The team behind location-based instant-messaging service Meetro is launching a free hosted forum service this morning called Lefora. CEO Paul Bragiel came in to give me a demo of it in action last week and I came away impressed. It's a wonderfully easy way to set up good-looking forums without a lot of hassle. Bragiel said that the idea came after looking at many of the popular forum tools out there and getting frustrated with "antiquated" systems that involved knowledge of coding languages, or having to host everything on your own dime. Most of all, Bragiel said … Read more
There was a strange moment this afternoon at the Snap Summit 2.0 in San Francisco. Dave Morin, Facebook's Senior Platform Manager was fielding some audience questions after spending the better part of an hour giving a very broad overview of Facebook's development efforts to a room full of mostly developers. For many, the event was the highlight of the day in a conference whose very promotional materials were made to emulate the look of a Facebook profile page.
An audience member in the back called Morin out on preaching openness despite the fact Facebook is one of … Read more
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Meebo must be awful flattered right now, because an open-source clone of what the service offered just a year or so ago has come up in the form of Soashable. Sure, it doesn't have the platform, group chat rooms, simple support for Google Talk and ICQ, or the some of the software extensions of the popular Web-based IM service, but if Pidgin is any indication of what can be done in the world of open-sourced IM, Soashable is off to a good start.
Besides the hosted Web app that supports … Read more
Flashy presentation tool SlideRocket is easily one of the best-looking services I've seen.
CEO Mitch Grasso's presentation at this afternoon's Under the Radar session about the virtual worker (using SlideRocket to present) got several oohs and ahhs. In many ways it takes a cue from Apple's Keynote product with great use of fonts, reflections, transparencies, and transitions to put together presentations that use hardware acceleration and cutting-edge design templates to impress clients, co-workers, and potentially your boss.
The app uses Adobe's Flex technology and has an offline client meaning users can create and edit presentations … Read more
Google will hold a developer confab in May, called Google I/O, to discuss the challenges of writing applications for the Web.
This year's two-day event in San Francisco is larger than last year's Google Developer Day, its first organized conference aimed specifically at Web developers.
While the format is different--there will be more in-depth technical sessions and tutorials for newbies who want to write mash-ups--Google's developer strategy remains the same.
Why do they court developers? To encourage creation of more and better Web applications, said Tom Stocky, a senior product manager at Google, on Tuesday.
"… Read more
While controversy surrounds the lack of Flash on the iPhone, and rips on Flash Lite from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, some developers have avoided the war of sound bites and embraced Adobe's flagship Web technology.
Starting today Veodia, a service we've covered several times, and even attempted to use when livestreaming the Facebook platform launch (unsuccessfully) is ditching competing Web media player Quicktime. Coming in the next few months Veodia will switch over to Flash entirely for its livestreaming needs as well. For now it's stuck with Quicktime until the next spec of Flash, which is due in June. The changover should bring out higher resolutions at lower file sizes, which is far better for re-watching recorded content that was streamed to begin with.
CEO Guillaume Cohen said one of the major motives was simply the saturation of Flash, and that despite the prominence of iTunes, a lot of people don't feel the need to install Quicktime since popular video sharing sites don't use it.
In the future Cohen says Veodia will offer HD video as part of its services, although he doesn't believe the consumer hardware or network infrastructure is there yet--especially for livestreaming. He says the company is a year or longer away from adding it to the services despite what's being done in the consumer space of video hosting--a market that Cohen says doesn't offer the kind of security or platform possibilities Veodia offers for its enterprise and education clients.
I've embedded an example of the new player for streaming after the break.
Yahoo plans to hold a developer launch party at its Sunnyvale, Calif., campus in coming weeks. It will launch a beta test program for a tool that developers can use to write applications that integrate Yahoo Search. Such applications use the structured data available through public APIs and in the Yahoo index, Amir Kumar, director of product management at Yahoo Search, wrote in a blog post.
For the consumer, Yahoo's move means more … Read more
The folks who chose the winners for the Web Awards at this year's SXSW Interactive are on a roll. One of the winners named Viscosity has sucked away any semblance of productivity I had going for me today. The tool lets you create wonderfully colorful (or colorless if you so choose) pieces of abstract art without any skill, and you get great looking results.
Each creation gets a maximum of 10 colors that can be chosen either by using color presets or one at a time. To start out, all you need to do is chose your color scheme … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Microsoft is looking to position its Silverlight Web technology as the coolest kid in school--one that is both popular and gets along with everyone.
At the Mix '08 show here, the company talked about its Mac, Linux, and mobile-phone compatibility and brought out customers like Hard Rock Cafe, NBC, and AOL to talk about how they are using the technology. It also showed Silverlight running on the newest compatible device--Nokia's smartphones.
Microsoft's Scott Guthrie also alluded to support for Apple's iPhone, saying Microsoft wants Silverlight running on "anything that has an SDK (software development kit)."
In the Hard Rock Cafe example, the restaurant and hotel chain used the technology to showcase its massive, 70,000-piece collection of rock artifacts. "This is 2 billion pixels," said a representative of the company who built the site for the Hard Rock.
AOL showed off a new version of AOL Mail, while NBC touted its plans to use Silverlight to bring more than 2,200 hours of video both live and on-demand.
It's all part of Microsoft's aggressive pitch to Web developers, a clear acknowledgment that Microsoft faces a tough battle to win the hearts and minds of those who build Web sites and applications.
"I know today you have many amazing technology choices," Ray Ozzie said in his introductory comments. "But I'd like you to bet on us because I think together we can create extraordinary experiences.… Read more
If you're an office worker in the unfortunate position of having a lackluster printer that's incapable of printing booklets, or have a general hatred of Acrobat's built-in booklet making resources check out BookletCreator.
It's a free service that takes any PDF you can throw at it and reorders the pages and layout to be printable as a multipage booklet. For the sake of your clients, it's even nice enough to send you back a copy that can be printed locally on other nonbooklet printing devices, free of any watermarks or other changes to the original … Read more