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I've been noticing lately that the chat bubble icon next to my username gets stuck with a bubble with three dots in it when I log into Ubuntu. The only way for me to resolve it is to set my status to "away" or "busy" and then go back to available. Does anyone have an idea why this happens or a way to resolve it?

Here's a screenshot:

bubble icon

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Can't tell you why you're getting it, but the icon is called "user-indeterminate-panel" - so for some reason it cannot determine your status. Maybe you are interested in this bug report: Three-dotted icon is not documented. –  htorque Jun 1 '11 at 14:27
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3 Answers

Not sure what caused this but I've got rid of it by doing the following steps:

  1. Go offline
  2. Remove the Twitter account from the broadcast accounts
  3. Add the Twitter account again and re-authorize it
  4. Go online

It is probably because the Twitter account in Ubuntu has lost all/portion of its authorization to access Twitter. Worked for me and I hope it will work for you too.

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Do you have Skype chat enabled in Empathy? I am getting this behaviour, and have narrowed it down to the Empathy skype plugin, by enabling and disabling my different chat accounts, and then waiting for my computer to become 'idle'. The problem seems to disappear when I disable skype chat. Htorque mentions that this means that the system cannot determine one's status. So presumably, there is a bug with the Empathy skype plugin that prevents Empathy from guessing the status of Skype? (just guessing here)

Steps to reproduce the bug:

  1. install pidgin-skype from the software centre and restart Empathy
  2. enable skype chat in Empathy: first, launch the Skype app and log in, then back in Empathy choose Accounts> Add...> protocol=bigbrownchunx, enter your skype user name, play around with the options in case of errors.
  3. Then to test, search for Screensaver in the Dash, select, remove the option to activate the screensaver, and set 'idle time' to 1 minute. Wait for one minute: does the icon with three dots pictured above appear?

I have reported this as bug in pidgin-skype at Launchpad: bug #794191.

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If you make this a bug report at Launchpad (probably the pidgin-skype package), you'll get the bounty. ;-) –  htorque Jun 7 '11 at 18:10
    
    
Easy rep, have fun! ;) –  htorque Jun 7 '11 at 18:37
    
Yes!!! Thank you! –  geoffrey Jun 7 '11 at 18:38
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It is where you can update your twitter, identi.ca etc. If you click on it you can update from there in the little box at the top without having to leave your desktop:

        enter image description here

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Correct, but I'm wondering why it's getting stuck with that icon (I assume that's to indicate it's still signing your services in?) instead of just going straight to the empty bubble. –  Chris Kerrigan May 11 '11 at 19:56
    
Nope it is inviting you tweet etc thats all from there as opposed to from gwibber etc...like in the photo I just stuck up –  andybleaden May 12 '11 at 10:26
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