Top 4 Apps Everybody Should Own

In today’s fast-paced world it’s impossible to not have a smartphone. Whether you’re an up-and-coming unpaid communications intern or a two-year-old learning to use the potty, there is an app that will make you fitter, happier, smarter, healthier, wealthier, more attractive and more productive.

So, without further ado, we’ve partnered with our good friends Andrew, Ulysses and Ben at AT&T Apps to share this sponsored post on the top 4 apps that will improve your life!

1. EsteemKeeper

EsteemKeeper app icon

Has your massive personal online over-sharing alienated you from your friends? No more! EsteemKeeper provides you with a social scorecard that always goes up and finds the silver lining in your sad, lonely online existence. Subscribe for further features, including our service that counters the perception that you are an isolated hermit by supplying you with an army of engineered online friends. These EsteemFriends™ will cheer you on after you post momentous life occasions, such as getting a promotion, finally asking that cute neighbor out on a date, or sharing your opinions on Star Trek Into Darkness.

2. Fartr

Fartr app icon

Finally, an advanced cloud-based system for tracking your personal emissions: Fartr! Download the app and immediately begin logging your flatulence — the most intimate measure of your atmospheric footprint. Powerful social features extend the already incredibly robust abilities of this app. Share your logs on Facebook or Twitter and tag your friends in your FartStream™. Upgrade to FartrPRO for advanced tools such as the ability to anonymously mark which of your friends dealt it and the ability to route your walking route around regions of recent flatulence. It’s great for your health and the environment!

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No More Complaints About the Internet Ruining Society. Seriously.

I enjoy Zen Pencils a lot. He’s a good illustrator with fine organizational instincts who takes his time with his comics. Above all, he selects consistently good subject matter and usually avoids filler — I tend to excuse his preference for overly sappy/dramatic/grandiose quotes by checking my cynical streak at the door (plus being positive and inspirational is kinda his mission, right?).

I’m used to paid bloviators (who are, as a rule, of an older generation) ranting in broad strokes with fact-less and overly-condescending1 tones on the subject of us narcissistic, attention-challenged youth who are ruining our selves and the world with technology. This one, though. Yeesh. Posting on Twitter or Facebook makes you an attention addict, on par with a heroin addict? Is that what we’ve come to?

That said, all afternoon I’ve been viewing my Twitter and Facebook feeds as if I was wearing a pair of advanced Ray-Bans that revealed every post to be some variation on “Look at me!” or “Validate me!” (and also “OBEY” and “CONSUME” but that I see that surprisingly often).

Is all posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc by definition a cry for attention and acknowledgment? Nope.

Is there room for simply sharing cool stuff because it’s entertaining/useful/important? Sure.

Is “I’m simply sharing!” a self-important, self-deluding excuse that screams “I have super awesome taste! Validate it, my friends!”? Probably.

What about the irony of tweeting this cartoon to disagree with it? I’ll pass on that one.

So there’s my opinion in 3 answers. I argue that there’s a difference between sharing cool or informative articles, videos, music, etc vs narrating one’s life into the intertubes as depicted in the comic2. This will just devolve into another “Is there such a thing as a selfless good deed?” conversation, but throw out your anecdotes and opinions below if you have them.

P.S. ‘#drugsarebad’ is definitely a hashtag Reagan would’ve used had Twitter been around in the ’80s (Related and hilarious).

Footnotes:

  1. Looking at you, Time. (I just can’t bring myself to link to the actual article.)
  2. Ignore the fact that I’m on a dirty toilet sprawled out like a heroin addict as I write this.

An Analogy and Primer on the Great Patent War

World War 1 Map

Phones have become complex and full of fancy and useful gadgets such as GPS, 4G, Gorilla Glass, Apps, video calling, voice recognition and — if my rambling letters to the various phone makers are heeded — flasks. With all that complexity comes cost, which has made smartphones and tablets a big moneymaker. Where there’s lots of money to be made there’s conflict to be found, and this field is no exception — we’re talking about a modern day war. The winners of this patent war have yet to be decided — though it’s safe to assume it’ll be the lawyers — which leaves time for us to become well acquainted with the main parties involved in this war.

So, without further introduction, let’s look at the “armies” of this war in a way anyone who has passed a history course should understand, here’s a survey of the field, World War I style.

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Poorly Targeted Meetup.com Group Recommendations

Meetup.com Logo

Oh the wonderful meetups we’ll have! At least, that’s the idea.

Unfortunately, my experience browsing Meetup.com — one of the foremost internet-to-real-life portals and, by default, a moderately creepy place — has been less than stellar. Granted, the scope of my experience is rather limited: for instance, I have never actually attended a meetup with individuals from this particular website. My history with Meetup.com, however, comes down to recommendations.

For several months I have been collecting the site’s meetup group recommendation emails in my inbox. First it was unintentional. Before long, however, it developed into a hobby and an odd experiment. You see, these suggestions were 85% terrible — approximation, of course — which led to the insight that I have become spoiled with the quality of Google search results, Facebook friend suggestions, and Netfilx film recommendations. By comparison, the level of personalization from Meetup quickly became a near-daily topic of giggles.

With that in mind, I present to you some suggestions the Meetup (non-)algorithm presented to me, a 20-something geeky male with reading, writing, music, science, technology and community service as my main interests:

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You Too Can Become a Massive Pile of Muscle in Only Six Minutes!

The day you thought would never come is finally here. For too long, men, we have been forced to work long hours with expensive equipment to keep a manly physique. Long workouts are difficult, challenging, all around tough but now, thanks to this revolutionary product, they’re a thing of the past.

Our savior? The Shake Weight for Men! It may do the same thing as the original Shake Weight (for women), but now it has a manly color-scheme — men simply can’t use a white exercise device — and a booming narrator to market it to us. Point being: use a woman’s shake weight and you might as well turn your testicles in. Also, it features many creepy background grunts that were clearly made during a Shake Weight for Men exercise routine — and not some sort of perverted activity — as no average exercise equipment could produce that sound! Seriously, this thing is kick-butt!

Best of all, it only takes six minutes! Other workouts take hours upon hours over weeks of intense work, but that’s the old American work ethic. Now you can finally upgrade your workout mindset for our modern instant gratification culture!

 

 

Imagine seeing this late at night, as I did, and wishing you could have an insomnia fueled bout of late night exercising (this company clearly knows where to look to find men who feel they should be healthier and more active).

Now we have a Shake Weight for both sexes, which leaves us with a question: what’s the future look like for this device? Personally, I’m imagining a Shake Weight for Babies.

Alternative Versions of Foursquare You Don’t Know About

The Foursquare logo -- this is not a logo for a Foursquare clone.

Foursquare has exploded onto the social media scene, racking up over 8 million registered users and over 750 million check-ins, with an average of 3 million check-ins occurring daily. Like other popular social media technologies, it has integrated itself into the daily fabric of the lives of those that proudly proclaim themselves as Millenials. However, unlike other social media technologies, it has not yet spawned a cavalcade of imitators, each of which may serve slightly different user bases distinguished by interests, subculture — who are we kidding, let’s get real here — big toe ring chic, licorice androids, Papier-mâché Instapaper, etc.

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Astonishingly Impractical Groupon Deals

Despite the ever-expanding galactic chasm of differences that is increasingly compartmentalizing us Earthlings into absurdly-informed, cantankerous isolationists wallowing in apartment sovereignty and its associated aged mustard concoctions (e.g. Guilden’s Spicy Brown Whiskey, etc.), I think we can agree one one thing: Everyone loves a great deal!

And this universal truth, of course, is clearly the reason why services such as Groupon have not only taken off, but have quickly been integrated into our daily lives and routines. Considering the staggering range of restaurants, department stores and assorted services to which enormous savings are offered, nearly anyone can save a few bucks here and there using a Groupon deal that is suited to their individual needs.

Now, I must say that I have been an avid user of Groupon for over a year now, and I have benefited many times from their deals. However, I must also say that this was far more frequently true when Groupon first started as opposed to now.

You see, when I first signed up, I would receive deals that were quite practical and immediately appealing, such as “Half Off Cajun & Tex-Mex at Gator’s Croc & Roc”, or “Up to 58% Off Concert Tickets” as I am a music lover. However, in recent weeks, Groupon has apparently decided to redouble their efforts in sacrificing practicality for niche market penetration in their daily deals. At first, I thought it was a quirk, or a sort of experimental marketing that would improve their service in the long-run. But now, I am genuinely becoming concerned.

[Continue for examples of astonishingly impractical deals]

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