Phone as Beacon

The idea that your cellphone may become a beacon of your availability took one small step closer yesterday, although you’d be forgiven for not noticing amid all the post-turkey bloat. The theory is this. Cellphones have gotten smarter, but they still miss one vital ingredient that computer users have had for years: presence. Anyone using …

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The Message Behind Instant Messaging

Be careful what you wish for. For nearly a decade I, and a lot of people like me, have been dreaming of the day when we could send an instant message to someone who wasn’t on the network as us. An instant messaging program is one that sits on your computer and allows you to …

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At Last, Some IM Interoperability

InformationWeek quotes AP as saying that Microsoft and Yahoo “Reach Instant Messaging Deal”:   Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc have agreed to make their two instant-messaging programs work together, a partnership that could threaten market leader America Online, people familiar with the situation said. The deal was expected to be announced early Wednesday, these people …

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The Phisher Commuter

My colleague Lee Gomes writes in WSJ.com in his  Portals column (a few days old, this, sorry; but it is free) about phishers, and what they’re really like, quoting a guy called Christopher Abad, a researcher for Cloudmark: Mr. Abad himself is just 23 years old, but he has spent much of the past 10 years …

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Skype vs ICQ?

Skype is big — today it said its software has been downloaded by 100 million users, and 2.7 million people are online as I type this —- and it’s widely seen as a challenge to the old telephone companies. But could it also topple ICQ and other instant messaging programs? After all, the folk at …

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The Ugly Instant Messenger

I’m a big fan of Trillian, the IM aggregator, but I had to download and install AIM, AOL’s Instant Messenger last night for an abortive video conference. Sheesh, what a monster it is (AIM, not the conference). Do AOL and the other biggies still not get it? For sure, Trillian is something of a parasite. …

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Is SPIM Another Non-Problem?

No. It is a real problem, if only because there’s still plenty of sleazy people figuring out new ways to ruin your day. There’s some skepticism out there about this new spam threat: SPIM, in case you didn’t know, is spam that’s delivered, not to your inbox, but to your instant messaging chat program, like …

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Can We Trust Anti-Spy Software?

Who watches over the watchers? In software, it seems, it’s often the same folk.   Reading a press release for X-Cleaner, “a privacy tool suite that detects and removes installed spyware and adware components”, it sounded interesting enough for a mention. After all, it “includes tools to securely delete files, edit the registry, disable startup programs”, …

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Sending SMS From A Computer

Here’s a list of some of the available ‘PC to SMS’ services, courtesy of Russell Beattie. My own offerings: Both Yahoo and ICQ chat offer some kind of SMS service, but I’ve found them to be somewhat unreliable. This is less to do with them and more to do with the end provider, but in …

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News: Where Online Chat Is Going

 It’s now pretty clear where this Instant Messaging thing is going, and why Yahoo and Microsoft have suddenly started blocking third parties from piggybacking their services. Microsoft have announced a hook-up with news agency and financial data transporter Reuters allowing users of the Messenger network to chat with the 50,000 members of Reuters own internal …

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