SELFIE MAKEOVER APP: If you haven’t been hitting the gym lately, Photox can add six-pack abs ($3.96), give you skinny legs ($3.96) or bulk-up your arms ($2.97). If it’s a dermatologist you desire, the app can also minimize wrinkles ($2.97), lighten skin ($3.96) and remove acne (99 cents). Photox is connects people with a team of experienced photo editors who can alter images as quickly and naturally as possible.
Developed by a No. Virginia professional, Photox allows users to submit photos for an editing makeover. (Courtesy of Photox)
DIGITAL INFIDELITY: Facebook users in relationships frequently use the site to keep in touch with “back-burners” — exes or platonic friends they know they could connect with romantically, should their current relationships go south.
Men have back-burners at roughly twice the rate of women.
On average, respondents in relationships said they had romantic or sexual conversations with two people (!) besides their current partner.
KILLER WINE BY THE MAFIA: 18 miles off Tuscany’s coast, Gorgona is Italy’s last island prison – where its inmates serving 30-year sentences for murders and serious crimes make the region’s best wines.
“In other prisons I was locked up for 22 hours a day in a cell 2-by-3 yards wide. Here I’m outdoors from morning to night.” Prinzi, who’s 43, is serving a 25-year sentence for murder.
Gorgona Prison director Carlo Mazzerbo is a staunch environmentalist who says Gorgona is an ideal place to discuss issues such as organic farming, vegetarianism and animal rights. He believes inmates should be encouraged to take part in the dialogue.
Wine writers chatter and mingle with prison guards and inmates as long-stemmed glasses are filled with an amber-colored liquid. Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi is hosting a wine-tasting under a pergola on a terrace overlooking the sea.
Frescobaldi has signed a 15-year winemaking agreement with Gorgona. And he says he’s willing to hire some of these workers once they’re released.
Marquise Lamberto Frescobaldi (right), of the winemaking dynasty, talks with prisoners Brian Baldissin (left) and Francesco Papa at his vineyard on Gorgona island (NPR)
CAMERA CUISINE: A side effect of the digital age in food photography, camera cuisine is any dish that was inspired by a picture or aspires to be one. “It’s become a visual medium. We’re eating with our eyes first.” Digital food photography is a cheap marketing tool as well. A snapshot of a new dish uploaded last night can cause a bump in reservations this afternoon.
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.
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
Account Killer: Shows you exactly how to close any social media account forever, not just disable them.
Skyscanner: Lets you search flights by date, price, and budget — even if you don’t know where you want to go.
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.