Signal instant messenger app — now on all my platforms!

This is my White Whale: a messaging application I can use securely on any device I own, mobile or desktop, and any device my recipients are likely to own.

Recently, Open Whisper Systems released the iOS version of their Signal application that allows users to synchronize contacts and messages to a desktop application running as a Google Chrome app. Finally! I can send a message typed in through a full-sized keyboard and it will arrive on Sarah’s iPhone, or my parents’ Android phones, or any of their computers. It will arrive securely and without anyone or anything scanning it for marketing or surveillance purposes. Continue reading Signal instant messenger app — now on all my platforms!

More thoughts on consumer privacy and electronic communication

The Guardian and NDR are reporting allegations that Google handed over journalists’ private personal data en masse in response to “catch-all” warrants against WikiLeaks’ employees, and then was not allowed to inform its clients, the journalists, that it did so for more than two years. On the NDR article page you can watch an interview in English with Sarah Harrison, an editor at WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks’ founder asserts that Google was complicit in the USA’s violation of its own constitution. I am not a lawyer, journalist, spy, political agitator, or hacker1. But the slippery slope facilitating that hand-over of data, irrespective of its legality, creeps me out. Continue reading More thoughts on consumer privacy and electronic communication

  1. in the criminal sense. But I do try to make software do what I want it to do where I am allowed to, so I guess I am a hacker in that sense. []

google voice / video chat?

I’m itching to try this out.


Has anyone else downloaded the plugin yet? I tried in on our Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and it didn’t work – at least not with this cheapo webcam I use. On the Mac, the video test picture as shown in the screenshot above never came in — it remained a black box — though I could right-click on that black box and set some Flash player settings for audio, video, disk space usage, etc., which gave me hope. But either those settings I chose aren’t being committed, or there’s some deeper incompatibility between my SpeedLink 6820 web cam and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and the Google Chat plugin for Firefox/Safari 3.x.

Same camera on Windows seems to work, but I haven’t gotten the chance to test it with anyone yet. Haven’t tried it yet on Linux and I’m not hopeful (still no Google Chrome for Mac or Linux AFAIK).

Anyone? Anyone?