Saturday, December 31, 2005

Internet Call Company to Sue Google for $5bn

Google is being sued by a small New York internet call company that claims to hold patents for the technology that enables voice calls to be made over the internet. The New York-based Rates Technology said it would probably seek damages of about $5bn. It alleges that the internet search engine has infringed its patents with the recently launched Google Talk.

Jerry Weinberger, chief executive of Rates Technology Inc (RTI), said he was the inventor of software programming that allows telephone calls to be placed over the Internet. Weinberger alleged that Google has abused two patented RTI software programs in Google Talk, which enables users to talk through a computer headset or to instant message each other for free.

RTI claims companies including Microsoft, Cisco, IBM, Yahoo and Lucent have made one-off payments for use of its patents and that the firm is in similar talks with Time Warner and eBay. It is in legal action with others. Google (Steve Langdon) said the suit was without merit.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Gaim - A multi-protocol IM client

As many people on the internet like applications like Trillian and IM2, there is also another very popular instant messaging client, called Gaim. It has everything you need and one of the best things is that it's open-source.

Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise Messenger, and Zephyr networks.

Gaim users can log in to multiple accounts on multiple IM networks simultaneously. This means that you can be chatting with friends on AOL Instant Messenger, talking to a friend on Yahoo Messenger, and sitting in an IRC channel all at the same time.

Gaim supports many features of the various networks, such as file transfer, away messages, typing notification, and MSN window closing notification. It also goes beyond that and provides many unique features. A few popular features are Buddy Pounces, which give the ability to notify you, send a message, play a sound, or run a program when a specific buddy goes away, signs online, or returns from idle; and plugins, consisting of text replacement, a buddy ticker, extended message notification, iconify on away, spell checking, tabbed conversations, and more.

Gaim runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Qtopia (Sharp Zaurus and iPaq).

Gaim integrates well with GNOME 2 and KDE 3's system tray, as well as Windows's own system tray. This allows you to work with Gaim without requiring the buddy list window to be up at all times.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Google Plans to Standardize Multimedia Instant Messaging

Earlier this week, Google shared its plans for the future unification of the instant messaging (IM) market. The benevolent overlord of modern Internet innovation, Google has become a tremendous stabilizing force within the complex ecosystem of web-based services. When Google released their Jabber-based IM application earlier this year, they promised consumers that they would vigorously pursue protocol interoperability in order to facilitate communication between users of different IM systems. Since the birth of text-based Internet chat in the 1980s, countless IM protocols and applications have emerged to meet the rapidly growing demand for interactive text communication. AOL's ubiquitous AIM service is thought to have over 50 million active users, a number that continues to increase as more consumers take up the habit.

Google chose to use Jabber's Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) for its own Google Talk application because XMPP is a well-documented open protocol fit for standardization and extension. The broad availability of XMPP support in open source communication applications ensures that users of all common platforms, including Linux and OS X, will be able to interact with Google Talk users. Working closely with the nonprofit Jabber Software Foundation (JSF), Google plans to bring voice and video communication services to all XMPP-compliant IM utilities. Described in a Jabber Enhancement Proposal, the new peer-to-peer voice and video standard is currently called Jingle. An open source implementation called Libjingle has already been released by Google under a BSD-style license. For those not in the know, BSD licenses are very permissive, facilitating commercial redistribution even in proprietary applications, which means that closed source IM applications like AOL's AIM client can take advantage of the code.

Google recently hired Sean Egan, one of the lead developers of a popular open source IM application called Gaim. Egan and other Gaim developers have already managed to integrate Google Talk's voice features into the Gaim 2.0 branch, which is scheduled for release next month. (Interested users might want to take a look at the beta release!)

After Google's acquisition of a five percent stake in AOL last week, both companies decided that it would be advantageous to implement complete interoperability between Google Talk and AIM. Now that Google has the uncontested champion of IM technologies on its buddy list, it has the leverage it needs to get other services to jump on the interoperability bandwagon.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Festoon - bringing users of different messaging services together

Today Santa Cruz Networks launched Festoon Unity, a new feature to its wildly popular Festoon plug-in, uniting the world's 453 million IM users. With more than 3.7 million downloads and over 52 million video call user minutes, Festoon is the first plug-in bringing users of different messaging services together in group voice and video calls where they can talk to and see each other. Users can also share content and engage in personalized video experiences. Face-to-face communication in one-to-one calls or in large groups of hundreds is better and more fun with Festoon.

"People don't need to have the same email program or the same phone service to send each other emails or call each other," says Itzik Cohen, CEO of Santa Cruz Networks. "We believe it should be just as simple with voice and video communications. Festoon Unity connects different Instant Messaging services so that users can call each other across services as simply as sending an instant message or email."
IM users all over the world use Festoon each day to see each other while chatting, playing games, sharing pictures, or conducting business. All without having to install another messaging service.

"We are pleased to be the first to connect Skype and Google Talk users," said Cohen. "With ubiquitous voice and video calls as the goal, in early 2006 we'll be adding Festoon Unity support for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger. In addition we'll be providing a series of web services that anyone can use to quickly and easily add video communication to their site."

With Festoon IM users can securely conduct voice and video calls in groups up to the hundreds while sharing photos, spreadsheets, presentations, or applications with others in the call. In future releases users will be able to download additional video effects and personalized experiences, access our library of camera personalities, wallpapers, and more. In addition to Festoon Unity other new features in this product upgrade include significantly improved video speed, voice and video synchronization, enhanced group audio, automatic proxy support, and a number of new EyeCandy personalizations to name a few.

Festoon is available at for free.
Festoon works on any Windows 2000/XP PC with an 800 Mhz processor or greater running Skype or Google Talk.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

OpenWengo - connecting your phone to the future

OpenWengo is an open source project, initiated by the French company Wengo, itself backed by neuf telecom. They provide a standards-based VoIP platform - they are committed to providing unlimited free telephony and enhanced features to the users, while promoting innovative usage-driven services.

WengoPhone is a multiplatform SIP softphone which offers free PC-to-PC audio, video and text messaging. Call-out to phones and mobiles is also available at good rates.

Download for Windows 2000/XP
Download for Linux (Debian package)
Currently there is no release for MacOS.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Toonah - Text to Speech Plugin for Instant Messaging

With Toonah you are able to hear the text messages which are sent to you. It has also EmotiSounds(laughingm, crying, etc). You can choose from multiple voices. If someone else on your contact list installs Toonah, he will be able to hear your messages, too. There is an option to hear your own messages before sending them.
The most used chat acronyms are translated.

It is fully compatible with AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, and ICQ.

As you can see, Toonah can be something really funny.

Download free version
Download pro version (No ads and customer support)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The "smart" Messaging Worm

I've read about this "smart" worm in few websites. When I read these articles I'm really wondering what is so smart in this worm. Just read this quote (link)

Instant messaging security firm, IMlogic released a warning on Monday, regarding a new type of malicious IM bot that can pose as a human being, and send messages.

The threat, called IM.Myspace04.AIM infects a user’s computer, then starts sending messages to people on their AIM contacts list. The bot sends a link, and encourages receivers to click on it with messages such as “lol no its not a virus.” Once a user clicks the link, their computer also becomes infected, and begins spreading the program.

Just sending previously defined messages like "its not a virus" is something I've already seen in so many spam messages (for example: "look at my picture right here...").
So it seems to me that this is just another worm which was made popular by some security-related websites.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

AIM Triton for Windows

Time Warner Inc.'s America Online has upgraded its instant-message service to help win users and boost advertising sales.

The latest version of the software, to be made available over the next three months, improves existing voice and video chat services, and adds Internet calling and access to 20 XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. stations, AOL spokeswoman Krista Thomas said Tuesday.

The slogan of Triton is "I am everything you need to communicate". Here are the features included in this version:

  • Now there's room in your Buddy List® feature for 500 of your closest friends. Organize your chats, your buddies' Away Messages, and use IM to send gigantic files.
  • Use AIM Talk® to go from typing to talking, right from the comfort of your Buddy List® feature. Free.
  • Look your buddies in the eye while you chat with them. Video chat lets you switch from an Instant Message chat to a high-quality video conference.
  • AIM® Mail is a mere click away from the Instant Messenger™ service. With 2GBs of storage, a handy "Unsend" button and industry-leading spam and virus protection, AIM Mail is the only email you need.
  • Now you can access your Buddy List® feature on your mobile device to send and receive IMs. You can also send IMs from your computer to your buddies' cell phones.
  • Blogging directly from the messenger.
Click here to download.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sony IVE - Instant Video Everywhere

Sony launched a new product - Sony IVE (Instant Video Everywhere), which allows you video and voice calling to the other IVE users for free.
You can call to cell-phones, too, but this is paid.

These are some of the most important features of Sony IVE:

  • "Video Call Mailbox" - a mailbox for the missed calls;
  • "Multy-Party calls" - You can instantly make a video call that includes multiple people at once - no matter if the other participants are on IVE, a regular telephone or cell phone or a traditional video conferencing system. You’ll see or hear everybody at once. Just like a chat room;
  • Live Support
  • Of course, you get a personal number
To download for free, click here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Instant messengers becoming medium of choice

The researches show that more and more people are using Instant Messengers instead of emails.
Is the faster communication the only reason? Maybe the instant messaging is more like a live meeting between the people and this is really important for most of them.

This info is part of the results of the AOL's survey:

"Instant messaging is overtaking email as the preferred way to
communicate, especially among teens and young adults. Overall,
IM's are up 19 percent year over year, with many Americans sending
as many, if not more, IM's than they do emails, according to
AOL's Instant Messaging Trends Survey.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents say they send as many or more
IM's than emails. But for teens and young adults that number is
vastly higher with two-thrids reporting they send more IM's than
emails, up from 49 percent last year.

At work, 58 percent of IM users send instant messages to
colleagues for answers to questions, 49 percent to make business
decisions, and 29 percent use IM to interact with customers or
clients. Twelve percent have used IM to avoid a difficult
face-to-face conversation. "

Source: WebProNews

Saturday, November 12, 2005

IM2 - Great and free messenger

IM2 (or Instant Messenger 2) is a good alternative of Trillian. You can use it for:

  • MSN
  • AIM
  • ICQ
  • IRC
  • Yahoo
The interface is comfortable and IM2 supports skins if you want to change windows' view. It is translated to French, German, Russian, Italian and more languages.
Also IM2 allows secure encrypted chat, video and audio chat.

Click here to go to the official website of this project and here to download the current version.

Screenshots: 1

03 February 2006 - IM2 2.0 FINAL
04 January 2006 - IM2 2.0 Build 268 RC8

Friday, November 11, 2005

New versions of some messengers

There are some new versions of popular instant messengers.

AOL Instant Messenger Triton 0.9.13 Beta
This new beta version can be downloaded here.

Miranda IM Build 39 Beta
Also a beta version. Download here.

Google Talk
Download here.

QIP 2005a Build 7600
A new version of the Qip messenger. Download here.

Some of these messengers' features are described in other posts in this blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's Time To Take Back Instant Messaging

This is an interesting article in Slashdot:

The TechZone says the world of instant messaging is a disjointed mess, and it's time for a citizen's revolt. From the article: "The obstacles in this case are three big companies: AOL, Yahoo! and Microsoft. Each wants to keep their networks closed, thereby forcing consumers to use their brand of software and effectively using their size to eliminate competition. Five years ago, Yahoo! and Microsoft were calling for then-leader AOL/ICQ to open their network to allow others to compete. They even successfully petitioned the FCC to restrict AOL's future developments before approving the AOL/Time Warner merger. When it was convenient for their business goals, Microsoft and Yahoo! waved the interoperability flag, but now that both companies have built substantial IM communities with their own closed networks, they have lost their passion for open networks."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Web Based Instant Messengers

Sometimes the web based messengers can be very useful - especially in work, school or somewhere else where installation of new software is forbidden (for example, look at that comment).
Many of them are not as comfortable as the regular instant messaging applications but they are working.

Here are some messengers for the most popular instant messaging protocols:

There are both Flash-based and Java-based versions.
Here are some screenshots from the Flash-based ICQ2Go. With Mozilla Firefox it looks strange sometimes but it works.
Screenshots: 1 | 2

AOL IM - AIM Express
AIM Express lets you send instant messages directly from a Web browser, such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, to anyone who has registered for AIM or who uses the America Online service. AIM Express respects your privacy and, best of all, its FREE. To use AIM Express, you must be a registered AIM user or subscribe to America Online.
I tried to use it but I always see this error. Maybe the problem is with my browser or its extensions. Here is a screenshot from the official website.

Jabber -
It uses only HTML and Javascript. Looks interesting. Unfortunatelly, when I tried to login with my Google Talk account, Mozilla Firefox became "Non-responding". I'll try with another browser later.

MSN - MSN Web messenger
MSN Web Messenger lets you talk online and in real-time with friends and family using just a web browser! Use it on any shared computer - at school, at work, at a friend's house or anywhere you can't install the MSN Messenger software.
Don't forget to allow the site in you popup blocker if you have one.
Screenshots: 1 | 2

MSN - Clientless Conversations
This service allows you to use the popular MSN Messenger service with only a browser. No downloads required!
Do you need to chat at work, at home, at university, behind a firewall, or on a kiosk? Clientless Conversations is a free simplistic Web Based MSN Messenger Client which allows you to chat anywhere!


MSN2Go is a web-based MSN client or web-based MSN Messenger client that enables you to access the MSN Messenger network at work, school, or anywhere else.

I couldn't find a web-based messenger made by Yahoo. But e-Messenger supports YIM.

All-In-One - E-Messenger

e-Messenger is a web application that enables you to chat with your MSN, AOL and Yahoo buddies without having to install any program or Java applet. All you need is a JavaScript enabled browser and you're set to go and use e-Messenger. Even if you're behind a firewall.

All-In-One -
Here you can use MSN, AOL and Yahoo. It also doesn't use Java or Flash.

All-In-One - Meebo
Meebo is a really interesting all-in-one instant messaging client. It is based on Ajax and the interface is very comfortable. It doesn't have some special functions but it works great as a web-based messenger. Supported protocols are: AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, Jabber, Google Talk, MSN.
Thanks to that visitor for the link about Meebo :-)

Goowy is a web-based application offering Free Web Email service that enables you instant messaging, chat, file sharing and much more with your buddies from AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

[New Release] Skype (update -

Skype is a little piece of software that lets you talk over the Internet to anyone, anywhere for free. And it just got even better — download the latest version of Skype:

  • Our call quality is the best ever for talking, laughing and sharing stories.
  • You can forward calls on to mobiles, landlines and other Skype Names.
  • Make calls instantly from Outlook email or Internet Explorer with our new toolbars.
  • Personalise your Skype — play around with sounds, ringtones and pictures to show the world who you are.
08-02-2006 - New release: Skype
02-01-2006 - New release: Skype
26-01-2006 - New release: Skype
20-01-2006 - New release: Skype

Thursday, September 22, 2005

QIP - the messenger of the Russians

QIP is a unique closed source computer program for immediate cross-Internet communication. The basic functionality of QIP enables its users to see who else is online and available and then easily contact them with text messages in real time sent through a public server. QIP development currently is in the Alpha stage therefore you should understand probability of facing some bugs.

Download here

23-May-2006 - New release: Click to download QIP 2005 Build 7920
16-February-2006 - New release: Download QIP 2005a Build 7820 Alpha
12 January 2006 - New release: Download QIP 2005a Build 7810 Alpha
02 January 2006 - New release: Download QIP 2005a Build 7800 Alpha

[New Release] Skype for Linux

A new version of Skype for Linux - has been released.

The changes since are:

  • change: New multilingual EULA in Help.Licence
  • change: Call quality improvements
  • change: "Find in chat" engine rewritten
  • change: Refreshing icons on start tab
  • change: Cleaned up RPM packaging
  • bugfix: Menu items not disabled when going offline
  • bugfix: Crash when a new message was received
  • bugfix: Crash when password changed
  • bugfix: Crash when chat search string contained "+331234567"
  • bugfix: Crash when chat search string contained emoticon
  • bugfix: Auth requests from previous user being shown
  • bugfix: Crash while history was loading
  • bugfix: Find crash when searching for empty text
  • bugfix: Auth request remaining on event panel after authorization
About previous changelogs, click here.

Choose the package for you here.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

[New Release] Miranda v0.4.0.3 Alpha 34

A new alpha version of Miranda has been released.

Miranda is all-in-one chat client. It has many plugins, skins, etc.
It's open source and much lighter than other such applications.

Download It Here

30-01-2006 - New release: Miranda IM Build 46 Alpha
19-01-2006 - New release: Miranda Final
02-01-2006 - New release: Download it here: Miranda IM Build 43 Alpha

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Trillian - All-in-one instant messenger

Trillian is a fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports

The professional non-free version has even more capabilities.

Trillian provides capabilities not possible with original network clients, while supporting standard features such as audio chat, file transfers, group chats, chat rooms, buddy icons, multiple simultaneous connections to the same network, server-side contact importing, typing notification, direct connection (AIM), proxy support, encrypted messaging (AIM/ICQ), SMS support, and privacy settings. Just everything you might want to use.

Without stealing your home page and with no other included software, pop-ups, or spyware, Trillian provides unique functionality such as contact message history, a powerful skinning language, tabbed messaging, global status changes (set all networks away at once), Instant Lookup (automatic Wikipedia integration), contact alerts, an advanced automation system to trigger events based on anything happening in the client, docking, hundreds of emoticons, emotisounds, shell extensions for file transfers, and systray notifications.

For Windows:

Download here:

Screenshots from Trillian:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Google Talk

Is it something new or something already seen? Really it has many things common with messengers like Skype, ICQ, etc. But what I like in it are currently two main things – the integration with Gmail and the good quality of the sound. Maybe the simple and nice design (fx. not full of ads like Mirabilis’ ICQ) is also one of the things which make good impression.

Here are the main features (note that it’s still beta version):

You can contact your friends by email (Gmail), to call them or to write them an instant message. It’s always nice to have more possibilities.

You can import your Gmail contacts and to invite some people who still didn’t download Google Talk.

And… you can use another IM client (if it supports Jabber). A list of such clients are listed here

As we know that every product of Google is different from other their competitors, we can expect many new and unique features soon.

Download (Win 2k/XP):

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

27-January-2006 - Google Talk Beta

Saturday, September 03, 2005


That's the most interesting calling service I have found. Here are some of the features which they offer for FREE!

  • Everyone gets a free New York area phone number (for example, Skype are offering SkypeIn which is definetely not free).
  • Everyone with a normal phone can call you and even leave you a message if you are out. Yes...the voicemail is free, too. You'll receive every message in your mailbox as an attachment. If you have an account in Gmail, just imagine how many messages can you save!
  • You can receive fax for free. When a fax is sent to your number, it is converted in PDF format (TIFF also available) and is sent to your e-mail address as an attachment.
  • Of course, all Stana2Stana calls are free.
  • Nice: conference server! Also free. Max. 10 callers and max. 2 hours but that should be enough for most people.
  • The calls from Stana to a normal phone is one of the few non-free things but the rates are normal.
  • Calls to 911 are available but only for non-emergencies.
They are offering a program for Windows (about 3MB) which has a look like a phone.

You can sign up here and download the required software here.

Try it! It works!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5