there are 5 laptops in the classroom with me. all being used. with at least 3 different OSes. yet we can do nothing to collaborate. i can find nothing out about them. they offer no information. i have no easy way to attempt to communicate with the user or to know what services are available. Service Discovery, baby.
JABBER XMPP stuff ZEROCONF UPnP DBUS (local system only)
distributed object busses reincarnated yet again.