With the majority of the Democrats caving in to the Bush administration's demands for full immunity for the telecom companies for-profit collusion in the NSA's illegal wiretapping program, it seems to be clear that the Fourth Amendment and federal antiwiretapping laws are no longer enough to keep our communications secure. Laws stating that "thou shalt not listen to your customers phone calls" no longer seem to have any bite. Or at least, they don't as long as teleco lobbying coupled with massive political contributions can turn once critical senators into kindly old men willing to … Read more
Social-networking site Bebo announced on Thursday that it has struck a deal with AIM, AOL's instant-messaging arm. Through this partnership, users of either service can now easily invite friends to the other.
More specifically, Bebo users who have provided the site with their AIM usernames will now see an AIM icon displayed on their profiles so that other members can click on it to IM them directly through Bebo's interface. There's also a new "AIM Friend Finder" in Bebo so that members can invite the denizens of their AIM buddy lists to join Bebo, as … Read more
AOL has upgraded its classic messenger AIM to version 6.5, building on the makeover the program got last year when it rose up from its deathbed to version 6 with a host of long-overdue improvements. Unless you're a die-hard AIM fan, though, these latest changes might not be readily apparent.
They might not be worth it, either.
If you're a Trillian Astra alpha tester, the newest build launched this weekend now has a clean and simple profile building tool. You can add a slew of Web services to your personal profile for others to see, including Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Last.fm, and even your LinkedIn account. There are 13 in all, along with quick links to add your blog or personal Web site. The result is effectively a pretty looking link dump to all your online personas and services that others will see when they look at your profile. More importantly, however, it's the beginning … Read more
Zero-day exploit codes targeting Yahoo and AOL instant-messenger services could put frequent IM users at risk to new attacks.
A non-vendor disclosed vulnerability within Yahoo Messenger has been exploited by two different code releases Wednesday. This is the third security glitch for Yahoo Messenger in as many months. There is no workaround or patch available yet for these exploits.
A second non-vendor disclosed vulnerability in AOL Instant Messenger targets how users are notified of new IMs. Security vendor Secunia recommends that current AIM users disable that option until a patch is available.
Yahoo Messenger for Mac 3.0, which remains in beta testing, received new features today. Mac users now have a full set of emoticons to express their inner smiley, monkey, or other faces. In addition to allowing you to save chats to a hard drive, the IM client enables direct access to Yahoo Chat rooms. The Mac-friendly Messenger also organizes multiple conversations within a tabbed window.
And as with the Windows edition, the free Yahoo Messenger for Mac allows users to chat with contacts who use Windows Live Messenger. The application requires Mac OS 10.4 or later. Yahoo hopes … Read more
I'm not going to beat around the bush here, Streamy is a Web service I've been looking forward to getting my hands on for some time now. Well, to be exact, it's been just more than a month since I first heard about it, from a mysterious YouTube video that caught my attention. I was lucky enough to get an invite to the still-private service earlier today. I've been testing it for the last hour or so and am already impressed. Not because it looks really flashy (which it does), but because it has the groundwork for a very socialized surfing experience without requiring you to install a new Web browser, or discontinue using services you're already familiar with.
In a nutshell, the service is a hybrid between Digg, Facebook, your favorite instant-messaging client, Google Reader, Twitter, and Del.icio.us. By its very name, Streamy is a mashup service. It pulls together a variety of your social streams: be it your favorite blog feeds, news alerts, or friends updates, and rolls them up into a slick package.
On the social networking and bookmarking side of things, every user gets a profile and an online presence. You can fill the profile with all sorts of information about yourself, but the real clincher here is a listing of what feeds you're subscribed to and groups you've joined. The feed reader itself lets you subscribe to as many RSS feeds as you'd like and view them all without having to leave the page. If there's any embedded content like video or music players, that comes along for the ride too.
If you find anything interesting while browsing, you can share it in several ways. There's the typical "e-mail this" option and quick links to publish it to the Streamy community, to a group you're a member of, or your friends. Much of the interface is drag and drop, and as an "aha!" moment earlier, I shared something with another Streamy user by simply dragging a story headline onto their buddy icon. Cool.
I intend on giving Streamy some more of my time to really get a feel for how it handles a huge influx of feed subscriptions and a growing user base as the service opens up. In the meantime, here are some screenshots of the interface. There are several more after the jump, so be sure to click the "read more" link below.
Amid the growing group of instant-messaging solutions for the IM-less iPhone, Mundu (a Webware 100 winner) has just released a new contender that handles four of the most popular chatting protocols with a fantastic interface. If you're an iPhone user, just navigate your Safari browser to http://iphone.mundu.com, which takes you to a log-in screen with access to your AIM, Yahoo, MSN, .Mac, and Google Talk accounts. You can log into all of them simultaneously, although there's no master password system like you get with Meebo.
Each client gets its own buddy list, and any additional … Read more
Office time-waster alert! AOL's AIM Network has launched an interesting new service, CircaVie, which allows you to create a timeline of just about anything--your kid's life, your job, your backpacking excursion in Southeast Asia, or the chronicle of last week's party's devolution into debauchery. You can then embed your timelines into your blog, share them with friends, I played around with it, and I like the concept (a lot), but this is the kind of service that's left me wishing there was more you could do with it.
It's clear that CircaVie is trying … Read more
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