Chatman: The plug-in emoticon that talks back at ya

A new toy that aims to make chat sessions on your PC or Mac considerably more exciting for kids is to make its way into shops in time for the Easter holidays.

Called Chatman, the emoticon-looking critter plugs in to your computer and chats away based on what you or your mates are saying after listening in on the conversation. It then tells you exactly what it thinks and how it feels about the discussions exchanged.

Compatible with all major IM platforms including Facebook, MSN, Yahoo and AOL, Chatman has three personality options with over 500 actions and over 25 customisable moods.

You'll also be able to upload custom chit-chats (once makers Re:Creation has checked them), and download new conversations as well, says the company behind the gadget.

Parents worried about letting their kids loose on chatrooms will be pleased to hear that while it won't stop your little ones straying onto sites they shouldn't, it will monitor for no go subjects, alerting your kids that they shouldn't be talking about certain things.

At internetmatters.org parents can find all the advice they will need to keep their children safe online. Designed specifically for parents, the site offers a wealth of up-to-date, unbiased information and advice about how to deal with online safety. Parents can learn about the latest issues and technologies, get great tips on how to talk about online safety with their children and get the best advice on dealing with issues and taking action. Created with experts, Internet Matters provides detailed information, but also signposts to best-in-class resources from individual expert organisations. Our goal is to ensure parents can always access the information that they need, in a format that is clear and concise.