TIME Gadgets

Danger! Computer Simulates 1,500 People Walking and Texting at a Busy Intersection

So here’s what would apparently happen if 1,500 people all started crossing the street at Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing while they were looking down at their phones.

You’ll notice a handful of things:

  • A total disregard for crosswalks! These mouth-breathers are just walking right out into the middle of everything.
  • Two of them just walk in place when they run into each other. The last time I did that, mall security Segwayed me out by my shirt collar.
  • One of the guys gets run into and then bows as though it’s his fault! Sack up, man!
  • Only one guy drops his phone, which seems really low for 15,000 hoopleheads all running into each other.
  • Two fall down and get right back up, all while still looking at their phones (probably accurate).
  • It takes an eternity for the street to clear when it’s the cars’ turn to go again (probably accurate), yet only a couple horns honk (maybe accurate in Japan; absolutely not accurate just about anywhere else).
  • The guy at the very end appears to fall down at the top of a subway entrance and, instead of getting back up, he’s does the Worm for a bit. I’d grab a simulated beer with that guy any day.

According to Kotaku, the video is a joint effort between one of Japan’s major wireless companies – NTT Docomo – and Aichi University of Technology, which cobbled the simulation together. The message? I can’t read Japanese, but I’ll bet it’s three-fold: Don’t text and walk, watch where you’re going, and remember that the Worm will never, ever, ever go out of style.

Computer Simulation of 1,500 People Looking at Smartphones and Walking [Kotaku]

TIME Video Games

‘My Girl’ Movie Turned into a Game Where You Try to Avoid Being Stung by Bees

mygirl
MyGirltheGame.com

If you remember watching My Girl back in the early ’90s and thinking how much you’d love to play a video game based on the movie, you’re apparently not alone: Someone has gone to the trouble of creating a version you can play in your browser right now. (In case you’re wondering, this wonderfully weird game is clearly not sanctioned or otherwise licensed by the people behind the actual movie.)

You play as Thomas J. (Macaulay Culkin’s character). You’ll recall he was allergic to bee stings, yes? Well, the game entails little more than walking around a hastily-built side-scrolling level that loosely resembles the small town from the movie.

The object of the game is to avoid being stung by bees. Each time you’re stung, your mood ring turns darker and darker until you’re eventually stung to death. At that point, you’ll see a faux-digitized image of Vada (Anna Chlumsky’s character) and hear her sobbing as she peers bleary-eyed through the banister rails of the funeral home, trying to coax Thomas J. back to life while her father (Dan Aykroyd’s character) consoles her.

That’s the game – sorry for the spoiler. If you haven’t seen the movie, go ahead and do so this weekend. I assume you like crying? If not, maybe don’t see it.

MyGirl [MyGirltheGame.com via BuzzFeed]

TIME How-To

30-Second Tech Trick: Get Facebook Hack Notifications for Your Account

Here's how to sign up to receive an email or a text message if a stranger logs into your Facebook account.

TIME social

Twitter Now Lets You Tag People in Photos – You Can Add 4 Photos to Each Tweet, Too

twitter photos
Twitter

The social network has added a new feature to let users tag up to 10 friends in photos. It's also launched a feature to let iPhone users upload multiple photos - up to four - in a Tweet and plans to bring the capability to the Android app and to Twitter.com

Twitter is getting a little more photo-happy, adding the ability to tag up to 10 Twitter users in an image.

If you’re not keen on the idea of being tagged in OPTs (other people’s tweets – feel free to use it in casual conversation), you’re able to toggle your tagability under your account settings. Tagging someone in an image doesn’t count against your 140-character message limit, either.

And finally, you can now add multiple images to a tweet – up to four at a time. The feature is only available on the iPhone right now, but it’ll roll out to the Android app and to Twitter.com in the not too distant future. Twitter points out that you’ll be able to view multiple-image tweets on any platform, though.

Photos just got more social [Twitter]

TIME video

30-Second Tech Trick: End Calls with the Power Button on Your Android Phone

It's hard to angrily end a call when you have to tap a touchscreen. Here's a slightly better way.

TIME Social Media

W Hotel’s Social Media Concierge Will Live-Tweet Your Wedding for $3,000

wedding twitter
Getty Images

Eh, I'll do it for $300 and I'll eat with the band back in the kitchen. Sound like a deal?

Being married myself, I distinctly recall my wife-to-be and I frantically searching for something to spend an extra three-grand on as we drew closer to our wedding day. Everything else was so inexpensive!

If only this live tweeting service – offered at New York-area W Hotel locations – had existed in 2007. We got married near Boston, but we would have gladly switched venues at the last second the chance to have our special day shared with a bunch of randos on the Internet.

According to a pitch sent to the the Huffington Post’s Bianca Bosker, here’s what your $3,000 gets you:

Live tweeting of the ceremony and reception

Instagram photos and videos and Vine videos

Curating a unique wedding #hashtag

Encouraging guests to utilize hashtag and handles as they post to social media

Set up and maintenance of Wedding Blog before and after the big day

Curating registry wish list and dream honeymoon Pinterest boards to inspire couple

Wedding social media recap for the couple – a Shutterfly book complete with social media highlights from the planning process and a collage of the best tweets and instagrams sent during the wedding.

You can read the full text of the email over at HuffPo. And if you fancy yourself some sort of social media expert, keep in mind that the title of “Social Media Wedding Concierge” now exists.

Please Do Not Pay Someone $3,000 To Live-Tweet Your Wedding [HuffPo via Romenesko]

TIME Google

Gmail Tests Eye-Pleasing Visual Grid for Promotional Mail

If you use the new-ish Promotions tab in Gmail to corral all your daily deals, ads and other marketing detritus, Google is field-testing a more aesthetically pleasing presentation of such material.

Basically, instead of seeing standard-looking email messages when clicking the Promotions tab, you can opt to have everything presented in a grid of Pinterest-like cards that emphasize images over text.

Google has cobbled together this animated GIF, which I’ve had in my peripheral vision the entire time I’ve been writing this post. It’s driving me nuts for some reason. I’m pleased to share it with you, however:

Gmail Field Trial
Google

Don’t stare at it too long or your brain will start to play tricks on you. It’s like the Zulily lady in the lower right-hand corner is laughing just at me. Leave me alone, lady!

If this newfangled method of perusing commercial email messages is appealing to you, you can sign up to participate in the trial. Google makes no promises that you’ll be chosen, except to say that “if you’re selected, a new grid view will bring to the top of your inbox key images from deals, offers, and other marketing emails if you have the Promotions tab enabled.”

A new, more visual way to view your Promotions tab [Google]

TIME video

The 5 Best In-Ear Headphones

Here are the five best in-ear headphones you can buy right now, based on data from our friends at FindTheBest. Each ranking is based on FindTheBest’s Smart Rating, which aggregates scores from gadget review sites along with specifications and audio ratings (impedance, sensitivity, high and low frequencies, etc.) for each set of headphones.

Watch the video above and then click on any of the headphones in the below graph to learn more about each model:

Related:

TIME News

iTunes Radio Adds NPR as Its First News Station

Doug Aamoth / TIME

There’s been no shortage of ways to stream NPR audio before today – apps, web-based streaming, pulling up next to a Subaru with its windows down — but mark today as the day that an additional way was added.

Apple’s iTunes Radio now features NPR as a streaming station, with a blog post on NPR’s site mentioning that content will be streaming 24-hours a day. Re/code reports that what’s being streamed is a mish-mash of “live news with segments from prerecorded shows.”

Here’s the link to open NPR in iTunes — NPR’s blog post adds that the iTunes Radio stream will get additional content from member stations later this spring.

Starting Today, Find NPR Shows And Newscasts On iTunes Radio [NPR]

TIME Video Games

‘Obama Plays Titanfall’ Is a Thing and It’s Pretty Incredible

For the record, I want to live in a world where the president -- regardless of who's in office -- plays multiplayer first-person shooters in order to raise awareness for some sort of cause, push some sort of agenda or curry favor for votes.

If you saw President Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, you might be forgiven for thinking the leader of the free world has also been playing Titanfall with the username “HealthcareGov” in order to remind the uninsured Titanfall-playing demographic (probably similar to the demographic that watches Beyond Two Ferns) to sign up for health care by March 31.

Once the pseudo-president drops a few F-bombs and talking about aliens emerging from his anus, however, all bets are off. Unless it’s really Obama, in which case he’s taking campaigning to an entirely new level.

Here are the first three videos in the “Obama Plays Titanfall” series by Game Society Pimps. As mentioned, there’s some salty language.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Someone’s Pretending To Be Obama While Playing Titanfall [Kotaku]

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