Talk to strangers! "When you use Omegle, we pick another user at random and let you have a one-on-one chat with each other." [via waxy]
Using data from the Microsoft Messenger instant-messaging network, researchers have concluded that "any two people on average are distanced by just 6.6 degrees of separation." [more inside]
Adults are picking up instant messaging in record numbers, with 50% of those over 35 using various systems. This study was funded by AOL, which has a major stake in the instant messaging market through its popular AIM software. But most people who use IM in the workplace are still using free and unsecured systems, despite the availability of secure versions in enterprise software and products like IM Secure.
It turns out most Instant Messaging at work isn't about work. No, really. It's mostly personal junk, including "making sexual advances." Wow, who would have thought? Is this any different from receiving email from a co-worker labeled "[FWD]: [fwd]: [re]: [fwd]: FUNNY STORY"?
Buddyzoo is an interesting new site that lets you see which buddies on your AIM buddy list your buddies share with you. Sort of like a six degrees of seperation kind of thing. Very neat. Go check it out and sign up! And tell your friends!
AOL owns Instant Messaging? - MSNBC is reporting that AOL's subsidary ICQ has received a patent for Instant Messaging. I would have thought IRC was enough prior art to invalidate the claim, but the Patent Office knows best. Can AOL put the genie back in the bottle?
ICQ Snobs, Sorry: You now must communicate with the AIM Hoy Paloy. Another defeat for Cyber-Elitism!
AOL has been actively blocking Trillian users. If you switched over to Trillian and use AIM you've had problems connecting all week. As of this morning, version 0.721 is working but will likely be blocked again. AOL is claiming it as a "security" issue.
Trillian Users blocked from AIM service? The bit about this that scares me is the solution to the problem involves disabling the Secure IM functions. Is this a technical glitch or a conspiracy by AOL to reserve the ability to spy on our IM chats? Or build intentional security loopholes?
Trillian, one of the better chat programs out there, just got better. Version 0.70 is now available and it runs smoothly and looks great.
ActiveBuddy, Inc. Interactive Agents for Instant Messaging Activebuddies are your automated fact-checking friends, so to speak. All you do is request and recieve information you want right within an instant message window. It's actually quite intuitive. I just spent an hour looking for tickets and playing hangman with Radiohead's activebuddy entitled GooglyMinotaur! Could this be the Gopher of the future?
InfoBots are coming. I believe we've touched on this before, but now it seems to be moving from concept to reality: Instant Messenger "buddies" that are actually bots. You send them an IM with a question, such as "Hey pal, what's the weather in Thunder Bay, Ontario?" And it IMs you back with the answer, almost instantaneously. No waiting for messy web sites to load, no funky searches to run. ActiveBuddy has been the most, um, active in developing the technology, but they've been working on it forever without anything to show to the public. Now, it's out there, somewhere. CNET is reporting today that an ActiveBuddy beta bot has been live for a few months; you can play with it right now if you know its name. (And if you do know its name, a tip would be appreciated. I've been jonesing for this for a good while.) A more public version is supposed to be out in a few weeks. Here buddy buddy buddy...
FCC: Open up AOL’s messaging "Federal regulators could force America Online Inc. to open its popular instant-messaging service to rivals as a condition of approving its acquisition of Time Warner Inc." I think this is good news for instant messaging, but I'm never really comfortable with the government forcing such things. What do you think?
Love those open instant messaging standards. Rather than use their own servers or a decentralized approach, Aimster offers peer to peer file sharing services by using the existing AOL and Microsoft Networking infrastructures.
Bantu is the holy grail of instant messaging apps. The people behind it have been working on this for a while, and they're now offering a web-based, java client that can talk to ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo instant message clients. If it were a client side application, I'd probably use it, I'm not a big fan of leaving a browser window open all the time. Another drawback is that it can't reach AIM users.