Image via aktivioslo
Many of you saw this headline and rolled your eyes, but Justin Bieber’s flight to space is big news. It could be the first concert in space, people! Like Protozoa style. (Yes, that was a Zenon reference.)
Bieber isn’t the first star to go intergalactic. He joins other celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Leonardo DiCaprio who have also signed up for seats on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space ships, but they can’t sing like Bieber can.
Technically, the concert thing is kind of a rumor, but Bieber tweeted it and then NASA responded and offered help, so it’s almost like it’s real. There are other rumors that the teen heartthrob wants to film a music video in space, but I guess someone has already done that. Regardless of what happens, the launch date hasn’t even been set yet. Maybe Bieber fever will have died down by then… on this planet at least.
Image via g4ll4is
All social networks have security settings that let users essentially put their profiles on strict lock-down—if they know how to do it. Once you figure it out, you can update Facebook with intimate wedding photos that only your family can see or you can accept a friend request, but block them from seeing any of your status updates.
But those who don’t know how to personalize security settings—and those who are afraid to adapt to technology in general—are still scared to use these sites. My uncle doesn’t want employees of his company on LinkedIn because he thinks competitors will cherry pick his best employees. True story. Maybe people like him will be more willing to adapt to these 10 private social networks.
Notabli and 23Snaps lets users privately share photos with specific individuals—perfect for those who are afraid of posting pics of their kids all over the Internet. Couple lets love birds get all mushy discreetly. Path tops off your friend count at 150, forcing you to keep a small network while FamilyWall keeps it, well, in the family. I guess there is a time and a place for exclusive social networks, but when it comes to me, I’m okay with broadcasting my life over the interwebs—in a tasteful way of course.
I’ve mentioned my feelings about how the Kindle Fire has burnt out mainly because it was literally burning too bright. I can’t read at night with that glaring white screen! I started getting jealous of the Kindle Paperwhite and considered becoming a two-Kindle person. Until now.
ScreenDim Full is a 99-cent app that will transform your Kindle Fire into a nighttime reading machine. It can dim your screen below factory level settings. Amazing! In the image above, the Kindle Paperwhite is on the left and the Kindle Fire – with the ScreenDim Full app on its lowest setting – is on the right. It’s not as great as the Paperwhite but it’s closer than ever before.
This means that I can now finish the Game of Thrones series without burning my eyes. (“My eyes are just watering because my screen is too bright, not because of the Red Wedding…”)
I have 15 loyalty cards on my keychain. It’s a product of living in three different states over the past three years – that’s a lot of grocery stores. I also have a few things on there that I don’t use very often like my Belly Card, my library card… and my gym membership card. When I heard that apps can digitalize this crap, I already felt the weight lifted from my purse.
This iPhone and Android app scans your loyalty cards and consolidates them into one location: your phone. Plus, you can access coupons and deals from the places you shop most.
This app takes loyalty card storing to the next level with the goal of replacing your whole wallet. A $40 upgrade lets you scan your credit cards as well. My favorite part is that you can scan receipts. I’m a serial returner, so it’s nice to know that I don’t need a paper trail anymore.
Image via LoopIt
Ever wanted to splurge on a big ticket item, but felt guilty before you even clicked “add to cart?” I usually become paralyzed with fear before I make a big investment, but the social shopping site LoopIt might give me newfound confidence in my purchases.
LoopIt allows you to poll your friends about a product – or a selection of products – that you’re thinking about purchasing. After all, your friends’ opinions may mean more to you than reviews from total strangers. And your friends usually know your budget and your body (if we’re talking clothes), which means they can talk you off the edge. Contacted via Facebook or email, they can vote “yes” or “no” or leave a comment.
This social shopping feature will probably best be used as a widget on popular e-commerce sites. Sites like Rent the Runway are already jumping on board. Will you use LoopIt?
I apologize in advance for introducing you to this game. Sure it takes only 60 seconds to play. But it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to stop. So, again, I’m very, very sorry. Do not download this game.
It’s called Dots and it’s been downloaded 1 million times within a week, according to Betaworks’ blog. It also skyrocketed to the number one game in eight countries. NBD. On my first attempt, I scored 80 points, then 101, then 124, then… you get the picture. The current high score is 799. Think you can beat it?
Learn more about how to score – make squares! It’s all about the squares! – and how to best use the power-ups on the Dots blog.
Image via Buycott
Here’s an app that’s putting a spin on typical barcode scanning technology. No, it’s not concerned with calorie counting and health stats – it concerns ethics.
Scan a product with the Buycott app and you’ll find out which parent company owns the brand. But here’s where it gets cool: users join campaigns like “Ban High Fructose Corn Syrup” and then the app will let you know if that company is in violation of a cause you support. Despite its name, the goal is quite the opposite of a boycott. It hopes to help consumers back companies who support great causes.
Read more about it at Fast Company.
Image via Flickr
A recent New York Times post revealed a secret of the tech elite: they don’t use tech 24/7. They drive until cell service drops. They leave their phones at home when they’re out for Sunday brunch. They shut off their wi-fi on weekends.
I’m not surprised. As a freelance writer who’s often glued to my computer screen, the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is stare at a screen—so I don’t. And I might be on to something. Author Robin Sloan published his first successful book after time spent on a technological detox. It made him more productive, and more creative.
Are you willing to go phone-free or Internet-free to get your work done faster or to make family time more focused? Comment below or tweet us @WIREDInsider.
Image via Yanko Design
This might be the greatest thing ever. As a freelance writer who likes to travel, I find myself in coffee shops all the time. You’d be shocked to know that most coffee shops don’t have plugs and don’t have food. This invention by Yanko Design can’t fix the latter but it sure as heck can fix the former.
Ready for this? I’m talking about a solar-powered outlet. It sticks to windows with a simple suction cup. The device harnesses power via solar panels and is fully charged within five to eight hours. When it’s powered to the max, it can provide 10 hours of electricity. Think of the possibilities: electricity in the car, in a plane, on the bus, or outside. It’s only a prototype now, but I’ll certainly be the first in line to buy.
Read more about it at Fast Company.
Image via Sudo
If you’re like me, you get at least 5 “daily deal” emails sent to your inbox every morning. Once in a blue moon, you find something awesome, so you don’t want to unsubscribe. For the most part, though, they’re a pain in the butt.
Looking to reduce your inbox clutter? Get Sudo. It’s is a free app for iOS and Android that manages local deals. Get only the ones you want, when you want them. Plus, Sudo has a map that geotargets the daily deals. Pull up your current location and you’ll see select retailers (based on your interests) offering a deal.
The other piece of this equation is the little kickback that Sudo gives you with each purchase. For example, the app told me that Restaurant.com currently has a $100 gift certificate for $40 to a local Moroccan restaurant. If I buy it, Sudo will give me $3 back. Nice.