A virus is a virus no matter what

I’ve just stumbled upon this article stating the the IFPI – the international equivalent of the RIAA – has just released a virus that will delete your P2P software.

Now I find this act to be criminal.

All the recent worm writers that were caught and legal action was taken against them. This virus is sponsored by an organization and as much as they’d like to fight P2P piracy, writing a virus and deleting software from my computer without my knowledge IS a CRIME!

What’s next? They will start crawling my machine searching for all files with the name “Beatles” in it and delete it? What if I’ve written my PhD thesis on beatles?

I wish someone would hold them accounted for their actions.

Google Talk Log Abilities

As my good friend Dudu pointed out (and I forgot to tell you), Google Talk’s log abilities are very limited.

It only saves the last 20 lines of chat (and only if the window was closed properly, otherwise it will NOT save the log).

Since Google Talk currently lack any normal API (heck, its just one executable file ;-) ), I thought about writing a small up that would listen to file changes in the log directory, parse them and accumelate them in one file per converstaion with a person (similar to what the log is doing now).

This will allow me to save the complete log of the chat.

I was also fiddling around with making my small app, a Google SideBar add-on. All I can say is that its not that nice to make one :-).
Actually, I didn’t have enough time (I think a hour should do it) to mess around with it too much.

Anyhow, I’ll update all of you on how my Google Talk mods are coming along.

Google Talk Chat Log Viewer

After discovering the Google Talk Chat Log format and seeing that its not human readable, I’ve decided to write a log viewer so I can check out and read my logs whenever I want to.

You can download the Google Talk Chat Log Viewer v0.1 from here .

I’ve also written there the Google Talk Chat Log format if anyone else is interested.


How to edit/delete Google Talk custom messages

Google Talk stored all of your custom messages that you have entered in a file in your user profile directory.

The file is located at “%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Talk\status”

Inside you will find a file named in the format [userid]-history.txt.
So if your Gmail account is John.Dow@gmail.com the filename will be john.dow_gmail.com-history.txt (besides, there is usually only one file there anyway ;-) ).

The file format is very easy. It start with a first line which has the character “1” in it. I’m not sure what it stands for and what it do but you can disregard it.
All of the other lines are your custom message.

There are two statuses that can have custom messages that you can set for them. The “Available” status and the “Busy” (reffered internally as dnd – Do Not Disturbe).

Each two lines represent one custom message. The first line of each one of them represents one of the two statuses that this custome message refers to (available or dnd). The second line is your custom message.

There is no way of delete your previous custom messages in the current Google Talk GUI (Its currently true for the versions I’ve worked with and but may be irrelevant for future versions).

In order to delete these unnecessary custom messages do the following things:

  1. Close Google Talk
  2. Open the file (the location and name are mentioned above)
  3. Find the message text
  4. Delete that line and the line above it.
  5. Save the file
  6. Start Google Talk

That’s it, you won’t see it.

Of course, instead of deleting the line you can also edit it to change it.

Hope this helps someone.

How to disable Google Talk Auto Update

If you every wondered how to disable Google Talk’s auto update feature, I found an easy way of doing this which, at least for now, seems to work.

Be sure to backup the registry entries before using the registry’s Export feature when standing on the Google Talk AutoUpdate key.

  1. Close Google Talk
  2. Open the registry (using regedit.exe)
  3. Go to My Machine\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Talk\Autoupdate
  4. Change the value of UpdateURL to something in valid (or empty)
  5. Start Google Talk

That’s it.

Very simple and seems to work (at least for now).