eBuddy is a strange mix of a typical Web company. While the lowercase "e" in front of the name might suggest it's a survivor of the early 1990s dot-com boom, it actually started out in 2003 and resides not in the Silicon Valley, but Amsterdam. It's also one of the few companies I've seen that has put almost its entire press kit on Flickr. eBuddy specializes in Web-based IM, which might sound familiar if you've ever used Meebo or the Web version of your favorite chat client. eBuddy works with three of the major … Read more
Morf, an Australian startup, is releasing today Moji IM, a multi-IM client that works on the major IM networks (like Trillian does), but with with a twist: The software will display a 3D, animated, virtual "pet" alongside the chat window. The pet will discern your mood based on the text you're typing, and change its behavior to match. In other words, if you are saying happy things, you pet will bounce and prance around. If you're complaining, it will sulk. Update: Morf will not be releasing the Moji IM client today, after all. The company is … Read more
Here's a new service I can't wait to use--in part for its good looks, and also for its attempt at combining several different news and social services together in a user-friendly manner. It's called Streamy, and the easiest way to describe it is a mashup of Google Reader, Meebo, Del.icio.us and Twitter. The emphasis however, is on Web content, and how to make it both easy to read and share with others.
We got word earlier today the team behind Meebo has feverishly been working since last Friday to get it working on Apple's iPhone. One of the handset's shortcomings is its lack of an instant messaging client. Meebo, which has been providing a Web-based IM client that mimics desktop chatting software, did not work come iPhone launch due to the mobile version of Safari using its double-tap navigation. Meebo requires double clicking to start up an IM conversation, and many of the buttons and window functionality were simply not working.
The result is what the Meebo team claims to … Read more
When asked why, I usually reply that all of my friends use Yahoo Messenger, but the real answer is more embarrassing: emoticons. How could I live without "dancing guy," "big hug," "green vomit," "talk to the hand," or "laughing skull?"
For those of you who also like those goofy Yahoo emoticons, there's good news. Yahoo is planning to add 10 new emoticons to its instant messenger, and it's running a contest to let users submit their own entries and vote on their favorites.… Read more
It finally happened.
I fell for one of those silly phishing scams. The kind that I previously took sanctimonious pride in having avoided. The kind where you get a frantic e-mail or IM from a friend saying that a malicious link was clicked, a secret password typed in, and that they didn't know better.
I feel so ashamed, guilty, violated...stupid.
In case you haven't heard yet, an IM-based worm was spreading itself via Yahoo Messenger on Friday, propagating through people's contacts lists and directing hapless victims to a malicious Web site. The site looks like a … Read more
A phishing scam was circulating on Friday through Yahoo Messenger that directs people to a malicious Web site where they are prompted to enter their Yahoo user name and password. The malicious instant message automatically forwards itself to the victim's IM contacts.
The IM arrives from someone in your contact list with a link to a Geocities Web page and smiley face emoticons surrounding the link. When clicked on, the link opens a page that looks like a legitimate Yahoo 360 sign-in page.
Yahoo is investigating the matter and will take down the Geocities Web site if it is … Read more
Today, users of AOL Mail can start chatting from within their in-boxes, without having to open the AIM application. If you want to add this feature to your AOL Mail account, then visit beta.webmail.aol.com each time you log in, which will roll the new features into your existing AOL e-mail service. The changes are set to take effect later today. Gmail and Yahoo Mail beta both offer built-in chatting.
Kevin Rose, of Digg and Revision 3 fame, just launched an invite-only alpha of his latest project, Pownce. Pownce lets you share files, links, and other info with your friends. It's not an original concept. Yet Pownce makes an extremely good first impression. (Earlier, we had invites to give out--but we're sorry, they're all gone now.)
Pownce strongly reminds me of Tubes (review) and Izimi (review), and little less so of AllPeers (stories) and Pando (quick hit). It's also reminiscent of the file-transfer feature of various instant-messaging clients.
There's also a heavy dose of Twitter (stories) in Pownce. Every time you send a file or note, it's added to your running feed of activities that anyone can view; likewise, it's easy to see the public feeds of other users and the private items posted by your friends.
You can send items to individuals on your list, to everyone, or to groups you set up (for example, you can have a family group, a group for a project at work, and so on).
At the moment, Pownce lets you send plain text notes, URLs, files, and event invitations (and it tracks RSVPs). I would not be surprised to see audio or video recording functions built into the product, which would make Pownce an interesting alternative to Twittergram.
Pownce works through a Web page, and there's also a slick Adobe AIR (formerly Apollo) desktop app.
It's easy to discount Pownce as a me-too concept. In fact, it's several. But it's extremely well put-together--capable yet easy to get into and use. And useful. And fun. Try it if you can.
For a while on Wednesday morning, I was Yahoo Messenger-less. Actually, me and most of my colleagues were, and it was no fun.
I was out of the office and needed to ping my editor about something quick and I couldn't. I sent him an e-mail instead and noticed a lot of messages in my in-box from coworkers with similar stories of woe.
We've come to rely heavily on the ability to communicate with each other over IM, shooting quick messages back and forth like digital taps on the shoulder. I know that if my editor is staring … Read more