Use the Sun to Charge Your Phone for Free Across the City

In a Sandy-wrecked metropolis, New Yorkers learned how vulnerable their phones are once the lights go out; without electricity, nomadic residents were left charge-less at a time when communication with the outside world was needed more than ever. Luckily, as a gift to the city (presumably out of shame for their dead spots), AT&T is launching a program that will harness sunlight to get your smartphone battery up to 100 percent in no time.

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There's an App for Reporting Crime in Brooklyn

Welcome to the age of smartphone civilian authority.

At the City Council Hall on 250 Broadway this afternoon, State Senator Eric Adams, a Democrat from Brooklyn, will announce a little app that he helped create called "Brooklyn Way of Life." It's a downloadable "crime fighting mobile app," in his own words, and will offer residents of crime-stricken neighborhoods the ability to report something suspicious to the police. If you see something, get your iPhone out.

As a former cop, Adams has told reporters that the app was not made to discourage people from calling the police. In his point of view, many of these residents are scared to call the police, either because of some sort of consequence or simply distrust of authority.

Well, now, they won't have to worry about that. And here's how the app works.

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A Lot of People Would Give Up Sex for iPhone: Is This Bad?

This certainly makes you think of the "vibrate" setting in a whole new way...

A new survey of 1,000 people by electronics trade-in service Gazelle indicates that 15 percent of the study's participants would rather give up sex than go a weekend without their iPhones -- and at least 4 percent have used their iPhones during sex, media sources report.

This made us wonder: Is this bad for love and sex and all that stuff? Is technology ruining our romantic lives? Are we turning into the Borg, etc?

So we chatted with Justin R. Garcia, PhD, an evolutionary biologist and sexologist at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, to see what he thought.

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Instagram NYC Hosts First-Ever Exhibition in Times Square

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When Facebook bought Instagram, the photo app that makes images look vintage yet picture perfect, for $1 billion, the tech world was stunned. Not because Instagram is a two-year-old startup, but because no one realized that this young app—which simply consists of taking pictures and that surely anyone with a smartphone has downloaded—had that much power.

Now, the W Times Square, in partnership with Instagram NYC, will exhibit images from some of the most talented Instagram photographers in the first-ever Instagram photo exhibition, which opens tomorrow. We couldn't help but wonder whether an Instagram image qualifies as art. But we caught up with Brian DiFeo, curator and founder of Instagram NYC, who hand-selected photographers ranging from professionals to multimedia artists and asked him what an Instagram exhibition actually entails. He says artists were asked to capture New York's most fascinating structures and urban creativity. From what we've seen, the images themselves are pretty remarkable, considering they were taken with a phone. No wonder Kodak went bankrupt.

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TLC Seeks Proposals For Taxi Payment App

The days of having to carry around cash in order to take cabs are so long gone. Now, in addition to taxi's ubiquitous credit card machines, the Taxi & Limousine Commission is soliciting proposals for an app that will allow people to pay for their ride on their smartphone. It's just the next step in the inevitable progression to being beamed to our destination through our iPhone. In all seriousness, though, according to a notice from the TLC a payment app will serve functions beyond simply the exchange of funds. An app can allow riders to get emailed receipts that could help them find property that might have gotten lost or file a "compliment/complaint." (There already is an app just for complaints.)

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Interactive Map App Shows You Everything In New York City in Real-Time

Map enthusiasts and social media aficionados, rejoice! A website and iPhone application that is officially launching today is taking the concept of mapping to a whole new interactive level that might forever change your physical and virtual existence as a New Yorker.

In all seriousness, though, this thing's pretty cool -- CityMaps, a one-stop shop map site and iPhone app, integrates hyperlocal data with all kinds of social media functions so that users can browse around and make plans based on real-time information coming from across the city.

Here's how it works: The map, which aims to include the name and location of every storefront on every block, is connected to Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and all the other cool networking sites kids are using these days. CityMaps users can browse what's around them, find out what other people have said and are saying about these establishments, and get info on what kinds of deals or events these businesses are having at that moment. All in a user-friendly, visually-intuitive format!

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Protestors Descend on Grand Central Apple Store; Reporters Attack Them

Sam Levin
Shelby Knox, from, at an Apple protest in Grand Central.
There were more reporters than protestors at a rally today at the new Apple store in Grand Central. A lot more reporters.

But it's an important cause, especially for you iPhone-iPad-MacBook-Apple-loving folks, so listen up!

SumOfUs and, two groups speaking out against labor practices in China, partnered up today to pressure Apple to address recent reports around the inhumane labor conditions in the factories that build the technology giant's products.

Officially, the groups arrived at 10 a.m. this morning to deliver a petition to the store. But as soon as the organizers -- four or so of them -- arrived, it quickly became a media spectacle. We're talking about Runnin' Scared running in circles in a fruitless effort to keep up with dozens of cameras and reporters surrounding the protestors as they ascended the steps of Grand Central to enter the Apple store.

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Thief Does Not Want Your Stupid BlackBerry

No one wants.
Obviously, people everywhere are angling to steal your wonderful, beautiful iPhone. Not to mention that shiny iPad you're always waving around! As evidence, the New York Post reports today on a duo that has been taking iPhones at gunpoint on the Upper East Side: They've stolen at least 3 phones in the last few weeks. What could be worse than having your iPhone stolen at gunpoint? Having your subpar and totally lame technological device rejected by a thief. How mortifying.

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Epic Craigslist Poster and iPhone Hostage Victim Learns Valuable Lessons

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Remember the guy from yesterday who dropped basically an epic novel in Craigslist Missed Connections directed towards "The girl who held my iPhone for ransom in a pizzeria last night"? Paul Adler, 22, had an unfortunate experience on Halloween in which an enterprising outer-borough teenager held his iPhone hostage and then his wallet was stolen and the police came.

We got in touch with Adler, who filled us in on the aftermath and on the lesson he learned about wallet placement:

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What's So Special About Apple's Siri?

Anticipation and hoopla surrounded the release of the iPhone 4S, but when people discovered Apple wasn't debuting the iPhone 5, the launch was dubbed a dud. 5 is one better than 4! Why are you robbing us of 5? On the evening Steve Jobs died,'s main headline was about how the iPhone 4S was a disappointment before they quickly replaced it with the news of his passing. Contrary to early predictions, the iPhone 4S is now breaking sales records. Additionally, people are raving about Siri, the phone's voice recognition application.

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