Amen gets major feature boost and new investors

Hot Berlin startup Amen has got plenty of hype for building a simple app that lets you say if things are good or bad. But fresh money and major new additions — including deep integration with Facebook and iTunes — could make it a whole lot more useful.

Nokia Buys Plazes, Doubles Down on LBS

In a mobile world, the conversation opener is less likely to be, “How are you?” and more likely to be, “Where are you?” Since the goal of social networking technology seems to be to get us to speak less and look at screens more (all hail the mighty text ad), Nokia’s purchase of Plazes makes all the sense in the world. In fact by buying the social mapping service, the handset maker is merely continuing efforts that began with its $8.1 billion NavTeq acquisition, which should close soon.

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Plazes Builds an iPhone Plazer

For the past few days, I’ve been buried under a flurry of press releases coming out of O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 conference, currently under way just south of San Francisco. Many of the ideas/apps/startups are boring, a few are interesting and a couple are, well, pretty good. I’ll write about them after I’ve had a chance to use them.

Meanwhile, one app that looks particularly interesting is the iPhone Plazer, from London-based social mapping startup Plazes, a company whose products I occasionally use. The app, downloaded to the iPhone, will take coordinates from the “location library” and automatically “plaze” you, which is just a company-branded way of saying that it will geo-tag your location via the mobile device. So far, Plazer software has been available only on PCs and Mac.

Founder Felix Peterson has promised an early preview of the app once the iPhone opens up. I will update the post later; in the meantime, check out the screenshots.

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