I Want Sandy and Stikkit to Close on December 8

This is the risk of falling in love with free services. We’ve written positively about I Want Sandy and Stikkit in the past, two simple but effective productivity web apps. The company behind the apps, Values of n, has announced that both services will go offline for good on December 8.
This isn’t your typical “startup ran out of money” story. Rael Dornfest, the brains behind Values of n, accepted a fulltime job with Twitter. Rather than pass the web apps on to someone else or keep them going under Twitter’s roof, the services will just go away, leaving their user base high and dry.
While I’m happy for Mr. Dornfest and I’m looking forward to seeing how Twitter improves with the infusion of his technology and expertise, this should serve as another wake-up call to all who rely on free services by small companies. Often labors of love built during off hours, there’s nothing to stop developers from moving in other directions on short notice.
Did you use I Want Sandy or Stikkit? How will you replace these services in your life? Read further analysis on GigaOm.

Twitter With Your Favorite Productivity Web Apps

In an effort to justify the time that I spend on Twitter, I am always looking for ways to be able to claim that I use it for more productive purposes.

I am finding that many of the more popular web services have recognized that Twitter is becoming a communication hub of sorts. This leads to some great connection functionality built right into their apps that lets users get at their data from within Twitter. If you’re spending quite a bit of time in a Twitter client anyway, having the ability to quickly access or add to your info without needing to load another app can be significant.

So here are some of my favorite, or otherwise notable, applications that let me tweak every last bit of productivity I can from my Twitter time.

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LiveU Raises $9M for Live Broadcasting Hardware

LiveU, a mobile live broadcasting system, has raised $9 million in Series B funding, according to Globes Online. We first covered the company in our “One to Watch” feature in February.

The Kfar Saba, Israel-based startup has built a piece of hardware meant to displace television news satellite-transmission trucks. It combines existing cellular, Wi-Fi and WiMAX signals to transmit live video. Half the size of a laptop, the device can (supposedly) reliably and cheaply deliver up to 2 MB per second.

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MacBooks to get integrated WWAN?

Phone News is reporting that Apple may be adding integrated WWAN (3G) to the MacBook line soon.  Apple added support for EVDO directly into the OS making them the first OEM to do so and this only makes sense.  Interestingly the report says the wireless module will be an ExpressCard module situated behind the LCD screen for better reception.

The contract Apple has signed calls for integration into MacBooks via an integratedExpressCard module. However, Apple is planning to design the card to beseated behind the display panel, removing RF interference and enhancingsignal quality. Details however are scarce on the addition however. Itis not known which carrier has been select if the aircard module isUMTS or EV-DO, or if Apple plans to support multiple carriers.

Dave Matthews Stand Up & Crash Your PC

Dave Matthews’ is a musician I don’t care much about. I especially don’t care for his new album, Stand Up, that is said to be crashing Windows PCs. The CD forces you to install some software, and if you refuse and eject the CD, the next time you try and play it again, your PC will go boom! In words of Photo Matt “this is a very bad thing.” Yet another example of record companies are doing dumb things, in order to save their coke-snorting, martini swilling, price-gouging business model, that no longer works.