get your firefox back to school gear || MAIN || internet explorer team celebrates

August 23, 2005

google does instant messaging

download Google Talk and tell me what you think.

And what's the significance of "play 23 21 13 16 21 19 . 7 1 13 5" ?

Blake pointed that out to me in Google Talk's "About" dialog from the systray and it sort of looks like a lottery number - but not quite.

Ahh, if the numbers were letters then it's "play" so maybe this. So how do we play?

Ahh, an online version of Wumpus game. Talk to :-)

Posted by asa at August 23, 2005 08:44 PM | TrackBack

Its kind of cool. Simple, but has alot of potential. Needs a little bit of text formatting ability, make your font bold or blue etc.. and a file transfer ability.

Posted by: Mike on August 23, 2005 09:17 PM

Well, if the numbers were letters, it would say "play", I think. I won't venture a guess about what that might mean.

Posted by: Steuard on August 23, 2005 09:18 PM

So Google is taking its share in IM and IP telephony as well? I wonder if this will be a more open standard compared to Skype. I love Skype, but not the fact that it's voice protocols are proprietary.

Posted by: David Tenser on August 23, 2005 09:20 PM

Hard to test this without any contacts though.. Anyone?

Posted by: David Tenser on August 23, 2005 09:26 PM

david, I invited you. I'm asadotzler.

- A

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on August 23, 2005 09:39 PM

I connected using Trillian Pro 3.1 instead of the Google Talk client, but don't have any contact to test it with. It did list some IQ ERROR 501 messages in the status box, possibly related to an empty user roster. Don't know if that will help any other Trillian users or not.

Posted by: Josh on August 23, 2005 10:38 PM

It's nice, and I am really glad that they are making it work over the Jabber network, which means I can use it with iChat. I still can't use voice though. I am waiting from when they come out with a version for OS X. But I checked out the Windows version as well, and it seems pretty cool.

Posted by: yfan on August 23, 2005 11:02 PM

Just for kicks I tried running it on Linux under Wine (the most recent dated release), and it actually seemed to sort of work -- right up to the point when you try to connect to Google's server. At that point I get a "fixme:" message related to checking the network connection sent to the command line, so I'm pretty sure it's not going to work. :-)

I've rebooted in Windows now to look at it, and while the main window is Google-y enough (although I don't really care whether it's regular UI or custom UI -- just give me a working app!), the Settings window is the ugliest thing I've ever seen Google put out. Clearly they'll be making it look pretty in future updates.

Posted by: Jeff Walden on August 23, 2005 11:21 PM

So now we can send all our IM traffic through Google as well as our Sidebar traffic, our Toolbar traffic, our 2GB of mail and our ordinary search data. There's also our Desktop Search data in one easy-to-grab location. Then there's the perpetual Google cookie that Firefox sets by default. Just add a fat pipe from the Googleplex to the NSA and you've got the spook's ultimate wet dream scenario and the concerned and privacy-conscious individual's worst nightmare.

The Mozilla Foundation should chose its bedfellows more carefully. Google? Nein Danke.

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 23, 2005 11:26 PM

Yeah, it appears seemless enough, for something just released anyway. However it is hard, as David said, to really try it out without any contacts. The whole, signing on the 2 different computers and talking to myself is kind of lame.

I think it will a bit larger market to take over with aol IM or Gaim than it was for the email business, unless of course they makie it worth it. Good way to get people to sign up for the gmail account too. Those people are marketing genius.

Posted by: Melissa on August 23, 2005 11:35 PM


They dont store anything.

Posted by: Just a random on August 23, 2005 11:55 PM

ScaredWitless: "The Mozilla Foundation should chose its bedfellows more carefully. Google? Nein Danke." Ahh, but Komrade, ve have chosen carefully! You see, mein erschrockener freund, ve are collaborating vit ze Google zo dat ve can cross reference your life vit ze credit bureaus and ze FBI/NSA records to track your ever browse! Ze Firefox is set up to send all zis data back to ze Mozilla Foundation ven we tell you ve're checking for ze updates! Zis is how ve track you vit ze Google Maps Satellite view. Please not to be scared of ze Google, it is your friend! Try ze MentalPlex so ve can read your mind, komrade!

Posted by: Grey Hodge on August 24, 2005 12:17 AM

I haven't attempted to play the Wumpus game yet, but I have successfully added some contacts and chatted in Google Talk. The client is very slick, I must say. However, I do have some things about it I don't like. Overall, I figure everybody might as well stick with Gaim, unless Google does something bloody extraordinary.

ScaredWitless, I happen to be one of the more paranoid and anti-government people you may ever meet in your entire life. I just thought I'd say your an idiot. Take off the tinfoil hat long enough to read. Yes, the world is in a horrible state right now, especially with regards to citizen/user privacy, however, corporations (for now) are still legally obligated in certain ways and you do have a legal recourse against them if you have evidence or proof that they are doing something in violation of their stated policy that you agreed to. That policy is a legally binding contract between the user (you) and the company (Google). Seriously, go outside, or have a wet dream about something that doesn't end in .png (or .svg if you can get ahold of that beautiful thing that is zoomable porn).

Posted by: Tristor on August 24, 2005 12:25 AM

Nice guess for the magic numbers in the about box Asa,

BTW what is the trackback url for this post?

Posted by: Sudar on August 24, 2005 12:31 AM

First of all, why is that every time Google pops up their latest toy everyone goes all gooey-eyed (googly-eyed?) despite that all their cute little apps are nothing that hasn't been made before. 2 gigs of free mail? Others did it first. IM apps? Plenty of them around including some good open source tools. Desktop Search? Copernic leaves GDS in the dust. Google is for iPod fanboys and other fashion victims. Sorry.

Now, Nr Hodge: If you didn't get it the reference and you obviously didn't, the "nein danke" is not some Nazi accusation but refers to the slogan of the European anti-nuke campaign of the 70s. Sorry.

Just A Random: You only have their word for it, don't you? Sorry.

Tristor: I would surmise that you have spent exactly zero seconds studying the lack of privacy these days. What assurance have you got that deleted mail at gmail stayes deleted? Have a look at the EFF site. Then search for news on data rentention policies. Find out some info on mail monitoring laws. This isn't the paranoid delusion of some sci-fi book set in the future - it has already happened. If you don't want to face reality then that's your choice. See what governments are doing with RFIDs now. Sorry.

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 24, 2005 01:20 AM

I agree with ScaredWitless that there are issues with how people are concentrating all use of online traffic and communications through Google.

Just one question: who were before Gmail in delivering (basically) unlimited storage AND a solution that actually worked (which disqualifies Spymac bigtime)?

I didn't much feel like adding yet another IM-client - I find Miranda, Skype and Gizmo too much already, so I simply setup Miranda to handle Google Talk. That's smooth. Ok, so I don't get to _talk_ with Miranda, but that's why I have Gizmo and Skype...

Posted by: Patrick on August 24, 2005 01:37 AM

"So Google is taking its share in IM and IP telephony as well? I wonder if this will be a more open standard compared to Skype. I love Skype, but not the fact that it's voice protocols are proprietary."

I don't know what protocal Google is using for the voice but if you want a very very good (As good as skype from my testing so far.) open protocall VIP client then try out Gizmo Project -

Posted by: Paul on August 24, 2005 01:43 AM

Seems thats Google will also be supporting SIP. This would be great because most SIP clients have terrible interfaces.

Add me: ctomer at gmail dot com

Posted by: Paul Grave on August 24, 2005 02:36 AM


Google upped their storage quota to two gigs in April this year. It was only one gig before that. Not including Spymac (who I rate highly - I have six accounts and zero problems) Yahoo offered two gigs before gmail did. also did before gmail. There were also others that pipped gmail to the post such as who now do a fat 3 gigs. Don't forget that gmail was vapourware for a long time.

You are right about concentrating all use of online traffic and communications through one point. It's not the way of the 'Net which should be distributed as widely as possible.

Expect more announcements from Google over the next 12 months; the inevitable Firefox-based gbrowser, gPay, gBooks, Google music store with added GRM, Google Office in your browser with your docs stored on gservers, etc. Expect lots of apps that run in the browser or on the desktop. XULrunner is the new OS, search is the new navigation and Google is the new Microsoft. Just remember that they are going to make Microsoft look like a bunch of boy scouts. Can you spell monopoly? It doesn't matter though as the public at large will swallow it up like they always do.

Am I really scared witless? Pigging right I am. I've seen the future and the future has a big G stamped all over it.

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 24, 2005 02:55 AM

Just a little note ScaredWitless, when Yahoo offered 1 gig of mail was the same time that Google decided to increase to 2 gigs, Yahoo did not offer 2 gigs before Google.

Google aren't even close to building a monopoly, what they are doing is making their counterpart companies actually do some serious competing, instead of litle new products, very little special and getting everyone to go with their product because it ties in with their stuff.

Posted by: Damian on August 24, 2005 04:51 AM

The numbers are bad!

Posted by: Hurley on August 24, 2005 05:00 AM


If you're correct, and my searching showed otherwise, the others still beat the Big G to the two gig mark. That was what I said earlier when I posted "2 gigs of free mail? Others did it first."

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 24, 2005 05:18 AM

Any idea when the original Fx posters will be available at the Mozilla Store. I have a new dorm room and would really like to put up that poster. Thanks.


Posted by: Noman on August 24, 2005 05:41 AM


you are totally wrong. Yahoo Mails was 6MB when started, and they latter decided it was too much, and went to 4MB. Hotmail was 2MB. Then Gmail anounced 1GB. And delivered. Just then, Hotmail went to 250MB, and Yahoo to 1GB. The other free email providers doesn't cut it (i tried them all). It was all thanks to google's gmail. If not, we could still be using yahoo's 4GB service.

Posted by: kwanbis on August 24, 2005 05:50 AM


I'll check later on the exact dates as no one in this discussion seems to be able to quote them (or discredit my other points). I would ask you one thing, kwanbis, if you say gmail is the only mail service that cuts the mustard why are you posting with a Hotmail address?

While you're pondering that one do a little googling for yourself. Try these search terms in combinations and let us know what you find: in-q-tel, safeweb, google, finance, keyhole, john hankes.

And one last gem:

Sleep well.

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 24, 2005 06:15 AM

ScaredWitless, atleast you got your name right !!

Posted by: LaLaLaLa on August 24, 2005 07:03 AM

Google Talk is a little app for now. I like it for its simplicity, and the lack of annoying emoticons and animated stuff in today's other IM's. And I can interact with other users not necessarily using their client.

And I want to point out that Yahoo doesn't give a 'free' 2GB email service. That is the paid service.


Posted by: Pharod on August 24, 2005 07:30 AM

Another nice feature .. If you enclose words with underscores _like_ _this_ it should italize to show emphasis. How geeky of them. I love it.

Posted by: loconet on August 24, 2005 08:27 AM

I have to complain about the way they have the formatting set up;

*bold* is bold
/italic/ does nothing
_underline_ does... italic?

I appreciate that they set it up this way, but I prefer the older format. I guess they just didn't want to confuse people who write out folder names and such.

Posted by: jordan on August 24, 2005 08:44 AM

@ScaredWitless, i don't want my gmail account to be spamed, that's why i post using my hotmail one (which i never check/use). If you feel so unsafe about google, don't trust it.

Posted by: kwanbis on August 24, 2005 09:15 AM

Scaredwitless, when I first got google's gmail my yahoo account had just been bumped up to 100MB. A few weeks later it was 250MB and today it sits at 1GB. This is the free version, since we are comparing it with the 2GB I receive free from gmail. My hotmail account at the time was 2MB and is now 250MB though it never gets used anymore. I only use yahoo's mail to sign up for things I know I will get spam from. I had tried a couple of the other email services out there that did large boxes, I think spymac and united or something like that and couldn't even login to check the email. Google's gmail is very well done. If you don't like it, don't use it. I don't think spreading false information is very fair of you though.

Posted by: julian on August 24, 2005 09:15 AM

It would be pretty interesting if google incorporated the instant messaging with Google desktop.

Posted by: Guest on August 24, 2005 10:16 AM

"Email is for old people." ;)

Posted by: Guest on August 24, 2005 10:22 AM

To play wumpus game, invite as a friend then type Play you’ll start a game of Hunt the Wumpus.

Source: JesterAce

Posted by: GamingFox on August 24, 2005 12:44 PM

ScaredWitless: Watch more Hogans Heroes.

Posted by: Grey Hodge on August 24, 2005 01:35 PM

Whoops: not that it's important, but it looks like I made a typo when suggesting the "" translation of the numbers (I typed "wumups" despite having recognized the term "wumpus"... that's what happens when I try to type fast). Asa, you might want to fix the typo where it appears in your post.

Posted by: Steuard on August 24, 2005 02:17 PM

I don't like Google Talk, it didn't seem to work for me. It's too simple, but great XMPP, shame you can't do server-to-server though. I need a life.

Posted by: Joe Anderson on August 24, 2005 02:40 PM


Given your posting nym I hardly think that's fair comment.


So the mighty gmail's spam filtering is not as good as Hotmail's? And as for not trusting Google, you're right, I don't. I don't trust anyone that is heading to monopoly world.


Where is the false information you accuse me of spreading? Please feel free to cite and rebutt when you're ready.


Yes, you're correct, a decent implementation of structured words would have good and also a sign of attention to detail.


No thanks, it's not part of my culture.

So is anyone going to give me a good reason for trusting Google that doesn't include the childish casting of aspersions?

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 24, 2005 04:39 PM

ScaredWitless, I don't give one whit whether or not you trust Google.

- A

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on August 24, 2005 04:45 PM

Scaredwitless.. You seem to have a concern for your privacy. Have you even tried using Gmail just for storage and nothing else? try saving your personal email in whatever you trust. Just turn your cookies off for most sites and disable third party cookies. Install Adblock with a filter from and Noscript into Firefox. Make sure you block any third party crude(such as tracking webbugs, ads, ect ect,) that you find through adblock. one filter I know that works all the time with no false postive is .gif? a more advance would be .(js|gif|cgi)? I suck at reg expression so I dont know if it the advance one would work.

Posted by: Appear on August 24, 2005 04:55 PM

There's some neat things that they implemented with their tabs. You can tear them off and reattach them to any other google talk window including the contacts list. Windows can be shrunk down to tab size to display the contact name and status message. But if that person sends a message, the second line changes to a partial view of the message just like gmail's message preview.

Also, the windows automatically resize to full size or take precedence over other active windows based on how much space is left below. So if the current window is near the bottom of the screen, and you select another tab, it'll switch to that tab. But if the window is higher up to fit 2 or more, the windows will open up to full from tab form.

Posted by: Edward Lee on August 24, 2005 07:35 PM


Does that mean you don't give one whit about user's privacy either? Why is there no warning that a persistent (year 2038) Google cookie is set during a clean default Firefox installation? Try it for yourself. Please also tell me about Google's data retention policy, if you can find it in public view. Lastly, you don't care what I think about Google see what someone you may believe says about them and privacy:


Yes, I do have a concern for my privacy as everybody's privacy has been effectively stripped since 2001-09-11. Thanks for the advice but I know what I'm doing and my boxes are very secure and they'll stay that way. Unlike the chain of open boxes that I'm :-)

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 24, 2005 07:49 PM

ScaredWitless, I don't give one whit whether or not you trust Google.

- A

Posted by: Asa Dotzler on August 24, 2005 07:56 PM

ScaredWitless, could you please point your paranoid conspiracy theories at someplace other than Asa's blog. Why don't you start up your own site like all the other weirdos who are worried about cookies?

Posted by: Ben Basson on August 24, 2005 07:59 PM

Ok, I'll take the total lack of credible rebutals for what it's worth.

Asa, I can only assume that you don't care about users' privacy.

Ben Basson, you have no clue about privacy matters or you would have read some of the information by people who have a much larger clue than you about privacy, security and censorship issues. One last assignment: try "googling" about the Big G knuckling under to the censorship requirements of the Chinese government.

And in case you're wondering I don't watch the X-Files either. I'll leave that sort of hobby to the techno-fanboys of this world. Sleep well.

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 24, 2005 08:10 PM

If you want someone who actually likes the new Google Talk, read this.

Posted by: MarbleheadMan on August 24, 2005 08:42 PM


As I said, you don't know me. I'm sure you can admit that. Don't make assumptions about me without any basis in fact. I'm not surprised you are doing so, since you are making the same assumptions about Google. Look, I understand where you are coming from, and I agree that concentrating all the Internet traffic through one "authority" is not a good idea and will eventually lead to something like EPIC, but that's not the point. Obviously, you are into more tinfoil hattery than I am. I prefer to base my opinions on fact, if at all possible, and not merely on conjecture and fear.

Posted by: Tristor on August 24, 2005 11:08 PM

Bah! wumpus doesn't work... not invited (yet)

Posted by: kevinn on August 24, 2005 11:57 PM

ScaredWitless, I don't give one whit whether or not you trust Google.
- A
Posted by: Asa Dotzler on August 24, 2005 04:45 PM

ScaredWitless, I don't give one whit whether or not you trust Google.
- A
Posted by: Asa Dotzler on August 24, 2005 07:56 PM

Poor taste... you could have said nothing, or you could have said the same thing but at least rephrase it...

Posted by: Blimundus on August 25, 2005 12:10 AM

Blimundus, I think what Asa ment with his repetitive statement was that this ScaredWitless shouldn't pollute his blog with irrelevant noise about his conspiracy theories about Google's privacy policy. It's just not interesting to hear the rant after 6 comments.

Posted by: David Tenser on August 25, 2005 05:26 AM

As much as I wanted to see what Google would bring to the IM market, I have to say I am a little disapointed.

I invited a couple of my friends, and they show-up for a split-second before disappearing from my list of Friends! I tried to invite them again and the same thing happened. I also invited and it doesnt seem to do anything...

I'm also dispointed that we can't save logs into Gmail by appending them to a conversation, a feature I was hoping for.

Anyway, I think Google Talk has a lot of potential but has a long way to go to catch up with MSN and AIM.

Posted by: Phil on August 25, 2005 05:45 AM

@Guest. With the Google Desktop Search 2 you can put Google Talk on the sidebar, just go to Add/Remove Panels and check Google Talk.


P.S. I just figured out what you mean (search the conversations with GDS). Yeah, it's lacking of features as of now.

Posted by: Pharod on August 25, 2005 07:16 AM

Sounds like ScaredWitless has been reading too much of this.

First, why do you have any reason to trust ANYONE or ANYTHING online? Don't expect that your information is safe anywhere online.

Second, what are you doing online that you don't want anyone else to see? So Google can see that I wrote to a classmate about working on a project in biology. Should I care? If you're dealing with medical records or secret government information, I wouldn't even THINK about transmitting something like that over the web.

You're starting to sound like those terrorists who claim America is full of infidels who are all out to get you. Newsflash: there are people all over the world who are out to scam you, but when a company with plenty of support from many reputable sources that provides such useful services (don't tell me they weren't first, I know they weren't, but in many cases, their services have the best results, hands-down), I wouldn't jump out and say "AHHH KILL THEM THEY'LL TAKE OVER THE WORLD THEY MUST BE STOPPED NOW!!!!!!!"

You're only hurting yourself from what could be an enjoyable Internet. If you're a criminal trying to hide everything you do online, I have no sympathy for you.

Posted by: Anonymous on August 25, 2005 08:45 AM

Pollution, eh? If you fanboys really want to discuss this then pop on over to:

Feel free to pollute, make noise and speak freely.

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 25, 2005 09:00 AM

google is evil

just like m$

PS - gmail stands for gay-mail

Posted by: ndugu on August 25, 2005 10:50 AM

does anyone one know what Google Talk UI is written in/with?
I really like the look and feel of it, wondering how i can make my sample projects look like them.

Posted by: ohman on August 25, 2005 05:37 PM

Anonymous, I've answered your questions:

Please stop the pollution of Asa's blog and pollute here instead:

Posted by: ScaredWitless on August 25, 2005 06:50 PM

Post a comment