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Google Jabber Servers No Longer Federated; No Non-Google Servers
March 15, 2013 4:21 PM   Subscribe

First, there was the closing of Google Reader. There was also the announcement that Google would only leave CalDAV open to whitelisted developers (no MeFi link, though it is briefly mentioned in the Google Illiterate discussion), forcing anyone else who wrote a calendaring application to migrate from the open CalDAV standard to Google's own Calendar API. Then there was the removal of advertisement blocking applications from Google Play. Now, Google is blocking invite requests to their Jabber service from non-Google Jabber servers. A Google customer user must send the request to the non-Google Jabber user.
Earlier this year, we announced an instant messaging service for our members using Jabber (XMPP). This service is federated, so like email, you can talk to people whose account is hosted somewhere else than the FSF. Your account is, say, johns@member.fsf.org, but you could still seamlessly talk to someone who is sergey@gmail.com.

Until now. Recently, some of our members started reporting that they were no longer able to add contacts at GoogleTalk, which is the Jabber service Google provides to Gmail users. Since Google has run a fully federated Jabber service for a long time and ours is new, we investigated under the assumption the problem was on our end.

Turns out, Google has started blocking invites sent from non-Google Jabber servers. Subscription requests just disappear mysteriously, confusing both users and server operators.

This change is akin to Google no longer accepting incoming e-mail for @gmail.com addresses from non-Google domains. That would be unthinkable.
It's guessed that Google is doing this to combat spam. While not as many people will be impacted by this as Google Reader or other actions, it's seen as another step in the wrong direction by those pushing for an open, interoperable Internet.
posted by Brian Puccio (79 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
> This change is akin to Google no longer accepting incoming e-mail for @gmail.com addresses > from non-Google domains.

It would be, if any appreciable number of people used Jabber in comparison to email. 10 million worldwide in 2003 I think used Jabber.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 4:24 PM on March 15, 2013


10 million worldwide in 2003 I think used Jabber

For comparison, 0 people used Facebook in 2003.
posted by aubilenon at 4:26 PM on March 15, 2013 [22 favorites]


Every once in a while I worry that we're not living in a GRIMDARK FUTURE, but then someone says something like 10 million people aren't "any appreciable number" and I breathe a sigh of relief.
posted by cthuljew at 4:26 PM on March 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


"This change is akin to Google no longer accepting incoming e-mail for @gmail.com addresses from non-Google domains. That would be unthinkable."

No, I assure you someone at Google is currently thinking it.
posted by klangklangston at 4:27 PM on March 15, 2013 [23 favorites]


Quick, someone with access to the right databases better check if Google trademarked Wormwood for some new product for this summer, before I get too paranoic.
posted by Iosephus at 4:30 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Meanwhile, I never got rid of my hotmail account, just sayin', Google.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:30 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been curious since I read this; how many non-Google Talk Jabber users are there anyway? I know XMPP was federated in theory but in practice it seems to mostly not be used at all, or used in private isolated networks. Other than the FSF who is affected by this change?
posted by Nelson at 4:33 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't even understand what's happening but I am so going to make a Downfall video about this.
posted by naju at 4:35 PM on March 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


In related news, Google has also just released Don't Be Evil 2.0, which automatically detects users who are being evil with non-Google products, and removes them from search results.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:37 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


The thing I like best about this new "fuck you, we're google" campaign is it's all of the Big Picture corporate strategy meetings I've ever sat it, writ large. Invariably, inevitably, the guy or gal with the nicest hair and an MBA says something like "why does it need to be open?" or "no one cares about ads" or "people won't want to opt out" or "we don't need to tell them that" or "that is not our core market" * or...

* These people generally have no idea who their core market is.
posted by maxwelton at 4:38 PM on March 15, 2013 [33 favorites]


BTW, Google, Steve Case says "hi."
posted by maxwelton at 4:39 PM on March 15, 2013 [15 favorites]


it's seen as another step in the wrong direction by those pushing for an open, interoperable Internet.

Who pays for this open internet? The amount of magical thinking and entitlement surrounding the internet is mind-blowing. Someone has to pay for it. The idea that Google is just going to offer all of this without a revenue stream is just fantasy. Google cuts off Reader because it doesn't pay enough. It stops using 3rd party applications because it doesn't pay enough.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:42 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Meanwhile, I never got rid of my hotmail account, just sayin', Google.

Microsoft is also a for profit company. And it is selling you when you use hotmail.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:44 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


True, but when playing both ends against the middle is the only game in town......
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:49 PM on March 15, 2013


Looks like we can't rely on corporates to maintain open systems.

Who knew?
posted by Devonian at 4:50 PM on March 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


Huh. I guess I had better stop using Google Talk now.
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:50 PM on March 15, 2013


One week ago at Google HQ: Larry Page dialed the phone and said: "Execute Order 66".
posted by double block and bleed at 4:53 PM on March 15, 2013 [25 favorites]


So the whole of this rather breathless FPP seems to be built on top of this one message board post from someone who works at Google Chat. And all that says is that they're throttling requests because of a flood of spam. There is no announcement of a policy to cease accepting requests forever and every possibility that once some more permanent kind of solution can be found to the spam flood problem, they could return to the status quo ante. This seems a bit premature to me.
posted by yoink at 4:55 PM on March 15, 2013 [20 favorites]


One week ago at Google HQ: Larry Page dialed the phone and said: "Execute Order 66".

No shit. They just keep dropping the "fuck you Internet" bombs this week.
posted by Talez at 4:56 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


But keep all your data in the cloud. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by jfuller at 4:57 PM on March 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Earlier this year, we announced an instant messaging service for our members using Jabber (XMPP). This service is federated, so like email, you can talk to people whose account is hosted somewhere else than the FSF.

Why can't the future be "federated"? It's so goddamn annoying to have to use Skype with some people because they don't like GTalk, GoTo Meeting with others because their company only allows GoToMeeting, a telephone for other people because they are technically illiterate, all the while getting pinged by various people using different IM services.

The walled garden approach is utterly loopy!
posted by KokuRyu at 5:01 PM on March 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


From the mailing list message attached to the article: it's an anti-spam measure. At the risk of being that guy, how often do you receive non-gmail chat requests to your gmail account?
posted by GuyZero at 5:01 PM on March 15, 2013


But keep all your data in the cloud my butt. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by axiom at 5:02 PM on March 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Why can't the future be "federated"?

A lack of standards and/or a lack of adherence to standards.

At least WiFi interoperability is still a thing.
posted by GuyZero at 5:02 PM on March 15, 2013


Looks like we can't rely on corporates to maintain open systems.

We've had telephones for nearly a hundred years.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:03 PM on March 15, 2013


We've had telephones for nearly a hundred years.

To be fair that's because prior to Hush-A-Phone v. United States, Ma Bell was the only game in town. But back then you paid $35.64 for a five minute long distance call so it wasn't exactly a panacea as far as single standards go.
posted by Talez at 5:08 PM on March 15, 2013 [8 favorites]



Looks like we can't rely on corporates to maintain open systems.

We've had telephones for nearly a hundred years.


Quite so
posted by Devonian at 5:09 PM on March 15, 2013


Looks like we can't rely on corporates to maintain open systems.

Not even food is safe. GMO is basically the DRM of food.
posted by DU at 5:21 PM on March 15, 2013 [10 favorites]


Who pays for this open internet

Yeah Google is totally going broke offering those free services. Why they've barely managed to accumulate $48 billion dollars in cash.
posted by humanfont at 5:30 PM on March 15, 2013 [14 favorites]


Every once in a while I worry that we're not living in a GRIMDARK FUTURE, but then someone says something like 10 million people aren't "any appreciable number" and I breathe a sigh of relief.

"A million deaths isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion deaths." --Imperator Saverin, AD 2029
posted by Rhaomi at 5:30 PM on March 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Who pays for this open internet?

anyone with an internet bill, the cable and telephone companies, etc etc

some balkanized list of services isn't what i paid for - and it's not what google's paying for either

they'll find that out if some ISPs make sweetheart deals with other search engines to have their customers do searches exclusively on their pages, not google's

google can't have it both ways - if they're not going to provide open connectivity with other services, they can't expect other services to do the same to them

they're going down a road that's going to hurt them and hurt us
posted by pyramid termite at 5:41 PM on March 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


anyone with an internet bill, the cable and telephone companies, etc etc

What portion of the bill I pay to my ISP, in your estimation, goes to pay Google to implement a more elegant and less obtrusive solution to the problem of being flooded with spam from non-google jabber servers? I'd be happy with either a percentage or a total dollar figure.
posted by yoink at 5:46 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's weird... during the whole net neutrality debate circa 2006, Google was a primary vanguard of the open web, arguing that ISP deregulation would lead to a fragmented, proprietary, walled-garden internet that would make it harder for small players to innovate and for users to freely access the information they wanted.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:46 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


they'll find that out if some ISPs make sweetheart deals with other search engines to have their customers do searches exclusively on their pages, not google's

They're counting on those other search engines to also be Google.
posted by clarknova at 5:48 PM on March 15, 2013


At the risk of being that guy, how often do you receive non-gmail chat requests to your gmail account?

Fair question, but how does this action look in the context of other decisions made this week? Might it hint, perhaps, at Google making its broader offerings less interoperable in the future; say, to push G+ adoption, or whatever?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:50 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


What portion of the bill I pay to my ISP, in your estimation, goes to pay Google to implement a more elegant and less obtrusive solution to the problem of being flooded with spam from non-google jabber servers?

nothing - what percentage of the bill google pays to their ISP (or the owner of the infrastructure they use to connect themselves to the internet) goes to YOUR ISP to make sure that you can connect to them?

nothing

if i'm not entitled to anything from them, they're not entitled to anything from my or your ISP, including HTTP access

is that how they want to play this?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:00 PM on March 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


KokuRyu: "The walled garden approach is utterly loopy!"

Oh, hello there, Google of 2007!
posted by symbioid at 6:20 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other news, Glass is supposed to have a "curated" app market and everything (even if using third party software/services) is piped through Google's servers (as far as I understand the slides from their SXSW presentation).
posted by polyhedron at 6:26 PM on March 15, 2013


Could someone explain this to me? I recently saw a blog post (maybe not this exact one) that Google wasn't going to allow iOS users to connect by Microsoft Exchange servers and I needed to switch to CalDav and CardDav, so I did it... and now you won't be able to use CalDav??? I'm so confused.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:26 PM on March 15, 2013


Could someone explain this to me? I recently saw a blog post (maybe not this exact one) that Google wasn't going to allow iOS users to connect by Microsoft Exchange servers and I needed to switch to CalDav and CardDav, so I did it... and now you won't be able to use CalDav??? I'm so confused.

It's basically a giant middle finger to the rest of the Internet. Losing Exchange was a giant pain in the ass but the world was probably going to be moving to CalDAV eventually and it had pretty decent support. Now they're removing CalDAV support (which was an easy HTTP based protocol to implement) and forcing developers who aren't whitelisted already to use some proprietary calendar API. Not only is this going to demolish the number of clients able to just hook transparently into Google Calendar based on open standards but it also subjects them to usage limits and quotas which will mean developers having to pay $$$ to Google to develop a client application to support Google's product.
posted by Talez at 6:37 PM on March 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


//From the mailing list message attached to the article: it's an anti-spam measure. At the risk of being that guy, how often do you receive non-gmail chat requests to your gmail account?//

I'm trying to remember the last time I received a chat request that wasn't Facebook.
posted by COD at 8:26 PM on March 15, 2013


XMPP is a shitshow.
posted by runehog at 8:30 PM on March 15, 2013


Is it off-topic to mention Google recently killing Sync?

Oh, and I'm not a programmer, and maybe I'm misreading it, but upon rereading that post, this part
With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols.
made me want to once again say FUCK YOU GOOGLE.

Am I wrong on that one? (Not that I care, at the moment. Fuck you, Google. *fumes*)
posted by Lexica at 9:02 PM on March 15, 2013


With all the recent "Hey users! FUCK YOU!" it's starting to feel like Google is ripping off a band-aid quickly rather than draw the pain out.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:11 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth: Who pays for this open internet?

We do. Why the heck do you think it costs you $50 every month, and then pretty much everyone with a significant web presence is paying for bandwidth too?

I really wonder, sometimes, if you're trolling, because that is just an outrageous stance. If Google died tomorrow, tomorrow, at 12:01 AM, the Internet would be just fine. People would be mad and scrambling for awhile, and there would be disruption to business models that depend on Google for advertising, but the fundamental pipes would all still be there, and other companies would step up to fill the vacuum.

Everything would be paid for, just like it is now, by the users on both ends.
posted by Malor at 9:24 PM on March 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Who pays for this open internet?

Who pays for email and www?
posted by dirigibleman at 9:31 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lexica: That part makes me go "yay Google." They're moving from a proprietary Microsoft protocol to open ones supported by many applications.
posted by zsazsa at 9:33 PM on March 15, 2013


zsazsa: Really? As I said, I'm not a programmer, just a user whose employer has us on Outlook and who really, really wants-if-not-needs to have her work calendar somehow synced or coordinated with her personal calendar. Google Sync worked, and yet I haven't heard (spelled: haven't spent much time tracking down) what people like us (non-IT, not-programming-savvy, no-admin-rights-on-the-work-machine) are supposed to use instead.

I'd love to be told "No, you're wrong, there's a simple and convenient replacement solution already available!"
posted by Lexica at 9:48 PM on March 15, 2013


If Google died tomorrow, tomorrow, at 12:01 AM, the Internet would be just fine.

The wailing and gnashing of teeth when Google withdraws or even slightly modifies even its least popular FREE services suggests that this is not really true.
posted by yoink at 9:51 PM on March 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


nothing - what percentage of the bill google pays to their ISP (or the owner of the infrastructure they use to connect themselves to the internet) goes to YOUR ISP to make sure that you can connect to them?

This comparison doesn't really make sense. You pay ISPs to get on the network. The only value from being on the network is the ability to connect to other machines on the network. If you think this is a valid argument - that Google should pay your ISP to let them connect to you - then you must also think that you should have to pay Google's ISP (or any other host's ISP) in order to let you connect to them.

I really wonder, sometimes, if you're trolling, because that is just an outrageous stance.

I don't think you read the rest of what Ironmouth wrote, because your interpretation based on that one snippet doesn't make any sense. Your ISP fees don't go to Google providing services. If Google isn't able to monetize a service, why should you expect them to continue offering that service?
posted by me & my monkey at 10:04 PM on March 15, 2013


As I said, I'm not a programmer, just a user whose employer has us on Outlook and who really, really wants-if-not-needs to have her work calendar somehow synced or coordinated with her personal calendar.

Who should pay for that?

In order for you to use Google Sync, Google had to license ActiveSync from Microsoft. They have to pay Microsoft for that license.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:10 PM on March 15, 2013


The Jabber decision is just yet another reason for people not to commit to Google's suite of services despite any number of seemingly solid objective points in its favor. Even in contexts where everyone involved is logged into Google, all my acquaintances *still* use Skype. Google Plus is always on the verge of taking off with people I know, and then they do something obnoxious and everyone goes back to ignoring it.

Anyway, this move is indistinguishable to the walled-gardens of text messaging that kept the US from joining the rest of the world in texting their fool heads off for somewhere between six and ten years. It's astonishing what a tin ear for the users' moods that Google has developed in the last few years. They're like the antimatter Steve Jobs these days: supernaturally adept at figuring out what users don't want, and doing that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:23 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Who pays for this open internet? The amount of magical thinking and entitlement surrounding the internet is mind-blowing. Someone has to pay for it. The idea that Google is just going to offer all of this without a revenue stream is just fantasy. Google cuts off Reader because it doesn't pay enough. It stops using 3rd party applications because it doesn't pay enough.

Sorry 'bout your total lack of understanding of XMPP.
posted by wrok at 10:37 PM on March 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


So the whole of this rather breathless FPP seems to be built on top of this one message board post from someone who works at Google Chat. And all that says is that they're throttling requests because of a flood of spam. There is no announcement of a policy to cease accepting requests forever and every possibility that once some more permanent kind of solution can be found to the spam flood problem, they could return to the status quo ante. This seems a bit premature to me.

They put into effect a white-list only policy. Like, it actually happened. It is (relatively) newsworthy, and not at all premature. Also, using this to stem spam is like setting a computer that can only access yahoo.com 'and now it will never get a virus!'.

From the mailing list message attached to the article: it's an anti-spam measure. At the risk of being that guy, how often do you receive non-gmail chat requests to your gmail account?

If you're one of the people using one of the many, many totally-legit-and-useful applications that integrate with Google Chat via XMPP: on a daily basis.
posted by wrok at 10:38 PM on March 15, 2013


GuyZero: "From the mailing list message attached to the article: it's an anti-spam measure. At the risk of being that guy, how often do you receive non-gmail chat requests to your gmail account?"

Ummmm...

counts on fingers and toes, mumbles a lot, and uses one finger to do math in the air... "And carry the three... Wish I still had a calculator watch... And..."

And, the answer is...

NEVER!

(Not counting software notifications via XMPP)
posted by Samizdata at 10:55 PM on March 15, 2013


I don't think you read the rest of what Ironmouth wrote, because your interpretation based on that one snippet doesn't make any sense. Your ISP fees don't go to Google providing services. If Google isn't able to monetize a service, why should you expect them to continue offering that service?

Because they implied it'd be around for a while WHEN THEY STARTED THE THING UP AND ASKED PEOPLE TO USE IT. It's called good faith. People started using it back when Google's name meant a lot more. All those people who will have their Reader access taken away from them will charge that loss against that name.

The exchange of lucre isn't the magic test that creates ethical obligation, and there are plenty of costs that aren't money.
posted by JHarris at 10:58 PM on March 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you invite people to inhabit your site (or your servers), you are their landlord and they are perfectly entitled to object to an eviction. If you boast about how your products build the internet community, people might treat you like you're bulldozing their village when you cancel them.
posted by forgetful snow at 11:05 PM on March 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've got money to donate to open alternatives, as long as there's a business model and a charter that guarantees no shenanigans. In terms of moving thing into my butt, open standards and interoperability provide a much-needed flange to stop things going the wrong way.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:31 PM on March 15, 2013


Also, didn't Stallman start worrying about exactly this problem many moons ago?
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:33 PM on March 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


I got about 5 spam requests over the past few weeks from the fsf servers. This is a sensible thing google is doing.
posted by Catblack at 11:44 PM on March 15, 2013


With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols.
Except now only privileged, whitelisted developers get to use CalDAV. Everyone else has to use the proprietary Google Calendar API. So much for open.
posted by zjacreman at 11:58 PM on March 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


For comparison, 0 people used Facebook in 2003.

Yeah, and? It doesn't therefore follow that Jabber is widely used even today.

This Google move is probably a disaster for anyone that uses it I'm sure, but the fact remains that comparing it to a similar move on email is hyperbola.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 2:24 AM on March 16, 2013


I'm reading this from a clean Firefox install that I did this morning after I ditched Chrome. First thing I did was install the Feedly extension.

I still have GMail, but that's only because so many damn people and places have my GMail address. Outlook.com gives me helpful instructions on keeping GMail but using Outlook.
posted by OHSnap at 3:59 AM on March 16, 2013


Now they're removing CalDAV support (which was an easy HTTP based protocol to implement) and forcing developers who aren't whitelisted already to use some proprietary calendar API. Not only is this going to demolish the number of clients able to just hook transparently into Google Calendar based on open standards but it also subjects them to usage limits and quotas which will mean developers having to pay $$$ to Google to develop a client application to support Google's product.

Dropping CalDAV is pretty damn irritating, especially given it's the near-universal standard Google was pimping very recently as an alternative when they decided to stop paying Microsoft for EAS licencing for free users.

That said; the google calendar API is straight HTTP RESTful based using JSON - it's not exactly some weird and unusual setup. It also gives you more google calendar specific options than calDAV. There's pre-existing client libraries for a bunch of languages (php, ruby, java, python, .NET, objective-C, and hosted javascript via google script) so you don't need to write your own REST interface if you don't want/need to - I've been doing some google calendar integration myself lately, and the API is very straightforward.

As for paying $$$, you only need to do that if you're a) doing a shit-ton of API requests and b) doing it using your developer account, rather than using the user's own credentials to access their data - if you auth with the user account to access say, their own calendar in your app, then it counts against their access, not yours.

Overall, it's a helluva lot more friendly than say, twitter's API restrictions.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:18 AM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, google've claimed to already have whitelisted 98% of current calDAV access - so desktop apps like Mozilla Lightning will keep using it, as will iOS, and microsoft is carrying on with calDAV access for windows phone, so presumably they're also whitelisted. The main push with dropping calDAV for general access seems to be to push small app devs (such as those writing in-house modifications to Google Apps for companies) to use the RESTful APIs instead, which are extensive for pretty much every google service, not just calendar.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:45 AM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I actually run a jabber server which is federated to google. But the odd thing is, not only am I not seeing this on mine, but a bunch of other people that I've spoken to are not either.

But, obviously, larger services like jabber.org and friends definitely are. It seems that either a human has decided what to whack (doubtful, but possibly if all of the spammy invites are coming through a small set of services), or it's being whacked based upon "you sent this many bullshit requests - you lose!"

In all honesty, I am shocked this didn't happen earlier - there is little to no spam/spim mitigation in any of the big jabber servers, and it's mostly been so far a case of "setting up federation is enough of a pain to not bother for spam" problem, rather than a spamming using federation is non-trivial problem. As well as a "no-one uses google talk" problem, until recently.
posted by jaymzjulian at 6:15 AM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Eventually Google will deprecate all their Apis. And the internets will move on.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:32 AM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


jaymzjulian, it'd be helpful if you could somehow spread your experience. Everyone's interpreting this move as some bully action by Google to own the Valuable Jabber Market, but maybe it's really just a spam measure with some unintended consequences.

Also I'm fascinated to meet someone running a Jabber server. Why do you have your own?
posted by Nelson at 7:42 AM on March 16, 2013


If Google died tomorrow, tomorrow, at 12:01 AM, the Internet would be just fine.

The internet would probably get better, as former Google employees went out into the world to make real projects that, you know, made it out of beta.
posted by fleacircus at 7:50 AM on March 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


BTW, Google, Steve Case says "hi."

The thing is, though, so does Mark Zuckerberg.
posted by dersins at 8:43 AM on March 16, 2013


Yeah, last week I was getting 6-7 spam authorization requests a day, and now it's zero. The unfortunate thing is that Google has so eroded any trust that users have in it that everything they do is now regarded as nefarious by default, even when the intent is benign and they have a good reason for doing it.

Of course they could be a little more public about doing things like this, though it probably wouldn't make people complain any less.
posted by mikesch at 9:11 AM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


* Of course they could be a little more public about doing things like this, though it probably wouldn't make people complain any less.

False. Next!

* Overall, it's a helluva lot more friendly than say, twitter's API restrictions.

-300 isn't as low as -500, but it's still a negative number. Next!

* Also, google've claimed to already have whitelisted 98% of current calDAV access [...] The main push with dropping calDAV for general access seems to be to push small app devs [...] to use the RESTful APIs instead [...]

So it becomes a feature only big companies can use! That's fair and open and NOT. Next!

>If Google died tomorrow, tomorrow, at 12:01 AM, the Internet would be just fine.
The wailing and gnashing of teeth when Google withdraws or even slightly modifies even its least popular FREE services suggests that this is not really true.

Conflation of meaning: "the internet" in the first sense is the literal internet, its structure and servers, in your sense, it is its users. As suggested later in the comment the first quote came from: "but the fundamental pipes would all still be there." Next!

The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

Then Ayn Rand is the high priest of Satan, and it's her ideas that infest much of the modern world. But there is plenty of evil out there that cares nothing for cash.
posted by JHarris at 11:42 AM on March 16, 2013


Nelson:
> Also I'm fascinated to meet someone running a Jabber server. Why do you have your own?

I actually moved mine to google apps a while back, but before then:
a) I believe in federated services: there's lots of complaining about walled gardens and the like, and while it's true photo sharing and highly integrated social connectivity aren't meaningfully available lots of options are. Chat, messaging, even telephony and video chat (and I'm not talking about XMPP for all of these - SIP also does this. Noone ever used it when I had it configured, but there was a time you could call me from a SIP phone at an address very like an email address, and I think that's how it should be: that email-address-like identifier should be valid for whatever way you're trying to contact me, voice or not.)
b) there was a time when this service wasn't offered, and I wanted the vanity JID, and thereafter there was ~ a year of gap where momentum kept me on my existing setup.

Now I might be going back because of a).
posted by tiaz at 2:02 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also I'm fascinated to meet someone running a Jabber server. Why do you have your own?

Matt's another: chat.metafilter.com is a Jabber server, and not the first incarnation that Matt has done.

Until Google Talk the running joke was that the only people using Jabber were geeks running their own servers. (Full disclosure -- I ran my own Jabber server about this time.)
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:12 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


DU: "Not even food is safe. GMO is basically the DRM of food."

Not that I want to particularly continue on this derail, but it's a bad analogy.

Equating GMO with "terminator" genes is like equating encryption to DRM. Both have valid and legitimate uses (at least, in the context that we're talking about here).
posted by schmod at 5:26 PM on March 16, 2013


Our reasons were basically the same as tiaz's - we believed in the federated model, and while we never seriously expected xmpp to win, we did actually honestly naively believe, years ago, that federated IM, just like federated email, would win - for a while, the windows even seemed to be blowing that way.

Of course, we were sort of wrong. But obviously, my identity is now invested in an XMPP address which I've had for years - ironically, useful mostly thanks to google talk - so we keep running the server out of some blind habit. We could, I suppose, move to google hosted apps these days, but it's not broken, so I don't fix it.

I still, somewhat, beleive in the concept of a future where IM between a-s.net, hotmail.com, yahoo.com, facebook.com, and gmail.com are all as simple as email is now - and XMPP promised that future, and delivered the technology for that future to happen. Unfortunately, no-one other than google played nice. (for all of their evilness, I have to give credit to google for playing somewhat nice, at least for a while).

Of course people had/have good reasons to not play nice - business, for one, but also the dreaded looming threat of SPIM for another. People forget now, that SPIM nearly destroyed the ICQ network, and was a major factor in the old p2p ICQ protocol being dropped and replaced with oscar (obviously, technology consolidation was another, but again - if it aint broke, etc). MSN had similar massive, massive SPIM problems for a while, until they whacked them server side - by all accounts, they were terrified of it escalating into what happened to ICQ. And let's not even talk about skype spam.

I still believe in a federated model for IM. But I understand the fear - the dread - of it turning into email. Many of my friends have moved exclusively to facebook for messaging now, because email has just become entirely useless to them. Consider the dadaistic future we live in, where facebook is the low spam solution.

So no-one wants to be email. That aside, if it were not enough reason on its own, building walled gardens is often good business. Lock in is, fundamentally, profit. I don't like these facts, as a technologist I find these facts offensive. But with my businessman hat on, I can't deny that facts they are.
posted by jaymzjulian at 4:35 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm actually glad that Google dropped Reader, as I see it at a minimum as prompt to invigorate the RSS development network, and more optimistically as an opening for us to break free of the FB/T/G+ silos. Thus I have not signed any petitions to Google to keep it alive.

This however is a different beast, as they are continuing to run the service but just dropping the interoperability. Someone please start a petition we can sign! (I'll come back and let you know if I end up doing so.)

Surely there are other ways to combat SPIM...
posted by johnabbe at 9:12 PM on March 17, 2013


They're killing the Chrome RSS extension, too. What the serious fuck?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:09 PM on March 18, 2013


Bigger shock: the extension had 800,000 users (for whom the extension will no longer function, from what I understand). But RSS is totally dead, y'see.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:56 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


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