WhatsApp passes 500,000,000 active users

According to the WhatsApp blog:

Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users. In the last few months, we’ve grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day. We could go on, but for now, it’s more important that we get back to work – because here at WhatsApp, we’re just getting started.

Now that’s quite impressive, not only for the number of active users but for the amount of the activity as well.

Chinese cloud service offers 36+ TB of free storage (!!!).  The biggest disadvantage here is that the whole website is in Chinese, but apparently there are several translations and guides in other languages available online.  Immediately after the registration you get 7 GB.  Once the desktop client is installed you get another 10 TB.  If you install a mobile client, you get additional 26 TB.  And then you can increase it even further by clicking through ads, promotions, etc.

Via Yuri Timofeev.

Goodbye Google Reader

Today, June 30th, is the last day of Google Reader availability.  If you completely ignored all the noise around the matter, run quickly, export and backup your feeds.  Tomorrow Google Reader will be no more.

Google Reader

 

Of course, I’ve been on a quest for the Google Reader alternative.  Of course, I found plenty.  And, of course, none of them are exactly the same.  I’ve decided to stick with Bazqux, and I’ve paid my yearly subscription fee a few month ago.

It’s also worth mentioning that a lot of work went into many of the alternatives over the last months, as more and more people started looking for the new RSS home.  Some of that work was quite noticeable.  For example, Feedly changed in the last 100 days so much that I had to re-evaluate it completely.  And, also, new services were introduced – such as Digg Reader.

Still, with all that, it’s sad to see Google Reader go.  I’ve used it every single day and relied heavily on it for years.  Paraphrasing the classic quote: so long, and thanks for all the feeds.

VaultPress Lite

VaultPress, “the world’s best WordPress security, backup and support”, has recently introduced a Lite plan.  It’s only $5 per month and it covers most of the essentials:

  • Daily backups that happen automatically, so you can focus on creating, not logistics.
  • Automated site restores, so you can restore your entire site with a single click.
  • Thirty days of saved backups, so you can go back in time to restore the last clean version of your site.

It’s cheap enough for small, personal blogs, and it’s more than perfect for start-ups and small businesses too.  $60 per year for healthy full night sleep is nothing in my book.

1TB free Flickr storage

Gigaom reports:

“We want to make Flickr awesome again,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said.

Flickr is getting three big updates. All users will get 1 terabyte of photo storage for free. The site’s s interface is also being redesigned to focus on full-resolution photos — both in photo browsing and in search — rather than words and links. Users will be able to share the full-resolution photos by email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

This sounds amazing!  Also:

Flickr Pro, which had allowed users to pay for more storage space, is going away. “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore,” Mayer said (though she acknowledged that there are “different skill levels”). There are still a couple of paid options: Users can pay $49.99 a year for an ad-free interface, and can add a second terabyte of data for $499.99 per year. It’s unclear what will happen with existing Flickr Pro memberships that users have already paid for.

I’ve been a paying customer of Flickr for years.  It was worth every penny.  But, at the same time, it was difficult to convince my friends to use it as there were some severe limitations for free accounts.  It’s nice to see them gone now.

The only weird bit of the blog post is this:

And, in addition to the iOS app Flickr launched last December, Yahoo is launching an Android app.

Flickr already has an Android app.  So I’m assuming they will just revamp that as well.

RFC 6585 – Additional HTTP Status Codes

If you’ve missed it like I did, RFC 6885 has been published recently.  It introduces four additional status codes for the HTTP protocol.  The codes are:

  • 428 Precondition Required
  • 429 Too Many Requests
  • 431 Request Header Fields Too Large
  • 511 Network Authentication Required

Here is a blog post that gives a nice summary of purpose for each of the new status codes.

myGengo – human translation service that scales

Via this GigaOm blog post I came across an interesting service – myGengo.  I’ve had plenty of projects that dealt with multi-lingual issues, and professional, punctual translations were always a pain in the process.  So it is nice to see a company that uses, in my opinion, a very correct approach to the problem.

Right now, the translation market has two main segments: a high-end market dominated by full-time in-house translators, and a low-end market dominated by Google Translate. myGengo’s service aims to occupy the space in between the two markets by offering “human translation services at scale.”

Essentially, myGengo is like an oDesk built specifically for translation services. myGengo has assembled a group of more than 3,000 translators worldwide who work on a freelance basis through myGengo’s own dedicated software program. myGengo serves clients directly, and also has an API to let other startups include myGengo’s translation services in their apps. myGengo says it is targeted at people and businesses who occasionally need high-quality, fast translation services, but aren’t in the market to hire an in-house translator for the job.

0.5 USD cents per word, 1 to 16 hours per page (depending on the complexity of the document), human translation with pre-tested personnel, API integration – it sounds almost like a dream.  Of course, for now they only support a dozen or so languages, but given that they just received a $5.25 million Series A funding, I expect the service to expand quite a bit in the nearest future.