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    IM client software


    Hello everyone,

    This is slightly off topic but I was wondering if anyone had any experience with IM client software. I am talking about it's usage, not writing any. I have used over the years AOL, ICQ, MSN and Yahoo to name a few. I have used many different version of each. Currently I do not have any IM client loaded up at work, but I have both ICQ and Yahoo loaded on the home PC. Now with both I have or rather use a yahoo email account and I further have my cell phone tied in for added verification.

    Now I do not use either very much, on both I chat with a few long time friends, but not much more. I would be lucky if I checked either account once a day, and even then I don't do much more than just look and then log off. There was a time I spent some time chatting on there, but honestly I just do not have the time anymore. I know there is a phone app that alows one to use those on their phones, and also there is a browser based Gmail chat as well too.

    Now for me I still like ICQ the best, but it has so changed over the years with it's different versions. I don't even have a account for AOL, MSN, or Gmail account that I even remember or use anymore. As I said I still have the yahoo and ICQ accounts, but my numbers of contacts are quickly decreasing. Actually I think I have like 8 contacts on yahoo, and only 2 on ICQ anymore. Also the folks using each seem to be a whole different sect of people than use to use it. That is not being said in a good way either.

    Is the fad of IMing faded and going away? What is everyones thoughts?
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  3. Sarcky
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    It's the lounge, you can't be off-topic.

    I IM constantly throughout the day. I use pidgin (on linux, but there's also a windows version) and it integrates with every major IM network except for Skype.

    We're required to be signed into skype for work. In addition, I have personal and professional contacts on two different gmail accounts, 3 yahoo accounts which I use for various purposes, and an old AIM account I keep active just in case those friends ever come back.

    I don't think it's a fad, I think it's a valuable way to either say "hey quick question" or have an engaged conversation for hours while still being able to do other things. It fits in the continuum between face to face meetings and emails. Quick turnaround, unambiguous communication, and nobody thinks you're rude if you watch a youtube clip or send a quick email before answering their questions.
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    We use IMs at work pretty regularly. I use Empathy (since I run a Linux desktop at work -- I used Pidgin for a while too). At home, I use Trillian on my Windows desktop (usually I get on my work laptop for work issues, so I use Empathy too). I have AIM, MSN, googlechat and yahoo accounts which I can use from these. I have a skype account too, but I don't use it as much unless I'm interviewing some remote candidate. We also use an IRC channel at work to communicate

    Recently, we've been moving to Microsoft Lync at work. I rdesktop to a Windows machine to use lync and outlook. If I have to do a bit of talking though, I just reboot my laptop into Windows and use Lync directly. It is actually a pretty decent software and I have it installed on my iPhone as well.
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    I use Skype extensively for work.

    At home I use Pidgin, but my contact list on there is decreasing significantly too. I'm not sure if that's because I'm just getting older or because the technology is changing. Ten years ago I probably had 5 times as many (active) contacts on it; have I have about 5 total. I don't even actually remember which networks I have connected on it, I think AIM and Yahoo primarily.

    Mobile phone text messaging and website based messaging (like Facebook) have replaced a significant amount of the non-business use of traditional IM systems I believe, and Skype dominates the market as far as public IM services used by business. However, all of those are really IM systems too, just not in the traditional sense.
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  9. Sarcky
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    performing a necro of this thread since I wanted to ask: Have any of you had organizational changes since the whole NSA wiretapping thing revealed that Skype conversations are absolutely 100% not secure in any way? There were a number of exposes on MS even before the NSA thing dropped, Ars proved that they actually visit links you IM to people, ostensibly for fraud management.

    My company still officially recommends Skype, even though as PCI compliant I don't think we can use it.

    Oreo, what do you think?
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    Actually TBH very little about the whole NSA wiretapping thing came as a surprise to me; I've always assumed they monitor pretty much all internet communication. Also I believe Skype uses, or at least used to use, a P2P protocol, so I've never actually trusted it much for that reason. We use Google Apps for email at work, and I've always assumed that everything there is monitored too (actually I've known for a fact that it is, because Google uses it to serve me targetted ads).

    If I have something secure I need to send, like root passwords, I do it by placing them in a document on one of our servers (over SSH), using root to give only the recipient access to them, and then telling the recipient to go log into the server (also over SSH) to get the document.

    Of course, the servers are hosted on EC2 so if the NSA wanted access to the files they could probably get them without trouble, but as far as I know SSH is still considered to be secure even from the NSA, so I presume that the documents are safe in-transit at least.

    For other sorts of information, the convenience of services like Skype and Gmail outweigh the annoyance and risk of having the information intercepted for me. The company I work for is far too small for it to be at all economical for us to not outsource most of our communication methods, and the fact that that means the communications are subject to interception is just a compromises we (the company) don't have much choice but to live with at the moment.

    So in a nutshell, nothing has changed for me (either personally or at my company) as a result of the NSA thing, and it doesn't look likely that anything will in the short term.
    Last edited by E-Oreo; July 15th, 2013 at 03:23 PM.
    PHP FAQ

    Originally Posted by Spad
    Ah USB, the only rectangular connector where you have to make 3 attempts before you get it the right way around
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  13. Sarcky
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    Yeah that's what I'm seeing too. My company is hiding behind the "industry standard" card for the time being. I use end-to-end encryption for most of my chats anyway through the pidgin OTR plugin, I don't have personal conversations without it.

    Slashdot just did ANOTHER expose about this thing, HP apparently builds secret government back doors into their NAS products. Which we use to store credit card details.
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    I forgot to mention that we do actually have a self-hosted project / ticket management system which we use for about 80% of non-real-time communication. It's secured over SSL, so presumably that traffic is not intercept-able. The system does not encrypt data in the database though, so it's not used for critical pieces of information (again, like root passwords).
    PHP FAQ

    Originally Posted by Spad
    Ah USB, the only rectangular connector where you have to make 3 attempts before you get it the right way around
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    We don't host our ticket system OR our document management system, I don't know why. Every detail of our system is hosted by external systems. Our code is in-house, but document sharing (including TDDs/PRDs) is offsite. So weird.

    I worked for a company once that hosted its own IRC and jabber servers, both secure, and both cut off from the outside world. Email was in-house on non-microsoft products, and document sharing was samba drives on a NAS on our control row. I didn't realize at the time that it was far from standard (it was my second job).
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    Running a full suite of self-hosted applications for a company basically requires at least one full time sysadmin, and that's a cost that most small and medium businesses just can't justify - particularly when hosted solutions are available for a tenth or less of the cost of a sysadmin. Plus the hosted solution is usually going to provide better reliability and performance, plus end-user support and documentation. In the case of systems like Skype, they also provide pre-existing interoperability between our company and our clients, which is a major benefit for both companies.
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    Originally Posted by Spad
    Ah USB, the only rectangular connector where you have to make 3 attempts before you get it the right way around
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    This was a hosting company primarily mounted on unix, so we had plenty of spare sysadmins. Dozens of them. It's still interesting though, I'd like to see the CBA for the decision for us (a credit card middleman) to outsource some of this.
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    Well I am not a big fan of outsourcing anything. You get sub standard service and no accountability with moving things out to the net for hosting. It is far better to do it all in-house and know with whom your dealing with and having the control,
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    That opinion is very rapidly going the way of the dinosaur. As I said earlier, we're a credit card middleman. Very large companies outsource their billing entirely to us, trusting us to charge the cards on their behalf and track all the accounts and plans and purchases.

    Document management, productivity, email, chat, all of it is being outsourced to specialized companies which provide plug-and-play solutions to normal office problems.
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    I am talking about IT out sourcing, not application out sourcing. There is nothing like having ones own Sys Admins, Network techs, DBAs, and the host of other IT others in house to work with. I work for a Software Development company and we do it all ourselves and we are not small either. Also for the past 25+ yrs I have worked for Beta test IT shops that do Bleeding edge R&D work and Production / Developement / Test / QA / UAT environments. I have seen it all and will stand against Out Source any IT job ever.

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