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IRC Bouncer

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This is far from news, but I just found this out recently and was curious if anyone had any opinion on this:

I was wondering if there was a way to be aware of software updates, bug reports and other discussion that get announced on some IRC channels without having to physically be there at all times. I'm not at home very often and I can't see the practicality of leaving my computer on with an IRC client running and connected to the internet when i'm only using the computer for as much as a couple hours a day.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if it were possible to perhaps program an IRC bot to run on a proxy and idle in a chatroom and collect logs, then maybe email the logs to me so that I can read them at my leisure another time.

I did some searching and found out about IRC Bouncers, which are remote servers acting as a middle man for IRC chat. i.e. I send a message to the bouncer, the bouncer sends it to the channel. That way I can stay connected to a channel without having to always be at my computer. I found out about a few sites that offer free bouncers such as bnc4free and I put in a request for a bouncer and am waiting to see if my request gets approved.

I'm a little nervous though, I've read that things like this can be malicious at times, and permit access to my stuff if messages between me and the bouncer aren't encrypted or something. Anybody have any experience with this?

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