Beejive IM is one of those mobile multinetwork chat clients that's a joy to use--it's fast, graphically rich, and just works. Pricewise, it's at the taller end of the scale, but the feature set and usability will appeal to serious chatters. Pronounced beehive, (believe it or not) Beejive has one of the best methods for handling multiple IM conversations across multiple chat networks that we've seen, from the badge alerts that appear in two places, to the hidden menu that has you switching among open conversations, sending picture and audio IMs, and e-mailing out an archive … Read more
The release of Yahoo's latest instant messenger for Windows (Yahoo Messenger 10 beta) got us revisiting two others that were updated in the more recent past: the all-in-one chat clients Trillian Astra and Digsby. We enumerated the program enhancements that went into Trillian Astra beta here, but after three years in the making (!), we were hoping to be wowed.
In terms of sexiness, that honor belongs to Digsby, which cuts a fine figure, but doesn't always smoothly deliver the performance goods. It also adheres to some questionable software bundling, and shady CPU practices while your computer runs idle. … Read more
Typing on the iPhone/iPod Touch's keyboard can be arduous. This is never more evident than when trying to bang out messages in several instant-messaging conversations at once. Shape Services, the makers of the popular IM+ instant-messaging app ($9.99 App Store link), have realized this, and are soon rolling out a new version of the app that includes speech-to-text, albeit at a price.
Taking advantage of Apple's recently released in-app payment system, 99 cents a month gets you the feature, meaning that the annual cost of continuing to use it is about $12 a year. Not bad … Read more
It seems as if it were just yesterday that Yahoo's Messenger team rolled out version 9 (it was a little less than a year ago, in fact.) The upgrade was so dramatic and overdue that it's a little surprising Yahoo has already tweaked its chat client, now parading Yahoo Messenger 10 beta to testers and curious chatters. We're glad they did. Even though the changes may not please everyone uniformly, nor should they incite ire. The features build off Yahoo Messenger 9, emphasize social networking, and improved video calling.
You'll be able to learn more about … Read more
Yahoo has begun bringing its BrowserPlus technology to a broader audience, making installation of the browser-boosting plug-in a default part of installing the beta of the new Yahoo Messenger 10 that emerged this week.
BrowserPlus gives Web sites some better abilities taken for granted in applications that run natively on a computer, and because it's a framework, new abilities can be added later. Among the current features are the ability to drag files from the desktop to the browser, to read accelerometer data to judge a computer's orientation, to edit images, and to upload many files at once. … Read more
More than three years in the making, Trillian is back with a slight name change and a slew of new features. It's keeping the beta code-name Astra as part of its official title, but more importantly it's been updated for the modern IM world. Skinnable but not modular, the chat client now supports Google, MySpace IM, Skype, and Facebook, as well as AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and IRC. Both POP3 and IMAP e-mail checking see some love here, too.
Trillian now has deep hooks into Facebook and Twitter. It will automatically shorten URLs in your tweets, as well … Read more
Pidgin has introduced a major update with version 2.6.0, and the current bug-fixing 2.6.1, and along with more than 100 fixes between the two comes support for Google Voice and Google Talk. If you're on Windows, though, this won't mean much--the protocol currently only works with XMPP at the moment, not the derivative protocol that Google uses. Pidgin Portable 2.6.1 is also available for USB keys.
Other changes include splitting the Yahoo protocols into two, one for Yahoo Japan, and one for the rest of the world. Both protocols in Pidgin now … Read more
A new study shows that Internet Explorer 8 is the most secure browser in the world. Who paid for the study? Guess. We also uncover the Twitter mafia and a new alliance to fight malware. And Molly's dream of running her car on chickens comes closer to reality. NOTE: There is no video for today's episode due to a technical error. That's right, you can go ahead and blame Jason for this one. Sorry. --Jason Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1045
Apple lead barely shrinks … Read more
Eric Woodward, creator of the short URL service Tr.im, painted his product into a corner when he announced first, that he was going to take it offline, and then a few days later that he wasn't. Nobody wants to trust their Web links to a capricious business that could go offline again, and take working links and traffic with it.
On August 17, Woodward put a fresh coat on the prior week's drama with a new gambit: He said he was giving the service to the community. In the bitter post announcing this plan, he continued to claim that due to the fact that Twitter made Bit.ly the default URL shortener for the service, a product like Tr.im has no real chance for success. Related, he says, is the recent announcement of the 301works archive for short URLs, which he sees as a craven publicity stunt to boost Bit.ly, since the same people behind it are also running 301works.
Woodward says that the Internet needs an open link-shortening service, because the traffic data short URLs generates is too valuable to entrust to a single company. "You can't get the aggregate data on what's being shared in real time by everyone," he told me. "Twitter wants to become a real-time search engine, so the data Bit.ly is capturing is very valuable."
(Bit.ly data is currently wide open, at least on an individual URL basis. Simply append "+" to a Bit.ly link to get traffic stats on it. Woodward wants to see a "fire hose" of short URL data, however.)
A Twitter keiretsu? Woodward does have reason to be envious and even suspicious of the Bit.ly-Twitter relationship, although it's difficult to draw the connection all the way to malfeasance on the part of the two companies. And it's hard to believe that his strident posturing will win him much support outside of a small group of the most zealous open-source boosters.
Several powerful companies in the Twitter ecosystem are inter-related. Bit.ly's CEO is John Borthwick, and Borthwick is also CEO of Betaworks. Betaworks helps build companies in the social-messaging space. It incubated Summize, the Twitter search engine Twitter acquired last year, and through that deal Betaworks remains connected to Twitter. Betaworks has also worked with Tweetdeck -- which also uses Bit.ly as the default link shortener. The company has several other Twitter (and Facebook) projects running right now. Suffice it to say that if you're in Betaworks' network, you've got great access to Twitter. If you're competing with a Betaworks portfolio company to get Twitter's attention, you've got a tough road ahead.
Betaworks is one of the drivers of the 301works short URL data project, and it's the relationship between Bit.ly and 301works that led Woodward to shun the project, at least for now. "There's nothing wrong with it in theory, but it doesn't solve the link rot problem," Woodward said. He added, "Why would I give them the publicity?" … Read more
Trillian Astra has finally, officially replaced Trillian 3. Users who experienced the Astra beta will find the final version to be similar, with the biggest change being the features that are limited to the paid Pro version. If you're new to Trillian Astra, this update makes the multi-protocol chat client competitive again.
The differences between the two versions are enumerated here; the short of it is that the extras are nice--but they're merely extras. You'll still get the improved performance, and support for mainstream services like Yahoo, AOL, Google, and ICQ. MySpaceIM is supported, and Skype is … Read more