UNIFIED MESSAGING. Hangouts is Google’s unified messaging application that allows you to chat on your phone, tablet or computer and move among these devices seamlessly.

With Hangouts, Google muscles into messaging sector

Mobile messaging is a fragmented sector. Every few months or so, a messaging app for the phone launches. Unlike SMS, mobile messaging makes use of the Internet for connectivity and offers a multi-media environment with photos, sounds and even animated graphics and virtual stickers.

“K, CU” isn’t enough, we now have to include a graphical smiley, Emoji (an expanded smiley set), or even an animated avatar that reflects our moods. One-on-one texting is old school; group messaging is in.

It’s not surprising that mobile messaging, according to research company Informa, already exceeded texting in 2012. Informa, according to a BBC report, reported 19 billion messages sent per day through messaging apps in 2012, higher than the 17.6 billion text messages process daily.

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Encourage hacker culture

Facebook kicked off its historic initial public offering by holding another of the company’s fabled hackathons, which are all-night events that gather the social networking giant’s employees to work on products outside their office assignments.

Hackathon 31 was held on the eve of Facebook’s IPO and was a strong statement that even as it stands to raise billions, the company was still rooted in its “hacker culture.”

The word “hacker” has been sullied by years of use in media to refer to people who break into computer systems. The word originally meant a person who does clever tweaking of a system to improve its performance. “Hacking is ‘playful cleverness,’” said Richard Stallman, one of the world’s original hackers.

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Quick review: Article sharing with Facebook, Google+

Google opened to limited testing earlier this week its latest social networking service. Google+. What immediately catches your attention when using the service is its stark simple and yet beautiful interface. It makes Facebook look like MySpace, said blogger Ron Galloway.

Although Google is still actively developing the service (Googlers are directly engaging with users giving feedback on Google+) , I like what I see. So much so that I started campaigning with the running group that I co-founded, the Ungo Runners, so that we could possibly migrate there.

The huddle feature, which I still have to test, makes me drool at the possibility of uses on organizing group runs on-the-fly. It’s mentioned in this review by CNN’s Amy Gahran. But we all know this isn’t likely to happen soon (think of how long it took many of your friends to transfer from Friendster).

One major activity in online social networking is the sharing of articles and Google+ almost does it as well as Facebook. With bookmark services and applications still not supporting Google+ and with most websites still not using the +1 button, you have to cut and paste URLs into Google+.

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