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Jonathan Fildes | 16:48 UK time, Wednesday, 28 July 2010

anybot.jpgOn Tech Brief today: Chatroulette cleans up and your robot friend on the other side of the world, and the end of the mouse, sort of.

• Google already has Orkut and Buzz. Now, according to Amir Efrati at the Wall Street Journal, it is in talks with several makers of online games to beef up its social networking services or even release a new one.

"It is unclear when Google may launch the new gaming offering and the plans aren't finalized, but people briefed on the matter said the games would be part of broader social-networking initiative that is under development by the Mountain View, California, company."

• Chatroulette - the site where random strangers can meet and chat online via webcam - has decided to clamp down on its seedier side. As regular BBC Columnist Bill Thompson said in April: "My son reckons he is getting a ratio of 14 naked men to one worthwhile conversation". Now, its founder has decided to do something about it, according to IT News:

The founder of online video chat-room sensation 'Chatroulette' has revealed the company has been storing the IP addresses and even taking screenshots of users engaged in inappropriate conduct whilst connected to the service.

• Apple announced it is finally releasing its Magic Track Pad - a multi touch device for desk top computers - later this year. It prompted a flurry of stories about the death of the mouse, including one by M G Siegler at TechCrunch:

"The mouse may be destined to become a precision tool that professions such as designers use. History may prove that this Magic Trackpad was the final mouse trap that signalled this end."

However, after a flurry of comments from readers, he was forced to update with another post called "The Mouse Is Dead. I Just Killed It. Now Can We Move On?":

"Let me be clear: I'm not saying trackpads and other multi-touch surfaces are going to replace the mouse overnight. Of course they're not. I'm also not saying that the Magic Trackpad specifically is going to kill the mouse. Of course it's not -- it's Mac-only, that's still a small percentage of overall computer users. What I am saying is that the Magic Trackpad is the device that is signalling the end of the mouse era."

• And finally, business travel could soon be a thing of the past, if a Silicon Valley start-up has its way. Anybots, first mentioned on Tech Brief back in May, has released the first of its tele Presence Robots, according to Robert Mullins at Venture Beat:

"A telepresence robot can, for example, tour a plant in China while the person controlling it follows along from their office in California. The tour guide could talk to the robot like they're talking to the person on the other end and can soon forget they're talking to a robot."

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