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Shoot The Messenger

Every time I start to feel warm and fuzzy about Microsoft something jumps up and slaps me back to reality. Here’s my latest slap: For some reason my Trillian messenger wasn’t connecting to MSN because of some weirdness with my ISP so I had to download and install the 9 MB behemoth that is MSN Messenger. As usual it tried to change my homepage (at least it asked first, which I don’t remember the MSN Search bar doing so) but it worked ok. But try closing it down and you get an error message: Which says: There are other applications currently using features provided byContinue readingShoot The Messenger

Plaxo Moves Into Macland

Plaxo, the software and service that lets you update your contact details with others — and lets them update theirs with you — automatically, is now available for Mac. A press release issued today (thanks, Joseph) says the move “represents a major step toward the company’s vision to offer the first truly universal personal contact management service, accessible on any platform, email client, browser, or mobile device.” This is an interesting way of putting it. Plaxo has weathered the criticism about privacy concerns — some of them from this humble blog, despite my support for the service as a whole — to expand beyond MicrosoftContinue readingPlaxo Moves Into Macland

The Fate Of The Home Productivity Suite

I was asked by a PR firm on behalf of Corel to give my thoughts about office productiviy suites used in the home. I don’t always do that sort of thing, but I thought why not turn it into a blog posting, thereby avoiding any danger of being perceived as aiding and abetting a company I write about (hard to imagine that my ramblings might be seen as helpful, but you never know). Here, for what they’re worth (and I don’t think they’re worth very much) are my thoughts, post-long day at the office, post-chicken tikka and a Heineken, or, cough, two: 1. What isContinue readingThe Fate Of The Home Productivity Suite

Where Did That Email Come From?

An interesting new tool from the guys behind the controversial DidTheyReadIt?: LocationMail. (For some posts on DidTheyReadIt, check out here, here, here and here.) LocationMail tells you where e-mail was sent from. It uses the most accurate data in the world to analyze your e-mail, trace it, and look up where the sender was when the message was sent. Find out where your friend was when she e-mailed you, or where a business contact is really writing from. LocationMail integrates seamlessly into Outlook or Outlook Express; once installed, it shows you location information next to each message. LocationMail shows the City, State, Country, Company, ISP, and ConnectionContinue readingWhere Did That Email Come From?

SpamBully Grows Up

A second version SpamBully, a Bayesian filter based spam fighter, has been released. SpamBully 2.0 integrates into Outlook and Outlook Express and introduces some new features: Email blocked based on the language of the email or the country of origin; A link analyzer looks for spam by following links in an email and analyzing the web pages. Realtime Blackhole List integration continually checks for domains that are responsible for sending spam and automatically filters them from the Inbox; Users can choose words and phrases they wish to allow or block from their Inbox; Customizable languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Russian, and Chinese. TheseContinue readingSpamBully Grows Up

Another Way To Find Stuff At Home and On The Net

Here’s another one of those tools that should have been around a long, long time ago (in fact one was but it went away: AltaVista Discovery. And don’t get me started on Enfish Tracker). It’s the desktop search engine that indexes your hard drive, the net, all that kind of stuff. Welcome to HotBot Desktop. HotBot’s Desktop will let you “search local files, email (Outlook & Outlook Express), browser history, and RSS subscriptions. The HotBot Desktop creates a local index to allow you to quickly find local content as you are on or offline.” It also comes with a RSS feed reader and a built-in popContinue readingAnother Way To Find Stuff At Home and On The Net

In Plaxo-land, There’s Still Some Confusion

This Plaxo issue is confusing. But it’s still worrying.   Here’s the story so far: Plaxo is a way to keep your contacts up to date, and it works well and simply. But privacy has been an issue: Can you trust a company to keep your personal data — not just your own details, but all your contacts who also use Plaxo — safe? Plaxo have been quite convincing about this issue, which is why I and a lot of other people use the service: More than a million, according to their website.   But here’s the tricky bit: In recent months I’ve noticed thatContinue readingIn Plaxo-land, There’s Still Some Confusion

Software: An End To Driver Hell?

 From the Simple But Useful Dept comes news of software from China that helps you back up drivers — software needed to run hardware — so if something goes wrong, you don’t end up rummaging through old CDs, cardboard boxes or floppy piles to find the right driver. Driver Magician can also back up and restore more items such as My Documents folder, Desktop, Registry, Internet Explorer favorite folder, Outlook Express mail files, Outlook Express mail rule, Outlook Express mail accounts and Outlook Express address book. Full version costs $25.

News: Outlook Ex-press? Or Look Out Ex, Press? Or Press Outlook, Ex?

 From the Do Microsoft Have Any Idea What They’re Doing? Dept comes another story about Microsoft products not quite gelling with reality. ZDNet Australia last week interviewed Microsoft Office product manager Dan Leach who said that Microsoft planned to halt development of Outlook Express, the email client that comes bundled with the browser Internet Explorer. Basically Microsoft seemed to hope everybody would upgrade to the Outlook collossus.   Fast forward two days, and scratch all that.   “I sat down with the Windows team today,” ZDNet quoted Leach as saying, ”and they tell me my comments were inaccurate. Outlook Express was in sustain engineering, but customersContinue readingNews: Outlook Ex-press? Or Look Out Ex, Press? Or Press Outlook, Ex?

News: Yes! Another Spam Solution

  I feel this blog is becoming spamblog. Really. I plough through dozens of press releases every day just to find something good for you guys, and it’s all about spam. Here’s another one (and it’s just the headline): MailFrontier Matador(TM) 3.0 Learns and Adapts to Offer Consistent Maximum Spam Protection Over Time Also Protects Mobile Devices from the Increasing Spam Deluge. Excellent. That at least is interesting, although they’ll be really upset when they realise most screens will only read the first half, which will be MailFrontier Matador(TM) 3.0 Learns and Adapts to Offer Consistent Maximum Spam. Anyway, I digress.   MailFrontier’s new release isContinue readingNews: Yes! Another Spam Solution

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