The move against WhatsApp comes as Brazilian phone companies have urged the government to restrict the use of free voice-over-internet services offered through WhatsApp.
The phone companies argue that the rise of WhatsApp has damaged their businesses.
Source: Brazil court orders WhatsApp messaging to be suspended – BBC News
via Snapchat Can’t Stop the Parasite Apps That Screw Its Users | WIRED.
This should have been obvious from the beginning. Nothing can stop an end user from taking a screenshot of an incoming photo. Their “privacy” claim was bogus from the beginning and not sure why anyone took this business model seriously. More …
But even if Snapchat users’ data was accessed via someone else’s servers, that doesn’t make the breach any less of Snapchat’s problem, says security researcher Adam Caudill. He’s been reverse engineering Snapchat’s API to demonstrate exactly the problem of rogue third party apps for years. “Your average developer can build something in a day’s time that interacts with Snapchat’s API and saves everything that comes through it,” Caudill says. “Quite honestly, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.”
The video below will walk through the process of setting up and installing Prosody, a lightweight Lua-based instant messaging server application. We’ll be using Ubuntu 12.04 for our server, though Prosody is a cross-platform application and will run on Windows, OS X, and a number of different Linuxes. Strap in, grab your server, and let’s roll!
via How to set up your own private instant messaging server | Ars Technica.
The eye-popping price tag—about one-tenth the entire value of Facebook—is the shocker that’s drawn much media notice. But there’s another element to the story that is astounding: Koum and Acton have published a manifesto that radically critiques the foundation of modern capitalism—advertising—and denounces materialism. Facebook’s business model, of course, depends upon both.
via WhatsApp, Bought by Facebook for $19 Billion, Promotes a Radical Anti-Corporate Message | Mother Jones.
Will Koum and Acton become part of the Borg they so eloquently decried? The first rule of Fight Club was “You do not talk about fight club.” The second rule was “You do not talk about fight club.” Now that Koum and Acton are billionaires and über-players on the tech scene, will they continue to spread their anti-consumerism, tech-is-for-the-people gospel? Will they change Facebook, or will Facebook change them?
In June, Snapchat raised $60 million from investors including Institutional Venture Partners; that round valued the company at $800 million.
Three months later, Snapchat said its usage had nearly doubled, to 350 million messages or “snaps” per day, up from 200 million in June.
via Snapchat Spurned $3 Billion Acquisition Offer from Facebook – Digits – WSJ.
Snapchat moves “upward of 150 million photos through the service on a daily basis.” Compared to Facebook’s Instagram, which moves 40 million photos a day, that is a lot of photos moved for such a new company. The app differs in the fact that images and videos are ephemeral rather than permanent, something that is attractive to teens and young adults.
via Snapchat – 4-30-13.
I suspected the ephemeral nature of Snapchat was a mirage but surprised at how simple they made it. It is impossible to do what Snapchat claims because a simple screen grabbing app on the receiving end could also capture any photo or chat blurb before expiration. I am surprised at how large Snapchat has become. Here’s a pertinent blurb as to where the expired image files are stored. The original article gets into more detail.
Each of the images within the received_image_snaps folder had a .nomedia extension appended to the end of the file name. For example, the name of the file figure 3 is “h1a81hurcs00h1365528700423.jpg.nomedia”. This was likely done to prevent the images stored within this directory from being placed in the gallery or from being scanned by the media store. AccessData’s Forensic Toolkit recognized the .nomedia extension that was appended to the end of the file name and ignored it, displaying the images.
By moving SMS from the device to the cloud without the need for a phone client, the device becomes irrelevant, and consumers are given much more flexibility to communicate wherever and however they please.
via Innovation Generation – Sarah Reedy – Got the Message: Texting on Tablets Takes Off.
Back in the day this used to be called instant messaging.
Disappearing messages could prove popular beyond social sharing, and could also be profitable, if businesses can be persuaded to pay for the services. Another company, Gryphn, which released a free Android app in February (an iPhone version is coming out shortly), is seeing a lot of interest from paying enterprise users—including hospitals, a police department, and a financial institution.
via After Snapchat, Disappearing Messages are Everywhere | MIT Technology Review.
How long before we have an app that stores these “disappearing” messages at the receiving end?
Line gives you free voice calls (like Skype or Facebook’s new overhauled app). Then there’s basic messaging, but Line is a bit goofier with sillier emojis and stickers. There are teddy bears juggling eggplants, bunnies with flames of anger in their eyes, and a shy balding man surrounded by little sparkles and flowers. (Yes.)
via Line, The Messaging App That Took Japan By Storm, Crosses 100M Users And Enters The U.S. | TechCrunch.
Japanese trends do sometime take off here in the US. 100M is quite a large set of users. Facebook has about 1000M users.