Joho the Blog » 2002 » November

November 30, 2002

Simple Email

All I want is the world’s simplest email client. It’s for my in-laws who are very bright but completely untutored in computers. I’ve tried teaching them, but when they click off a menu they didn’t want and accidentally click on another window that comes forward obscuring the original window, they get lost. And who’s to blame them.

So, here are my requirements:

It’s got to run on Windows 2000. That’s what they have. And, frankly, the Mac UI isn’t going to be much easier for them.

They need to connect to the SMTP and POP3 servers that comes with their ISP.

It should all be in one window.

It should let them: Compose mail. Show the dozen or so addresses they use repeatedly. Delete. List received mail. Print out. Maybe let them search for old emails.

Have a clear, English, big-font UI.

I’ve done a fair bit of looking and can’t find what I want. I’m thinking of writing one myself. It’ll be crappy for sure, and it’ll be hard-wired and fragile. If you know of something that’ll fit the bill, lemme know. Thanks.

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Mass v Micro

Massachusetts is going it alone in the suit against Microsoft.

Remember, we were the only state to vote for McGovern in the Nixon landslide of ’72. Time to break out those vintage “Don’t blame me, I’m from Massachusetts” bumperstickers.

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November 29, 2002

Norlin on Anonymity

Eric Norlin is arguing that we need to get more subtle and flexible with our concept of anonymity. I’ms sure he’s right. We’re already working out issues about who we are, who we say we are, who we pretend to be, and who we can prove we are. As the legal requirements become more pressing, we’re going to end up with more formal answers.

My only hope is that the practices that are emerging shape the law, rather than the other way ’round.

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November 28, 2002

Happy, Thanks. Not Really Giving.

My family is at my sister’s in Connecticut. It’d be just plain rude for me to spend time blogging today…

Enjoy your tofu substitute, with all the trimmings!

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November 27, 2002

Spam I Almost Bit

This morning I received a fax from “Arthur Moore” on behalf of “Communication Advisors LLC” telling me that I’ve “been recommended to participate as a member of the advisory Board for a telphone company, which will be fully licensed and oeprating in the U.S.A.” For just 2-3 hours per month of telephone consulting I will be compensated with a “potential income in excess of $100,000.00″

Good one! An appeal to my vanity. An offer of potential riches. But the line at the bottom gave it away: “If you would like to be removed from our database, please call toll free 1-866-446-1905.”

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November 26, 2002

Ads Fastforwarding over You

Tom Matrullo has discovered that ads written in Macromedia Flash 6 have the ability to peer into our rooms via our computers’ microphones and webcams. You have to set your Flash 6 settings to permit this, and it’s probably just part of Macromedia’s attempt to turn Flash into a ubiquitous multimedia platform (best of all: it’s not from Microsoft), but the very capability is scary in a world of highly-motivated corporate and government hackers.

A few days ago, I blogged a note in Linux World about the technical ability to turn speakers into microphones. I find the discovery of surveillance-ware inside of Flash much more disconcerting. As they say on the Macromedia home page: “Over 97.8% of all web users have the Macromedia Flash Player.”

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November 25, 2002

Top Ten Things a Blog Is

Halley explains blogs ten ways till Sunday.

At least her link to JOHO is just a mild parody of me and not “that A/V guy who was a putz in 8th grade.” (Good thing. I didn’t graduate to putz until 9th grade. In grade 8 I was just a low-grade schmuck.)

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Navy Attacks CyberTerror

The Naval Academy has seized computers from 100 midshipmen looking for “illegally” downloaded copyrighted material according to this article. The Navy plunged into action in response to a letter sent from the RIAA to colleges and universities.

[Thanks to Greg Cavanagh for forwarding the link.]

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Diamonds

Doc writes:

The kid spotted the galaxy Andromeda straight overhead. I could barely see it. “It’s not dark enough to see the arms,” he said. I said I had heard that Andromeda and the Milky Way were on a collision course and due to become one galaxy in about three billion years, which was about the same age as most diamonds found on Earth.

In the hands of a good writer, facts can be moving.

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Pinnacle Anal

Gary Turner runs a screen capture of an unfortunate line break in a message from Microsoft, thus giving me an excuse to run the following pointless, unjustified ridicule: click here to open the screen capture in a new window.

The fact that Pinnacle Studio version 7 is still so buggy that it can’t compile the videos that you edit is my only excuse for engaging in such pettiness. Yeah, sure.

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