Big Brother? (a.k.a. Windows Live Messenger)



  • I have a throwaway Hotmail account that I only use as a login for Windows Live Messenger, which we use at work to communicate with our remote workers (or when we're too lazy to walk ten feet to the other guy's cubicle). I literally have never used this account for anything else. Not linked to Xbox Live, other email addresses, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    I went on a trip this past weekend and finally changed my Facebook profile picture (first time in about seven months). When I got back to work and signed into Messenger I saw it had updated my profile picture to match the new one on Facebook.

    How the heck did it know what Facebook account to link to? I logged into my account via a web browser and Windows Live was begging me to link it to Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and who knows what else, so it's apparent I never gave it that information. I guess it could go by name, but what if multiple people on Facebook have the same name? I find it a bit scary, what else are they tracking or assuming about me?

    EDIT: Probably should have put this in General instead of Sidebar. Sorry guys.



  •  Ever think about cookies on your browser?

    You hit Windows Live from that machine, you hot face book from that ,achine, it then talks back and knows what account is yours.

     



  • Triangulation



  •  Your IT department is too lazy to set up Office Communicator?



  • @KattMan said:

    Ever think about cookies on your browser?

    You hit Windows Live from that machine, you hot face book from that ,achine, it then talks back and knows what account is yours.

     

    I don't check Facebook from work. Also, I don't use Messenger outside of work.

    @ShatteredArm said:

    Your IT department is too lazy to set up Office Communicator?

    Never heard of it. If it requires Office, we don't have volume licensing for Office so our computers randomly have XP, 2003, 2007, 2010, or even no Office at all depending on the system's age and whether the person who originally had the system even needed Office. (We're a company of around 30 employees, there is no IT department per se, nor departments of any kind).

     



  • MOC (Microsoft Office Communicator) doesn't require Office, although it does integrate with Outlook (and probably office? maybe?).  Basically the office version of messenger.  Plus, you get the added bonus of hearing people make jokes about mocking each other all day.  (Ok, I'll admit it, I'm one of those)



  • Actually it appears to be something on my coworker's computer. I have Messenger profile pictures disabled on my computer and I noticed it when I was in his cubicle and he had an old conversation with me still up. When I checked from my system I couldn't find the profile picture anywhere, actually it shows I don't have one.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    MOC (Microsoft Office Communicator) doesn't require Office, although it does integrate with Outlook

    Normal Live Messenger will, too, if you use your Outlook email address for your Live Messenger account. AFAIK, Office Communicator is identical to Live Messenger except they tore out all the fun features, smilies, games, etc.

    Note: I still refuse to use Live Messenger 2011, so my information may be out of date.



  • Still have smilies.  I'm guessing (emphasis on guessing) the main difference is that you can use your own central server.  (COMPLETE GUESS!)  If someone else wants to do research...



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Still have smilies.  I'm guessing (emphasis on guessing) the main difference is that you can use your own central server.  (COMPLETE GUESS!)  If someone else wants to do research...


    I haven't used it, but apparently there are desktop sharing features, plus some other office integration / collaboration stuff.



  • TRWTF is FB ... amiright?



  • Ah yes, desktop sharing... yes it has that.



  • @mott555 said:

    @KattMan said:

    Ever think about cookies on your browser?

    You hit Windows Live from that machine, you hot face book from that ,achine, it then talks back and knows what account is yours.

     

    I don't check Facebook from work. Also, I don't use Messenger outside of work.

    Nah, it couldn't be that anyway.  Cross-domain protection in the browser doesn't let one domain look at another domain's cookies.




  • @Sutherlands said:

    Still have smilies.  I'm guessing (emphasis on guessing) the main difference is that you can use your own central server.  (COMPLETE GUESS!)  If someone else wants to do research...

     

    The central server thing is probably the major selling point... Here, it's integrated into active directory so you don't have to have a hotmail account to use it.  You just sign in with your normal network credentials.



  • Maybe

    1. Page loads containing an invisible iframe with a URL something like "http://facebook.com/authenticate.php?token=123456789&callback=live.com/facebook.php"
    2. Browser loads the contents of the iframe, sending it facebook's cookies
    3. Facebook sends the user's username and the token back to MSN.
    4. Insert meme starting with "????" and ending with "PROFIT!" here



  • Or if it was only showing on this other guy's computer, maybe he set it manually on his end.



  • @DaveK said:

    @mott555 said:

    @KattMan said:

    Ever think about cookies on your browser?

    You hit Windows Live from that machine, you hot face book from that ,achine, it then talks back and knows what account is yours.

     

    I don't check Facebook from work. Also, I don't use Messenger outside of work.

    Nah, it couldn't be that anyway.  Cross-domain protection in the browser doesn't let one domain look at another domain's cookies.
     

    Yes, escept that Windows Live Messenger is its own app.  It doesn't run in the browser, and it has access to the file system.

     



  • There is a relatively simple explanation - but of course, it doesn't have to be true. It is just a viable hypothesis. 

    1.  You give your contact data to your co-worker. Including Facebook profile, or the e-mail address associated with it. 
    2. Your co-worker types your contact data into a smart contact-managing application, possibly of Microsoft origin. He doesn't manually add a picture of you, so it associates your record with a picture from your Facebook profile.
    3. You give your co-worker your Live Messenger account. He types it into his contact management application and associates it with your record.
    4. Live Messenger is aware of the contact management application. It synchronizes with it in the background.
    5. a. Your co-worker's Live Messenger install uses the picture it found in your contact data when he has a chat with you open (basically acceptable, although a feature I'd turn off if I was using Messenger and knew it existed)
    5. b. The shadowy database behind the Live Messenger network associates your Messenger account with your FB account and shows everyone of your contacts your FB picture. A major WTF if it functions like that - actually so major, that probably somebody would have noticed it and a wave of rants would have gone through the usual sites, where we would have noticed it. So I guess 5.a is much more probable.

    At least steps 1 and 2 are not that uncommon - this is exactly what happens on my phone, the contact management app uses my contacts' Skype pictures, even if I have never initiated a Skype call or chat to them over the phone. 3 is also very believable. 4 and 5 are pure speculation, but in line with what I have come to expect from Microsoft products (like tighter-than-necessary integration between mildly related products, plus doing a lot of things behind the user's back without being asked to).



  • @immibis said:

    Maybe

    1. Page loads containing an invisible iframe with a URL something like "http://facebook.com/authenticate.php?token=123456789&callback=live.com/facebook.php"
    2. Browser loads the contents of the iframe, sending it facebook's cookies
    3. Facebook sends the user's username and the token back to MSN.
    4. Insert meme starting with "????" and ending with "PROFIT!" here

     

    Nope.jpg

    See this thread. It's about Twitter, but the same applies to Facebook, too.

     


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