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The 404 1,432: Where we tell him about the Twinkie (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Samsung Galaxy S5 has tepid design, but plenty of specs appeal (hands-on).

- Are selfies causing the spread of head lice?

- BroApp sends automatic text messages to your girlfriend or SO.… Read more

Uber to add push notifications when surge pricing subsides

Uber's surge pricing has proven to be a sure-fire way to get users up in arms. But, it appears the ride-sharing company is working to placate that anger.

The company's CEO Travis Kalanick announced Monday that Uber is planning to send app push notifications to users when surge pricing subsides -- that way, users will know when fares have returned to normal rates, according to GeekWire.

"One of our goals for 2014 is bringing humanity to our communications," Kalanick said at the Launch Festival on Monday, according to GeekWire.

Surge pricing is when Uber charges extra … Read more

WhatsApp blames latest outage on network router

A glitch that took down the WhatsApp messaging service Saturday was caused by a network router issue, the company said on Sunday.

The service was unavailable to a large number of users as of around 11 a.m. PT Saturday, a problem confirmed by WhatsApp's "WhatsApp Status" Twitter feed. WhatsApp was back in service by 2:47 p.m. PT on Saturday, according to an updated tweet.

On Sunday, WhatsApp founder Jan Koum issued a statement placing the blame on a network router.

"We are sorry about the downtime," Koum said in the statement sent … Read more

WhatsApp to go big on voice communications in 2nd quarter

BARCELONA, Spain -- Mobile messaging startup WhatsApp will expand to voice communications in the second quarter, co-founder and chief executive Jan Koum announced Monday.

"We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably," Koum said in a speech here at Mobile World Congress. "We're going to introduce voice on WhatsApp in the second quarter of this year."

The startup has steadily risen in importance through a simple text-messaging service based on people's mobile phone numbers but avoiding carriers' common text-messaging charges. … Read more

HoyosID uses your face to securely sign you into any Web site, launches in March

BARCELONA, Spain -- Security is one of the biggest issues facing basically anyone who does anything online -- not just the constant hackings and data exposures, but the sheer challenge of managing a mountain of disparate passwords and security schemes. Trying to keep everything straight is increasingly impossible, which leads many to turn to rather less secure system. You know: pads of paper and shared online documents.

We just got a demonstration of a solution from Hoyos Labs what looks like it could be a better system. Called HoyosID, it's an app (iOS and Android) that uses biometric data … Read more

For Samsung, a new year, a new Gear -- and new apps

For Samsung, it's a new year, and a new smartwatch -- and that means new apps.

The world's biggest smartphone maker unveiled the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain -- both powered by its homegrown Tizen operating system, instead of Google's Android.

Apps were a key factor to Samsung's decision to introduce Tizen through its smartwatch, and no doubt the company will make hay about the apps on Gear 2 at its Unpacked event Monday at 11 a.m. PT.

In its short life since launching in September, … Read more

What's up, WhatsApp? Facebook's $19B baby hit by outage

In the Interesting Timing Dept., WhatsApp -- the messaging app acquired this week by Facebook for the eye-popping sum of $19 billion -- is in the midst of an outage, after also reportedly experiencing a short run of downtime Friday night.

The service became unavailable to a large number of users starting at about 11 a.m. PT Saturday, after a 20-minute outage Friday night, BNO News reported. And WhatsApp's "WhatsApp Status" Twitter feed confirmed the outage:

sorry we currently experiencing server issues. we hope to be back up and recovered shortly.

— WhatsApp Status (@wa_status) February 22, 2014Read more

Use Meet Me Halfway for Android to find a meetup spot

When you're trying to meet up with a friend or family member, it's sometimes hard to decide on a halfway spot. You may prefer a restaurant that's near you, and the same may be true for the person you want to meet. Meet Me Halfway is an app to help find the places in the middle of two points, so travel is equal for both people.

Grab a copy of Meet Me Halfway for your Android device. The app is available for Android 2.2 and up.

Put in your address, or a point near, … Read more

Photo Cast lets iOS devices send photos to Chromecast

After Google opened up the Chromecast to all developers who were interested, it was only a matter of time until we started seeing apps hit Android and iOS markets alike.

One such app that's especially useful for iOS users, will send photos to a Chromecast. The app is called Photo Cast and is available for free.

After installing the app the only setup required is to grant the app permission to access your photos, and tapping on the Chromecast icon to select the device you'd like to send the photos to.

Then, any photos you select will show … Read more

WhatsApp: Facebook's Trojan horse for subscription services

Opinions about whether the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook for up to $19 billion in cash and stock are all over the map. Mark Zuckerberg is either brilliant for taking out a competitor with the potential to create an adjacent social network with more than a billion users, or he just bought the next MySpace or Geocities.

The Facebook CEO is clearly focused on colonizing and mining the entire planet with his growing collection of social network services.

"Our explicit strategy is for the next several years to focus on growing and connecting everyone in the world," he … Read more