android security

A technology that helped start a global movement is now being put into the hands of the people. TextSecure, an Android app that encrypts text messages and is popular among activists in many countries, is now open source, thanks to Twitter.

Twitter acquired the company that makes TextSecure, Whisper Systems, last month. In countries where governments have more strict control over wireless networks, Whisper Systems’ apps have been extremely helpful to dissidents wanting to communicate and organize securely.

Now Twitter has just turned TextSecure into open-source software, meaning those same dissidents can engineer new features and adapt the software for their own purposes, potentially making them even more secure.

Whisper also has another app, RedPhone, which encrypts voice calls on Android devices, though that one hasn’t been made open source yet. Twitter says it’s going to open up Whisper’s products slowly, saying in a blog post that it needs to “make sure it meets legal requirements and is consumable by the open source community.”

Both TextSecure and RedPhone were unavailable when Mashable tried to download them from the Android Market earlier today. (See the clarification below.)

The apps certainly had their fans. Movements.org, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting “grassroots digital activists,” cites Whisper Systems’ apps in a how-to on securing Android devices. The company’s transition to Twitter wasn’t smooth for the users of its apps, though — the company had to take RedPhone offline right when Egypt’s elections were happening last month, leading to many complaints.

Clarification: After publication, Twitter told us that Whisper Systems “removed both services from the market, coinciding with their acquisition (and in anticipation of today’s news).”

More About: open source, texting, textsecure, Twitter

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The auto-correct feature on mobile phones can be a blessing for catching text message typos but also a nightmare when a word is automatically replaced with an embarrassing one.

Popular blog Damn You Auto Correct — which features a collection of outrageous auto-corrected text messages submitted by readers — has unveiled its top laugh-out-loud entries of the year, based on Facebook shares, tweets, comments and page views.

SEE ALSO: Real or Fake? The Texts Behind Damn You Auto Correct

Here’s a look at some of the most wild and blush-worthy texts that topped the list. Warning: Some of the content is not safe for work.




Intended word: “Monday,” not “Man boobs.”

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: damn-you-autocorrect, texting

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Speech is such a hassle, what with the mouth movements, facial expressions and eye contact.

History is just littered with opportunities where texting would have come in handy.




This comic was illustrated by Kiersten Essenpreis, a New York-based artist who draws and blogs at YouFail.com. For more laughs, check out our previous Mashable Comics.


More Mashable Comics:


The World Before the Internet
The 5 Biggest Video Game Flops of All Time
The Angry Birds Finally Get Some Help
The Existential Trouble With Social Gaming
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Mobile Sales Rep

More About: comics, funny, history, humor, iphone, mashable comics, Mobile 2.0, SMS, text messaging, texting

Yes, texting and walking is downright rude (we’ve told you time and time again), but now we have proof that it’s actually harmful. Well, at least to one’s ego.

Check out the above video, which has been making its way around the web today. In it, mall employees watch security footage (over and over again) of some oblivious girl falling face-first into a fountain whilst tapping away at her phone.

Somehow, this footage is endlessly amusing to us. Can you tell that it’s Friday?

[Via The Daily What]

Image courtesy of Flickr, lierne

More About: humor, Mobile 2.0, texting, trending, viral video, youtube