ZOOM? or Google Hangouts or ?

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
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Starting tomorrow, all free (basic)and pro users with only 1 license will have passwords required for meetngs and waiting rooms on as a default. You will be able to turn off waiting rooms but not passwords required.
 

Harry Hooper

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Not trying to pile on, but is there a naming scheme fix ready for this: Thousands of Zoom video calls left exposed on open Web


Videos viewed by The Washington Post included one-on-one therapy sessions; a training orientation for workers doing telehealth calls that included people’s names and phone numbers; small-business meetings that included private company financial statements; and elementary-school classes, in which children’s faces, voices and personal details were exposed.

Many of the videos include personally identifiable information and deeply intimate conversations, recorded in people’s homes. Other videos include nudity, such as one in which an aesthetician teaches students how to give a Brazilian wax.
 

loshjott

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Dec 30, 2004
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The large federal agency that I work for has banned all employees' use of Zoom until further notice. This is a big problem since we need to virtually attend meetings hosted by other federal and non-federal agencies who still use Zoom.
My agency is the same way, though technically it was always banned but nobody ever asked about it. However, I believe we are allowed to log into zoom meetings as guests through a browser without downloading the app. We also have lots of nonfed partners using zoom.
 

JMDurron

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Jul 15, 2005
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One option that my wife's family recommended to us is Jitsi. Jitsi Meet Link.

It's an Open Source effort, with end-to-end encryption and no known record of shady data practices that we're aware of. We've used it for 4-6 party personal conferences, I can't speak to how practical it is for more professional needs. We did appreciate the lack of a time limit for the free product when talking with friends and family.
 

SumnerH

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One option that my wife's family recommended to us is Jitsi. Jitsi Meet Link.

It's an Open Source effort, with end-to-end encryption and no known record of shady data practices that we're aware of. We've used it for 4-6 party personal conferences, I can't speak to how practical it is for more professional needs. We did appreciate the lack of a time limit for the free product when talking with friends and family.
This is Bruce Schneier's recommendation as well (he's the author of Applied Cryptography, among other things).

I've been using it with no complaints to set up meetings with my parents, friends, etc. Super easy.
 

Saints Rest

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This is a Google Meet question.

Both my kids use Google Classroom and thus Google Meet for all their distance learning. It seems like a daily occurrence in Meets for some or all of the other participants to freeze during the Meet, sometimes taking audio out as well. When I check our home Internet speed on Speedtest using my phone, I'll see speeds in the 30Mbps or more range.

So what gives? Is it my kid's computer (an old MacBook Air)? Is it our connection? Is it someone else on Meet taking everyone down when their internet speed crashes?

Are there any solutions that don't involve letting my kids take over my newer computers every time they have a Meet?
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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From what I can tell, the real issue is that Meet is a half baked shitty product. I use these products all the time (WebEx, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype or whatever it's called now) and based upon my kid's Meet classes, it sucks. My kindergartner is asking why meet is so much worse than Zoom, which was great for their meetings.
 

sueh1

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Aug 16, 2004
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Hi, all. I have two questions, fairly dumb ones, I'm sure, but I'd rather embarrass myself here than at work! I work for a public library, and we are starting to think about doing programs (for the public) that way-we are weighing Zoom, or facebook live.

First question, the more embarrassing one. I cannot for the life of me make the "camera" work on either desktop in the house, both running Windows 10. They both give me an error message saying the camera isn't attached, etc. I have googled, and tried to do the steps on the older one, but the camera isn't found in the usual places, and when I search it to open it, it doesn't work. I have changed settings to allow access. Do I need an ACTUAL web cam to do this, which I don't have, or should it be IN the PC already? The older PC from 2014 would not likely have this, but the 2017 one might.

Second question, on Zoom. Since i wouldn't make it work on my PC, I downloaded the Zoom app to my iPad, and attended a social zoom thing. I couldn't see more than 8 people at a time, and there were 17 there. Someone said it's because I was using the app. Is that true? Would I be abler o see morei n the business app, if my library had one?

Just trying to get these basic concepts working before I try to use it at work on a large scale, any help is appreciated.
 

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
814
Hi, all. I have two questions, fairly dumb ones, I'm sure, but I'd rather embarrass myself here than at work! I work for a public library, and we are starting to think about doing programs (for the public) that way-we are weighing Zoom, or facebook live.

First question, the more embarrassing one. I cannot for the life of me make the "camera" work on either desktop in the house, both running Windows 10. They both give me an error message saying the camera isn't attached, etc. I have googled, and tried to do the steps on the older one, but the camera isn't found in the usual places, and when I search it to open it, it doesn't work. I have changed settings to allow access. Do I need an ACTUAL web cam to do this, which I don't have, or should it be IN the PC already? The older PC from 2014 would not likely have this, but the 2017 one might.

Second question, on Zoom. Since i wouldn't make it work on my PC, I downloaded the Zoom app to my iPad, and attended a social zoom thing. I couldn't see more than 8 people at a time, and there were 17 there. Someone said it's because I was using the app. Is that true? Would I be abler o see morei n the business app, if my library had one?

Just trying to get these basic concepts working before I try to use it at work on a large scale, any help is appreciated.
Hi:

The Zoom mobile app on iPad supports on Gallery view allows you to see up to 9 participants at once. If you're on the desktop app, you can see up to 25 or 49 at a time depending on how fast your processor is.

On the camera issue, Windows 10 has a security setting that might be blocking your camera. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4468232/windows-10-camera-microphone-and-privacy. Check your virus settings. too.

If that doesn't work, there are some tips from our support site. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/202952568-My-Video-Camera-Isn-t-Working. If you're using Skype or Teams, I would turn them off before using Zoom. They tend to hang on to mic and camera and not want to release it when using another video tool like Zoom. Good luck.
 

sueh1

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Aug 16, 2004
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Hi:

The Zoom mobile app on iPad supports on Gallery view allows you to see up to 9 participants at once. If you're on the desktop app, you can see up to 25 or 49 at a time depending on how fast your processor is.

On the camera issue, Windows 10 has a security setting that might be blocking your camera. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4468232/windows-10-camera-microphone-and-privacy. Check your virus settings. too.

If that doesn't work, there are some tips from our support site. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/202952568-My-Video-Camera-Isn-t-Working. If you're using Skype or Teams, I would turn them off before using Zoom. They tend to hang on to mic and camera and not want to release it when using another video tool like Zoom. Good luck.
Thanks. Well, that explains it on iPad. Is it any different for the Zoom business app for iPad? If not, it seems like I do need to use it on my desktop, which brings me back to camera issue. I did go through the support, thanks, but could not see anything in my settings that would block it so far. I haven't used any interactive software on either computer yet, just watched webinars and typed my questions, so I haven't done anything yet!
 

StupendousMan

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Jul 20, 2005
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Examine the surfaces of your desktop which are visible to you when you sit at the desk. This will surely be the monitor, and possibly include the tower if it isn't under the desk. If you find a small, round piece of glass, you have a camera. If you don't see a small, round piece of glass, there is no built-in camera. In that case, you'd have to purchase a webcam and plug it into the desktop.
 

sueh1

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Aug 16, 2004
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Examine the surfaces of your desktop which are visible to you when you sit at the desk. This will surely be the monitor, and possibly include the tower if it isn't under the desk. If you find a small, round piece of glass, you have a camera. If you don't see a small, round piece of glass, there is no built-in camera. In that case, you'd have to purchase a webcam and plug it into the desktop.
Then I don’t. Where is it generally on ones that have it? I dj
Hi:

The Zoom mobile app on iPad supports on Gallery view allows you to see up to 9 participants at once. If you're on the desktop app, you can see up to 25 or 49 at a time depending on how fast your processor is.

On the camera issue, Windows 10 has a security setting that might be blocking your camera. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4468232/windows-10-camera-microphone-and-privacy. Check your virus settings. too.

If that doesn't work, there are some tips from our support site. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/202952568-My-Video-Camera-Isn-t-Working. If you're using Skype or Teams, I would turn them off before using Zoom. They tend to hang on to mic and camera and not want to release it when using another video tool like Zoom. Good luck.
Another question, now that I'm doing research. Is there a different Zoom app for the Ipad that will let me interact wtih more than 8 people? I see there is a Zoom Rooms app, and some others, but are they different or not affiliated? It does seem like I don't have a webcam. Also, do I need to use a paid corporate account to interact with a large amount of people? Would that be workable on the iPad?
 

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
814
Then I don’t. Where is it generally on ones that have it? I dj

Another question, now that I'm doing research. Is there a different Zoom app for the Ipad that will let me interact wtih more than 8 people? I see there is a Zoom Rooms app, and some others, but are they different or not affiliated? It does seem like I don't have a webcam. Also, do I need to use a paid corporate account to interact with a large amount of people? Would that be workable on the iPad?
Zoom Room is designed for a conference room and uses off the shelf hardware to video enable it. You don't want that.

You don't need a paid account. The only limitation is the meeting time outs after 40 minutes.
 

LoweTek

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Just want to thank @NDBoston, apparently a Zoom employee, for his timely updates and advice here. Can't beat SoSH for real time, authoritative information.
 

SumnerH

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Amazon Chime now fully supports Safari in the SDK (Safari until the April update worked for voice/audio and screen viewing, but not hosting a screen share).
 

Archer1979

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ND: Glad to hear that you're alive and well.

When will Zoom have closed captioning? I heard it was on the horizon.
 

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
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ND: Glad to hear that you're alive and well.

When will Zoom have closed captioning? I heard it was on the horizon.
It's ready to go. Unfortunately, we are on a 90-day freeze for any features that aren't' security-related. I would expect it to be GA in 2 months.
 

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
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Amazon Chime now fully supports Safari in the SDK (Safari until the April update worked for voice/audio and screen viewing, but not hosting a screen share).
Chime is the worst. Amazon doesn't even use it.
 

sueh1

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Aug 16, 2004
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Zoom Room is designed for a conference room and uses off the shelf hardware to video enable it. You don't want that.

You don't need a paid account. The only limitation is the meeting time outs after 40 minutes.
Thanks. So no way to use the iPad and see more than 8 people?
 

jercra

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Jul 31, 2006
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Some of Amazon uses it.
Most of Amazon uses it. I am not a fan of it compared to almost every other IM/Voice/Video system, though Sumner is right that there have been major quality improvements over that 6 weeks. It is still limited to 16 video frames at once with no way to control what's on your screen. "Advanced" functionality like granting control of your screen or annotations seem years off. I'm sure virtual backgrounds is that's being worked on.
 

SumnerH

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Most of Amazon uses it. I am not a fan of it compared to almost every other IM/Voice/Video system, though Sumner is right that there have been major quality improvements over that 6 weeks. It is still limited to 16 video frames at once with no way to control what's on your screen. "Advanced" functionality like granting control of your screen or annotations seem years off. I'm sure virtual backgrounds is that's being worked on.
You're also discussing the Chime app, which is separate from the SDK that I was talking about. The app is a bad proof of concept for the SDK, which is pretty nice.
 

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
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Most of Amazon uses it. I am not a fan of it compared to almost every other IM/Voice/Video system, though Sumner is right that there have been major quality improvements over that 6 weeks. It is still limited to 16 video frames at once with no way to control what's on your screen. "Advanced" functionality like granting control of your screen or annotations seem years off. I'm sure virtual backgrounds is that's being worked on.
I must talk with the wrong AWS guys.

I never understood why Amazon bought Chime, and everyone I know who went there has left already.
 
Last edited:

jercra

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I must talk with the wrong AWS guys.

I never understood why Amazon bought Chime, and everyone I know who went there has left already.
There's more than one of us on SoSH. We're not all in AWS but we're all on Chime. It is the official chat app for the company. Though it's taken a while for it to truly take root, it's definitely the default now. I'm not sure why they bought it either, but Sumner's comments likely hint at it. The API is something that can be used to simply add IM type functionality to your own apps, which makes it more than just an internal comms tool but a dev service that can be offered along with the litany of other dev services.offered by Amazon. I know Slack and Zoom also have an API but I haven't looked into them really at all so I'm not sure how independently they can integrated into your own services. I don't know that Zoom was for sale when they bought what became Chime. Slack definitely wasn't.
 

RSN Diaspora

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Jul 29, 2005
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Not sure if this is a question for @NDBoston or if someone else knows the answer to this, but I can't seem to get my Zoom chats to use a 4:3 ratio on the camera. I click the radio button for "original ratio" but it doesn't change out of widescreen. The widescreen view goes beyond the green screen I have set up and lets in too much light from the windows in my makeshift home office.

30743
 

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
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I would check-in your preinstalled webcam software. I don't think it's Zoom related.
 

NDBoston

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Oct 22, 2003
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Zoom 5 with AES-256 bit GCM has been released. If you're using an older client than 5.0, you will receive a dialogue box when trying to join a Zoom meeting asking you to download the software or join via the web client. To manually update your Zoom client, please go to zoom.com/download. Thanks!
 

InstaFace

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a non-Zoom question: anyone know anything about the widget that Slack uses to make its video calls from within the app or web app? We've started using it as our Zoom backup rather than Google, but I have no idea if there are lurking dragons or severe limitations or something.
 

SumnerH

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a non-Zoom question: anyone know anything about the widget that Slack uses to make its video calls from within the app or web app? We've started using it as our Zoom backup rather than Google, but I have no idea if there are lurking dragons or severe limitations or something.
The biggest issue for me is that I've never gotten it to work: it says “your browser isn't supported, try downloading Chrome” (spoiler alert: I use Chrome). That seems unusual, though, most of the rest of our office really likes it.

Security-wise it uses SRTP/DTLS with regular TLS for the side-channeling, which is not end-to-end encryption but should be secure from your servers to Slack's and from there to the end client. It's open to logging/leaking issues at the Slack server, same as with most other popular desktop conferencing applications. They claim that they do store metadata (things like who called who, when, and for how long) and performance data, but not recordings or transcriptions of the calls. So if the implementation is correct, then call logs (similar to your phone bill records maybe) could be hacked, subpoena'd, leaked, etc, but not retroactive call contents. If Slack's servers are compromised then a man-in-the-middle attack could compromise call contents (this is true of everyone who doesn't use end-to-end crypto).

That's the theory. The problems are always in the implementation. Like Zoom, Cisco, etc, Slack has a recent history of security compromises, including one that allowed complete session/account hijiacking. You also have to be aware of any third-party plugins you install: lots of people like to install plugins to integrate with other services. That's putting more potentially buggy (or malicious) code inside your security perimeter, so you need to make the risk vs. value decision there before just blindly installing.

It's also not source-available, which means that there's no widespread code auditing happening. That's standard for commercial solutions, but it's a potential deal-breaker if you need truly high security (I have really mixed feelings about Zoom's new end-to-end solution, which provides e2e but makes this part of things worse by failing to operate on an auditable browser and requiring a closed-source application install).

Basically, it's about the same ballpark as a lot of other common options. Maybe slightly better than Zoom as far as we can tell in terms of historical attention to security in the product, but the plugin stuff makes it worse in terms of easily compromising things if you're not careful. And it's not like it's been bulletproof in the past.

We've been using jitsi successfully as our backup. It's free and open-source, and it does have a slack integration if you want that. https://meet.jit.si/ But it's fairly feature-light: it'll handle voice/video/text chat, phone-in audio support, and screen/audio sharing, but if you do anything more sophisticated then it's probably a non-starter.