Stop. Apple Time.

Apple Watch

If you hadn’t already heard, Apple launched their latest products this past week in California. On top of updates for the iPad, MacBook, and smart home features, Apple brought out the majorly underwhelming Apple Watch, iPhone 6, and Apple Pay.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Main Features:
4.7-inch screen and 5.5-inch screen,
Enhanced camera,
Faster chip,
Improved battery life,
128GB option

Price:
$549 – $929

Availability:
Mid-September for the US

Apple Watch

Price:
$350

Availability:
Not until 2015

Summary:
The Apple Watch works primarily by using a dial on one side of the gadget, in contrast to rival smartwatches currently on the market. “We didn’t take the iPhone interface and shrink it and strap it on your wrist,” said Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple. “It would be terrible. Pinch to zoom doesn’t work.” To further interest in the Watch, apps are being made to work with it specifically. Such apps include Apple Pay, yet another Apple product announced this past week.

Apple Pay

Main features:
Mobile payment platform,
Connects select iPhones and the Apple Watch to credit card and payment firms,
Works by swiping contactless payment terminal

Availability:
Will be coming to the US only and soon

Summary:
Apple Pay is a digital payments system that will allow Apple Watch, iPhone 6 or iPhone 5 users to pay for things in shops and online by simply swiping their device against a shop sensor. Apple Pay agreements have already been signed with American Express, Visa, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Groupon, Uber and 220,000 American retailers online and off.

For more details on the newly launched Apple products, check out Adrian Weckler’s piece in Independent.ie’s Business Review.

Your Brain on Social Media

http://www.freshconsulting.com/wallpapers/

Social media has become an activity that has been ingrained into our daily routines and culture. We Instagram our food, Facebook chat our friends, tweet our feelings; social media has become, in a way, an extension of our inner workings.

Recently, AsapScience, a popular YouTube channel, created an informational video about five ways social media is affecting our brains, both the good and the bad. Since it is such an influential part of our lives, I definitely recommend you check out this article from Huffington Post, as well as the video itself.

 

8 Tips from Mr. Vonnegut

http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/01/14/how-to-write-with-style-kurt-vonnegut/

In 1985, Kurt Vonnegut provided writers with valuable insights in his essay, “How to Write with Style,” part of the anthology How to Use the Power of the Written Word.

As a writer, finding your voice in the written word can be a struggle; I know I’m still searching for mine. We read and hear the works of those we admire, and it can be discouraging because their voice  are clear in their words and sometimes ours isn’t as developed. However, in Mr. Vonnegut’s essay, he lists 8 rules that construct great, stylistic writing, that could definitely benefit the novice writer, or a writer embarking on a stylistic pilgrimage.

In this article from Brain Pickings, Maria Popova writes of Mr. Vonnegut’s writing advice, as well as the 8 rules aforementioned rules. For me, the most important rule was 5, in which he stressed the importance of sounding like yourself.

There are so many writers whose styles I admire. I love the satirical sass of David Sedaris and the confessional prose of Elizabeth Wurtzel. Typically, the works of those we admire is somewhere within us, too; we just need to render it in a way that is genuine to ourselves.

If you had to describe your own work, what words would you use? It’s not easy, is it? In a way, I believe that our voices are ever evolving; we change and so does our writing. But we know when our writing is true to ourselves or not; it’s sticking to the sincerity that will keep us strong as writers.

Check Your Hashtags

DiGiorno Scandal

Social media is a tricky thing. It can make or break you. This past week gave the world a cautionary tale of how quickly social media can go bad.

DiGiorno Pizza is known for their witty tweets and have gained themselves many followers because of it. However, this past Monday, DiGiorno made the colossal blunder by not checking their hashtags before tweeting “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft are hashtags for victims of domestic abuse to share their heartbreaking and inspiring stories. The person operating DiGiorno’s twitter account could have saved themselves a job if they just would have went to the hashtag page and scanned the first three stories.

So, don’t be a DiGiorno and just take the 5 extra seconds to check out your hashtags before using them.