• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

When a USAirways flight went down in a controlled landing in the Hudson River in 2009, Twitter technology brought the news to us instantly.

Now another communication technology has made a difference, this time it’s Apple iPhone’s Find My iPhone app.

Gizmodo reports that remains from the CASA 212 from Chile’s Air Force were found floating in the sea near Tierra Banca and Playa Larga, in a zone between the islands of Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara, and Juan Fernández airport. … The crash point was located thanks to one of the victims’ relatives. The victim had an active iPhone at the time of the crash. Presumably out of desperation, the relative tried the Find My iPhone feature that Apple offers for iOS devices. … It’s surprising that the iPhone survived the impact and continued to work, even more so because the crash was really extreme, according to the military sources.”

In a translated Chilean news report, Gizmodo reported that four bodies were recovered, while others were retrieved from the sea bottom using robots.

“After a search involving the commander in chief of the [Chilean air force], the conclusion has been reached that the impact was so powerful it would have led to the instant death of those on board the plane,” said Defense Minister Andres Allamand, according to an Associated Press report.

When you gotta go, you gotta go

Popular Science reports about CLOO, a new app that “connects those in need with friends or friends of friends that are willing to supply their bathrooms – for a price.” See what we mean by watching this video.

CLOO for iOS is not yet available.

From bathroom sharing to car sharing!

It’s called peer-to-peer car sharing, and you use an iPhone app to reserve and access a car for an hour, a day, or however long you’ll need it.

A company called Getaround enables car owners to rent their cars to a community of trusted drivers. The free service monetizes by taking a 40-percent transaction fee, which includes roadside assistance, insurance and support.

Launched in October 2009, Getaround is currently only available in the San Francisco Bay area. Seattle and Portland are being considered for possible market expansion. Getaround recently announced it received $3.4 milllion in seed money from Netflix founder Marc Randolph, Powerset founder Barney Pell, WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg, Redpoint Ventures, General Catalyst, Michael Arrington’s Crunchfund and others.

Find my friend!

Here’s an app that helps you find your friends.

According to the Los Angeles Times: “Once in the app, a user’s location is plotted on a map, and they can message anyone in their phone’s address book and ask them where they are. After a contact responds, they are both plotted on the map, even if the person responding hasn’t downloaded the Echoecho app. From there, users can continue to chat by text message, pick a meeting place on a map and share their location with other friends.

“We’ve all been in a situation when we’re near our friends but can’t actually find them,” Echoecho’s co-founder and chief executive, Nick Bicanic, said in a statement. “We wanted to create an app for that and we wanted one that people would actually use – that doesn’t destroy the battery life of your phone, broadcast your location to everyone in the world or force you to join yet another social network.

“Such an app made a lot of sense,” Bicanic said, “because most people already carry around their ‘real social network’ in the contact lists in their smart phones.

“That’s the social network that really matters,” he said.

If this, then that!

A new tool called IFTTT (If This, Then That), makes it easy for normal people to program two web tools together.

Popular Science reports: “IFTTT primarily works with social networking sites, including ones that make you wonder if ‘social networking’ actually means anything at all. That ranges from the obvious (Facebook, Twitter) to the niche (ZooTool, Posterous) to the useful (Craigslist, Google Calendar), with some basics like Weather and RSS Feed thrown in. It also works with your phone, so you can add SMS texting and even phone calls to the mix. You can create your own IFTTT command from a list, or customize what’s already there, or you can simply browse through the previously created IFTTTs, which the site calls ‘Recipes.’”

All you have to do is choose a trigger channel from sites below:

IFTT’s blog explains why the idea for the program came about.

Google buys premiere restaurant rater

According to the Los Angeles Times, Google Inc. has purchased Zagat, a publisher of widely used ratings of restaurants and other businesses. Zagat, founded by husband and wife team Tim and Nina Zagat 32 years ago, publishes guides and ranks restaurants.

“With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry,” said Marissa Mayer, a Google vice president responsible for the tech giant’s efforts in local, maps and location services, in a blog post.

“Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering,” she writes, “delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.

“Their surveys may be one of the earliest forms of UGC (user-generated content) – gathering restaurant recommendations from friends, computing and distributing ratings before the Internet as we know it today even existed,” Mayer said. “Their iconic pocket-sized guides with paragraphs summarizing and ‘snippeting’ sentiment were ‘mobile’ before ‘mobile’ involved electronics.”

Former White House Chief of Staff named to Facebook board

Former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles has been appointed to Facebook’s board of directors. You may recall that Bowles recently co-chaired President Obama’s Bipartisan Deficit Commission. He also served as chief of staff under President Clinton and was president of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive and co-founder, said in a statement, “Erskine has held important roles in government, academia and business, which have given him insight into how to build organizations and navigate complex issues. Along with his experience founding companies, this will be very valuable as we continue building new things to help make the world more open and connected.”

Bowles said that Facebook has “clearly emerged as a transformative force in the world. It’s no wonder given the talent Mark has put in place and the company’s focus and dedication to its mission. I’m really looking forward to getting to work and helping Facebook however I can.”

Bowles also holds board positions with the financial services firm Morgan Stanley, southern retail chain Belk Inc., real-estate developer Cousins Properties Inc. and the railway company Norfolk Southern Corp.

Facebook reportedly has beefed up its board of directors ahead of an anticipated $100-billion IPO next year. Facebook recently added Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive, to its board.

Facebook, the most popular social network in the world, doubled its revenue to $1.6 billion in the first six months of 2011, according to a Reuters report.

How may I help you?

In a sign of the modern times, home improvement and hardware retailer Lowe’s has purchased 42,000 iPhones to make their employees more efficient sources of information. All of benefit to you and me as we walk their aisles looking for that obscure nut or bolt. The idea being that the iPhones will make it easier and quicker to help you locate whatever you’re there to get.

Facebook groups your friends smartly

I have 400 Facebook “friends,” and recently Facebook added Smart Lists to my account, which collates certain friends with like interests or other commonalities into pre-packaged lists.

Here’s how Facebook automatically grouped them: People I work with; people I attended school with; people who live within 50 miles of me.

If you haven’t seen the feature at work on your Facebook page yet, give it time. Facebook has rolled it out to select users and will eventually implement their “Smart List” to everyone. Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 500 million users.

The Time Capsule

1683 – Austro-Ottoman War: Battle of Vienna

1943 – Hitler’s German paratroopers seize former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini

1944 – U.S. Army troops entered Germany for first time

1994 – Cessna crashes in White House front yard

Now playing at the Princess Theater in Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WND readers Susan Kelly of Clifton, N.J., and Phil Nuttley of Southampton, Pa., who correctly guessed actor Gregory Peck in his portrayal of Gen. MacArthur in the 1977 movie of the same name.

The film also starred Dan O’Herlihy and Ed Flanders, and depicted the story of Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and United Nations Commander for the Korean War. “MacArthur” begins in 1942 following the fall of Philippines, and covers the career of this military legend up through and including the Korean War and into MacArthur’s days of forced retirement after being dismissed from his post by President Truman.

The quote was: “The days of the frontal attack are over. Only a mediocre commander would use it. Your good commanders do not turn in heavy losses.”

This week’s quote: “I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Please be sure to add your town and state. Good luck!

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.