Archive for the ‘Instant Messaging’ Category

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Mar 3, 09 - 7:12 am

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Instant Messaging

Comments Off on Google Sticks Chat Feature Into iGoogle

Google’s latest enhancement to its user-customizable iGoogle site is the ability to conduct Gmail chats from within iGoogle. The new feature means you can do more on the iGoogle site without having multiple windows open.

I am fond of Gmail’s chat feature. I feed my AIM account through it, and can pretty much tackle all of my instant messaging needs from within Gmail itself rather than opening another application for chatting. I am not a regular user of iGoogle, but I can see the utility in its newest feature.

Chat can be added as another widget to the iGoogle home page via the settings menu. Google says that it works identically to the regular Gmail chat feature. All settings for Gmail chat will apply to the iGoogle version.

Google also says that Gmail users will be able to chat with anyone they wish — Gmail user or not — by inviting them to be a chat buddy. Once they accept, they’ll appear in the user’s buddy list. They will have to sign up for an iGoogle account, however. The chat feature also can be hidden from view if you’re the type who’s easily distracted, and users can sign out of chat without signing out of iGoogle if they prefer not to be bothered.

Apparently Google had been testing this feature out internally and with a small set of users. Today, chatting from within iGoogle is being offered to a much larger group of users.

Of course, it’s a trial version of the service. Google’s Rhett Robinson writes:

“It’s worth noting that this feature may have some kinks, so we ask for your patience as we work through them. Here at Google, it’s common practice for us to involve our users as early possible so we can make sure we get it right. We’ll also be rolling this feature out slowly, so if you don’t see it on your iGoogle page and you simply can’t wait to check it out, feel free to opt in by going to”

Right now, iGoogle chat will only work in English for users in the United States, but Google says it will support other languages and countries in the near future.

Now that the news is finally out, we can sit back and take a longer look at what makes the Storm by Research In Motion a compelling handset. Here are five reasons why it should be a success.

1. The Camera

The Storm’s camera rates 3.2 megapixels. It also has autofocus, the ability to zoom, and a flash. These are all characteristics the iPhone lacks. Megapixels aren’t everything, but having software on the phone that allows the user to configure the phone’s settings is a bonus. It also records video at half-VGA resolution.

2. Rev. A

The Storm is not the first smartphone to have access to EV-DO Rev. A 3G speeds, but it is a really, really good thing. Why? The Storm is a BlackBerry email device. That means users will be sending emails from it. Some of those emails will have attachments (such as pix taken by that nice, 3.2MP camera). Rev. A allows for much faster wireless upload speeds compared to Rev. 0. I say hooray for Rev. A.

3. Euro 3G

The Storm not only has access to super fast 3G in the U.S., but in Europe as well. By including a 2100MHz HSPA radio, RIM has made the Storm the perfect business device for mobile professionals who find themselves on both sides of the pond. Whether in the U.S., or in Europe, you get the best 3G. Even if you’re not in Europe, but elsewhere in the world covered by GSM networks, you’ll still be able to roam.

4. Enterprise Integration

RIM’s bread and butter never tasted so good. The Storm is a BlackBerry. Your corporate email will be a snap to wade through and retrieve. The new user interface makes it easy to tap the message you want to open, rather than using the trackball or scrollwheel to find it.

The Storm also syncs to Outlook, so your calendar and contacts are all included. You’ll also be able to edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents right from your smartphone — something the iPhone can’t do. Oh yeah, and the Storm will support Java applications.

5. Cut-and-Paste

You’ll be able to cut information (phone numbers, URLs, email addresses, etc.) from one application and paste it somewhere else. This is something that all BlackBerries can already do, but for that capability to show up on this touch device is welcome indeed. Eat that, Apple iPhone.

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Sep 16, 08 - 8:02 am

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Instant Messaging

Comments Off on Are Text Messages Responsible For 25 Deaths?

Metrolink CrashSaturday’s Metrolink train crash was a tragedy and may have occurred because the engineer was distracted by text messages sent to his cell phone.

The possibility raises the issue of how companies are to handle personal technology in the workplace, especially when lives are at stake.

The Metrolink crash that took place in California on Saturday happened because the train failed to yield to a stop signal.

The passenger train then rammed into the back of a freight train that was sitting on the same track, killing 25 of those aboard and injuring more than 100 others.

Why didn’t the engineer stop the train? Federal officials are investigating the possibility that the engineer was distracted by text messages.

Apparently two teenagers were interested in trains and had befriended the engineer. They sent him text messages to ask him about his work, and were sending him messages in the minutes leading up to the crash.

According to CNN:

“We have been in contact with them and their families. They have been fully cooperative,” Kitty Higgins of the National Transportation Safety Board said. “We are going to be obtaining records from their cell phones and of the deceased … to begin to determine what might have happened and what if any role [cell phones] might have played in this accident.”

Metrolink train engineers are not allowed to use their cell phones while on duty, and for good reason.

Nearly every adult in the U.S. has a cell phone. Odds are, most of them are bringing them to work. Many keep them tucked away in their briefcase or purse while in the office.

However, others are not so quick to ignore what is increasingly used as a link to outside social networks. Let’s discount whether or not they are being used to breach corporate security or simply waste time while on the clock.

How are companies to govern their use when safety is a priority?

Sure, businesses can put policies in place that forbid their use at the workplace, as Metrolink did, but that doesn’t mean those policies will be followed. They certainly won’t be followed if the policies aren’t strictly enforced.

Could Metrolink have taken any more steps to prevent the train’s engineer from bringing his cell phone onto the train on Saturday? Would that have prevented the crash and saved the lives of the 25 who were lost? Should Metrolink be held liable in this case, or does the blame lay fully with the engineer?

Should different rules be set in place for those who are responsible for the lives of others, such as train engineers, airplane pilots, bus drivers, truck drivers, etc.?

I think they should but what form those rules take, how they are enforced, and what consequences are tied to them need serious consideration.

Picture Source: CNN via KTLA News Channel

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Sep 10, 08 - 1:37 pm

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Instant Messaging
Toys & Gadgets

Comments Off on BlackBerry Devices Get Native AIM From AOL

You might think that the world’s best mobile e-mail devices would also be killer instant messenger devices. Though users were able to use GChat, Yahoo IM, and Windows Live Messenger, AOL’s AIM was AWOL.

RIM and AOL have teamed up to offer a native AOL Instant Messenger application for BlackBerrys. Time to break our your thumbs and get your IM on!

Mobile instant messaging has been catching on in a big way in the last year. Many people use AOL’s AIM program, and it seems to be the IM client rigueur, especially in the United States.

Now the power of AIM has come to the BlackBerry. AOL and RIM announced the availability of AIM and ICQ instant messaging services, as well as AOL Mail on BlackBerry smartphones.

The BlackBerry press release notes:

“The deep integration of AOL’s popular communications services with BlackBerry smartphones will allow consumers around the world to seamlessly access AOL’s most popular services directly from their BlackBerry smartphone and communicate in real-time with business associates, family, friends and other contacts.”

From their BlackBerry smartphone, AIM and ICQ users can also:

  • Access Buddy List features including the ability to see if contacts are online and available to chat (i.e. presence);
  • Set customized away messages and manage their AIM or ICQ online status (e.g. available, away, in a meeting, etc.) directly from the BlackBerry smartphone’s home screen without launching the AIM or ICQ application;
  • Set alerts to notify them when a contact’s online availability changes;
  • Select the Auto Sign-In option which will automatically sign them into AIM or ICQ when their BlackBerry smartphone is powered on;
  • Use Picture IM to send and receive images;
  • Log and save IM conversations for personal records or to email them to other contacts; and
  • Select from a collection of pre-set emoticons to further customize their instant messages.

This is all very good stuff. What’s even better is that the software is available starting today for free, though it requires BlackBerry OS 4.5.

The AOL Mail offering will be well-integrated into the BlackBerrys e-mail application. It will sync just as corporate e-mail would, and will be pushed to the handset in real time. This is a good move for BlackBerry, which is proving to be more consumer-friendly every day.

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Jun 19, 03 - 11:12 pm

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Instant Messaging

Comments Off on Evil Dr. Seuss Fun on AIM tonight

Tonight I was having some Dr. Seuss fun on AIM tonight with a friend. I started, then she followed. We went back and forth… hehe gotta love late night AIM fun:

hickory dickery doc…
there is a foot in my sock
and the foot likes to talk
with my neighbors hawk
who flys down the block
and carries a big lock
hanging from his cock (hehe)
also in a sock
that goes tic-tock
and on your door it will knock
knock knock “i am the cock”
and i will stalk
the hawks big cock in the sock
who flys down the block
with a lock hanging from his cock, in the sock going “knock knock” on the door falling to the floor
crushing the whore
with his mighty cock lock pushing her through the door
and her slutty dress tore
panties falling to the floor
as if its no chore
the whore kept begging for more
but the hawk with the lock on his cock claimed he was too poor
so the whore kicked him out the door
and called him a bore
and said “don’t come around here no more”
or you’ll get real sore
then she closed the door
and nibbled on an apple core
as she bore – into her juicy fruit with her tongue
and a bird outside sung
with a pitiful lung
tweet tweet, chirp chirp, look the whore just burped
and slurped
wishing it was the hawks cock, that knocked on the door before