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.