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Russian Company Buys ICQ

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the end-of-a-market-strategy dept.

America Online 136

An anonymous reader writes "AOL has sold ICQ to Digital Sky Technologies (DST), Russia's largest Internet company, for US$187.5 million. DST's offer was apparently more attractive than those of Russia's ProfMedia and China's Tencent. ICQ, originally released in 1996 and bought by AOL in 1998 for US$407 million, was one of the world's first major instant messaging systems. Although largely forgotten in English-speaking countries, it remains widely popular in Central Europe, Russia, and Israel. Moscow News has additional coverage of the deal."

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Very popular (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056666)

Also widely popular among spammers.

I still have my ICQ account (seven-digit UIN starting with 1, woo) but pretty much the only traffic it gets anymore is spammers trying to add me and trying to send me IMs. Trillian fortunately blocks the latter for me.

Re:Very popular (1)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056824)

I've had the same experience. The only people I used to talk to on it have moved to other IM services, and now it's just the occasional spammer. I don't really know why I keep it logged in.

My account's a 7-digit UIN starting with 9, haha. I must've had this account for around 10 years.

Re:Very popular (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056860)

I still have my ICQ account (seven-digit UIN starting with 1, woo)

*yawn*, I have a six digit one starting with '2' I don't think it has received a valid non-spam message in three years ago.

Re:Very popular (5, Funny)

Scaba (183684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057014)

*yawn*, I have a six digit one starting with '2' I don't think it has received a valid non-spam message in three years ago.

double *yawn* I have a negative account number that's also an irrational number. I receive messages from the future.

Re:Very popular (1, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057094)

Mine ends in an i, its an imaginary number in the complex plane and I receive messages from another dimension.

Re:Very popular (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057172)

Interesting. How do you like communicating with us humans?

Re:Very popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32057436)

Mine is a quaternion, and I receive messages from distorted universes.

Re:Very popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32060208)

Offering 50 quatloos if you include the slave girl

Re:Very popular (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058154)

I have my own enumeration constant so they can handle my account as a special case- with that 90% of the code that runs only 10% of the time.

Re:Very popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058276)

*yawn*, I have a six digit one starting with '2' I don't think it has received a valid non-spam message in three years ago.

double *yawn* I have a negative account number that's also an irrational number. I receive messages from the future.

Your message would have to come from the future since it would take people forever (literally) to type your account number.

Re:Very popular (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057388)

Mine is a 9-digit prime number. Do solicitations from Russian hookers count as spam or porn?

Re:Very popular (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057460)

Haha, I think I have a 6 digit ICQ account as well... the bad thing is I do not remember my password.

And now that we are talking about web-dong waving, My hotmail account was registered at:
  28 august 1997

Re:Very popular (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057674)

Not only do I not remember my password, I don't remember my user name, email, or any other identifying characteristics from my account. And I think it's a pretty low number because I remember signing up as soon as I heard about the service which easily could have been in 1996.

Oh well, I guess I'm better off living the past dozen years or so without all that spam.

Re:Very popular (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058256)

I have very limited memories... after so many years in a coma, upon regaining consciousness they had to teach me once again to speak, to walk, to eat, to log into my ICQ account.... unfortunately I never made a full recovery.

Re:Very popular (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057668)

Yeah 6 digit ... but starting with 3 :(

Re:Very popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059078)

Yeah 6 digit ... but starting with 3 :(

Pfft, mine started with a 1. And 6 digits. You young whippersnappers and your slow adoption of technolomogies.

Re:Very popular (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056944)

Same here; it's pretty much a spam wasteland. I still have the account credentials in Pidgin, but disabled the account for the past 3 years because only spammers used it.

I'll have to say this for ICQ though - their feature to store offline messages server-side was a feature far beyond what AIM had or even has now.

My UID was 282026638. Funny how some numbers just stick in memory.

Re:Very popular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32057418)

ICQ now is largely used by russian spammers as contact point.
Since in 21st century it is hard to force user call +7-495-xxxyyzz.
Yet another reason to stop using it.

Re:Very popular (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057834)

I have 2 accounts, one with a 6 digit uin and another with 8 digits - only the shorter one seems to get spammed...
Using numbers its trivially easy to spam, simply increment then number to work out addresses... Perhaps they don't bother going all that high.

Re:Very popular (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059636)

I haven't used ICQ in ages. It was the most important part of my life about 10-8 years ago but now not so much. I still remember my pw and UID which is 5600178. Not quite as low as your but it's my second one. That said I am certain my first UID was above 1,000,000. I, unfortunately, was not able to have net access as early as some and certainty not as early as when they were dialling into BBSes (I assume) on the "The facts of life" sitcom. Yes I am aware it is sad when you can remember early sitcom nerdiness but I did have a thing for Blair despite her real life religious life.

Re:Very popular (1)

sr8outtalotech (1167835) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059638)

I had a 6 digit UIN starting with 2 but I haven't used it in a few years. The guy that hacked my account is apparently still making use of it though. AOL absolutely refused to lock him out. Even though they had years of activity of me logging on from the same IP addresses in the US and having access to the old email account linked to the UIN they wouldn't reset the password and lock that clown out.

Well, given the tons spam from that region (1, Redundant)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056672)

I am not surprised by who would buy it.

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056956)

Just so you know, the US is still the number 1 spam source, both by number of spam relays and origin of spammers. There was a recent Slashdot article on this, and you can also check the ROKSO list if you're interested. Don't be spewing that "but our poor PCs are controlled by evil Chinese/Russians/Europeans/Eritreans who use our unwilling innocent users' PCs in their botnets" crap either. Most of the top 100 on the ROKSO list are American citizens.

Clean up your own backyard before you decide to make snarky comments about the Russians and Chinese. Yes, we know, they hate your freedom and they want to eat your babies, but nonetheless, try to stay factual.

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057030)

Absurd, good sir.

America's culture of freedom and individual responsibility has made it a hotbed of unconventional electronic marketing entrepreneurs.

Godless elsewhereistan's degenerate criminality makes it a hive of spammer scum.

Get the Facts(tm)!

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32057066)

That article was just about botnets, not origination of messages.

And it's not that rightist "they hate our freedom" nonsense; it's just that Russians in general have poor ethics. They'd skin you alive if it'd make them a buck. You can't even park your car on the street there without it being stripped down in a couple hours.

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32057164)

sorry, have you ever visited Russia? Russian people are some of the warmest, friendliest people, who would bend over backwards to help you. just because you visited some shitty suburb of Moscow doesn't mean that the rest of the country is like that (and of course, you would experience the exact same thing visiting some awful area of St. Louis).

here you are: http://www.spamhaus.org/statistics/countries.lasso . it's spam, not botnets (which are just as bad--why dismiss them?), and the US has nearly 5 times more active issues than Russia (which is absurd, even AFTER you correct for differences in population).

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (0)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057364)

and the US has nearly 5 times more active issues than Russia

Presumably because we have more connectivity. As soon as other countries start building out more fiber, you're gonna see their stats rise. Spam is, unfortunately, profitable.

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (1)

eugene2k (1213062) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058086)

>they want to eat your babies
Nah, the days of holodomor are long gone

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059494)

That may be so, but nearly all ICQ spam I receive contains links to websites ending with .ru

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059940)

He's talking about spam on ICQ, not email spam. I was thinking about killing my ICQ transport soon. I only know two people who still use ICQ / AIM, but I get a spam message Russian containing a .ru domain name every few hours via it.

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32057032)

This got modded informative because...?

Re:Well, given the tons spam from that region (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057482)

Now that a company there owns it the quality of the spam may actually improve and the volume decrease. It seems that way with LJ. Hell I'd pay them for my ICQ account if A) I got no spam B) I got preferential treatment when they have to clobber people off their servers.

Not good (1, Funny)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056688)

"The company was forgetting what the "A" in AOL stands for (America, in case you forgot), losing its identity in a quick, worrisome desire to sprawl out in uncontrolled growth."----- Great there goes my ISP...and to think AOL was so fast. Insert "In Mother Russia" joke...

Re:Not good (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056742)

What are you talking about? They only sold ICQ, an instant messenger client. They haven't gone out of business.

Re:Not good (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056818)

What are you talking about? They only sold ICQ, an instant messenger client. They haven't gone out of business.

Meant more as a (bad) joke to the light of that I haven't seen much of anyone use AOL in years. AOL, as the article put it, is not doing so well as a company...your are correct however as this is dealing with the IM client, not the company being bought out.

Re:Not good (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057440)

ah, sorry.

I know a few people who still use it. I'm trying to convince them otherwise.

I still use ICQ (1, Redundant)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056690)

I still use some OLD version of ICQ on Windows 7, because I never found another client that behaves as nicely. All the 3rd party stuff I've tried either failed to connect to the ICQ servers or failed basic features like file transfer or the ability to communicate with AIM screen-names from an ICQ account. Also, this ICQ client still has no ads and never pops up a chat screen overtop of anything else I'm doing. I frickin hate it when those other clients steal window focus even when you're typing in an unrelated program. All IM programs should blink patiently in the tray!

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056744)

Have you checked out Pidgin [pidgin.im] ? Also, think you could email a copy of the installer to me? I absolutely loved the customization features on the Mirabillis clients.

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056826)

Hey buddy. Check this out: http://www.oldversion.com/ICQ.html [oldversion.com]
They've got versions for Windows 3.11

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057494)

That's a little far back. My favorite was from 96 or 97. (:

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056932)

pidgin is nice, but it has one of the worst notification system around. either it's focus-stealing or not notifying you at all of new messages

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057084)

When was the last time you used the program?

Re:I still use ICQ (2, Informative)

toxickitty (1758282) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057204)

I don't know when s/he last used it but I am using it right now (version 2.6.6) and it still does all of what Feyr said ~~

Re:I still PREFER! ICQ (4, Interesting)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056808)

At least the ICQ style.

ICQ assumes multi-line messages. (No "send-on-enter" crap.)
ICQ has had offline-messages from the beginning.
ICQ always kept message history.

Those are the biggest two, but there are a bunch of other things that ICQ did right when the other IM companies did it wrong.

AIM and MSN started out as 'super private IRC'. It behaves the same as the input line on an IRC channel.

ICQ though is more like 'super fast email'. ICQ is a 'low overhead email', like Verizon's "Push To Talk" is a low overhead Cell Phone call.

However, I admit that it's pretty much dead. The only people left that I still talk to are the same people I talked to back in 1998. All my family and 'new' friends are using a bunch of different networks. That's why I use a multi-network client (Miranda right now.).

JABBER is the future though.

Re:I still PREFER! ICQ (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056976)

ICQ assumes multi-line messages. (No "send-on-enter" crap.)

Most clients allow you to configure Ctrl-Enter as submit shortcut. Then enter does create new lines.
Or if not possible, you can use Ctrl-Enter for multi-line messages, and Enter to submit. But it's hard and annoying.
And obviously, MSN is the exception, as its users would not have the mental capacity to imagine wanting something like that in the first place.

But unfortunately, this does not protect you from the retards
who
lol
write
their ;)))
messages
like
this
lol
inlucidng
no
puntcuatin
ro
preppr spelng.

Luckily, there still is per-user invisibility and ignore lists. :)

Re:I still PREFER! ICQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058708)

in at least a few clients, you can also hold shift as you press enter, and it will start a new line

Re:I still PREFER! ICQ (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057000)

Oh, I forgot to mention:
It’s wrong that ICQ is mostly dead. It’s mostly dead where you live. But luckily far from it everywhere else. :)
I know children and teens who use ICQ. Some weren’t even alive when ICQ started.
But it comes down to if their older friends and family used ICQ back then.

Also: Jabber is now called XMPP, as far as I know. (I would have preferred it to be lightweight EBML instead of overhead monster XML.)

Re:I still PREFER! ICQ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058412)

Using The Internet to find and contact childrens and teens is worng. Something must be done to keep The Internet safe from perverts like you.

Re:I still PREFER! ICQ (1)

anton_kg (1079811) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059594)

Absolutely agree - ICQ is a dead end, that's why the price is going down. Some big Russian companies like mail.ru has already switch to Jabber. Soon or later ICQ will be dead.

Re:I still PREFER! ICQ (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059700)

I'm not sure if I would call it super fast email. ICQ has multi-user chat which was awesome and the AIM, MSN, etc came about and they did not have functionality at first. TBH, I only moved away from MSN because of my frineds who went to MSN. If it weren't completely useless minus friends I would go to Google Talk / ICQ but no one really uses those.

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056822)

Trillian Astra: http://trillian.im/ [trillian.im]

-Stays connected
-Supports file transfer
-Communicates with AIM from ICQ
-No ads
-Multiple options for what happens with new chat windows (show on desktop, show minimized, hide and notify via systray, with an additional "always show on top" toggle)

All ICQ-specific features: http://www.trillian.im/learn/tour-features.html#ICQ [trillian.im]

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058192)

-No ads

Except for when they constantly popup those little "toast" messages telling you to buy the iPhone version, or to ask you to vote for them in some "best of whatever" competitions.
Don't get me wrong, I like Trillian enough that i paid for the pro version, but they still do some very annoying things.

Also their xmpp support is very lacking. No bookmarks, and it leaves you disconnected from any chat rooms after it reconnects to the server when disconnected.

Re:I still use ICQ (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32056834)

Which magical ICQ version are you using? I wish I could still use ICQ98 which didn't have ads, but I think the minimum that will even connect to the current servers is version 2003+

Re:I still use ICQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32057110)

Miranda works GREAT with all the major protocols: AIM/ICQ, MSN, Yahoo!, Google Talk (Jabber), recently Facebook chat (Jabber); and the list goes on. No ads, just plain 'n simple, like ICQ used to be. There is a StopSpam module to prevent chat spam, as well. It's portable, so will run off of a USB drive if you wish.

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057228)

But does anyone else at this point?

its day has come and gone.. partially due to the ads and unstable clients. But no, no one will learn from those mistakes.

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057414)

Believe it or not, a couple (maybe 3) weeks ago I saw a *TV* ad for ICQ. This is a German TV channel. Now, I don't remember what they were advertizing but my reaction was "wow, are Germans still using ICQ in 2010!?". Granted, in this part of Germany (ex-eastern region still heavily depopulating) they still have some retrograd customs.

Re:I still use ICQ (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057824)

I always thought the main reason for its decline was the use of sequential numbers as public IDs, making it easy for spammers to find new targets by brute force. AIM and MSN had ads yet remained popular.

A Russian company bought it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32056692)

Welcome to identity rape, spam, theft, and the death of your credit rating when someone in Krzyrbzybiggistan siphons off your entire life savings and then emails your pictures of your dick to the entire world.

Re:A Russian company bought it? (5, Insightful)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057052)

Right, because you can only find honest people and companies in the Glorious USA.

Slashdot isn't the entirety of the world (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056700)

Largely forgotten by the Slashdot demographic maybe - but that tiny and self selected slice of the demographic pie is hardly representative.

Re:Slashdot isn't the entirety of the world (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056750)

Largely forgotten by the Slashdot demographic

18115568

Re:Slashdot isn't the entirety of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32056906)

ROFL, I almost forgot my old screen name too: 183650127356591!

Re:Slashdot isn't the entirety of the world (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057062)

11898585
And that is my current one, after my first one (450????) got lost.

Re:Slashdot isn't the entirety of the world (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057430)

I have another one, but it's higher up than even your current one IIRC (I don't remember the number, but I have the account set up on my other computer).

Re:Slashdot isn't the entirety of the world (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056964)

And yet there's still a box for your ICQ UIN on your User Page. [slashdot.org]

New incoming message! (0, Redundant)

Gavin Rogers (301715) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056724)

1995 called. They want their instant messaging back.

Re:New incoming message! (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056766)

Hey now, be nice (as the same could be said for AIM).

Re:New incoming message! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059976)

No it couldn't. Actually, it can't be said for ICQ either. ICQ was created in 1996, AIM didn't appear until 1997. My ICQ UIN is actually the oldest way of contacting me that still works, although my mobile phone number has been the same for only one year less. Email addresses, XMPP, and postal addresses have all changed in less time than that. For some reason, I can still remember my ICQ number, although I've not given it to anyone for about 7 years.

Russia says (1)

Mr. Pibb (26775) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056746)

huh-oh

(or however you would transliterate the sound of receiving a message)

Re:Russia says (1)

Luke has no name (1423139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057318)

I nostalgia'd.

Let me be the first to say (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32056748)

UhOh!

Privacy concerns and disconnect from Papa Oscar? (1)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056902)

IIRC, the only private information put into your ICQ account was your password. Anything else was public. If you are a dope and use the same passwords for everything, then you probably have concerns. Other than that, I cannot think of any. But it is in Russia, and there are plenty of stories about what happens once your information gets there.

But more concerning is the potential disconnect from the Oscar protocol. In short, will ICQ and AIM be able to communicate together still, and will ICQ remain using the Oscar protocol? And to what server will we connect? (Probably in TFA, but who reads those?)

I started using ICQ back in... 1995? I think, anyway around then with an 8 digit UIN starting with 12. I would have jumped on much sooner but I could not until StrICQ for the Amiga. I continued using ICQ after I started using Windows machines around 2000, but after AOL bought it the bloat became annoying: Xtraz or whatever, web search, ads, skins, and other crap. Fortunately, there are plenty of hacks to remove the annoying "features" in the full ICQ version after ICQLite was given the axe. And, no, I never bothered with any of the other chat clients on Windows so long as StrICQ and AmigAIM worked, Windows chat was just utility.

Re:Privacy concerns and disconnect from Papa Oscar (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059988)

I started using ICQ back in... 1995? I think, anyway around then with an 8 digit UIN starting with 12

I joined in late 1997 with a 7-digit number starting with 6, so with an 8 digit number you can't have joined before 1998. You definitely didn't join in 1995 - the service wasn't launched until 1996.

ICQ is still my main protocol (-1, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32056928)

Because I can’t stand MSN/WLM because I know the MS-typical monopolistic plans behind it (having it pre-installed with Windows, just like IE), and consider people who willingly use that messenger as their main messenger subhumans on the brink of surrealism.
But of course, I use a non-native client. (Right now Kopete, but I also used Trillian and Miranda, and often recommend Pidgin to the simpler and more passive types of people that I know.)

If I switch, then there is only one choice: XMPP. An open multi-server protocol.

Is it true that that MSN pestilence is used that much in the US?

Re:ICQ is still my main protocol (1)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057026)

I believe AIM is the most popular protocol in the US. MSN is more popular in the UK and surrounding areas.

Re:ICQ is still my main protocol (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32057256)

MSN is the most popular in Canada by far. AIM is for e-tards. ICQ is dead in NA. Yahoo Messenger was absorbed.

yup, MSN is basically the only decent way to keep in touch via IM. That and Facebook Chat.

Re:ICQ is still my main protocol (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057918)

Sadly, the post above isn't a troll. I don't know anyone who uses AIM, nobody uses ICQ anymore (was different 10 years ago), nobody uses Yahoo Messenger either.

So it's either MSN, email or all that Facebook/twitter/etc crap.

Whatever happened to PAL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32056992)

It was another early messaging system from around that time...

Best eva was unix's "talk", (and before that, "write")

Re:Whatever happened to PAL? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057982)

I'm not your pal, buddy!

Re:Whatever happened to PAL? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058652)

I'm not your buddy, guy!

Re:Whatever happened to PAL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058742)

I'm not your guy, friend!

Re:Whatever happened to PAL? (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058760)

It got replaced by NTSC.

Technical details? (2, Interesting)

Phroggy (441) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057020)

How does this affect things like being able to sign into AIM using an ICQ number, and adding ICQ numbers to your AIM buddy list?

In Soviet Russia... (5, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057294)

In Soviet Russia, Q seeks I.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

MurphyZero (717692) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059596)

Actually, QCX (read the last as greek letter Chi - which I've always been told is the K sound followed by long I sound)

Am I missing something? (5, Insightful)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057656)

AOL has sold ICQ to Digital Sky Technologies (DST), Russia's largest Internet company, for US$187.5 million.

I connect to ICQ using Pidgin. I also connect to GTalk and a few XMPP servers using Pidgin. The XMPP server software is running on some version of Linux--probably Ubuntu or Debian. It was free to download, free to setup, and free to use. HOW THE #$*@# IS ICQ WORTH $187.5 MILLION?!?!.

Is the Windows ICQ client really a direct pipe for advertisers to watch your web surfing habits or turn on and view your webcam at random or something? How in the hell can you buy an instant messaging company for $187.5 million now-a-days? IM clients and servers are free.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059716)

Pedos use ICQ and Pedo buy a lot of stuff online?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060004)

You're not buying the software, you're buying the customers who are locked into a proprietary system by network effects. Not sure how many people are on ICQ now. Statistics I read eight years ago were about 6 million active users. I wouldn't be surprised now if it's under $10/customer, which isn't bad for an advertising platform.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 4 years ago | (#32060220)

You're not buying the software, you're buying the customers who are locked into a proprietary system by network effects. Not sure how many people are on ICQ now. Statistics I read eight years ago were about 6 million active users. I wouldn't be surprised now if it's under $10/customer, which isn't bad for an advertising platform.

Right--but those 6 million customers need to have some sort of value. That's why I asked if the Windows client was some sort of ad-ridden piece of garbage. Using Pidgin on Linux I've never seen an ad. I occasionally get some sort of russian spam, it's once or twice a month. How the hell do they get that multi-million dollar figure? How are those users actually worth that much? In other words, if this new russian company liquidated 'ICQ', where would that money come from?

Might as well sell it to the russians... (1, Interesting)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32057768)

Their hackers have stolen most of the older ICQ numbers (mine included)

Alive and well in Germany (3, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32058068)

The Germans seem to love it as well. I was living with a number of masters students and I was absolutely shitting bricks to here them talk about a program that I thought was completely wiped from the face of the earth a decade ago by MSN and AIM/Google.

It's moved on a lot from what it used to be, I think it might even support instant messaging now. Sad because the only thing I ever liked about it was that you leave people messages when they weren't online, sort of a hybrid email/chat.

Re:Alive and well in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058330)

It was the de facto standard IM network in Europe between approximately 1998 and 2004, a rather long time for a piece of software.

Then people fled to MSN and later also to Facebook and Google.

what about ICQ's IRC network and the mess there??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058150)

What will the new ownership do about the general degradation and op harassment by certain ops with ummmmm, certain religious affiliations harassing people who just don't happen to believe in God?

Lets hope that the new ownership take a more proactive interest in what is really happening on their IRC network.

After all, non-objective handling of users drive them into the hands of other networking such as MSN or Yahoo.

Posting as an AC for certain obvious reasons.

KGB goes commercial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32058818)

so when is the KGB going to buy AT&T

MS Messenger killed it (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059062)

ICQ was killed by microsoft's o/s monopoly just like netscape. since messenger started to be pushed in windows installations, icq users dwindled speedily. soon we were left to a group of 'elite' people, who were there before instant messengers first came out, while the masses were on messenger. due to business needs, we eventually had to migrate to messenger. most of us hated it, and we still hate it. thankfully googletalk came, but it is still relatively unknown.

i very much think eu should slap ms with an anti monopoly fine and force them to offer instant messenger choice screen during installation.

Re:MS Messenger killed it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059600)

How TRUE and insightful ! Pity, can't give you a point up.

Russian funny money (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059086)

What's 187.5 million for a dead IM network ? :P

I was one of the early ICQ users in the 90s, 6-digit UID, yadda yadda. It was ground-breaking for the time, but that time has come and gone. Everyone I know moved to MSN Messenger, and ICQ pretty much died overnight.

Me, I don't even bother with IM anymore. If I had a business use for it, I'd be fine, but for just keeping in touch with friends I'm quite content with Facebook and that century-old tech the telephone.

funny enough... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32059348)

i was reminded of ICQ when google first showed of wave. This largely because ICQ had two ways to show conversations. Either the now typical way with each line showing up in a common window. Or one where each character typed would be sent across so the other side could see you type in near real time. It also had keyboard sound effects, iirc.

UO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32059768)

Since Ultima Online released when ICQ was big, it still remains the prominent method of communication between players (that still play a 12 year old game on life support).

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