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AOL Tests Video Instant Messaging 127

An anonymous coward writes "AOL, which only last week asked the FCC to forget about some of those mandatory restrictions put into place in order to clear its merger with Time Warner, apparently isn't wasting any time. In a move that circumvents government-imposed limitations on "advanced" multimedia services, Instant Messaging Planet is reporting that AOL has already started beta testing video messaging services with "push-to-talk" and "record-and-forward" features."
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AOL Tests Video Instant Messaging

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  • Fast? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:54AM (#5715396)
    If it has faster framerates and quality than Yahoo Messenger, I'm sold.

    It seems most of the world uses AIM, though they stick with OTHER IM clients for their perks like videoconferencing.
    • Re:Fast? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Per Wigren ( 5315 )
      It seems most of the world uses AIM

      I don't know about that.. I don't know a single person in Sweden who uses AIM.. Most people don't even know what it is.. Everyone I know with an internet connection is using ICQ, which is almost synonymous with "instant messaging" here.. But it is slowly changing to MSN because it comes with the default install of Windows.. :P
      • Well since AOL sowns ICQ now also the whole world basically DOES use AIM. Last I heard AOL was working on (done now?) getting AIM and ICQ to communicate with each other. I imagine the video IM technology they develop will trickle into ICQ also.
        • It depends entirely on your country - AIM in the US and most countries, but in the UK, MSN is the *ONLY* IM - random people in nightclubs most likely have it, but NOBODY has anything else.
    • I just downloaded Yahoo! IM today to checkout it's videochatting capability. I noticed it has a "Super Webcam" mode where the resolution is double and framerates can go as high as 20fps.
  • catchup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ramzak2k ( 596734 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:55AM (#5715399)
    All they are attempting is a catch up with MSN messenger & yahoo. This doesnt look like a big money maker given the competition.
    • And MSN Messenger and Yahoo IM'er are trying to catch up with every webcam portal out there that have been around for at least 3 years now. I think this will all eventually catch on but only after AOL starts giving away free webcames with their free CD's. Ok maybe it won't catch on then.
      • youd be amazed how cheap you can mass produce a webcam. They would only have to lock it in to AOL only usability.
        • And all the geeks will be laughing because they got free webcams and someone cranked out a program to allow it to be used without AOL.
      • Re:catchup (Score:2, Interesting)

        Earthlink was giving away free web-cams with a one year subscription a few years ago.

        Only Earthlink could tell us how-well that went, for sure, but considering that they managed to aquire several other ISPs, and considering they're still around, I'd say it probably don't work out too bad for them.
    • Re:catchup (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pharmboy ( 216950 )
      All they are attempting is a catch up with MSN messenger & yahoo. This doesnt look like a big money maker given the competition.

      From my homework, I haven't seen anyone who is making money with IM, video or not. Its a net loss for everyone involved, except you and I as consumers. Frankly, I am not sure why they bother unless they think it is bringing in revenue in other areas. If I owned stock in MSN, Yahoo or AOL, I would prefer they get out of the IM business or develop a business model that allow
      • That's an interesting idea... but who, exactly, has made money from e-mail? Well, either no one or everyone, depending on how you look at it. Almost no one if you imagine that the answer depends on fees for the service; shitloads of money for a number of companies if you consider revenues based on access to the service, AOL being perhaps the best example.

        Now consider Instant Messaging. No one is making money off it. Why? Because everyone thinks they are going to make money off of fees for the service.

        • but who, exactly, has made money from e-mail?

          Since email is the #1 app for internet use, all the ISPs have. Even Yahoo, who gives away free email, sells a very good 'deluxe' package, and has lots of takers. Its a good value as well, if that is your needs. Many people, including my mother, have internet access ONLY for email: everything else is incidental. Others pay pretty good money for so called anonymous relays, forwarding, and other services related to email. So, lots of companies are making money
    • Maybe that will be part of their stance. If all the other messaging services already have these features, is it really fair to call it "advanced"?
  • Blah... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yag ( 537766 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:57AM (#5715403)
    Netmeeting and h323 video stuff is there from a lot of time but people still prefer using mirc or icq. I dont think most people is happy to show theit face (especially in the morning...).
  • FCC? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @03:57AM (#5715404) Homepage Journal
    When did AOL suddenly have the ability to forget what the FCC ruled?

    Seriously, is the FCC a useless appendage to the government?
    Look at how Radio has deteriorated in the last 20 years.
    I still get interference between cordless phones, wireless videocameras, and 802.11 wireless.
    Look at the way cursing is handled on tv.

    • When did AOL suddenly have the ability to forget what the FCC ruled?

      They can't. They filed a petition with the FCC to lift the restriction in light of materially changed circumstances. These circumstances are two-fold - The overtly stated one is that they now have serious competition in the IM arena from MSN and Yahoo!. Restricting AIM while allowing these two to do whatever they wanted would eventually reduce AIM to nothing as the others far surpassed AOL's product. The for the second, look at AOL's

  • by mr100percent ( 57156 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:00AM (#5715411) Homepage Journal
  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:00AM (#5715414) Homepage know all that IM spam you get? you know the kind

    SeXygrl4u:Hi, I'm Cindy and I just got a digital camera. I took some REALLY hot photos of myself. Come see my webcam at!!

    Well, now imagine the IM of the future.....

    (cue video of fat balding man in a blonde wig and a schoolgirl's outfit. (voice of man talking in heavy N.Y. accent)
    SeXygrl4u:"Yo, I'm Cindy, and i just got a new camera to take some freakin pictures with. Check them out on my site OR ELSE! There's some really hot pictures of me playing with my girlfriends. Together, we are some of the hottest teens on the WEB!"

    Innovation indeed..............

  • I'll just get it out of the way...

    1. Promise to do one thing.
    2. Do your best to undo those promises.
    3. Profit!
  • by Johnso ( 520335 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:02AM (#5715416)
    You just know that video-trolling is going to be the next big thing.

    "Hi!! I'm a 14 y/o cheerleader lookin' to cyber. Wanna videochat?"
    [Goatse guy comes on screen.]

    AOL's gonna need a puke emoticon or two.

    • Ever since all the hype about video phones, I've been ready for this. I bought costumes and backdrops and everything. DAMN THE CONSUMERS FOR THERE SLOW ADAPTION OF CLEARLY SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY!

      No, I'm serious I've been waiting for this. :-D
      • Herman Costa []---- ---mixup [] ---- ---Sasa Markovic []---- --- Rolf Behme []

      • More Simpsons (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Pharmboy ( 216950 )
        No, I'm serious I've been waiting for this. :-D

        When I hear of video phones, once again I think of the Simpsons. Lisa's future, getting married, talking to Mom, who keeps crossing her fingers when she talks and Lisa has to keep reminding her that she can her, its a video phone. Harder to lie to the boss when you call in sick and he sees you with your sunglasses on, and baseball tickets in hand. oops!

        I am not sure that I want people to see me in my natural habitat (underwear, no shower til 3), and more
    • not the only reason people dont want to be broadcast visually. I know I play FPS games online during the summer naked, so i sure dont want to drop out of my game for a few minutes of AIM before I go find another server to talk to my friends buck ass naked...
  • Push to talk? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:02AM (#5715417)
    The push to talk feature skirts the "No videoconferencing" rule since you're recording a short video clip and sending it over. It's not live really.
  • the Waiting game (Score:2, Informative)

    by jayoyayo ( 650349 )
    I think i'll have to pass... or at least wait until its fully tested and complete. AIM betas are notorious for causing a tremendous amount of crashes.
  • Security (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:06AM (#5715425)
    What I have wanted for ages now is a "business level" IM service that is available for free. I hate the idea that my IMs are free to read by anyone with the inclination, and I don't see why more companies don't encrypt it. Yahoo offers this service as a business package, but it obviously needs to be on both sides to be secure and my mates won't pay for it.

    Can anyone give me the name of a product that fits this criteria? Linux version?

    cheap web site hosting [] from $3

    • Well, it doesn't rhyme with Troll []...

      But you're talking about Jabber [].
    • Jabber (Score:4, Informative)

      by roro_parnucious ( 534079 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:26AM (#5715463)
      Have you looked at Jabber?


      Commercial Support:

      You can set up a Jabber server, connect securely to
      it from Jabber IM clients, and (if you wish) have the
      server translate out to AIM, MSN, Y!M, etc.

      Translations to other services will not be secure, of
      course, unless the external server supported such a
      thing ( to my knowledge Y!, MS and AOL do not ).
      • Re:Jabber (Score:2, Insightful)


        Jabber is not "Opensource". It is an open standard, with both Open Source and porprietary client and server software in existance.

        Just to be clear ;)
        • Right, but an open standard makes it the next best thing. Anyone can write a Jabber client or server and take full advantage of the basic protocol. (I believe the protocol allows for extensions which can, of course, be proprietary)

          Never had a problem with any of the Jabber clients or servers I've tried, unlike the often flaky and unreliable AIM/ICQ clients and servers my co-workers are always complaining about. (EG, Trillian, which often seems responsible for more work-destroying crashes than Windows ever

          • /shrug.

            I never had a problem with Trillian crashing. Well okay, maybe it's crashed once or twice, but never bringing the machine down. What are you running, Windows 95?
            • Nope, they're all running 2K. And in the four months I've been here, I've seen about a half-dozen Trillian crashes that have somehow managed to bring the machine to a grinding halt. (Not necessarily kill the operating system, but consume/smash enough other resources to require a reboot)

    • What about the SSL support in LICQ [], which is a Linux ICQ client? I'm yet to actually find someone else who has it compiled in to try it with, but I'm still hoping.
      • I have it. But you have to be able to establish a direct connection with the other person. And if you're both running iptables/$windows_firewall then you're out of luck.

        Something else I've started trying to write is a GPG plugin for licq. Now that would make more sense. But I'm not good enough at C++ to do it. If anyone would like to help out with this, please visit my site, and leave a comment somewhere.

    • ICQ 2002 comes with 128 bit encrypted chat/sg sessions, though just because it is encrypted dosn't mean that the reciver will get the message. That is the bigger issuse if you ask me. There is no way of knowing if the other party has recived the IM, only by conformation msg of course. Bleh not making much sense. Sorry i did my best.

    • GAIM lets you log in to all the services Jabber lets you log into, and has had a plugin that uses GPG to encrypt your text, not the protocol.

      If you want to put the pieces together, GAIM now runs under Windows. GAIM-e has provided GPG integration for GAIM on Linux for a long time and was recently ported to Windows. All you need now is the GAIM-e for Windows package and GPG for Windows. If you're not inclined to use the CLI, you can use Windows Privacy Tray, a GUI wrapper for GPG for Windows now part of Wind
    • I take it you haven't tried Trillian [] then. Besides being a universal solution to the major IM formats, it supports using "Secure IM"(128bit Blowfish) encryption to other Trillian clients over AIM and ICQ seemlessly. It's an entire point-to-point encryption method, so unlike Jabber, there isn't any weak-point to grab the IM. It isn't open-source, but it is free as in beer, so it's worth giving a try.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    And a foothold among first adopters with fast connections and the telecoms will be sweating bullets. This is, after all, the killer app for communication.
  • Hrmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by acehole ( 174372 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:09AM (#5715434) Homepage
    I wonder if they're going to learn from the folly that was 'Microsoft Netmeeting'.

    That degraded into a place of seeing countless people jerking off, flashing and other lude acts.

    • by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:17AM (#5715450)
      That degraded into a place of seeing countless people jerking off, flashing and other lude acts.

      Agreed. Hopefully they do learn, and we get those features immediately rather than slowly degrading into it.

      cheap web site hosting [] for your vanity domain

    • Re:Hrmm (Score:3, Funny)

      by gad_zuki! ( 70830 )
      >That degraded into a place of seeing countless people jerking off, flashing and other lude acts.

      And where may I find these 'meetings?'
    • I wonder if they're going to learn from the folly that was 'Microsoft Netmeeting'.

      That degraded into a place of seeing countless people jerking off, flashing and other lude acts.
      ...and how is that different from current instant messages sent over AOL?
  • Beta Tester (Score:4, Informative)

    by seeksoft ( 579626 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:11AM (#5715440)
    You can actually get the latest build of this beta software from Keyword: beta. Once you are accepted the code name of the application (AOL for BROADBAND / AOL PLUS / AOL SERVICE PACK 1 / AOL 9.0) is actually named Blue Hawaii. The GUI is all blue, And the service has totaly gone through a new face lift from the 8.0 version. I must say I do like the features they are implenting. As the question asked before about the video streams, if both users have broadband connections, the video is actually as good as MS Netmeeting. Its not always the speed of the service, but the frame rate of your camera. Cheaper the camera, slower the frame rate. This beta also includes the many of the fun features of AIM. File transfers, Direct Connect to send pictures, Voice Chat, and a new feature (Webcams). I'm also going to add the latest beta of AIM has resolved most of firewall issues people were having. There are 3 different ways to connect to someone now. It solved all of my issues with my home network firewall and my office firewall. Looks like AOL is on the right track to getitng its service going. The next major feature will be McAfee implenmented into the email service like msn and yahoo currently do. That beta test is going pretty smooth. I just cant wait till they start streaming movies. These large trailers they keep releasing (animatrix / matrix) Rumor is its just a test of what kind of bandwidth they will need. Start small, then go big I guess. Should be intresting how AOL begins the climb back to the top. and out of curiosity, I know we all love to hate it, how many of us actully DO USE AOL? steve
    • by thynk ( 653762 )
      I've kept my AOL around. Lots of reasons I guess, most of the other users make me feel smart, most of the college hotties in town use it, too lazy to change my email on the legit subscriptions I have, makes a nice spam catcher so I can protect my other email, but mostly it's the college hotties use it.

      AOL has come a LONG way since I started using it (AOL 2.0 for DOS). Thanks for the tip on the new build, I've been in the BETA group since, um... seems like forever... but I didn't know Blue Hawaii was a ne
  • Well... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Linguica ( 144978 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:26AM (#5715464)
    Maybe I'll actualy enjoy receiving porno spam IMs.

    Oh, baby.
  • by Boss, Pointy Haired ( 537010 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:33AM (#5715476)
    Do any of these instant messaging systems/protocols support the exposure of a different online "status" to different groups of buddies?

    For example, I use Messenger at work, and it would be useful to allow my colleagues to see me as "Online", whilst my friends outside of work see me as "Busy".

    I think Buddy Groups would be easier than having to create a separate account (one for work and one for use with friends), and in particular if you have a large number of friends on IM you don't want to have to set your status to Busy for them individually.

    Then at lunchtime, I can quickly set my "Friends" Buddy Group to show me as "Online"...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do any of these instant messaging systems/protocols support the exposure of a different online "status" to different groups of buddies?

      ICQ [] does, at least on a per-user level; e.g. you can set things up so that Joe sees you as "away," Jerry thinks you're "offline," but Jenny (who you hope to be setting up a date with) sees you as "online." I'm not sure whether or not there's a group functionality built into ICQ, I've never looked for it or needed it.

      Note: you have to use the full client, "ICQ Lite" does no

      • This is perhaps my favorite feature of ICQ. (Unfortunate that nobody I know uses ICQ anymore). Also handy is the "always visible to user" setting (or whatever they're calling it now) - when you are "invisible" to everybody else, your select few individuals will see that you are online.

        My biggest gripe about AIM is that to block a buddy is to not know their status ... I like seeing that my parents are online, but knowing that they do not know that I am online. Although, that might have been the downfall

    • You can do that in Yahoo Messenger. Add additional profiles and use different profiles for different categories of people.
  • aol & icq (Score:5, Informative)

    by nsda's_deviant ( 602648 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:35AM (#5715478)
    its amazing that AOL is circumventing the FCC rules, I was pretty disapointed when AOL IM protocol wasn't forced open during the merger but this is ridiculous. To brashlly declare it doesnt hold a dominant control over IM, have they forgotten about AOL IM & ICQ??? article []
    "The petition argues that AOL's IM services, AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ, face more competition from Microsoft and Yahoo, both of which have launched video conferencing features on their respective IM clients. The petition also disputes the order's original argument that AOL's dominance would increase given the lack of interoperability, now that MSN and Yahoo have amassed millions of users as well.

    "There is no longer any plausible reason to conclude either that AOL is dominant or that the market is in danger of 'tipping' to AOL," said Northwestern University professor William P. Rogerson, who provided an affidavit on behalf of AOL Time Warner. "

    also alarming, William P. Rogerson [] is the Chief Economist of the FCC []
    • It's also amazing that Microsoft is allowed to circumvent anything they want. It's 10 times the monopoly AOL is. Sure, it would be nice to see AOL opening the IM protocol, but even better if MS opened the Office document formats.

      I live in Europe and know more people that use MSN than ICQ or AIM. On the other hand, everybody I know uses MS Windows.

      So now, who has a monopoly where?
      • Sure, it would be nice to see AOL opening the IM protocol

        AIM protocal isn't open? Might as well be, since every multi-client chat program uses it. Heck, even my misterhouse ( home automation controller uses it. Kinda neat that I can IM my house to turn the porch light on, or make coffee. Kinda sad is that's one of the hightlights of my day.
  • They're supposed to not compete due to arbitrary restrictions set (in terms of Internet time) eons ago?

    The IM landscape isn't the same as it was a year ago or even two years ago. Thanks to cheap high spec PCs, USB webcams and cheap high speed internet, the once expensive realm of videoconfrencing is now a dime-a-dozen.

    Why should they not be allowed to compete now that everything to do videoconfrencing is easy and ubiquitous?
  • Is there any linux client that does icqphone, or similar in the other protocols? I hate going to windows everytime to speak to my friends.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Unfortunately, no. However, perhaps you could convince your friends to use Netmeeting? There's a similar client for Linux called GnomeMeeting ( that provides all the functionality of Netmeeting, along with the compatibility.

  • by Rooked_One ( 591287 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:53AM (#5715501) Journal
    people that tend to use AOL like to hide behind their computer. Its the whole "I can be whomever I want behind this computer screen" syndrome that apeals to so many. THERE ARE STUDIES that prove this.

    By using video cameras and incorporating it into the newly released AOL broadband, they are trying to apeal to a certain niche. I would think they would have studies to tell them that this is a horrible idea and it will not work becuase guys can't pretend to be girls and ugly girls can't pretend to be really hot. I'm sure I don't need to point out that short film - "The Parlor"

    People just won't use it. Those that do and happen to be good looking will get so sick of people without webcam's spaming them with messages all day long they will just take it down.

    SOrry AOL - not this time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @04:58AM (#5715509)
    I'm a frequent user of AIM, ICQ, IRC, Yahoo IM, and MSN Messenger.

    That being said, I used to use IRC all the time. I had a lot of friends there and it seemed like the place to be. Unfortunately, the packet kiddies have made it extrordinarily unreliable.

    ICQ was the next place I frequented. Unfortunately, it's a haven for spammers. It's the only IM service I get spam from. It's pretty reliable, but most of the people that are relatively new to the internet don't have ICQ numbers. So it's not particularly useful anymore, although a few years ago, it too was the place to be.

    I've used Yahoo IM, but unfortunately it seems rather pointless to me. I don't know why, I've just never been a fan of it. Yahoo's official client seems rather slow and I have problems connecting to the service rather often. I also find people I know just don't use it that much.

    That brings me to the two I use a lot now, those being AIM and MSN Messenger.

    I like AIM. I really do. Its client for Linux is rather lacking, but a lot of people have it. It doesn't seem as bloated as ICQ, but it still has a lot of features. And you can bet just about anyone online has an AIM SN. The service is rather reliable, too, I've found.

    As for MSN Messenger, it's really become my favorite IM service. I know I'll probably get modded down for being pro-Microsoft, but it does everything I need it to do and aside from the few times it's gone down for maintainence, it's also rather reliable of late. I like it more than AIM just because it doesn't have the rather stupid features like warnings. I've never really understood that or the rate limiting feature. I mean, I know how they work but I don't get the point of them. I've never seen warnings used against obscene or harassing users. I only see them used when someone is mad at someone else and does it as a way to get back at them. MSN doesn't have these stupid features. That's why I like it. And most people I know have MSN Messenger, too.

    As for Netmeeting, as an op in some teen channels, I see lots of requests to chat on Netmeeting. I get sick of seeing the requests. It's a home for perverts. Yahoo is turning into that, too. Video chats are nice, but with a low quality webcam and an upstream that just sucks (128 kbit) and lots of friends on dialup, it's rather pointless. And no amount of compression will make it much better without making the quality thoroughly suck. Forget it.

    I'll still use AIM, but it's just another pointless feature I'll never use.
    • I like AIM. I really do. Its client for Linux is rather lacking, but a lot of people have it. It doesn't seem as bloated as ICQ, but it still has a lot of features. And you can bet just about anyone online has an AIM SN. The service is rher reliable, too, I've found.

      Other good clients for Linux are Everybuddy, which does AIM/ICQ/IRC/MSN/Yahoo (the big 5), and GAIM, which does AIM/Jabber. On Mac OS X the AIM client from AOL just plain rocks, it's got intelligent design that blows the win32/linux clients
      • by fader ( 107759 ) <(moc.poptoh) (ta) (redaf)> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @06:22AM (#5715599) Homepage
        GAIM, which does AIM/Jabber

        Just FYI, GAIM has a plugin archetecture that lets it support just about anything. Out of the box it supports AIM (TOC and OSCAR), ICQ, Yahoo!, MSN, IRC, Jabber, Napster, Zephyr, and Gadu-Gadu. Not to mention that you can get plugins to do everything from spell checking to automagically forwarding messages (via a rule-based system) to a cellphone or email. Plus the newest version has a much nicer UI than any other Linux IM client I've ever used.

        (Sorry to shill for GAIM, but the name causes most people to assume it's AIM only, but it's not, and it flat-out r0x0rz :)
    • I like AIM. I really do. Its client for Linux is rather lacking, but a lot of people have it. It doesn't seem as bloated as ICQ, but it still has a lot of features. And you can bet just about anyone online has an AIM SN. The service is rather reliable, too, I've found.

      I really do too. Me and a girl I met when I was in the US exchange a lot of pictures, and it is really neat that in AIM you can embed pictures into the text whereas in other IMs these have to be transferred seperately via files. Whereas with
    • One thing helping contribute to all the spam on ICQ is their lack of concern for ensuring that users of the system are really valid users.

      Back when ICQ was brand new, I recall creating a user account which I've long since forgotten the password to. If I do a search in their directory for myself, I can find that old account in their system to this day!

      It appears they almost never delete inactive accounts, and are more than happy to let people create as many new ones as they like. (I imagine they do this
  • Apple's iChat (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ciryon ( 218518 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @05:37AM (#5715557) Journal
    Apple's iChat use the same protocol as AIM (OSCAR if I'm not mistaken) and there have been some rumors [] about video for it too. Perhaps Apple and AOL are working together on this one?


  • People on dial up (making up 80% of the internet population last I heard, but companys making video-on-demand and video confrencing always seem to forget this) will find this far to slow, many broadband users paying overspriced telco fees for their bandwidth will find it to expensive, people wont buy webcams if no one else has them so it will end up no one has a camera to use, and prehaps most importantly of all, most people on the internet arnt going to want people they talk to see them, even if they are
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's right folks. We knew the World Wide Web wasn't going to take off either. After all, 99% of people had a 2400 baud modem so those big web pages would never be a success. Nobody would feel any inclination to obtain a faster connection because those big web pages simply didn't fulfil any need. That is why we are still stuck on 2400 baud modems today. THINK!
  • The audio over internet to phone phase seemed to work but being free the companies didn't survive.

    Why not just audio chat. The bandwidth would be much lower. The jerky video that modem users have would make this useless.

  • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @09:48AM (#5715840)
    There is an "Instant Messaging Planet" web page. Now I'm off to search for that elusive technology reporting website, "POTS Handset World"!
  • Look on the bright side, if this catches on people won't lie about their age (unless theyre the mass percentage that doesn't have a webcam, doesn't want one, or cant put it on their computer)

    just my 2 cents worth...
  • AOL has petitioned the FCC to lift the restriction on advanced IM services even though it has not opened its IM network to competitors.

    The FCC should deny AOL's petition so as to ensure that instant messaging systems are as interoperable as email systems. Pointing to the growth of rebadged versions of their own service (such as that provided by Apple) or the growth of competitors' services (which is primarily the result of people running multiple clients/services to keep in touch with their friends) does n
  • Oh, Gods NO!!!! (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by farrellj ( 563 )
    Can you imagine what the Goatsex, and anal cavern people are going to do with this technology?!?!?!

  • Tivejo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Thing 1 ( 178996 ) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @12:55PM (#5716374) Journal
    My wife uses Tijevo ("I see you" in Portuguese) to communicate with her friends in Brazil. The program includes video as well as "push to speak" in chat rooms.

    People take turns talking, there's a "hand" icon to note who's next in line, each room has a "manager" who keeps order, and most of the room are music-oriented: people will start talking, say hi to their friends and a bit of background, then play a song.

    Listening to the music there, and then going to Kazaa, she has gotten several CDs worth of music she wouldn't be exposed to otherwise. Obviously it would be nice if there was a way to pay the musician without having to buy the CD (and few of these are local bands, so she can't go to their shows), but it's broadening her musical tastes and also helping her learn English.

  • Oh, crap. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Axel2001 ( 179987 )
    So, what I guess this means for the online world is that, now, 15 year olds will have to find a way of saying "Lol LOLz! ROFLMAO" in a video world? Plus, most of the time when I use an IM client, I don't want people to look at me - just rolled out of bed or something. Nah, it's not gonna work.
  • An idea whose time shouldn't come. What a complete and total waste of bandwidth. If you were talking about multiple people in a video conference for work, maybe but just like a video phone has not caught on most people DON'T want to have to be seen to take a call or answer a quick message, the way IM's were supposed to be used. On top of all of it AOL and every other broadband company is cutting your upload to a trickle making this seem even more foolish. It is like the cable companies using downloading mus
  • By NanoCom (
  • already has this.. AOL is behind the times in the "features" category regarding im. At least the features they think people want/need.
  • A long, long time ago, a lot of people used Cu-SeeMe for Internet videoconferencing. Then it was no longer available for free, and the world of NAT (i.e. most people with broadband routers) blotted out most H.323 options.

    You may remeber QVIX, which has now become SightSpeed [], which has a solution for NAT. It is more "IM-like".

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.