When we first heard about kwiry, a text message service meant for helping you to remember things by letting you text your email, we scoffed, and then said "novelty" out loud in a patronizing aristocratic voice. Your phone already offers you a bunch of different ways to make small memos, not to mention that you can find dozens of applications online with the same purpose. You can even use your phone for email and send yourself one if you want to be sure you get your message at home. So why in the world would anyone think twice about this? Writing a text message is easy. For most people, texting is a fast and common thing, and that might just be the difference from actually bothering to write something down or not. The icing comes in form of versatility, since kwiry offers a couple more services. You can get your texts as RSS feeds, let your friends get emails as well, and you can even share everything via Facebook and iGoogle. Yeah, we know it sounds a bit too much, but as long as it’s only the price of free + your normal text charge, it might have a useful purpose. Anyone willing to give it a go?
You hear horror stories about carriers offering "unlimited" data plans, only to find that they aren’t exactly unlimited. Most are surprised with a bill that’s a couple hundred dollars. But Piotr Staniaszek, an oil worker in Alberta, Canada, got the surprise of his life when is bill read somewhere in the neighborhood of C$85,000. Wtf? Turns out, he used his unlimited plan to tether his phone to his laptop, which Bell claims is a violation of the plan’s, uh, unlimitedness. They’ve since reduced the bill to C$3,400, but that’s still a crazy amount for a guy who, quite frankly, probably needs the internet just to get through some grueling, cold days. And nights.
It gets out that Pharrell has a gold iPhone, and on the same day it looks like Apple is testing the waters for Microsoft Exchange and Outlook for the iPhone. Is that a coincidence? Don’t make us laugh; we most certainly don’t think so. Apple has posted a job listing for a "motivated, highly-technical Exchange test/sync engineer with excellent problem solving and communication skills", whose ”focus will be testing Exchange and Outlook functionality with Apple’s innovative new phone". Maybe Apple heard the late night panting and moaning from executives who want a corporate-friendly iPhone? We’re not certain, but it doesn’t seem too unlikely since Apple has a penchant for wanting their very own thing, which is a problem for everyone who doesn’t just own iEverything. Corporate America falls into that category, and really doesn’t want to be without their trusty Microsoft applications. This way, they might not have to be.
You thought you were pretty slick when you bought that 42" plasma TV a couple of years ago, huh? Yeah, it was expensive, but you were the envy of every Monday night-football-watching-friend everywhere. But see, then those friends went out and bought a better model that was way less expensive than yours. Now you’re left with the problem of having only one HDMI port on the screen, and you’re not hip enough to use a receiver. What’s a man to do? Luckily, Belkin has come out with a 2-in-1 HDMI switch that allows you to have two devices plugged right in. It will also prevent you from looking like a monkey juggling HDMI cables behind the TV every time you want to get your Blu-ray on. It’s only $54.99 and comes with a remote so you never have to get out of bed and disturb the cats. Never disturb the sleeping cats.
The only thing funnier than l33t speak, is when people write about it who have never used it before. The extravagant lengths through which people go to explain each term is hilarious. Granted, not everyone knows what each word or phrase means, but c’mon…if you’re going to give a l33t word an award for being a "word of the year," at least pretend that the word is commonplace enough that you don’t need to explain it to the nth detail. Anyway, congrats to the word "w00t," winner of this year’s Merriam-Webster Word of the Year. It replaces 2006 winner "truthiness" of Stephen Colbert fame, and beat out other words, such as "facebook" (as a verb), "quixotic", "hypocrite", and "blamestorm". Unfortunately, none of these words will be added to the dictionary anytime soon, something that we’d really w00t about.
Just when you thought that the draw of YouTube was to create your own content and get free press out of the deal, Google’s video service just upped the incentive. Launching the YouTube Partner Program, the video giant will actually pay you to produce compelling content. The requirements seem simple: create original videos, own the copyrights, get them viewed by thousands, and live in the US or Canada. Sounds easy, right? Of course, few seems to have the regular prowess to get thousands of people to check out each upload, but hey, at least YouTube is interested in the little guy. Sure, some of their partners include Universal Music, Victoria Secret, and the NBA, but smaller contributors are also on their payroll, including everyone’s favorite Chocolate Rain guy. Think you’ve got what it takes? Make the jump to apply.
[Via Download Squad]
Media center PCs are definitely chic. And, for those that don’t have huge hardware requirements in their PC use, new options that are more visually appealing are moving to the forefront. Enter the new HTPC concept from Omaura, called the TT line. This line further pushes the "looks first" policy that seems to take most of their products by storm. No pricing (or even plans to actually make the product) has been announced, but if you take a click through their website, like many trendy things, it doesn’t look like it will be cheap. If money isn’t the kind of thing that concerns you, this could be the perfect marriage of sleek looks and I-don’t-want-to-get-up-and-walk-into-the-other-room computer laziness.
Activating your newly bought handset from Virgin Mobile is a chore, mostly because of its long and complicated process. At least Virgin Mobile finally agrees with us, and is now pulling Telespree in to make it all a whole lot easier. But don’t think they are doing it all for you, the subscriber. No way, they are reduces their own costs in the process. From now on, activation comes preprogrammed with the phone, and can happen over the air instead of having to bother customer support. This will affect both new and existing customers whether you are buying a handset for the first time, or upgrading to a new phone. But who are we kidding…you use Virgin Mobile?
Web collaboration and the software to go with it is not a new concept. And, one would have expected Microsoft to have joined this trend much earlier in the game. Nevertheless, the introduction of Office Live Workspace is now upon us. In a public beta, users can now use Live Workspace to collaborate and share Word, Powerpoint, and Excel files, and even their desktops (via SharedView). For those hoping for a full-functioning version of an Office Suite that costs you nothing, this falls short. In reality, this product is more of an "enhancement" to already-owned programs. Speculation is that future versions of Office will be more of a melting pot of on-computer software, combined with web-based functions. And this, it seems, is just the beginning.
If you’re frustrated when your cell phone chooses "home" instead of "good" when you’re typing, imagine typing an entire novel on it. Amazingly, that’s what half of Japanese best-selling authors do. Roughly 400,000 copies per novel are averaged by the top 10 selling works in Japan, and half of them come from thumbs. Most are uploaded to internet sites and then pushed to subscribers, and according to some of the most notorious authors, it’s the wave of the future. Masayoshi Yoshino, the president of Goma Books, is proclaiming that "this not simply as a fad, but as a new kind of culture." Better be prepared to juggle "see" and "are" more successfully than you do now!
It’s cold and dark outside, so who wants to walk all the way down to a store and ask the grumpy sales clerk to let you fiddle with one of their phones? Trying a cell phone online has long been a wish from most of us, but unless you were interested in a Sony Ericsson, then fat chance of that happening. Apparently the good people behind tryphone have heard our collective late night mournful cries and made a site that allows you to test out phones online. Ooh fancy! They only have a handful of phones currently, like the Apple iPhone, BlackBerry Pearl, and Samsung Juke, but we guess more will be added in the near future. It’s not just a quick demo, it is fully interactive, and actually kind of cool. Hit the link to try out your next impulsive gadget purchase!
[Via Übergizmo ]
You don’t have to be House M.D to detect that Nokia has had iPhone fever floating around ever since Apple came out with the most hyped phone in newer times. First it was some concept handsets that shared a certain similarity in appearance, and after that, Nokia introduced a new touch-based interface for future S60 phones, which (maybe undeservedly) send our minds to one Apple handset in particular. Apple’s business model of rev-sharing with the carriers was unheard of before the iPhone was launched. We suppose it still is, since Apple never confirmed they’re doing it. The thing is, it seems like Nokia wants to take a page out of Apple’s book; they are rumored to want a revenue-sharing model with carriers when their new data services launch. Even though you’re leader of the pack, it doesn’t mean you can’t take notice of the new kid on the block, right?