Optimize your Email

Email is the center of the work place, the tool that replaces the phone, and the communicator which connects people around the world. Even old folks got into it making life much more enjoyable sending emails to relatives and friends, especially forwards: my grandfather loves those. How did email come to be, and more importantly, how did it come to be such a Fustercluck!?

Back in the day, let’s say the 1970’s before crack-cocaine hit, electronic mail was sent to another computer that had to be on at the same time. It looked almost?exactly?identical to the emails you see today, with the header, the subject, and the body all there.

Did you know email predated the internet? That is right, and it actually helped to create it too. Originally email started as a way for two or more people in a business to communicate back and forth with each other about what they were working on. From this it has turned into THE way to communicate with each other, period. Try to call the guy you need a quote from, what will he say? He probably will not even pick up the phone, because he knows that the email will be on its way.

This is all great, really just fine and super, but what about the constant headache of spam, viruses, and all out email bombardment of messages from India to China? Well, I will tell you what that is about, that is about you! I know it seems hard to?realize that the one at fault is the one reading this, but the truth is funny like that.

If you want to avoid all that spam? Do not give out your email address by signing up to websites such as Facebook, any site with a newsletter or membership, avoid anything that asks for your email address. How can you still operate without the hassles? Simple, two emails.

I found this out recently when I had so much spam and so much crap coming into the inbox that it seemed impossible to completely stop, until I opened up a new account with the same email server, which is Gmail. If you are like me and you have already screwed up your email account by giving it out too much, then there is a solution, and it is simple. Keep that first email address which still has some use, and get a new email account, call it the top-secret inbox.

Now you have two emails, one for all the spam and baloney that gets piled in the inbox, and the other you only give out to friends, family, and sites your trust will not give out your email address. I stumbled upon this great idea after a month has gone by without one message in the spam box! That is a beautiful thing, and the emails I do get I know for a fact that they are real and that they need my attention.

This saves me so much time wasted trying to delete random messages and spam I thought I marked as spam but now is hanging in the box. ?When you handle emails constantly every day, and the response time is expected to be short and prompt with replies, you have no time to be?analyzing words and making sure they are okay.

To bring it all down to the heart of the matter,?optimize?your email by creating duplicity, and getting away with more because now you have a fall guy to take the hit for all those people emailing you and trying to ruin your email experience.

Another Facebook Update

I know, if you were just born then this is already old news about Facebook being used for everything except actually living your life. But quit running from the truth and acting like you are too good for such a thing as being social on a network. The truth is that Facebook is instantaneous information in your face internet intensity. The internet is supposed to be all of that allowing people across the globe to communicate with each other easily with fast speeds.

Email has been the first choice for communication, mainly in business, replacing the telephone. This AirTrans commercial is a funny one explaining this trend.

Email Replaces Talking

But there is a figure on the horizon, and it is in the shape of an ?F?: yes, Facebook is coming out with another idea to make messaging better. Not that it isn?t better already, I mean we have come along way from lighting signal fires and dialing a rotary phone, but how much more can we communicate better, faster, easier?

Well, let?s email Facebook and see what they have to say.

I haven?t heard back from them, but I got an instant response on Facebook, and this reveals the appeal for Facebook to combine email with instant messaging: contact. Everywhere you go online or anywhere that is related to sharing business, videos, music, ideas, advertising, you see a link to put it on Facebook. It is a connection that goes where email cannot go.

So when CEO Mark Zuckerburg remarked about comments concerning the revamp of the social messaging system Facebook and how it will be the ?Gmail killer?, he said ?It?s not email.?

What is it? The new Facebook will allow you to get email on Facebook. Wow, after all the virus and hack breakdowns that Facebook has had, I am surprised they are tempting such a thing. We will probably be hearing about people being hacked and having to call Computer Geeks to clean up all the viruses on your computer, but until then if you live life on Facebook then this new edition will fit the bill perfect.

Email and instant messaging are becoming the normal ways to communicate, talking is awkward, email is less personal and you can put your thoughts down easier to communicate better.

By combining the two, the new Facebook will grab multiple types of communication such as email and turn it into a more real-time messaging service. Say you use Gmail to get messages from clients and since you run your business on getting updates from customers instantly online; receiving fast updates beats out regular email since you will get all you need on Facebook.

To wrap this up, Facebook is just looking to pioneer out from the boundaries of their target market, almost like Google has been doing for the past couple years. They are looking at voice-chat and new ways to communicate.

Talking face-to-face is just boring, it is so much more fun writing it down and adding a smiley face!

Privacy Protection: What Privacy?

They do not call it the “World Wide Web” for nothing. It is a spider-web, and it is world wide the information that is about you and is out there for everyone to see, if they really wanted to. The spider on the web is anyone who searches your name using different programs or services provided online, and it is amazing what comes up.

Say someone wants to know what you are up to. By tracking the electronic foot prints left behind by email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or even just account activity, they can learn a lot about you in a short amount of time, about the time it takes to load a page. The world of today where there are no walls and information is out there flying around can be a dangerous one, if you are not careful.

The information that is out there can be grabbed by people search engines like Pipl, Spokeo, and CVGadget. It is not illegal, they are doing nothing wrong in the eyes of the internet police, but it does invade our privacy even if the information is out for people to see. It is like putting your dirty laundry out in front of the house, even clothes with small stains, the fact remains that our personal stuff can be easily accessed by anyone. Creepy.

So what can you do about it?

Put a stop to the mountain of information on you that is being collected by these search engines as you read this. First check out for yourself how much is out there by searching your name. Rapleaf is a provider with an open tool to let you see everything, while the other search engines only let you see bits and pieces. By going to that site you can actually manage what people see about you. No more spying from your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, no more parental espionage, no more privacy pillaging! By ‘Opting-out’ on Rapleaf’s website, you can permanently delete all that saved information that Rapleaf has on you.

Another way to stop prying eyes is to adjust the privacy settings. This means going to all the sites connected to your email address and changing them individually

  • Amazon: Wish Lists are made public by default. To change that setting, go to this page and select the option to sign in. You can then view any Wish Lists associated with your account and designate them as private.
  • Facebook: Once signed in, look under the ‘Settings’ tab at the top of the page to find the privacy control panel. Click the Profile option to set parameters regarding who can view your content.
  • MySpace: Click the My Account button at the top of the page after logging in, then click Privacy to adjust your settings. Bear in mind that your age and location are typically displayed publicly even if your profile is set as private, as was the case in one of the examples cited in “They Know Your Dark Secrets…And Tell Anyone.”
  • Pandora: Your playlists are public unless you specify otherwise. Once logged in, click Account at the top of the page, and then follow the option to edit your profile info. From there, you’ll see a checkbox that you can select to make your profile (and thus your playlists) private.

By doing this, you prevent search from sites like Pipl and Spokeo from getting into your private information like what music you like, who your girl or boyfriend is, where you live, the list goes on and on. Take back control of your privacy. Don’t let weirdo’s or people who do not need to see your personal life get the best of you. Who knows what people will do with information like that. You can protect your privacy even when you are on the web, these are ways to catch those spiders crawling around looking for trouble.

Office 2010 Adds New Features

If you have not already made the jump to Office 2010, then you are still sitting on the lily pad, with all the other frogs deciding when to jump into something better.

The new edition of Office came out last June, changing the way people use the computer and how they conduct their business through it, and now is standard in new PC’s. Microsoft Office is really just an easier way to handle multiple operations at once when the operating system normally could not perform these tasks. For businessmen and professionals, Office has become the standard for email, meetings, and productivity.

Office provides Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, InfoPath, Groove, and Publisher. That is a ton of operation for one program to handle, and Office fits them all together for you to use them with ease. So if you have the old version of Office, why not turn your ?ease? into ?easier??

New Features

One new add on to Microsoft Office is PowerPoint LiveWeb, which is perfect for anyone who uses PowerPoint. Who does not love this program? Students especially have benefited from using this program greatly because it offers such a detailed and neat presentation. No more posters or weird looking projects that you have to spend hours on making. With this new feature, you can add web pages right to the slide making your presentation perfect. The OLD PowerPoint is so hard to configure because you have to add the code to the page.

To top it all off, a new feature called Producer takes the cake on ease. It lives up to its name, it produces results allowing the user to import video, photographs, and audio right into your presentation. If you are involved in e-Learning, a conference, office communications, and public speaking, Producer lets you do what you want to do: the best!

Office 2010 gets into the social network scene with Outlook Social Connector. With this feature you can see what your friends and business associates are doing instantly through Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Window’s Live Messenger. Using this feature allows people to follow each others progress and status when at work, school, or home.

Offisync is more than a combination between Office and synchronization, it is a revolutionary change in the way people share, edit, and communicate documents. If you use Google Docs, another multi-usage platform that combines a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation along with storage, then Offisync is the right stuff. With this feature you now have access to your Google Docs within Office. This makes it easier because you are free from being confined to the Google Apps. It is the key you have been looking for to unlock the door to accessibility.

For all of you that travel across the world seeking business and/or pleasure, Office has combined with Bing to create: Bing Travel Planner for Outlook. Especially if you have trouble to begin with trying to plan a trip or multiple trips over the year, Bing Travel Planner helps you schedule flights and also remember them.

Perhaps one of the most useful tools that Microsoft has added to its new edition of Office, is Microsoft Mathematics Add-In for Word. You can download this free of charge at the Microsoft website. What this allows you math illiterate people like myself to do, or math geniuses like you to accomplish, is graphing 2D or 3D, solving equations in arithmetic and algebra, and even completing statistical functions. How awesome is that? This is something that has been missing in computers, an application that is easy to use and effective in helping the student or businessman who has to deal with numbers daily, finish the work they started.

So for all you Microsoft Office Addicts out there who are off the wagon and need a fix? Office 2010 gives you all that need to satisfy that craving for more.

Offline Gmail just went Online

While email has become the most popular method of communication in this digital age, it?s limited to the internet, requiring a working connection for the delivery of the messages you draft. Still, even in those times when the internet isn?t available, we?d like to be able to read our email and draft new messages in the interim. ?The internet isn?t an infallible resource, all of us experiencing outages of service ? ?at work and home.?

Google just made their Gmail service available offline, a feature that had only existed in their Google Labs, the experimental hub of upcoming services tested out in a beta format. This is a great alternative for those instances when your internet connection isn?t available yet you still find yourself wanting to manage the email in your Gmail account.

When activated, Google downloads a local cache of your current email using Gears, the google service that augments the abilities of your web browser. Once your email has been captured, it remains accessible, no matter if your connection is available or offline. So long as your connection is working, the cache of your email will remain current.

In offline mode, your Gmail features remain available, allowing you to do just what you?d normally do when using the service online ? without the ability to send messages, of course. For those messages you want to transmit, all you need to do is ?send? them as usual, though they?ll occupy your ?outbox? until a connection is available. It?s quite similar to how SMS texts are handled on your smartphone, where the unavailability of services sends your texts into a queue that is emptied upon restoration of service.

With it publically available, the steps required to activate this service are the following:

  • Click the ?settings? link in the top-right corner of Gmail
  • Click the ?Offline? tab.
  • Select ?Enable Offline Mail for this computer.?
  • Click ?Save Changes? and follow the directions from there.

For a demonstration of how this service, here?s a video that accompanied the Google Lab?s offering:


Because this is still relatively new, there are bound to be some quirks that haven?t yet been ironed out. If you ever have any questions, never hesitate to give us a ring.

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