Ether and Riya Betas

When time affords, I’ve been looking over two widely hyped webbetas – Riya and Ether.

Riya is a “next generation”Flickr online photo web app, enabled with facial and textrecognition. Expectations about the facial and text recognitionhave hugely scaled back from the hysterical claims being mademonths ago (now they’re giving long lists of caveats, warning thatit’s just getting started and that you should focus more on thephoto album capabilities). Given that this is supposed to be thesite’s killer feature, it will be interesting to see where they gowith that. I’m going to try it out with a load of test photos andsee how it compares.

Ether is a ratherinteresting service that arranges calls through phone serviceproviders and clients, charging a, ahem, “pimp fee” for theservice. It’s quite a clever idea, and can greatly simplify theinfrastructure and billing requirements for small phone serviceproviders. On the downside it requires callers to register withEther, which is a requirement that will definitely reduceacceptance (if it was “976” style billing, where the billingautomatically goes on the phone bill, I would imagine it would dobetter, though of course that isn’t really possible globally).

I can’t really see a huge market for this service, but they’vebuilt quite a nice web app for the system, and the phoneinfrastructure seems to work well.

Potentially it could be used for easily billing out phonesupport for those who follow the software development model of”release the software for free and then charge for support”.

Dennis Forbes
1-888-MY-ETHER ext.01384785

(Note: I don’t actually expect anyone to callthat, as telephone style services aren’t really my forte. Perhapsif I got in the astrology industry it would have more utility).

On the topic of neat web services, and while thinking of Ether,there’s another clever one I was pointed to recently –