The 'TextCu.be': Social network on a keychain?

It's a device designed to get messages from designated social networks. But why?

If you're becoming hopelessly addicted to Twitter or any other social network, then by all means stay away from this device. Called "TextCu.be"--being of Web 2.0 in nature, it obviously can't have a normal spelling--this is a dedicated wireless receiver designed to get text messages from designated social networks.

TextCu.be

There's just one question that immediately comes to mind: Why would anyone buy a device like this when you can set up instant messages from social networks directly to a mobile phone?

TextCu.be's makers claim that it's preferable because "older methods used current technologies in a 'mashup' that weren't all too pleasant, standardized, or secure," but we're not sure who will find it worth the $100 price and--worse yet, in our opinion--the burden of carrying an additional device. And even though it's touted for being small enough to fit on a keychain, as Slippery Brick says, that could also work against it: The screen is tiny, and the device maxes out at 80 messages.

Maybe it's meant for the ultimate loyalist who wants a standalone product that can pay homage to a particular community, customizing it with "over 100 colors and designs and widgets for all the current social networking sites," as described by the company. But if that's the case, professional counseling may be a better way to spend that C-note.

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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