Google Talk

by redshift

I caught this one before it was even released! Tomorrow (supposedly) Google is releasing a new service, Google Talk, which is basically a public Jabber server for anyone with a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you have no excuse, as I was offering them to anyone a few months back.

I’m excited about this for several reasons. First, the Jabber protocol is much better than AIM, MSN, ICQ, etc. AIM is by far the most popular in my circle, which is understandable but unfortunate. All three of these legacy protocols come from terrible roots, whereas Jabber was designed to be a light, interoperable, secure protocol. It hasn’t become popular yet because there hasn’t been a good, popular server with which everyone could easily get access.

Second, Google can do no wrong. I know, I know, with the rate they’re growing today they’ll be a behemoth down the line, but I’ve never seen them have a really bad idea. It’s like Bell Labs in the golden days. They managed to keep this one secret, too, which is surprising. I’m hoping it’ll become as popular as Gmail. Also, I must note, Gmail was incredibly good in its own right for UI quality. No webmail service (or truthfully, any web service at all) had come close to its polished UI. While talk.google is just a server, I believe, I think the same forethought will show through.

Third, if it becomes a standard chat server, there’s a chance that we can eliminate the huge mess of protocols we’re forced to live with today. It’s a pain having to use 5-7 accounts in your instant messaging program. One good account would be wonderful.

Did I neglect to mention that the server is already running? So, here’s how to set it up:

  • screen name: your Google/Gmail account name (skip the @gmail.com)
  • password: obvious
  • server: gmail.com
  • tls: of course
  • port: 5222
  • connect server: talk.google.com

Comment here if you set it up. I’m currently having trouble seeing buddies online, but I’m not expecting everything to be perfect until they officially release the service.

[update] Google Talk was indeed released this morning, and with a surprise. It’ s not just an IM service, it’s a VoIP client too (for Windows users). This only works with their official client. Another nice surprise was that they have a chart of alternative clients you can use to connect to their network. How very nice of them! Others should start taking notes, methinks.

[update] Thanks to Manast for this update. You should now use the following settings in Pidgin, and possibly other clients:

  • screen name: your Google/Gmail account name (skip the @gmail.com)
  • server: gmail.com
  • Allow plaintext auth over unencrypted streams: unchecked
  • connect port: 443
  • connect server: talk.google.com
  • Force old (port 5223) SSL: checked

More On the Bachelor Crisis

by blue midget

Three weeks ago, I set out a challenge for Halffull readers who may be affected by stink, filth, and underwear with skid marks, to send in photos of rooms that no normal person would dare enter prior to donning a biohazard suit, whether the room be yours or someone else’s. The winner (and I admit that I would probably only award the person who had a crusty, half-eaten bowl of Spaghettios somewhere in the photo) would receive a nice box of assorted cleaners and soaps, and a Halffull stein. The site stats showed that many people had read my article, a surprising number actually, and that many of the readers had either printed or emailed it. And yet, I received no photos. My assumption is that many of you were so afraid you would win the competition and the photo of your room would be posted and Jessica Simpson would miraculously find her way to this site to see it and your chances with her would be blown.

I want you all to know that this is the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard because I really don’t think Jessica Simpson knows what a computer is, let alone how to work one.

At any rate, no one emailed me photos, although I know the stink is out there, lurking among us. Or at the very least, people with some really unclean keyboards, because I checked the site stats and one of the top key phrases used to find this site is “show me pr0n” and there is no pr0n here, people. At all. However, what I did receive was a few different emails asking me for further information, as well as some embarrassing questions. Let’s get to it.

There’s no easy way to start off this one, so I’ll just come right out and say it. I received an email from a very nice, but embarrassed guy about the dreaded back-acne. Read the rest of this entry »