Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Full Disclosure: ATD Adds Meebo Toolbar

As we have with every change to features and functionality on All Things Digital, today we are writing to give you details about a new Meebo toolbar on this site.

It appears at the very bottom of each page on our site.

The first thing you need to know: You can get rid of it whenever you like.

But we think you will like it, because it enhances our site’s navigation, highlights fresh content and provides instant-messaging functionality, all in one place.

Such as:

Share Page: Drag the page–or individual page items, such as a headline or image–into social tools or chat tools to share with friends and colleagues

News: The most recent headlines from BoomTown, MediaMemo and Digital Daily, as well as select headlines from The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s

Reviews: The latest product reviews and analysis from Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret

Hot Topics: Links to our aggregated coverage of recent product launches and timely issues

Twitter: An “uber feed” that combines all our tweets

Per our All Things Digital Privacy Policy, any toolbar usage information will be shared with Meebo solely for the purpose of using this service or for targeting advertising on the toolbar.

Meebo may use cookies to target these toolbar ads; for more information please read Meebo’s Privacy Policy.

If you want to use a chat tool, you’ll be asked to log in with a user name and password. Again, please see Meebo’s Privacy Policy regarding collection and storage of your IM passwords.

And as I said at the start, if you prefer not to use the Meebo service, click the down arrow at the far right of the toolbar to hide the unit. If you change your mind, click that arrow and the toolbar will reappear.

In addition, below is a video interview I did with Meebo founder and CEO Seth Sternberg about the toolbar addition, as well as his company’s new XAuth announcement.

XAuth is an open authentication effort, which includes Meebo and partners Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO), Microsoft (MSFT), MySpace, JanRain, Disqus and Gigya. As described on its Web site:

XAuth is an open platform for extending authenticated user services across the web.

Participating services generate a browser token for each of their users. Publishers can then recognize when site visitors are logged in to those online services and present them with meaningful, relevant options.

Users can choose to authenticate directly from the publisher site and use the service to share, interact with friends, or participate in the site’s community. The XAuth Token can be anything, so services have the flexibility to define whatever level of access they choose.

Here’s the video with Sternberg:

Comments? Ideas? Write us at feedback@allthingsd.com.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik