so google's now got a chat/voip service to go with their mail service. it launched august 24, 2005. for now you need a gmail account to use chat, but google is attempting to form a federation of messenger networks that will be able to access each other's user lists.
already, i've found some refreshing features in the interface:
* sequential messages by the same person go under a single name heading
* no emoticons!!
* no send button
* outgoing message area resizes to fit your
* status shows when you're chatting with other people (yes you can disable this)
* send gmail from contact list
for me the voip (voice chat) was effortless, and about as clear as skype.
hopefully this will breath new life into the messenger client world. windows messenger is such an atrophied old dog.
here's an interesting opinion piece about what david mcnett thinks google is doing wrong...
last year the flash world lost a great means of augmenting flash projectors for use as desktop apps when "screenweaver" was retired as a commercial product. but i'm thrilled to see that this very useful desktop-flash-app development kit is back, and it's now open source!
many thanks to edwin van rijkom, screenweaver's founder, for releasing screenweaver back into the wild!
on june 27 macromedia started a great new service for developers: regular podcasts! each podcast (read: downloadable audio broadcasts in mp3 format) contains about 30-60 minutes of the latest news from macromedia, mostly related to flash.
it's really great to be able to listen to what's on the minds of macromedia's engineers and product management--perfect for a subway ride or lunch break if nobody wants to hangout with you. :(
the discussions are nice and casual, with very little marketing, and lots of candid thoughts and opinions.
if you like the podcasts as much as i do, let the developer relations team know at email@example.com! (apparently the podcasts are a bit of an experiment...hopefully lots of positive feedback will keep them around!)
macromedia posted a brand new version of the flash detection kit today. the new kit quietly includes something of a revolution in the flash installation experience: "Express Install". using express install, developers can now actually instigate the installation of the flash player *from within flash*! if a browser restart is required, the express install even returns the user to the page they were on.
note that express install is *not* the same as auto-update. with auto update, the flash player periodically checks for new versions and asks the user to upgrade when a new version is detected. with express install, the developer tells the user that an upgrade is required to see content, and then starts that upgrade process precisely at the time where the new player version is required.
express install requires flash player 220.127.116.11 or higher, and is discussed and demonstrated in macromedia's detection kit, at the end of the documentation file called "FlashPlayerDetectionKit_StartHere.pdf".
wefail has just launched the new bbdo site--a slick map of client projects super-imposed on the world. bbdo is the world's "fourth largest global agency network"...not that it matters...just look at those silky transitions! even the loader is fun to watch :)
(sorry i post about wefail so much...i just can't get enough of them.)