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Email: The Internet’s First and Last Killer App

By Elliotte Rusty Harold
December 17, 2013

I’m dating myself here, but I remember a time when AOL was obviously going to replace email (or at least that’s what the pundits and day traders told us). Standard Internet email was clearly too anarchic, uncontrolled, and uncommercial to …

Four short links: 8 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2013

QCL: A Language for Quantum Computing — QCL is a high level, architecture independent programming language for quantum computers, with a syntax derived from classical procedural languages like C or Pascal. This allows for the complete implementation and simulation of …

Four short links: 16 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 16, 2013

Australian Filter Scope Creep — The Federal Government has confirmed its financial regulator has started requiring Australian Internet service providers to block websites suspected of providing fraudulent financial opportunities, in a move which appears to also open the door for …

Four short links: 1 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 24, 2013

Pin: A Dynamic Binary Instrumentation Tool — a dynamic binary instrumentation framework for the IA-32 and x86-64 instruction-set architectures that enables the creation of dynamic program analysis tools. Some tools built with Pin are Intel Parallel Inspector, Intel Parallel Amplifier …

Four short links: 16 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 16, 2013

Triage — iPhone app to quickly triage your email in your downtime. See also the backstory. Awesome UI. Webcam Pulse Detector — I was wondering how long it would take someone to do the Eulerian video magnification in real code. …

Four short links: 27 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 27, 2013

The Effect of Group Attachment and Social Position on Prosocial Behavior (PLoSone) — notable, in my mind, for We conducted lab-in-the-field experiments involving 2,597 members of producer organizations in rural Uganda. cf the recently reported “rich are more selfish than …

U.S. Senate to consider long overdue reforms on electronic privacy

By Alex Howard
November 27, 2012

In 2010, electronic privacy needed digital due process. In 2012, it’s worth defending your vanishing rights online. This week, there’s an important issue before Washington that affects everyone who sends email, stores files in Dropbox or sends private messages on …

Four short links: 8 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 8, 2012

Gmail Vault -- app to backup and restore the contents of your gmail account. (via Hacker News) Leaving Apps for HTML5 (Technology Review) -- We sold 353 subscriptions through the iPad. We never discovered how to avoid the necessity of designing both landscape and portrait versions of the magazine for the app. We wasted $124,000 on outsourced software development....

Four short links: 9 January 2012

By Nat Torkington
January 9, 2012

Mr Daisey and the Apple Factor (This American Life) -- episode looking at the claims of human rights problems in Apple's Chinese factories. OpenPilot -- open source UAVs with cameras. Yes, a DIY spy drone on autopilot. (via Jim Stogdill) mbox -- more technical information than you ever thought you'd need, to be saved for the time when you...

Publishing News: Amazon and the sub-$300 tablet

By Jenn Webb
September 2, 2011

Can Amazon crack the $300 tablet barrier? Also, Stephen King's latest was available early to those with Klout, and the man who copyrighted "email" 29 years ago says email death notices are premature.

Strata Week: The effort to digitize Palin's email archive

By Audrey Watters
June 16, 2011

In the latest Strata Week: Sarah Palin's 24,000-page email archive gets digitized, location tracking bills are proposed, and LexisNexis gets into the big data game with an alternative to Hadoop.

Strata Week: The effort to digitize Palin's email archive

Strata Week: The effort to digitize Palin's email archive
By Audrey Watters
June 16, 2011

In the latest Strata Week: Sarah Palin's 24,000-page email archive gets digitized, location tracking bills are proposed, and LexisNexis gets into the big data game with an alternative to Hadoop.

Anatomy of a phish

By Mike Loukides
May 3, 2011

Major security breaches sometimes lead to an onslaught of phish emails. Here's a handful of simple ways to spot suspect correspondence and avoid traps.

Four short links: 12 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 12, 2011

The Email Game -- game mechanics to get you answering email more efficiently. Can't wait to hear that conversation with corporate IT. "You want us to install what on the Exchange server?" (via Demo Day Wrapup) Stratified B-trees and versioning dictionaries -- A classic versioned data structure in storage and computer science is the copy-on-write (CoW) B-tree -- it...

Open question: What's the point of inbox zero?

Open question: What's the point of inbox zero?
By Mac Slocum
January 14, 2011

I have more than 10,000 unread messages in my inbox, and I think I'm okay with that. But am I missing something by not pursuing "inbox zero"?

Four short links: 7 January 2011

By Nat Torkington
January 7, 2011

Users Can Self-Report Problems -- users self-report 50% of the problems that professional usability testing uncovers, and they find problems that usability testers don't. (The other way to look at this is: self-reporting only finds half the actual problems in a site) The Learning Behind Gmail Priority Inbox (PDF) -- challenges faced by Gmail Priority Inbox and how they...

Strata gems: What your inbox knows

By Edd Dumbill
December 19, 2010

One of the richest sources of data exhaust, email logs contain valuable information. When added to data from a traditional CRM, email analytics can provide a much fuller picture of your company's relationships and activity.

Four short links: 29 September 2010

By Nat Torkington
September 29, 2010

Digital Mirror Demo (video) -- demo of the Digital Mirror tool that analyses relationships. Some very cute visualizations of social proximity and presentation of the things you can learn from email, calendar, etc. (via kgreene on Twitter) Free Machine Learning Books -- list of free online books from MetaOptimize readers. (via newsycombinator on Twitter) Chewie Stats -- sweet chart...

Strata Week: The challenge of real-time analytics

Strata Week: The challenge of real-time analytics
By Edd Dumbill
September 16, 2010

In the latest edition of Strata Week: Google's introduction of a new search-indexing system highlights an important limitation of MapReduce and Hadoop. Can MapReduce adapt to real-time needs or will others follow Google in creating new architectures for real-time analytics?

Email still isn't dead

By Mac Slocum
September 15, 2010

Despite predictions of its imminent demise, email continues to be a viable medium -- not only for communication, but for advertising as well. In this interview, Thrillist co-founder and Web 2.0 Expo NY speaker Ben Lerer explains why he remains bullish on email.

Email still isn't dead

Email still isn't dead
By Mac Slocum
September 15, 2010

Despite predictions of its imminent demise, email continues to be a viable medium -- not only for communication, but for advertising as well. In this interview, Thrillist co-founder and Web 2.0 Expo NY speaker Ben Lerer explains why he remains bullish on email.

Don't Click That Link! Net & Email Mistakes 101

By William Stanek
March 17, 2010

Get a strange email from an account you think you recognize? You might want to take a closer look. Recently, an email told me, I just won a cool $1,000,000 from an account with the address "award@microsoft.co.uk". A quick look...

Four short links: 22 January 2010

By Nat Torkington
January 22, 2010

notmuch -- commandline tagging and fast search for a mailbox, regardless of which mail client you use. Processing for Android -- pre-release versions of a Processing for Android devices. Mobile visual programming makes for interesting possibilities. Binary Body Double: Microsoft Reveals the Science Behind Project Natal for Xbox 360 -- machine learning to recognize poses and render in the...

Inside Exchange Server 2010: A First Look

By William Stanek
December 1, 2009

William here, talking about my new book Exchange Server 2010 Administrator's Pocket Consultant. This book is designed to be a concise and compulsively usable resource for Exchange Server 2010 administrators. Exchange Server 2010 Administrator's Pocket Consultant covers everything you need...

Four short links: 20 November 2009

By Nat Torkington
November 20, 2009

Spokeo -- abysmal indictment of society, first prize in mankind's race to the bottom. Uncover personal photos, videos, and secrets ... GUARANTEED! Spokeo deep searches within 48 major social networks to find truly mouth-watering news about friends and coworkers. PS, anybody who gives their gmail username and password to a site that specializes in dishing dirt can only be...

Four short links: 28 October 2009

By Nat Torkington
October 28, 2009

GMail Labs: Got The Wrong Bob? -- When's the last time you got an email from a stranger asking, "Are you sure you meant to send this to me?" and promptly realized that you didn't? Looks at the clusters of CCs you send and, if you normally send to Bob X but are trying to send it to Bob...

Four short links: 15 September 2009

By Nat Torkington
September 15, 2009

Why You Shouldn't Do It All Yourself -- this resonated with where I am in a few projects. One of the hardest things to learn in management is how not to do it all yourself. People often call this a problem with "delegation". But the problem isn't with telling others what to do. The problem is learning how not...

Four short links: 7 September 2009

By Nat Torkington
September 7, 2009

App Engine Now Supports XMPP (Jabber) -- messaging servers, whether XMPP or PubSubHubBub, are becoming an increasingly important way to loosely join the small pieces. Google's incorporation of XMPP into GAE reflects this (and the fact that Wave is built on XMPP). (via StPeter on Twitter) Snakes on the Web (Jacob Kaplan-Moss) -- The best way to predict the...

Google Voice + RIA has Potential

By Jesse Freeman
August 17, 2009

I have been fascinated with integrating telephone support into one of my next projects ever since I meet the guys over at Ribbit during Flash On Tap. About two weeks ago I received an email telling me I got a google voice account. The timing couldn't be better.

Obscuring Email Addresses Actually Works

By Kyle Dent
July 25, 2009

I've always wondered if obscuring email addresses on web pages does any good, for example writing "bob at example dot com" instead of displaying the actual email address. It turns out it does

Postfix Postscreen to Increase Your SPF (Spam Protection Factor)

By Kyle Dent
July 7, 2009

Postfix is about to add a new tool to the anti-spam arsenal called "postscreen" for now, but the name is likely to change before it goes into a production release. Among other things postscreen detects when a client starts talking before it's supposed to. It's a daemon that accepts connections ahead of the current SMTP daemon and provides various types of filtering based on the client connection.

Four short links: 23 June 2009

By Nat Torkington
June 23, 2009

Easter Eggs for Real Life (Neil Gaiman) -- ok, I know easter eggs are already part of real life, but this is still cool. Gaiman recommends a restaurant run by a friend, and the friend has set up a special phrase that to mention to the server, at which point something good and special will happen for them to...

Four short links: 11 May 2009

By Nat Torkington
May 10, 2009

OSCAR Canada -- open source healthcare (EMR) software, akin to VistA. Se linuxmednews.com for more. Instaviz -- iPhone app for mindmapping/any other blob-and-line diagram. I'm hypnotised by the correction of a fuzzy hand-drawn circle into a clean crisp algorithmic circle. Buddypress -- open source software that turns a Wordpress installation into a social networking platform. Ok, so social networking...

VoiceMail service for web sites based on Ribbit, are you interested?

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 16, 2009

As you already may know, Ribbit is a relatively new technology that allows developers to integrate voice and rich communication features into websites or applications. Still, there are not many products out there where end users can take advantage of...

A new version of Mail Act-On is in the mail

By Jochen Wolters
October 21, 2008

Indev Software's Mail Act-On extension for Apple Mail has been updated to version 2 last week. Among the new features are an improved user interface, support for undo, and applying rules to outgoing email messages.

Have Apple Mail Pre-Prioritize Your Messages

By Jochen Wolters
July 22, 2008

Handling email has always been a kind of fight for me: unfortunately, I am highly susceptible to procrastination, so as soon as I spot a fresh mailing list digest or a new issue of my favorite Macintosh e-zine in my inbox amongst all those _important_ emails, it's the latter which immediately disappear from my "conscious field of vision." But I think I have found a remedy: simply move those less important emails out of the way and deal with them later, so I can check the more important stuff without being distracted. This approach turned out to work quite well and, thanks to Mail's rules and Smart Mailboxes, it can be fully automated, too.

It’s at the Scene of the Crime, but it’s not the Criminal

By Linda Stone
June 30, 2008

People are saying technology is making us stupid. Technology is shattering our attention. Technology is ruining our children. Technology is making us busier than ever. Taking that train of thought a step further: technology can fix the problem. I believe we can make smarter email and smarter phones - and we should. It just won’t fix the problem. We can...

It’s at the Scene of the Crime, but it’s not the Criminal

By Linda Stone
June 30, 2008

People are saying technology is making us stupid. Technology is shattering our attention. Technology is ruining our children. Technology is making us busier than ever. Taking that train of thought a step further: technology can fix the problem. I believe we can make smarter email and smarter phones - and we should. It just won’t fix the problem. We can...

RIP: Returned Every Email

By Linda Stone
June 28, 2008

I fell in love with email in 1983. I was a computer-savvy educator and children’s librarian teaching teachers about the new technologies ???available to them. Email came into my life, offering immediate gratification: no stamp, no trip to the post office, no phone tag, no long messages. Questions were answered quickly. Personal exchanges often felt as intimate as a written...

RIP: Returned Every Email

By Linda Stone
June 28, 2008

I fell in love with email in 1983. I was a computer-savvy educator and children’s librarian teaching teachers about the new technologies 
available to them. Email came into my life, offering immediate gratification: no stamp, no trip to the post office, no phone tag, no long messages. Questions were answered quickly. Personal exchanges often felt as intimate as a written...

Phone in the Toilet?

By Linda Stone
June 18, 2008

My friend Sara sent me an email: "Linda, Sorry that I'm not able to call you back. My phone fell into the toilet." We live in a world where phones can fall into toilets because our phones are following us everywhere. Untethered. Free. Free to fall into the toilet. Last week, a high school sophomore told me that she brings...

Another Small Brick in Mail.app's Anti-Malware Wall

By Jochen Wolters
June 2, 2008

One of the few "dangerous emails" that made it past my rather aggressive SpamAssassin setup recently was a phishing attempt, claiming to have been sent by Google's AdWords service. When I took a closer look at this email, I noticed a header field that I hadn't come across before, and which adds another useful little helper in the fight against spam-n-scam emails.

Subscribe to the Harold Davis Digital Photography Newsletter

By Harold Davis
April 14, 2008

The time has come, the walrus famously said, to talk of many things (thanks, Lewis Carroll). Rather than shoes, ships, sealing wax, cabbages, and kings, I tend to talk about digital photography. When I came back to photography, I had no idea that the techniques and aesthetics of this wonderful new medium would take over my life. I used a...

Diagnosis: Email Apnea?

By Linda Stone
February 12, 2008

I've just opened my email and there's nothing out of the ordinary there. It's the usual daily flood of schedule, project, travel, information, and junk mail. Then I notice. I'm holding my breath. As the email spills onto my screen,...

Stuffing Six Million Pages Down Google's Throat

By Tim O'Reilly
January 21, 2008

I got two fascinating emails from Jason Hunter over the weekend, both concerning MarkMail, the open source mailing list search engine created by Ryan Grimm and Jason over at MarkLogic. I thought I'd share them, with Jason's permission. The first...

Reducing Email Volume

By Sarah Milstein
August 27, 2007

It's unfashionable to admit these days, but 14 years after getting my first account, I still like email. Of course, the volume is crushing, and so lately, I've been experimenting with email reduction. I'm getting good results with two key...

Could Open Email Work for You?

By Jimmy Guterman
May 25, 2007

Recently I had a case of walking pneumonia that quickly turned into flat-on-my-back pneumonia. The only good thing that came out of it was that I spent a few days away from email. When I returned, there were the better...

Better Gmail

By Tim O'Reilly
April 21, 2007

Lifehacker's Better Gmail extension shows how open source is winning the browser wars.


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