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.

Google Chromse O/S

There's a turn up, Google announce they are to release an operating system. No details on how this gets installed on PCs, or any technical details at all. For the moment all we know is from from the Google blog:

“Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that
will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will
open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be
available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re
already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be
working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision
now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.”

iCloud

iCloud provides online cloud computing, not just storage, but a desktop and applications – so in theory you don't need anything on your computer except a web browser (and a fast internet connection).

The desktop looks good and has pre-installed the common applications most users will need. It's kind of odd setting up an email client on a cloud desktop, especially I'm connecting to GMail anyway, so I could just open another browser window to use it. However for locked down computers where iCloud is the only thing running this makes more sense.

Your given 3Gb of storage to begin with, and it certainly looks nice that Google Docs – but it runs slower and I'm not sure if it's something I'd seriously consider using yet.

http://icloud.com

Schedule Tweets

Twuffer lets you schedule tweets (messages on Twitter, don't cha know) for a predefined time of your choosing. Twitters main idealogy was the “What are you doing now?” question; so a scheduler sort of flies in the face of that. Yet it's clear Twitter is now being used by organisations as a general purpose broadcast medium and Twuffer suggests some of it's own uses:

  • tweet hourly/daily/monthly announcements
  • appointment/milestone reminders
  • run a time-based scavenger hunt
  • notify subscribers about upcoming podcast or video episodes
  • appear to never sleep

http://twuffer.com

Twitter: Expressions of the Whole Self

Twitter: Expressions of the Whole Self – An investigation into user appropriation of a web-based communications platform is research paper by Edward Mischaud (MSc in Politics and Communication) at London School Of Economic.

It's an interesting piece, and it gets quite deep over the course of 50 odd pages covering the Social Shaping of Technology and the
Social Construction of Technology theories. In the findings Mischaud breaks down the Twitter question “What are you doing?” into different types of responses.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/media@lse/mediaWorkingPapers/MScDissertationSeries/Mishaud_Final.pdf