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Google Adds Chat To Gmail 315

Nathan Weinberg writes "Google has added a chat feature to Gmail. It brings Google Talk, minus voice calls, into your webmail client. Gmail now also logs your IMs, whether they originate in Gmail or Google Talk. In the commentary at InsideGoogle, I note that Google recommends you disable Firefox's AdBlock, which can block Google's ads, if you want Gmail Chat to function properly."
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Google Adds Chat To Gmail

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  • Logging (Score:5, Informative)

    by Silas is back ( 765580 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @10:59AM (#14659629) Homepage Journal
    Just to mention, logging of chats is turned off by default. You have to turn it on manually.

    I think this thing is a good idea (not the logging, the chat-inside-mailapp). I wonder if you get marked as "online" whenever you check your Mail on
    • Re:Logging (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:07AM (#14659704) Homepage Journal
      I think this thing is a good idea (not the logging, the chat-inside-mailapp). I wonder if you get marked as "online" whenever you check your Mail on

      I think both features are good. Logging can be incredibly useful when you're using IM for online meetings and collaboration. (Such as in OSS projects.) To date I've been using a ChatBot to collaborate and record the conversations. This would free me to just record all my conversations, then move the interesting parts to the wiki as necessary.

      Way to go Google!
      • Re:Logging (Score:2, Informative)

        by zephos ( 877875 )
        IM logging is indeed a handy feature especially within the context of your example.

        I think people's concern might be that if Google is logging your chats then any conversation you have [even confidential conversations] are stored and controlled by Google, forever.

        In your business setting the logging is basically like having a stenographer in a meeting and you own and control the notes. I think you'd want that same control if using Google's technology. After all if you discuss something confidential yo
        • Well, if you read the article, it states that the logging is completely optional. You can turn it off at any time, preventing a record from being kept. Of course, there's always the possibility that Google would log your IMs anyway. Since they can already do that, though, this feature doesn't really change anything.
          • Yes, it is like all kind of communication things, if you want privacy you should not use those kind of third party service (Gmail. Yahoo mail etc) or IM> like (Gmsngr MSmsngr, Ymsngr, etc) or, if you still want to use them and *really* want privacy use PGP.

            I have used PGP over Gmail for some conversation (with trademark secrets etc) with other people. I use winPGP. it is so easy to use that you can even use it for IM encrypted conversations.
          • You know, a friend and I were having a conversation about that just the other day. He told me that with the Jabber protocol, the servers can't actually log your conversation because it's either encrypted or a direct connection (I forgot which).
      • Logging where? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by everphilski ( 877346 )
        Logging can be incredibly useful when you're using IM for online meetings and collaboration.

        Logging on *my* computer is fine and useful. Logging on *their* server is not.
      • I've been using a ChatBot

        How do you think that makes her feel?

        Seriously, what a hassle, with Kopete and AMSN, AFAIK they both have the ability to transcribe your chats at click of a button.
        Good luck with you bot relations though.

    • Just to mention, logging of chats is turned off by default. You have to turn it on manually.
      It should be:
      Examination of chat logs is turned off by default. You have to turn it on manually.
      It is not that I'm so obsessed with it, but there *is* a difference. Remember it. One day it can matter.
    • 'I wonder if you get marked as "online" whenever you check your Mail on'

      I wonder also what will happen when I logon to and I already have GAIM running with the Google Chat plugin....

      Most IM protocols only allow you to be logged in from one client at a time - will I get auto-booted from one or the other? Admittedly, I am not sure whether or not the Jabber protocol works this way (Google Chat uses the open Jabber protocol - hooray!).

      • Re:Logging (Score:4, Interesting)

        by j-cloth ( 862412 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @12:23PM (#14660277)
        Google chat will allow you to be logged on multiple times (I often forget to log off at home then log on at the office).
        It seems to route messages to the most recently activated client (this is a problem for the situation above when a cat walks across the keyboard at home and makes the unattended client active). I have noticed that some jabber clients (PSI?) will let you select which instance to send a message to when a user is logged on more than once. How this ties into gmail/gtalk? I'm not sure.
    • Re:Logging (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spy Hunter ( 317220 )
      Anyone who thinks logging in an IM client is not useful has never tried using it. The only problem I've had with it in the past is that logs are tied to one computer and one client, so they're not always available. Google's logs are of course online and searchable, and integrated with email as IM should have been from the start. And if you're already using GMail, you should have no problem with Google storing your messages.

      I haven't tried it yet, but if it works at all this could be the best developmen

    • Maybe this is an impossible question to answer at the moment, if the service hasn't rolled out, but how does a person access their logs?

      I assume that it saves stuff, if you request it, regardless of whether you're using the Google Talk web interface (so via GMail) or through the regular Google Talk desktop app (or Gaim, etc.). That's an assumption, but I think it would be pretty useless if it only logged when you used the web interface.

      Is the only way to access the logs through the web interface, by logging
  • by ModernGeek ( 601932 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @10:59AM (#14659633)
    I submitted this story last night, and it didn't get posted. One thing I noted was the fact that in the past google would not let chat sites advertise because they could not parse the chat text and bring relevant ads to the page. I used to run an IRC Network that was big into web integration (think AJAX gateway to IRC), and I wanted to implement google ads, but they didn't seem content on any solution for us, no matter what we brought to the table. Maybe now that they have targeted advertising for their chat service, they will allow targeted advertising for other chat services. Either that, or they will want to keep a monopoly with their Gmail + Talk service.
    • The question is wholly one of whether or not they can parse the page content. There's no question that they can parse the content of their mail and chat clients, server-side.

      AdSense on your site requires that the Mediapartners Googlebot be able to retrieve your page, parse it, and deliver relevant ads. If you're doing real-time content changes and there's tons of Javascript in the page, the challenge to figure out what anyone's talking about isn't worth the fight.

      Bitching about it being a monopoly is whin
    • This is from []

      8. Are there ads?

      There are no ads in your chat sessions or your Quick Contacts list. Once a chat is saved, however, it becomes just like a Gmail message. And just as you may see relevant ads next to your Gmail messages, there now may be ads alongside your saved chats. Ads are only displayed when you're viewing a saved chat, and as with all ads in Gmail, they are matched entirely by computers. Only ads classified as Family-Safe are shown and we are const

  • Use AdBlock Plus (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lawrence Ho ( 111834 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:00AM (#14659638)
    I have AdBlock installed, and can't load Gmail r=30926&topic=1523 []
    • Lovely - the link they provide doesn't even work. I would've expected something better from Google (like, maybe, a link to the Adblock Plus homepage [])...
    • Re:Use AdBlock Plus (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Surt ( 22457 )
      Interesting, I wonder why it's not consistent. I use adblock and gmail works fine for me.
      • Even more inconsistent - on my home PC, I can't use GMail with my Firefox installation (been a problem for a long time, just can't get past their "loading" message), yet PortableFirefox on my USB stick works fine. I think they're the same AdBlock, same filters.
    • Wokrs fine for me. WinXP/sp2, Ff, AdBlock

      There are several addon filtersets for AdBlock. I wonder could they be the problem. e.g. "AdBlock Filterset.G Updater" - ?id=1136 []

      P.S. Thou I recall spotting report on Bugzilla report about Ff crash related to AdBlock. I thought it was fixed in 1.5 - it seems not. Bug like that: 7 []
    • Works fine for me (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 ( 468275 )
      I have AdBlock (vers. and Filterset.G installed on Firefox 1.0.7, and it seems to work fine for me. Unfortunately I don't know the version of Filterset.G that I'm using, but it's not more than a few months old.

      I don't understand what exactly would break GMail -- AdBlock doesn't filter out Google's text ads (at least mine doesn't), and wouldn't do anything anyway unless Google was in the block list. So I'm not sure why they're recommending that people remove it, as opposed to warning people not to
      • Re:Works fine for me (Score:3, Informative)

        by kevmo ( 243736 )
        Many adBlock filters look for the phrase "ad" or "ads". GMail uses a version ID for some reason in many of their URLs. In recent versions, they have had "ad" be part of the hexadecimal version ID, probably to prevent people from using adBlock. However, I just added GMail to the whitelist.
  • I noticed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:00AM (#14659642) Journal
    This morning I came to my computer to find that Google Talk had popped up five identical dialogs asking if I wanted to send my logs to my gmail account.
  • Excited (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Donniedarkness ( 895066 ) <> on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:00AM (#14659643) Homepage
    Not to sound like a Google fanboy, but I absolutely LOVE GTalk for its nice clean interface and lack of smilies.

    Can't wait to see what this turns out to be like. Here at school, I can't install Gtalk, so my girlfriend (off at college) communicate through email. This will make this a lot easier.

    On a side note, I wonder if Adblock will really screw this up, or if they're just trying to get people to stop blocking their ads.

    • Re:Excited (Score:4, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:17AM (#14659785)
      Not to sound like a Google fanboy, but I absolutely LOVE GTalk for its nice clean interface and lack of smilies.

      Yes, because that's the reason to use Google's client... The lack of emoticons! A feature that every client I have ever used allows you to disable anyway.
    • Not to sound like a Google fanboy, but I absolutely LOVE GTalk for its nice clean interface...

      Perhaps it wouldn't surprise you to learn that GTalk looks nearly identical to Apple's iChat. Google didn't come up with that look you like so much.
  • Am I the only one? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by faloi ( 738831 )
    I'm sort of concerned about the logging of all my IM's. I suppose I know on a logical level that all that stuff is being stored, regardless of the IM client. But I prefer to live in the cloud that tells me my IMs are private and if I don't log 'em, they don't get logged.
    • by skiman1979 ( 725635 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:04AM (#14659675)
      well your IMs aren't really private unless you use some form of encryption. Even then, it would depend on the type of encryption you use.
    • I'm sort of concerned about the logging of all my IM's. I suppose I know on a logical level that all that stuff is being stored, regardless of the IM client. But I prefer to live in the cloud that tells me my IMs are private and if I don't log 'em, they don't get logged.

      It asks if you want to log the chats when you first set it up.

      Just tell it you don't want to log chats and have fun in your cloud.
    • You have to enable logging (at least right now). It's an opt-in service. By default, your stuff doesn't get logged (at least, as of last night).
    • by MadMoses ( 151207 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:13AM (#14659751) Homepage

      1. You can choose whether gmail logs your chats when you first use the feature, and you can change this option in the settings menu at any time.

      2. There is even a feature that let's you get "off the record" during a chat. So even if you're having logging enabled, you can go "off the record" during a chat, and what you type afterwards will neither be logged in your gmail account, nor in your chat partner's gmail account.

      Sounds good to me.
      • Of course, that mode is more a false sense of security than anything, since your buddy could be using some client other than the Google one, which would blithely ignore the instruction. (Unless this feature is part of the standard protocol, which would be news to me.)

        So unless you're absolutely sure what the person on the other end is using, you really can't trust such a thing. I wouldn't be too surprised if there are corporate IM clients developed (perhaps they're here already) that have logging that canno
        • Of course, you are right, but you cannot prevent logging on the chat partner's computer regardless of what IM software you are using. If your chat partner can read it, he is able to log it.
    • by ( 653730 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:19AM (#14659799)
      Surprise, IM networks are centralized (that is, all what you say goes through a central server, there're chances that IM networks have been grepping into conversations for ej: conversations about people trying to convince people to go to another IM network). In fact, even IRC is centralized. Do you want security? Use end-to-end encryption.

      Notice that unifying email and IM DOES have a lot of sense. IM and email are the SAME THING (send text and ocasinally some files), except that IM is instantaneous and email isn't. But there's no reason why you couldn't add a jabber extension which allows you to receive emails, your jabber client would just move them to a MUA. Email is just a particular case of the idea behind IM.
    • Is disabled by defaul, you must do very specific actions to enable that logging.

      Now, if you think that one of the advantages of gmail was exactly remember and be able to do good and relevant searches in all your email, adding that to your chat, and even combined with mail (so i.e. you can check if someone said you something from either way), the potential is high.

      If watching previous chats worries you, same could be thinked about previous messages, and as with them, you can or not have history at all, o

    • From the web site:

      "Go off the record when you're chatting so nothing gets saved to anyone's Gmail account"

      In other words, not only can you disable logging of your chat sessions, but you can prevent any other Google Talk users form logging a chat session in which you are a participant.

      This is great for the slimy bosses who want to screw other other employees, "NO, I NEVER told you you would get a 20% raise if you worked 80 hour weeks to complete the project on time, certainly not in a chat session!"

      It's also
    • Actually, your IMs are only private if you are talking to yourself, which defeats any usefulness of IM altogether :-)
    • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @12:34PM (#14660358) Journal
      "my IMs are private and if I don't log 'em, they don't get logged."

      Uh, if you don't just talk to yourself, the other party could log your IMs too.

      Anyway, anyone in between (ISPs, company, wireless provider, 3 letter agencies) can log the data.

      Practically all popular IM's send messages in plaintext. Even if you use encryption, the other party may wish to save it in plaintext...
  • I foresee.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:02AM (#14659658)
    I foresee a web based api to embed GTalk into your site. This web based chat interface is exactly what I've been waiting for, in fact I personally think they should do away with their desktop counterpart and do voip through an open source plugin of sorts. Using a desktop app just doesn't feel googly, no matter how well ddesigned it may be. Now if only they'd throw in support for GPG signing and/or encrypting in GMail(yes I know it'd kill their compression ratios). If everything was done client side in javascript, I'd imagine the security concern would be fairly low, the only thing I can think of is maybe other programs crawling the browser's memory after you've decrypted your private key client side (does anyone know if this would be an issue?)
    • Now if only they'd throw in support for GPG signing and/or encrypting in GMail(yes I know it'd kill their compression ratios)

      Most encryption schemes (especially those operating on text) involve compressing the data first to avoid detectable language patterns. I suppose it still depends how much overhead encrypting a particular chunk of text involves.

    • Re:I foresee.... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kelbear ( 870538 )
      You bring up a fascinating point. It's been discussed before, but since time has progressed, it seems we may be getting closer and closer to the implementation of such a thing. If only we had the resource/security/broad user base necessary:P

      It would be an amazing thing to see embedded chatrooms in webpages. It'd allow for "bumping into strangers" on the internet, vastly increasing social potential. Chatrooms already allow for those of similar interests to meet, and so do forums. However, by placing it direc
  • I wonder if it is possible to block google talk within google mail.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:08AM (#14659709)
    AC: Hey! What you been up to? :-D
    GCA: same old same old. workin 9-5 sux teh bawls :-\
    AC: tell me about it! i hardly have time to utorrent warez anymore :-P
    GCA: Hey, I've got a quick and easy site you can go to for warez [] if you want. 8-)
    AC: nah, that's okay, I've got to go make dinner.
    GCA: whatcha makin? ;-)
    AC: just some chicken and some veggies :-$
    GCA: you could spice up that chicken with some worchester sauce [] :-D
    AC: No... I'm good thanks. :-\
    AC: What's up with all the links, Allison?
    GCA: Allison?
    AC: Aren't you Grand Canyon Alli? From the spring break trip?
    GCA: ... yeeeeaaaah.. I just wanted to help you make dinner ;)
    AC: OMG You're a Google Chat Advertiser!! :-O
  • by verloren ( 523497 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:11AM (#14659732)
    You can unblock my ads when you pry it from my, wait...I'll uninstall Adblock when I pry it from, that's not it...I'll pry Adblock from...

    Ain't gonna happen.
  • by bbzzdd ( 769894 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:14AM (#14659760)

    The whole reason I use email is that I don't want to talk (chat) with people realtime. I like to respond on my terms. Now my gmail contacts are going to want to up and chat with me all of the time?

    Hopefully this feature can be disabled. I love gmail for it's simplicity, but now they are encroaching on feature bloat.

  • Ever since GTalk was released there was talk of the ability of the jabber protocol (which Google Talk is based on) to connect to other networks such as MSN, AOL or Yahoo. How has this progressed? Is it currently possible?
    • It's now possible to talk to other jabber servers, although nothing as yet to bridge other incompatible IM networks.
      • Well, that's not exactly the whole story.

        There are jabber servers around which act as bridges to other networks, like AIM, MSN, Yahoo, etc. You still need to have accounts on those services in order to use them, though.

        A while back there was an article in one of the Mac mags on how to use a system like this so that you could use iChat as a multi-protocol client -- get MSN and Yahoo Messenger functionality within iChat. It was sort of a neat hack ... I gave it a shot, but eventually I just switched to Adium
        • Re:Jabber bridges (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jaseuk ( 217780 )
          Grandparent was about the Google Talk system and not the Jabber Network in general. Originally Google Talk was Jabber compatible but closed to connections from other servers, they have now opened it up, but there is still no way to talk using a Google ID and the Google Client to users not on the Jabber Network.

          I'm well aware that there are ways to bridge the gap between Jabber and other networks.
      • Linky linky (Score:2, Informative)

        by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) gh-jabber/ []

        An article on how to set up iChat to interoperate with MSN and Yahoo Messenger, using a Jabber server as a gateway. Mac-centric, obviously, but it gives an overview of what you'd need to do. The MSN-Jabber translation is all done by the server -- there's nothing really interesting going on at the client end. I think the MSN stuff is handled by this piece [] of software.

        At one point I found a site which listed Jabber servers and showed what protocol-g
      • Nothing? For your information - transports don't have to be on the same server as your "main" jabber account. You can use transports from other servers (ones that allow this). As a matter of fact, the only IM launched on my computer right now is GTalk, and I can talk to few of my ICQ and GG (local thing) contacts without a problem. (GTalk is not the only onr installed - I have also Psi; the reason is because GTalk doesn't have "register at transport" functionality, so I have to log in to GTalk server with P
    • There was talk that Google would allow open server-to-server XMPP chat, and they have. You can add users from non-Google jabber servers to you contact list (provided they have the right DNS records and their server allows s2s). Integration with AIM should be coming soon. But I haven't heard anything about Yahoo or MSN.
  • by guspasho ( 941623 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:40AM (#14659948)

    I'm using Adblock Plus which has the whitelist feature.

    1) Couldn't one just whitelist anything that comes from Google? I haven't been "rolled out" yet, I don't see any indication of Gtalk in my Gmail account, so I can't try this for myself.

    2) Can someone who does try it let us know what we need to add to the whitelist to make it work? Thanks.

  • They'll peel AdBlock from my COLD DEAD HANDS!
  • BCC (Score:5, Funny)

    by jaaronc ( 935420 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @11:49AM (#14660028)
    Actually, this was technology that google had to incorporate in order to get Google Talk into China...all chat logs are BCC'd to the chinese government...
  • by Alpha_Traveller ( 685367 ) * on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @12:35PM (#14660374) Homepage Journal
    I don't want to gtalk-advertise anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to gtalk-advertise anything bought or processed, or buy anything gtalk-advertized or processed, or process anything gtalk-advertized, bought, or processed, or repair anything gtalk-advertized, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.
  • I have two in-use Gmail account, the older account starting with 'M' and the newer one starting with 'L' .. the 'L' account has Chat support, the 'M' one, not yet.

  • Am I the only one who has absolutly now need/use/desire for chat in my email client? If I wanted a chat client, I'd get one. Just let get my fucking email without being bombarded with ;-p and the like.
  • by Bushido Hacks ( 788211 ) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @02:16PM (#14661282) Homepage Journal
    I've said this a million times already! G-mail needs a calendar application! Forget this chatting crap! I need help with time management!

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