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Trepia: A Buddy List Of Strangers 567

An anonymous reader writes "Trepia has released an IM client that automatically populates itself with people who happen to be around you. Something that has been done before by Apple with iChat, but Trepia claims to be 'iChat on crack' in this article featuring the software. This could have potentially revolutionary social effects..."
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Trepia: A Buddy List Of Strangers

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  • by billstr78 ( 535271 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:03AM (#6103571) Homepage
    WTF? You mean that 19 year old stripper is my retired next door neighbor Frank?
  • Even more spam? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by locknloll ( 638243 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:04AM (#6103575) Homepage
    FP? ;)
    No, but seriously: at the moment I'm already getting irritated by the increasing amount of spam I receive via MSN (using Trillian & GAIM), so what might happen with this innovative product? Don't get me wrong, I love to get to know new people, but I'm a bit sceptic if this wouldn't attract a lot of "noise" ...
    • Re:Even more spam? (Score:5, Informative)

      by i am lose cannon!! ( 678388 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:24AM (#6103682)
      You can turn off the spam you get via MSN by setting your client to only allow messages from people on your buddy list. You're still notified when people add you to their list (and can choose to add them), but strangers not on your list can't harass you. This feature is available in Trillian, Windows Messenger, Kopete, and I *believe* Gaim (not 100% sure though).
      Check the privacy options.
  • Provide a Linux client or OSS protocol...
    • The second of your suggestions is more than enough, let the OS/FS community take it from there and improve on it.
    • Re:Half Way There (Score:5, Interesting)

      by loopyfx ( 304870 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @05:31AM (#6104027) Homepage
      I got some data off the wire, here is what I made of it after about 10 min of observation:

      outgoing message:
      <F><a>4181</a><b>testing out</b></F>

      incoming message:

      outgoing message:
      <a>4181</a> remote uid
      <b>testing out</b> message

      incoming message:
      <a>4181</a> remote uid
      <b>gorgonzola</b> message

      incoming member update? [0x0A between each element]
      <a>4141</a> member id
      <b>1054626160</b> timestamp
      variations of <c> = 1,2

      <a>4141</a> remote uid

      <a>xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx</a> my MAC
      <b1>xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx</b1> my default gateway's MAC
      <c>my login</c>
      <d>my password, MD5'd and probably salted. 32 bytes</d>
      <e>2.0</e> version?

      <b>1054630291</b> timestamp?
      </L> ... series of <M> ...

      request profile?:
      </D> ... in a series, variations of <b> = 1,2
      1=full, 2=partial? ...

      <a>1498</a> member id
      <p>missouri</p> location
      <b>1044120269</b> login time?
      <d>xxxxx</d> login
      <m>99</m> age
      <n>F</n> sex
      <g>xxx</g> first name
      <h>xxxl</h> last name
      <o>wardriver</o> profile data
      <e></e> email
      <j>xxxxx</j> AIM
      <f></f> homepage
      <s>mo</s> state
      <t></t> city
      <u></u> languages?
      <v></v> school?
      <w></w> company?
      <q></q> base64 encoded image (not always present)
      • Re:Half Way There (Score:5, Informative)

        by BJH ( 11355 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @08:26AM (#6104566)
        1054626160 timestamp

        Yep, looks like it (time from the Unix epoch).

        1054630291 timestamp?

        Don't think so... depends on when you grabbed this capture, but I'd say it's more likely to be a session timeout of some kind.

        1044120269 login time?

        This is approximately 121 days prior to the two previous times, so I'd say not. Build time of the binary?
  • Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

    by AvantLegion ( 595806 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:04AM (#6103577) Journal
    The lengths that some geeks will go to in order to avoid actual social interaction is astounding.

    Kind of an interesting idea though. Although I can already imagine the pedos listing N'Sync and Lizzie McGuire as their "interests"...

    "But Mom, he was my "buddy"..."

    • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:28AM (#6103689) Homepage Journal
      Meeting people online is a lot cheaper, safer, and easier than most real life methods. I don't like clubbing (who can afford $50/night to try to pick up drunk women who won't like you when they are sober), I don't go to school or church, I usually don't meet many people in my work as a programmer (especially single women), and most the people I hang out with are all geeks which means 95% male. I don't feel I have the time or money to invest in trying to pick women up in the old fshioned ways so online methods can be a big help.

      The safety factor could be a big plus for women especially. You aren't likely to be slipped a date rape drug and find yourself tied to hotel bed while being gang raped if your meeting through the Net. Sure you have some risk when you eventually do meet the people in real life but you get some chance to screen people before going out with them.

      People who think pedos are going wild online are a bit mistaken. Sure there are some but there are a lot more that are out there in real life. It'd be a lot easier to grab some brat off the street or playground than to arrange to meet them off the Net. Anything online leaves a paper trail and you can't know if the person you're talking to really is Lil Tommy or Agent Nutcracker or even Lil Tommy's parents. The majority of underage folks that get 'kidnapped' by online friends are freaky folks that are out banging anything they can anyway or at least wishing they were. Mostly horny teenagers that are wanting to get picked up.
      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

        by Negatyfus ( 602326 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:47AM (#6103757) Journal
        Meeting people online is a lot cheaper, safer, and easier than most real life methods. I don't like clubbing (who can afford $50/night to try to pick up drunk women who won't like you when they are sober), I don't go to school or church, I usually don't meet many people in my work as a programmer (especially single women), and most the people I hang out with are all geeks which means 95% male. I don't feel I have the time or money to invest in trying to pick women up in the old fshioned ways so online methods can be a big help.

        Dude, you seriously need an alcohol addiction.
        • Re:Amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MikeFM ( 12491 )
          Been there, done that, found it to expensive and not very satisfying. I live to code and build cool things so anything that interferes with that is bad.. which includes drugs, alcohol, caffine, and women. I'd like to give up working pathetic sucky jobs too but I've yet to find a way to make a living just inventing stuff. Maybe if I had a PhD or a rich uncle or something I could get paid for crazy R&D stuff. :)
      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

        by AvantLegion ( 595806 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @04:53AM (#6103934) Journal
        Meeting people online is a lot cheaper, safer, and easier than most real life methods. I don't like clubbing (who can afford $50/night to try to pick up drunk women who won't like you when they are sober), I don't go to school or church, I usually don't meet many people in my work as a programmer (especially single women), and most the people I hang out with are all geeks which means 95% male. I don't feel I have the time or money to invest in trying to pick women up in the old fshioned ways so online methods can be a big help.

        [..]Sure you have some risk when you eventually do meet the people in real life but you get some chance to screen people before going out with them.


      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:37AM (#6104169) Homepage
        Sure you have some risk when you eventually do meet the people in real life but you get some chance to screen people before going out with them.

        Wow you are easy to bluff.. I've been online forever I was there in the beginnings of IRC and was there as a server op/several channel op/ etc... for years... and I will tell you one underlying fact.

        the person you are talking to online is LYING to you. most make crap up, heavily color, whatever. if you think it's any more safe meeting someone you've been chatting with for 2 months than it is meeting someone at a bar then I pity you.

        It's no safer, that person still can be a wacko.

        It's harder for people to lie in person, facial expressions, actions, etc. give it away. online... Hell..

        Hi, I'm one of the players from the Detroit Tigers baseball team..... Yup, one of the new rookie drafts from this year.

        I'm not... Best I could ever do is mascot. but some simple things can be done to trick others into believeing.

        It's social engineering plai and simple... and online it's massively simple to social engineer.
        • Yes and no ... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SimplyCosmic ( 15296 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:43AM (#6104375) Homepage
          What you say is true, but it doesn't necessarily contradict what the previous poster is saying.

          The good liars can fool you, yes, but the bad ones are far less likely too, even online, so once you meet them in person, you're where someone who meets another at a bar, with the exception that you've already eliminated the easy to spot wastes of time.

          Your statement that "online it's massively simple to social engineer" is only true if someone relies on another to be 100% honest about themselves, something which is dangerous to do both online and off.

          I would say that both you and the previous poster are correct on some points, but the net effect is that there are equal, but different, dangers and benefits to both online and offline meeting of people early in any relationship.
        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

          by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @08:42AM (#6104636) Homepage Journal
          I've been online forever too and I still disagree with you. ;)

          I'm a stupid geek boy with the social skills of a turnip and even I can spot people who are full of shit. If someone can't pick out the shitheads then they probably will be hurt no matter how they go.

          Besides I'm paranoid. I backtrace most the people I chat with for any length of time so that I can find out who they really are. Of course not everybody knows how to do that but it is a useful tool. I've tried to do that in real life but it takes more work. No useful IP addresses or other clues to let you trace them.

          I can fool just about anybody in person. Sociopaths are very good at faking facial expressions, tones of voice, emotional responses, etc to fit their needs.

          It's much harder to carry on such a dialog over the period of months without the aid of the emotional ploys you can use to distract people as in real life. It's difficult to even disguise who you are online. Even if you change your alias and try to change your style of writing and fake being someone else a good many people that know you will still recognize you. People seem to be very good at recognizing such patterns.

          If people believe implausible claims without LOTS of proof then they are morons best weeded out of the genetic pool.

          It's much easier to social engineer in person. Most people you can begin working on before you even open your mouth. Body language, cloths, etc are easy ploys to use.
        • by raehl ( 609729 ) * <raehl311@yahoo.GAUSScom minus math_god> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:52PM (#6106652) Homepage
          I met my current GF online. Spent a couple days making sure she could write complete sentences, was mostly sane, had friends, etc, then went on a date and did things the old fashioned way from there.

          Can people lie to you online? Sure - but they can't lie about being crappy writers, they can't lie about having dumb political opinions, or not knowing who the President is, having never read a book exceeding 100 pages in length, or not being able to think. Smart people can pretend to be someone else, but dumb people will always be dumb.

          And you can eliminate lots and lots of dumb people in a very short amount of time in an online environment.
        • When i do look for friends or girlfriends online, i'm looking for geeks.

          I'm looking for people who like anime, who play RPGs, who read Science Fiction and/or Fantasy, who play video games.

          That stuff isn't _that_ easy to fake since they involve specific knowledge of relatively unusual subjects, but more importantly, who would _WANT_ to fake that? The type of people who want to lie to impress other people aren't going to lie about being geeks.

          Another thing that saves me is more than half the people i me

      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

        by MongooseCN ( 139203 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:54AM (#6104416) Homepage
        I don't like clubbing who can afford $50/night...

        Depends, how many seals you can take home a night?
  • Missing Trepia Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kefabi ( 178403 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:04AM (#6103579) Journal
    Trepia link missing from article

    Or click here []

  • What ever happened (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:04AM (#6103582)
    To joining a gym to meet people who are interested in staying in shape, joining a book club to meet people who are interested in books, joining a tiddly winks club to meet people (OK sad individuals) interested in tiddly winks?

    Life is a lot more fun if you actually get out there and live it.
    • by Stuart Gibson ( 544632 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:24AM (#6103680) Homepage
      This is different how? Joining a computer chat system to meet people interested in chatting on computers.

      It may not be the be all and end all of social interaction, but if people enjoy it, what's the problem?

    • How is this different? Using a chat system to find people who like to ... uh ... chat?
    • by mpe ( 36238 )
      To joining a gym to meet people who are interested in staying in shape, joining a book club to meet people who are interested in books, joining a tiddly winks club to meet people (OK sad individuals) interested in tiddly winks?

      Different things suit different people. Whilst for some joining some kind of activity club can be a good way to make new friends for others in can be a bad way.
      No doubt for every anecdote about XYZ activity having resulted in lots of friends or dating partners there is also one abou
  • by Richardsonke1 ( 612224 ) * on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:07AM (#6103601)
    Yeah, works very well...i'm in Cincinati, OH and it's giving me people in Washington and California. Maybe there's just no one on it except those ten people.
    • Ah, from the email sent from Trepia when you sign up:
      Trepia works by first searching for other Trepia users who are near to you. If it can't find enough nearby people, it will keep on expanding its search to include more people. This way, you'll never have a shortage of interesting people to meet.
      So, I guess California and Washington were the closest people to Cincinnati, Ohio. But, lots of people are popping up now as this story goes live.
    • Really. I'm in Illinois at the moment, and the software is listing a substantial amount of people in California, not to mention at least one from Denmark or so.

      They're by no stretch of the imagination anywhere near me... except perhaps in astronomical scale.

    • and another interesting thing was that they were all Males ! ALL of em. all of you Slashdotters ? wait , let me ask one.
  • WIDE open to abuse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spoco2 ( 322835 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:07AM (#6103603)
    Ok... say a peadophile says that he is a '12 year old boy who likes sports' or similar... bingo... there's his list of boys in his area...

    Bad, bad idea.
    • by fishbot ( 301821 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:12AM (#6103629) Homepage
      It is a sad world, however, when it is necessary to judge a technological advancement by how it will be abused by perverts and child abusers.

      I'm not saying your comment isn't true, as it most certainly is. It's just a shame, that's all.
      • by RobertFisher ( 21116 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @05:45AM (#6104071) Homepage Journal
        It's reality.

        Every technological innovation since the stone age has had both positive and negative moral aspects, depending on how one uses it. Nuclear physics can be used to diagnose and treat disease (e.g., x-ray, MRI, radiation therapy) and generate electrical power to light up entire cities... or it can be used to obliterate more people in a second than all previous wars combined.

        The choice is yours.

        So it is not a shame... we must actively look at every innovation, and determine whether the net effect is negative or positive, and whether we wish to regulate its use in society. Cobalt 60 is a great radioative tracer isotope, and can be widely distributed without many negative side effects. The same cannot be said of Uranium 235.

        It is unclear how this new innovation will be used , on average. In an age where people are more widely spread apart, often without the commonality of religion and family, it can potentially bring people together into ad-hoc communities. And yes, it can also be used as a tool for stalkers and child molesters. If one significantly outweighs the other, then it will be a useful innovation. If not...
      • by Bartmoss ( 16109 )
        Of course this differs from ICQ in what regard?
    • by Troed ( 102527 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:19AM (#6103656) Homepage Journal
      ... or, he could go down to the nearest school. Damn society, providing pedos with easy access like that.

      Seriously - give it up.
    • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )
      Yeah, there needs to be some authentication. You should be able to prove your age and your sex, and then other clients will give out their information only if you can provide a valid certificate saying that you are twelve years old. Such certificates could be created by a PGP-style web of trust (but this is probably too complicated and too likely to go wrong) or by a central authority, like the government. (When you apply for a passport you're also given a diskette containing digital certs signed by the
      • by Naikrovek ( 667 )
        if you're 12 years old and your parents let you on the computer and internet without supervision, then nothing will get in the way of you getting into things you're not supposed to get into.

        technical solutions to non-technical problems will NEVER work.
        • by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:17AM (#6104292) Homepage
          Nonsense. Why should we take it for granted that 12-year-olds require supervision to use the Internet? They go to public libraries. I'd draw a distinction between deliberate acts like looking at 'bad' information (eg, pictures) and accidental acts like accidentally disclosing your location, getting your PC cracked, installing spyware not knowing what it did, and so on. The former probably can't be solved with technology, short of pressing the off switch, but the latter can and should.

          The particular problem here is that of privacy. If the software broadcasts your name and location to just anyone then the software is not trustworthy. OTOH, if the software has some means of controlling the distribution of that information then it might be okay to run it. (I'm sure there are plenty of holes in the particular system I suggested about verifying the identity of other users before telling them your age, but anyway.)

          Almost all interesting problems on the Internet are a mixture of technical and social. Take passwords for example. They can be socially engineered out of people, or read from sticky notes stuck to monitors. But still you should do all you can on the technical side to make them as secure as possible (eg, if they are random enough while still being easily memorized, perhaps people won't need to write them down).
    • Oh come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )
      How different would that be than joining an IRC channel for your local area and ask "12 year old boy who likes sports, wanna chat?" I don't think this program will hand out your name and address anymore than IRC will. It's basicly trying to edge in on IRCs turf, providing "channels" of common interests and location if you ask me.

    • you can't select an age under 16. don't talk about that which you do not know.
  • by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:07AM (#6103604)
    This could have potentially revolutionary social effects..."

    Japan and Korea have had pagers and phones that do this for some time now, and outside of an increase in accidental meetings at the mall, society has moved right along w/narry a related blip.

    Besides, when the x-wife gets within striking distance of my wallet, the hair goes up on the back of my neck, and I doubt I'm the only one with this kind of proximity alert. No news here....move along.
  • The problem with this sort of technology is that you must give it a decent amount of personal information before it can do its thing. Many are reluctant to give such information, and that fact alone could sink the whole thing.

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by akpcep ( 659230 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:08AM (#6103608) Journal
    In the interests of transparency and honesty I would set my interests as "hot chicks who like getting naked on cam".
  • by CrazyJim0 ( 324487 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:10AM (#6103615)
    They can just create an ADD ON for ICQ or AIM.

    Spider out the locations... People who want to use it will need to put their own location.

    If people don't want to use it, then people don't want it... And then no one needs to invest in your failure of an idea.
  • use and abuse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NilsK ( 74600 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:12AM (#6103622)
    Like with any new technology one has not only got to ask what it can do for you but also what it can do against you. Though the possibilities of this Idea seem very charming for personal use there come up some questions:

    Isn't your stored profile a great way to track your movement? As well for "law enforcement" as for "clean his house of everything thats expensive" people?

    Won't the marketing guys just love to know, you are close to one of their shops and a young man? As you obviously using a computer you must be the target audience for Viagra.

    Like with every new network technology one has to be aware of what informations he gives out to almost everyone interested. Only having the advantages and the disadvantages in mind you can make a good decision on wether you want to use that software or not.

  • great (Score:2, Funny)

    I can't wait to use this to meet linux booth babes, I just hope they don't end up being 17 year old slashdot trolls.
  • Hi! (Score:5, Funny)

    by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:14AM (#6103634)
    I see that we share the same interests! Fast cars! ....would you like to buy me a Corvette?

    How about sharing that pizza you just bought? Can I sell you some magazine subscriptions? Would you like to see a vacuum cleaner demonstration? Can I interest you in some stocks and bonds? Do you want to lose weight while sleeping? Were you born with a too small unit? Do you need your lawn mowed? Can you give me ride to work? Can you give me a job? Can you give me money?
  • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:14AM (#6103637) Homepage
    When a company claims being "on crack" as a major advantage, I think it's clear that the US war on drugs has failed miserably.
  • So now I finally get to talk with people I meet, or that are just a door away to visit? Seems useful to me :-)
  • Poor ladies (Score:3, Funny)

    by ahoehn ( 301327 ) * <andrew@h[ ]hn ['oe.' in gap]> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:17AM (#6103647) Homepage
    To all the ladies on Trepia who are about to be inundated with indecent propositions from me and my fellow slashdot geeks; I apologize in advance.
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:20AM (#6103661) Homepage
    I just downloaded it, registered, looked around it for a little bit and then uninstalled it.

    Does that make me anti-social?
    • I downloaded it, installed with crossover office but when I click on it, nothing happens. Any windows users know if it uses ie for anything?
  • This could have potentially revolutionary social effects...

    Or, no-one could care less. If it doesn't get downloaded, installed, etc, on a lot of computers, the social effects are going to be pretty insignificant.
  • Revoltion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lateralus ( 582425 ) <yoni-r@a[ ] ['ctc' in gap]> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:20AM (#6103669) Journal

    When I walk outside I rarely ever get excited or even mildly interested in the fact that numerous other people are in my vicinity. In fact the trend in highly populated cities is to ignore your neighbors.

    I think that it was Cliff Stoll [] who said that computers make us disconnect from our neighbors and families. This software facilitates a society where everyone knows each other without actually having met.

    I can imagine a cafe with several people chatting, only every one of them is looking into his/her computer screen utterly oblivious that they are chatting with the person beside them.

    "Software for shy people - We make you new friends... so YOU don't have to!"

    Rant over and out. I have to answer someone on IRC...

    • Re:Revoltion? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bgarrett ( 6193 ) < minus berry> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:32AM (#6104158) Homepage
      Cliff Stoll assumes that one's neighbors and family are interesting, desirable or safe to be around. This is not always the case.

      Try living in a small town where your closest (within 5 miles) neighbors are "salt of the land" farmers and look down on you as some sort of budding Satanist, or even better, some large city like Washington, D.C. where you are only a block away from a permanently-stationed police car and people who walk around with planks of wood with nails driven through them, looking unpleasant.

      After those experiences, I welcome anything that provides me with a little more "compatible" socialization, even if it's over a computer.
  • This application must use some seriously whacked pseudoscience to do its geolocation, which is why it doesnt work at all. I don't think its hit a single person within 250 miles of me and im smack in the center of the damn US. A little window where people could click on a map or enter a postal code would be better -the first three digits even for those who will scream out about privacy BS- then narrow the search with the IP/traceroute based crapola). Maybe that would work a little bit at least
  • If Only... (Score:5, Funny)

    by cjsnell ( 5825 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:31AM (#6103701) Journal
    If only the girls you'll meet with this software would look like this screenshot [] at I subscribed to once. I know better. :)
  • We're creating new technologies to allow us to see our neighbours (in whatever sense). It reminds me of wells in the centres of village, where neighbours getting water would gather and chat.

    This shows the underlying stuff (the internet) seems to be ready for the society. Good. Personal flesh-to-flesh meetings are not strictly necessary, but meeting people is important.

  • this is ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

    by leekwen ( 677248 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:36AM (#6103717)
    i have no way of removing people off of my list.

    and isn't it the idea to get people who are close to me? i'm in burnaby bc and i was getting people in ohio, california, new zealand... nobody at least within my own country. it was also making this god awful takka takka takka noise while doing it.

    "hi where are you from? are you physically near me?"
    "i doubt it, where are you?"
    "burnaby, bc"
    "yeah definitely in the area.. new zealand LOL!"

    i'm doubting this program does anything at all, just kind of pretends it does.
  • What happened? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shmuc ( 70684 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:39AM (#6103729) Homepage Journal
    If you notice, the installer obviously uses nullsoft's NSIS, but they recompiled it, and changed the banner at the bottom to "Trepia, Inc.". Isn't that a breech of GPL or whatever license NSIS is out under?
    • The License (Score:3, Informative)

      Not the GPL...

      Pulled from

      Copyright (C) 1999-2001 Nullsoft, Inc.

      This software is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied
      warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages
      arising from the use of this software.

      Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose,
      including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it
      freely, subject to the following restrictions:

      1. The origin of this softwar

  • Well, I don't think much of their patented algorithm. It seems to think that my local people are in America, Iceland and South Africa.

    Unfortuately, i'm in London UK. Great.
  • My prediction; (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @03:41AM (#6103738)
    I think that soon, this class of networking will become the next 'killer app'. Location based information is inherently valuable to people. Where am I? Who's near me? Where can a guy get a drink around here?

    What's the average amount of rainfall in this area? Median income? Most popular car? Hippest nightclub? Closest park? Nearest bathroom? Closest 24-36-24 blonde with a love of C templates?

    The range of applications in this field is _huge_. Almost all of the pieces are here (GPS, ipv6, web services, wireless), we just need to fit them together.

  • "You are currently not connected to the Internet. Please take the appropriate steps and try again."

    Oh well, I guess that means I won't be able to post this. Wonderful technology!!
  • couldn't this be (Score:3, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @04:01AM (#6103789) Homepage Journal
    a spammer's wet dream?

    put out some bots with special interests you want to target, say... snorkeling...

    boom, the bot sees a few folks who like snorkeling...

    bot starts feeding them alice bot [] style babbling about the new x-10 snorkle cam, or some such shit

  • you really want some hyperactive IM client to tell 'The Boss' you both like hairless chiuahas, sleeping in the nude, The Story of O and Sundays at the swap meet?

    Among the many things I don't want to know, this is on the short list, believe me.
  • by wildchild07770 ( 571383 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @04:05AM (#6103803)
    It's an early version and i'm sure they have plans for tweaks and improvments in the UI, but from what i've seen this is a serious step in the right direction. After being on for 5 minutes I unlike some people here already started talking to a fellow college student from my area, and am seeing a few people trickle in nearer to me. Also you have to realize that up until now this IM has recieved almost NO press and therefore has a small user base, if we spread the word then eventually it will propagate out and there will be plenty of locals on we can talk to. 2 things: 1)I'm sorry for all the women (the 2 i've seen anyway) who are going to have to endure the neverending popups, so guys please be tasteful and mellow, otherwise this'll be a boys club and where's the fun in that ;> 2) There really needs to be a way to turn off that damn drippy sound! Geeks of the world UNITE!
  • broken client (Score:4, Informative)

    by elbobo ( 28495 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @04:21AM (#6103846)
    connection dialogue box says: "You are currently not connected to the Internet. Please take the appropriate steps and try again."

    Welp, that was a short lived experiment. I guess they need to do a bit of work on their network code. Odd, in that it's supposedly an intelligent networking application.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @04:46AM (#6103908)
    In the website of Trepia, it is mentioned "Trepia(TM) is free to use and contains no spyware or ads." But you know what: Jawed Karim [], one the authors mentioned in the article, wrote another piece of code called MP3 Voyeur []. Now, in MP3 Voyeur, which searches for MP3s and other media files within LANs, there is a feature that connect to his personal web server every time it was run []. If it could not connect to the server, it would refuse to run! Now, coming from such an author, this tool looks a bit suspicious.

    So, someone might want to fire up Ethereal [] and sniff those packets flying from your machines.
  • Unimpressed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nmg196 ( 184961 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @05:06AM (#6103969)
    The idea is sound, but the implementation is flawed. I mainly seem to get people in the US, even though I'm in the UK (6000+ miles is hardly close) and nobody on the list is in my country even though my friend about a mile away has it installed and running.

    In my experience, trying to guess where people are by their IP address doesn't work very well. It would work much better if you could simply add the locations you are at most often by country/postcode or even just grid reference and it used those instead. Even people on the same subnet as me could be hundreds of miles away if they're dialling in. If people have sold of or subleased blocks of IP addresses to other countries, the records could even indicate the wrong location or wrong country anyway - so it may always think I'm in Finland when actually I'm in England... I'm not impressed.

    I wrote an IM client myself which simply discovered people on the same subnet using broadcasts - and even that seemed to be more effective at finding my friends and colleagues than this (admittedly broadcasts don't usually work on public networks).

  • evil people (Score:3, Funny)

    by myspys ( 204685 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @05:27AM (#6104016) Homepage
    you evil people

    you've /.'ed their registration server

    how am i supposed to find that good looking girl next door now, huh?
  • Wow!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @05:50AM (#6104083) Homepage Journal
    So now people will be able to get to know other people in the same physical place with them.

    Truly revolutionary!
  • by surstrmming ( 674864 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:03AM (#6104238) Homepage
    Watch out for the click-through license agreement! The Trepia privacy policy sucks even more than their proximity algorithm:
    In addition to the information entered by the user during registration, Trepia, Inc. collects information on which Wi-Fi access points are visited by each individual user. Trepia, Inc. also stores the IP addresses used by its members.

    And, as if it wouldn't be enough, they also claim ownership of all materials you send through their application. Don't discuss your ideas on their chat - you give ownership to Trepia!

    By submitting or entering information into the Trepia Application or the Trepia Website, or into the Trepia Service you (1) warrant that you have no rights of any kind to [your picture or text]; /.../ (2) grant Trepia, Inc. an unrestricted, perpetual, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, transmit and distribute [your picture or text] in all media, and you further agree that Trepia, Inc. is free to use any ideas, know-how, concepts, techniques or other materials you send us for any purpose.
    The quoted text was found under Help->About. And did I mention that their proximity algorithm sucks duck?
  • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @09:19AM (#6104872)
    Since this is basically an IM crossed with a personals site, let's make it useful:

    - A profile that's separated into individual interests that you can search on, or at least individual keywords

    - Option to list only members of your preferred gender, a certain age group, sexual orientation, etc.

    - A "hot-or-not" rating where, to be fair, you can only vote if you allow others to vote on you

    - The ability to FORGET YOUR PASSWORD WHEN YOU DISCONNECT. For gods' sake, how about some basic security here?
  • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) * <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:01PM (#6106163) Journal
    balloon, just what I need, my IM populating itself with people I have to ignore. It is hard enough with a OLD ICQ account...Next will be a client with a feature that shares all your info with the national consumer agency so they can find you a friend :)
  • goatse (Score:3, Funny)

    by dollargonzo ( 519030 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:07PM (#6106226) Homepage
    ok, this is just enough. someone "in my vicinity" called "goatse" with a profile of "first post" has a picture of the BAM. damn, it's been a few hours and already being abused horridly.
  • by c13v3rm0nk3y ( 189767 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @12:44PM (#6106583) Homepage

    "iChat on crack" indeed.

    My first unsolicited message from an unknown party (I apologize for the language):

    stfu nigger


  • by doublem ( 118724 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @02:55PM (#6107819) Homepage Journal
    I just tried your IM program

    First off, I want to say your method of locating people "near" me is clearly using a definition of "near" with which I am not familiar. While in the cosmic sense, the UK is a stone's throw from the US East coast, it's not what I had in mind when I read your ad copy.

    Second, you desperately need code with which to block users, or at the very least their pics.

    In five minutes of use, I was presented with two people using the main pic from as their pic, and while censoring pics is not practical, I would have loved to right click on the image and "Block images from this user," "Block this user's pic," or best of all "Block this user completely."

    Third, it really is a mind numbingly primitive IM program. Aside from the alleged location technology it has no features to separate it from the pack.

    Chat is little more than what I saw in the VAX "talk" program back in my college days.

    The fact that it stores your password and can't be dissuaded form doing so is a major security issue.

    It has no user search feature, even for finding things as rudimentary as the user name of someone you already talked to in the past.

    I could go on, but it would be tiresome.

    To be perfectly blunt, my ex girlfriend coded together a more advanced IM program while completing a free "Learn to program in networked Java" course she downloaded off the web. I'm not joking and I'm not exaggerating.

    Next time, try asking users for some geographic location data, like their city and state or their ZIP code.

    And by the way, using the IP address as a way of accurately locating users is dicey at best. I recommend your developers look through the web for more information. You'll find you've already set yourselves up for failure.

Forty two.