Tag: IM

Skype via Blackberry via OS X = Hoop Jumping

No nonsense.

I wanted Skype on my Blackberry since I use a whole lot of Skype IM. There’s a program for this – IM+ for Skype. You need Blackberry Desktop Software to install it, which runs on Windows. I’m on a Mac, as are a whole lot of other folks.

Some people have had trouble with this for some reason. While I’m usually the one with the trouble, I think a few folks were just missing a piece here or there that either kept them from getting the Blackberry connected properly, or getting the BB Desktop Software jammed up somehow. Nevertheless, here’s the quick and dirty to getting it done…

  • Download the trial version of IM+ for Skype
  • Have Parallels 3.0 handy (3.0 I said – I couldn’t get a Windows to Blackberry connection working, but after the upgrade all was well)
  • I used Windows XP within Parallels
  • Make sure Sun Java is installed on that Windows virtual machine – the Blackberry application loading software needs it (you can get that here)
  • Move that IM+ for Skype app into “Drop Box” under your Mac Public Folder
  • Bring the app onto the Windows desktop, and unzip it
  • Open Blackberry Desktop, then connect your device; enter password if necessary
  • Click the Application manager icon, and choose the app folder you unzipped onto the desktop
  • Go
  • Now, this puppy is going to run for a few minutes, then stall. Be patient, because it will never “unstall.” Wait. Wait some more. Wait even more. Go out to lunch, then come back and wait again. It will always look half finished. I tried three times, then got a clue and simply unplugged the Blackberry from the cable. The software had loaded, and worked just fine.

    I’d go into gross detail, but you get the idea and I don’t want a lot of technical questions I can’t answer flying my way. But I do have a few notes on the IM+ software. First, it does its intended job – I’ve had no problems sending or receiving IMs. Second, if you have unanswered chats on your desktop Skype when you hit the road, it’s going to upload those as though it thinks you want to continue. Minor prob, if one at all. Last – being logged in via the phone does not signify web presence, as in folks don’t know you’re online by looking at those fancy little icons like I have on my contact page. Again, who cares.

    Based on my initial review, I’ll probably purchase the IM+ when the trial period runs out (if it even does – who knows). It’s pretty handy if you are a Skyper, and also have a Blackberry permanently fused between your two hands (I know a good surgeon who can do this if you like too).


    UPDATE: A few additional points…

  • I did not need to disable the Blackberry USB extensions (/System/Library/Extensions/BlackberryUSB.kext and /System/Library/Extensions/BlackberryUSBDev.kext) – the device connected fine, but if and only if you launched the desktop app first and then connected the cable.
  • If the desktop software failed, a reboot of the virtual machine was required, which isn’t really much of a pain since it is virtual. This was the case whether the extensions were enabled or disabled.
  • UPDATE 2: Now, there’s Skype for the iPhone, compliments of the same company. Hope it’s easier for Mac users to install.

    Spam has new venues (or spam suffers from boredom)

    According to MessageLabs, spammers are growing bored with POP/SMTP and are shifting their marketing time to web-based venues. Instant messaging (nothing new), blogs, and social networking communities (it “comes with the territory”), makes this kind of a bore in the way of announcements.

    Not even kind of.

    Email may be on the way out, thanks to spam

    According to Postini, better than 85% of all email traffic is now spam.

    One of two things is going to happen here. Either internet users are going to adopt a new form of communication (and it isn’t IM, as spam there is rising rapidly as well), or someone is going to solve the spam problem and become an instant multi-billionaire.

    I am going to say the former is more likely. And maybe we should start looking at a substitute for DNS while we’re at it.


    Ah, just in time – OpenDNS to the rescue.

    Reuters IM shut down by worm

    For those of you that think instant messaging attacks are no big deal, catch this…

    Yesterday, a new strain of W32/Kelvir worm worked its way into the Reuters news agency’s secure enterprise IM platform, forcing it offline. It could not have come at a worse time for Reuters.

    Shifting threats with shifting user bases

    When a new technology hits the streets, the early adopters grab hold. It takes months if not years for it to spread to the mainstream. World changing technologies such as the telephone followed that path, and email is no different. The first email message was sent while I was still in diapers (circa early 70’s, unless I am sorely mistaken), and it didn’t take off outside the world of academia until the 90’s. The threats followed.

    Why should the newest communications technologies be any different?

    What is SPIM, and who is his address?

    I have heard this new acronym “SPIM” used in a variety of contexts. First it is spam over instant messaging, then it morphs into spam over cell phones, and now it is the combination of the two. I don’t know if we will ever learn what exactly “SPIM” is, but you can be certain of two things…

    SMS Could Die Without A Real Try

    SMS just won’t make it in America, if things proceed on their present course. The reason being, we are just to trusting to newfangled service providers. That should be a good thing, but those same service providers are often the ones using every means possible to get your business, even if it means spamming your phone and IM address.

    Case in point…SMS.ac.

    It seems that during the signup process for an otherwise nifty service, these folks down in San Diego snatch your email, your mobile phone number, your IM address and its buddy lists, and who knows what else. A number of folks have found their contacts getting pummeled by invitations to join the service, even if they never finished the signup process.

    To make matters worse (in what will end up worse for the company), they have happened on a couple of cyberspace blog-jockeys with deep pockets, big connections, and plenty of time to spare on bashing.

    Some very popular folks in cyberspace have had problems with these guys, including Russell Beattie (read Russell Beattie Notebook – SMS.ac is a scam), and Joi Ito (see Joi Ito’s Web: Apologies for spamming friends with SMS.ac). Topping it off, the company has even threated to sue Joi, which did nothing more than make for added bad publicity (dirty details here).

    If the strategy here is negative publicity, SMS.ac is sure doing a good job of it.

    Now the bull is well on his way to smashing the china closet, as complaints of fraudulent billing, misrepresentation, and other nastiness are now coming out of the woodwork. It seems SMS.ac is not what it seems, and neither are their proprietors. For more, check out the following blurbs:

    from the Rip Off Report or U n l e a d e d O n l i n e . n e t.

    There is no shortage of international backlash either. See Whirlpool Forums – Stay away from “sms.ac”” for starters.

    Many thanks to Eric Smith of Spamblogging.com for leading us to this (see spamblogging: Making friends and influencing people: SMS.ac and Joi Ito).,

    SPIM, yet unborn cousin of Spam

    We are seeing a lot of hype over the issue of instant messaging spam nowadays. Part of this hype could be an actual problem, and part of it could be guilt by association. With all the talk about the Secret Service and Paris Hilton getting hacked via T-Mobile, I wonder if this isn’t already a little overdone – people seem to associate the instant message with mobility, and more and more phones are coming to market with chatting features. Don’t shoot me for reaching.

    BetaNews thinks it is less of an issue than is being described, and points out a lot of the security features that service providers have to put a clamp on the “problem” (see BetaNews | The Hype Over Spim).

    What’s worse is the potential for association with politics and laws such as CAN-SPAM.