Google Talk connects to other Jabber users
When Google introduced their instant messaging client, Google Talk, it was great to know that they chose an open and free standard called Jabber (or XMPP) as the basis of their service. What was not so great about it was that users who were connected to Google's server were not able to talk to users on other Jabber servers (and vice versa). This has finally changed a couple of days ago. Google enabled federation with other Jabber servers and now all Jabber and Google Talk users are able to talk with each other. I just tried it with Psi on jabber.org on one side and Kopete on Google Talk server on the other side and so far it works great. Let's Jabber on!
OpenWengo for Firefox
Firefox is an amazing web browser on its own. But there are also a lot of cool extensions that make it even better. Daniel Glazman (you should know him as the author of the excellent and free website authoring application Nvu) is just about to release another awesome Firefox extension. It will bring VoIP internet telephony service OpenWengo right into your favourite web browser. For a visual preview check out this screenshot. To actually start using it you will have to wait for a little bit more. So be sure to regularly check Glazblog (or this article/my blog). Oh and I'm glad to report that I have already translated it into Slovenian language.
What is OpenWengo?
OpenWengo is an open source project, initiated by the French company Wengo, itself backed by neuf telecom. Their goal is to provide a standards-based VoIP platform - they are committed to providing unlimited free telephony and enhanced features to their users, while promoting innovative usage-driven services.
Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5
A few days ago version 1.5 of Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client and RSS/Atom feed reader was released. The new version brings a lot of new features and improvements. I especially like the new phishing detection which makes Thunderbird even safer than it was, this time fighting scams. An option to delete attachments has also found its way into Thunderbird. With message ageing you are now able to automatically delete mails older than specified amount of days. In short: The best email client just got better.
This is also the first version of Thunderbird that is available in Slovenian language. I know that some existing users will be very happy to hear about this. And it will also help a lot of other users of old and insecure Outlook Express to finally make a switch to safe, modern and full-featured Thunderbird.
Google Pack released
Google has just released Google Pack, which is a collection of must have software for your computer. It also includes Google Updater, which you can then use to update all software from the pack that you have installed. It is very similar to software managers that Linux users know so well and help us keep their software up to date.
The collection includes applications like the best browser Mozilla Firefox, instant messengers Google Talk and Trillian, Ad-Aware SE Personal to protect you from everyday spyware problems in Windows, Norton AntiVirus 2005 Special Edition to fight against viruses, Picasa to work with photos, Adobe Reader 7 to read PDF documents and many other, mostly Google Something apps like Google Video Player. All for free.
I think the package is quite nice but Google could do better. I still remember how bloated and slow Norton Antivirus was when I still used it. I switched to NOD32 which catches more viruses and uses a lot less system resources. Same with RealPlayer and Adobe Reader they offer. Just a couple of more bloated apps. They could have used BSPlayer/Zoom Player and Foxit Reader instead.
Novell releases latest Xgl code
At the end of the last year a lot of open source developers got very mad at Novell, because they took the source code of Xgl and started working on it behind the closed doors. Critics argued that this is not the right way to do it and that they should just do everything in public.
It looks like people at Novell listened and I'm glad to see that David Reveman released the latest Xgl code to public. There are a lot of changes in this code. It is restructured to support drivers other than nVidia propriatery ones, there is some support for Xvideo extension and many bug fixes and enhancements. David is also working on an OpenGL compositing manager named compiz. He is planing to release it at XDevConf in February. More information is available in this announcement.
I hope that this incident brought more attention to Xgl and that now developers focus on nothing else but open and active development. Can't wait to see how future Linux desktops like KDE 4 will use all the power of hardware accelerated OpenGL drawing that Xgl will bring.