The Ugly Backside of Online Backup

I was just showing off my new Gmail/Remember the Milk marriage, which is truly a cool tool and worth checking out, to my slightly less new wife. Her response was: but it’s online. How can I use it if I’m offline? I slapped her about verbally, of course, because you can’t be doing with that …

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Xdrive’s New Clothes

AOL is unveiling a new media sharing and storage service, BlueString, which gets a positive write-up from Rafe Needleman at Webware. I remain more skeptical (I give it a ten minut.es write-up here.) Rafe is reliable on this kind of thing, so I take his word for it, but I’m nervous about AOL after a …

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How To Blow It From “From”

I’m amazed by how many times this happens, and it always seems to be PR folk in the technology industry who are the culprits: An email where the sender, say Geoff Blah, hasn’t filled in the ‘From’ field in his email program or service so it appears in my inbox as from ‘gblah@aol.com’ or, sometimes, just …

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Phone as Beacon

The idea that your cellphone may become a beacon of your availability took one small step closer yesterday, although you’d be forgiven for not noticing amid all the post-turkey bloat. The theory is this. Cellphones have gotten smarter, but they still miss one vital ingredient that computer users have had for years: presence. Anyone using …

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An Advertising Conundrum

I guessed this would happen eventually: through one of the advertising aggregators I use for this blog a service I’ve been critical of has submitted an ad. Do I accept it? Advertising aggregators provide a service to companies by letting them place banner and other web ads on participating blogs. I’ve been trying FeedBurner, for …

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Sneaky Software: AOL’s Bad

AOL 9.0 (free version) Status: Open Inquiry In our preliminary findings, we
find that AOL 9.0 (free version) is currently badware because it installs
additional software without telling the user, it forces the user to take
certain actions, it adds various components to Internet Explorer and the
taskbar without disclosure, it may automatically update without the
user’s consent, and it fails to uninstall completely. We currently
recommend that users do not install the version of AOL software that we
tested, unless the user is comfortable with the level of risk we identify or
until the application is updated consistent with the recommendations in
this report. OVERALL RATING Badware Behavior Installs

The Message Behind Instant Messaging

Be careful what you wish for. For nearly a decade I, and a lot of people like me, have been dreaming of the day when we could send an instant message to someone who wasn’t on the network as us. An instant messaging program is one that sits on your computer and allows you to …

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Shrines to Frustration

It’s depressing that two gripes I’ve posted, both at least a year old, continue to get comments which push both posts to the top of the search engines. My grumbles about accessing Xdrive, an online storage service bought by AOL, comes out top if you search for xdrive problems on Google. Search for cancel napster …

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Netscape Diggs In and Elbows Out the Competition

AOL/Netscape has launched a beta of its new homepage that looks uncannily like Digg, a hugely popular site for techies to publish stuff and have their stories sorted by popularity. Actually it not only looks like Digg, two of the top three stories are Digg’s. AOL’s been smart tho: visit the source page and you …

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Xdrive Responds: Patience, Please

Further to several comments from readers about problems with Xdrive, the online storage service recently bought by AOL, I sought comment from their PR. Here, somewhat belatedly, is what they have to say: Recently, Xdrive began a system upgrade designed to improve the quality and overall performance of the Xdrive experience. When complete, these upgrades …

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