5 Things - Week Ending 8/23/13

This is the 51st post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

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I have a secret to tell you: There is a mobile app you’ve probably never heard of that gets 2.5 billion page views a month, substantially more than all of CNN. It’s called Whisper, and the youths just love it.

Here’s how it works. Anyone can post an anonymous message to the service in the form of an image macro: text overlaid on a picture. When you open the app, you see six such images. Each one has a “secret” on it. You can respond to a message publicly or privately, choosing a public anonymous post or a private pseudonymous chat. Users don’t have a public identity in the app. While they do have persistent handles, there’s no way to contact them except *through* the messages they post. The app is PostSecret, optimized like FarmVille.

I thought parents and grandparents of teens might want to know about one of the apps that the "kids" are using these days. The apps motto is What's your secret? Share it on Whisper.

It is interesting how this generation of kids feel so compelled to share every aspect of their life with others via social networks. I imagine when my mom had a secret she would write it in her diary and call it good.

I downloaded the app and browsed through some of the "secrets" that were near me. I even messaged someone that shared that they hated their sister sometimes.

I have included a few of them to give you an idea of what people in the Twin Cities are sharing with the world.

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Remember the get-to-know-me chat of a first date or that final (good or bad) conversation with someone you knew for years? Chances are, as time has passed, your memory of those moments has changed. Did you nervously twitch and inarticulately explain your love when you asked your spouse to marry you? Or, as you recall it, did you gracefully ask for her hand, as charming as Cary Grant?

Thanks to our near-endless access to digital recording devices, the less-than-Hollywood version of you will be immortalized on the home computer, or stored for generations in some digital computing cloud.

There will come a time in the near future where anyone that can afford an iPhone will be able to purchase a device similar to Google Glass. This type of device will make recording daily conversations and moments even easier.

Imagine that you are at the Mall of America. You are having a conversation with your sibling about some health issues that your spouse is dealing with when you trip and go sprawling. Bags go flying everywhere including the contents of your Victoria Secret purchase. Some guy happened to be recording with his Google Glass and moments later he uploads the video to YouTube. The video catches on and before you know it, one million people have watched your embarassing moment.

Now that example might be extreme, but I don't think it is unrealistic. Someone could do the same thing today with their smartphone. It will just be much easier when a large percentage of the population as a video camera and microphone attached to their face all day long.


Key Nike FuelBand developer and fitness expert Jay Blahnik confirms new job at Apple, likely working on iWatch

Mark Gurman:

With Apple developing a wrist-watch device that focuses on health, sensors, and fitness purposes, the hire of Blahnik is absolutely critical and beneficial for Apple. Blahnik’s career has been about changing the behavior of people, and his experience could help Apple CEO Tim Cook write the book about how a wearable device could change a person’s behavior. It seems likely that someone with a fitness career as bright as Blahnik’s would only leave everything behind to work on something as potentially profound as an Apple wearable device.

Where there is smoke, there is fire. I think it is highly likely that Apple is working hard on the "iWatch". I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I thought that the "iWatch" was going to have a heavy focus on health. This recent hire lines up with my prediction of a health focused device.

I don't anticipate us seeing the "iWatch" until at least 2014 though.


Review: The Bose SoundLink Mini is the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker…ever

Seth Weintraub:

The sound. The Sound…and the Sound.
This is the best-sounding portable Bluetooth player I’ve ever heard. Full Stop. It is like magic what comes out of this thing. Take it to the beach or a public park and watch people freak out at how much deep, rich sound comes out of such a small object.

The Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker has received tremendous reviews. If you would like to play music wirelessly from your iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone I would strongly recommend that you check out this little speaker!

So there are the reasons I’ve seen the minis keep their value so well. And in an technology world of “treasure today, trash tomorrow” it’s nice to know you can buy a machine that lasts a long time and is useful enough for others to keep a good value on resale.

This article attempts to explain why Mac minis hold their value quite nicely. I was helping my parents purchase a Mac mini in the past year and we considered buying an used Mac mini, but found the savings was significant enough so we ended up buying a new one.

I think the Mac mini is a great little desktop computer and it is nice to know that you could sell it a few years down the road and get back a large percentage of your purchase price.

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