Sunday, 24 September 2017


Think of healthy foods and your mind probably imagine broccoli, avocado or spinach, among others. But they are already well known and you probably had enough of them already. There are other unusual and most healthy foods you may not have heard of before, all of which are equally tasty and nutritious, as this infographic by Meal Delivery Experts shows.

[Post Source: Meal Delivery Experts.]

Saturday, 23 September 2017


Top 10 Incredible Sound Phenomena
By Damian Black,
Listverse, 23 September 2017.

20 hertz to 20 kilohertz: the range of frequencies humans are able to hear. Sound is a natural constant, as essential and expected as the light we see and the air we breathe. From good music to blaring alarms, our daily lives are full of these vital vibrations in familiar forms.

However, there is more to sound than meets the eye (or ear). There are volumes of wonder to be heard in the exploration of acoustics, full of brilliance - and danger.

10. The Visual Microphone

After striking an object, sound is generally absorbed and dissipated through it without any noticeable effect. However, the tiniest of vibrations reverberate across the affected surface at barely tenths of a micrometer - still enough to be captured by a high-speed camera, at lengths less than a hundredth of a pixel. Adobe, Microsoft, and MIT researchers have collaborated to develop a brilliant algorithm that is able to extract information from these microscopic motions and use it to recover the original sound of a silent video. Everyday items from boxes of tissues to glasses of water become visual microphones through the impressive tech. Though significantly blurred, the notes from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in both music and singing are easily heard from a recording of a bag of chips or the leaves of a potted plant.

The technology is nascent, but there is obviously huge potential in accurately retrieving sound for enhanced surveillance, bypassing the limited range of normal microphones and going beyond soundproof walls (provided they are clear, of course). The scientists who created the visual microphone have less controversial intentions, though, believing its best purpose is to eventually be able to identify structural properties of materials without making contact.

9. DolphinAttack

DolphinAttack is a recently published technology that is able to command speech recognition systems via ultrasound, aka frequencies above 20 kHz, above human hearing (but well within dolphin echolocation). The undetected voice control is confirmed to affect Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and even vocal navigation systems in Audi cars, creating a major security issue. The extent of the invasion is naturally the extent of the functions available, from dialing a particular number to visiting malicious websites and downloading malware.

A DolphinAttack hacker could easily reduce screen brightness, mute volume, or set a device offline through airplane mode to assist in the assault, but fortunately, the distance limit is currently only 1.7 meters (5.6 ft). Surprisingly, the method is fairly low-tech and cheap, involving only an amplifier to increase signal, an ultrasonic transducer for the frequency conversion, and a battery hooked to a speaker of some sort, which could simply be that of one’s own smartphone. As improvements are made on the setup, though, DolphinAttack is something all voice assistants should be prepared for.

8. Infrasound Horror


There is little evidence that common ultrasound affects people, usually only found in unverified reports of dizziness and discomfort. On the other side of the sound spectrum, infrasound also can’t be heard, but at the right frequencies, it evokes much more disturbing psychological and physical sensations. The entire body is affected by these deep vibrations, causing hyperventilation, hallucinations, panic, and depression. At 19 hertz, infrasound resonates with the human eyeball to greatly distort peripheral vision. A tiger’s roar has been shown to emit infrasound at the same frequency, an incredibly useful tool to biologically blind and frighten prey and opponents.

Since infrasound is often found in nature and prevalent in machinery, it may be the explanation for allegedly haunted sites. “The Ghost in the Machine” is the most popular true story of the false paranormality of infrasound. Vic Tandy was a medical engineer who had been hired to work at a laboratory producing life support equipment. Though at first skeptical of the hauntings his colleagues told him about, he, too, began to experience a slight depression and the occasional cold shiver. One night, while Tandy was the only person remaining in the lab, he became aware of a grey, silent figure emerging to his left. Fearing the worst, Tandy turned, only for the apparition to disappear. The following day, he found the source of the ghost to simply be a hidden fan, vibrating at about 19 hertz.

7. Sonic Weaponry


The earliest idea of a sonic weapon was researched in secret by Hitler’s chief architect and minister of armaments and war production, Albert Speer, but it never saw light or sound due to the termination of the Nazi regime. The acoustic cannon would have been able to produce a deafeningly focused, insanely amplified sound beam that could vibrate a person’s body so vigorously that anyone standing within 90 meters (300 ft) would horrifically die if exposed for more than 30 seconds. Since the 1950s, sonic weaponry has undergone serious investigation and development by various military and research organizations for counterterrorism and crowd control uses. Depending on the decibel level, sound waves are capable of causing mild nausea and vomiting, incapacitating pain and vertigo, complete disorientation, or explosion of the target’s eardrums and organs.

As previously mentioned, the horrific effects of infrasound (commonly blasted below patrolling drones) are easily able to scatter riotous crowds or demoralize enemy soldiers, while ultrasound of intense frequency and power is able to burn bodies to death through extreme overheating and fracture entire skeletons through bone resonance. Fortunately, most technology is made for non-lethal, non-permanent damage and debilitation, much like the Taser. The US Army is currently developing a long-range, nonlethal acoustic weapon to repel even the most determined suicide bombers and to rouse Al-Qaeda terrorists from their resonating cavernous hideouts with their hands over their ears.

6. Herring Flatulence


During the Cold War, a Soviet nuclear submarine had intentionally navigated difficult waters to reach Sweden’s most restricted naval areas before it ran aground. The Swedes were not fooled by the Russian government’s claim of a simple navigation accident. Later, in the 1980s, the Swedish Royal Navy detected hostile-sounding underwater noises during the night (high-pitched squeaks and pops) and classified them as Russian submarines. The questionable Soviets denied all accusations while the noises continued to be recorded.

In 1994, Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt wrote an aggravated letter to Boris Yeltsin, complaining about the blatant breach of diplomacy. The sounds were still going although the Soviet Union had collapsed, compelling the Swedes to search for another explanation. As depth charges detonated, only schools of dead herring rose to the surface. The source of their political conflict was Swedish fish.

Herring have the strange behavior of gulping air and anally releasing it, producing sounds scientifically named Fast Repetitive Ticks (FRTs). Evidence concludes that the FRTs are used for communication, especially during nightly gatherings, when they can’t clearly see each other. The massive schools that gather in the Baltic Sea are able to produce a huge amount of these FRTs, enough to make an uncomfortable nation frenzied. Unfortunately, Bildt never had the opportunity to apologize and explain that he had mistaken flatulent herring social parties for a terrorizing Russian nuclear threat.

5. Nightingale Floors


If light travels so fast, how come it’s never caught a ninja? Say no more, because sound already has! The nightingale floors were specially designed as a security measure for important Japanese residences such as Nijo Castle, squeaking loudly to alert guards while also beautifully imitating the chirping of nightingales for daily usage. Dry wooden boards naturally creak under pressure, so Japan’s best carpenters, woodworkers, and craftsmen designed floors that greatly magnified the effect. The nightingale floors made sure that assassins would never have a chance to pass unheard through the corridors of the shogun’s Kyoto residence as well as those of other important leaders and national treasures. The clamps of the floors are rubbed against the flooring nails with every step, screeching and scaring off ninjas.

If the shogun visited the castle, bodyguards would wait in hidden doors until an intruding ninja walked through the floors. The timber technique is so precise that the position of the person could be determined through the volume of the noisy chirping heard. The silent but deadly would suffer a loud death. Nowadays, tourists enjoy employing various means of locomotion to see if they are able to sleuth through the floors. None have been successful.

4. Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome


In 1929, biologist Pietro Tullio made pin-sized surgical openings in the semicircular canals of pigeons to research sound-induced disbalance and dizziness. Needless to say, the inner ear is awfully delicate, and after the procedure, the pigeons became heavily disoriented when exposed to loud sound. Even the most minuscule defect causes a condition of absolute horror when it comes to the ear: superior canal dehiscence syndrome. The ordinarily protected canal becomes vulnerable to all kinds of sound, causing crippling pain and sensation. Symptoms include all the worst hearing conditions: tinnitus, hearing loss, oversensitivity, Tullio phenomenon (sound-induced vertigo), and the most terrifying: autophony.

Autophony is the disturbingly loud hearing of a person’s own body, whether involuntary or voluntary. Sufferers are able to hear their heart beating and have reported the mere motion of their eyes moving in their sockets as sounding like sandpaper on wood. Daily life becomes dreadful, with simple tasks such as turning one’s neck to see or walking somewhere experienced as unbearably agonizing. Fortunately, the disorder affects less than one percent of the population, and the defunct superior canal may be plugged during an extensive procedure to retain perfect auditory function.

3. Shepard Scale

Notes are not lone frequencies. Often, several sound waves are subconsciously combined to create a single note. This knowledge allows for the creation of an impressive auditory illusion. A Shepard tone is composed of three sine waves, each separated by an octave. Played in a series, a Shepard scale forms, seemingly forever ascending or descending in pitch, depending on the direction of the scale, in an aural corkscrew effect. The sine waves all rise (or fall) an octave, at which point another sine wave, starting from the position of the previous lowest pitch, is subtly introduced. Since two frequencies are always in the same direction, our brains skip the loop to always hear a continuous, infinite sweep, cherry-picking for continuity.

The impressive auditory illusion is ideal for introducing tension in sound effects and music, famously used in both The Dark Knight ’s intensely roaring Batpod and in Hans Zimmer’s score of the recent war thriller Dunkirk, being a favorite cinematic technique of Christopher Nolan.

2. Sound Barrier


During World War II, propeller aircraft experienced dangerously decreased performance as they approached the speed of sound, losing control against overpowering shock waves and often nose-diving into crashes. The term “sound barrier” was coined to define the abrupt increase in drag and presence of unexpected aerodynamic effects suffered by aircraft reaching supersonic speed, rendering the idea of surpassing it extraordinarily difficult and prompting research into the jet engine. Above 1,234 kilometers per hour (767 mph), the air ahead of an aircraft is suddenly pushed away, creating a shock wave of pressure difference that greatly shifts the plane’s center of pressure. After the swift incorporation of the turbojet during the 1950s, aircraft ordinarily entered the supersonic.

The distinction of being a supersonic object is not reserved to vehicles, though. Bullets regularly broke the sound barrier before planes were ever invented, and in modern times, assassins and special forces actually use subsonic bullets instead (in conjunction with silencers) to provide stealthier kills. Even a child can experience a sonic boom by popping an inflated balloon and listening to the torn latex pieces contract at supersonic speed. Finally, it should be noted that the crack of a whip, commonly thought to occur only at the tip, is actually from the wave motion of the traveling loop, gaining speed until breaking the sound barrier and releasing sonic booms for the rest of the distance.

1. Black Hole Decibel


One of the loudest animals in the world is the pistol shrimp, which hunts by shooting jets of water so fast that a bubble is formed against the weight of the ocean, collapsing in microseconds in an epic implosion, producing a sonic shock wave of 210 decibels, louder than a gunshot, and reaching a temperature of 5,000 degrees Kelvin, near that of the surface of the Sun. The loudest recorded event on Earth, heard from 4,800 kilometers (3,000 mi) away, was the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, which destroyed 70 percent of the volcanic island, caused permanent hearing loss within a 160-kilometer (100 mi) radius, and reverberated through the atmosphere seven times.

However, the final phenomenon of this list is potentially the most colossal, impactful of them all. In 2003, NASA discovered the first, tremendous sound waves of a supermassive black hole, rippling through the gas contained in the Perseus galaxy cluster. The pitch of the note was the deepest detected from anything ever heard in the universe, a cosmic B-flat 57 octaves below middle-C, over one quadrillion times beneath the audible.

That was a sound created from a black hole, but there is also a sound that can create one. If an 1,100-decibel sound could be generated, the intense waves would create enough gravity to rip space-time into a quantum singularity. Instead of colossal amounts of mass gathering together, an even more titanic amount of sound energy would collect to forge a black hole through the cosmic compression of the matter in an area.

None of this information is truly frightening, though, since it is all impossible. There is no medium pressurized enough for an 1,100-decibel sound to originate in and no technology even close to providing the necessary amount of energy. But gathering the extremely dense fluids of an alien atmosphere and having mastered the energy of an entire galaxy, the most advanced civilization could produce this ultimate weapon. Maybe.

Top image: Sound waves of a super-massive black hole (right) residing in the Perseus cluster (left). Credit: NASA/CXC/IoA/A.Fabian et al.

[Source: Listverse. Top image added.]

Friday, 22 September 2017

Thursday, 21 September 2017


As the Earth was cooling from its violent cosmic beginnings as a molten planet, intense pressure and heat created the diamonds we extract today. Yet diamonds can be made in multiple ways you may not have known. This animated infographic by The Diamond Pros shows how.

Infographic Sources:
Volcanic pipe
2. How Diamonds are Formed
3. Network Solids and Carbon
4. How Does an Asteroid Impact Make Diamonds?

Many thanks to Drew Page for this informative infographic.

Top image credit: studiopratisaad0/Pixabay.

[Post Source: The Diamond Pros.]

Wednesday, 20 September 2017


5 Ways Your Information Is Being Exploited Every Day
By Philip Bates,
Make Use Of, 19 September 2017.

Are you privacy-conscious? How troubled are you by corporate invasions of privacy?

You may not be too worried about having your rights infringed. You might be very concerned by the fact you’re being tracked. It actually doesn’t matter too much, because a lot of the things we take for granted can also be used against us.

Here’s how you’re being exploited right now.

1. Social Media Tracking

Image credit: Hamza Butt/Flickr

Facebook boasts some 1.9 billion users, of which 1.28 billion use it every single day. Twitter pales in comparison, and yet still has a considerable 328 million monthly users. Instagram has swiftly overtaken the microblogging platform with some 700 million users.

These social media networks gather huge amounts of information about you. Facebook, once more, is a giant in this respect: it eats up as much data as it can, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII), your interests (courtesy of what you “like” and share), and the content of any messages you leave or that are left on your profile.

Heck, Facebook even knows what you look like.

Some might take a moral high ground and think they’re safe because they’re not on Facebook, but that doesn’t matter. Thanks to domains - fan sites, for instance - and social media plugins installed on millions of popular sites, you’ve got a shadow profile (i.e. a database of information on people who aren’t using the platform).

Why? Because these media services are free, meaning you are what’s being sold. Your information is worth a great deal of revenue. Advertisements can be targeted specifically at you, so what’s promoted can be focused on your location, your hobbies, and what times you’re most active online.

2. Your Political Leanings

Image credit: Borrell

You have an absolute right to keep your voting history secret. No one should be able to see which way you swing on any given election and which allegiance is closest to your heart.

But some break cover and fly the flag. Others don’t necessarily, but from various information submitted, again on social media, your political persuasion can be inferred.

This leaves you open to a great deal of propaganda: digital marketing has never been so important, meaning you’re bound to be bombarded with politically-charged messages. The same private information used by advertisers can also passed onto parties. But this isn’t about benefiting from your money - it’s about swaying your agendas.

Campaigns, at least in the U.S., typically begin around two years before an election, so there’s plenty of time to exploit what you’re doing in your free time (checking Twitter, for instance) for political gain.

The scariest thing is, you might not realize it’s happening because not all these campaigns are overt. It was revealed by Facebook representatives that “geographically-targeted” ad sales totalling US$100,000 beginning in summer 2015 were traced back to a Russian “troll farm.” Some of these apparently named American candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (though Facebook refused to confirm which was portrayed as the better option).

Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, wrote that relatively few named a candidate or even the election in general:

“Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum - touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.”

3. Loyalty Cards

Image credit: Nick Webb/Flickr

Unlike being used as political pawns, with this example of exploitation, you actually get something in return.

The popularity of loyalty card schemes has grown recently, partly due to their expansion into digital platforms. You know the deal: if you shop at a certain store regularly, they reward you with bargains. You might get a free coffee after having so many hot drinks from an establishment, or get money off every few weeks.

How does this benefit a store? The first clue is in the title: loyalty. Obvious, right? Essentially, they’re saying, “if you buy from us regularly enough, we’ll give you special offers and free stuff.” Lovely.

Except these deals are often personalized. So they further benefit from storing some details, notably shopping habits - although apps might also collect data on your device’s history, contacts, and Wi-Fi connections.

Let’s say you’re purchasing lots of nappies from a supermarket. The chances are, you’ve got a new baby in the family. Around Christmas time, for example, the shop may start promoting children’s toys more heavily than before.

It’s a catch-22. You like saving cash, but in order to do so, you have to sacrifice some level of privacy.

You should always check privacy policies before signing up for anything, but many loyalty schemes refuse to sell your information on, for fear of breaching data protection laws. Still, the wealth of details on file about customers can make them a big target for hackers.

4. In-Store Location

Image credit: Rene Schwietzke/Flickr

Stores use a similar tactic when it comes to coupon services. They offer you discounts on specific products, hoping that you’ll be tempted to visit a store then browse.

The same thing has been going on for ages, in the form of “loss leaders.” This is typically why essential goods, like bread and milk, are located at the back of a shop. As you search for what you came in for, you’ll likely see something else you want to buy.

Having in-store Wi-Fi (which some connect to in order to save money and cell data) enables many high-street shops to track customers. You don’t even have to connect to it: your smartphone consistently sends out requests to find signals. These are given off by beacons around a shop and tracking how far between beacons those requests are made can give an estimated location.

That means you might consider buying something, wander off, then come back - by which time, a voucher app has alerted you that there’s money off that particular product. It gives you that final push into purchasing.

Okay, so not everyone uses voucher apps, but more than 90 percent of American consumers do.

Still, even if you don’t use those, that doesn’t mean malls can’t exploit you. By using the same methods, Wi-Fi Analytics can see how customers interact with the store: what routes they take, which sections are most popular, and how long they stay. This information can all be used to manipulate us.

That’s without even mentioning CCTV.

5. Your Smartphone Battery

Image credit: Tom Shepherd‏/Twitter

Your smartphone can act as a marker as to your location, but also how dire your situation might be.

As ridiculous as it sounds, apps can use your cell’s battery against you. Or, from another point of view, they can use it to help you out.

It started out altruistically enough: certain apps can check how much charge you’ve got, so if you’re on low power, they could limit the amount of elements used that are a particular strain on your battery. It’s one use for Low Power Mode too. But some firms can further utilize this information to determine how desperate you are for their service.

Most famously, it’s a tactic reportedly used by Uber. We’re so attached to our smartphones that we feel a need to have access to this form of communications all the time. It’s for emergencies, right? That means that, if your phone drops below 20 percent, you might worry about getting home. According to reports, you’re more likely to accept so-called “surge prices” (increased fares for travel, supposedly at busier times) when your battery is running low.

It’s also a handy indicator that you’ve been away from home for a time as most folk charge their devices before they leave.

What Can You Do?

wpsCD3C.tmpImage credit: g4ll4is/Flickr

This is about damage limitation, because it’s very unlikely you’re going to abandon the internet completely. That’s arguably the only way you’ll stop social networks tracking you entirely.

Still, you can reduce the number of details you share on services like Facebook and Instagram. Do you really need to “check in” at every opportunity? Do you need to “like” that page? Should you really share that photo and tag all the people you’re with?

Encryption also helps. Try a virtual private network (VPN), which adds a solid layer of security and anonymity to what you’re doing outside social media infrastructure.

This should also cut down the likelihood of your political persuasion being inferred, but you can also attempt to block all related content from your feed.

As for loyalty cards, the ball is naturally in your court. You have to decide whether it’s worthwhile giving up some privacy so you can enjoy bargains. The majority of people find this is an acceptable trade-off.

What can you do about the signals your smartphone sends off? It’s impractical to keep it turned off, but you could disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Delete any reward schemes that you don’t use very often, and assess whether any actually benefit you.

When it comes to apps learning when your battery power is low, the answer is obvious: keep it charged up as much as possible. Aim for at least 80 percent when you walk out the door each morning.

What Should You Do?

This is something else entirely. What you can do, and what you should do depends completely on how you feel about your privacy.

Everyone will be different. To some, the money saved by being less privacy-conscious outweighs the sacrifice of personal details. Others will go to extreme measures to avoid surveillance.

Top image credit: geralt/Pixabay.

[Source: Make Use Of. Top image added.]

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


In a world where watches monitor your heart rate, and phones convert your voice to text, anything can seem possible. But even though technology continues to defy boundaries, many people wonder whatever happened to the gadgets they saw in science fiction as kids. Well, as this infographic by Who Is Hosting This shows, many of them exist - and are for sale!

[Post Source: Who Is Hosting This.]


10 Ludicrously Expensive Apps
By Robert Grimminck,
Toptenz, 18 September 2017.

Apps are great because they are pieces of software that are usually relatively cheap, especially considering 20 years ago similar programs would have cost 100 times more and wouldn’t have worked nearly as well. In fact, most aren’t just cheap; a vast majority of apps in both the Apple’s App Store and Google Play are free. But not all apps are low in price. Here are 10 of the most ludicrously expensive apps you can buy. Though, as you’ll soon see…why would you?

10. Super Color Runner: US$200


In Google Play there are dozens, if not hundreds of games where you run along an endless path and avoid obstacles. There are two things that set Super Color Runner apart from those games. The first is that “Rather than running down a single endless path in this game you have to fill up four paths with energy.” The point of the game is to stay alive by collecting enough “energy pellets” to keep your batteries charged. The second difference is that Super Color Runner costs US$200 to download, which is about US$200 more expensive than a majority of the other running games.

The designer wrote that he plans to update the game in the near future, but the last update was in 2012, so we don’t recommend holding your breath on that one.

9. The Most Expensive App(s): US$400


The Most Expensive App ( Danger ) prides itself on being nothing more than a waste of money. Or as they like to put it, it allows you to show your status in life.

The app does nothing else but show you a message congratulating you on downloading the app and patting you on the back for being rich, saying you deserve it. A message also pops up saying “Hey Rich guy…what is up ???” Because there is nothing like paying US$400 for an app and then getting a spam-like message from it.

Amazingly, it has a perfect five star rating, albeit just one person rated it. A similar app that does even less than the Most Expensive App ( Danger ), called The Most Expensive App (Im Rich) has 152 five-star ratings. The I’m Rich version of the app just has an icon with a diamond on it that does nothing when you press it. But we guess if you say the app does nothing, and then you deliver on that, it must be worth a five-star rating.

We’re wondering: wouldn’t something like US$400 shoes be a better way to show off your cash flow? How many people see your phone screen and actually pay attention to your apps? People may not notice your shoes, either, but at least they serve a function. They’re particularly good for kicking people who waste their money on this app.

8. DDS GP Yes!: US$699.99


To become a dentist, you have to get an undergraduate degree and then there are four years of dentistry school. So they know a lot about teeth, and trying to explain what they have to do to their patients’ teeth can be a difficult task. That’s where the terribly named DDS GP Yes! app comes in. It’s an iOS app that allows the dentist to show patients procedures, and what the results will be afterwards. It also shows what would happen without treatment, similar to what Lisa Simpson saw in the episode where she needs braces.

The app also contains about 80 minutes of lessons for the dentists to explain conditions and treatment plans, and it recommends methods to help influence patients so that they make better decisions regarding their dental health.

For all that, it costs US$699.99. According to the developer’s website, the app is used in 13,000 dental clinics.

7. QSFFStats: US$999.99


Some apps, like Candy Crush Saga, are made for mass appeal. The developers, or whoever owns the game, give it away for free and try to sell you stuff inside the game. Other apps are made to fill niches where only certain people will find it useful or interesting. These apps are usually a bit more expensive because apps aren’t cheap to make; they can cost tens of thousands of dollars, if not over a hundred thousand, and the developers need to recoup their money somehow.

That could explain why QSFFStats is so expensive, because it’s one of the most niche apps around. It’s an iPhone app that isn’t available in the app store, but its purpose is for people to track stats in their flag football league. To do that, it will set you back US$999.99. Yes, all those stats that can easily be tracked by a spreadsheet, which are free through Google Docs, is available in an app that costs a grand. Seems like a solid investment to us.

6. app.Cash: US$999.99


app.Cash is a point-of-sale, or POS, application that says it is for “all purposes” in Apple’s App Store, but when you visit the website, it’s actually meant to be used in restaurants, and hotels with restaurants. While US$999.99 may sound like a lot for an app, it appears that it is a one-time purchase.

Other POS systems, like Light POS Inc., offer the app for free, but then charge anywhere from US$69 to US$198 a month to use their system. So while app.Cash may be one of the most expensive apps available, it’s actually quite a steal in terms of POS systems.

5. I Am Rich: US$999.99

The first “status symbol” app was the I Am Rich app, developed by Armin Heinrich. It was for the first generation of iPhone and went on sale on August 5, 2008, for US$999.99, which was the maximum price for an app.

“The red icon on your iPhone or iPod touch always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were able to afford this.
It’s a work of art with no hidden function at all.
After pressing the (i) on the main page, a secret mantra will be shown. This may help you to stay rich, healthy and successful.”
As for the mantra, it said:
I am rich
I deserv it
I am good,
healthy & successful
Yes, you read that right: deserve was spelled incorrectly in the mantra. So apparently Heinrich was targeting rich people with low self-esteem who didn’t care about spelling or grammar.

Amazingly, within hours, eight people purchased the app, but not everyone was happy about it. One person thought it was a joke and downloaded it, and he was shocked to see that Apple charged US$999.99 to his credit card, so he wrote a scathing review.

Without explanation, the app was taken down the next day. Apple then released lengthy guidelines for their apps, and apps like I Am Rich are no longer allowed in Apple’s App Store (though this very app was later made available at a much lower price, still as dumb and pointless as ever).

In total, Heinrich made about US$5,600 from the app and Apple was paid US$2,400, but had to refund two people, so they only netted US$400.

4. LogMeIn Ignition: US$1,399.99


One of the most expensive apps available is found in the Apple App Store: the LogMeIn Ignition app, which you can get for your iPhone or iPad…but it will set you back US$1,399.99. The app allows you to access the files and apps that are on your computer or tablet from your phone. That’s right, for the price of new computer or several tablets, the app allows you to access another computer or tablet through a different smart device.

In Google Play, the app is free. However, they charge a membership which is US$250 a year for access to two computers. So we guess that’s a deal?

3. CyberTuner: US$1,399.99


The CyberTuner app from Reyburn Piano Service, Inc. is for a very niche market - professional piano tuners. It turns out that piano tuning software isn’t exactly cheap. One of the more reasonably priced applications is about US$300. The CyberTuner is the most expensive piano tuning software and they call themselves the gold standard in the field.

They sell the app for US$1,399.99, which is more than double the price of their closest competitor. They justify their price because they say that it is easy to use. Well, we sure hope it is, since it’d be a real kick in the head if it was complicated and crashed all the time at that price.

2. iVIP Black: US$1,399.99


iVIP Black is an app for millionaires. Literally. You can only access the services available on the app if you can prove that you have a net worth of US$1.28 million. Once you do, you’ll have access to what is essentially a Groupon for rich people. This includes getting deals on rich people things, like butlers and private jets. As freelance writers, we know all to well about these things.

The good news for you Android users that have over US$1.28 million: the app is free for you, but you still have to prove you’re rich, and there is a subscription.

1. Abu Moo: US$400 - US$2,400


How useful an app is sometimes comes down to the individual. If you work out a lot, there are a considerable amount of apps that will help you get the most out your exercises. Or there are apps that will help you save money on groceries, and other apps have McDonald’s delivered to your house so you never have to grocery shop again. Not to mention how many games there are that are great time wasters.

Many of these apps are completely free, and others cost about much as however much change you’ve got in your pocket. But for the most part, they do tend to serve some type of function.

Now we get to the most expensive app available, which is Abu Moo. Well, technically it’s six different versions of the same app…but you want to be a completist and collect them all, right?

Abu Moo is a series of six apps that are available in Google Play. The apps are US$400 each, so it’s US$2,400 for the set, which are just six different pictures of rings. When you download the apps and install them, a picture of the gem stone appears on your phone. That’s it.

So, uh…maybe do something better with your money, like donate it to charity? That seems like a better thing to do. Yeah, do that instead.

Top image credit: geralt/Pixabay.

[Source: Toptenz. Top image added.]