Tag: weird iPhone apps

"Einstein's Pedometer" Tracks Subtle Benefit of Exercise: How Much Time Slows as You Move

By Valerie Ross | April 12, 2011 9:46 am

walking
I feel younger already!

If all those vague exercise benefits like heart health and improved mood aren’t enough to get you moving, maybe this will be: By taking that morning stroll, you’re slowing down the rate at which you’re aging and netting yourself extra time—whole picoseconds of it. And you know it’s true, because Einstein said so.

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Want the City to Fix a Crater-of-Doom Pothole? There's an App for That

By Patrick Morgan | February 11, 2011 2:24 pm

Doing good is getting easier. Soon, you’ll be able to do your civic duty of reporting potholes without even lifting a finger. The city of Boston is working on a smartphone app that would automatically report potholes to authorities–making it easier to find and fill the more than 19,000 potholes Boston grapples with each year.

The in-development Street Bump app uses a smartphone’s GPS and accelerometer technology to register the moment when a car lurches into a pothole and to identify the location. No need for the driver to call or email city officials, the app just goes ahead and sends the message on its own.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

Sinned Lately? There's a Vatican-Approved App for That

By Shannon Palus | February 8, 2011 6:21 pm

First, people chiseled the word of god on stone tablets, then the printing press came along and enabled things like religious flyers, handed out to innocent bypasser on street corners. As of today, the ten commandments are available in a handy Vatican-approved iPhone app.

This interactive app helps Catholics prepare for confession with a handy checklist that asks questions such as, “Have I harbored hatred in my heart?”, and “Have I abused alcohol or drugs?”. It’s so hard to remember things these days. Have you ever been angry or resentful? Not sure? You wish you had a checklist to consult, right?

Confession: A Roman Catholic App was developed by Little iApps (it appears to be the sole product that their website offers).

“I was a bit skeptical at first, thinking Now how in blue blazes is it even a good idea, let alone approved by a bishop, for an iPhone or iPad to hear my con­fes­sion? No freakin’ way!,” explains a reverend named Jeffery Grace, from Los Angeles, on the company’s testimonials page. But he adds that once he realized that the app didn’t actually hear confessions–instead it helps the user through an examination of con­science–he warmed to it. Lisa Hendley of catholicmom.com also testifies: “I’m hooked!”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

An iPhone App, a Refractometer, an Objectively Perfect Cup of Coffee

By Jennifer Welsh | September 20, 2010 4:58 pm

coffee---flickr-user-roreA new iPhone app, linked with a refractometer and decades of coffee science, can help you brew the perfect cup, for only $350. Don’t believe that such a thing is possible? Gizmodo sums up the natural inclination against believing that science can tell us what tastes best:

People accept scientific measurements as the truth about a lot of things. Mass. The temperature at which water freezes. The size of the earth. But it’s hard to swallow the idea of scientifically measuring how something tastes. Taste is subjective. Right? Not anymore—thanks to MoJo, a gadget that quantifies a cup of coffee’s flavor.

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iPhone App Lets You Tell Drivers Exactly What You Think of Them

By Jennifer Welsh | September 16, 2010 1:33 pm

Who needs to drive with two phones?A new smart phone app aims to get you communicating with the drivers around you, and we don’t mean yelling choice obscenities through the window or shaking your fist of rage when someone cuts you off.

By photographing, typing, or saying a license plate number and state you’ll be able to message the driver–if they’re also signed up for the service, named Bump. The message recipient can choose how they get their messages, through text or the Bump.com website. Bump launches today on iPhones, and an Android app will soon be ready as well.

Venture Beat talked to Bump’s CEO, Mitch Thrower about the idea:

Thrower says his social network for cars brings to mind a classic scene in the film American Graffiti…. Actor Richard Dreyfuss sees a beautiful blonde played by Suzanne Somers in a white T-Bird. She blows a kiss at him. He tries to follow her but can’t catch up. Maddeningly, he never sees her again. Oh, if he had only gotten her license plate.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!, Top Posts

Lust & Love Apps: Playboy Tames Down, Imaginary Girlfriend Steps Up

By Joseph Calamia | August 13, 2010 11:42 am

virtual-girlfriendThose subscribing to the iPad version of Playboy really will be reading it for the articles: The magazine has announced that it will forgo the naked women photos to conform to Apple’s stance against all apps deemed (pdf) obscene and pornographic.

The Telegraph reports that a “tasteful headshot” will greet iPad readers in place of the full glory of a playmate of the month, for example. Covering up (or cropping out) the skin will keep Playboy from that ever-growing list of app rejects, which formerly included one from a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist.

Another app that escaped the banned list is My Virtual Girlfriend, which we found on the blog Neatorama. The game allows players to advance twenty “relationship levels” and apparently has a heart meter that you fill by engaging in activities like virtual hand-holding and virtual kissing. You can also thrill your virtual material girl by buying her shoes–she sounds like a real catch.

Though the Virtual Girlfriend disclaimer warns that the company is not responsible for any resulting marriages, we fear for anyone to whom that applies.

Related content:
Discoblog: Want to Monitor the Earth’s Magnetic Field? There’s an App for That.
Discoblog: Augmented Reality Phone App Can Identify Strangers on the Street
Discoblog: Apple App Store Backs Off Rejection of Pulitzer-Winning Political Cartoonist
Discoblog: Is Apple Taking Sexy Back? Raunchy Apps Vanish From the App Store

Image: My Virtual Girlfriend

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

Want to Monitor the Earth's Magnetic Field? There's an App for That.

By Joseph Calamia | July 13, 2010 10:44 am

solarisSure, your GPS-enabled cellphone might tell you which way is north, but why settle for a mere compass when you can monitor the Earth’s entire magnetic field?

According to its developer, Tomasso, a Droid app called Solaris weaves together data from several satellites that monitor the Sun’s activity and its effects on our planet’s magnetic field.

NASA satellite team STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) provides information on “Earth-directed solar ejections.” NASA’s SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) also gives stats on what the Sun is sending our way in the forms of solar wind and energetic particles. Finally, the NOAA’s polar orbiter satellites provide information on the Earth’s weather.

Combining this information, the app allegedly can show (almost) real-time changes in the Earth’s magnetic field from solar activity and even indicate when trapped, Sun-spewed subatomic particles are making a spectacular show, in the form of the northern or southern lights.

The app can also tell you when to look up since, as reported by Gizmodo, the “Phone vibrates when geomagnetic storm level rises or aurora may be overhead at your location.”

Related content:
Discoblog: NASA iPhone App Lets You Drive a Lunar Rover (Just Try Not to Get Stuck)
Discoblog: Need to Find the Big Dipper? There’s an App for That
Discoblog: iCop: Police to Use Facial Recognition App to Nab Criminals
Discoblog: Augmented Reality Phone App Can Identify Strangers on the Street
Discoblog: iPhone Translator App Speaks for You, Using Your Mouth

Image: Solaris / Tomasso via AndriodPIT

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

iCop: Police to Use Facial Recognition App to Nab Criminals

By Joseph Calamia | June 16, 2010 1:47 pm

Snapping iPhone pics may soon be an order for cops in Brockton, Massachusetts. But don’t expect these shots to end up on the Facebook page for COPS. Using a special app, officers plan to turn the iPhone into a crime-fighting gadget that will use facial and iris recognition to identify criminals on the streets.

As first reported by the Patriot Ledger, the iris recognition software looks for unique coloration in the area surrounding the subject’s pupils. The face recognition software measures the spacing between the suspect’s major facial features–comparing the outside distance between the person’s eyes and the distance between his nose and chin, for example.

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Steve Jobs to Gawker: What Have You Done for the World, Anyway?

By Eliza Strickland | May 17, 2010 12:17 pm

Steve-JobsIt was Friday evening, Gawker writer Ryan Tate’s wife was out of town, and he was whiling away the lonely hours by watching 30 Rock when an iPad commercial popped up that touted the new Apple gadget as nothing less than a revolution. Tate got annoyed, fired off an email, and soon found himself in an email fight with Steve Jobs himself.

Apple’s CEO is known to personally answer some of the emails that flood into the sjobs@apple.com address, and it seems that Tate’s pointed message goaded the exec into action. Tate, who has long taken issue with Apple’s tight rules on how apps can be written and what content is permissible, argued that the iPad couldn’t be considered revolutionary because “revolutions are about freedom.”

Several hours later, Jobs fired back with his version of what the iPad offers: “Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom.” And it was on.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

Need to Find the Big Dipper? There's an App for That

By Smriti Rao | April 29, 2010 1:58 pm

20091112-2-pocketuniverseThere used to be a time when you could easily impress a date by pointing to the night sky and dreamily rattling off names of major stars, constellations, and the like. Now, instead of cramming your head full of names or making up stuff as you go along, you can use your trusty iPhone to guide you through your stargazing.

There are a bunch of apps that you can download, depending on your interest level and degree of expertise. Most of the apps are based on augmented reality–so all you have to do is point your phone towards the sky and the app does the rest.

If you’re a beginner, Pocket Universe ($3) and Star Walk ($3) are recommended by The New York Times for iPhone users; while Google Sky Map is great for Android users.

With Pocket Universe, you can use the camera view to look at the evening or morning sky, and the app will overlay the labeled view over the real sky. (The iPhone’s camera isn’t good enough yet to pull off this feat with a dark night’s sky.) The app also plots the position of the sun, moon, and planets, displays 10,000 stars, and traces the shapes of the constellations. Pocket Universe also features a “Tonight’s Sky” option, showing you a list of planets you can spot with the naked eye.

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