Dear Geek Girlfriend,
I was chatting over Skype with a coworker recently and a she sent me a rather risquÃ© emoticon. It looked like this: After I recovered from the shock (she seemed so straight-laced until this moment) I went looking for that naughty emoticon so I could send it to someone else. Not there. Does she have some special NC-17 rated version of Skype that I donâ€™t have? How do I get that version
Playful in Plymouth
If you like the chat feature of Skype or Yahoo! Messenger (or any of the instant message services, you probably love the emoticons, too. I certainly do. They are fun. Why type kisses when chatting with your sweetie when you can send a picture of a kiss? They are also useful: Nothing prevents an accidental argument like attaching a smiley emoticon to a joke that might be misinterpreted. Most of the emoticons can be accessed from the drop-down menu but some are a bit more secret. In Skype, type (bandit) (finger) or (mooning)–include the parenthesis–to get a bit of a surprise. (Search forÂ more secret Skype emoticons hereÂ or more Yahoo Messenger emoticons here. If you arenâ€™t using either of these, do a Google search.Â Donâ€™t try these out on your motherâ€”or mine! In fact, you might want to warn whoever you send them to lest you offend.
If your Google search lands you at a site that asks you to download code to get free emoticons (and it will) be very careful. A lot of this sort of free softwareâ€”for email or instant message icons or emoticonsâ€”is Trojan Horse malware. This means that it lures you into letting down your guard (just like those Trojans did; and remember how that turned out?) by offering you a gift. ButÂ malicious code will ride in on that gift and I guarantee it will do something evil to your computer. Only download code from a source you trust.