Wuala – Free and Simple Online Social Storage

Wua.la social storage

Move over Box.net, Mozy and Xdrive, Wuala is here ! Those were exactly the words in my mind when I first heard about Wua.la a couple of months back. Back then, it was in a closed beta and I couldn’t try the service. Well, Wua.la is open to the public now and, boy, am I glad !

Wua.la is basically an online storage service. In that sense, it is no different than Box.net, Mozy or Xdrive. What makes it different is the social aspect of it.

Wuala is storage based on p2p technology. Each and every file that you store is broken down into several pieces and each piece is then stored (encrypted, of course) on wuala’s servers and also replicated on some of the other machines connected to the wuala network at any given time. Wuala’s servers keep track of the various bits of the file. The Wuala FAQ explains the technology as:

Wuala is based on a novel technology that we have researched for the most part at ETH Zurich. In addition to servers, Wuala can harness idle resources provided by participating computers. All data is first encrypted and then split into fragments which are redundantly stored on our servers and in the grid network. This allows us to save costs for downloads (bandwidth, electrical power) and thus to provide a better service for free, with a number of advantages that others just can’t offer: unlimited traffic, no file size limits, fast downloads, and so on.

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WordPress for iPhone

WordPress is working on a new mobile application for the iPhone.

The WordPress for iPhone App is nearly ready to go.  It supports WordPress.com blogs as well as self-hosted WordPress.org blogs running version 2.5.1 or newer.

This, I beleive, would be great for technology or news based blogs which would now be able to report on the latest greatest in the world almost as soon as they hear about it.

Facebook's cleanup act

No, facebook is not going away. And yes, they’re cleaning up their act.

If you are one of those for whom facebook, or FB as the fanboys call it, is the be-all and end-all of social networks, there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that facebook is working on version 2.0 of their social platform which is going to make your profiles a lot less cluttered than they currently are. The bad news is that the changes are going to be quite far reaching and might force you to learn a new way to interact with facebook and its applications.

I’m one of those who tend to think of the applications as the killer feature of any social platform. I mean, meeting people and interacting with them is all fine, but nothing beats the fun of turning your best friend into a vampire or sending over virtual roses to your high school crush. For people like me, the redesigned facebook will bring about a change in the way we interact with the applications. Until now, a user had to install an application to be able to use it, but after this change, the user will be able to see an application after a simple authentication and then decide wether he/she wants the application to be displayed in the apps tab. Yes, unlike the current interface, there will be a tab dedicated to applications.

As a facebook user, I think thats a good thing. This would atleast take some clutter out of my profile page, for sure.

For the developers, though, this isn’t such a good thing since the developers will now have to put in more effort in their applications. Given the short attention span of web users, the developers will have to impress the users enough to be able to make them add their applications to their apps page. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that the applications now have a whole canvas to play but the bad thing, like I said, is that the applications themselves will have to improve and the promotional methods, bordering on spamming, used by applications of the past, will not work now.

Only time will tell wether this move will be beneficial for facebook per se, since they really don’t have much time before the opensocial scene picks up.

Adium adds Facebook chat support

The big daddy of Mac OS X IM clients, Adium, is adding facebook chat support to its already humongous list of protocol support. This was mentioned over at the Adium blog yesterday. No word on when the next release is going to be out, but till then, keep your eyes on the blog. Another reason for all you teeny bopper facebook fans to switch 🙂