All new Intel Macs (with the exception of the mini) come with built in iSight webcams but up until recently the only video conferencing application which supported it properly was iChat. This is all well and good but iChat is only available for Mac OS X so immediately cuts out 95% of the people you might want to use it with!
This was annoying me because it basically rendered a pretty cool part of my MacBook Pro fairly useless (unless you like taking pictures of yourself!). The good news is that both Skype and Yahoo have now released beta versions of their IM clients with webcam support! At last! The new version of Skype is particularly impressive with a new clean and simple interface and excellent audio/video quality.
At the other end of all things cool Digg, the user driven social content website, has released new visualisation tools – Stack & Swarm – to “look beneath the surface of the Digg community’s activities” in real time. Built using flash by Stamen Design, they are very beautifully done even though their everyday utility might be questionable!
“Stories come in as circles with the title inside of them, and diggers “swarm” around these stories when they digg them. Every time a story gets dugg, it increases in size – so the bigger the story, the more active it is.”
“Digg Stack shows diggs occurring in real time on up to 100 stories at once. As stories are dugg, they appear along the bottom of the screen, colored according to how popular they are. Users digging these stories appear as falling blocks that stack up as activity increases.”