Oh, Yeah, This Will End Well
There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps available for your smartphone, but one Brazilian techie has come up with one that has women cheering and men sweating. Called “The Boyfriend Tracker” (kudos for honesty), once installed the app will let the follower know where the targeted phone is, can send back duplicates of text messages, and even silently dial the tracker’s phone so they can listen in on phone calls. (OK, we just got a creepy chill down our spine. And we’re not even GUILTY of anything…) Advocates of the app (50,000 downloaded so far) say it’s for “social and recreational use,” while opponents decry its sinister uses. Still, one commenter was pragmatic: "Brazilians are a jealous people, what can I say?” Marcia Almeida, a 47-year-old woman in Rio whose marriage ended seven years ago in large part because of what she said was her husband's infidelity, told USA Today. “Of course it's going to be popular.” Brrrr….
Tough Car; Still Pricey
The folks at Tesla Motors continue to impress with their electric vehicle. Data out this week from the company says the roof of its Model S electric sedan is apparently so strong it broke a testing machine during independent validation of its government crash-test scores. Naturally, this was cause for much elation. In a release, the company crowed that the car got "a new combined record of 5.4 stars," but in reality no such number exists. (The rating system only goes up to 5 stars.) In response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said dryly, “One star is the lowest rating; five stars is the highest. More stars equal safer cars. NHTSA does not rate vehicles beyond 5 stars and does not rank or order vehicles within the starred categories." But Tesla’s enthusiasm continues, as it was also revealed this week that an “upgrade” to the company’s website came back up with a price increase. The base price for the 60 kWh Model S is now up to $71,070 (up from $69,900), and $81,070 for the 85 kWh variant, not including the $7,500 tax credit. Nope; still can’t afford it.
Wait: YOU GUYS Can Use In-Flight Devices??
In a slap to every flier who’s been ordered to “power down all mobile devices,” Delta Airlines has announced that its flight attendants will shortly begin using new Windows Phone 8 handheld devices to streamline on-board purchasing. In a release, the airline says the devices will: offer near real-time credit card processing for on-board purchases; offer near real-time credit card processing for seat upgrades; send e-receipts to customers' email addresses; and allow use of pre-paid credit cards for on-board purchases. Oh, sure, when there’s MONEY involved it appears such devices don’t interfere with the flight deck. Excuse us while we step back here and offer up a massive eye-roll.
They’re Gonna Getcha
For all the millennials who think they’re SO clever by watching TV on their handhelds and tablets, thereby bypassing costly cable channel fees: Guess What? They’re on to you. Bloomberg reported this week that “…the industry is getting increasingly aggressive about billing customers based on how much data they use, as opposed to a monthly flat rate.” The cable companies say the idea is to let light Internet users pay less for data usage. But the flip side is heavier users will pay more. Do you have any idea how many gigs it takes to download a movie? You’re about to find out.
Edited by Rich Steeves