My name is Cédric Bozzi. I make websites and apps, and this is my blog dedicated to technology: here you’ll find news, opinions and reviews, all written by a Mac-head who tends to have definite opinions about stuff.
Did I tell you I felt like playing around on my computer with some toys? Once again I did a roundup of all RSS aggregators, found a new one that’s quite alright (doesn’t crash, reads pretty much all formats, is well put together, knows how to group articles from all blogs and display them in reverse chronological order, etc. — uh, no, actually, it does crash, but not too hard), spent some time adding fifty RSSs to it, and… came back to the same conclusion as always: it’s useless, because a blog is meant to be read in its original layout. Even when the layout is ugly and not personalized, it’s still part of the blog, and the author almost always takes it into account in the way he writes. And, as for being notified within the hour of someone posting… either I’m bored and I’m already browsing all blogs myself every 30 minutes (even when they’re not updated, there can be new comments, which are almost never RSSed), or I’m busy and it can wait.
Case closed, once again.
P.S. Case reopened: I should find a web-based aggregator, from which I could fetch the results and convert them into WML, so I could read blogs on my phone when I’m bored in the subway. Because Google’s gateway is convenient, but it isn’t quite practical.
I just installed ZoneAlarm, out of curiosity, in case I’d need it, or because I was bored and I wanted to have something new on my computer. And, well, for something that’s supposed to bring you peace and safety, this thing is an amazing anxiety. I had only just launched the program, and I was already flooded with alerts, every two minutes, reporting that someone tried to contact my computer. Ooh, I’m scared. Since it’s evidently common, or even normal (well, it’s the reason people install firewalls in the first place, isn’t it?), what I don’t understand is why the default configuration decides to show all those useless alerts.
If I was Joe User and I installed ZoneAlarm and saw all those people trying to hack into my computer, my first reaction wouldn’t be to check the “Do not show these alerts in the future” box (nor to buy Zone Alarm Pro), but to throw my modem out the window.
I mustn’t be reading the right blogs: I didn’t see anyone complain about Gmail encouraging bad quoting, i.e. answering above the quoted text, transforming e-mail exchange into ICQ conversation logs, whereas this media had always been so apt at handling discussions point by point, idea by idea, paragraph by paragraph.
It was already hard fighting the bad habits Microsoft encouraged with Outlook, but if Google gets on the train e-mail is definitively screwed.
Let it be known that I reserve the right to blacklist anyone who misquotes e-mail replies. That’ll be my effort to make the world a better place.
Read in Le virus informatique (dates back to February, but I didn’t know, so maybe you don’t either): a ZIP archive can lie about the name and type of the files it contains.
What does it mean? That you double-click a ZIP, opening Winzip or WinRAR or whatever, you see a JPG file in the list, double-click it and, tough luck, an EXE file starts (a virus, a worm, etc.).
I don’t know if some of the archiving programs take that into account and prevent it from happening, but the most obvious workaround is to never launch a compressed file directly from the interface, but first decompress it into a temporary folder.
Gmail (Google Mail) hasn’t disappeared after April the first and seems to be quite real. (Though I doubt the announcement date is a coincidence — nice way to get twice the pre-launch buzz, thanks to all the bloggers wondering if it’s for real.) Who would have thought there was still money to be made from a free webmail?
It’ll be interesting to see how the competition is forced to evolve. Funny that I was criticizing Six Apart’s expansionism, but I trust Google. It’s instinctive, and I can never much justify what’s instinctive. Is it Movable Type’s not really free license? (As a programmer, I can very, very well understand the choice not to use the GPL, but I never considered the “free only for personal use” license to be quite elegant.) Or Typepad’s incredibly high prices? Or how they granted exclusive rights on all their licenses in France to Loïc Le Meur?
The fact is that Google’s net credibility is unrivaled. I was going to write “unshakable”, but nobody is, particularly in that field. What’s really interesting in their offer is the gigabyte of data. (No, really?) Because of its direct consequence: unlike all the other webmails, they will have an excellent reason to include an efficient anti-spam / anti-virus system. Since nobody will ever delete a message from their account, they’d better provide good filters.
Now I hope nobody gets garoo @ gmail.com before I do (and also that they bought other domains, because that one isn’t quite hot).