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December 2005

December 23, 2005
Get A Room, Already

New plot twists in the never-ending Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice saga of public messaging . . . As we spy on our free-loving foursome—Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and Google—, we see them still in the throes of monogamy but don't expect that to last.

AOL has now , leaving Microsoft somewhat rebuffed. I say "somewhat" because Microsoft has never been an easily discouraged suitor. Don't forget that Yahoo was also pursuing a similar deal with AOL. I guess that under the porch light only Google found AOL's charms irresistible.

For it's billion big ones, Google gets a 5-percent stake in AOL and continues to provide AOL with its search technology. In addition to some cross promotion stuff, Google also gets to run AOL-sold ads on the Google network and run AOL's video clips. So where's the gravy for Google?

I'm going to say it's in the instant messaging aspect of the deal. As long as Google's GoogleTalk customers sign up for an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) screen name, they will be able to communicate directly with AIM users.

. . . Full Story: "Get A Room, Already"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

December 20, 2005
Extreme Postdating: Mail To Yourself In The Future

Remember when time capsules were all the rage. You could bury or otherwise hide objects and documents from the present time in hopes that sometime in the distant future, other beings from other worlds or maybe just future humans would uncover them to help answer questions about life "back in the day." The only problem with time capsules is that they are rather unfulfilling. You could only imagine the curiosity, confusion and shock that some distant traveler might display upon uncovering your boxer shorts with smiley faces.

But if relatively instant gratification is your bag, a Web site called is one of a handful of sites that let you in the future.

We're not talking about sending reminder messages to yourself. What is required in this case is the ability to store a message for much longer than most e-mail providers will retain messages and then send it back to you on a specified date.

. . . Full Story: "Extreme Postdating: Mail To Yourself In The Future"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 07:46 PM | Permalink | Comments

December 15, 2005
A New Year's Eve For All To See

We tend to splurge in large amounts on New Year's Eve, so why should our messaging activity be any different? According to messaging provider , based in Stockholm, Sweden, New Yearís Eve 2005 will see the largest number of video mail messages ever sent.

With the growing installed base of 3G phones out there, and the proclivity of teens and young adults to employ the multimedia capabilities of these handsets, Mobeon believes this younger market will use the celebration to launch the largest video mail barrage we've ever seen.

That makes sense. Last December 31st broke all records for SMS messages sent and received (111 million messages) so we already know itís a popular time to click out a mobile missive. Mobeon predicts we'll see upwards of five million video clips making the rounds to ring in the New Year.

. . . Full Story: "A New Year's Eve For All To See"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 04:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

December 13, 2005
Is IM Poised For Greatness, On A Microsoft Scale?

Microsoft hasn't provided much on an overall strategy for melding its instant messaging and VoIP technology yet, but the software giant is sure interested in keeping skin the game.

A week after Yahoo! announced it would add computer-to-phone calling capabilities to its instant-messaging service, Microsoft said it is expanding its VoIP offerings via a to let PC users place calls to land line telephones and mobile phones. Oddly enough, the service will only permit outbound calls, while Microsoft's chief competitors at this point, Yahoo! and AOL both offer services that allow IM users to receive and make calls out.

But Microsoft said it is currently just testing the service, called "MCI Web Calling for Windows Live Call," so when it's ready to formally roll out next, perhaps it will go both ways. At the very least, they should shorten the name. At any rate, Microsoft gets to start making use of the Internet telephony software it acquired when it bought out Teleo Inc. in August.

. . . Full Story: "Is IM Poised For Greatness, On A Microsoft Scale?"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

December 07, 2005
IM Interoperability On The Horizon

Oh, what the heck. I made a prediction for the New Year yesterday, so I'm on a roll. Here's another, albeit no so far fetched prediction: We will see true interoperability between the major instant messaging services in 2006.

Hey! No fair, you cry. Microsoft and Yahoo! have already struck a deal to have their networks talking to each by mid next year. That's not a prediction, you say, it's just an expectation that they will carry through with the agreement.

Well, yes and no. We're still waiting to see what level of interoperability is actually achieved between the MSN and Yahoo! IM networks in 2006. But the larger question is whether the granddaddy of IM networks, AOL, is going to make an interoperability play.

So then you tell me that you can already get interoperability between disparate, competing IM platforms by using one of the third-party IM clients like Trillian or Meebo that allow access to all the major IM networks for text chatting and certain other features. True enough, but that's not "true" interoperability and they don't provide access to all the features provided on the native IM clients.

. . . Full Story: "IM Interoperability On The Horizon"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

December 05, 2005
The Beginning Of The End For Spam

Here's a shocking prediction: The volume of spam is going to fall off in 2006. Why? Because it has to. It will outlive its usefulness to spammers. It's become it's own worst enemy, too prevalent to be effective. Spam needs people to open e-mails and attachments, and no matter what new enticements are tried anymore, we don't trust them enough to do their bidding.

Ok, some of us are still learning, but we've all had to deal with spam. We know what it looks like, smells like and feels like, even when it purports to be something else. For most of us, it's more annoying than dangerous, because we toss everything that might be spam. We have to. The attachments are just as likely to come loaded with worms and viruses as come-ons for winning a free I-pod.

Spam will eventually crumple under its own weight. Can those that employ spam for marketing and advertising find the techniques even remotely effective anymore when we just delete what doesn't head straight for the spam bucket?

At this point, you've already asked yourself, twice, what I've been smoking. If you're like me, you're looking to change your ISP yet again because you've just deleted your 83rd spam e-mail before noon. It sure doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon.

. . . Full Story: "The Beginning Of The End For Spam"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 08:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

December 01, 2005
A Thorny Tangle Of Blackberry Vines

I can see it now. Your restraint has reached its breaking point. You are a nanosecond away from bursting into your boss's office and hurling forth with a resounding "I-told-you-so," the vehemence of which can result in only two outcomes, your firing or your promotion. There is no in-between.

Ever since the first employee sparked a support ticket to get his Blackberry device hooked to the network, you've felt the ill wind of insecurity, knowing it was only a matter of time before mobile devices achieved their full nuisance potential.

So when a Federal judge ruled yesterday that the $450 million settlement in March between Research In Motion and NTP Inc. was invalid, and a possible injunction preventing RIM for offering its mobile e-mail service in the U.S. was back on the table, you felt a little vindication, didn't you? Be honest.

. . . Full Story: "A Thorny Tangle Of Blackberry Vines"

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 06:21 PM | Permalink | Comments


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