WhatsApp – free SMS for iPhones

SMS are one of the most expensive forms of data transfer around, aprox £750 per MB according to one finding (compared to say NASA who pay £61 per MB to receive data from the Hubble Space Telescope). So it's hard not to like this application (despite a name that reminds me of those horrible “Whats Uuuuup” adverts) which lets iPhone users send messages to each other for free.

WhatsApp on iPhoneThe nice thing about this app is using push technology it acts pretty
much as an SMS, but feels a bit more like instant messaging as there's
isn't the (cost based) need to put every thing in one message, so it's
more conversational.

It requires both parties to have the free WhatsApp iPhone application installed first, and then users can send as many messages as they want for free. At least it's free if your data plan is unlimited, which for most UK users it will be – though overseas you'll still get charged. A Blackberry version is in Beta.

Foxbase Beta. Remix, Re-Cover & Release

The lines between re-release, remix, cover or even mash-up are becoming increasingly blurred. Witness Florence & The Machines cover “You've Got The Love” a song for which the original version for most people is actually a remix – it wasn't until The Source put Candy Stanton's vocals over the Frankie Knuckles track “Your Love” that this became the club anthem we all now know. Since then there's been about a dozen remixes and re-covers, and Florence's cover version of the remix includes several remixes too.

More subtle is Saint Etiennes re-release of their debut album Fox Base Alpha as the re-worked Fox Base Beta. In some ways this is similiar to Paul McCartney re-releassing “Get Back” with the production he would like (stripping away strings etc), except this time the band are letting some one else re-work the production. There's a lot of trust going on there, and you wonder if the band had final sign off on the release.

 The original album is an English pop classic, but I've yet to hear what the re-working sounds like. The new re-release is limited to 3,000 copies, and I'm hoping one is coming my way.

Fox Base Beta available only here.