Ongoing Problem of Gmail Images Displaying

May 16, 2009 by Jason Bean  
Filed under Computers

It wasn’t too long ago that I posted an article about having issues with Gmail’s image display settings. There’s a great function where you can tell Gmail to always display images from certain senders. At least it would be a great setting if it worked.


Reading through the comments from my earlier post on this Gmail image issue there are a number of other people experiencing the same challenge. I’m sad they’re going through this too, but it’s good to know it’s not something just unique to my system.

Reposting this to hopefully get a solution from someone out there if you have one. Just leave a comment. I’ve continued looking but still haven’t found anything that makes a difference. I’ve been disabling and re-enabling extensions to see if that might be the culprit, but I haven’t had any success. That makes sense as well since I haven’t made any changes along those lines since everything seemed to be working fine.

Earlier commenter said it may be a Google Labs issue. That would be annoying that one of Google’s own apps is causing the problem. Then they’d start sounding a lot like Microsoft does sometimes!

Grabbing POP3 Mail w/ Gmail

March 23, 2009 by Jason Bean  
Filed under Computers

It’s become one of the crucial components of the way business gets done for me on the computer. I use it to organize information and to communicate with clients, both by e-mail and by instant messaging and chat. It’s Gmail.

Recently while at a client where I could not get POP3 email to send or receive with my settings behind their firewall I decided to try Gmail’s hand at accessing and sending e-mail from my other business POP3 accounts with the Gmail interface.

Things were easy to setup and manage from within the interface. That was expected, as for the most part getting things working with Google apps is usually not too major of an undertaking.

Image: Snagit from Gmail Accounts Setup

Image: Snagit from Gmail Accounts Setup

The challenge though is when I’m no longer onsite with that particular client. Gmail keeps checking those accounts for mail instead of just letting me handle it through Outlook 2007. Normally that wouldn’t be that big of a deal because I configured Gmail to leave copies of the mail on the server, so I’m not missing it from Outlook. I’m just having to manage the mail twice now to delete the copy in Gmail.

What I’d really like to be able to do is to “inactivate” those accounts in my Gmail interface without having to delete them completely. No such luck though. As long as the accounts are loaded in Gmail, they will continue to get checked for new email. For that reason I’ve just deleted them and will manage accessing those accounts via their independent webmail sites.

It sure would have been handy though to just keep using Gmail to consolidate all that information and communication. Not quite ready for that though as it relates to my needs from a business stand point.

Privacy Groups Lobby Against Gmail, Picasa

March 18, 2009 by Rachel Segal  
Filed under Computers

Cloud computing is up for hot debate among privacy groups these days - and Google is in the hot seat. The issue? Your privacy. It appears Google might not be doing all they could be to protect sensitive user data.



And one group is even suggesting that Gmail be shut down. You heard me right…shut down. Now before you start panicking and wondering were this is going…this was only one extreme suggestion if the FTC determined that Google was only “protecting” your data with one flimsy password like “search engine”. We’re not quite at that point yet.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has petitioned the FTC to investigate privacy concerns over the piles of online services Google offers. Recently Google Docs came under fire when a security blip made previously private documents visible to the public. While I wouldn’t use Google Docs for information that I see as sensitive and confidential, the point remains the same - if you want it to be private…it should stay private.

So what’s next? The FTC is aware (and has been aware) of this issue and will surely keep an eye on things - if another Google Docs incident comes up, then it’s likely the issue of privacy in cloud computing will need to be addressed more directly. In the meantime, Google’s main issue is to manage the public perception of their products properly…and try to reduce any fears or reservations about privacy that might get blown out of proportion (rightly or not) as a result of this issue.

From Those Who Welcome Spam

January 27, 2009 by Sravan  
Filed under Computers

Gmail is a pretty good mail service provided by Google which strives towards accurately catching spam, and is very successful in catching the phish. One thing that empowers the people behind Gmail is the volumes that Google sees.

The Google Enterprise Mail is apparently a much-in-demand service too and it has a Google Enterprise “spam squad” who welcome spam so as to analyze and counter them. Nearly a month after the new year started, they have posted a retrospective post “2008: The Year in Spam” which you may go through if you have time. Otherwise this summary will suffice.

Closing the McColo Network culled spam by 70% in Nov, 2008, but it has been growing at a rate of 156% ever since. The highest spam last year, however, was on April 23rd, where one undisclosed customer reported receiving 100 emails per minute per user. The unsurprising bad news is that, “All indicators suggest this trend (read increase) will continue as virus, malware, and link-based attacks become both more frequent and more ingenious.” Sigh.

What I observed in my inbox is backed by the report as another growing trend: “emailing spoofed news alerts with URLs that would link to a website hosting the virus.”

Watch out and defend yourself.

Gmail on Your Desktop

December 2, 2008 by Sravan  
Filed under Computers

Ways to run web services through desktop apps are constantly explored especially for oft-used ones. Desktop apps are preferred to web services because they tend to use less resources. Today, Gmail can be run as a desktop application through two means: Google Gadgets and Mozilla Prism.

Gmail With Google Gadgets: To run the official Gmail Google Gadget, you will need Google Desktop 5 or above installed on your computer. The gadget is tiny (79KB) and offers all the basic features of Gmail including reading, sending, searching and starring messages; keyboard shortcuts; and contact auto-complete. But it doesn’t yet have the sound notification for new messages received. The gadget has been released only yesterday and is bound to have bugs though I hope they are fewer than in iGoogle.

Gmail With Mozilla Prism: Mozilla has been working on a project called Prism (add-on) which can be used to convert any website into a stand-alone desktop application outside the browser. Prism is available as a Firefox add-on, and is easy to use. You can read my opinion on Prism in greater detail here and let me know if you need any help with creating your own desktop app of your favorite website. I’ve tried this five months ago, so there is a good chance that the technology has gotten better.

Forgot the Attachment!

November 3, 2008 by Sravan  
Filed under Computers

A friend of mine once defined the tiniest measurable period of time as the time between you sending a mail and then remembering that you forgot making the attachment. How many times have we clicked “Send” without adding the attachment? A few of the instances may have been embarrassing as well. If only there was a way.

I’ve trained myself to add the attachments before composing the mail and to fill the address fields after composing the mail. Just so that I would neither forget an attachment, nor send to the wrong person. You could try that, or an easier way is to use an attachment reminder.

An attachment reminder is a simple function that makes one pass across the text in your composed mail searching for the substring “attach” (and perhaps common spelling mistakes around “attach”) and gives you an error message if you haven’t made an attachment. These are tiny apps (rather plug-ins) and you will be able to find one for most email clients with a straight-forward search.

Following are three widely used ones.

1. Forgotten Attachment Detector: Gmail’s attachment reminder. Go to Gmail -> Settings -> Labs. Scroll down a bit to find the feature and enable it.

2. Outlook Attachment Reminder: Mark Bird’s attachment reminder is an Outlook macro that you can easily add following the instructions in the attachment reminder’s home page.

3. AttachmentRemember: This Thunderbird attachment reminder is an add-in (.XPI) with a wide range of features (custom words and sentences to scan) and is available in multiple languages.

Let me know if you have trouble with any of these attachment reminders.

Most used PC tool

June 19, 2008 by Jesse  
Filed under Computers

I was looking at my Eee PC computer the other day and I was trying to figure what applications I should leave on there. I decided to ask you all what programs you might use on a daily basis. Then I decided I’d probably get answers like, “YouPorn and Firefox or my web cam for chatting up on CamContacts.” These would not be helpful to me as I need to keep these around anyway.

OpenOffice.Image via WikipediaI looked through and figured out what apps I rely on. Firefox is probably the most used. I chat with Meebo, read my email through Gmail, write this blog via WordPress and search Google all in this wonderful browser. Second to that came Skype. It’s an important application to keep around because I use it daily to chat with friends near and far and have video chats with family members. Finally, the Microsoft Office suite. I know that I could use Open Office or Google Docs (which I use regularly) for all of my reading and writing needs but there’s something clean about Microsoft’s version. I still use 2003, since 2007 seems to be a memory hog on most of my machines (and I don’t have much to spare on the Eee).

After that, I can pretty much remove all of my other applications. Now I open the floor up to you. What do you use the most on your PC? Or Mac? Or Linux variant? Go ahead and share your dirty secrets. It’ll make you feel better.

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