I’ve released Quick Bit Notes (QBN) as an experiment in an unconventional method of person-to-person asynchronous communication. One person drops off a personal note for another person. That note is stored and presented in image form to the recipient. The actual text is never stored on QBN and never transferred over the wire when the recipient views the message.
QBN offers an alternative to complicated software, shared keys, and so on. All one needs to use the service is a browser and Gmail email account.
The service is running on Google App Engine for Java and is available as open-source on Google code: http://code.google.com/p/quickbitnotes. It should be relatively easy to deploy in your own App Engine appspot “slot” (refer to the README in the source archive). If you want to be an SVN contributor to the code, just let me know.
In the process of developing Quick Bit Notes, I also created a small Java text-rendering library, based on NETpbm, that operates within the constraints of the Google App Engine JRE “white list”. This is a stand-alone JAR that can be used with other App Engine projects and is also available as open source on Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/litetext/
If you’ve followed along, by now you may see some applications of QBN for your own personal communications. If you’re not seeing it yet, QBN is probably not for you, so please don’t waste your time or mine spending time on it. And, please, dear god, don’t ask me questions like “what’s the distribution strategy” or tell me all the reasons why this service will never take off and how Twitter is so much better.