... indistinguishable from magic
effing the ineffable since 1977


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Gmail + Talk

I'm annoyed at Gmail today.

Its new integrated chat feature is quite possibly the killer app that will drive adoption of Google Talk, which up until now has been fairly uninspiring compared to the other networks, mainly because it didn't have any compelling features and everyone you might want to talk to is on one of the other networks already. Or to put it another way, it was missing the single most important feature of an IM network - users.

But since half the world has Gmail accounts these days, Google Talk just inherited a whole bunch of users for free. And running inside your browser window that you already have open for mail is a pretty compelling user interface benefit too: no client to install and available anywhere with net access. I was really looking forward to trying this out.

With all these advantages, why am I annoyed? Well, because Gmail's chat features don't work over https. Why? It's not like advanced dynamic AJAX functionality can't work over https, because Gmail itself does. This means I have to choose between the convenient in-browser chat interface and the security of ensuring that my password and cookie aren't being sent in plaintext. Especially since they encourage me to store my entire chat history in my gmail account, I'd think they'd understand the value of having a little security to go with that. For now I've decided I'll do without the chat. And that hurts Google more than it hurts me, because the thing they need most is passionate users...

Oh, and Janene, dear, I hope this counts as not sounding like binary or leet speak. If it's still too technical for you, I suppose I could blog about your new DVD instead?