Cisco buys AIM-for-geeks Jabber

Paul Boutin · 09/19/08 11:00AM

Why is a router maker buying Jabber, an open-source AIM clone? Disgruntled network admins (I'm still one in my heart) understand what Cisco's own press release doesn't spell out in English.Jabber isn't just another AIM wannabe. It uses XML trickery to connect to every popular instant message service — AIM, ICQ, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo — and to let programmers connect it to other services, be they for man or machine. It's already widely adopted by the IT workers whose managers sign the purchase orders for Cisco networking hardware. By building Jabber support into its switchers and routers, Cisco can make it easy for admins to get alerts from their hardware in the same IM window as their buddies. Cisco can also sell companywide IM setups that are closely tied to Cisco network gear for security and monitoring. Cisco recently picked up PostPath, which makes Linux-based email, calendar and collaboration software. I'm sure someone at Cisco plans to bundle Jabber's instant messaging with PostPath's Outlook-like features and dub it a "platform" to compete with Microsoft. But Jabber's main competition isn't Redmond, it's Dulles. Cisco can now offer managers a way to ban AIM from the workplace, or at least to manage it locally with Cisco equipment rather than routing employees' conversations straight to AOL.

"She Fricken Blocked Me"

Paul Boutin · 07/02/08 02:20PM

This oustandingly well-done music video is nearly a year old. But even online-TV maven Nick Douglas says he's never seen it, so it's today's mindless lunchtime entertainment. Tip for the Olds: The song is a rewrite of Puddle of Mudd's "She Fucking Hates Me." Tip for the Youngs: The graphics are from an ancient MMORPG called RuneScape that dates back to January 2001 — they didn't even have iPods then!

Larry Page: Microsoft's "history of doing bad stuff" makes Yahoo merger risky

Nicholas Carlson · 05/22/08 11:00AM

Taking questions after a speech before the New America Foundation, Google cofounder Larry Page told the crowd the reason Microsoft and Yahoo shouldn't merge is that it would give Microsoft too much control over email and instant messaging. "90 percent of the communications all in one company, I think that's a really big risk." We totally agree! So when will Google open its search results pages to third-party advertisements?

Demo video of Facebook Chat reveals work-free future

Nicholas Carlson · 03/19/08 01:20PM

Buried on the bottom edge of your browser, Facebook's new instant-messaging feature "is meant to be really unobtrusive and there when you need it," explains Facebook project manager Peter Deng in a video demonstrating Facebook Chat, below. We know it's unobtrusive because Mark Zuckerburg put Facebook's easily missed Beacon opt-out notifications in the same spot. More details on Facebook Chat revealed weeks ahead of schedule in the clip below.

Scenes From Yesterday

Pareene · 03/06/08 02:03PM

pareene: omg sheila is in JAIL
nick: hunh?
nick: what?
pareene: ha! her mom just emailed me. she was picked up for drinking in public last night!
nick: and they put you in jail for that?
pareene: if they feel like it!
pareene: i mean usually no but it's not unheard of. she probably mouthed off.
pareene: ANYWAY we are not allowed to post about this, according to mrs mcclear
nick: well, someone is going to
nick: can sheila blog from jail?

Microsoft to reporters: Stop blathering about a webmail monopoly

Nicholas Carlson · 02/11/08 05:00PM

A Microsoft-Yahoo merger would give Microsoft control of more than 90 percent of email and instant messaging traffic worldwide. But when a reporter from AdAge asked Microsoft VP Yusuf Mehdi about it, he shushed her. "The core of the combination is around search and advertising," Mehdi said, "The other allegations are not there and not the focus of what we should be talking about in this combination." We'll ignore that advice, but agree with the sentiment. Last we checked, email use was in decline relative to other forms of online communication, such as social network messaging. (Photo by richard winchell)

New Bond Film Offers Only A Modicum Of Consolation

Pareene · 01/24/08 10:13AM

"It might not have quite the innuendo of For Your Eyes Only, or even the ooh matron oomph of Octopussy, but the title of the new James Bond film has finally been made public. And it is Quantum of Solace." [Guardian] How the hell will anyone sing a brassy pop song about that? (Your bloggers discuss, below.)

Never Forget '23/6'

Pareene · 01/18/08 02:09PM

23/6 is the political satire website from the Huffington Post and IAC. You know, sort of an Onion for the crowd that goes to College Humor for the biting wit. Now's your chance to get the sure-to-be-valuable commemorative 23/6 t-shirt! Look how excited one recipient is:

"If I Am Sitting At My Computer But Not Logged Into IM, Do I Exist?"

Emily Gould · 12/28/07 03:50PM

"How was work?" asked my Mom yesterday. "Urghhh," I said. Mom waited patiently. "Well, it was nice to touch base with everyone," I said. "Oh, because you have to email back and forth about who's posting about what?" "We don't email, Mom, we instant message each other, and mostly we're just talking." It was true: after a week of abstention from IM, it was nice to have some virtual conversations again! But there's something so dreadful about the IM lifestyle.

Yahoo to launch MyM "social messaging" site

Owen Thomas · 11/23/07 09:06AM

Yahoo has launched, in an invitation-only trial, MyM, a "social messaging" service. How many social networks does one company need? Nowhere are Yahoo's scattershot efforts more evident than in this field. On top of Yahoo Mash, Yahoo 360,, Flickr, and — if you believe Yahoo president Sue Decker — Yahoo Mail, you can now add MyM to the list.

"Oh God. We Had A Whole Act Of Crumple Face"

Emily Gould · 10/15/07 03:50PM

Crazed uber-commenter Lolcait was a Theater/English double major in college, did you know that? Also when he first moved to New York he worked for Telecharge Group Sales and he got to see a lot of plays. So basically he is a theater critic. He will occasionally bring his expertise to bear on the talked-about plays of our time, sort of like that kid who really liked 'Young Frankenstein.' First up: Claire "Crumple Face Cry" Danes' Broadway debut in Pygmalion!

abalk · 10/04/07 12:40PM

BalkerStalker: You still going to post comments on Gawker once you leave?
Balk BTW: I dunno. I think it would sort of feel like being that guy who still hangs around high school after high school.
BalkerStalker: Yeah. Hate those guys.
BalkerStalker: What about your cock?
Balk BTW: My Cock hangs around high schools NOW.
Balk BTW: So probably.

Spurned MacArthur Genius Award Candidate Reflects

abalk · 09/25/07 12:40PM

BALK BTW: Hey, what's up?
BALK BTW: Oh no, what's wrong?
COCK BTW: The MacArthur genius grants came out today, and ONCE AGAIN I'm not on the list.
BALK BTW: Did you really expect to be?
COCK BTW: Every goddamned year! Do you know a brighter Cock than me?

abalk · 09/18/07 03:00PM

We remember it like it was a few minutes ago: We were breezing along, eleven windows open, chatting with all our friends about "The Hills," when suddenly, for no reason, everything went dead. The last thing we saw was "i think audrina is, literally, retarded," and then, boom, disconnected! WHAT A NIGHTMARE! We almost had to go to gchat! Then, when we got back on, we heard that like it happened to everyone else too! OMG! Where were you during the Great Seven Minute IM Outage of 2007 happened? How did you survive? We want to hear your stories.

Choire · 09/12/07 02:16PM

From the mailbag: "What is an acceptable time for the non-observant Jew to leave the office today? 4? Is 3:30 pushing it?" Well, ONE non-observant Jew who won't be named just left here at 3:12, so we'd say you're safe to go now!

'The Hills' Is The New 'Sex And The City'

Doree Shafrir · 08/29/07 04:10PM

Perhaps you have noticed that I am obsessed with the MTV "reality" show The Hills. It seems like a lot of you are, too! And, like, every celebrity magazine, and even Real Newspapers, are too. At first, it sort of seemed like a joke, like a so-bad-it's-good sort of thing. We were only being ironic as we watched! But now we think there's something not at all ironic at work here.

Old People Have Sex

abalk · 08/23/07 04:15PM

Balk BTW: Okay, sorry about this, I don't want to bring you down or anything, but I have to ask. Whaddya think about that study that shows that the elderly are still getting it on? This one:
Balk BTW: "The study of 3005 adults aged 57 to 85 found most had an active sex life with a partner or spouse. More than half of sexually active older adults had sex two to three times a month—the same frequency reported among younger adults in a 1992 national survey."

The Star Jones Show Is A Train Wreck

Choire · 08/21/07 03:00PM

We don't have the T.V. on, so we missed the just-concluded second-ever episode of the Star Jones show on Court TV. Fortunately, we are getting a barrage of horrified real-time updates via IM. It sounds really, really bad.