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A place for thought, progress, and dissent.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Google Just Won the IM War

...but it may be a while before anyone notices.

Today, Google Talk started supporting XMPP which means I can run my own Jabber IM server (oh wait, DreamHost already has that) and can use my own email address, at my own domain, and chat with folks on Google Talk (or any other Jabber server).

This will make IM much more friendly and open. Openness has a history of making lives easier.

Google Talk wins. My prediction is that at least one of the other instant-messaging providers (MSN, Yahoo) will go XMPP this year, in reaction. Yahoo is probably the most likely. Keep people using their client, but open up the network to keep the user base. I'm ignoring AOL right now, as their going XMPP is basically already planned.

I've been waiting for this to happen every since Google Talk was announced as Jabber. Thanks, Google!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Internet Explorer 5 for Mac is Dead

Roger Johansson said it better a while back, but as of yesterday, Internet Explorer on the Mac is an unsupported product.

I hope web developers follow Roger's lead and stop sending CSS to IE/Mac (on new sites). While is was a great browser at one time, that time has passed and we must move ahead.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

1 Easy Payment and your Identity, Please...

Last night, a while after watching the ball drop into 2006, we saw a commercial for some CD set, that I can't remember the name of. It was by the same people that did Monster Ballads (Music Choice, I think, but their website gives an error message for Macs, and I'm not wasting my time finding a PC). It was another compilation of ballads, but more late 90s.

Anyway, the guy sitting next to me decides to order a copy, hopefully prompted by whatever he had been drinking, because it certainly didn't seem worth the $23.95 to me.

The first question they ask him is for a postal code. Sure, no problem. Then they ask for his Social Security Number! Not a credit card, not an address, but a SSN!

Fortunately, he was smart enough to flat-out refuse, saying something like There is no way reason you need my social security number. Music Choice was willing to lose a sale over this, which they did.

I wonder how many SSNs this company has collected from folks unaware that this is a major security problem. I was happy that everyone that I was with was angry with the request. Maybe we're a little more aware in 2006.