May 8, 2010

Updated Analytics



Note that some countries, those Eastern Europe and Africa especially don't have dots, possibly because those IP addresses are not city specific (?).

Some things you shouldn't have to convince people of...

Gmail is better than Hotmail...and any other free web-based e-mail service. But...apparently there's still some people still using really basic web-mail services and mediocre e-mail services like Yahoo and even AOL Some e-mail services don't have sent folders...I can't imagine how annoying it would be to not have that feature...

I won't waste time explaining why because that's been done many times before but I want to remove one last excuse people use to not switch and make life a lot easier. Some don't switch because they don't want to go through the "hassle" of it. In fact...you can switch to using Gmail and keep your old email address...just follow these simple steps.


gmail-logo-google-tm
Odds are, if you were an email early-adopter, you didn’t use Gmail (the best webmail service). Many people still use Hotmail, AOL, or some other totally subpar service. The problem is, switching is a massive pain: you have to tell everyone your new address, check two email addresses forever- it’s just not worth doing.
Actually, it’s not worth doing unless you’re switching to Gmail. Gmail realizes that many people are doing this, and has made the process of moving your email to Gmail incredibly easy.
Here is how, in 4 steps and about 10 minutes, you can switch to Gmail forever, without missing a beat.
1. Create Your Email There are tons of Gmail accounts still open, despite the fact that it’s growing so fast in popularity. At the Gmail Sign Up page, play around until you find what you want. Good starting points: your current email, firstname.lastname, firstinitiallastname, and so on. You can’t go wrong, just find something that’ll work for you. A piece of advice, though: don’t get too ridiculous, or it gets hard to remember- things based off your name, profession or both are safe ways to go.
2. See Your Email Once you’ve verified Gmail and opened it, we start importing your email into Gmail. At the top of the page, click “Settings”. From there, go to “Accounts.” Scroll down and select “Get mail from other accounts.” Select “Add another mail account.” Input your email address and select “Next Step.” Enter your username and password for your current email. Next, enter the POP server for your current email server (you can find it on your email- mail.hotmail.com, or mail.aol.com, etc. etc.).
addaccount
The port # is also something to find on your current email website. Enter those, and then move down. You have to decide whether to leave copies of emails in your old email’s inbox, which is probably a good idea to do- at least while you work out the kinks. Make sure “Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail” is connected. Choose whether or not to “Label incoming messages”, and then select the label to apply. Labels work like folders, and will help to figure out which account the email is coming from.
The last option is to “Archive incoming messages.” If you’re using this is as your primary account, don’t select this- you’ll never see your email.
Once you’re done, click “Add Account.” Then, it’s time to move on to step three.
3. Send Your Email Once you’ve selected “Add Account,” you should get a page saying “Would you also like to be able to send mail as (your old email)?” Select Yes, and click “Next Step”. Enter the name from which you want to send your emails, and click “Next Step.” Then, tell Gmail to “Send Verification.” It will send an email to your old account, with a link you can click to verify that you own the email address.
emailas
Once you’ve done that, you’re all set! When sending an email, you’ll be able to send it from your Hotmail or AOL account, right from Gmail. Over time, I suggest weeding out that account and only using Gmail, but it’s totally up to you. Just one last thing…
4. Reply To Your Email Go back to “Settings,” and “Accounts.” Under “Send Mail As”, you should see the email addresses you’re able to send mail from. (Keep in mind, this list can be as large as you want). Underneath, there’s a setting for “When receiving a message:” Here, you can either choose to always respond to messages from your Gmail address, or from the address to which the email was sent. Particularly if you still like your old email address, or if a lot of people still have it, set it to “Reply from the same address the message was sent to.” That way, if email is sent to youremail@aol.com, you’ll automatically reply from youremail@aol.com.
Now, whenever you’re sending email in Gmail, you’ll have a list in your “From” field that looks like this:
et112605_8
Anytime you want to, go to that menu and change the email from which it’s being sent.
There’s literally no reason not to switch to Gmail. Even if you still use your old address, you can do it from Gmail and do all the great things Gmail allows you to do.

With some e-mail services/programs you can manually forward all of your mail to yourself. The only issue with that has been that with some e-mail services/programs when you "send as" the mail arrives  "From username@gmail.com On Behalf Of customaddress@mydomain.com" which is really annoying/unprofessional when don't want to advertise your personal e-mail address when you're sending important messages. Not surprisingly the experts at Google have found a way to solve that issue by sending the mail through the outbound servers of the account you want the mail to be sent from. For example: smtp.mta.ca. This allows you to use the advanced functionality of gmail and send using your professional or established e-mail address. 


Here's the explanation from Google:



Send mail from another address without "on behalf of"

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | 4:30 PM


Quite a few of you use Gmail's custom "From:" to send messages with one of your other email addresses listed in place of your Gmail address. Since these messages are sent by Gmail's servers but "from" a non-Gmail address, we have to include your original Gmail username in the "Sender" field of the message header to comply with mail delivery protocols and help prevent your mail from being marked as spam. Most email programs just display the "From" address and not the "Sender" field, but some (including versions of Microsoft Outlook) show these messages as coming "From username@gmail.com On Behalf Of customaddress@mydomain.com" which really annoyed people.

We heard your request for another option that wouldn't show the "on behalf of" text loud and clear, and now there's a new option that does just that. Instead of using Gmail's servers to send the message, we'll use the servers where your other email address lives. Since Gmail isn't the originating domain, we don't have to include "Sender" info in the header. No more "on behalf of."

Here's the difference. All custom "From:" addresses used to work like this:


Now, if your other email provider supports POP and/or IMAP access, you can choose to send your message like this instead:


To switch to this new method, go to the Accounts page under Settings, and click "edit info" from the "Send mail as" section. Then choose the option to "Use your other email provider's SMTP servers."

We recognize that your other address might not have a server that you can use to send outbound messages — for example, if you use a forwarding alias rather than an actual mailbox, or if your other email provider doesn't support authenticated SMTP, or restricts access to specific IP ranges. For this reason, we've kept the original method as well. Check out our Help Center for further details on these two "send mail as" configuration options.

If you use Google Apps Premier or Education edition and would like to send mail as another address within your domain or within an aliased domain, no sweat. We do all the work behind the scenes so your original username won't be listed in the "Sender" header, and your recipients won't see "on behalf of."

May 5, 2010

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd"


I just finished re-watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you’re unfamiliar the basic premise is that in the near future there is a technology that can selectively erase memories and it is being offered as a service to remove memories of significant others after they have broken up so as to remove the pain of losing them. The first time I saw it I must have been around fourteen and I remember my initiation naïve, pre-high school reaction, which was “Why would any one do that...aren’t broken relationships like any other mistake...you’re supposed to learn from them?” Six years of experience and heartache later (damn I feel old), my thoughts are the similar. Although relationships aren't mistakes in the way you usually think of them but the pain of remembrance ensures that things are different the next time.

On the whole, there’s really nothing/nobody I’d rather forget because the point of experience, of life, is that you can learn from your mistakes. There’s always some bad mixed in with the good...“every rose has its thorn”...and all that sentimental crap... but really...without the pain of past experience we’d never grow.

What do you, the universal you, think? All things considered if you could would you completely remove your memory of anybody and live as though you’d never have met them before? Does it really matter who ended things? Would you change your mind if the roles were reversed. Just a few thought on this Wednesday afternoon. Feel free to respond to them below.

P.S. In case you were wondering, the quote in and the title of the film is from the poem Elosia to Abelard written by Alexander Pope.

May 4, 2010

"Primates on Facebook: Even online, the neocortex is the limit"

I've been thinking about the Communication and friendship lot lately. I am staying in town for a few weeks moving around and keeping in touch with people who left. I thought of my friend who living without regular communication with anyone outside of a small group of students during a month long Anthropology trip in Belize and how challenging that may be for her. I have had limited internet connection lately and have at times felt a bit out of the loop but whenever I do get back online I still find myself talking to the close friends despite the fact I have 287 "friends" on Facebook.

I then came across a recent article in the Economist, which stated that studies have now shown showed what most of us hopefully already know: Even with the advent of Facebook, we don't actually have more friends. Anthropologist Robin Dunbar calculated, based on the brain sizes and social networks of apes, that the size of the human brain allows stable social networks of only 150 friends. Some believed that things would be different different with online social networks but new research says that we can only really keep up with 150 people online or off. In addition, the friend count doesn't change much in terms of who we regularly communicate with, with men with 120 friends replying to 7 messages while those with 500 respond to only ten more.


What also struck Dr Marlow, however, was that the number of people on an individual’s friend list with whom he (or she) frequently interacts is remarkably small and stable. The more “active” or intimate the interaction, the smaller and more stable the group.


I wrote before about the Dunbar number a while back and find this research to confirm the obvious that no matter what the number of online connections we have we are really only "friends" in any real since with a few of them. That's sort of why it's annoying to hear people with 1240 friends comparing numbers. Just because you have more "friends" doesn't mean you have more friends. I for one don't care. I would rather have a few really strong connections than countless weak ones.

Breakup Songs

I haven't made a list in a while and I've noticed a lot of songs playing on shuffle have had to do with breakups so I thought I'd put a list together. There are hundreds of breakup songs so no list is going to be a top listing for everybody. Every "top" 5, 10, 20, 100 song list I've looked at are lacking in some way. I just thought I'd share a few that have helped me through difficult times, a few of the "ultimate" breakup songs, a few angry ones, a few sad ones, and then a few... miscellaneous ones just to have a more complete sampling. Because this page would never load if I included videos for each so I'll just highlight a few. Most things in life are personal but music seems to be the closest thing to universal expression we've created. Without further adieu, and in deliberately random order, here's the list of 24 songs that might help you get through it:

Sackville in May

Being in Sackville over the summer you realize a few things about the town...the most important thing is that not many people live here. Life goes on without most of the students, albeit at a much slower pace. It doesn't feel the same without about half the population and I bet the stores, especially Bridge Street Café and undoubtedly Liquor NB, miss the business

There's also the little things you don't usually take note of while running from class to class. For instance, until this week I didn't realize Sackville had a car wash or a large cemetary past King Street. Sackville this time of year is seems a lot more calm and collected, and when I go to Nova Scotia in just under two weeks I'll miss the town almost as much as the school for the first time I moved here.

May 3, 2010

Living out of bags

2nd Year at Mount Allison has come and passed. I am now, for the first time, living in Sackville (temporarily) after exams have ended. I'm waiting to go to the French Immersion Program at Uni Sainte-Anne this spring.

Sackville is a lot quieter without most of the students here. I'm living out of three bags in a friend's house until I leave for Nova Scotia in two weeks. I'm going to be living on campus with a few friends next year and finally off campus the year after. Most people move off by third year but there are a few pros and cons to measure and I decided that it's better for me to stay on until I can make a more informed decision about where to live when I move off.

Among my important documents that I moved from a small fireproof safe to one of the three bags that is my life for the summer I found a collection of papers and miscellaneous things that brought back old memories. Things that I'd probably remember if my life "flashes in front of my eyes before I die": cards from people I used to know, am better without, and want to know better, the ticket from my homecoming dance, collectible basketball/hockey cards, childhood photos, an expired calling card, my acceptance letter to the U.S. Honor Society, an old library card, my acceptance letter to Mt. Allison, and the high school awards that got me into University but now collect dust among other things.

It made me reflect not only on why I chose to safeguard those things and not others but what I will take out and add to the box by the time I graduate. It's interesting to think of all the junk we come across in a lifetime and how we give special meaning to just a few things. The most meaningful things are ink and paper but it wouldn't be the same to keep photographs of them or type up all the words on the page.I could throw out all of it and nothing in my life would change but I wouldn't ever do that. In this age of having everything electronic what tangible things do you always have with you? Why?