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AOL Locks Out AIM Screen Names

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the out-to-lunch dept.

America Online 396

dshaw858 writes "According to a story on eWeek, AOL has mistakenly suspended a very large number of AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely used IM programs) accounts, by mistake. I don't know about you guys, but this happened to me and a large percentage of friends and coworkers. AOL says that a fix should be ready by Monday."

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AOL (5, Funny)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049464)

America Offline

Thank God For That! (5, Funny)

Sinner (3398) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049467)

If they'd mistakenly suspended those accounts on purpose, I'd be really worried about it!

Closed Protocal (-1, Flamebait)

Coyote67 (220141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049468)

Closed protocal. Problems like this.

Re:Closed Protocal (2, Insightful)

the angry liberal (825035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049510)

Dude, spell it right. It's "Protocol".

The protocol is not the problem. Actually, there is no problem. This is a company hosting a free service on THEIR servers. In other words, it is none of your business whether they decide to contribute to the community and give up code or not. They definitely aren't setting a standard with their antiquated IM service compared to other alternatives. Would you really want the code? Just download jabber and be quiet until you get a grasp on reality.

Re:Closed Protocal (4, Insightful)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049524)

I mod you down as a fanboy.

Download an open source Jabber server, set it up. Create a ton of accounts. Then, turn it over to a team of staff members to run.

One day, when they accidentally delete some accounts, or lock some out, our make a typo in a .conf somewhere and a kill -HUP promptly turns into a kill -9, I'll say that open source is flakey and untested.

And I'd be equally stupid for saying so...

This isn't an issue of "closed protocol"/"closed source" and more of an issue of "poor management". This can happen just as easily (and arguably easier, in fact) with open source products.

Re:Closed Protocal (1)

Nemo Black (651003) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049555)

Some people would look at your post and ask you "Weren't you a little tough of the Beaver there Ward" but to be honest, you got right to the heart of the matter and put things in perspective.

$h!t happends regardless of whether it's open source $h!t or not.

Re:Closed Protocal (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049619)

This isn't an issue of "closed protocol"/"closed source" and more of an issue of "poor management". This can happen just as easily (and arguably easier, in fact) with open source products.

No, I think you'll find this is a protocol flaw - downing a Jabber server only affects connectivity to/from the small number of people using that server. There are many other servers in the network (you can set your own up) which are completely unaffected.

This problem stems from the fact that AIM relies on a single cluster of servers run by a single bunch of fsckwits^W^W^Wcompany - when they screw up they have the opportunity to take out the whole service in one mistake.

Re:Closed Protocal (1)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049650)

OK... you totally missed my point, so I'll use your argument to make my point again.

Build a Jabber server, connect it to a jabber network. Say there are 1M users, 100,000 of which are on your machine.

B0rk your machine.

100,000 people are now unable to connect.

Is this Jabbers fault? No... it's your fault for b0rking your server.

That said, I'm happy to blame AOL for being idiots... but blaming the OSCAR protocol just because it's closed is idiotic.

Re:Closed Protocal (2, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049681)

100,000 people are now unable to connect.
Is this Jabbers fault? No... it's your fault for b0rking your server.


I would be inclined to say it's your fault for hosting so many people on the same server with no "high availability" fail over system in place.

However, if 100,000 people is 100% of your network then that's really bad (this is the case of AOL) but if that 100,000 people on the same server is 1% of your network then it's not quite such an issue.

That said, I'm happy to blame AOL for being idiots... but blaming the OSCAR protocol just because it's closed is idiotic.

The fault of the protocol is that it doesn't allow multiple servers to be run by multiple providers - if it did then the scope for the fsck up would be a lot more limited. You will _always_ get screwups, part of protocol design is to limit the impact of said screwups. the AIM protocol (along with the MSN protocol, etc) were all designed by monopolies who wanted to be in charge of their own servers. The Jabber protocol was designed to be open and allow anyone to run their own server if they so choose.

Other Bad Things about the monopolistic approach to protocol design are:
1. If AOL wanted to discontinue the service they can just pull the plug on the servers and all their users are screwed (similarly they could sudenly decide to charge for the service)
2. If AOL want to completely change the protocol in an incompatable way then they can and that causes much hassle for the users.

The multiple independent server approach guarantees that you can continue using the service, even if you end up having to move to a new server, whcih I see as a Good Thing for the end user.

If... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049469)

If the said fix involves dumping the existing database and reregistering ...

I am taking the dibs on Cowboyneal :)

AOL (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049470)

America OffLine?

Doh (5, Funny)

BigJStudd (838390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049472)

I knew I should have opened the attachment on that e-mail which AOL was tracking to make sure my account was tracking :(

Re:Doh (0, Flamebait)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049543)

Grammar school. KTHX.

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049473)

first post with a locked out screen name

OMG LOL (5, Funny)

YouCanCallMeAl (773817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049474)

wtf? u2?

I can get in (0, Redundant)

SpaceCadetTrav (641261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049475)

Woah, that was a close one.

AIMs (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049477)

Bah, who needs AIM? I build my own IM clients out of Lego.

Re:AIMs (0)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049674)

In Korea, only old people build IM clients out of lego.

(That joke's dead, isn't it? Oh well, funny while it lasted :) )

Re:AIMs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049714)

> Oh well, funny while it lasted

No it wasn't

Definitely got me (5, Informative)

remigo (413948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049479)

I can vouch that this was indeed the case. Two of the handful of screenames I use on a regular basis were being punted at stage two of the sign in with an error about the account being suspended.

The box had a little "More Info" button that I clicked on that was supposed to explain why my account had been suspended. Two of them had to do with actual AOL accounts (mine are AIM only), the third had to do with being less than 13 (I can buy beer), and the last was a "you violated the TOS" option.

Dunno what happended, but as of last night, all of my screen namers were back up and running. The disconnections seemed to have no relation to the e-mail address they were registered to or when the last time I used them was.

*shrug*

Re:Definitely got me (2, Informative)

the angry liberal (825035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049532)

Dunno what happended, but as of last night, all of my screen namers were back up and running. The disconnections seemed to have no relation to the e-mail address they were registered to or when the last time I used them was.

Yeah, this has been going on for over a week. It escapes me as to why AOL having problems with screen names is frontpage material for slashdot. Maybe Timothy will grace us with a few Wired conspiracy articles or another link on how to build a PC in a house with kids (huh).

AOL is sadly the standard (4, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049480)

It seems the computer industry is prone to these accidental 'monopolies'. Sure, there are other instant messaging networks, but almost everyone uses AOL/AIM. Sure, there are other OS's, but almost everyone uses Windows.

Too bad there isn't a more decentralized open standard for instant messaging..

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (2, Insightful)

Captain Trolltalk (832485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049486)

IRC?

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (4, Interesting)

bob65 (590395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049536)

Sure, there are other instant messaging networks, but almost everyone uses AOL/AIM. Sure, there are other OS's, but almost everyone uses Windows.

Um, I don't think the AIM "monopoly" is anywhere near the size of the Windows monopoly. I personally don't know *anyone* that uses AIM - if we were to choose a monopoly I would say it's either ICQ or MSN Messenger (with the latter increasing in usage recently). Personally, all my contacts use ICQ (geeks and non-geeks alike).

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049548)

Aren't ICQ and AIM on the same network now?

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (1)

bob65 (590395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049574)

Hmm, true - but ICQ doesn't use "screen names" as identifiers (rather something like 2938472983423) - was it affected by this problem?

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049549)

From the AC...

ICQ is being run by AOL. Has been for a year or more. It's sabotage from the RIFed emplyees...

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049556)

Interesting, because almost everyone I know uses AIM solely. I guess different segments of the population tend to split into groups...

But on another hand, the problem is worse than that of an OS. I can switch to Linux very easily (in fact I have). It may not be popular, but that doesn't affect my use much. On the other hand, if I were to switch from AIM to Messenger or ICQ, it'd be useless because I know about 3 people who use them.

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (2, Insightful)

bob65 (590395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049565)

I guess different segments of the population tend to split into groups...

This would make sense, since what IM service we use is largely dictated by who we need to communicate with...

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (4, Informative)

TiggsPanther (611974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049702)

On the other hand, if I were to switch from AIM to Messenger or ICQ, it'd be useless because I know about 3 people who use them.

That's precisely when I switched to using Trillian as a client and, more recently, Gaim since switching to Linux.

Most of my contacts were ICQ, but I had a few on MSN and a couple on AIM. Trillian or Gaim meant that I could have one program open yet be on multiple networks, meaning I could communicate with all of them.

The distribution's a bit different now, as most of my contacts are on MSN, but it's still useful because of this. If I meet someone new on one of the other networks I'm not out of contact simply because I mainly use another.
Sure if one of the networks dies (or folds totally) it'd still bite for that network, but can still access the others. Plus I can build up a list of contacts on a different network without having to move away from the current one.

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049563)

I thought AIM/ICQ networks were one and the same these days?

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049685)

AOL owns ICQ...

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (0, Troll)

the angry liberal (825035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049578)

The standard? WTF crack rock are you smoking? You have got to be karma whoring or just clueless if you think there is any kind of monopoly on IM.

It is no more standard than going to cnn.com for your news. There are plenty of other choices, namely, Yahoo, MSN, IRC, talk.c, Jabber, cell phone IM networks, etc.

The reason why "more decentralized open standards for IM" aren't useful is because people aren't unhappy with this FREE (well, ad supported) service. If there were a monopoly, people would not be able to change to an alternative, as was the case with cable providers before the days of digital satellite. You can simply install MSN and talk a friend or two into joining you there. Big deal, most people run more than one messenger anyway.

Now, please check in again when you have another totally asinine subject to whine about.

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (2, Informative)

grandmofftarkin (49366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049583)

Too bad there isn't a more decentralized open standard for instant messaging..

That would be XMPP/Jabber.

Re:AOL is sadly the standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049591)

But there IS an open, decentralized, patent&royalty free IM standard. It's called XMPP and is used in (at least) Jabber network (http://www.jabber.org)

Various obligatory posts (4, Funny)

dswensen (252552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049481)

1) Oh no! This could really hurt AOL's rock-solid reputation as a competent and professional Internet service provider!

2) I heard they're gonna ship the patch for this problem on ten million CDs!

3) The good news is, almost all AOL users are too dumb to notice they've been locked out!

4) "You've got ..." Oh, the hell with it.

Re:Various obligatory posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049500)

You forgot:

"Now offering our same great disconnect rates for AIM!"

Re:Various obligatory posts (1)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049504)

Me too!

Re:Various obligatory posts (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049589)

Various obligatory posts (Score:5, Funny)
by dswensen (252552) * on Friday December 10, @12:49AM (#11049481)
(http://slashdot.org/ | Last Journal: Thursday September 09, @11:27AM)

1) Oh no! This could really hurt AOL's rock-solid reputation as a competent and professional Internet service provider!

2) I heard they're gonna ship the patch for this problem on ten million CDs!

3) The good news is, almost all AOL users are too dumb to notice they've been locked out!

4) "You've got ..." Oh, the hell with it.

[ Reply to This ]

Re:Various obligatory posts (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, @12:52AM (#11049500)

You forgot:

"Now offering our same great disconnect rates for AIM!"

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Re:Various obligatory posts (Score:1)
by fredistheking (464407) on Friday December 10, @12:54AM (#11049504)

Me too!
--
Fred

[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Me too!

Re:Various obligatory posts (4, Funny)

the pickle (261584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049573)

You forgot one...

In Soviet Korea, grandmothers welcome our now-formerly AIM-using petrified Natalie Portman-naked-in-hot-grits overlords.

Or something.

p

Gaim (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049605)

You forgot: I'm using Gaim [sourceforge.net] and I didn't notice anything at all.

congrats (4, Funny)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049484)

you sucsessfully made me log into AIM for the first time in months ti see if I was affected, only to be greeted by annoying friends from a long time ago with LONG TIME NO SEE...

bah

Re:congrats (4, Funny)

addaon (41825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049610)

ME TOO!

Somewhat noticable (1)

drakethegreat (832715) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049487)

I didn't get blocked out but I notice now that there is a low number of people online considering the time. That really sucks. By Monday means theres going to be a lot of irritated people.

Re:Somewhat noticable (1)

JeremyALogan (622913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049623)

I'm having the opposite effect. It seems like everyone I know is on (and they all want to talk, sigh).

Ummmmmm (2, Interesting)

kaedemichi255 (834073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049488)

Why would they suspend accounts in the first place? I've never heard of anything like this. I guess the accounts of the IM spammers could be susceptible to suspension. Other than that, what else?

Re:Ummmmmm (2, Interesting)

malsbert (456063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049564)

America Online Inc. has confirmed that it mistakenly deactivated a number of AOL Instant Messenger accounts this week as part of its regular cycle of opening unused screen names to new users.

Happened to me (1)

feelyoda (622366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049493)

And I was worried I'd lose the name 'bearded Croat'.

In other news... (5, Funny)

VonGuard (39260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049496)

Workplace productivity grows by leaps and bounds for a three day stretch.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049507)

Impossible - slashdot's still up to talk about it.

Now if they both went out...

Fun thing: (-1, Offtopic)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049498)

Go http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en [google.com] there and start to type in

"George bush is a"

And see what happens

hilarious!

Re:Fun thing: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049517)

Congratulations. Off topic, AND completely devoid of any real humor.

"John Kerry is a Douche Bag" and variants there of also seemed to be popular. What the fuck is your point? Niether the insults of GWB or JFK were clever or original...

Re:Fun thing: (-1, Troll)

Eric(b0mb)Dennis (629047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049526)

shut the fuck up

Re:Fun thing: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049544)

In response to your signature: Did you bring the plastic men?

Re:Fun thing: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049566)

No, peckerface.

AOL's fault? (4, Insightful)

casuist99 (263701) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049499)

I know a lot of people will take this opportunity to laught at AIM users for using a closed protocol. Now lets be honest: how many of you here use AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, or MSN Messenger? I suspect that whichever of these services most of your friends use, you are likely to use.

Here's my whole point. Instead of saying it's the user's fault and proprietary protocols lead to this sort of thing, why don't we use it as an opportunity? With the outage of AIM for a weekend fresh in their minds, talk to your friends. Let them know that you found a "cool, new program" called Jabber (or some other open-protocol service) that wasn't out for the weekend. Get a few to at least try it out.

If at least a few of each of our friends AND WE try a different protocol and chat program, there's a chance that we can finally stop making fun of AIM users. (I know it's fun, but wouldn't using a better protocol be even better?)

Just remember - AOL may have given us a golden opportunity here. Let's take advantage of it rather than complain for the next year.

Re:AOL's fault? (1)

nz_mincemeat (192600) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049515)

Still a very uphill battle to convert users over though...

The typical demographic that favours convenience/sinks to the level of using AIM would probably not be competent enough to set up anything else on their computer... On the other hand, do we really want to trust them to do so? ;-)

Re:AOL's fault? (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049519)

Jabber is still around? Tried it a few years ago, found their client irritating (not to mention I know nobody that uses it). Which IM service to use is very low on my Geek-Evangelism scale (I use most of my efforts getting people off IE and Outlook). My AIM is still up and running, in any case.

Re:AOL's fault? (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049602)

Jabber is still around? Tried it a few years ago, found their client irritating (not to mention I know nobody that uses it).

There are plenty of Jabber clients around - choose one you do like (I use gAIM).

The nice thing about Jabber is that it's not designed to have a single company owning (and screwing up) a central server - you can run your own Jabber server if you like and will be unaffected by other servers going down (unless you need to talk to someone who actually uses that other server).

Re:AOL's fault? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049665)

Jabber is actually getting kinda huge. You wouldn't know it because it's going the opposite route of most open source software... it's getting big in the enterprise first. Lots of big (and I mean BIG) companies that don't want to allow their users open IM access use jabber for internal communications.

It has relatively huge industry support, believe it or not.

Re:AOL's fault? (1)

bob65 (590395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049557)

If at least a few of each of our friends AND WE try a different protocol and chat program, there's a chance that we can finally stop making fun of AIM users. (I know it's fun, but wouldn't using a better protocol be even better?)

I don't think we need to worry about AIM users in the future - the *only* people I've seen using AIM are those over 30 years old - pretty much anyone between 18-30 (geek or not) uses something else like ICQ - just give it a few years, and we'll start making fun of ICQ users instead. (Note that those under 18 tend to gravitate towards MSN Messenger for some reason - so give it another few years, and we'll start making fun of MSN Messenger users...)

Re:AOL's fault? (4, Informative)

Mornelithe (83633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049639)

I have different experiences. All of my friends, and pretty much everyone I'm aware of at my university uses AIM, and we're all 22 or under.

I haven't met anyone who uses ICQ in years, although I hear it's more popular outside of the US.

I can't comment on the growing MSN population though. I always forget to ask that when I lure children into my van with promises of free candy and ice cream.

Re:AOL's fault? (2, Informative)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049575)

Me: "AIM is down. Try this cool new program."

Them: "Why? Nobody I know is on this thing except you and it doesn't seem any better than MSN/AIM/ICQ anyways. You say it's "open". What does "open" mean? Oh, I see. So what?"

As long as AOL is the worlds largest ISP, AIM will probably be the largest instant messaging system. As long as Windows Messenger comes with Windows, it'll probably be right there in second (if not first at some point).

I'd love to see Jabber take over, but I hold no illusions. FireFox is bad-ass, but will it ever totally supplant IE? Probably not.

Sigh...

Re:AOL's fault? (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049620)

They got video and voice chat working with these "open" standards yet? Nope? Well, then it's useless to me.

OLD news. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049502)

This happened to me MONTHS ago. I had my AIM account for six or seven years and had at least a couple hundred contacts (personal and professional) in it. I used it for work and personal. I've lost touch with many people because I no longer have that account or their information.

It just happened out of the blue. I called AOL and they said that they couldn't help me unless I was an AOL user. They suggested that I pay to become an AOL user, then call in and get them to fix my AIM account, then cancel my AOL account after a couple months. Of course, why would I want AOL?!

Previously, my employer had provided a free AOL account to me (all employees, even though none of us used it). It happened to be my firstname and last initial, which is the same as my AIM name. Then, my company closed their AOL accounts. And, even though my AIM account was YEARS older than the AOL account in the same name, they shut down *both*... at least, that's the best guess. Since AOL won't offer any help or even an explanation as to why after seven years my account stopped working without me buying an AOL account, I don't know for sure.

Name (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049535)

It's always been, as far as I can remember :

ASSHOLES ON LINE

Maybe you kids have another name but those floppys ... man I had a zillion.

PenGun
Do What Now ??? ... Standards and Practices !

Re:Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049662)

Why is that the moderation summary or whatever it's called is missing from parent?

Mistake (-1, Redundant)

blixel (158224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049537)

According to a story on eWeek, AOL has mistakenly suspended a very large number of AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely used IM programs) accounts, by mistake.

As opposed to mistakenly locking them out on purpose?

For anybody out there *still* using Aim... (4, Informative)

SynapseLapse (644398) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049551)

Please for the love of God look into Gaim. [sourceforge.net] Far less bloated, no ads, and it just plain works.

Re:For anybody out there *still* using Aim... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049609)

heh. love it.. and there's a windoze client version for those of you out there.

I've been with it since version 0.55

still my fav client.

Jabber, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC, Gadu-Gadu, Napster, SLIC, Groupwise, and Zepher are all supported currently.

Re:For anybody out there *still* using Aim... (4, Informative)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049630)

Unless it's the actual AIM network (toc/oscar) that's taken a huge crap.

If the backend is down, your AIM client is totally irrelevant anyway. :-)

Re:For anybody out there *still* using Aim... (1)

wtd (791730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049708)

GAIM is a good idea even when the system is working correctly. ;-)

sadly... (5, Funny)

agent0range_ (472103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049552)

AIM users might be forced into interacting with real people for a whole weekend...

No, wait. There's still TV.

one of the most widely used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049554)

According to a story on eWeek, AOL has mistakenly suspended a very large number of AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely used IM programs)
Gee, I didn't know that. Sure feels good to keep them nerds informed, eh?

Bwahahahaaa! Owned!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049576)

You have AOL screen names!!!

Some elite hackers you all are! /proud to have never used AIM.

Open IM (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049585)

This is why you should use an open IM network like Jabber [jabber.org] .

Amoungst other things, it's well designed enough not to require everyone to use a central server - run your own server if you want and you're then responsible for any screwups on it.

Re:Open IM (1)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049596)

I just installed my own Jabber server, but nobody I know has an account on it so I'm now talking to myself.

How am I further ahead, exactly?

Re:Open IM (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049608)

I just installed my own Jabber server, but nobody I know has an account on it so I'm now talking to myself.

You obviously have no clue how Jabber works. What you just said is like "I set up my own mail server but noone else has an account on it so I'm talking to myself".

Of course Jabber servers can talk to eachother - thats why it's called the Jabber Network

Re:Open IM (1)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049664)

Oh no, I'm well aware of how it works...

But it doesn't change the fact that having a myriad of dispirate Jabber Networks is far less useful than a single unified network, for the average users perspective... at least in the context of instant messaging as most people think of it.

Much regards to Jabber, but saying "hey, use this product that isn't quite the same as what you're using because it's open" to most people is a lost cause...

I have AIM, you have AIM, we can talk.

I have Jabber, you have Jabber... are we on the same Jabber network? How do I connect to your network?

This is why, as cool as Jabber is, it will never (alas) supplant AIM or MSN.

Re:Open IM (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049690)

I have Jabber, you have Jabber... are we on the same Jabber network? How do I connect to your network?

No, really, you don't understand how Jabber works. You don't connect to their network, the server handles all that.

You are user@server.org. That is your Jabber ID. server.org is the name of your jabber server. You want to talk to other@network.net. network.net is their jabber server. You just send them a message! Your client tells your server to route the message over to them. It's completely transparent to you (and to your client, even). The network connection part all happens on the server.

The only difference is that you use email-address type things instead of usernames. But that's how MSN works too, and it's not hurting for users.

Re:Open IM (4, Insightful)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049709)

No, I do know how jabber works and I'm well aware of how inter-server messages are relayed, right down to the the XMPP schema that actually relays the message.

Thanks for the lesson though... it'd have been better if ya, you know, commented on the point rather than just having a fan-boy outburst.

IF YOUR STAFF CRASH YOUR JABBER SERVER, I CANNOT TALK TO YOU. THIS IS NOT BECAUSE JABBER IS OPEN OR CLOSED, BUT BECAUSE SOMEBODY CRASHED THE SERVER.

As much as you think it can unite warring cultures, send men to Mars and create water-powered cars, open source/protocols/technologies still can't save you from human error... which is exactly what caused this AOL problem.

Re:Open IM (2, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049695)

I have Jabber, you have Jabber... are we on the same Jabber network? How do I connect to your network?

What? You're not making any sense - it's all automatic. If I'm logged onto the server example1.com with username "bar" and you're logged onto example2.com with username "foo" then I can IM foo@example2.com and it Just Works - this is exactly the same as how you send mail - you don't need to worry about how the network interconnects, you just address your email to someuser@somedomain.com and it Just Works.

What you are saying might be true of other protocols auch as AIM whcih aren't designed to cope with a network of servers - there you may well have 2 AIM servers with no way of communicating with eachother, but with Jabber they will automatically talk so long as there are no firewalls blocking the data between the servers.

Re:Open IM (1)

defsdoor (737019) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049645)

Indeed - the jabber way is, of course, the right way to do instant messaging. Just educate everyone that jabber is completely open, anyone can join in and theres no "big brother" watching over everything you do, able to force you to use particular clients, force ads down your throat, and disable your accounts inadvertantly (or not). I've installed several jabber servers, some with maintained rosters for corporate use only (all staff have all other staff in their roster automatically). Its neat, its free, its XMPP!

This thing is weird... (1)

Tajas (785666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049600)

No one I know has had a problem with losing their AIM SN nor has anyone I know had such a problem. Could it be they were testing something to delete inactive accounts and all of a sudden someone hit GO by mistake?

Skype (0, Offtopic)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049611)

AIM, just like AOL's browser, has just been getting worse and worse with each new version. Although I don't use AOL I've seen the latest version they have, it's awful. With every new version they add more bloat, and more ads.

I recently got my circle of friends to change from using AIM to Skype [skype.com] , it even has IM functions for the few people who don't have a mic.

I still have Gaim installed, but I rarely use it now.

I imagine... (1)

Vash_066 (816757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049626)

that this is just some sort of conflict from the Software the Department of Homeland Security is secretly installing thru the AIM network.

In Korea only old people use AIM (-1, Offtopic)

SlashdotMeNow (799901) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049632)

The young hip kids all have Beowulf clustered brain-scanner implants built from LEGO.

Re:In Korea only old people use AIM (-1, Offtopic)

VanillaCoke420 (662576) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049666)

These new jokes catch on faster and faster, I predict they will be modded down within two days or their first appearance. Pretty soon we'll see new slashdot fads that will appear, be modded funny by breakfast, modded troll by lunch and become a regularity by early evening.

Re:In Korea only old people use AIM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049673)

Netcraft confirms that this joke is getting old.

Unicorns (1)

Gunark (227527) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049635)

AIM users are like giant squid (but with fewer arms). You hear about them, occassionally a giant tentacle washes up on shore, but nobody's ever actually seen one.

Seriously though who the hell uses AIM? Nobody has ever asked me for my MSN address. For two years now, since ICQ died, it's always been MSN this MSN that. If AIM has even 10% of the MSN userbase, surely someone would have asked me for my AIM info by now? Am I missing something here?

Re:Unicorns (2, Informative)

skizrule (701743) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049668)

In my experience, AIM tends to be very popular among the college-age crowd in the Midwest and East Coast, while MSN has the majority of the market in Canada and on the West Coast. Seeing new students come to school from various areas of the country seems to confirm this, although almost everyone gets an AIM address to use while they are here, even those on MSN back home.

Re:Unicorns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049701)

I think it has a lot to do with how many people used aol originally and moved to aim to keep the same method of communication once broadband arose... I'm from NY, and everyone I know uses aim, whereas nearly no-one uses MSN (and a few use ICQ, though not that many)... most of us used AOL itself like 7 or 8 years ago, and a lot still have the same names

Use Jabber. (1)

lejatorn (812407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049642)

Use Jabber.
With Psi client for example.

Another AOL burp. Yawn.... (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049647)

This isn't really a surprise. The AIM network has occasional (regional) outages. I occasionally see "Hey, is anyone else having trouble with AIM?" chats on IRC.

They also blacklist IP addresses for absolutely no reason. Typo in a list? Error in a program? Who knows - they escalate the issue and several weeks later, you might have an answer.

Either AOL is horribly understaffed, or they're really running things into the ground faster than expected.

(Yes, I worked there. I saw cool stuff, I saw clueless behavior.. )

Meetings First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049648)

At AOL, we are required to have at least forty meetings, prior to actually fixing any problems, this issue will actually be taken care on the 22nd monday of 2005.

AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely used (2, Insightful)

nicke999 (575910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049649)

AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely used IM programs)

...in the US. And whoever said slashdot isn't US-centred?

Re:AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely u (1)

AusG4 (651867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049672)

It's pretty popular in Canada, too.

Of course, most of the real old-schoolers still use ICQ because we've been using it since it was first released and just never changed... slowly but surely I've been converting over to AIM since most people I know are moving to AIM, and AIM these days will talk to ICQ users anyways (assuming they have the ICQ that supports AIM, so who knows if ICQ support is actually in AIM or if AIM support is in ICQ.. never bothered to check).

That said, what's the most popular outside North America? I'd figure MSN, yeah?

Yes (2, Informative)

nicke999 (575910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049696)

Yea, in europe MSN has become insanely popular and has literally killed ICQ in just under two years. AFAIK Asia is still on hooked on ICQ but are also switching to MSN. Except for the chinese who have their own nifty program, I think it's called QQQ.

Future of AIM? (3, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11049669)

Almost everyone I know (I am a college student) uses AIM exclusively. If AIM were to suddenly disappear, many people would be lost. At the rate AOL is going, how long can AIM be sustained? It costs them money to pay for the servers and update the software. Are there any good alternatives that have some sort of guarantee of staying power?

Same on my.netscape.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11049676)

I'm posting anonymously, maybe for a good reason.

I've been locked out of my account at my.netscape.com.

OK, maybe I'm the last person on the internet to use it as my primary portal, but...

Also, when going to the password reset it has been saying "The service is temporarily unavailble".

That's for the last 3 days now...

Anon
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