The Men Who Wear Fitbits to Track Their Coke Benders

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…some drug users find wearable devices like the Apple Watch and the Fitbit helpful in managing their intake of stimulants, which tend to get your heart rate up. They reason that by keeping their heart below a certain threshold of beats per minute (bpm) while high, they can lessen the always-present risk of an acute cardiac event. And so, ever since the consumer technology to keep tabs on your pulse 24/7 first became available, they’ve been sharing health data from their binges in online drug forums like the r/cocaine subreddit…

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Boston Red Sox Used Apple Watches to Steal Signs Against Yankees

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For decades, spying on another team has been as much a part of baseball’s gamesmanship as brushback pitches and hard slides. The Boston Red Sox have apparently added a modern — and illicit — twist: They used an Apple Watch to gain an advantage against the Yankees and other teams.

Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Red Sox, who are in first place in the American League East and very likely headed to the playoffs, executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents’ catchers in games against the second-place Yankees and other teams, according to several people briefed on the matter.

No One Is Buying Smartwatches Anymore

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Remember how smartwatches were supposed to be the next big thing? About that…

The market intelligence firm IDC reported on Monday that smartwatch shipments are down 51.6 percent year-over-year for the third quarter of 2016. This is bad news for all smartwatch vendors (except maybe Garmin), but it’s especially bad for Apple, which saw shipments drop 71.6 percent, according to the IDC report…

Looking at IDC’s data, the only company that really did well over the last year is Garmin. Its sales increased 324 percent, catapulting it to second-place among vendors. Garmin’s watches focus on health and fitness, two areas smartwatch owners actually seem to care about. Tellingly, Apple has re-focused its marketing and positioning of the Apple Watch away from fashion and more towards health and fitness with its new models.

… But the bigger problem is that it’s difficult to justify buying a smartwatch. Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers put it bluntly in the press release:

It has also become evident that at present smartwatches are not for everyone. Having a clear purpose and use case is paramount, hence many vendors are focusing on fitness due to its simplicity. However, moving forward, differentiating the experience of a smartwatch from the smartphone will be key and we’re starting to see early signs of this as cellular integration is rising and as the commercial audience begins to pilot these devices.

My rocky first 24hrs with the Apple Watch

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I’m an insufferable asshole, and I’m here to complain about my brand new $350 luxury watch that so far hasn’t lived up to my insanely high expectations, which I am publishing here on Medium using my 5k iMac.

…Wearing this watch in a movie theater is not a great idea. Any time you shift in your seat, your watch awakens. When you get a notification — if you look at it — you’ll learn some are small fonts on black backgrounds and not that bad while others have notifications with big white icons and light gray backgrounds that light up a room. My favorite unknown feature was the Apple Activity app informing me halfway into a movie with a forceful haptic jolt and message demanding I needed to stand for one minute out of every hour to remain healthy and I should do so right now because I hadn’t stopped sitting since the movie began. Also, when the watch comes to life unexpectedly in a dark theater, or you know, any other location you might be in that might be dark, there’s no way to instantly darken it besides covering the watch face with your other hand which you should hope is free to cover your expensive wrist computer.

The watch repurposes existing phone features and it’s not always great. The love notes and drawings/taps feature is keyed off your phone’s favorites list in your phone’s phone app. My phone favorites are my wife, two close friends I contact often, and my brother, whom I call every so often and usually only for urgent family matters. He is on my favorites to save time digging for his number halfway through my contacts every few months when I need to contact him, not because he’s a favorite per se.

So there is my brother every time I hit the button below the crown. Forever.

 

Why I’m Breaking Up With the Apple Watch

Photo by Earl Wilson, for the New York Times

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I do not want to be defined by a talking point on my wrist… when I started wearing the Apple Watch (the 38-millimeter case with a Milanese Loop band, which is the smaller size with a flexible stainless steel bracelet), it became a subject of conversation no matter where I was: in meetings at work, at the bagel store, at my son’s track meet. It has been so everywhere, marketed to so many people, there was just no mistaking it.

First everyone wanted to know about it. Then they wanted to try it. Then they made certain assumptions about me.

…“Why is that more embarrassing than endlessly looking at a phone?” my friends said when I complained.

It’s a valid question, but after some contemplation I think the answer is simple: A phone is hand-held, and we are used to seeing people read things held in their hands. Like, say, books. But seeing somebody staring at her wrist (or merely sneaking a surreptitious glance at it) telegraphs something else entirely: (1) rudeness or (2) geekiness.