WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone review

WhatsApp Messenger proves to be a speedy and dependable messaging app. It stays continuously on as long as you are connected to the Internet and encrypts all your conversations.


Well-maintained: WhatsApp Messenger's popularity translates into a stable connection, excellent service maintenance, and good technical support from the developers. It's popular even among non-iOS users, so there should be no reason not to connect with buddies who are using Android or Windows devices.

Great design for iOS: This app's aesthetics blend in seamlessly with iOS. With its great design and intuitive arrangement of buttons and menus, this … Read more

Star Apps: Cody Simpson

Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson first found fame performing an acoustic mix of original songs on YouTube, among the Jason Mraz and Justin Timberlake covers. For his new "Surfboard" single, he takes inspiration from Elvis and the Beach Boys, urban dance music, and his model girlfriend Gigi Hadid, daughter of Beverly Hills "Housewife" Yolanda Foster. I chatted with Simpson about his change in musical direction, working with Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun, making his long-distance relationship work, and his favorite apps.

What's your new "Surfboard" single about? It's a real reflection on a … Read more

Amazon Prime at $99. Poll says it's a turnoff for many

Amazon's new $99 subscription rate could cause it to lose a fair number of Prime subscribers, at least based on the results of a new poll.

On Thursday, the retail giant announced that it's raising the annual cost of its Prime subscription service to $99 from $79. Prime offers several benefits, including free two-day shipping, a large Instant Video library, and free e-book lending. To defend its first-ever price jump in nine years, Amazon cited increased fuel and transportation costs.

But will Prime subscribers swallow the higher price when it comes time to renew?

In a poll taken … Read more

Use your browser for cross-platform instant messaging

Instant messaging may not be the communications dynamo it was a few years ago, but it's still and fast and easy way to connect with friends, family members, and coworkers.

Indeed, I've relied on it for ages to chat with busy editors, and I especially love being able to review message histories to recall what was discussed and when. It's also a great way to reach the tech-support guy who handles my Web hosting -- no waiting indefinitely for an email reply (which is especially important when email is not working).

Just one problem: Different people use … Read more

Yahoo, ICQ chats still vulnerable to government snoops

Nine months after Edward Snowden revealed extreme Internet surveillance by US and British intelligence agencies, some major technology companies have yet to take rudimentary steps to shield their users' instant messages from eavesdropping.

A CNET analysis shows that Yahoo and ICQ transmit the content of supposedly private instant messages in unencrypted form, exposing them to both government spies and malicious snoops on the same Wi-Fi network. AOL's AIM service encrypts content -- but leaks metadata about who's talking to whom.

These privacy problems were highlighted by a Guardian article Thursday, which revealed that spy agencies were eavesdropping on … 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

Amazon Prime Instant Video arrives in the UK

Amazon is having a bit of a spring clean in the UK, combining its Prime free one-day delivery service with its streaming video offering -- a move that will see Lovefilm Instant turning into Amazon Prime Instant Video.

For 79 pounds per year (approximately $132), UK customers will get unlimited access to Amazon's library of more than 15,000 movies and TV shows, as well as the company's free one-day delivery when you buy from its site, along with other goodies like the power to borrow Kindle books.

Read more of "Amazon Prime Instant Video arrives in the UK, for £79-a-year&… Read more

Instant Pot 7-in-1 multicooker adds it all up

Kitchen appliances seem to add more functionality every time you turn around. In fact, considering the amount of connected appliances that keep appearing, one doesn't even have to turn around; your updates will appear in the notification panel. Having appliances that talk to each other (as well as to your smartphone) will continue to trend as evidenced by this year's crop of smart appliances at CES 2014. But sometimes, they up the ante the old-fashioned way -- by piling on more features.

This is the third-generation of the multicooker from Canadian company Double Insight Inc. The new device … Read more

Amazon nabs streaming rights to entire 'Veronica Mars' TV series

"Veronica Mars" fans who want to brush up on the TV series before the movie comes out later this year can now do it online at Amazon.

The Internet retail giant announced Thursday that it has struck a deal with Warner Bros., making Prime Instant Video the exclusive online streaming home of the fan-favorite television series.

Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon, said in a news release that the "Veronica Mars" series -- centered on a high school student who doubles as a private investigator -- has been a popular DVD and … Read more

A smarter pressure cooker makes its debut at CES 2014

Instant Pot or iPot is a Bluetooth-enabled pressure cooker from Ace Sensor Inc. and Double Insight Inc. iPot was just unveiled today at CES and apparently, it's the very first pressure cooker to offer advanced functionality. It certainly seems like a simple smart way to combine cooking and tech into one tidy package.

First the basics: this thing can make you pretty much any food your heart desires. Want to steam, slow cook, or prepare something sous vide? iPot can do that. You can also use it to make soup, meat/stew, beans/chili, poultry, rice, multigrain foods, or … Read more