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mu!

Finally, a decent program for SABers to chat with

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Some of you, perhaps in the IT industry, have heard of a program called Slack. It's primarily used for helping teams effectively communicate. Basically it's an in-browser chat program where you can talk shit about whatever. It has cute emoji's, different plugin/apps and all kinds of bells and whistles. You can create different 'channels', or meetup rooms to discuss specific topics, or you can private chat people - all in realtime. I've used it extensively in the past and it's been great fun.

In the past we've had numerous incarnations of 'chat for SAB' with varying success. Old-school SABers will remember fondly the days of The Lab. It used the good old IRC protocol but it had shortcomings like requiring a separate program, and generally looking pretty foreign to most people.

So I decided to make a Slack "team" called SABchat which you can find here.

 

EDIT: as it turns out the signup process is email invite-only, which sucks, so if you want to get chatting then PM me your preferred signup email and I'll send you an invite. I think the Slack creators do this to weed out any random-signup idiots/assholes. If you're concerned about privacy you could just create a dummy email address and use that purely for the signup/invite process.

To get started, sign in with an email address[*], pick a username and a profile pick. For the latter two I'd suggest keeping it the same as here on SAB to avoid confusion but whatever, its up to you. There is a channel called "general" which is where most conversation will take place however more topic-centric channels could easily be added if the need arises.

I'll take responsibility for tech questions related to Slack both here on the forum and in the Slack channel. However I won't always be in the channel so you're better off posting questions here - please avoid duplicating though because that gets annoying real fast.

@Torsten can you please let me know if this is overstepping any boundaries or if you'd like the name changed.

And as always feedback appreciated.

 

mu.

[*] regarding the email address: it isn't shown to other members in the channel. Only usernames show up.

Edited by mu!
more info on signup process and email privacy
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Oh, one other cool thing is that you can check the weather for your city by typing "/weather cityname" - thats without the double quotes. Example: I type /weather sydney then the weather app shows these stats in the channel:
 

Quote

Temperature: 18 Degrees 
Humidity: 60%
Pressure: 1010 mb
Weather Description: Clear

 

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@Zedo is signed up so you can PM him/her for an invite now too

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Everyone should get on it. I can add you too now. And there's an app. So I think it'll be good for chatting. But not to take away the forum 

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Is it secure? and can you pm people using it?

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you can private chat people ,

not entirely sure how secure it is 

but invite only , password protected sign-in etc  seems great although I haven't had a chance to check it out thoroughly 

will be doing so when I have a spare moment of time 

 

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2 hours ago, Slocombe said:

Is it secure? and can you pm people using it?


Your chat text is sent over SSL/TLS in the browser (thats the 's' in 'https://' in the address bar) which is an encrypted protocol, so it is secure in that sense. Contrast that to the forum which doesn't have SSL/TLS which means your communications with it are sent 'in the clear' (i.e. unencrypted) and can therefore be eavesdropped.

However, it is not secure in the sense that you can say whatever you like on there with impunity - if a government agency had reason enough to serve a subpoena to Slack to bring up all chat logs for any chatroom or user, they definitely could. 

What you say there is associated with the email address you sign up with (as it is here on SAB, or any service requiring email registration). So long as that email address is tied to your personal identity (I.P. address, online banking, online gov services, etc) then there is a clear link between you and your chat history. Tinfoilers will sign up with a bogus email address not associated with them, and use a VPN to hide their activity from their ISP.

 

As long as you're keepin it legal (or frame your rhetoric so as not to incriminate yourself) you'll be fine :)

 

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Thanks. There's also an android app... is it safe to assume it's just a webAPI and therefore uses https?

 

Should I use double tinfoil?

 

:P

Edited by Slocombe
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5 hours ago, Slocombe said:

Should I use double tinfoil?

 

:P


Regardless of how many layers of foil you use always make sure it's of the finest grade certified organic nutjob-handrolled :lol:

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being closed-source there's not much you can assert about it's security mechanisms

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19 hours ago, mu! said:

However, it is not secure in the sense that you can say whatever you like on there with impunity - if a government agency had reason enough to serve a subpoena to Slack to bring up all chat logs for any chatroom or user, they definitely could.

Their privacy policy details the types of info they gather - it's not just the message content, stuff like IP address & GPS location are also collected. So if you don't have your computer/phone set to hide/obscure that information, it will be recorded. This is pretty standard, there is nothing especially sinister about Slack's policies, in fact they look pretty good overall (see below), but this is maybe something to keep in mind when setting up your account if you are concerned about privacy.

 

This bit from their policy section may be relevant:

Quote

Slack does not accept legal process directly from law enforcement entities outside the U.S. or Canada. Foreign law enforcement agencies should proceed through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty or other diplomatic or legal means to obtain data through a court where Slack is located. Slack responds to legal process in a manner consistent with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§2501 et seq., and relevant case law. Slack does not disclose account content absent a search warrant in criminal cases. In civil cases, Slack cannot disclose content without sufficient legal process and the consent of the appropriate Slack customer(s).

 

 

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I'm harmless. I care about security  but it will probably never be an issue for me personally. For me, it's mite about the principal of the matter 

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