The social networking phenomenon Facebook is all about connecting people. Plans to add Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication to Facebook could be the chosen method of staying in touch for many in the future. A few Facebook users have started seeing a “Call” button randomly show up when they visit their friends' profiles. The new button doesn't seem to do anything, but it's not too big of a stretch to guess that Facebook wants to start doing VoIP calls.
Facebook likely will not develop the technology on its own. After all, the social networking giant has been working on deep integration with Skype to deliver SMS and voice/video chat using Facebook Connect for the last four months, if not longer. With the release of Skype 5.0 for Windows three months ago, we saw Facebook phonebook and browsing integration in the new Skype client.
Will we soon see Skype integration on Facebook? Admittedly, nothing actually suggests Skype in these leaks, but we're assuming so anyway; these screenshots are easy to fake, but we don't really see any motivation to do so.
The image above is courtesy of AroundThe.Net. Another user also saw the button appear and sent in a slightly different screenshot to The Daily What.
Apple has sent out invitations to the press for a 'special event' scheduled on September 1st at the Yerba Buena Center for Arts Theater in San Francisco. The text in the invite offered no hint of what might be in store, but there has been plenty of speculation leading up to it. Many rumor mongers bet that Apple will introduce the new iPod Touch with camera and/or a cheaper Apple TV box unit. From the buzz over the web and in the technology world, it looks like it might be more of an iPod related event.
The invites sent out contain image of an acoustic guitar with the Apple logo cut out on it. It is fairly clear that Apple would be releasing something related to music. Among the new products and services rumored to be on tap:
- A new iPod touch, possible with a higher-res screen and one or two cameras
- A new Apple TV, priced at $99 and built around iOS and the iTunes store
- A 99-cent TV rental service, subject to the agreement of the TV studios
- A cloud-based iTunes service that makes use of the new data center Apple has been building in North Carolina.
Earlier this year, two iPod touch prototypes with camera were spotted on eBay.
Heavy buzz is being created about the new Apple TV box that would be lighter, cheaper and won't have any hard drive. This complements rumors about the new cloud-based iTunes service. Any or all of this could be wrong, of course. I guess we’ll all have to wait for the announcements from this special event scheduled 12pm Central on September 1.