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The world's best worst smartphone app

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The Send Me to Heaven app is simple: it tracks how high you can throw your phone.

You install the app (on your android, obviously). You then throw your phone as high as you can. Go on, throw it. Catching the phone is entirely optional, of course, but if you're anything like me, your phone is carrying all kinds of incriminating evidence, so if it breaks, you're in the clear.

And that's it. Well, there's more to it than that: what the app actually does is register how high it's been thrown, then it uploads that height to a leaderboard. Effectively, it turns throwing your phone into a sport akin to Russian Roullette; do you want to be the best? Then you should risk your expensive phone to do so.

A bit of evil genius, that.

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alexpbrown
3242 days ago
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4 public comments
jhamill
3239 days ago
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Great app to install onto your old phone once you get a new phone.
California
cinebot
3241 days ago
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this is genius...evil genius
go on, i dare you
toronto.
schrierc
3241 days ago
I imagine the facebook/social integration will be terrible. "I scored 14 meters in phone toss! Can you beat my high score?"
ceeeeej
3242 days ago
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Waiting for a follow up video that shows someone taking this to the extreme.
Taipei, Taiwan
mdicarlo
3242 days ago
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Evil genius, indeed.
Chicago, IL, USA

The longest missed connection

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This Craigslist missed connection posting starts out like every other, but it slowly cracks open into something heartbreaking and beautiful.

I saw you on the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Q train.

I was wearing a blue-striped t-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white blouse. We both wore glasses. I guess we still do. [...]

Up and down the Q line, over and over. We caught the rush hour crowds and then saw them thin out again. We watched the sun set over Manhattan as we crossed the East River. I gave myself deadlines: I'll talk to her before Newkirk; I'll talk to her before Canal. Still I remained silent.

For months we sat on the train saying nothing to each other. We survived on bags of skittles sold to us by kids raising money for their basketball teams. We must have heard a million mariachi bands, had our faces nearly kicked in by a hundred thousand break dancers. I gave money to the beggars until I ran out of singles. When the train went above ground I'd get text messages and voicemails ("Where are you? What happened? Are you okay?") until my phone ran out of battery.

The person behind the post is suspected to be Raphael Bob-Waksberg.

(thx @torrez)

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alexpbrown
3243 days ago
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How the Tesla Model S is made

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A nice video from Wired that shows how Tesla's sedan is made.

Tesla got the factory for a song from Toyota in 2010, spent about a year or so setting up tooling and started producing the Model S sedan in mid-2012. The automaker brings in raw materials by the truckload, including the massive rolls of aluminum that are bent, pressed, and formed to create the car. Those lightweight components are assembled by swarm of red robots in an intricate ballet that is mesmerizing to behold.

(via ★interesting)

Tags: Tesla carshow to Teslavideo video
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alexpbrown
3247 days ago
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If I had enough money, I'd tell them to shut up and take it.
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3 public comments
newsforlane
3264 days ago
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This is so cool.
Washington, District of Columbia
steingart
3265 days ago
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yay
Princeton, NJ

Beach Closing

9 Comments and 36 Shares
Beach Closing
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alexpbrown
3248 days ago
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nebkor
3249 days ago
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fuck yeah pbf.
drspam
3245 days ago
i kind of like his "whenever the fuck i want to, deal with it" schedule.
fxer
3252 days ago
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First the pool, now this
Bend, Oregon
dreadhead
3253 days ago
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This is great.
Vancouver Island, Canada
mgeraci
3253 days ago
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//
Duluth, MN
glindsey1979
3253 days ago
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The Beach closed unexpectedly.
Aurora, IL
Michdevilish
3253 days ago
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Puts another spin on it!
Canada
fkxik
3254 days ago
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A joke!
Marwood
3254 days ago
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I actually snorted.
Preston, Lancashire.
adamgurri
3254 days ago
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womp womp
New York, NY

Expression

1 Comment and 3 Shares

expression-is-everything

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alexpbrown
3269 days ago
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LaGioconda
3273 days ago
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I think there needs to be a part 2...3...and possibly 4 of this series.
Washington, DC

Screens on Screen

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Recently, a site started making the rounds called Kit FUI — a new IMDB-like database of FUIs, fantasy or fictional UIs from TV and film. You know the ones: the virtual-reality Unix filesystem from Jurassic Park, the Terminator 2 HUD, the Esper photo analyzer from Blade Runner, and countless others.

Of course, Kit FUI wasn't the first site to track fake UIs. In 2007, Starring the Computer began indexing computers in film, many with fictional displays. Access Main Computer File started on Tumblr in 2010, and Fake UI followed in 2012.

I've linked to every one of these sites in the past, because each reminded me of an incomplete project I started in 2004, but always wished I'd finished.

In August 2004, I posted a question on Ask Metafilter asking, "Is there a website compiling framegrabs of computer screens in feature films?" The consensus was no, so I decided to do it myself.

One Metafilter member, Mike Lietz, responded that he was willing to capture some screenshots from his own DVD collection. We connected by email and got to work.

For lack of a better name, I called it "Screens on Screen" and set up the database and a simple viewer, while Mike started sending me screenshots. I built a tool for categorizing the UIs by period (past, present, or future), the platform, and what type of application they depicted. But the data entry was tedious, and Upcoming.org was starting to take off, so I put it aside. But not before Mike had captured over 1,200 screenshots from 47 films, dumped into an open directory on my server, where it stayed undiscovered for nine years.

Yesterday, on a whim, I mentioned my secret stash of screenshots on Twitter.

It immediately exploded. Even with its extremely simple directory listing, it captured people's imaginations.

Within a couple hours, three awesome geeks immediately built new ways to browse the collection.

And me? I'm absolutely giddy that people are finding new uses for a project that sat on my server ignored for nearly a decade.

Any creative person builds up a cache of unfinished projects. They usually stay hidden forever, buried and unexplored, taken to the grave.

Photographer David Friedman constantly came up with ideas he didn't have the time to pursue, so finally decided to start doing idea dumps, posting his work in its incomplete state. To his delight, several of his ideas were picked up by his readers, who went on to make them real. I shouldn't have been surprised the same thing would happen with Screens on Screen.

I'm going to take this as a personal lesson: stop hiding your imperfect and incomplete ideas for years. Stop collecting them in your head, like dying butterflies in a glass jar. It's always better to let them fly.

 
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alexpbrown
3269 days ago
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I could click through http://gui.neocities.org/ forever...
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