Google Chat Surprise

Last Friday I was my desk, at work, chatting with my friend Alisha on Google Chat, the chat client embedded in Gmail.

Suddenly my wife cut in from home:

"I seeeeee you".

It surprised me.

Apparently I was still signed into Google mail at home, which caused a duplicate chat window to be open on my computer there.

Stacy could see that chat window and watched live from home as the conversation between Alisha and I unfolded.
It surprised her too. She realized pretty quickly this was not supposed to be broadcast, so she jumped in and let us know the chat was playing live to a home audience.
I didn't know the chat window would work like this, that I could be signed on at two locations and have the same chat dialog open on both.

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That\'s weird, but if you are signed in at home, she can just read your old chats in google mail. They are all archived.

Thursday 28th of January 2010 12:31 am

Johnny 5 Alive

You should sign out when you\'re done. Bad internet habits. You can sign gmail out remotely if you\'re signed in elsewhere. There\'s a link at the bottom showing how many other ip addresses your account is logged in at.

Johnny 5
Thursday 28th of January 2010 1:51 am


The same thing happens with Facebook chat.

Crow T. Robot
Thursday 28th of January 2010 2:40 am


Ouch!! This is dangerous!! Even if you\'re not busy with \'secret chats\' - the spouse might \'always\' interpret it negatively.. Shoot What a fright!?

Thursday 28th of January 2010 3:03 am


if you are ever logged in to google chat and gmail at the same time a window opens in both, so this isn\'t too surprising

Robby the Robot
Thursday 28th of January 2010 4:04 am


In my experience with this, you don\'t see the whole chat broadcast. Just the first message (or so). Once you start chatting somewhere else, it should stop. The chat log is still there though.

Iron Giant
Thursday 28th of January 2010 5:27 am


Towards the bottom of the page there is a line that says: Last account activity: 11 hours ago at IP (your ip) . Details

Optimus Prime
Thursday 28th of January 2010 5:32 am


I think it striped out the rest because it thought I was putting in a script tag when I was trying to put an arrow in. Details is a link If you click the link it will pop open a window that has a button to sign out of all other sessions but the one you are on. Just don\\\'t tell your wife about this so she does not sign you out.

Optimus Prime
Thursday 28th of January 2010 5:34 am


it\'s a feature, not a bug. it\'s one of the real conveniences of hosting a service like this \'in the cloud\', but it can be a serious problem if even one of the computers is insecure. MSN has started doing the same thing as of recent revisions, as it\'s probably the only sensible way to manage simultaneous login. I love using google talk like this, it lets me swap from work to mobile to home seamlessly and instantly, without losing the thread of conversation.

Thursday 28th of January 2010 6:19 am


You should secure your computers. Even if you aren\'t worried about anything your spouse might see. Set up separate accounts, or at least set it up so that your computer locks when the screensaver activates. We had our house cleaners come yesterday, and last night when I unlocked my login, I noticed that one of them must have been charging her iPod on my computer. iTunes was open with a message about how the attached iPod was synced with a different computer.

Teddy Ruxpin
Thursday 28th of January 2010 8:46 am

I like grape soda!

Thursday 28th of January 2010 9:07 am


I bet nobody else has this avatar. :) But yes, in my experience, Gmail stops broadcasting the chat to the window if you answer elsewhere; I\'m signed in via Adium, and whenever I answer from there, Gmail stops showing me what the other person is typing. AIM, however... just keeps showing the other person\'s responses no matter where you are, if you\'re logged in multiple times.

Thursday 28th of January 2010 9:46 am

James Cameron

This is how we found John Conner!

Thursday 28th of January 2010 10:59 am


Same thing happens with Skype Chat.

Thursday 28th of January 2010 12:33 pm


I find that If I have I google and Gmail open in spearate windows then a chat bow will pop up on each...

Optimus Prime
Thursday 28th of January 2010 2:35 pm

there\'s gotta be a classier way of saying, \"oops, the window is still open\" other than \"I seeeee you\"

Thursday 28th of January 2010 3:04 pm


Same thing happens in AIM. I was chatting with my mother-in-law one time about my flight to India. She was using my nephew\'s AIM account because he left it open at her house. Next thing I know, I\'m getting all these bad comments about how the airplane must have been overwhelming with the smell of curry and other strange comments. The newphew logged in at home and he was chatting with me too. The weird thing was that I saw both of their chats but they only saw their own and mine.

Thursday 28th of January 2010 5:22 pm


Facebook chat acts almost the same.

Thursday 28th of January 2010 9:13 pm

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Friday 29th of January 2010 5:07 pm

Dalek Gamma


Friday 29th of January 2010 8:15 pm


Someone else has mentioned that MSN does this as well, but it notifies you that you\'re signed in at more than one location and that the conversation is visible on both computers. You can probably turn that notification on but I keep it around as a reminder.

Sunday 31st of January 2010 6:47 am


I think both \"me\" chats were really Rob. In fact, I think this whole, married with children thing is just an elaborate prank (\"the Unsolicited Commercial Love Story\", anyone?). Admit it, there is no Stacy. The photos we\'ve seen are just some clip art model.

Sunday 31st of January 2010 12:49 pm



Mr. Roboto
Sunday 31st of January 2010 8:17 pm

danny boy

I actually use this quite a bit, as I can be signed in on my laptop and the desktop I use for video at the same time. Just make sure you log out when you\'re done.

Tom Servo
Monday 01st of February 2010 8:59 pm


Skype does that too.

Tuesday 02nd of February 2010 9:53 am

Wall-E silly


Thursday 04th of February 2010 8:33 pm


That\'s unfortunately the way Jabber usually works and they built Google Talk on top of that. It was supposed to be a wonderful feature in a brand new world of people knowing what was going on behind the curtains. Anyway MSN official clients does it too, now. But can inform you that it is happening, at least.

Friday 05th of February 2010 2:16 pm



Iron Giant
Friday 05th of February 2010 3:03 pm


That\'s weird, because when I use my Gmail account from my sister\'s house, I have to sign in to Gmail when I never logged out at home. I don\'t have my computer on, though. When I get home, I have to log in again to see my Gmail. I don\'t keep myself logged into chat, though. I don\'t use chat all that much so maybe that makes it different?

Saturday 06th of February 2010 7:23 am


At the bottom of your gmail page it will tell you at what other ip addresses your account is signed in and you can sign out of them remotely.

Saturday 06th of February 2010 9:39 am

Captain, I believe I have found the source of the Google anomaly. You did not click the link to sign out of your session at home.

Thursday 11th of February 2010 8:10 am

that is really creepy

Wednesday 17th of February 2010 11:44 am


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Thursday 25th of February 2010 6:51 pm


I found this out when I was at my boyfriend\'s house one day while he was at work. I kept hearing the google chat sound, but I knew it wasn\'t coming from my laptop. I finally figured out it was coming from his desktop in his office.

Friday 26th of February 2010 9:45 pm


The incoming chat request is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!

Saturday 27th of February 2010 10:19 am

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