A few days ago I realised I totally missed GTalk going federated. After a bit of searching it turns out Google runs a server on port 80, so all people behind firewalls are in luck. I first tried port 443, hoping for secure communications. That didn’t work, but it turns out the Jabber protocol is better than I thought, it switches over to TLS after a brief “capability negotiation” when first connecting to a server. Great!
Next I started switching over all my contacts to my GTalk account. The Jabber roster utility was very helpful in getting all the contact details. Federation is such a brilliant idea!