Argh, innovation and AIM
Wednesday, Aug 11, 2004
Is anyone else annoyed (or did anyone else even notice) that AOL's instant messenger completely changed their model for handling multiple computers? Used to be that if you left yourself signed in somewhere and you logged in on a different machine, it would kick you off the first machine, and log you in where you actually are. Now it leaves both sessions open, giving you an annoying 'system message' telling you you're logged in in multiple locations, and doesn't let you log out remotely, so if you left yourself logged in at work Friday evening, the only way to make sure you don't miss an important IM is to stay logged in at home as well, with an away message saying you're not actually online.

As far as I can tell, there's no way to go back to the old model, and if you accidentally leave yourself logged in someplace like a net cafe or a school computer, you have to gain physical access to the machine to prevent them from staying logged in and reading every message sent to your handle. This is a strong departure from the conventional wisdom that logins should favor shyness over stickiness by default, and I hate it.

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Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
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I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

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