Video chat tool TokBox on Thursday morning quietly slipped in a new feature called public feed, which lets anyone with a Web cam leave a message for others on the service to reply to. Until now, the service has been mainly a P2P chat service between people who know one another, but this new feature is turning it into a social network for budding Web cam enthusiasts.
Just looking at the download count from Mozilla for the first 24 hours of Firefox 3, it looks like the browser upgrade is one of the fastest-adopted new program versions ever. Eight million downloads in the first 24 hours can't be wrong, right? Of course, no new program--even one as heavily beta-tested as FF3--is problem-free, and so I've got two fast course corrections for those struggling with incompatible plug-ins and Flash foul-ups.
Let's look at Flash first. Towards the end of my use of Firefox 2, before upgrading to Firefox 3, I noticed a peculiar Flash problem: … Read more
It's been a while since a major Skype release, and on Wednesday, the eBay-owned VoIP communication service will issue the first of several planned version 4.0 beta builds for Windows that are anticipated to drop over the next few months.
The biggest changes to come with Skype 4.0 beta (download) are visual and organizational. For the first time, the program contains complete prompts for running sound and Webcam checks within the program set-up. After two failed tests buffered by common troubleshooting suggestions, Skype will recommend hardware--like headsets and a Webcam--to reverse incompatibility errors.
Redesigned interface Skype 4.… Read more
On Friday, Yahoo released a new 9.0 beta version of the popular Yahoo Messenger chat client. The company may not have changed the version number at all, but it did add a boatload of new features and changes for those of us who like to play with software on the edge.
The most obvious change in the new release is an additional status message at the top of Messenger. Along with the conventional "Available," "Busy," and the like, there's now an additional line for Facebook-style status updates, such as "Surfing YouTube for Andy Rooney Game videos."
The other big change is larger emoticons. Since the Yahoo emoticons are likely the only reason I actually use Messenger instead of multiservice clients such as Trillian, Pidgin, or Digsby, I was very curious to see what these new emoticons looked like...and to learn if there are there any new ones!… Read more
Awesome Web 2.0 communications de-cluttering tool Orgoo is set to open its doors in the next couple of months. Its creators wouldn't pin down an exact date to me, but they have been nice enough to give Webware readers 500 invites to use the system in full before it's open to all (go here to get yours). The expansion of the beta is the last step before going open, and is for both scaling servers and getting more user feedback.
I've been using the tool on and off since I wrote about it in September of … Read more
A recent Gartner study estimates that 189 billion mobile messages have been sent by U.S. mobile-phone subscribers in 2007. It forecasts 301 billion mobile messages sent in 2008.
If correct, those figures would still account for only a small fraction of the 2.3 trillion messages to be sent across major markets worldwide in 2008 (a 19.6 percent increase from the 2007 total of 1.9 trillion messages). Asia is the biggest mobile-messaging market worldwide. China is in the lead, with approximately 560 billion SMS messages sent in 2007, followed by the Philippines' 430 billion and Japan's … Read more
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clients don't usually get the exposure that some of the other, more well-known chat clients do, but they can be even more useful than their big-name cousins. While most online chat has evolved into a way to communicate exclusively with friends, family, and co-workers, you can still meet new people with common interests if you use the right program.
Join Jason Parker in this First Look video to find out more about mIRC and to see if Internet Relay Chat is your cup of tea. Packed with useful features, it's easy to see how … Read more
Cerulean Studios' Trillian has long been one of the top multiprotocol IM clients. The program offers simultaneous access to the fab-five chat clients: Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, ICQ, IRC, and AIM, but still doesn't support Jabber/Google Talk in the basic version. For that, users will have to upgrade to Trillian Pro.
Despite lacking this major chat protocol, Trillian's interface is slick and sharp, a professional design that's way ahead of its competitors. Users can import passwords, buddy lists, and client preferences, as well as transfer files and encrypt chats. SMS text messaging and audio chat are … Read more
I've heard of death by a thousand cuts, but never cursors--that was until Firefly, a less-than-practical approach to letting your site visitors communicate with one another in real time. The service lets everyone see each other's cursors live as they zip around the page and lets them chat with one another via text. To strike up conversation, just start typing and a chat bubble will form above your cursor. Everyone's public chats are stored in a little queue, and frequent users can register to have their information and chat history saved to view at a later date.… Read more
As the self-imposed deadline of June approaches, Simplify Media remains in beta for Windows, Mac, and mobile users. The iTunes and Winamp plug-in that lets you share your music with friends has, however, added three new features: chat, a "now playing" message that displays what your friends are listening to from your collection, and a built-in password reset for the forgetful among us.
The chat feature is the strongest, allowing you to directly communicate with friends, family, and even enemies with whom you've shared your music. It's a great way to give and get some direct … Read more