We reported on the RelayRides OnStar partnership back at CES, with RelayRides using the OnStar API to broaden its network of available vehicles. RelayRides allows its members to rent cars on a short-term basis directly from the car owners. It's a peer-to-peer car-sharing network. The partnership with OnStar will allow owners of cars equipped with the OnStar service to add their vehicles to RelayRides, giving them the opportunity to rent out their vehicles for cash. Locking, unlocking, and starting the vehicle can all be performed using the RelayRides smartphone app, and OnStar has made it easy for owners to add their vehicles to the service.
It may seem a bit unorthodox to make your personal vehicle available for rental to strangers, but RelayRides does have protections in place as they look to compete with the likes of Zipcar. What do you think? Would you use a service like this?
Read More | GM
Legally spy on your kids and/or mate with AT&T’s new FamilyMap. The service will track any AT&T cellie from another phone or PC. The recipient gets a text message that he/she is being watched and a scheduled service can send you information at a designated time. The family plan is available for 30 days free, then a monthly charge of $9.99 is applied for use on up to 2 members or $14.99 for up to five of them.
Read More | AT&T
Amazon has joined the ranks of other companies to offer a sweet deal for Valentine’s Day. Can’t get enough emails from your loved one? The online company is offering a 2fer deal. Buy one Peek for $79.99 and get a second free with instant rebate. The device comes in grey, pink or aqua, and has a color display, full keypad and simple menu usage. To get both, add an extra one at checkout.
Read More | Amazon
Emoji were such a hit in Japan that the emoticons are now available for everyone. The app is called Typing Genius. After you download it, you should play with it for a few minutes to activate it, then hit your settings “> General > International > Keyboards > Japanese” and click on the Emoji option. You are ready to text any other iPhones. No jailbreak is needed and the application is only $.99. Happy happy, joy joy.
Read More | Typing Genius
A study conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK has determined that text messaging while driving is more dangerous than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The report found that those texting had a 35% decrease in reaction time. That’s quite a bit higher than those who smoked the evil weed who were 21% slower and those juiced up who were 12% slower. The study also concluded that texters were more likely to wander out of their lanes and that their steering was 91% worse than those who drove without being distracted.
Read More | Times Online
The Federal regulatory powers that be have approved of creating an emergency alert system with texting delivered to cellies. There will be three types of messages. One is a national presidential alert in case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. A second would be an “imminent threat, ” such as a tornado or university sniper, and the last would be used for Amber Alerts. Each would have an audio sound associated with it. The FCC free service will be voluntary and is expected to be up and running by 2010.
Read More | USA Today
Constant texting need no longer be a pain with tiny cell phone keyboards or as expensive. Zipit2 sends text messages, music and video, and works on all IMs, including Yahoo, AOL, and MSN. It can handle multiple recipients at a time with a singular buddy list MyFriendz. The Zipit2 costs $149.00 and you will get 3,000 messages (1,5000 in and out) per month for a subscription fee of $4.99 when it launches in February with 10 free each month. Beginning December 20, the company is offering free messages until the end of January. Current users will receive an offer to upgrade. We suspect it will now be even more hazardous to text message while driving.
Read More | Zipit Wireless
Most fast food places already allow pre-ordering, so Papa John is trying to one up the competition by offering texting for pizza. Launched a couple of months ago, it is available in about 3,000 of their restaurants and came about after they found that approximately 20% of its sales comes from ordering online. Registered customers can save up to four “FAVS” and text that and the number on their cell phones. Considering that you could have always done this with a land line, and as technology becomes more advanced every day, we figure it will just be a matter of time before we can all text our fave fast food joints to “HTP” (hold the pickles.)
Read More | CNN
Practically lost in the Apple shuffle (no pun intended) is the new Palm Centro smartphone. With a 320 x 320 pixel touchscreen, the OS 5.4.9 supports 16-bit color in up to 65K shades and has a memory of 64MB. It features a QWERTY keyboard, IM, a dual-band CDMA2000 EvDO tuner, a 1.3 megapixel cam with 2x digital zoom, and a lithium-ion battery that allows 3.5 hours of talk and up to 300 of standby time. Available in onyx or ruby, it is Bluetooth capable and can handle micro SD cards for expansion. The Centro has plenty of other enticing features and can be yours with a subscription to Sprint service for $99.00.
Read More | Palm
Palm has announced the arrival of its new Treo 680 smartphone at Digitallife in NYC. With it you can call, e-mail, text message, and have web access. You can also keep a calendar, photos, music, and contacts close to you. Smaller than the 650, improvements include a new phone user interface, address book, call log, and wallpaper idle. Treo boasts a brighter, crisper screen so you can see who’s calling and improved access to multimedia applications. Check with Palm for availability and price.
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