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AOL has been actively blocking Trillian users.
January 31, 2002 6:51 AM   Subscribe

AOL has been actively blocking Trillian users. If you switched over to Trillian and use AIM you've had problems connecting all week. As of this morning, version 0.721 is working but will likely be blocked again. AOL is claiming it as a "security" issue.
posted by tommasz (30 comments total)

 
Hi, Tom, that actually came up a couple days ago.
posted by luser at 6:54 AM on January 31, 2002


That was the opening salvo in the war between AOL and Cerulean. AOL is now quite open about the blocking, there's no longer any doubt it's deliberate. Nor any doubt it's far from over.
posted by tommasz at 7:03 AM on January 31, 2002


"But in the past 24 hours, an elaborate game of cat and mouse has developed between AOL and Trillian creator Cerulean Studios--as the start-up has repeatedly released new software designed to get around the block, prompting AOL to rush in and stop people from using it."

I think it is worth revisiting, with a slant on 'what the hell is up with AOL?' - this is no way to increase your user base.

"In recent years, AOL has clashed with other makers of IM software, including Microsoft and AT&T. Both companies tried to create systems that let people correspond with AIM users--only to have them blocked."

AOL-Time-Warner is being a corporate bully, just like MS.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 7:05 AM on January 31, 2002


Of course, I think this is the first word that AOL has acknowledged that they are specifically blocking Trillian rather than performing an unrelated update to their IM protocol.

I'm afraid this will be a losing battle for Trillian since Trillian's main alure is that of convenience and Downloading patches every day isn't terribly convenient.

I use Trillian mainly to combine my MSN and AOL buddy lists. If I lose AOL in Trillian, I'll probably just go back to using MSN Messenger, AOL be damned.

(Whoops! Too slow. Yeah, what hotdoughnutshow said)
posted by rocketpup at 7:08 AM on January 31, 2002


*shrug* I already run them side by side. I was hoping not to have to put an actual AIM client on my linux box, though, because that's kind of like pissing in holy water.
posted by SpecialK at 7:21 AM on January 31, 2002


I'm afraid this will be a losing battle for Trillian since Trillian's main alure is that of convenience and Downloading patches every day isn't terribly convenient.

Apparently, this newest version of Trillian has an auto-update feature. Hopefully this will prove a good, unobtrusive way of patching Trillian to circumvent AOL's blockage attempts. I would hate to see this program die, its one of my favorite pieces of software.
posted by thewittyname at 7:26 AM on January 31, 2002


Just don't anybody tell AOL about Adium on Mac, the best instant messaging software on any platform, because it still works beautifully.
posted by untuckedshirts at 7:42 AM on January 31, 2002


I am personally asking all my friends to switch over to Yahoo or MSN.
posted by gloege at 7:45 AM on January 31, 2002


Oooh, that just makes me....grrr....

FWIW, Trillian 0.721 is still working for me right now.
posted by briank at 7:48 AM on January 31, 2002


Look at it from AOL's perspective..

They run this service, which obviously costs a good deal of money, and when people use Trillion, they are unable to show their banner ads. I don't think it has anything to do with "AOL being evil", just makes sense.
posted by Mark at 8:03 AM on January 31, 2002


I think that Trillian is great. I use it (using it now as a matter of fact.) But the truth is that Trillian is gaining access to AOL's systems and using AOL's messaging infrastructure for their client software. AOL makes money from non-AOL users by placing ads in their client software. If it's true, as the article states, that there are over a million Trillian (heh) users, that's a million users that are using AOL's equipment and AOL isn't being paid for it. I would like to see AOL just let it go, having enjoyed the use of Trillian, but they do have a point.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:05 AM on January 31, 2002


(or, what Mark just said)
posted by eyeballkid at 8:07 AM on January 31, 2002


Very true, Mark. But doesn't Trillian use the open interface to the AIM servers that AOL themselves supplied and documented?

Why did AOL provide such a gateway if they didn't want anyone to use it?
posted by chrismear at 8:12 AM on January 31, 2002


Don't tell them about GAIM.

You can't beat being able to have all four messenger protocols in one low resource program, with the ability to have multiple accounts for each protocol.

It comes in handy.
posted by trioperative at 8:17 AM on January 31, 2002


Has anybody actually had trouble logging on to AIM with Trillian? I'm using Trillian and haven't update since i downloaded it a couple months ago, and I haven't seen the slightest problem. In fact, I'm still conected to the AIM network via Trillian.
posted by howa2396 at 8:20 AM on January 31, 2002


"They run this service, which obviously costs a good deal of money..."

i don't see it being that much more expensive than sending out a billion CDs a day.
posted by jcterminal at 8:42 AM on January 31, 2002


I don't use Trillian to avoid banner ads, I use it because I don't want to have ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, and AOL IM all open at the same time. I sometimes had ICQ open, but many people here at work use Yahoo, and our consultants use AOL IM, and ICQ's interface sucks and the app seems to leak memory all over the place.

Of course, chat should not be a proprietary protocol. There should be an open standard for chat, just like there is for Web and email. Let the clients fight it out based on feature set and reliability. When AOL merged with Time-Warner, there should have been a requirement that they open up their network.
posted by tranquileye at 8:43 AM on January 31, 2002


I've said it before and I'll say it again: we need an IETF standard for IM.
posted by dhartung at 8:44 AM on January 31, 2002


As of downloading 0.721 I've experienced no problem.

AOL's behaviour doesn't strike me as odd, though... weren't they one of the few IM Powers-That-Be who refused to work for interoperability? I can't remember the URL for the project, but there was some consortium between MS, Yahoo, and others to provide interoperability between the networks, so that users wouldn't have to resort to something like Trillian to chat over disparate networks.
posted by sigma7 at 8:45 AM on January 31, 2002


howa2396, I have had problems all week, until 0.721, that is. The "turn off secure IM" trick worked for a day, and then the same problem. I am behind a firewall here at work, so perhaps there's an interaction.
posted by tommasz at 8:48 AM on January 31, 2002


if you want to use the AIM client without banners and other ugly junk:

http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail.php3?fid=992704828
posted by howa2396 at 8:58 AM on January 31, 2002


For what it's worth, I've been using version 0.70 with no problems.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:02 AM on January 31, 2002


Is the lack of interoperability a triumph of the free market or a weakness?
posted by euphorb at 10:31 AM on January 31, 2002


Just don't anybody tell AOL about Adium on Mac, the best instant messaging software on any platform, because it still works beautifully.

Exactly. Damn, that's some good software. And it's opensourced.
posted by jragon at 10:48 AM on January 31, 2002


Yahoo doesn't seem to be working with the new version of Trillian...
posted by skinjob at 11:21 AM on January 31, 2002


AOL is claiming it as a "security" issue.


That's ironic, because I stopped using AIM because of a known security hole they never addressed. The whole state of IM is simply a mess. In the meantime we have software like Trillian that legally reverse-engineers the AOL's and other protocols. Its just so much greed and chest-pounding, all these companies want to be the IM leader, users be damned if they want to talk to someone using a different IM client. Unix talk has been around for ages yet in the PC world we're still fighting over IM protocols.
posted by skallas at 12:03 PM on January 31, 2002


*Sigh* Trillian 0.721 is not connecting to AIM this morning. I guess it's time for 0.722.
posted by tommasz at 5:50 AM on February 1, 2002


Instead of playing the game, just go back to 0.70, which hasn't had any problems all week.
posted by briank at 6:00 AM on February 1, 2002


I'm weird; I wouldn't mind doing the updates if they were necessary. I don't expect anyone else to, but that's just me. The Trillian install is pretty quick, for one, and I'm not ready to go back and install AIM just for this. Either that or I just get some sort of woody out of knowing that we're making the AOL techs work at least as hard as the Trillian folk.

I also find it strangely amusing that this thread will probably last at least through a few more decimals in the update war.
posted by iamrobotandproud at 1:55 PM on February 1, 2002


Well, it looks as though AOL may have done it now. I've been using Trillian for a few months, and it is simply the best instant messaging program out there (I really don't like programs that are ugly, like AIM). Anyway, after three updates in the last week, it won't connect to AIM at all. Either that, or it pretends to be connected and doesn't show any of my contacts. This makes me very sad.
posted by animoller at 3:09 PM on February 6, 2002


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