Momentous Stuff

Great things are afoot. But first, a big hand of applause to the folk at Sapo for launching the new beta of their integrated IM/VoIP client - it's an integrated Jabber/SIP client (remember, they recently licensed the Xten SDK) that is impressively well turned out.

Ribbit, Ribbit

The only things I can find at fault are that it suffers from MSN's propensity for wide margins between actual interface elements and the window edges (i.e., it is somewhat "large" in terms of screen real estate and could do with some trimming) and that there isn't a Mac version available.

Nevertheless, it looks much better than MSN. Oh, and their Yahoo transport is temporarily missing (not really an issue for Portugal's MSN-centric universe, but I happen to have a bunch of Yahoo contacts...).

Besides the fact that they are delivering a fully standards-compliant IM and VoIP rolled into one (and the interesting possibilities that has for future services, which is something else altogether), they proved to my satisfaction that Jabber can actually work, which probably means I'll have to buy Melo lunch or something...

Rocking The Planet

So, what else rocked the Internet today? Besides podcasting, of course (the iTunes Music Store couldn't keep up with demand last evening, and was unavailable for a while)...

  • First off, Google Earth was such a resounding success that they had to temporarily disable downloads and activations. Like Michael, I was instantly reminded of Snow Crash - the post-Keyhole client is simply mind-blowing, and I can't wait for a Mac version.
  • But even more mind-blowing is the fact that Google Maps now has a fully documented API, which means I can do away with my (rather miserable) attempt at coding a PHP wrapper for the currently known hacks and just get on with it. Watch this space for some tests soon (and who knows, maybe I'll cast them into a PhpWiki plugin). Incidentally, the Seattle Bus Monster is an excellent example of the kind of stuff you can do with a mapping API.
  • Jon Johansen (he of DVD fame) patched the Google Video viewer, letting you read a few extra video formats hosted on other servers - Windows-only.
  • T-Mobile scrapped their portal for Google. Whoa. I can feel the ripples spreading...
  • Microsoft has caught on to Ajax. The Rails camp is adopting the "hah, we are delivering this now" approach, but no matter their technical acumen, with Ruby's current footprint they might end up looking like a sugar cube in front of a steamroller...

Stepping down from world-changing events to merely interesting news:

  • There is a lot of iPhone hype again, mostly because one of the very first prototype images was displayed in a public presentation and nobody knows better (or forgot).
  • Motorola, incidentally, has been buying bits of Sendo. I say they belong together...
  • Nvu has reached 1.0. Now that Dreamweaver is going to be subsumed by Adobe, it's nice to know this is progressing.
  • Quake is going to be officially ported to mobile phones. Carmack had been looking into J2ME development a few months back, and just about any decent mobile phone has 3D graphics abilities (like, say, the K750, which has very impressive - for Java - 3D abilities).
  • Rumors of new Mac minis are rampant. Of course, the next mention I see will probably include the word "Intel" amidst the speculation - in the meantime, I'll be upgrading mine to 1GB, just to make sure it will last me a couple of years at least...