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Jason Boog

Jason Boog is the editor of GalleyCat and managing editor of AppNewser. His writing has appeared at The Believer, NPR Books, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Peace Corps Writers. Click here to email. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Should Kids Have Smartphones?

Comedian, actor and writer Louis C.K. explained why his kids can’t have smartphones on Conan, reminding all adults about the philosophical problem posed by these new devices. We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think?

As a parent, I think my daughter should be able to use smartphones, but not have her own until she is much older. Salon collected this quote from the video:

Some parents really struggle with, ‘All the other kids have the terrible thing, so my kids have to … You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing anything. That’s what the phones are taking away … The ability to just sit there. That’s being a person.

BlueJay Helps Law Enforcement Monitor Twitter

The BlueJay tool lets law enforcement officers tap into the firehose of tweets, targeting crime mentioned in tweets, hashtags and other corners of Twitter. Users can choose “Red Flag Terms,” put certain users on a Twitter “User Watches” and create a pinboard map charting Twitter activities.

BrightPlanet created the search tool.

Here’s more from the sales sheet:

Monitor large public events, social unrest, gang communications, and criminally predicated individuals. Identify potential witnesses and indicators for evidence. Track department mentions. BlueJay captures tweets from the entire Twitter firehose unlike all other products on the market. BlueJay is invisible and covert. BlueJay captures geographically tagged tweets. BlueJay has no IT requirements. All you need is internet and a browser.

(Via Ars Technica)

Twitter Files Paperwork for IPO

Twitter announced that it has filed for an initial public offering, a move the app-centric world has anticipated for years.

The company broke the news a simple tweet that has been retweeted well-over 4,000 times in 20 minutes. Then, they added: “Now, back to work.” Check it out:

We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.

Check Your Amazon Book Sales on Your Mobile Device

Ever wish you could keep track of your Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) book sales when you are away from home?

You can download the free Afterword app to check your Amazon KDP sales stats on your Android device. We haven’t been able to find an Apple app that performs a similar function. Check it out:

Are you a Kindle author? Check out all your book sales data easily on your Android. Use the refresh button to retrieve the latest sales reports from Amazon KDP. Switch countries by using the drop-down menu, or click on any title to display detailed sales data for that book, in all countries, all at once. Please note that Afterword and its development team are in no way affiliated with Amazon.com.

(Link via)

Storify Acquired by Livefyre

Storify has been acquired by social curation site Livefyre, pledging to build “the world’s leading social curation company.”

Storify co-founders Xavier Damman and Burt Herman will stay with the company, “along with Storify employees from product, engineering and support.” We’ve used Storify for years to collect Twitter and Facebook conversations, a great tool to preserve fleeting commentary on social networks. Storify created a Storify post about the acquisition, we’ve embedded that below. Check it out:

We still firmly believe that social media is changing not only the news but fundamentally how media works everywhere, and we’ve seen this reflected in the stories that more than 850,000 Storify users have created so far … Livefyre’s mission is to “power social everywhere.” They started by building a commenting system for websites, and are now powering real-time conversation and social curation for more than 400 major publishers, media companies and brands online. Their network sees more than 1 billion pageviews per month.

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Pogo Connect Adds Brush Tips

If you are looking for a more sophisticated stylus for your iPad, the Pogo Connect connects with your device via Bluetooth 4.0 and gives a pressure-sensative response.

While the $79.95 tool is designed for third generation iPads, you can use Pogo Bridge app to connect it to a wider range of devices. They also offer a new series of brush tips for the device. Check it out:

Pogo Connect is a bluetooth pen that allows you to draw with different line widths on an iPad. It works with many drawing and note-taking apps. It’s also great for handwriting because the iPad can ignore your palm and wrist.

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Free Health Apps Recommended by Dr. Oz Readers

“What’s the best health app that you have on your phone?” cardiac surgeon and The Dr. Oz Show host Dr. Mehmet Oz asked his Twitter readers.

They shared their favorite health apps on Twitter, generating an inspiring list of links for readers looking to be healthier.

You can see all the responses at the #OzApp hashtag. We’ve collected the top responses below–what’s your favorite?

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Pirate Bay Co-Creator Working on Messaging App To Dodge Government Surveillance

Peter Sunde, one of founders of the file sharing site The Pirate Bay, is helping build a messaging platform called Heml.is to circumnavigate government surveillance. The outline the new app in the video embedded above–what do you think?

The application will be free, but users can pay to unlock certain features at a later date. While they are still building the tool, they promise to release both an iOS and a Google Play edition of the app. Check it out:

As part of the ongoing mass surveillance, internet traffic is currently being stored and indexed in massive databases, allowing the data to be analyzed, searched and ultimately read at a later time. This affects everything we do online, from emails to search statistics and even our daily activities on social sites such as Facebook or Twitter. While we won’t be able to provide you with 100% privacy, we believe that we can make your conversations private enough to render mass surveillance ineffective. While most people seem to be concerned about the government reading the contents of private communications very few seem concerned about their ability to build sociograms. Our intent is that by encrypting and then tunneling all messages through the Hemlis network we are making it more difficult for them to data mine or build sociograms from your communications. The surveillance systems can see that you are using Hemlis but they can’t see what takes place inside the network.

Coffitivity App Plays Coffe Shop Sounds as You Work

Struggling to find the perfect balance of noise and silence in your workplace? The Coffitivity app will play a carefully curated collection of coffee house sounds to keep coffee house writers focused no matter where they work.

You can even mix music from your smartphone while playing the background noise, creating your ideal virtual coffee shop environment. You can find it at the App Store or use the mobile-optimized site on Android phones. Check it out:

Research shows it’s pretty hard to be creative in a quiet space. And a loud workplace can be frustrating and distracting. But, the mix of calm and commotion in an environment like a coffee house is proven to be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing. Our team has delivered the vibe of a coffee shop right to your desktop, which means when your workspace just isn’t quite cutting it, we’ve got you covered.

Tabby Award Winners Revealed for Consumer Apps

Judges have picked the winners of The Tabby Awards, prizes to celebrate the top consumer apps in the world of tablets.

All the winners follow below–here’s more from the release:

A panel of 17 tablet professionals, set up in association with the Application Developers Alliance, reviewed these apps and selected 60 finalists. Judges considered the following criteria: overall value for the user, speed, concept, navigation, design, innovation, ease of use, use of tablet device functions and performance. The judging panel has now completed its final round and declares winning apps in 24 categories.


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