How to cure WhatsApp’s picture hoarding

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WhatsApp sure does like your photos and videos.
WhatsApp sure does like your photos and videos.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

WhatsApp is a pretty popular messaging app that went from 200 million daily active users in April of 2013 to 800 million of them as of April 2015.

Unlike competitor SnapChat, however, WhatsApp will save every photo and video file sent to you to your Camera Roll. This could make for some embarrassing moments when you’re swiping through your photos to show mom your latest cat pictures.

It could also start to clog up your iPhone, really, with all that racy video your friends keep sending you.

To avoid these situations, you can disable the “feature.” Here’s how.

Create your own private disappearing chatroom with hack.chat

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Now you can chat in your own private, disposable room in seconds.
Now you can chat in your own private, disposable room in seconds.
Photo: hack.chat

There are a dozen-odd ways to chat with people these days, from IM to Twitter direct messages to apps like Slack, Snapchat and GroupMe.

If you want to create your own with no more fuss than typing in a unique URL in your web browser, though, you can’t go wrong with hack.chat, a new, bare-bones, no-frills approach to private chat that looks like something out of the DOS era. And I mean that in a good way.

It’s dead simple to use (though you can also run your own server) and incredibly disposable. Perfect for those quick chats you need to make happen that you may not want on something like Slack, which keeps an archive of all the inappropriate comments you’ve ever written.

How startup Cubr might kill the business card and foster dangerous liaisons

Rolling with Cubr. Photo courtesy Sébastien Leidgens.
Rolling with Cubr. Photo courtesy Sébastien Leidgens.

SAN FRANCISCO — Sébastien Leidgens wants to put a new angle on the business card.

His invention, Cubr, is a six-sided die that connects people through private mobile web chat. When a red, blue or green Cubr is tossed your way, you hit the website or download the app, then enter the code to start your instant message convo or share photos with the person who gave you the die. The enterprising Belgian, a former project manager at a digital marketing agency, is taking a gamble on the idea that people are tired of handing out one-dimensional cards.

“It’s a business card for non-business people,” Leidgens says in an English heavily influenced by his native French. “Young people don’t have business cards. This you can use for private situations in everyday life. It’s a lot more fun and outside of the usual public circles.”

Hide your Facebook online status from your nosy boss

Illustration: Walter Appleton Clark/Library of Congress
Illustration: Walter Appleton Clark/Library of Congress

Chatting on Facebook has become rather de rigueur for many of us these days, as the social networking giant makes it easier and easier to stay in touch via its blue and white website and dedicated mobile apps.

If you’re anything like me, chances are that your buddies chat you up as often on Facebook Messenger as they do on iMessage. This multiple platform chatting solution is all fine and dandy when you’re just dealing with your friends, but what about the boss? Your mother in law? That friend who is trolling your Facebook page to see why you’re not at her party?

You need a way to hide the fact that you’re online and chatting from these folks, and we’re going to tell you how.