Add SceneTap to the Growing List of Big Brother Apps?

SceneTap is a new app targeted towards 1) the nightlife scene, and 2) people who prefer to experience the nightlife scene from the confines of their computers and smartphones. It’s kind of like a more predatory Zagat, for the marginally creepy.

The technology behind SceneTap is kind of cool in an uncomfortably invasive way: cameras with facial detection software are installed at bars, nightclubs, and other venues that have agreed to participate in the service (so far only a dozen or so spots are playing ball). Using an algorithm, the software collects basic data on the patrons, primarily gender and age, then feeds it back to the SceneTap app and site for public display. Smile, y’all!

The application is available on the Apple App Store and the Android App Store (Google Play).

SceneTap CEO Cole Harper attempted to assuage privacy concerns in his open letter to San Francisco. He states: “Here’s the thing – there are no videos or images stored at any time. Once the data is triggered, the images are overwritten, deleted, gone. […] It’s all data and numbers – that’s it. And since we’re only focused on the door, you’re free to do keg stands and dance like Bernie or hit on that bartender all you want – we do not track you in the venue.”

It’s kind of terrifying how we’re advancing towards an age where third parties can so conveniently gain access to our personal information even at a crowded bar, but at the very least, it’s reassuring to know that the information that ultimately gets published is aggregate and anonymous (for now?). Still, SceneTap will need to overcome the many social implications inherent in an app that not only commodifies youth and gender, but essentially, our data.


This Ice Cream Door Stopper Will Stop Your Door in its Tracks

It’s happened to all of us before — to children, to adults, to the klutzes, and once in a blue moon, to the perfectly poised. One unfortunate fumble and your newly purchased ice cream cone falls treacherously to the ground with one fell swoop and a resounding PLOP!

When you see it happening to some other bozo, it’s the ultimate schadenfreude. When it happens to yourself, it’s a minor tragedy.

Eternally remind yourself — and all your ice cream-lovin’ house guests — of this shared, universal blunder with the playful Scoops Ice Cream Door Stopper, available at Fred Flare. Proof that the solution to all of life’s woes — including spilt ice cream, is more ice cream.

Buy: $18 @ Fred Flare


The Laughing Cow Launches Portion-Controlled Cream Cheese Spread

To pass the time at my old office, I would constantly raid the communal fridge and pop Mini Babybels, one after the other, like a wired dairy fiend, piling the red plastic shells on top of each other in a cheesy little heap. Imagine my delight, then, upon hearing the news that The Laughing Cow has extended their product brand to encompass cream cheese spread, packaged, of course, in their signature individual-sized portions.

The Laughing Cow Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread is now available in 5 flavors: Classic, Strawberries & Cream, Garden Vegetable, Cinnamon Cream (all 1/3 less fat), and of course, the full-flavored Classic Cream. The small cream cheese wedges range from 45-55 calories per serving, which means they fit right in with the rest of The Laughing Cow’s low-calorie, health-conscious product portfolio.


Controversial Belvedere Ad Implying Rape Gets Pulled

Last week, Belvedere Vodka posted a controversial new advert on Facebook that skirted the line between outrageous and offensive. Of course, it went viral.

In the ad, a smiling male partygoer is grabbing a surprised and clearly non-consensual woman from behind. The innuendo-rampant copy reads: “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly.” Yikes, Belvedere. Way to alienate 1) your entire female consumer base, and 2) everyone else with human decency.

After an influx of public outrage, the ad was pulled within an hour from all of Belvedere’s social media channels. An apology soon followed suit. “We apologize to any of our fans who were offended by our recent tweet,” writes Belvedere reps, assuming damage control mode. “We continue to be an advocate of safe and responsible drinking.” Let’s see if the vodka brand escapes unscathed from the backlash fueled by this egregious blunder.


Chinese Pop Star Jay Chou Immortalized via Coffee Cup Rings

The artist statement on Shanghai-based Hong Yi’s website reads: “I love to create art. Not with the usual paintbrush and watercolour and pencils though – I like to grab whatever I can get hold of – rocks, ketchup, milk, salt, shirts – and turn them into art. It’s more fun that way!”

Case in point: Hong’s latest work, a portrait of Chinese pop star Jay Chou, is comprised entirely of coffee cup rings. The larger-than-life piece, which attempts to replicate the look and feel of a sepia-toned photograph, took the artist approximately 12 hours to complete.


Bacon-Flavored Lollipops

Bacon’s unofficial reigning title as Nature’s Candy has been sweetly cemented.

Vat 19 is now distributing Bacon Pops, a new line of hard candy lollipops, for those who like their breakfast portable, pocket-sized, and on a stick. Each six-pack comes with an assortment of flavors to tickle your epicurean fancy — choose from BBQ Bacon, Maple Bacon, and Honey Bacon. The bacon bits inside the hand-poured hard candy base consist of soy and flavoring rather than pork meat, so fret not, vegetarians. Proceed to salivate.

As of now, the product offering is sold out, but according to the website, more stock is scheduled to arrive next week. Stay tuned.


Chocolate Covered Company Debuts Chocolate Covered Jalapenos

The culinary creatives over at the Chocolate Covered Company have engineered a bevvy of selections to satiate both your sweet tooth and your fiery fix. Choose from sweet or spicy peppers, or a combination of the two if you can’t be bothered to make up your mind. Top that off with a dark, white, or milk chocolate covered dip, and have it shipped to your doorstep with CCC’s delivery service.

Chocolate covered jalapenos.

There is a god, check it out here.


Pong Beer — A Brew Made Just for Beer Pong

You may want to keep that Keystone Light stowed away in your dorm rooms, future leaders of America.

Pong Beer, a brew packaged and engineered specifically for the ancient game of beer pong, has already hit shelves across 10 states nationwide.

Here’s the twist: A 30-pack of the novelty drink, which will soon be distributed across 10 more states, comes with two free (and clean) pong balls as an added bonus. For those who can’t be bothered to saunter down the grocery aisle for red Solo cups, The Reload package also comes fully equipped with two 30-packs, 16 oz. cups, and four pong balls.

It’s unclear as to whether or not Pong Beer wields enough hype and staying power to dismantle the stranglehold ultra-cheap brews like Natty Ice and Milwaukee’s Best have on the broke college student sector. Only time will tell.