Make Calls Using Facebook
Canadians looking to cut down on the number of cell minutes they use each month might want to look into a new feature included in Facebook's recent update of its messaging app. If you are an Apple/iOS user, this new update gives you the ability to call other Facebook friends using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
VoIP calls use a device's data plan, not regular cellphone minutes. This new feature, currently only available to Canadian Facebook users, isn't unique. People have been using Skype and, more recently, Google's call from Gmail feature to talk with friends and family without racking up huge phone bills for some time now. One of the big differences is Facebook already has a huge built-in user base. Hopefully they'll roll out the feature for Android and Windows 8 devices after the successful test with Apple phones and tablets.
Download Facebook's Messenger App from the App Store to give the new phone service a try.
Whether you're into mixed martial arts (MMA) or just captivated by well-told stories, Vice magazine's new offshoot, Fightland, will be right up your alley. Like the formerly Montreal-based media empire's other projects that dig deep into the subject matter, Fightland isn't just going to be about the kicks, grappling and knockouts of the controversial and extremely popular sport.
"Mixed martial arts is a world of tacticians, moralists, spiritualists, traditionalists, eccentrics, disciplinarians, innovators, and nerds -- men and women who willingly lock themselves away from the world to master the fine art of fighting the way others master the piano or quantum theory. Fightland tells the story of MMA as it is today: an ever-expanding, ever-evolving culture where athletes sacrifice their blood and bodies in a shared search for something like art."
From a profile of Underground Combat League founder (and fighter) Peter Storm to an examination of the economic, social, even political struggles of Cuban fighters, Vice's visual storytelling and impactful writing seem like an interesting fit for the MMA world.
Video of the Week: Big Fun Festival Trailer
Tucked at the tail end of January, the Big Fun Festival is a great way to get out of the house in the dead of winter, see some local bands on the rise and kick-start 2013. Running Jan. 24-27 at various venues (mostly in the Exchange and downtown), the second annual festival includes post-rock act Warsaw, veteran hip-hop MC Pip Skid, catchy pop duo Cannon Bros., tech-house DJ Nathan Zahn and a bunch of other local acts worth trucking through the snow and cold to see. Visit bigfunfestival.com for more details.
Track of the Week: Animal Teeth -- Borealis Buffalo
This song features quirky indie-pop from Winnipeg's Animal Teeth, who will be performing at one of Big Fun's events on Jan. 26 at Gio's. Check the rest of the sampler for more bands performing at the fest.
Anthony Augustine is a freelance music, technology and pop culture writer who spends way too much time in front of a computer. Got a site you think he should see? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/anthonya.