From the Editors
Everyone makes typos sometimes. It happens. Not everyone spells America wrong and publishes it as a smartphone app approved by someone who's running for President of America. Mashable explains that the Mitt Romney campaign this week offered a free smartphone app: "You take a photo, then are able to lay one of 14 'I'm With Mitt' banners over the image... The problem? One of the 14 options reads 'A Better Amercia.' A-M-E-R-C-I-A. Just a couple hours after the app was officially announced, the Twittersphere and online peanut gallery were already having a field day. Obama supporters, media and general snarkmeisters reveled in taking photos with the glitchy app and inserting 'Amercia' into some of Romney's most memorable campaign quotes."
Of course a typo is just a typo. Most likely a hired app developer on a deadline had to retype a list of trite slogans provided by the campaign and got it almost 100 percent correct. It says nothing about any candidate's fitness to lead - both campaigns are clumsily trying to exploit social media tools, and Netfolk love to prove that newbies are clueless, so it's "catnip to Internet mischief makers," says Popwatch. "You can be sure heads will roll," says VentureBeat. Washington Wire has curated many Tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram photos mocking the blooper. The requisite Tumblr blog of mockery was launched quickly. And Comedy Central's Indecision blog has compiled (maybe we should say complied?) "Ten Great Moments in Political Misspellings," a list that also includes Rick Santorum's "pubic schedule" and the classic "Get a Brain! Morans" protest sign.
Moving on... The "hipster thermostat" isn't some new meme for determining how hip you are. But it can make you cool, or hot. The Nest Learning Thermostat literally is a thermostat that alters the temperature of your home. It derives hipster cred from its swanky design and because Apple just started selling it for $249 in Apple Stores, making it a must-have HVAC accessory for overpaid nerds. Says The Verge: "Though the move might seem somewhat outside of Apple's usual purview, the two companies are on many levels a natural match. Both have a pronounced emphasis on design and usability, and Nest creator Tony Fadell was one of the individuals behind the iPod and the original iPhone." "It learns your patterns of when you like it to be certain temperatures. You can also control it remotely through iOS or Android apps," explains Marketplace Tech Report. "So here's why it makes sense for Apple to be selling Nest: it's hip, it's stylishly designed, it was created by former Apple employees, and it works through apps and connectivity. Here's why it doesn't make sense: it's a freaking THERMOSTAT of all things!" Significantly, the thermostat may be the last small electronic device the iPhone hasn't yet rendered obsolete by replacing it with an app (like the camera, music player, audio recorder, GPS, decibel meter, guitar tuner, and flashlight - we think a pacemaker must be next).
Another popular old-school device has become extra-stylish this week: Snow White. The slick new "Snow White and the Huntsman" motion picture opens this weekend, and targets its own demographic with mixed results.. ." Says Screencrush: "The scenery is gorgeous. Charlize Theron looks great in close-up and her costumes are spectacular. The special effect of turning all those British character actors into dwarfs is impressive. Um. . .did I mention the scenery is gorgeous? Yeah, I think I've said all the nice things I can..." Influence Film calls it "a tastefully overbearing franchise fairy tale with a handful of ravishing touches. It's also a world-class illustration of how, in the age of the global blockbuster, the lust for demographics for coralling the largest possible audience can determine aesthetics. The movie works so hard to transform a quintessential girl story into a girl-and-guy story that it's like three movies in one." We've had a run of Snow White movies recently. At Beliefnet, "Movie Mom" Nell Minow points out that there have been around 100 movies inspired by the Snow White fable, and she ranks her top seven ("one for every dwarf") including "Snow White and the Three Stooges" (#3) and "Sydney White" (#5) starring Amanda Bynes. Funny or Die takes it beyond the mirror with "Snow White and the Seven Movies," a trailer that casts the Snow White character in every 2012 blockbuster, including "The Untouchables 2," "Dark Knight Rises," and "Prometheus."
And in this week's spirit of new takes on traditional objects, "there's suddenly a real, new option in desktop computers," says ReadWriteWeb. The new Chromebox PC that runs Google's Chrome OS, along with the new version of the Chromebook laptop, are "good enough to grab minds and market share." Really? GigaOM concurs that Google "gets it right...We often joke Google is like the old Microsoft--getting things wrong, bumbling its way into new markets, and getting things right on the third try. This seems to be quite true of Google's efforts to develop a cloud PC." But the cheers aren't unanimous: "I would not recommend the Chromebox for general-purpose budget computing due to occasional issues with general hardware and software compatibility," says Cnet's reviewer. "Its minuscule local storage also prevents the Chromebox from working well as a small home theater PC." With all the movies featuring dwarves coming out, a small home theater seems to be what these times call for.