Friday Whatnot: Timesify

I was reading about some of the projects that emerged from a recent Comedy Hack Day (developers + designers + comedians) and discovered the Timesify App. This app will take any article or blog post you’re reading and–with the click of a button–change the appearance to make it look like you’re reading an article from the New York Times. So if a co-worker (or boss) walks by and discovers you reading an article online, they’ll assume you’re smarter than you really are.

Installation of the app was easy. “Drag the Timesify button to your bookmarks bar to get started.” Well, it was easy once I figured out how to get my bookmarks bar to appear. After that, though, the appearance of knowledge was just a click away.

I tested Timesify with an article from Gawker.  (Ironically titled “On the Seventh Day, We Unplug: How to Take a Tech Sabbath.”)

I hit my “timesify” button and it changed the look of my article, complete with this fake headline:

North Korea Says Rocket Launches Had Nothing to Do With Pope’s Visit

So, co-workers now think I’m reading about North Korea. And in case anyone asks about the article I’m “reading” so intently, Timesify posts this:

In case anyone asks: North Korea said that the rockets it fired the previous day had not been meant to coincide with the start of Pope Francis’ five-day visit to South Korea.

The developers recommend that you always read the in-case-anyone-asks piece, because “that might be the most news you read this week.”

As you continue to read articles with Timesify, the app will pull a variety of timely headlines from the Times. The even provide a shortlink to the actual Times website, so you can escape undetected with one quick click.

Timesify has a few technical glitches, but come on–it came out of Comedy Hack Day. It was created with a smile to be humorous instead of functional. It has made me smile enough already to call it successful.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay