Off The Record Messaging

Showing OTR screeny.

I know of a few people who like to chat ‘off-the-record’ in GTalk. Why? Don’t ask me. But here is a plugin you can use to make sure you are REALLY off the record, irrespective of the chat protocol you use.

According to Wikipedia, Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR), is a cryptographic protocol that provides strong encryption for instant messaging conversations. OTR uses a combination of the AES symmetric-key algorithm, the Diffie-Hellman key exchange, and the SHA-1 hash function. In addition to authentication and encryption, OTR provides perfect forward secrecy and deniable encryption.

The primary motivation behind the protocol was providing deniability for the conversation participants while keeping conversations confidential, like a private conversation in real life, or off the record in journalism sourcing.

Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging allows you to have private conversations over instant messaging by providing:

Encryption: No one else can read your instant messages.
Authentication: You are assured the correspondent is who you think it is.
Deniability: The messages you send do not have digital signatures that are checkable by a third party. Anyone can forge messages after a conversation to make them look like they came from you. However, during a conversation, your correspondent is assured the messages he sees are authentic and unmodified.
Perfect forward secrecy. If you lose control of your private keys, no previous conversation is compromised.

OTR will work with Gaim, Adium, Trillian and Pidgin. You can download it from

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Year end bonanza

Yes!!! I finally did it! Bought my very first domain name. Notice the address bar on the top? it doesn’t say anymore does it? 🙂 Paid 400 bucks for it but it was worth it. I’ve been tinkering with the UserCP since yesterday and I have some plans to expand this site. You gotta love Google for providing free hosting space on Blogger. Just brilliant. A site re-design is in order. I thought this one was scalable until I looked more closely (thanks Zufs for pointing it out).

The last few episodes of the season 3 of Avatar have finally started airing again so The Wonder Years has taken a back seat for now. The New Year plans are finally gathering some speed and now I can go either to Pune or to Goa for the bash. Pune will be with Hu and his friends while Goa will be with a few friends from Bangalore. I think I’ll be going to Pune for convenience sake, will try to catch up wid Tru if she’s in town too.

Since this will be my last post this year (I think), I shall dwell over the year past. 2007 is about to vanish into oblivion and what a year it has been. Quite a turning point for me if you ask. It was a year in which I quit my first job, something that was hard for me to do, considering that the AOL floor had become my second home in the two and a half years I was there. I came to Mumbai to find a completely different world here. How life changes when you travel only 960 Km away! This was also a year in which I started staying alone and began worrying about when to buy the next clothes washing powder or wishing I had a non-stick pan to fry my morning eggs in. It has been a long year… no doubt and I can proudly say that I have withstood it well.

Signing off with one of my favourite illustrations from 2007, this one is from Wired magazine:

An illustration from Wired magazine

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