I own a Fitbit. It’s black, and it’s not anything to look at. (Actually, it has broken twice, so it’s not really anything to swear by either, but that’s another post.) I bought one with two co-workers, the motley trio of us peppering the poor saleswoman at the City Sports on Walnut Street with questions not at all related to the actual technology of the device: Do these come in any other colors? Can I get this in silver? Can you stud them?
Cue Confusion: Diane Von Furstenberg is Collaborating With Google Glass for a Special Edition Pair of Lenses
You may remember Diane von Furstenberg’s first foray with Google Glass when, in September 2013, models sashayed down the runway in the slightly less obtrusive eyeglass versions. It came with a hashtag—#DVFthroughGlass—and prompted New York Daily News to say: “The skinny frames gave off a hint of Star Trek style.” Well, now DVF is giving it another go with an upcoming collaboration with Net-a-Porter set to debut next week. And this is one instance of tech-meets-fashion that I really can’t get behind.
Mark Headd, Philadelphia’s first Chief Data Officer from the fall of 2012 to April 2013, has finally explained why he left the position. It happened after a squabble with the city’s Revenue Department commissioner after Headd’s team built a real-time dataset of property tax balances.
Though the city built an API that would allow sharing of real-time data with other city agencies, Revenue Department commissioner Clarena Tolson wouldn’t allow the data to be released. Headd says the city has issued permits to tax delinquents who owe millions.
Confession: I have a very weird obsession with finding the perfect cell phone case. It started about 10 years ago, when I searched far and wide for a blinged-out cover. (I ended up shelling out a pretty penny for a kit that let you do it yourself. The crystals stayed on for about 2.5 days and then they’d get stuck to my hair every time I talked on the phone. It wasn’t pretty.)
“There’s an app for that.” It’s a phrase we hear just about every day. And, well, it’s kind of true; there’s seemingly an app for everything from haircuts to drug paraphernalia delivery. It got us wondering: What shopping apps are out there? Answer: a ton. So we did a little sleuthing to find out the best and most worthwhile (no one wants a battery-sucker) apps out there. Whether you’re finally ready to find the right bra size, or you’re looking to sell the loot from your spring cleaning sesh, as much as we hate to say it … yes, there’s an app for that.
We’ve all tried them: corny websites that let you virtually “try on” celebrity ‘dos. It’s like the paper dolls of hairstyles. Anyway, they never look quite right: The hairstyles always seem weirdly overwhelming, and we certainly aren’t taking the images to the salon.
While making my internet rounds this morning, I stumbled across a clip shared by beauty blog Into the Gloss of a North Texas ABC Affiliate news channel hawking the benefits of Cynthia Rowland’s Luscious Lips Lip Pump. Available for $49.95, the pump is intended to replace injections, creams and glosses for women in pursuit of pillowy pouts. How it works: Position the cylindrical tube on your mouth (stifle your teenage-boy-esque giggles), suck, then pump slowly for about two minutes (seriously, keep biting your tongue) to bring blood to the skin’s surface. I guess we kind-of-sort-of-maaybeee saw an increase in the model’s lip size (to be fair, the product is said to be more effective over time), but the ridiculousness dampens any initial intrigue.
The verdict is still out on the long-term effects of attaching an air pump to your pucker, but in the meantime, may we suggest one of the—admittedly more discreet—17 lip plumping varieties available at Sephora?
Just when you thought ugly Christmas sweaters were limited to attached jingle bells and fuzzy candy canes, there’s this: A sweater by Digital Dudz that has an inner pocket for a smartphone, which—once you download a free app—will actually animate the sweater (the options are surprisingly vast: there’s a caroling kitty, a crackling fireplace, a snowglobe). Watch the video and prepare to dominate your Ugly Christmas Sweater parties.
For the audiophile who also appreciates good design, the tabletop HiFi speaker by Symbol Audio is perfection. Let’s get tech-y here for a minute, shall we? The single-input speaker cabinet packs two four-inch, full-range drivers, a built-in Class D amplifier, and a mini jack for adaptable audio input. In laymen’s terms: You’ll get rich sound, and you can hook up an iPod, iPad, iPhone, turntable or streaming audio to it. The HiFi might look diminutive, but it weighs in at 30 pounds, and measures 28.75 inches long by 9.5 inches high and 8.5 inches deep. Thankfully, the streamlined design is completely unobtrusive: All knobs and controls are tucked away in the back. In short: It’s a purist’s dream.
The Details: Symbol Audio Tabletop HiFi, $1,800 at Studio 882, 882 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. (Psst: Shoppist readers can purchase this in-store or over the phone for $1,499! Mention Philly Mag to score the exclusive deal.)
Give To: Dad.
MISSED PREVIOUS GIFTS? SEE WHAT YOU MISSED HERE.
Day 1: A weekender for him.
Day 2: A geometric ring for her.
Day 3: A posh nail polish set for the teenager who hates everything.
You will not get a new iPhone or iPad today, but it’s possible you’ll get the new iOS 7 operating system that makes it feel like you’re getting a new iPhone or iPad. My friends at Macworld (full disclosure: I’m a contributor there) review the new iOS. Dan Moren says the new system distills Apple’s mobile operating system down to its essence:
I’ve spent a decent amount of time with iOS 7 since its debut earlier this year. I like it. There. I said it. I’m pro-iOS 7. To me, the new interface looks sleek and clean and modern. It smacks of purpose-driven design. Whenever I returned to my iOS 6 reference devices, the interface seemed funny and cartoonish—the same way I think the early Aqua stylings of OS X would look from the vantage point of Mountain Lion. The world has moved on, and a smartphone OS today doesn’t need to do the same thing that it did six years ago when the market was still brand new.
In my opinion, there’s a lot to love about iOS 7, even with its rough edges. As third-party apps start to be built around its new capabilities and embrace its new design, I think there will be even more to recommend it to users. But for now, it’s clear which way the wind is blowing, and even if you hold off upgrading to iOS 7 today (or this week), its arrival on your iOS devices is inevitable.
So, kick back and relax. Pump some jams from iTunes Radio, fiddle around with Control Center, browse through your photos and relive some memories. Because iOS 7’s greatest triumph is making the familiar feel a little unfamiliar to us, affording us anew that joy of discovery and wonder—and you rarely get a chance to experience something again for the first time.
Macworld also has a Frequently Asked Questions video about iOS 7, an overview of the system’s new features, and advice on how to install the new software on your iPhone and iPad.