33 Free Apps that Makes Life Easier or Pay More for In-Person Experience?

Curated by CLAI


  1. 10-minute mail: For those times you need a throwaway email address (like getting two more free weeks of Hulu Plus). The email address will enable you to get confirmation then self destruct in 10 minutes.
  2. Fake Name Generator: For when you need a new identity.
  3. Camel Camel Camel: Shows you the price history of anything on Amazon and alerts you when the price drops. You can even upload your entire Amazon wish list directly. T
  4. Account Killer: Shows you exactly how to close any social media account forever, not just disable them.
  5. Skyscanner: Lets you search flights by date, price, and budget — even if you don’t know where you want to go.
Costs for Americans

Costs for Americans (Larry Buchanan & Alicia Parlapiano, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

MORE $$$ TO BE IN PERSON: Impact of technology on society: In a world rich in digital information, physical contact, and the personal trust and relationship that still comes by spending time with someone, has become even more valuable, since it is harder to come by. Increasingly, the most valuable things in our world involve people looking at you, touching you and understanding you.

  • The digital elite pay money to be in contact with one another, when they could just watch the whole thing on the web. The greatest example of this, of attracting billionaires to be near one another in somewhat cramped conditions, is the annual TED conference. It’s a bunch of talks and schmoozing. It costs $8,500 to attend, if they’ll have you. You can watch it online in real time.
  • Or take music. A century ago, an Enrico Caruso record retailed for about $30 in 2014 dollars; now you can listen to it free on YouTube. Currently, tickets to see Bruce Springsteen live, whose music is available for anywhere from 99 cents to nothing on the web, cost up to $1,800 on StubHub.
  • We’re moving towards a ‘post-automated’ world, where the valuable thing about people will be their emotional content.

Game Over: Flappy Bird and Really Cool Bike Gadgets

Curated by CLAI

ADDICTIVE GAME FAILURE: Difficult games are popular in defiance of any expectation that people have an appetite for easy entertainment, and against the march of the medium’s own history. The popularity of video games is proof that people enjoy having problems. Apparently life isn’t tough enough for those of us who seek amusement in failure’s premiere form of entertainment.

Like many games, dating back to Tetris or Pac-Man, there was no way to win Flappy Bird. Success was measured by delaying failure, in staying alive as long as possible. Flappy Bird was so tough that a standard session would last little longer than a bull ride.

Hovding Airbag for Cyclist

Hovding Airbag for Cyclist (Hovding)

COOL BIKE GADGETS: The most common mistake new cyclists make is not riding predictably. People who are afraid of getting hit from behind by a car will often do things like ride on the sidewalk or ride against traffic, which actually increases the danger that they will get hit by a motorist who doesn’t see them. Fear is a cyclist’s worst enemy.

  • Loud Bicycle sounds like a two-toned car horn and, at 112 decibels, is about as loud.  “It’s embarrassing to get honked at. But it’s more embarrassing to get honked at by a bicycle.”
  • Xfire Bike Lane light is equipped with two high-visibility red lasers that project two three-foot lines onto the road, creating an ad hoc bike lane.
  • Hovding, an inflatable bike helmet, works much like an automobile air bag. The device, worn around the neck like a quite fashionable scarf, detects the impact of a crash and inflates a sort of instant helmet around the cyclist’s head and neck.
  • BikeSpike, affixed to the frame, allows you to track its location on a smartphone, so you can find a stolen bike or just keep track of family and friends on the road

Social Life 2.1: Texting Decline, Apps for Sports and Keeping Track, and Facebook Ads

Curated by CLAI

TEXTING is on the decline. For the first time ever, traditional texting — the kind you do through your cell phone provider — has dropped in Britain. Bye bye texting and hello IMing!


Texting (NPR)

JOURNAL APPS: Keep track of your doings in 2014 with My Wonderful Days, Moleskine Journal and 1 Second Everyday. (NYTIMES VIDEO)

SPORTS 2.0: Upgrade Your Game – App-enabled sports technology promises to put a coach in your pocket and help you improve your game in baseball, golf and basketball. Does it work? (NYTIMES VIDEO)

FACEBOOK MARKETING allows ads in both News Feed and the side bar to increase clickage.