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Showing posts from April, 2008

Microsoft Messenger 7 ready for Mac

It's still well behind the Windows equivalent in terms of functionality, but Microsoft Messenger for Mac 7.0 has arrived.

While Messenger 7.0 finally delivers video and audio conferencing, this feature is only available when used in conjunction with Office Communications Server 2007. So if you were hoping to make a video call to Aunt Inge in Finlandia, you're out of luck. If you can't talk her into buying a Mac so you both can use iChat, there's always Skype or one of the other IM programs that support cross-platform calls.

Personal audio and video support has been promised for a subsequent version of Messenger for Mac, but it won't happen until after Windows Live Messenger has adopted the audio and video protocol used by Office Communications Server. All Microsoft's saying is "We are making progress".

OCS users will also find they can search the corporate address book.

Ordinary users do get the ability to search the contacts list (useful if you count co…

How to lock down instant messaging in the enterprise.

Instant messaging (IM) is one of the most widely deployed Internet-enabled applications today. This huge user base is one of several reasons why IM applications are an obvious target for hackers. Another is IM's capability to transfer files, which makes it an effective medium for spreading malware. IM traffic also bypasses many firewall checks, as it can use any port to connect to IM services and is often embedded inside HTTP packets.

Like many Web-based applications, IM security is not keeping up with its rate of adoption. Enterprises must appreciate that the nature of IM-borne threats is substantially different to those that enter a network via email. The critical defenses that protect against email threats won't provide adequate protection against the growing array of threats that can enter networks through IM clients.

Here are a few defensive strategies that make sense when locking down instant messaging in the enterprise.

Monitor IM traffic
To control and monitor IM usage, it…

Barman’s GoGroups aims to replace IM

Touradj Barman SOM ’07 plans to kill the instant messenger. Or replace it, at least.

With these hopes, Barman is releasing GoGroups, a downloadable program that allows users to join, chat and share in public and private online groups. His program, which he began developing while a student at the School of Management, does all this with the help of his patented “live html.”

Barman is making GoGroups available to the Yale community today in the first step toward a wider distribution.

In GoGroups, each group of users has a set of “cards,” chat conversations encoded in HTML and updated immediately. Barman said this patented technology makes each card like “a Web browser without a refresh button.” The cards can contain text, HTML, pictures and even widgets like YouTube videos.

“You could take any window that’s out there on the Internet and put it in there,” he said.

Barman said he hopes these cards will be simultaneously as immediate as IM and as “persistent” as e-mail, allowing the user to arc…

Using Instant Messaging in the Office

We have received a question about using Instant Messaging services (such as AIM, Yahoo, MSN Messenger & Skype Chat) in the office: “Is it safe to allow our employees to do this, what are the benefits and what are the dangers?”

This is a pretty complex subject for a single blog entry – and as with anything to do with security and technology, things are changing all the time – but here are some pointers for you to consider when making your decision.

IM can be handy as a means to communicate very quickly when situations require. The ‘real time’ aspect of messaging is appealing to many as it can save huge amounts of time if you require advice or an opinion in a hurry - without the cost of a telephone call. You can’t get faster than instant! Also, as most IM software is available as a free download so it’s unarguably a cost-effective communication tool.

But, it is also undeniably an easy way for people to chat about non-work related subjects, or even moan about work in general. It’s not…

OctroTalk Launches

March 31, 2008

OctroTalk Multiple Buddies on separate IM servicesOctroTalk mobile instant messaging client features connectivity to Google Talk/Jabber with MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo, IM capabilities, VoIP, P2P file transfer, folder sharing, quick picture messaging, and more.

OctroTalk works over both low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth connections, including GPRS/EDGE/CDMA/WiFi/Bluetooth data connections. OctroTalk supports a low bandwidth codec with low CPU usage requirements so it runs quite well on smart phone devices. It currently runs on Windows Mobile smartphones, Windows Mobile Pocket PC, and Symbian S60 3rd Edition. OctroTalk features an easy to use user interface that supports one handed operation and 5-way navigation. OctroTalk currently supports GoogleTalk/Jabber, MSN, AIM, ICQ and Yahoo.

Interestingly, when you logout from the Google/Jabber account, the application will automatically log you off from all your accounts including MSN, AOL, ICQ and Yahoo. You can be connected to MSN…