone/iPad game called Hipster City Cycle, in which you ride your fixie through Philadelphia streets, eating cheesesteaks and being groovy, man. It's like a Farmville for the barely-employed set! But it addresses an important question in gaming now: do we really want to play games that so closely resemble our real lives? (Kidding.)
The human mind, for whatever reason, is built for challenges and puzzles. (What are running and jumping and fighting games but a great use for the part of our brain that used to have to hide from and hunt mammoths and tigers?) At their best, they get to engage the front of your mind while the back focuses on thinking through bigger life challenges. Worst case scenario? Mobile and flash games let you tear up a few idle hours and set aside the worries of the day.
The casual game market is divided into a few distinct types. And most people will really only love one or two genres [...]
The world's dumbest iPhone application has arrived! I am maybe in love with it a little. It is called Le Petit Dummy [warning: iTunes link!] and it is dumb as hell, what with the making of things talk and combining sound files and pictures and the fake mouths and stuff. It makes me want to smoke pot all day.
"French mothers can download an app which claims to tell them if their son is gay. For just one euro 99 centimes they receive a questionnaire that aims to give them pointers about their son’s sexuality." Telltale signs, according to some of the app's questions, include a love of musicals and spending a long time in the bathroom. "No app to establish whether one's daughter is a lesbian is on the market," notes RFI, but you have to imagine that will change fairly quickly.
The fine folks at Arc90, the people who brought you Readability, are thinking about some new products. I'm partial to their scheme for Appathy, which delivers the non-fuzzy side of the social network. I also enjoy the perspective-giving livestream app Getagrip, which can inform you how many of your childhood friends are dead. Enjoy!
A hundred-thousand screams were heard last night, when it was announced that a startup called Color had gotten $41 million in investment money—pre-launch. It has seven founders! It's a social photography iPhone app! They paid $350,000 for the url "color dot com"! (Which is just a "click-here for the app store!) And it is now live.
Basically, Color finds people around you, and so you can see (and have) everyone's photos from around you. (Everyone who is also using Color, that is.) The tech sounds wildly impressive! (And high-bandwidth—it samples audio around you to match up devices that are "hearing" the same things? Whoa.) The case can be [...]
There's already a Shake Shack iPhone app that lets you look at the burger joint's line via live camera, so you know before you go over there just how much bitching on Twitter you will do while waiting for a sorta decent burger in Madison Square Park. Now there is an app, we have been notified, called Shakedown (that is an iTunes store link! This is their website) that will sync with FourSquare (the fun/ridiculous/scary app that tells your "friends" where "you are") so as to ID your friends already in line so that you can therefore jump in and butt ahead of plebes who are not [...]