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Showing posts from April, 2008

Gmail SPAM: Update

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SPAM email. Everyone hates it. Company and individuals alike have built various systems for dealing with it, but from what I hear, most solutions are sub-optimal.

I currently receive about 365 spam emails per day. 290 in my personal account, and 75 in my work account.

But I hardly ever have to think about this!

That's because I use hosted Gmail for both my personal and work accounts. Every time a spam email makes it through. I simply check it, and hit the "Report Spam" button. Hundreds of thousands of others do this every day. Then, the Google algorithm goes through and figures out which emails are spam based on this aggregate result.
It ends up being extremely accurate. I've only had 2 or 3 false positives* over the past 3 years I've used Gmail.

Because of this, I can confidently ignore the spam/junk folder. Gmail saves these messages for 30 days -- just in case.

Yet another reason to use hosted Google services... :)

*A false positive is a legitimate email tha…

Rising gas prices are good!

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Warning: This blog posting will probably make you mad. If your blood pressure rises in correlation with gas prices, stop reading now!

Gas prices have been increasing over the years, and I personally think it’s great! Don’t get me wrong. I have a car, and I love driving, but I also think people (including me) drive way too much.

Why do we drive so much? Because it’s still too cheap! Even with the price more than doubling in the past five years, there are more cars on the road, more drivers, and people driving further distances each day.

Obviously people need to do a certain amount of driving, but it’s the long distance commuters that really confuse me. Apparently they think it’s more economical to travel hundreds of kilometers and spend 3-6 hours in a car every day than to move closer to their workplace.

I think if you added up all of the costs very carefully (including car ownership and lost productivity due to travel time) you’d find this type of commute is actually way more expens…

Phone vs. Email

In the business world, there are phone people, and there are email people. I'll admit right upfront that I'm an email person. There are situations when phone or face-to-face meetings are necessary or more appropriate, but for most day to day issues, I think email is great.

Consider this scenario: I send an email checking on the status of something. The other person gets the email, and realizes they need to ask me something that basically requires a yes or no answer.

Instead of emailing, they phone me. Naturally, I miss the call and they leave me a long message re-explaining the entire situation, asking me the question, and leaving their contact information and the times they can be reached.

I have to log into my voicemail, retrieve the message, listen to it (possibly more than once) and take down the contact info. Then I call them back -- and, you guessed it -- they're not available. By the time I finally get them tracked down and give them their answer, I've probabl…