Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird Creator Emerges From Hiding With a New Game

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When Dong Nguyen suddenly pulled Flappy Bird from the app store, the manic decision was met across the world with rage, confusion and a whole lot of regained productivity. Well, that sweet period of respite from mind-numbing frustration is about to come to a sudden close.

A follow-up game called Swing Copters will hit Android phones this Thursday, Touch Arcade reports. The game will be free for download, or you can pay a dollar if you want to slowly chip away at your psyche ad-free. Read More

Unproven Thieries

The Netflix of Everything: Why Companies Don’t Want You Making Decisions

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Netflix, as you may have heard, is great. A digital economy of scale allows us to pay a ridiculously low price for an ocean of streaming video that we could never hope to watch in all the years we might live, and in return we typically get frustrated by moderate price increases and the recent removal of 24. We keep our subscription through thick and thin, largely because it would be a slight inconvenience to cancel it. Other companies have caught on, and all the big players are trying their hands at movies, TV, music, video games and more. We in the media tend to call this modern incarnation of an old idea “The Netflix of blank.”

It doesn’t stop with entertainment. There are subscriptions for beauty products, clothes,  groceries, contraception, razors, and pretty much everything else you could imagine. Even neo-taxis, like Uber and Lyft (which still require you to make a purchasing decision every time you use them) function mainly by banking on the idea that they can become a sort of transportation default, thus avoiding that pesky moment where people check to see if they’re really getting a deal or not. None of this is new (magazine subscriptions, cheese of the month clubs, Costco, etc.), but both digital distribution and the logistical streamlining of the 21st century are supercharging it. Read More

YouTube Killed the Video Star

YouTube Is Coming After Spotify With a Clone Called ‘Music Key’

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The Internet’s largest players are slowly figuring out that nobody wants to pay for music or movies, no matter how low the cost. So to figure out what’s next, they’re looking a the rising subscription giants like Netflix and Spotify and just, well, copying them.

YouTube is planning to launch a massive music subscription service called YouTube Music Key, Android Police reports. The service has no planned release date, but Google has already bought the domain youtubemusickey.com, and a series of phone screenshots show off the service’s basic features. Read More

the robots are coming

Study: People Are More Likely to Open Up to a Talking Computer Than a Human Therapist

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It only takes five minutes with Siri to realize that robots are miserable replacements for help from a real person. But artificial intelligence researchers haven’t given up on making robots that can do something more useful than answering basic trivia and telling us where to hide a body.

A team of researchers created an artificially intelligent robot psychologist named Ellie who can ask probing questions, read emotions with 3D cameras and get through a basic therapy session, the Economist reports. Early experiments are showing that people are more likely to be candid and emotional when they think no one is sitting there judging them. Read More

Closing Time

Turns Out Nobody Wants to Shop at J. Lo’s Brooklyn Viva Movil Phone Store

Miss you. (Photo: Instagram)

It was only a year ago that Jennifer Lopez marched into Brooklyn and heralded a new era of being ripped off by your cell phone provider. Dubbed Viva Movil, it’s a joint venture between the American Idol judge and Verizon Mobile to lure Latino shoppers to the brand. But it looks like its customers have hung up on it.

Last week, we noticed that the shop on Flatbush Avenue across from the Barclays Center shuttered. Gone are the shrine-like pictures of Ms. Lopez smiling and giggling about Otter cases and data plans, and instead sits an empty storefront. It’s probably not what she was hoping for with the chain’s flagship location. Read More

App Economy

Over It: People Aren’t Downloading New Apps That Much

#NoNewApps. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

New apps: who needs ‘em, amiright? Sure, it seems exciting at first to be able to order pizza or determine what a mannequin is wearing all from the comfort of your iPhone screen, but ultimately, don’t we all just want to check Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram and be done with it?

A recent survey by Deloitte confirms that the average number of smartphone apps downloaded per month has been decreasing over the past year in the U.K., the Telegraph reports. Read More

Tech Dirty to Me

Does Anyone Actually Want This ‘Revolutionary’ Female Masturbation Glove?

Scary, tbh. (Indiegogo)

Perhaps in an attempt to cash in on the viral success of the Autoblow 2, a new purportedly “revolutionary” sex toy for women launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo last week.

It’s called the Glov  — a silicon rubber glove that “provides [users] with a superior way to masturbate,” according to the campaign page. The Glov features a port on the underside of the fingers where users can attach a rabbit vibrator or dildo, and thereby manipulate the toys with just their fingers, as opposed to their full arms. Once the attachment is fastened to the port, its vibrations can be controlled by buttons on the back of the Glov. Read More