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Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

David Sedaris Buys Fitbit, Becomes Crazed Roving Trash Collector

Mr. Sedaris (Photo via davidsedarisbooks.com)

Popular opinion holds that wearable tech’s biggest drawback is the potential for Big Data to catalog our personal health data and use it to sell us more crap we don’t need.

Few realize, though, that wearing a machine around your wrist that counts your every step can also cause another problem: a total obsession with walking. At least, that’s the case in Stepping Out,” a personal essay in the New Yorker by your cool European-seeming uncle David Sedaris. Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Weight Watchers Café Attempts to Coax New Members by Trading Free Food For Tweets

Weight Watchers food. (Photo via twitter.com/wwfeelgoodcafe)

Anybody who’s tried to shed pounds through the retro ’80s diet system known as Weight Watchers can vouch for how hard it is to stay within WW’s weight loss parameters.

For someone abiding by this torturous daily-points-counting system, temptation lurks around every corner. It’s enough to force you into actual exercise, just to earn back a few points Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Popes, They’re Just Like Us: Pontiff Loves the Internet

Chill pope. (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Catholics the world over are rejoicing/being glad because of new SuperPope Francis, who by some miracle is neither misogynistic nor homophobic. He isn’t even creepy-looking. It’s progress we never thought we’d see during our lifetime.

Today, he got even cooler. In a statement, the Pope adorably described the Internet as a “gift from God,” noting that it is “a network not of wires, but of humans.” Awwww, gramps! Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Science Says Your Dad’s Prius Makes Him Feel Like One Groovy Cat

Uh oh, cool guy alert. (Photo: Getty)

Hybrid cars are good for the environment, but it turns out they’re really good for something else, too: raising baby boomers’ self esteem. This is great because as a generation, they’ve always been sorely lacking in that department.

That’s right, acid flashbacks and trend pieces about millennial narcissism aren’t the only things lifting the spirits of middle-aged Americans these days. Totally souped up hybrid cars are making consumers over the age of 60 feel much better about themselves because of three variables: social value, price and quality, according to DailyFusion.net. Social value is fancy science-speak for “making you look cool.” Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Dear TV Obsessives, TV Guide’s New App Is Actually Pretty Great

TVGuide

When Betabeat stopped by the TV Guide offices in Times Square yesterday, Christy Tanner didn’t waste any time getting our attention, pointing out that TVGuide.com gets 25 million monthly unique visitors, up from 4 million since 2006. (For reference, last year comScore reported that The New York Times’s website was attracting 30 million monthly uniques.) What’s more, she added, anticipating our assumptions, almost half those users are under 35 and average 22 page-views per person. Sixty-year-old brands repositioning themselves for the internet era, we suppose, don’t have time to beat around the bush.

In fact, as Ms. Tanner, executive VP and general manager of the website and TV Guide Mobile, explained, TV Guide Digital seems to be in the midst of a digital reawakening, the best example of which is its surprising useful new app, released on iOS today, with an Android version coming this fall. Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Photobucket Gets a Major Redesign to ‘Take Back Control’ of Your Photos

photobucket

Photobucket–the janky-looking, but still widely-used image-hosting site once owned by News Corp–is debuting a serious overhaul for the first time in years with an emphasis on taking control of the lifecycle of your photos and videos, CEO Tom Munro told Betabeat. With a significant redesign and new privacy controls, Photobucket hopes to best Facebook, Flickr, and the like as your default storage space to organize and share photos and soon “tell stories.”

Photobucket lurched towards a comeback last year when Twitter decided to use its technology to power native photo sharing. However, consumers might be more likely to associate the service, which launched in 2003, with eBay sellers or their LiveJournal or MySpace account. (The company claims that currently Photobucket, which has 10 billion photos, is second only to Facebook in terms of uploads.) Read More