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
Facebook Chat might've had a simple and quiet launch, but a month later, the social network is already announcing plans to upgrade.
Engineer David Reiss announced Tuesday evening on the Facebook Developer Blog that Facebook Chat will soon have an Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) interface--that's better known as Jabber. This will mean that external clients will be able to incorporate Facebook Chat, currently restricted in most cases to the browser.
Universal IM clients Digsby (which is PC-only) and Adium (which is Mac-only) have already worked in ways to support Facebook Chat.
Through Facebook's official Jabber … Read more
ManyCam is the freeware tool users who need their Webcam for more than one chat program simultaneously. It creates a "virtual" Webcam that replicates your currently installed camera. It then lets multiple applications access the video stream without conflict.
ManyCam is compatible with Yahoo, MSN, CamFrog, PalTalk, ICQ, Skype, YouTube, and more. Once you've installed it, you need to set ManyCam as the primary input for program that you want to use. It'll automatically start when activate your Webcam through that program. The application includes a bunch of gimmicky features that let you change aspects of … Read more
After months of incubation as a mere preview download, Yahoo Messenger for Vista is now a full-fledged...beta. No matter, let the feedback loop continue with this dark and gleaming desktop chat application that elevates certain aspects of the instant messaging experience while falling a step behind in others. The new look and feel is certainly impressive, and beloved avatar and emoticons take center stage alongside the tinted display. But the multiprotocol IM client Digsby is snapping up a loyal following, and its adoption of Facebook chat adds strength to strength. Is Yahoo's effort strong enough to win back … Read more
Do-it-all communication app Digsby (download) put out an important update yesterday that's made this blogger's life easier. It took Facebook's Web-only chat service and integrated it into a desktop application, something that Gabtastik (which I looked at yesterday) did to a limited degree by loading it in a standalone Webkit-powered mini browser.
While residing outside of people's primary browsers, Gabtastik's efforts were still running the pop-out version of normal FB chat. Digsby's solution is far more powerful. Despite the fact there are no API plugs for chat (for now), you can maintain conversations with … Read more
The other day we told you how to get Facebook chat in your browser's sidebar, but what about if you want to run it as a standalone desktop application? If you're a Mac user you're in luck with Gabtastik from Mesa Dynamics. It lets you run Facebook chat, and several popular Web chat services on your desktop without having to open your browser.
Skype for Windows upgrades a bunch of back-end and minor features aimed at improving user experience, most notably tweaks that should improve call quality.
For users who regularly suffer from excessive background noise or dropped calls, the changes to the audio engine should cut down on those problems. Vista users who suffered from their screensavers turning on during video calls should suffer no more.
Also, incoming requests will no longer display profile images, a boon to those who mix their Skyping with their office hours and don't want that NSFW image of their hottie's avatar popping up. Other … Read more
Joining the growing list of remixed Mozilla applications such as Songbird and Flock is Spicebird. Besides keeping the avian theme in Firefox and Thunderbird, open-source Spicebird takes the core of Thunderbird, the calendaring power of the Thunderbird plug-in Lightning, and integrated contact list chatting capabilities, and ties them all together with a widget-based landing page.
Loaded with potential, but heavily in beta, India-based Spicebird has a long way to go before it's ready for general use. The bugs and challenges facing users are noticeable nearly from the moment you start up the program. The interface and most of the … Read more
Browser side-bar chat and friend app extraordinare Me.dium has just released a new version this afternoon. I met up with founder David Mandell at last week's Web 2.0 Expo to chat about the new functionality, which he says is a very early version of Me.dium's next big thing. This big thing is actually a small change--your friends and their presence in the app, which is now taking the focus.
Previously Me.dium's claim to fame was meeting random people at sites you visited. Now it's all about your friends and improving the ways … Read more