Meet CleanReader, a little app that sanitizes the language in books, removing all potentially objectionable language from profanity to racial slurs. Should context be insufficient, the reader can hover over the word to see inoffensive adjectives. It is, in short, an emblem of consent culture. But not all writers are thrilled about the prospect of having an app edit their manuscripts without their consent.
Austrian developer Pia Poppenreiter was out on the town in Berlin on a cool autumn night when she saw a sex worker on a street corner and had the sort of “a-ha!” moment any founder will talk your ear off about. “It’s crazy that there’s an app for everything, but not for that,” she thought, referring to street-walking. “Why do they have to stand there in the winter all day?” The answer is Peppr, the Tinder for sex work.
Today, the social mapping company Waze announced it had acquired the dating and hook-up platform SingleSpotter, enabling them to offer their users a product called WazeDates, which gives drivers access to one another’s relationship status, so they can determine whether to send a private message or continue with road rage as usual. This is, of course, an April Fool’s joke, but to single commuters who spend a good chunk of their lives in a car, it’s no laughing matter.
It’s hard to make money with porn these days: there’s a glut of it online and even if you succeed in cornering a niche, it’s hard to cash in. But Nick Stone wants to change that and he’s taking a page from Scott Bedbury to do it. His new venture, SnapGirlz, is a portal that enables a limited number of people to sign up to receive private media daily from porn stars and other women in the adult industry. Basically, SnapGirlz is reshaping commodity into experience.
Increasingly, Twitter has come to realize how difficult it is for social networks to allow people to self-express in today’s sex-negative and panic-prone environment. Despite refusing to do away with porn after the “Dildoplay” incident that infuriated Apple, Twitter nevertheless began to hide results for certain hashtags on Vine, like #nsfw and #boobs. And now, a year later, it has finally decided to give in and ban the porn.
I used to keep spreadsheets on all my lovers, obsessively inputting data into them. I made graphs. I made graphs out of my relationships. Spreadsheets full of lovers — that’s me. It might sound awesome to data nerds, but mostly it was neurotic and laughably juvenile, an attempt to feel I had control over the one thing that scared me: emotion. But my experience worries me about aspects of the quantified self movement.
Here’s how it works: you get the app, connect your Facebook account to Lulu (which verifies that you identify as female), run a search of your male-identified Facebook friends for the dude you want to review, find him, click “review” and then answer between four and seven multiple choice questions that rank a guy in various categories — appearance, humor, first kiss, manners, ambition, sex and commitment. Hit save and voila! Lulu tabulates your answers and sears a score from 1 to 10 on the dude’s profile.
The world’s first and largest Android adult app store wasted no time tapping into the Glass market. This week, Mikandi, as they’re called, released Tits and Glass, an app that encourages Glass users to take advantage of their ability to generate POV content, by enabling them to upload racy pictures into a stream for other users to rate — think Instagram, minus the filter-focus, all adult themed. Sounds like a winning proposition? Google didn’t think so.
Brian K. Vaughan, co-creator of the space opera SAGA, released a statement on his blog saying that Apple had banned its 12th issue. As it turned out, it wasn’t Apple but CosmiXology, the distributor of SAGA, who had preemptively censored the comic. But fans should be cautioned not to breathe a sigh of relief — this is a clear red flag about the power of ambiguous policies and seemingly arbitrary censorship events from digital outlets.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re in the market for an imaginary boyfriend who also happens to be a motivational speaker, you need look no further than the iTunes store. There, for only $5.94, your prayers will be answered by Rob Kaye, creator of the Virtual Boyfriend soundbytes. If a guy ever laid this sort of woo-woo to us, we’d probably punch him in the face, but to each their own.