Last Friday Valleywag got a nice little scoop on a new Yahoo project called MyM that looks to be joining the universal chat space. The service is currently invite only, but already from the sign-up page it appears to be joining several Web services together. Included are instant messaging clients like AIM and MSN, along with social services like MySpace, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Friendster. Interestingly enough, there's also a checkbox for Meebo, which Valleywag is reporting will let Meebo users with their various client passwords authenticate logins using one master password, although there's no word with any tie-ins … Read more
A friend of mine related something very interesting to me the other day. We were discussing the relative value of social networking (Facebook, specifically) over email or "more traditional" ways to connect, given Slashdot's post that "email is for old people."
That struck me as wrong since the 12-18-year olds that I know (and I actually know quite a few since I'm involved in several neighborhood youth groups) may not spend most of their communication in email, but they certainly don't spend it in Facebook or MySpace, either. They take a blended approach, just as I do, and communicate with friends according to how close they are:… Read more
Feeling sheepish about having an awkward conversation with a friend or loved one? For teens, the answer is to have that talk over instant chat, according to a new poll.
An estimated 43 percent of teens who instant message use the tool for emotionally charged conversations, according to a poll from AOL and the Associated Press that was released Thursday. Those conversations might include making and breaking dates.
The poll--which questioned 410 teens and more than 800 parents--found that 22 percent of teens use IM to ask people out on a date or accept one, and 13 percent of teens … Read more
Under the Radar's Mobility is all about accessing Web services while away from the comforts of your home computer. While a great deal of that has to do with phones, many of the sites and services can be useful even when you're back at the homestead. The first four companies showing their stuff are Boopsie, Buzzwire, Dial Directions, and ImThere. While all four have mobile components, Boopsie and Dial Directions are phone-centric.
Boopsie showed off its mobile search application, which has both a standalone application for phones with open platforms like Windows Mobile and Palm, along with a BREW and J2ME application, and an ajaxy Web interface the company touts as iPhone-friendly. The search tool is focused around categories, which the user has to choose before seeing a search box. Boopsie's CEO Greg Carpenter did a live demo of the service on a Palm Treo for finding a Wikipedia entry. The results come up live and very quickly. It's also got prefix search, meaning you need to type in only the first few letters of a word in multi-word searches.
The company makes its money from theme-skinned clients and an enterprise version that can be tweaked for businesses wanting to use it as an internal tool. Eventually Boopsie hopes to integrate keyword placement with wallpapers, ringtones, and all the other things that are making buckets of cash for mobile-phone companies.The panel of judges chided Boopsie for putting too much pressure on the consumer who needs to pre-think searches by picking a category--something that goes against the current trend of letting users be "lazy" and simply type into a blank search box. Carpenter says consumers who use the application tend to use it extensively enough after doing a single search that they identify channels they go back to.
Buzzwire focuses on streaming media, which is made from audio, video, and written content like blog posts and news articles. The service is launching "early" next year, as soon as it can line up carrier support, although the company has had a 3000-user beta trial going since July. The application lets people find stuff to read, listen to, or watch online, and make customized lists of favorites that can be accessed on both the phone and from a desktop browser. There's also a social-networking component with a sharing service that lets users swap bookmarks with one another.
The big question from the moderators is how the company would maintain whatever deal it have with the carriers without being pushed out over time. Buzzwire's answer was that the content it serves up is king, and that it always tries to maintain compatibility on as many platforms as possible.… Read more
Todd Haynes' new Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There" stars Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw playing different aspects of Dylan's life. The film comes out later this month, but the soundtrack is here now. The 34 track, two-CD set mixes interpretations by what I call "Baby Bobs," artists, many born before the music was originally recorded, and "Boomer Bobs," Dylan's contemporaries. And curiously enough, the Baby Bobs mostly dish out for note-for-note recreations of the originals, while the oldsters veer off in different directions.
Jeff … Read more
Take heart, hapless Boomers. As unbelievable as it may seem, there's actually some technology beneficial to your aging generation other than keyboards with letters big enough for eye examination charts.
U.K.-based Cre8txt has developed a keypad that supposedly translates the IM slang of your literacy-challenged prodigy into the King's English, according to Shiny Shiny. When communication inevitably breaks down, just have Junior plug the device into his USB port and peck away, a la SMS. What comes out on the other end will, at least in theory, be a language that parents can comprehend.
The downside: … Read more
FriendVox has been on my radar for a few weeks now, and I finally gave it a go this morning. Its purpose is to link up to your list of Facebook friends and act as a go-between for on-the-spot instant messaging. The entire app runs in a set of small pop-up windows, and once you've given it the good graces of accessing your Facebook data, that's all it takes to get started. Considering Facebook doesn't yet have its own official IM solution, third-party developers are trying their best to come up with their own using the tools … Read more
Meebo released their Firefox extension earlier this morning. It lets you chat with people on six different popular chat clients, or sign in to all at once with your Meebo ID using a sidebar in your browser. The 64k extension is aimed at solving the problem of providing active notifications for friends and conversation activity--one of the most widely requested features from Meebo users, and the hardest to implement without something that has deeper access of your browser. If you've ever used Meebo before and been annoyed you can't tell a whole lot about what's going on when it's not your main tab or when minimized this extension solves that with colored taskbar pop-ups. And as an added bonus for the lazy, there's an option to automatically sign into the service every time you start your browser.… Read more
Meebo released its Firefox extension earlier this morning. It lets you chat with people on six different popular chat clients, or sign in to all at once with your Meebo ID using a sidebar in your browser. The 64k extension is aimed at solving the problem of providing active notifications for friends and conversation activity--one of the most widely requested features from Meebo users, and the hardest to implement without something that has deeper access to your browser. If you've ever used Meebo before and have been annoyed that you can't tell a whole lot about what's … Read more