Heysan (CNET review) is a free mobile instant-messaging service that connects to major IM networks, including Windows Live Messenger (previously MSN), Yahoo Messenger, AIM, ICQ, and Google Talk. The wholly Web-based service is roughly modeled on Meebo, with its single buddy list and tabbed conversations. Heysan is ad-supported.
In my folks' house, built in the early 70s, it is impossible to get a Wi-Fi signal to travel beyond one room. We've tried numerous routers, always with the same head-scratching result. And I know many others who've encountered similar Wi-Fi Kryptonite issues. So how's a home user supposed to ferry their Internet connection from, say, the downstairs den to an upstairs bedroom?
Answer: a powerline networking kit. Buy.com's got an IOGear package for just $46.49 (shipped!) after a $20 mail-in rebate. (First-time Google Checkout users can knock another 10 bucks off the price.)… Read more
TechCrunch reports this morning that the dream of integrating one's true social network (as revealed through email) with one's psuedo-social networks (as revealed through mad "friend-getting" on Facebook) may soon be realized. UK-based Techlightenment has quietly been developing its Socialistics program, which aims to bring intelligence to social networks:
But now they are developing the technology behind Socialistics to act as the basis on which to build other applications, and not just Facebook or OpenSocial versions. They started off with FriendVox recently, a VOIP client for Facebook, and are now working in stealth mode on an application to analyse your Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird email, in fact any POP3 or IMAP email account....
Eventually Techlightenment is planning for Socialists to be extended from analysing your email and social networks to gathering information about your daily workflow, IM and even phone conversations. Think a tag-cloud of your life, complete with graphs and sliders.
All of which is great, but I still think it misses out on the truly interesting things to do with that data. I already know who my friends are. Socialistics presumably makes that apparent with tag clouds and what-not. But that's a superficial and not-so-interesting use of the data.… Read more
Five 15-year-olds have also been questioned by the police in connection to this incident. The six teens are suspected of moving the stolen furniture into their own Habbo rooms.
The lines between "virtual" and "reality" continue to blur. At first glance, the idea of stealing virtual furniture seems ludicrous. But, the furniture was paid for with real money. A Habbo Hotel spokesman told the BBC that "the accused lured victims into handing over their Habbo passwords by creating fake Habbo Web sites." So there is also a phishing fraud involved.… Read more
Most of Facebook's reported 50 million users might be mostly ordinary people, but the site's latest legal issue involves celebrity law.
Earlier this month, shortly after the social networking site announced its Social Ads initiative, University of Minnesota law professor William McGeveran argued in a blog post that the new program might violate a number of privacy laws.
Social Ads, which have already begun to appear on the site, are designed to boost Facebook's lukewarm revenues by targeting ads directly toward the members in question. They allow Facebook members to sign up as "fans" of an advertiser and then have their names and profile photos displayed alongside the marketer's ads on their friends' Facebook pages. Problem is, that potentially violates a New York privacy law that protects peoples' names and likenesses from being used without written permission, according to McGeveran.
"It's not just a New York law. Most states have statutes that protect this. Sometimes it's called a right of publicity, sometimes it's called commercial appropriation, sometimes it's a right to privacy," said Brian Murphy, a partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, a New York-based media and entertainment law firm. "It's essentially that area of law that protects all of us, but in particular celebrities, from having their likenesses used without their permission."
The real problem facing Facebook, however, isn't that Social Ads are illegal. Social media, including Facebook, is an uncharted territory for the American legal system, and old laws are being applied to a new concept. The New York privacy law that McGeveran cited, indeed, has its roots "more than a hundred years years ago by some bigwigs back in the late 1890s who were tired of having their private lives splashed across the equivalent of Page Six," said Murphy.
Paging Mark Zuckerberg: at least one of your 50 million peons would like to have her name back, please.
Elizabeth Kuhn is a junior at the University of California-San Diego, majoring in international studies and Middle Eastern studies. Except her name isn't really Elizabeth, it's Kristin; she changed her first name to her middle name on her Facebook profile as a quirky experiment, and now the social network won't let her change it back.
"I took my first name off because, well, I'm not really sure why," Kuhn told me. (Full disclosure: I know … Read more
It had to happen (and not just because Savio asked when it would happen). Today Red Hat (which seems to be making a lot of noise during Oracle's OpenWorld event :-) and Hyperic joined forces to create a common systems management platform. The ice between the two has thawed at last:
For years, the JBoss Operations Network [JON] team has been developing code on the Hyperic platform. Red Hat will be contributing its updates and enhancements to this new open source project. Both companies will work to maintain, govern and extend management capabilities within the new open source systems management platform project. Additionally, Hyperic and Red Hat will work jointly to include this base in both future Hyperic and Red Hat systems management products....… Read more
WooMe is opening up its doors to everyone this morning after being in private beta for the last few months. They were one of the presenters at the TechCrunch 40 conference back in mid-October and opened up to a little more than 100 folks who wanted to be a part of the dating site. Since then they've been ramping up the site, and have made a few updates, including a change in focus from dating to simply finding other people to interact with.
The underlying idea is that you've got a minute to talk to someone one-on-one via Webcam, and after that minute you move on to someone else. If you connect with someone, you can befriend them on the service, and can opt in to get in touch outside the site for further communication via private message.
Instead of one massive pool of users to sort out, the site manages everything through themed sessions that are created by users. Each session has a certain number of spots, and to be a part of them you need to sign up and be there when it starts. If you're not, someone else can take your spot, and potentially your next ex-girlfriend. Session topics range from singles looking to mingle by geographical area, all the way to folks trying to find babysitters or carpool partners. You can also scope out who has signed up to be a part of the session before you throw yourself in the mix. Despite the site advertising a minute per person, the session creator can dial up the time up to 3 minutes.
To help schedule the sessions, users can set a time when they want it to start. In order to aid users in remembering they've signed up, WooMe is launching an alerts system that will give users a heads up when it's time to hop back on the site. Currently users can set up a 10-minute e-mail alert, but there are also plans to add SMS and IM reminders (via a bot) to help users get a ping before a session is about to begin.
In addition to video, users can also opt for voice chat that comes in tandem with whatever picture they've associated with their WooMe account. Interestingly enough, the majority of a profile on WooMe isn't populated by information the user puts in; instead, it comes from other users who can use tags to describe them. Users have their own tag cloud, which gives you a quick snapshot of what others think of them. You can see this on their profiles, as well as while chatting with them in one of the sessions. Besides the big "no thanks" button when you're chatting with someone, this is the only real use of user ratings. Users can also reveal their age, location, and real basic traits like body type and social archetypes.… Read more
eSnips has launched a service called Social DNA, a series of quizzes created in-house to help its users connect with one another. Quizzes can have any mashup of content--although most is text--ranging from toilet etiquette to political views to current events. The service is starting out with text, pictures, and audio clips, and is expected to expand to video in the near future.
What makes Social DNA interesting is how it pairs you up with other eSnips users as you go, providing percentages of how well you match other users based on your responses to the quizzing. Those who are … Read more
The New York Times is reporting that iGoogle and Yahoo Mail could be at the core of social-networking plans for the two search companies.
"Web-based e-mail systems already contain much of what Facebook calls the social graph--the connections between people," Saul Hansell writes in his blog posting. "Yahoo and Google realize that they have this information and can use it to build their own services that connect people to their contacts."
Hansell says he's heard from several Google executives that that's their plan. "We believe there are opportunities with iGoogle to make it … Read more