Text messaging can be a tricky affair. It got David Beckham in a lot of trouble with his wife, and if you're on a U.S. carrier, it's likely given you some trouble on your monthly bill. Throw in the difficulty of typing with twelve keys, and conventional messaging loses some of its appeal. That's where Joopz comes in. Joopz is a browser-based SMS service that lets you use your 100+ button PC keyboard to send and receive text messages. Many carriers already offer this functionality from their Web sites or with special, free e-mail addresses, but … Read more
You could spend a lifetime researching your family history and never complete the work. Yet while you may never learn your great-great-great-grandfather's true birthday, DNA tests can dig up family tree roots more than a hundred thousand years deep. You can unearth and share that genetic data through the Genebase Bionet Builder beta, which also lets you draw a digital family tree, write a blog, and network online with potential cousins, many times removed. Why not count more kin for the holidays? Some Genebase users have tracked a whopping 9,000 relatives. The site even tells if Marie Antoinette … Read more
Most people don't go out driving to make friends, but that's the philosophy behind a new (and extremely optimistic) social networking SMS service called PL8Scan, which enables cell phone-wielding drivers to contact other drivers by text message via the latter's license plate numbers.
Having signed up to PL8Scan, drivers who wish to initiate contact with other road users send a text message to a central repository using a five-digit number. In the message, the driver includes the license plate number of the intended recipient (including details of the state in which it is registered), as well as … Read more
Peerflix adds swapping service
Peerflix (which is kind of like Netflix for communists) has changed its purchase model in an attempt to make it more friendly to DVD traders. Peerbux, the strange pseudo-currency, no longer exists. In its place is trade cash, which still has an irregular conversion rate of $3.75 real dollars to 1 trade dollar. Confused? So are we. What are no longer confusing are the movie description pages, which combine professional and user reviews along with recommendations and availability information to bring that part of its service up to par with Netflix.
DivShare file hosting launches… Read more
When Helio struck an exclusive deal with MySpace earlier this year, it became the only carrier in the nation to support MySpace Mobile--in fact, MySpace Mobile was one of the defining features of owning a Helio handset. Starting today however, all Cingular Wireless subscribers will have access to MySpace Mobile as well. All they have to do is text MYSPACE to 386 (FUN) to get the MySpace Mobile application. It costs $2.99 a month in addition to standard data charges, so it's not cheap. As with the Web version of MySpace, you can upload photos, approve friend requests, … Read more
Unlike the many mashups that use the Google API to aggregate news, 10x10 uses the RSS feeds from the BBC World Edition, New York Times International News and Reuters World News to create a visual mashup of the world's most popular news.
About every hour, the top 100 words from those feeds are chosen through 10x10's own linguistic analysis. Corresponding images for those words, used editorially from the news sites' own stories, are then displayed.
The images are listed from left to right and top to bottom in order of importance. (The No. 1 keyword is the upper-left … Read more
Designed to provide jet-setters with independently produced video content about international destinations, GeoBeats is a new travel site with professional-quality movies about subjects from the Finnish delicacy lamprey to social etiquette in Hong Kong. All the videos on the site are hosted and filmed by relative unknowns, but the movies are surprisingly well produced. Split up by topic, the videos attempt to cover basics like public transportation, seasonal festivals, and local culture. The site has launched with only a dozen countries, not as many as competitor TurnHere (see our coverage here). However, there are already more than 100 movies available … Read more
Digg is getting a refresh today. The big changes are in video, which will now be differentiated from news, and a podcasting category also has been added. The interface and the front page will be improved, and the personal profiles will get some navigation fixes.
Podcasting The fundamentally new feature with this release is Digg's podcasting category. Podcasts will be playable from within the Digg Web site. Video podcasts will be playable as well.
Yahoo released an update today to make its popular instant messenger more secure. But if you speed through setting up Yahoo Messenger with Voice 8.1, you're likely to get more than you expect--namely, the Yahoo Toolbar within your Web browser, which then sets Yahoo as your home page and your default search engine. CNET News.com explains the problem.
This is not the first time users have complained about intrusive extras from Yahoo's free IM program. Yahoo and other software vendors continue to insist that these kinds of surprises are for the benefit of users, but I … Read more
Even if the people in your life are spoiled, you don't need to turn to coal as a holiday gift. Instead, you can stuff stockings with gift cards that send cash in their honor to a worthy cause.
Changing the Present lets you make charitable contributions in the name of a loved one. Unlike other do-good gifting services (see below), you and your giftees can set up personal profiles that specify favorite causes. Plus, Changing the Present's Stupid Gifts Hall of Shame could be a destination in its own right (although I think fake vomit makes a fine … Read more