October Roundup: iPhone Finance, Predictive Twittering, & the Death of Privacy
October’s been a hell of a month here at Appculture. In case you missed it, here are some of the events and ideas you should know about:
- It’s 2010: songs have gotten more depressing, bloggers have become more happy, and, uh, Twitter can now predict the stock market — a couple days early. So… are you ready to put your portfolio in the hands of internet marketers?
- Location services aren’t as harmless as you might think. People have been threatened, stalked, and burglarized– and that’s only the beginning. Read this for a sobering take on what location services will do to privacy, hierarchy, and even truth in the future.
- Apple’s not making computers anymore. OK, well, not really– but their newest announcements definitely paint a future of “digital lifestyle appliances”, not “computers”. Will the rest of the world follow suit? Or is this the beginning of the end for Apple’s battle on the desktop?
- Datastream – What’s the most searched-for emotion? How much was spent on Y2K? How pointless is the US penny? Do homeschooled kids really do better? Find the answers to these and more in October’s datastream. (I’ve decided to stop doing this as a weekly column due to the amount of time it takes to conduct research. If this stuff is interesting to you, I’m happy to continue!)
- The best iPhone finance tracking apps, reviewed head to head – Pennies, Moneybook, Expenditure, myExpenses, and MyWallet+ run through the Appculture review process. See who emerged as the best app to track your finances with!
- The Era of Overload is upon us, and the world is changing. Graham Button outlines a couple of provocative points to keep in mind (useful for investors, business leaders, media outlets, and even individual Web users).
- The US Government wants the ability to decrypt any secure communications–anywhere. They plan to achieve this by forcing “back doors” to be built into all (third-party) encryption software. Find out what you need to know about these startling developments.
Thoughts, Links, & Digital Ephemera
Alongside full-sized posts, I also publish a lot of links each month to things I think are worth knowing. This happens mainly on Twitter, so I suggest you follow me at @dmaterialized for the latest. Many of them are also posted to my tumblr.
- Research seems to suggest people really can see into the future.
- Everyone’s talking about Graphene, a new “miracle material” that is the strongest substance ever measured, and conducts electricity better than anything known to man. It’s also the “thinnest possible material that is feasible.” Get this: it would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap.
- Everyone knows cities have different “vibes”. But where does that vibe come from? What gives a city its identity? It turns out, the walking and talking “pace” of its inhabitants is consistent and predictive. Listen as radiolab’s guest this week predicts populations, crime levels, and insane amounts of other data from the movements of pedestrians (my jaw dropped listening to this).
- Ars Technica posts a Windows 7 Phone review. While we stay firmly with iOS on this site, it’s important to see what developments are happening around mobile technology. I really, sincerely hope for WP7 to turn out a lot more polished than Android, and to give Apple a kick in the pants. Competition is good for everyone.
- Punchcut (a mobile UI firm) presents some of their best practices for mobile UI design. A well-written, concise and thoughtful list.
- Teenage girls send an average of 4,050 texts per month, according to Wired.
- Wired presents: the brainy descendents of Sherlock Holmes.
- Would you rent a friend? A hilarious look at a strange new practice that isn’t (necessarily) as strange as it sounds. But it’s pretty strange.
- Nikon’s announced the winners of their world-famous “small world” contest (featuring the best in microphotography)
- I discovered Klout, a site that uses your links, follow rate, tweets and facebook profile to compile a list of your “social media reach and presence”. Very, very cool.
- CNN presents “touchscreens that feel like sandpaper.” The next generation of haptic interface? Awesome.
- I had a birthday.
- The economics of innovation, or, what do you need in order to have a “flash of insight”?
- Interhood is an awesome way to find designers and developers in your city.
- Ever wish you had a “zoom lens” for sound? It’s now a reality. Squarehead Technology’s new Audioscope software can “pinpoint” a single conversation in a crowded space.
- Popular Science presents micro-engraved lenses that give perfect vision to both near- and farsighted eyes.
- Make time fly and you’ll have more fun! NPR presents a cool study demonstrating that you enjoy things more when you think the time went faster.
I hope you’ve enjoyed October as much as we have!