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Great expectations for next PlayStation

Watching Friday's CNET Update can earn you a trophy:

It's likely that Sony will show off a new PlayStation at its event on Feb. 20, and CNET's Jeff Bakalar takes a look at what to expect -- and what the PS4 needs. There is also a report of a new PS4 controller, with images obtained by Destructoid.

Also in today's tech news roundup:

- Skype has a new feature that lets users leave a video message for a friend when they are offline or on another call.

- Facebook is filtering Graph Search results when it … Read more

Brolly umbrella leaves your thumbs free for texting

Perhaps someday we'll see a reboot of the 1952 Gene Kelly classic done as "Textin' in the Rain." To pull off the elaborately choreographed texting scenes, all the actors will need to be sporting Brolly umbrellas.

Let's consider how we handle umbrellas when we want to use our phones. We tuck them under armpits, fumble with them in our hands, and sometimes drop them in the process.

Brolly umbrellas are designed to keep your thumbs fancy free and at the ready for all your smartphone texting, Web searching, and e-mailing needs. Heck, you might even want them free for actually dialing and making voice calls.… Read more

OoVoo app to bring voice and video calls to BlackBerry 10

With the long-awaited unveiling of BlackBerry 10 finally coming later this week, it's no surprise that we are hearing a lot of chatter about app developers planning to bring their work to the new platform. The latest to join the club is OoVoo, the free voice, video, and text-messaging app that has for some time been available on Android and iOS.

Even though it's widely speculated that the BlackBerry 10 OS will come with a new video-chat-capable BlackBerry Messenger app baked in, an app like OoVoo would still be hugely valuable.

BBM would presumably only be good for … Read more

Send voice messages with the HeyTell app for Android devices

Walkie-talkies don't offer stellar range unless you spend hundreds for them. This free app gives you a similar experience over the phone. HeyTell doesn't give you a large amount of time to leave your message, but it works just as quickly as a text. It's a good way to sneak someone a voice mail when you can't find working voice coverage.

HeyTell only gives you about 2 minutes to speak your message. This should be enough to say what you need to say, but you might fill up a person's inbox if you try to … Read more

Bad parking job? Text the driver through the license plate

Trying to find parking in San Francisco sometimes feels likes a car-based version of "Survivor." It's not pretty. Cars block driveways, drivers forget to curb their wheels, lights get left on, and meters run out. These are all reasons why you might want to contact a vehicle's owner. If everyone in San Francisco signed up for CurbTXT, then it would be easy to get in touch.

Drivers can sign up for CurbTXT by registering their license plates and phone numbers. A sticker on the car gives people an anonymous way to contact the driver through text … Read more

Microsoft's Messenger service to live on

Microsoft's Messenger service will survive despite the upcoming death of the Live Messenger client.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it would retire its Live Messenger client on March 15, forcing users to move to Skype for their IM needs. Since buying Skype in 2011, Microsoft has continually tweaked the VoIP service, which now supports Microsoft account logins and integrates with Outlook.

But the Messenger service that supports Live Messenger isn't going away, at least not anytime soon, according to blog site ArsTechnica.

Messenger uses two network protocols that allow third parties applications to tap into its service. … Read more

Turn your mobile devices into a walkie talkie

Walkie talkies have been around since before cell phones, but until now they weren't easily accessible on the same device. Sometimes when you need to send out a quick message, making a phone call can be time-consuming (especially if you don't have the time to chat), and sending out a text message can be a hassle. Typing out those longs strings of letters and hitting 'send' is a huge pain when you're juggling five things at once. That's where these apps come in. Voice messaging finds a happy middle ground between the solemn phone call and … Read more

Microsoft to kill the Messenger on March 15

Beware the Ides of March if you are a user of Microsoft's Windows Messenger Live.

Microsoft announced last November it would soon retire its instant messaging client in favor Skype, which Microsoft acquired in October 2011. Today it began informing Messenger users that the service would go dark for the majority of users on March 15.

Hello,On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft … Read more

Text and call for free with Libon

Libon is a communications app that lets you make free calls and texts with other Libon users, create custom greetings, and offers a subscription service that unlocks certain features, but gives you limited talk time.

Like popular chat app Whatsapp Messenger, Libon lets you chat with other friends who have the app, but you also have the ability to make free calls to other Libon users with HD-quality sound.

Main features Upon launch, you'll see the app's home screen with icons for seeing the latest notifications, your contact list, your recorded greetings, a call button, and a write … Read more

WhatsApp processes record 18B messages on New Year's Eve

WhatsApp has a message for its users -- a lot of them.

The mobile messaging service announced today that it set a personal record on New Year's Eve, processing 18 billion messages on the last day of the year. The company said it delivered 7 billion inbound messages and 11 billion outbound messages, surpassing its previous record of 10 billion messages processed in one day back in August.

On Dec 31st we had a new record day: 7B msgs inbound, 11B msgs outbound = 18 billion total messages processed in one day! Happy 2013!!!

— WhatsApp Inc. (@WhatsApp) January 2, 2013Read more