With AIM 6.8, AOL begins revenue-sharing plan

AOL plans to launch a new program called AIM Money on Tuesday that lets programmers write applications that run in the AOL Instant Messenger buddy list--and lets programmers get a cut of any resulting revenue.

The move is made possible through use of an open interface in AIM 6.8, another new development. Version 6.8 also includes "mini-applications" that run at the bottom of the AIM buddy list window; 150 new CBS radio stations in AOL Radio; and restoration of the ability to save and import buddy lists, a feature that helps move a to a new … Read more

Yahoo Messenger goes big with new beta

On Friday, Yahoo released a new 9.0 beta version of the popular Yahoo Messenger chat client. The company may not have changed the version number at all, but it did add a boatload of new features and changes for those of us who like to play with software on the edge.

The most obvious change in the new release is an additional status message at the top of Messenger. Along with the conventional "Available," "Busy," and the like, there's now an additional line for Facebook-style status updates, such as "Surfing YouTube for Andy Rooney Game videos."

The other big change is larger emoticons. Since the Yahoo emoticons are likely the only reason I actually use Messenger instead of multiservice clients such as Trillian, Pidgin, or Digsby, I was very curious to see what these new emoticons looked like...and to learn if there are there any new ones!… Read more

Yahoo gets more social with new Messenger 9 beta

You can't take it with you, at least when it comes to your social graph.

But with a new beta version of Yahoo Messenger 9 software (download it for Windows) released Thursday, users have new options for reconstructing networks of friends and contacts they've built elsewhere.

The new beta of Yahoo Messenger 9 can help user invite contacts on AOL, Google's Gmail and Orkut, Microsoft's Hotmail, MySpace, and other online services to connect through the Yahoo service. Version 9 also includes a special group of all people in your Yahoo address book, helping to connect with … Read more

Google Docs used in latest spam attack

Spammers will do just about anything to get their e-mail through corporate and desktop filters. According to MessageLabs, they're now using Google Docs, a perfectly legitimate way to publish to the Web. Only what they're publishing is the same old wares--this time, it's enhancement pills. This week I talked with Matt Sergeant, senior anti-spam technologist with MessageLabs, who told me how they they've tracking one Google Doc since May 8, 2008.

Later in the conversation, Sergeant talks about the resurgence of Storm. Only a few weeks ago, MessageLabs reported a notable decrease in computers infected with the Storm botnet. … Read more

Mobile IM to surpass SMS?

A recent Gartner study estimates that 189 billion mobile messages have been sent by U.S. mobile-phone subscribers in 2007. It forecasts 301 billion mobile messages sent in 2008.

If correct, those figures would still account for only a small fraction of the 2.3 trillion messages to be sent across major markets worldwide in 2008 (a 19.6 percent increase from the 2007 total of 1.9 trillion messages). Asia is the biggest mobile-messaging market worldwide. China is in the lead, with approximately 560 billion SMS messages sent in 2007, followed by the Philippines' 430 billion and Japan's … Read more

Facebook Chat to work on Jabber IM clients

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

Google waves sayonara to Hello

Google has announced the shutdown of Hello, a sort of photo-messaging service that became part of the Mountain View family when Google acquired Picasa in 2004.

"All good things come to an end," a placeholder on the home page says. "So it is with sadness that we say goodbye to Hello." Guess they weren't so sad that they felt the need to steer clear of goofy plays on words. Hello will fade away on May 15, though Google's photo-sharing service Picasa remains otherwise intact.

"We originally embarked on a mission to … Read more

Featured Freeware: ManyCam

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

Yahoo e-mail accounts compromised for spammers' use

Spammers are going legit, and they're using Yahoo e-mail authentication servers to do it, said Mark Sunner, chief security analyst with MessageLabs.

Most people use the Web interface for Yahoo Mail, which attaches a banner of advertising on the e-mail somewhere within the message. Yahoo also provides a service, Yahoo Plus, that allows the sender to use SMTP and traditional e-mail clients such as Outlook Express or Thunderbird. Mail sent via SMTP passes through Yahoo's servers, signing the mail as legit using the Yahoo Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) service.

What this does is strip out the usual … Read more

To connect with Catholic youth, pope goes digital

Ever gotten a text message from the pope? Well, to commemorate the Catholic Church's annual World Youth Day this July, thousands of young Catholics in Australia will be able to say that they did.

"We wanted to make (World Youth Day 2008) a unique experience by using new ways to connect with today's tech-savvy youth," Bishop Anthony Fisher of the Archdiocese of Sydney said in a statement provided to Reuters on Wednesday. Pope Benedict XVI will be in Sydney for the six-day celebration, which starts on July 15, and Australian youth will be able to connect … Read more