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August 15, 2006

Email forwarding throwdown — Google v Yahoo: Two email addresses enter, one leaves

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Last week I was reading the Wall Street Journal and came upon its "Quick Fix" feature, by Lyneka Little.

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It follows.

    Redirecting an Email

    The Problem: Heading out of the office on vacation but waiting for the response to an important email.

    The Solution: Have the reply sent to an alternate email address.

    Outlook, the email program used in many offices, allows users to send replies to a message to another email address that can be accessed through a mobile device or via any computer.

    This option will reroute all responses to a particular message sent from Outlook. To set up the feature, start by creating a new message, click on view, scroll down and click on options, check the box marked "have replies sent to" and add the email address where you would like the reply sent. Then, follow the usual steps of creating and sending a new message.

    Other email programs also offer the option of redirecting replies. On Gmail, for example, you can also specify which emails should be automatically sent elsewhere by using the "create a filter" option.

    The Caveat: If the email is sent to your mobile device as a text message, you may be unable to reply.

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The results of my efforts follow.

I was able, with not too much difficulty, to get into the Gmail options pages and successfully forward my Gmail address.

Bonus: Google offered the option of also receiving the email in my Gmail Inbox, which I accepted.

I mean, belt + suspenders when it comes to techie stuff.

Then, feeling really full of myself, I decided to see if I could forward my Yahoo mail.

Not anytime soon.

Turns out that I couldn't for the life of me find an option to do that in my Yahoo mail settings.

When I searched Google for help, I got this Yahoo mail help page.

Below, the relevant portion.

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I clicked on "Why am I unable to forward my Yahoo! Mail?"

That took me here.

Below, the relevant portion.

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But when I went to my Yahoo mail account and clicked "'Mail Options' in the upper right-hand area of the page," the page that opened up did not — repeat, not — have a "POP Access & Forwarding" link under the "Management" column.

Huh?

Thwarted.

Make the user feel stupid and incompetent: the first rule of poor web design and interface.

Yahoo has mastered it, without a doubt.

But I kept gnawing away and finally discovered an article from back in 2002 on ZDNet that described Yahoo's decision to no longer offer free email forwarding.

From that point on they would charge $29.99 a year for this privilege, free as you might have noticed on Google.

Huh.

I decided to proceed.

After a few more blind alleys I managed to find a page where I could sign up for Yahoo mail plus for $19.99 a year.

It includes email forwarding.

I paid the price and now have Yahoo mail plus and lo and behold my Yahoo mail now goes right into my Mac Mailbox.

But it's still not as good as Google's service, not just because it costs but also because Yahoo mail plus does not offer the option to have a copy of the mail stay in your Yahoo mail box — forwarding means that's the only copy that will exist.

Pretty revelatory, all in all.

Yahoo's got so far to go to become user-friendly I really do wonder if they'll ever catch up to the masters.

August 15, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ultra-Lightweight Tri-Axial Folding Seat

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"Only the superficial judge by more than appearances" — Oscar Wilde

Then I'm really deep 'cause I just love the look of this seat.

From the website:

    Ultra-Lightweight Folding Seat

    Super-light and compact, there’s no reason to leave this luxury at home on your next camping trip.

    This 18 oz. wonder supports a hefty 200 lbs. on a full-width polyester seat.

    And folds to 13" long x 1-3/4" wide.

    Drawstring storage bag included.

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Don't limit your vision to the camping space.

$20.

August 15, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Most interesting article in this past weekend's papers

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Thomas Vinciguerra wrote the piece, which appeared in the Sunday, August 13 New York Times.

Long story short: It's about how choosing the right — or wrong — name for something can determine its fate, whether success or failure.

Absolutely superb.

Here it is.

    Titles That Didn’t Smell as Sweet

    In late 1924, a young writer sent his new novel, “Trimalchio in West Egg,” to Charles Scribner’s Sons. The publishers hated the title. “Consider as quickly as you can a change,” wrote the editor, Maxwell Perkins.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald quickly complied; he substituted “The Great Gatsby.”

    What’s in a name?

    Plenty, especially if there is big money at stake. Take the Samuel L. Jackson thriller “Snakes on a Plane,” which will be released this week. If the movie has spurred more than the usual amount of summer-blockbuster buzz, it is owing in large part to the scary tell-all title.

    Yet at one point, executives at New Line Cinema renamed the release “Pacific Air 121,” because they didn’t want to give away the plot. Mr. Jackson was appalled. “Nobody wants to see ‘Pacific Air 121,’ ’’ he told Entertainment Weekly. “That’s like saying ‘Boat to Heaven.’ ” New Line relented.

    The arts and the media are filled with works conceived with different names. Margaret Mitchell thought about calling her novel of the Old South “Tote the Weary Load,” “Not in Our Stars” or “Bugles Sang True” before settling on “Gone With the Wind.” The editor Jann Wenner originally wanted to call Rolling Stone The Electric Newspaper. The creators of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” seriously considered “Owl Stretching Time,” “The Toad Elevating Moment” and “Bunn, Wackett, Buzzard, Stubble and Boot” for their brainchild.

    It’s a tricky business, but there are a few rules of thumb.

    “Short, simple names like ‘Titanic’ work well,” said Naseem Javed, president of ABC Namebank, a consulting firm based in New York and Toronto that specializes in corporate branding. “A beautiful name that looks great on a movie poster but which you can’t remember doesn’t work,’’ he said. “But unusual names like ‘Jurassic Park’ or dramatic ones like ‘Jaws’ park very well in your mind.”

    David Brown, who co-produced “Jaws,” recalled that Peter Benchley, the novel’s author, struggled to come up with another name to suit his publisher. “They thought ‘Jaws’ would sound like a dentistry book,” Mr. Brown said.

    Short and simple should not be confused with general or banal in creating a memorable title, according to David Permut, a producer whose credits include “Blind Date” and “Face/Off.” He cited “It Could Happen to You” (1994), which starred Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda. The working title was “Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip.”

    “I remember when that project was under development,” Mr. Permut said, “and I remember the original title sooner than the other one.”

    Frequently, a change is made in the interest of taste. The Oscar-winning 1968 Mel Brooks comedy “Springtime for Hitler” was downgraded to “The Producers.” Similarly, the movie version of Mr. Brooks’s TV series “Get Smart” went to theaters in 1980 as “The Nude Bomb” but was retitled as the less risqué “The Return of Maxwell Smart” when released to network television.

    Not infrequently, coming up with a fresh name backfires. The first Godzilla sequel was called “Revenge of Godzilla” for its premiere in Japan in 1955. Its American distributors toyed with the name “Godzilla Raids Again.” But to trick audiences into thinking they were seeing a brand-new behemoth, they settled on “Gigantis: The Fire Monster.” When the movie was dubbed, the characters kept referring to Godzilla as Gigantis. As a result, the movie is largely a forgotten entry in the franchise.

    A major consideration is avoiding confusion. Joseph Heller’s World War II novel “Catch-18” was renamed “Catch-22” because Leon Uris was about to publish his own war novel, “Mila 18.” (Arguably, the alliterative and palindromic number made for a better title.)

    Some titles are just placeholders until a better idea comes along. Before the Beatles came up with the lyrics to “Yesterday,” they jokingly referred to it as “Scrambled Eggs.” With the climax on Mount Rushmore in “North by Northwest” in mind, Alfred Hitchcock quipped that the film should be called “The Man in Lincoln’s Nose.”

    A catchy phrase doesn’t guarantee success. The original title of Adolf Hitler’s 1926 magnum opus was “Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice.” Hitler’s publisher, Max Amann, said that such a turgid title would never sell, so he shortened it to “Mein Kampf,” or “My Struggle.” The change didn’t do much good; the book became a best seller only after Hitler came to power.

    Mr. Brown believes that the entertainment industry is currently in a naming slump. “Movie titles baffle me now because they’re watered down,” he said. “A title must be different and even crazy. You can’t mistake ‘Spamalot’ for anything else, even if you don’t know what it means. But ‘Bewitched’? Forget about it.”

August 15, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Backwoods Barbie Backpack

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Finally.

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From the website:
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Mini Duluth Pack

This cute little miniature #3 Duluth Pack will make your Christmas tree unique.

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Made of our 15-ounce canvas with real leather backpack straps and even a tiny moosehead logo.

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Makes a great gift for your canoeing buddies.

It even fits Barbie!

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4" x 4".

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Made in Duluth, Minnesota.
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Below, the other side.

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I'm thinking evening bag for a girl who's got pizzazz to burn.

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In (from the top down) Pink, Red, Burgundy, Tangerine, Spruce, Olive Drab, Navy and Black.

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$7.

August 15, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Concert Ticket Generator

Juokj

A most interesting website.

Dave Donohue, who sent it my way, wrote, "Just in case your readers need to fabricate ticket stubs from shows they never went to."

Me, being the random actor I am, I immediately thought about other, less innocent applications.

I was also reminded of something that happened back in Milwaukee when I was a boy, still one of the funniest things ever.

My younger brother, our best friend and I went to Braves game, as we did most days during summer vacation.

We'd buy general admission tickets, then stealthily move down into the lower box seats around the fifth or sixth inning.

Anyhow, as we were making our way down, my brother found some box seat stubs, discarded by people who'd already left.

We said to him, throw your general admission stub away, just in case an usher comes up to you and asks to see your ticket.

He said, "Naaah."

Well.

We finally get down to the first row, right between home and third.

An usher comes down and says, "Can I see your tickets?"

No problem for me and our bud, who'd discarded our original stubs; my brother reaches into his pocket, grabs a stub, and pulls out... his general admission ticket.

"You kids get outa here."

Boy, mad doesn't begin to describe us.

We were all over little brother the rest of the day.

Ha.

[via Dave Donohue and davedonohue.com]

August 15, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

joePod DOA

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Cryptic, what?

Long story short: Apple Computer's lawyerbots have just been deployed to search out and destroy, via cease-and-desist letters, products and applications using the word "Pod" in their names.

In today's Financial Times Richard Waters reports from the newest infringement front.

    Apple claims legal right to the word 'Pod'

    Apple has laid legal claim to the word "Pod," arguing that other companies that use the word as part of their product names risk infringing the trademark of its popular iPod music player.

    The legal campaign, which in recent days has drawn challenges to products with names such as Profit Pod and TightPod, reflects a broader attempt by some of the most successful consumer technology companies to prevent their best-known product names slipping into common usage beyond their control.

    This month, Google drew attention to its own long-running battle to defend the trademark in its name when it wrote to the Washington Post to protest at the use of the verb "to google", though examples of similar warning letters date back at least four years.

    Lawyers acting for Apple have in recent days written to at least two companies that use the word "Pod" asking them to drop the word from their product names, though the wider extent of the legal challenge remains unclear.

    Dave Ellison, whose company, Mach5Products, makes the Profit Pod [top], said he had been sent a "cease and desist" request by Apple's lawyers last week, just after receiving trademark recognition for his product name in the US.

    In its letter, Apple's lawyer said the name of the handheld device, an infrared scanner that is used to record activity on arcade video game machines, was based on a "a POD-formative mark and incorporates a substantial portion of Apple's iPod mark". Among other similarities alleged by Apple, "both devices receive and transmit data and are used with computers [and] both are used inconnection with video games".

    Mr Ellison contested Apple's claim, arguing that his company's product was not sold to consumers and that he and his wife, Carolee, had thought up the name around five years ago, before they had heard of the iPod, which was introduced in 2001. "I'm not going to change the name - it's not like they offered us anything for it," he said.

    Terry Wilson, maker of TightPods, slip-on covers [below]

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    designed to protect electronic products such as laptops and MP3 players, said that she had also been challenged by Apple after trying to get trademark protection for her product name: "I'll change the name if [they] will pay for the expenses of doing so - it's expensive."

    The success of the iPod has led to widespread adoption of the word "Pod" in relation, for instance in the term podcasting.

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Rats.

Just when the crack research team, out back in the skunk works, was putting the finishing touches on the coolest bookofjoe accessory ever.

Oh, well — back to the ironing board.

Ioooop

Wait a minute....

August 15, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Launches Blog

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No joke.

It's at www.ahmadinejad.ir, available in Persian, Arabic, English and French.

It would appear I was right on the money two months ago when on June 6 I welcomed, for the very first time ever, readers from the Islamic Republic of Iran to bookofjoe.

So as not to tax your memory, here's what I wrote:
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For the first time ever that country makes up a percentage of my readership high enough to make the pie chart (above, a snapshot taken moments ago of my current traffic).

Who knows?

Perhaps President Ahmadinejad himself reads it.

Anything for whirled peas, I say.

w00t!....................

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Videre est credere.

August 15, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Virtual Clock

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Made of pure light.

From the website:

    Analog Projection Clock

    Unlike typical projection clocks that produce a simple digital display, this device shows the time in a classic analog face, including a fully-animated sweep-second hand, creating a crisp, clear wall clock made of pure light.

    The bright clock face image can be up to 3 feet in diameter depending on the proximity of the projection box placement to the wall.

    The clock shows Arabic numerals at the cardinal points.

    The sturdy projection box is made of durable injection-molded acrylic that is completely transparent, revealing the internal lamp, mirrors, and lens mechanism that generates the projected light.

    The lamp's bulb is an 80-watt halogen that generates 700 candlepower to create a crisp image with sharply defined numerals and edges on any vertical flat surface.

    The lightweight projection box can be placed on a tabletop, bookshelf or other flat surface or mounted to the ceiling (hardware not included).

    Plugs into AC.

    7"H x 4"W x 7"D.

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What is it with all these cool clocks lately?

Jjikjijik

$159.95.

August 15, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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