AIM is on its last legs

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 08:30 pm
flwyd: (dogcow moof!)
Apparently all the AIM developers have been fired by AOL.

I'm rather disappointed by this. I've had an AIM account since '97 or '98, which predates flwyd.dhs.org (1999), trevorstone.org (2002), LiveJournal (2001), and (of course) GMail. The communication systems I used before that -- bvsd.k12.co.us, colorado.edu, nyx.net, irc.undernet.org -- don't get my attention much these days, but I've been logged into AIM pretty much continuously (summers in college on dialup) since I was a freshman.

AIM really brought real-time internet communication to the masses. IRC and ytalk and other protocols had been around a long time, but getting your technically challenged classmate to install mIRC and find you on a channel was a way bigger hurdle than saying "Hey, install AIM and we can talk about this project tonight." Since then, a bunch of other protocols and clients have sprung up, with pretty much the same feature set: A small window with back and forth chat, a scrolling buddy list with with icons and groups, different noises for different event types.

I suppose most of the AIMers are using Facebook Instant Messenger or whatever they call it over there. But unlike Facebook and Google Chat and, to some extent, Yahoo! and MSN messenger, there never seemed to be an assumption or a desire to get AIM users to be "full" AOL users. Anybody could download a client, even written by someone else, and create an AOL account that was only ever used for AIM.

In the last year or so, most of my AIM messages were from the same sex chat bot, which was a lot less amusing than the salmon precursor to ChatRoulette. But there are folks in my Buddy list that I'd be interested in talking to, but who I don't know by any other contact means. So if I'm in your buddy list, pick your favorite alternate contact Trevor method. My most ubiquitous chat medium is trevorstone at gmail, but you can also find me at pinkflwyd on Yahoo, or [livejournal.com profile] flwyd@livejournal.com on Jabber/XMPP (you can even post by IMing [livejournal.com profile] frank). Adium also has me persistently signed in to OkCupid, so yeah.

Or maybe not. But I can still be disappointed.
flwyd: (xkcd don quixote)
If you're an AIM user, you may have recently had a chat bot try to start a conversation in pink or purple with you. The bot is pretending to be a young female that wants to strip over webcam, but it's really a credit card stealing scheme. A while ago, a sure way to identify this bot was to use the word "bot" in a message and they'd respond "lol im not a bot," but it seems like version 2 is a little more coy. Slightly inspired by this conversation, here's some amusement I had while programming last night.
34-line chat; warning: purple text ahead! )
flwyd: (bug eyed earl)
Salmon are apparently now on Yahoo Instant Messenger. And they're getting into creepy your mom joke territory:
voracioussalmon 11:24
I heard your mother has the AIDS, and I just wanted to give you my condolences. I didn't know I was infected.
flwyd: (Default)
(04:13:42 AM) InfantileSalmon: Are you willing to converse with a stranger?

Public Salmon Notice

Monday, May 5th, 2008 12:25 am
flwyd: (spam lite)
I got an AIM message from cubedsalmon right after making my last post. The content of the message from this fishy user was
The 100th Fibonacci number is 354224848179261915075.
The next few messages exchanged established that the person on the other end hadn't started the conversation and didn't know me. An LJ post about a similar conversation was on the first page of Google results for 354224848179261915075. Adding salmon to the search turned up [livejournal.com profile] themissinghat, a community devoted to this and similar AIM bot pranks.

So if you ever get a message from a user with "salmon" in the name, be prepared for a confused LiveJournaler who doesn't know what's going on. Who knows, it could be fun! Here's another post on the same topic. And with nothing to do with chat bots, it's a good week to do The Salmon Dance.


I've occasionally thought about writing an AIM bot that you could send a quote to and it would respond with a random quote from another user. But in today's Internet I'd have to come up with an anti-spam solution as well and I haven't even gotten around to applying my spam knowledge to my own email.
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