Categories
Mozilla

Thunderbird Address Book 2.0

I’ve discussed this a bit before, but I thought I’d take a deeper look into what the Address Book needs to “kick ass”.

  • More than just 2 Email fields. 2 initially appear on the form, but a button to add more. I’ve got a few people who I have a work, and more than 1 personal address. Additionally the ability to specify the preferred message format per address. Work uses Eudora, but home uses Thunderbird. Different prefs for each.
  • “Internet Names”, this should succeed the “Screen Name” field. The user is presented with 1 pull down menu containing a list of services, 1 text field, and a button to “Add More”. The user can select a service, enter the screenname/username/id. “Add More” adds another field (similar to how a filter is displayed). The last option in the service pull down is “Edit Services”. This should bring a window allowing the user to specify a new service, or modify an existing one. Do things like select an icon to show next to it (URL, or file), URL to link to (use text like %n to represent name), and the name of the Service.
  • Photos. The simple ability to drag/drop a photo onto the address card, and have it appear as the photo for the user. Store the photo in a directory within the profile.
  • View All Books. Many people simply use “Address Books” as a way to categorize addresses, for example “Work”, “Friends”, “Family”, etc. There should be a view option in to view them combined. So you just get a list of all of them. Would make it easier to sort/sift. This way, I can view them all easily, but still keep them orgamized.

This would make substantial strides from being an “Email Client” to a “Personal Information Manager”. Address Book is good, but it could be great.

Categories
Blog

Comment Spam is driving me nuts

Come on Jay. We need 2.0. We know it’s good.

Seriously. I’m sick of deleting all these spams. And I don’t want to give up on it.

Problem with TypeKey is that people hate signing up for things. So it limits people from commenting. I hate that. I love when people post comments here. I really do. It’s my favorite thing about this site.

Ugh. No more Spam.

And my email inbox is 100X worse.

We need real laws against spam now!

Categories
Tech (General)

Gmail Reply

I asked about getting SMIME support. Here’s the reply I got:

Hello,

Thank you for your suggestion regarding SMIME support — we are forwarding it to the appropriate team for review. We certainly appreciate hearing from Gmail users and encourage you to continue to let us know how we can improve the Gmail experience.

You might be interested to hear that we are working on many upcoming features, including the following:

– Automatic forwarding of your email to another account
– Plain HTML version of Gmail
– Import/export Contacts

Sincerely,
The Gmail Team

Interesting to know. Especially the auto-forwarding. Very cool.

Categories
Google Security Tech (General)

Why people shouldn’t be afraid of Gmail

There has been a ton of buzz lately about Gmail, Google’s free email service. 1000 megabytes of free storage, Google Search Technology, and of course all sorts of Google usability improvements. I’m sure Google has stuff still in the labs to enhance it at some point in the future as well, I could see searching attachments, viewing Word, and Acrobat files as HTML, all in the works.

How will they pay for this quite amazing offer? “relevant text ads”. I think most already know what I’m talking about when I say, this, if not check out MacVillage.net which has Google’s text ad service on the homepage.

What is it?

Here’s a really simple summary. Google sells a ton of advertising. And I mean a ton, they sell for their own website, as well as many others. To make sure the ads are effective, they like to “target” the ads. This is similar on other forms of media. For example, on TV, you will find sports and fitness related ads on ESPN, while the Food Network may not necessarily carry the same ads. Why? Because the audience on ESPN is most likely into sports, and fitness. The ads are most effective when people interested in the products. Makes sense right?

Well, Google does the same thing. When it sells ads on a Macintosh Website like MacVillage.net, it targets them towards Mac users, hence you see ads like “Expert Macintosh service”, “Macintosh Support”, “Mac Service & Support”. Because those ads will do good on a Mac website, rather than a PC website. These ads are now worth more to the advertiser, who will pay more to Google, who will in turn payout more to MacVillage.net. Google does the same on it’s own search engine (the right hand side), relevant ads are worth quite a bit, since it’s perfect real estate for advertisers

How do they know what to show?

Google hasn’t disclosed the technology in real detail, but one could assume, their technology assigns keywords to the ad campaign. It then looks at the text of the page that needs an advertisement. If the examines that page for relevant keywords, and places the highest ranking advertisement that fits the page.

So what’s the deal about privacy?

That’s the question of the day. Google’s system is undoubtedly automated. It would be impossible to hire enough employees to screen all data and figure out relevant ads. Your mail is technically handled by many systems that process/analyze it anyway. From virus scans, spam filters, to your mail client just figuring out if it should make certain text bold, underlined, or italics. Or how to process an inline image. Lots of software looks at your mail.

Personally, I don’t see the difference between Google, and Yahoo, Hotmail, or any other mail provider’s technology, except that Google is being smart, and providing a superior service, by selling relevant ads. How is this any more invasive? All Google did was put things together.

Personally, I think some people worry to much about privacy, and not enough about security. Instead of crying because a company put ads on a free service that you choose to use… Why not apply some patches to your buggy Windows computer so a hackers/spammer isn’t using it to flood my email with spam. To me, that’s much more invasive.

Just my $0.02.

Categories
In The News

E-mail STD Hoax… coming to your inbox soon

Why does this just seem to be asking for a hoax to be created? Do people think at all before coming up with these ideas?

I can see it now [the following simulation email is purely fictional and has not to my knowledge been used]:

Hello,

I am writing to you today from the Los Angeles County Health Department. It has come to our attention that a sexual partner of yours has been diagnosed with an Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). To help prevent the spread of such diseases we are notifying you so that you may be tested.

Your name will be published to a website to alert potential sexual partners that you have been in contact with a confirmed STD carrier unless you arange to pay a removal fee ($100), and send away for a testing kit ($350). To inquire about how to do so and protect yourself, reply to this email with your Full Name, Address, and Back Account Information.

This just sounds like something that will be used as a hoax to scam people out of money in the near future. I’m surprised they would even attempt to do something like this.

Just wait until the Los Angeles County Health Department wants you to help them secure funds for health research during the upcoming elections by holding it in your back account, in return they will give you 10%. 😀

Just another reason why you should always be skeptical of what comes in your email. I know I wouldn’t believe one of these emails.

Some things do need to be delivered by a Postal Worker.

Categories
Mozilla

Changing SMTP Port in Mozilla

As ISP’s and webhosts are starting to offer alternative ports for SMTP, some may ask how to change the port in Mozilla/Thunderbird. So here is a rundown step by step (don’t worry, it’s really easy).

Categories
Mozilla

Calendar in Thunderbird

I’ve been an advocate of making Calendar an Extension for Thunderbird. I think Calendar extension is important in a Mail client, as most business users are accustomed to this (Microsoft Outlook). As a result, it makes sense for Mozilla to offer such functionality.

Besides matching, it’s also quite convenient. What 2 Apps do most people keep open? Email, and a Calendar. Secondly, Calendar can integrate quite well with email (Appointment notification, etc.)

This really is a giant step in bringing Mozilla closer to the workplace.

Categories
Software

POP3 Mail Checker

Looking for a good POP3 Mail checker for Windows, and for Mac OS X. Ideally, it should meet the following:

  • Free (open source preferable, but not required)
  • Unobtrusive unless it finds mail (then it should notify me)
  • Fast, Silent, Low CPU/RAM
  • Bonus if I could have it ask to open up a specified URL, rather than my POP3 email client (Mozilla).

I’m mobile most of the week, and not at my primary computer. As a result, I use webmail for quite a bit. I don’t like leaving webmail open. So a pop3mail checker would be nice. I keep my personal mail on my laptop. But I like my business stuff on my Mac, as that’s where I work mostly.

AOL Instant Messenger appears to have one, but because my login contains the full username, it apparently doesn’t work, even if replacing “@” with “%”, or “&” as some have suggested in the past.

So my question is. What do you use? What product works good for you?