General Musing

blaze your trail

Archive for the ‘mail’ Category

For People who like Mail: Social Digest

leave a comment »

Social Digest - A Digest Of Your Social Network

Many people are posting on Social Media, and there are many who don’t want to constantly follow everything live that is said by their friends. For them there is now . Social Digest makes it possible to get a full list of all the tweets send by your social group, whether it’s the public stream, DMs or lists – which I’m sure Scoble will like. It also lists the users who were active that day. It’s like having your Facebook wall in your mail, although Facebook support is in the pipeline.

There is also integration for people who want to follow what their friends are listening to on Last.FM. The other service they currently support is Hyves, but I doubt that they will limit their scope to only these services.

For the business users there are plans to make it possible to get digests over multiple Twitter accounts in one digest mail so business users can do the due diligence over their multiple accounts. And after showing them the wonderful features of DataSift they are looking into implementing a similar mark-up language to be able to extract data which can be flagged with in the Digest. And I see further potential for integration with DataSift.

I’m happy to say that as the twitter whale in the pre-alpha I helped them discover many faults with the algorithm and forced them to turn the Twitter API inside out to be able to do some of the requests.

They have plans for a 2011 launch.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

January 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Create Documents from GMail Conversations #blogging

leave a comment »

Using GMail daily I hadn’t noticed the item Create a document in the menu before yesterday, I decided to try it out and I really like it. The function allow you to turn an entire conversation into a document which is stored into Google Docs with the push of a button.

GMail menu

The quoted text contains all the included markup, altough it doesn’t include the sender details, it removes all the quoted text it recognizes. What it doesn’t do is truncate the text below the “sig dashes” (“signature cut line”, “sig-marker”, or “sig separator”), which is what I expected.

I create many post based on conversations I see on mailing lists, or other place. This feature makes it easier to collect all the text of the conversation, as the sender is not included it is necessary to through source text to attribute the quotes to the correct person.

Nice feature!

Image source: VentureBeat, me

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

March 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Posted in blogging, mail

Tagged with , , , , ,

OS registers to DNS #security #risk

leave a comment »


Recently on NANOG I saw the item below, I was thinking about what this actually means. A computer would – similar to DynDNS – register itself and it’s hostname to a DNS server using some kind of authentication. Naturally I immediately thought this was a brilliant plan, and didn’t understand why nobody, with the exception of DynDNS, had thought of this before. The immediate afterthought was that this would be easy to implement with a soft-token, which is the software equivalent of a physical token like RSA’s SecureID, or complicated to implement with PKI infrastructure.

From: Mark Andrews <>
Re: mailing list bounces

It will be much better when the OS’s just register themselves in
the DNS. Humans shouldn’t have to do this when a machine renumbers.
Named can already authenticate PTR updates based on using TCP and
the source address of the update. For A/AAAA records you setup a
cryptographically strong authentication first.

DynDNS uses username password, which is less secure than the cryptographically strong solution that Mark Andrews mentions below.

Image source: Bill McCurdy

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

March 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Posted in mail, pki, security

Tagged with , , , ,

Inspired by Productivity #lifehacks #mashable

leave a comment »


I was reading a Mashable item on productivity[1] which contained some interesting things that I will turn into a slideshow on this week.

Do NOT check your e-mail for the first 45 minutes that you are in the office in the morning. […] There are never meetings at that time and most people are settling in and reading their e-mails, […] — Amanda Feifer O’Brien, Marketing Manager at Firmenich Inc.

Take the first 30 minutes to plan the rest of your day. By plan, I mean make a list of the important tasks that you need to have done today and stay focused on these items. […] Make a list of the things that you want to achieve that day and work from that list until it’s completed. — Rohan Hall, Founder and CEO of rSitez, Inc

This is an excellent way to start the day, I have been using the 43 Folders system to unplan the year, this is my scheduled backlog, and take the day folder out and add this to my daily TODO list – which I write on Post-its. While creating the initial Post-its I like to create Post-its which contain:

  • Lunch
  • Coffee Break (x4)
  • Snack Break (x2)
  • Mail Break (x2)

And interspace these in the timeline of the day.

On my whiteboard I arrange the Post-its in the following grid:

First I take the Not Urgent and Not Important and bin them, obviously there is no reason to do them or they would have been graded differently.

Next I estimate the time and importance needed for the Urgent and Important tasks, and split the longer items into shorter tasks. Then I start the tasks by solving some of the important short tasks first to set the tone of the day to task completion, then I process the remaining tasks in order of importance. I like to use timeboxes for each of the tasks based on my estimates.

Next I estimate and complete the Not Urgent and Important items and don’t move on to estimating and completing the Urgent and Not Important until I’m finished.

  1. 37 Productivity Tips for Working From Anywhere

Image source: Dennis Hamilton

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 11, 2010 at 8:29 pm

The Gist of the Idea #crm #mail

leave a comment »

Gist Logo

Playing with today, although it can always be difficult to adapt to a new interface the advantage that Gist has is that it uses keyboard shortcuts which are intuitive over multiple platforms. And naturally that it can show CRM statistics over the interaction between my, my company and my contacts and extracts the data from multiple platforms, including Mail, and .

It’s also possible to grade people by importance and get a level of data from them which I need to get. Gist also has the option to “auto-magically” select the most important content, reducing the amount of information which is presented to me. Although Gist believes that removing all Tweets and FB posts will create a more manageable list of people and companies, rather than changing the level of importance to display.

A future feature I would like to see it the ability to translate or remove contant in languages I don’t understand or location based information.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

September 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Fail whale solution for Twitter #failwhale @twitter

with 2 comments

Many years ago while working for a large ISP we had occasional outages due to bugging software or being over capacity. Mail was the biggest problem, with many people – even on the dial-up network – POP-ing[1] their mail every 5 minutes. We had rolled our own mailserver and we were constantly fixing our infrastructure to give our customers the highest quality. Yet we still had the occasional outage which caused our helpdesk to be flooded with calls from people whose mail client gave a pop-up message with an error message. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Posted in mail, social

Tagged with , , , ,

Features I Still Miss in Mail #mail #email

leave a comment »

UPDATE: GMail has introduced my number 3. YEAH! (Gmail introduces Priority Inbox: The importance filter for your email.)

With the exception of my happiness at some of the new features implemented by a few services – that are solutions to requirements I had in the past, and which are now integrated into my whole internet experience – there is seldom a week that goes by that I do not lament the limits of email.

Let me send customized mail to groups of people all at once.

Some time ago I wrote a tool which does this, it allows you to draft a mail and add on different messages/attachments for different people. And I don’t mean something as cumbersome as a Mail-Merge, I mean something that can be used for every message I send. People are already getting enough information they don’t need, with a little care from the sender a recipient’s load is minimized. Naturally you can still continue to work the way you did before, but for the people who want to lighten the mail burden they place on people it’s a handy tool. This includes the ability to send encrypted/signed messages to all the recipients based on the requirements of the sender and/or the recipient.

Let me initiate conversations with groups of people with just one tag.

Grouped mail exists already – it’s reasonably easily done with most mail clients, but what about tagged mailing. Three people in your addressbook are Java programmers, it would be handy to be able to mail only them your cool new code snippet rather than needing to go through the marketeers, managers and Perl programmers in your addressbook to find them. And without the need to update this list when a new contact is added, or an old one is removed.

has the ability to recognize that certain contacts are often contacted at the same time as others, although this is meant more to protect you from contacting the wrong Bob.[1] From experience I know that having multiple mail addresses for the same Bob screws with the algorithm. And this is based on the virtual grouping of mail history, rather than the taxonomy of the contact.

Let me queue up people who want to interact with me and work my way through the list in a way that works for both of us.

This is similar to an inbox for mail, although it is more efficiently ordered, perhaps implemented as a reversed spam filter, using either Bayesian or Markov filtering techniques to weight a message based on the inferred importance. The client allows you to assign weight to an email and you can ask the client to order all the messages by the weight you assigned to that email and similar messages, and all the previous messages you have weighted. It can also do this based on client side rules, and business rules and requirements. Interactions or interaction sessions could also be Timeboxed for greater efficiency.

  1. Got the wrong Bob?

What are your thoughts?

Adapted from post originally posted here.

Technorati technorati tags: , , ,

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

June 10, 2010 at 6:32 am

Posted in mail, programming

Tagged with , ,

GMail Quota and Statistics (follow-up) #google #gmail #dashboard

leave a comment »

On August 11th 2007 I exceeded my quota, I blogged about it here. At that time they, , told me that I had:

Over 2887.350465 megabytes (and counting) of free storage so you’ll never need to delete another message.

On that day I was surprises when people trying to mail me suddenly started getting:

Remote host said: 552 5.2.2 User over quota m24si4251221waf [RCPT_TO]

It naturally annoyed me that I was not warned that I was outgrowing my mailbox.

Today I’m absolutely and unequivocally over the quota once allocated to me:

You are currently using 5610MB (75%) of your 7459MB.

And it doubt that I shall reaching that limit any time soon, although I am still unwilling to subscribe to high volume the current count reads:

Over 7460.019087 megabytes (and counting) of free storage.[*]

I’m also glad to see that they removed the obvious lie:

[…] so you’ll never need to delete another message.

Now is proud to announce that I have 143000 conversations[*], with 31000 conversations[*] in my inbox with 5675 unread and 6061 total mails.

  1. frontpage (only visible when logged out)
  2. This is obviously an average, or so I assume.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

May 30, 2010 at 4:50 am

Posted in mail, risk

Tagged with , , , , , , , #mail

leave a comment »


We are sending you this information with a link to our website, but we won’t allow you to send us mail.

This mail was generated.

Bite me,
A. Company

I get mails like this all the time, a nice little form letter telling me that if I want to communicate with the company I must conform to their methods of communication. This is much like the companies which force me to call an expensive number to air one’s grievances, they have email yet they won’t allow me to use that method to initiate contact.

Why do they do it?

Obviously not just to irritate me, they have a procedure that allows them to track issues and have a customer support representative to handle the complaint. As soon as it’s in their CRM they suddenly can use mail, when it suits them, and these can be processed by their CRM.

What many companies forget is that when I am contacting them I am doing them a service, I am helping them to make their product better. So when they make it difficult for me to help them, they are making their product less valuable. There are many companies out their who perform their task cheaper and as badly as they do, where they can make the difference is to add value to their product that exceeds the value of just the product. It’s natural that this is paid for, and this cost should be included in the cost of doing business. The customer service lines that charge me 50 cents for every minute are saying:

“You call is not important to us! To get the service you are entitled too under our agreement and are paying for we will charge you more.”

Not as bad are the no-reply mails, although they are saying:

“We this what you have to say is important, but not so important that we should be inconvenienced.”

And as sheep we accept this rather than voting with our wallets.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

August 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Posted in business, mail, risk

Tagged with , , , ,

Merging Duplicate Contacts #mail #dedup #addressbook

with one comment

I’ve been struggling with removing/merging duplicate entries from my address book with a commercially available tool for some time. I could just write one, and I still might. Until then I’ll list the ones I’ve tried and

Plaxo doesn’t de-dup for free, and they have difficulty with an address book which has more than 10000 entries, even though a good part of them are duplicates. An ad

also doesn’t do it very well, I can download my address book and upload it again and have it add most of the enrties for a second time.

is much worse as a storage place, as it ignores all the users who I am not connected to on LinkedIn. And I have too many connections who have populated important fields, such as Name or Title with SEO data or mail addresses.

There are a number of simple commercial script which should do what I need, but I expect that it’s little better than the scripts I’ve written to do a contact merge.

Finally advised me to have a look at Apple‘s MobileMe, although yesterday I was getting the following message:


So I guess I’ll have a look at it tomorrow.

Any other suggestions?

Technorati Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

July 25, 2009 at 7:33 pm

%d bloggers like this: