160by2 iPhone App To Send Free SMS Launches

India’s leading online free SMS service, 160by2, has launched a new iOS app that will let registered users send free text messages from their iDevice to their friends and family in India and Singapore. The app works on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad from close to nine countries including India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi, Singapore, […]

India’s leading online free SMS service, 160by2, has launched a new iOS app that will let registered users send free text messages from their iDevice to their friends and family in India and Singapore. The app works on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad from close to nine countries including India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi, Singapore, UAE, United Kingdom and the United States. If you are in the US, you need to be subscribed to AT&T. If you have already unlocked your device, then you are unfortunately out of service.

The service already enjoys popularity in India with close to 9.2 million registered users in the country. With the iPhone app, 160by2 will find appeal among expat Indian users who can save quite a lot of money by texting their messages to friends and family in India for free.

160by2 iPhone app

The 160by2 iPhone app can be downloaded from the App Store by clicking here. Do let us know how you find the app in the comments below.

Cydia Jailbreak Store For iPhones Acquires Rock Your Phone

If you are the proud owner of a jailbroken iPhone, it is very unlikely for you to not know about either Cydia or Rock Your Phone since these two are the biggest app stores for jailbroken iPhone apps. We are now hearing that Jay Freeman, the owner of the Cydia Store has agreed to absorb the Rock app into his system to build one gigantic jailbreak app store. The announcement comes after “several months” of negotiations.

To begin with, Rock app users will be asked to create a Cydia store login to continue making their purchases and following this, all the apps on Rock You shall be consolidated into the Cydia system. Rock.app currently has over 124 listed app developers and is installed on over 4.6 million iOS devices. There are over 2 million registered Rock users and close to 280,000 of these users have purchased at least once. Rock.app is noted to have made over $3.3 million since its inception in March 12, 2009.

Now A Website To Find College Roommates Online

Looking for that perfect roommate who you could pair up with at the university? URoomSurf is a new website that lets students joining a college or high school surf through and find a compatible dorm-mate. The website requires its users to fill up a questionnaire and using an algorithm will determine the user’s compatibility score […]

Looking for that perfect roommate who you could pair up with at the university? URoomSurf is a new website that lets students joining a college or high school surf through and find a compatible dorm-mate. The website requires its users to fill up a questionnaire and using an algorithm will determine the user’s compatibility score with other students joining the same university. The questionnaire will primarily deal with situations and ask the user how they would like their roommate to respond.

The website was launched in February of this year and as on date has close to 85,000 students signed up on their service. URoomSurf also claims to have successfully paired up over 6900 connections.

While the website is indeed a good way to find prospective roommates, if not simply get to know your future friends, the founders however find a significant challenge in that many universities still do not let students to request for their roommate and the process is many a time done by the authorities themselves.

But with websites like these sprouting up, that policy could soon be relaxed.

Create More Buzz For Your Product Launch The Chatroulette Way

I really don’t write much about ‘tips and tricks’ on this website, but the latest news from Chatroulette just got me thinking how new product launches could create a lot more social buzz if you executed it the right way. Okay, if you are under a rock or something and did not know what Chatroulette’s […]

I really don’t write much about ‘tips and tricks’ on this website, but the latest news from Chatroulette just got me thinking how new product launches could create a lot more social buzz if you executed it the right way.

Okay, if you are under a rock or something and did not know what Chatroulette’s all about; it’s a video chat service that hooks you up with random pervs from a random part of the world with whom you may chat or choose to click  away to find another person. The website had recently shut their website down and had noted that their “Experiment #1” was over and that experiment #2 was on the way.

So let’s consider you have a relaunch coming up too. What would you typically do? Make an announcement on Twitter or Facebook that a new version is on, then launch the product and then make an announcement once again about the product having launched? Yes, if you have a good number of people following your site, it works. But you can do better the Chatroulette way.

Instead of making the announcement even while the old version is on, how about shutting down the service for sometime? The fact that the site is not available online creates a lot more viral buzz. The initial message on Chatroulette read (emphasis mine),

“The experiment #1 is over for now. Thanks for participating – Redesigned and updated version of the website will be launched tomorrow

Not only did this message spread around the social web, but it also got people – even those who are not regulars – visiting frequently just to check if the site is back on. Now fast-forward a day ahead and the message now reads,

“The experiment #1 is over for now. Thanks for participating – Redesigned and updated version of the website will be launched shortly”

The web is now talking about the launch being postponed. Now assuming the new version launches tomorrow, expect a lot more virality to flow with people then speaking about the new version having launched finally.

What must have just been one news piece is now being told and retold several times over the week that gets a lot more social conversation going. This may not be a deliberate marketing attempt by Chatroulette (maybe their servers are stuck up and they are still fixing the issue) and agreed that this will not even work for all product launches – what if you have a business oriented website and even a day of downtime could mean catastrophe?. Nevertheless, this is one social marketing strategy that you could remember when you are doing a product relaunch.

Internet Gambling In USA To Be Legalized?

A report on The New York Times indicates that the United States Congress may be rethinking its decision on the ban imposed on internet gambling four years ago. According to the report, the House Financial Services Committe has approved a bill in this regard that would mandate the United States Treasury to commence licensing and […]

A report on The New York Times indicates that the United States Congress may be rethinking its decision on the ban imposed on internet gambling four years ago. According to the report, the House Financial Services Committe has approved a bill in this regard that would mandate the United States Treasury to commence licensing and regulating activities related to internet gambling inside the country.

This is just one step in the entire process of legalizing internet gambling though. Another measure is pending before the committee that will direct the IRS to begin taxing businesses and individuals on their revenues. The US Government is expected to earn as much as $42 billion from the opening up of internet gambling in the next ten years.

It will be interesting to see how the lobbyists who had apparently spent “tens of millions” to effect the ban in 2006 will react to this change in Government policy. What do you think? Is legalizing internet gambling a good thing?

Add Chat Room To Your Blog Or Website With Envolve

There are some services that you love simply at first sight and Envolve is definitely one of them. The concept of Envolve is simple – Add a Facebook-like Chat service to your own website or blog. To get started, publishers merely have to sign up for the service and insert a tiny piece of code […]

There are some services that you love simply at first sight and Envolve is definitely one of them. The concept of Envolve is simple – Add a Facebook-like Chat service to your own website or blog. To get started, publishers merely have to sign up for the service and insert a tiny piece of code to their website. Once done, visitors to the website may start chatting with other users online using the Facebook-like Chat box at the bottom right part of the screen. Users may either sign up or use the randomly awarded anonymous profile. Either ways, Envolve helps website visitors to get started on discussions with other readers.

Envolve is also available as a WordPress plugin and expect it to be installed on the GoRumors Social Web channel shortly. So how does the company make money? Well, the service is free that supports up to 5 simultaneous users. Other plans include a $9 a month plan for allowing up to 10 visitors and the costs rise constantly up to $99 a month for 200 concurrent users.

Envolve Chat client for Website Blog

I think that is the most tricky part of the service. While this is no doubt a very attractive feature that bloggers shall be interested in, this is not exactly a profit-center as far as the publishing business goes. Consequently I wonder if bloggers would really be keen on signing up plans simply to let more users join in a conversation.

What do you think?

Were Foxconn Employees Beaten To Death?

Foxconn has received a lot of negative press in the past few weeks owing to a spate of employee suicides. The suicides were blamed on the bad working conditions which led Foxconn to announce a substantial pay-hike to its employees last week.

But are these suicides actually homicides? A blogger who claims to be a Foxconn employee has now revealed that at least some of the “suicides” were actually homicides caused by the Foxconn security team.

The first time Foxconn was in the news to a related incident was when a Foxconn employee committed suicide after he lost an iPhone prototype. Back then, one of his friends had posted,

“Strongly condemn Foxconn’s security chief Zou Qinming. Sadly mourning our fellow student Sun Dangyong. They used illegal methods of assault, search, and detention to torture Sun Dangyong, causing him to choose to end his life. This is all caused by that group inside Foxconn; they hold undeniable responsibility.”

The recent spate of suicides too seem to have a similar pattern. Another Foxconn employee who claims to work in the logistics department says that these employees were actually beaten and insulted by the security department. The employee calls upon Security Department head Chinming Gu and his subordinate, Feng Liu as people without “any humanity”.

According to this employee, the ninth death on May 14 could not have been a suicide. He writes,

“A suicide victim could not have stabbed himself four times, then jumped off the roof, then flipped over the fence.”

These latest revelations are sure to open a whole new can of worms with respect to Foxconn’s working conditions and more importantly put pressure on MNCs like Apple to rethink their partnership with the manufacturer.

[via Epoch Times]

Mobile Patent Lawsuits – Who’s Suing Who

Earlier this week, HTC filed a lawsuit seeking damages against Apple’s use of HTC proprietary technology in its iDevices. If you hadn’t noticed, this was merely a retaliatory suit following Apple’s lawsuit against the Taiwanese handset manufacturer.

Patent lawsuits are a common business ploy to either force companies into surrendering their innovation or gain a mileage out of the success of competitors by extracting a licensing fee. And we have had plenty of such cases in the past few months.

In case you stopped keeping track of who’s suing who, here’s an graphical representation for you!
Mobile Patent Lawsuits

[via DataViz]

Disney Collaborative Work Platform To Work Like Google Wave?

It is not clear where Disney Enterprises intends to use such a platform but a recent patent application filed by the company appears strikingly close to the recently launched Google Wave collaborative development platform. There are of course a few functional variations in Disney’s ideas. Nevertheless, the objective appears to be the same. The patent application filed earlier this month reads,

“The present invention generally relates to a method for the collaborative creation of a work, and more particularly, to a method for creating a collaborative work one segment at a time by putting a multitude of segment candidates contributed by a multitude of segment creators to an automatically tabulated vote over a digital network in a series of rounds in which a single segment is selected per round for inclusion in the collaborative work until the work is completed.”

As noted earlier, the patent does not make Disney’s idea as comprehensive as Google’s. The main focus of the patent application makes it likely for gathering collaborative opinion and vote for particular issues and finding a consensus.

“The present invention provides a system that taps into the “collective genius” of a large group of individuals to select the best possible segments for inclusion in the final collaborative work, leveraging the judgement and creativity of each individual. The resulting collaborative work will have required minimal effort on the part of any single individual yet they will far exceed in scope and quality what would have been possible with a comparable individual effort, or the comparable collective effort of a group of individuals un-aided by the system.”

Disney Google Wave Competitor?Ok, one thing’s for sure – This is not meant to be a Google Wave competitor. If not, where do you think such an application will be used?

Disney Google Wave Competitor

WePad Tech Specs And Features

The WePad has come a long way from being ridiculed as the plural form for iPad. Folks at Ubergizmo have dug out some pretty interesting information on the WePad’s technical specifications. One striking observation is that the WePad appears to be much better than the iPad, but for its battery life.

Display : 11.6″ diagonally
Resolution : 1366 x 768
Processor : 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 Pineview-M
Memory : 16GB NAND Flash (optional 32GB NAND internal)
WebCam : 1.3 MP

Here is a comparitive chart of WePad and iPad. Note that the chart is in German

WePad vs. iPad tech specs features

[via UberGizmo]