May 29, 2007 on 9:45 am | In Voice | 18 Comments
Kensington recently released their Vo200 Bluetooth Internet Phone, a handy little voice-over-IP (VOIP) phone that’s great for laptop users. It works with most major online internet phone providers, including Yahoo! Voice.
Shaped flat and sized like a credit card, the Kensington Vo200 fits into a laptop’s type I or II PC card slot for storage and recharging. A two-way swivel flap doubles as a mouthpiece and a speakerphone. And because the phone uses a Bluetooth connection, you can talk at distances of up to 30 feet away from your laptop. Use Yahoo! Messenger on your PC to make a call, then pop out the Kensington Vo200 handset and roam freely while you talk.
PC World rated the phone an 82 out of 100 (very good), saying “incoming audio was surprisingly clear” and “I got the 30 hours [standby battery life] and at least 2.5 hours of talk time before recharges were necessary”. Read the complete review at PCWorld.com or head over to Yahoo! Shopping to compare prices at several retailers.
May 25, 2007 on 12:24 pm | In Features | 398 Comments
If you are a reader of this blog, you will know that our vocal supporters of Yahoo! Messenger’s chat rooms are frustrated. It is completely understandable.
Though Yahoo! is a big company with over 10,000 employees around the world, a very small number of them work on our chat rooms; in fact you can count them on one hand.
Some of the most frequent complaints are about the instability of chat rooms, the annoying bots, and the lack of chat rooms in the Mac version. This summer, we will introduce improvements that address these issues. Here’s how:
Stability: For the past year, we have worked on rebuilding the entire back end of the chat room system. The original chat room servers are over seven years old, fossils in the world of the internet. They have been re-written from the ground up and are already running in “alpha” mode in our data centers. They will be rolled out to our everyday chat rooms users in the next month. This will greatly improve the speed and stability of chat rooms in the short term. In the long term, it will enable us to continue improving our chat rooms more quickly and efficiently.
Bots: In the next few weeks, we will begin rolling out new security measures to distinguish the humans from the machines. Humans are welcome, machines are not. The result will be a dramatic decrease in the number of “bots” that are spoiling chat rooms.
Mac chat rooms: We are already beta testing a new version of Messenger for Mac that includes, among its many improvements, native support for chat rooms. Yes you read it correctly, native support for Mac chat rooms! Client software is tricky, of course, and sometimes the “bug fixing” takes longer than we anticipate. But we believe it is more important to have a delay and get it right, than to rush and make a mistake. Like the chat rooms team, the Mac team is a small one, but they make up for it with their talents.
As a Mac user myself, I am very glad that we continue to actively support such a great platform as the Mac OS. We appreciate your patience while we get this next version ready.
We know you have been living a long time with the less-than-stellar state of Yahoo! chat rooms. We appreciate your patience as these improvements become available.
Aside from chat rooms, we are also hard at work on a number of great new things from the Yahoo! Messenger team. Millions of you are already enjoying our recently released Yahoo! Messenger for the Web (http://web.im). There is a lot more great stuff coming, so hold on tight.
May 24, 2007 on 8:41 am | In Fun Stuff | 28 Comments
We’d like to know more about why and how you use emoticons. Take this brief online survey:
[Survey now closed. Thank you for your responses!]
We’ll share results here on the blog once the project is complete. Thanks!
May 18, 2007 on 2:41 pm | In News | 242 Comments
During a couple of nights next week, we’ll be performing routine server maintenance. During this time, some Yahoo! Messenger features may be temporarily unavailable and the service may seem a little slow. Planned maintenance times are:
Monday, May 21 at 7pm Pacific time
Tuesday, May 22 at 7pm Pacific time
Free time zone converter
We expect the maintenance to last about 6 hours each night. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.
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May 18, 2007 on 8:35 am | In Features | 23 Comments
This post comes from the dusty vault of “highly useful but rarely used” features in Yahoo! Messenger for Windows (8.1)…
A co-worker asked me for the mailing address of my friend Richard the other day. I went into my Address Book but realized I didn’t have it. I then remembered the Send/Request Contact Details feature in Yahoo! Messenger.
I found Richard in my contact list, right-clicked on his name and selected “Request Contact Details” (Ctrl+Shift+R). On Richard’s end, he received an IM stating that I was requesting his info. He could decline my request, or click a link to choose what contact details he wanted to send me.
Richard chose to send all of his contact info to me, so with just a click, I added all of his vital data to my Address Book, including home and work addresses, email, phone numbers, even his birthday. This feature works the other way too – I can right-click on Richard and choose “Send My Contact Details” (Ctrl+Shift+C) to provide him my information. Your contact details are all stored in your personal profile on Messenger, accessible by going to the Messenger menu and choosing “My Contact Details”.
A similarly handy feature is the ability to share one or more contacts on your list with a friend. This is really helpful when your friend is new to the world of IM and may not have everyone’s IDs yet. Just right click on a friend in your list and choose “Send My Messenger List…” (Ctrl+Shift+M).
A window then pops up showing your contact list – just click the box next to each contact you want to share with your friend (or select all). Your friend will receive an IM, and with just a click, can add the friends you shared with them to their own contact list. It’s much easier than having to send them individual Yahoo! IDs or email addresses for each friend.
For more tips on managing and sharing your contacts, visit the Finding, Adding, Sharing friends page.